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Old 10th January 2021, 23:50   #1  |  Link
kap'n krunch
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What is this 'modulation noise' in Boston "Don't Look Back" First Japanese Pressing?

Well, so much for considering the Japanese pressings as the best...I guess they started flying straight in the 80s...
I usually rip my LPs at 96/24 so I can clean the noises and listen to the rip instead of the LPs.
I have been ripping them for YEARS now and once in a while I have come across a few surprises, this one is definitely a doozy!

It seems that there is some kind of nasty "modulation" noise(to call it something) with a lot of harmonics on this LP. Japanese LPs are one of the finest in the industry but this one was probably the victim of some nasty gear failure.

I make sure that my rips are as silent and noise free as possible and although my gear is not what you'd call EXPENSIVE, it is pretty good.

So, has anybody ever found this noise? I am guessing that masterings from the same era and label would share this "noise" and I, for one do NOT have basically many other LPs from that era/label, and the ones I do have -Boz Scaggs "Slow Dancer" and "Silk Degrees"- do not suffer from this, AFAIK.

Any help/comments are definitely welcome.
Here is the capture: This is most of side A and you can see the noise as soon as the stylus hits the record and it is mostly noticeable on silent/low passages.
(Gear: Technics SL-QL1 Linear Tracking TT from 1981/Ortofon OM30/ Pro-Ject Phono Box Preamp / MOTU 828es / 2019 Mac Mini 6 core running Logic Pro)
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Old 12th January 2021, 03:54   #2  |  Link
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Uploading a couple more screengrabs.
There's the beginning of the side in which you can more or less tell that the signal is quite loud and the END of the side where you can appreciate the harmonics. The lowest frequency you can see is about 4.5 KHz and the harmonics are every 900 Hz (5.4, 6.3, etc.) although to my ears it sounds as a 1 KHz carrier signal.
Would it have been possible for this to be also a cassette master? you can hear the typical low frequency tones at the end of every side on a cassette used in normal duplication machines.
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Old 12th January 2021, 17:40   #3  |  Link
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By definition, sounds (and noises, as a special case of sounds) are to be heard, not seen
This way, a lot of audiophools pretend to "hear" the "stairways" of the DA process, just because they saw it drawn on the cover of a myth-enforcing book
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Old 13th January 2021, 03:09   #4  |  Link
Emulgator
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+1, upload a sample to wetransfer.
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Old 13th January 2021, 03:32   #5  |  Link
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Personally, I do not like to "flaunt" my background cause it makes one look like a jackass, I will only say I am a recording engineer with quite a bit of experience (cause someone who says they know everything IS really a jackass), even graduated from Berklee in Boston back when recording was done on 24 track analog (whatever THAT means/implies ) .

Got quite a good ear AFAIK, so I am just asking for friendly advice, and yes, I DO appreciate a touch of humor!

Here is side A as posted above, the only thing I have done is cleaned up the "noises"(oh well, English is my second language and sometimes it shows) with ClickRepair...

It is a bit frustrating cause, if you take away the "modulation noise" (to call it something), it does sound like a great/clean transfer...probably better than the first US "Wally" pressing, which I have had since it came out...so I am not talking out of my *ss...

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Old 14th January 2021, 15:30   #6  |  Link
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Greetings kap'n, from a sound engineer here.
Many thanks for your file.
Now we see a partially cleaned body, somebody wiped the traces before the coroner was called in;-)
An often heard sentence here at doom9: "Please post an unprocessed sample".
If you already applied cleaning, how shall anybody guess what the reason could be ?


But still what I can hear in the first seconds of the lead-in groove sounds familiar to me.
It matches the noise any laptop can generate.
Well, that does not exclude towers.

Here some DELL XPS M1710 are in use.
While performing repairs and checking schematics I can hear GPU and display lines send such noise.
It can be picked up by any magnetic sensing coil.
Guitar pickups, Rhodes pickups, Hammond pickups, unshielded audio transformers. Record Stylus pickups ? Why not.
Here In my setup I can literally hear that screeching change as columns or lines of screen content are updated.

How was your capture setup ? Which ADC did you choose ?
Which data connction to PC/Mac ? Find out about any possible ground loop.
Insert ground loop filter between RIAA amp, ADC, Mac/PC.
If capturing audio: Use glassfiber where you can. No ground loops.

