Static when burning CDs

Discussion in 'Computer Audiophile: Software, Configs, Tools' started by Mystic, May 11, 2018.

  1. Mystic

    Mystic Mystique's Spiritual Advisor

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    Not really sure where I should have put this.

    Ever since cassette moved over to CDs I have always bought my music in CD form, even up until now. However I have amassed a modest collection of digital music that never had a physical release. I prefer to use my CD player/transport into my Yggy since I think it sounds better than gen5 USB and I like the tangible aspect of spinning discs.

    Most of my digital only music is downloaded from bandcamp and HDTracks in FLAC format. I am burning these albums as a CD-R and I got some high quality CMC Pro discs to write them to.

    I am noticing (usually on just the first track of the album, the rest is fine) that there is some static or artifacts in the first track of most of these albums. I put the disc into my computer just to make sure it wasn't my CDP and I get the same result. The FLAC file on my computer doesn't exhibit this issue.

    I am using JRiver to burn these discs.
     
  2. monacelli

    monacelli Friend

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    Since the data is stored in the digital domain, we probably want to choose a different word to describe what you're hearing than "static." I think "digital artifacts" is more appropriate in this context. It's all just 1's and 0's, and some of those bits are erroneously getting flipped between the files stored on your computer and their representations burned to disc. This could happen in multiple places, for instance when the FLAC files are decompressed. This is one reason why some folks like to store their music in AIFF format, which is (usually) uncompressed PCM. That works particularly well in the Apple ecosystem.

    How are you decompressing your FLAC files? Are you converting to WAV prior to burning the CDs, or is that something that JRiver is doing on the fly? You might try manually converting the tracks to an uncompressed format (like WAV if you are running Windows) before burning the CDs, just to take that variable out of the equation. If the WAVs sound correct but the CDs don't, then you know the digital data isn't being burned faithfully. If you run into that scenario, then the issue is either with JRiver or your drive. If you have an external disc drive handy, you might try keeping your process exactly the same and seeing if you get better results with different hardware. Good luck~
     
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  3. Mystic

    Mystic Mystique's Spiritual Advisor

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    Not sure how JRiver does it, if it's on the fly or not. I'll try converting an album from flac to wav and see what that does. I have a couple external drives I can use too.
     
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  4. Occam

    Occam Rando

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    Some tired or lower quality drives might have issues like this where the outside of the disk is burned incorrectly due to the positioning of the laser carrier. When the stationary "nut" on the carrier isn't fully engaged with the worm gear used for positioning it might have tracking issues. Or the worm gear could be worn unevenly on the end causing similar symptoms.

    I have seen this issue happen with a couple of older CD burners, so that might explain the varying burn quality your experiencing.

    If your a Linux user you can compare the burns with a CD you might have ripped using a checksum and dd to rip the raw information as confirmation. If you interested I could put together some instructions on how to do so.
     
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  5. Mystic

    Mystic Mystique's Spiritual Advisor

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    Not a Linux user unfortunately.

    After many tests and 3 burners, I have come to the conclusion it was my CD burner. It's not old though, a fairly recent Bluray drive from LG. I swapped it out for a LiteOn drive that had really good accuacy ratings for burning CDs. Problem seems to have gone away.

    I appreciate the explaination, that is likely what was going on. I could only find issues with the first track. It's possible the last track was affected too but I never got that far when testing the discs.
     
  6. Occam

    Occam Rando

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    Not all drives use worm gears either, but even with rack and pinion setups there still might be slack in the mechanism that might not be accounted for at the extremes of the carrier movement range causing the issues we have seen.

    I have also had some problems with some of the newer LG blue-ray / HD-DVD drives ripping disks. CD Paranoia would not always be happy or very fast with the starting tracks and would speed up significantly after the first couple. So it might be an LG thing with how they designed their mechanism. (Might have to take one apart now...)

    I personally don't understand this phenomenon with these newer drives as one would think that there would need a greater need for more precise / repeatable carrier movements with the more densely packed storage media like Blue-Ray. I don't know enough about the different formats to figure that one out.

    Glad you got your issue sorted out.

    Edit: Typo
     
    Last edited: May 16, 2018
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