How is burn speed determined?

I have been trying to research this and have not been getting very far.

I have an IOMagic CD-R/W 40x12x48 installed in a PIII under Win2K Pro. It came bundled with Nero Express, and I also run Wavelab (see below for version).

After the initial install of Nero and the burner, all seemed OK. I then installed Wavelab 4.0g and had some issues with burning audio CDs where the first track would not play correctly. I could burn at speeds between 4X and about 24X and settled on 16X. All was well except for the #1 track problem.

I upgraded to Wavelab 4.01b and the track #1 problem vanished… along with all burn speeds between 4X and 24X! When I insert a Memorex CD-R, the burner reports possible burn speeds of 4X, 24X, 32X and 48X.

My question is… is this the burner telling me that it cannot burn at anything except those speeds, or is there something wrong? I have updated the ASPI to no avail. Interestingly, when I re-installed Nero (under the assumption that perhaps Wavelab overwrote something important) the in between speeds came back… for about 30 seconds. And then went away again.

Edit:

I think the fact that the speeds appeared and then vanished is a clue… Win2K will (I think) automatically replace a system file that gets overwritten… but I am not sure which one it might be replacing!

I have not been able to find any information on the web about exactly where the “possible burn speeds” come from. I gather they are generated by the burner, but I am wondering if the software also plays a part…

Thanks,
Paul

I will reply to your question with 2 other questions:

  1. Why would you use Nero to burn audio if you have Wavelab installed?

  2. Why would you want to burn audio at a speed >then 4x?

BTW, Wavelab installs its own layer (ASAPI instead of ASPI).

burn speeds that u can actually use are determined by the drive.

Originally posted by mercury
[B]I will reply to your question with 2 other questions:

  1. Why would you use Nero to burn audio if you have Wavelab installed?

  2. Why would you want to burn audio at a speed >then 4x?

BTW, Wavelab installs its own layer (ASAPI instead of ASPI). [/B]

Well, I would prefer to use speeds BETWEEN 4x and 24x. 8x and 12x seem to be pretty reasonable choices for audio. 4x is OK I guess, but there seem to be several varying opinions on what is a reasonable top speed. And Wavelab is not offering anything between 4x and 24x so it is either a reasonable 4x or a fairly unreasonable 24x. With Nero, I can burn at 8x, 12x or 16x if I want to.

Aside from the issue of what is the “correct” speed to use for a good quality burn, I am curious how / why two different apps would report different burn speeds if the information comes from the drive.

Originally posted by mercury

2. Why would you want to burn audio at a speed >then 4x?

why would you want to burn at 4x or less? There is a good chance of increasing errors at very low speeds with media optimized to burn at high speed .

Not according to Feurio!'s author and just about every other audio recording professional I’ve ever met. 4x should be the speed to record audio, and I’ve noticed the difference when doing so. I use Mitsui Gold Audio CDs to record audio (obviously) and the results are almost as good as the source CD. I use EAC to create .bin and .cue files and then import it onto Wavelab as a project and burn it at 4x. So far every CD I burnt using this simple routine has turned out great and it is playable in every player I have (my Nakamichi SoundSpace 8, and my Bose car stereo system).

Best burning speed depends on drive and media, but 4x is usually better than 24x.

I am curious how / why two different apps would report different burn speeds if the information comes from the drive.

The information doesn’t come from the drive.
The drive only accepts certain speeds.
Wavelab hasn’t been tested with your drive, that’s why correct speeds doesn’t appear.

It’s the same when you select a reading speed the drive hasn’t got. It automatically selects the nearer speed.

Originally posted by minix
The information doesn’t come from the drive.
The drive only accepts certain speeds.
Wavelab hasn’t been tested with your drive, that’s why correct speeds doesn’t appear.

Really? That would explain things but it is NOT what I have been led to believe from a couple sources… including the place where I ordered my Plextor 48/24/48 to replace the IOMagic.

Also, the drive is detected as “ATAPI CD-R/W 48/16” by all applications (including Nero, which was bundled with the drive). I have yet to figure out if that is indeed correct… the drive is sold as a 40/12/48. But there is an ATAPI 48/16 in the latest set of supported drives from Wavelab.

I am learning all the time… when the Plextor arrives I’ll make test CDs at each speed through 24X and see if I can hear / see any errors.

Question… are the tools in for example Nero Speed good enough to see the errors resulting from a less than optimum burn speed? With a couple spectacular exceptions, most CDs I have checked with Nero show zero errors. But of course that is a test carried out with the drive that burned the CDs. I’m assuming that the real test would be to access the error signal from my audio CD deck (an older Kyocera). Not sure if that is possible.

Have a great holiday everyone and thanks for the info. Hopefully all my problems will go away when UPS gets off their duffs and delivers the Plextor I ordered! It is sitting an hour and a half away but won’t be here until Monday due to UPS’ lengthy Christmas holiday. I paid for three day select shipping and it will be a week by the time it gets here. Sigh…

That’s the ID-String of the drive. It could say anything (like “GREAT DRIVE 60X60”), and all programs will read the same, obviously.

are the tools in for example Nero Speed good enough to see the errors resulting from a less than optimum burn speed?

well, with that or PlexTools’ log you can see the number of C2 errors when read with the Plextor drive.
Of course, most times, audio players produce more errors when playing than the Plextor when ripping… and even it’s possible that media that works specially well with Plextor is difficult with the player.

You can do a speeds test with Feurio -> Program Parameters -> Test Device, to see what reading speeds your drive supports. The software sent a command to read at 19x, and the drive will select the nearest speed (16x probably).
The same happens with burning speeds.

Originally posted by mercury
Not according to Feurio!'s author and just about every other audio recording professional I’ve ever met. 4x should be the speed to record audio, and I’ve noticed the difference when doing so. I use Mitsui Gold Audio CDs to record audio (obviously) and the results are almost as good as the source CD. I use EAC to create .bin and .cue files and then import it onto Wavelab as a project and burn it at 4x. So far every CD I burnt using this simple routine has turned out great and it is playable in every player I have (my Nakamichi SoundSpace 8, and my Bose car stereo system).

The physics, chemistry and thermodynamics of the recording process seem to produce more consistent and readable marks within the CD-R recording layer when recording is “2x” or higher. This may be due to the annealing process of pit formation at “1x” where the heat caused by the laser remains focused on the pit for too long. Newer recorders and media are tuned better for the HIGHEST recording speed specified by the manufacturer.From what i’ve read the orange book specs is in the process of being updated to reflect this.

“4X’s or less” does not represent a magical speed. Some drives do very well at 8X or at 12X, and poorly at 4X, 2X, and 1X. Other drives may have their best write quality at 2X or 4X. Everything is specific to the drive. It is not possible to draw general conclusions.

Considering the amount of errors that I get (C-2 none C-1 minimal) burning at high speed I think these points are valid. I’d like to hear some other opinions on this based on actual studies