As with neilwilkes' case the fault might not have been cut into the groove,
rather introduced by faulty capturing setup. There it was a blacklight lamp with a SMPS.
https://forum.doom9.org/showthread.php?t=182064
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Last edited by Emulgator; 14th January 2021 at 15:40.
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Old 14th January 2021, 20:39   #7  |  Link
kap'n krunch
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Emulgator View Post
Greetings kap'n, from a sound engineer here.
Many thanks for your file.
Now we see a partially cleaned body, somebody wiped the traces before the coroner was called in;-)
An often heard sentence here at doom9: "Please post an unprocessed sample".
If you already applied cleaning, how shall anybody guess what the reason could be ?


But still what I can hear in the first seconds of the lead-in groove sounds familiar to me.
It matches the noise any laptop can generate.
Well, that does not exclude towers.

Here some DELL XPS M1710 are in use.
While performing repairs and checking schematics I can hear GPU and display lines send such noise.
It can be picked up by any magnetic sensing coil.
Guitar pickups, Rhodes pickups, Hammond pickups, unshielded audio transformers. Record Stylus pickups ? Why not.
Here In my setup I can literally hear that screeching change as columns or lines of screen content are updated.

How was your capture setup ? Which ADC did you choose ?
Which data connction to PC/Mac ? Find out about any possible ground loop.
Insert ground loop filter between RIAA amp, ADC, Mac/PC.
If capturing audio: Use glassfiber where you can. No ground loops.

As with neilwilkes' case the fault might not have been cut into the groove,
rather introduced by faulty capturing setup. There it was a blacklight lamp with a SMPS.
https://forum.doom9.org/showthread.php?t=182064
Thanks for your reply!

I only processed the clicks and pops, no noise cancellation was done.

As for the capturing, it was done directly from the TT (non-detachable factory cables) to the ProJect Preamp and then some quite good cables-not the cheapo kind but not the $5K ones-, to the MOTU 828es inputs and that was Thunderbolt to the Mac Mini.
I capture all of my LPs with that gear and I could post some other rips done before and after doing this one and none show that kind of noise. I even tried to consider EMF meddling but I ruled it out when I saw the previous and subsequent rips.

Will definitely look into the glassfiber cables.

as for neilwilkes' posts, Ii had been following them and they were extremely helpful and eye opening (I made sure that there were no lamps or weird ground loops during this capture).

As for other japanese masterings from the same years I did find that the ones I mentioned DID have similar noise with harmonics but they were way higher.

Last night I was capturing "My Fair Lady" in Stereo (early 60s Columbia Masterworks pressing...yes, I like some musicals I found it in a thrift shop and the pressing was VERY clean) and it shows no signs of any "modulation noise" like on the Boston LP, I could upload the side if you want me to...here is the capture from the first seconds...
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Old 17th January 2021, 14:15   #8  |  Link
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Hm, that leaves me stumped.
What about repeating the Boston capture, changing anything that can be changed, before and while capturing ?

MotU 828 -> Firewire -> Mac Mini.
Same mains outlet for MotU and macMini, disconnect Monitor DVI/HDMI mains (pull plug) immediately after capture start, pull monitor power cable...
Shorten inputs of the MotU (or just leave them unplugged), Record that silence.
Plug ProJect RIAA (I would not suggest that one, maybe swap that one out, if you can.)
Output into MotU In, record that silence.
Plug your turntable RCA in, table stillstanding, record that silence.
And so on...
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"Data reduction ? Yep, Sir. We're working on that issue. Synce invntoin uf lingöage..."

Last edited by Emulgator; 17th January 2021 at 14:27.
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Old 5th February 2021, 21:24   #9  |  Link
kap'n krunch
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Emulgator View Post
Hm, that leaves me stumped.
What about repeating the Boston capture, changing anything that can be changed, before and while capturing ?

MotU 828 -> Firewire -> Mac Mini.
Same mains outlet for MotU and macMini, disconnect Monitor DVI/HDMI mains (pull plug) immediately after capture start, pull monitor power cable...
Shorten inputs of the MotU (or just leave them unplugged), Record that silence.
Plug ProJect RIAA (I would not suggest that one, maybe swap that one out, if you can.)
Output into MotU In, record that silence.
Plug your turntable RCA in, table stillstanding, record that silence.
And so on...
whoa...interesting...will try and do most of these ...don't think that it will yield but you have tempted the troubleshooter part of me!
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Old 9th February 2021, 18:13   #10  |  Link
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kap'n krunch View Post
It seems that there is some kind of nasty "modulation" noise(to call it something) with a lot of harmonics on this LP. Japanese LPs are one of the finest in the industry but this one was probably the victim of some nasty gear failure....
Exactly which Japanese pressing do you have?
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