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Old 22nd January 2005, 11:22 AM   #1
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Default MP3 encoding makes marginal recordings sound better?

Yesterday I listened to a 128kpbs MP3 file someone had made that was recorded from a reel to reel tape of a vinyl disc. The tape-to-disc part was done way back in 1972. What immediately struck me though was the clarity and lack of irritating distortions that were common in run-of-the-mill pressings back in those days. I'm quite old enough to remember them.

Then I got to thinking, with all the processing that goes into making an MP3 file, how it can discard background sounds that your ear may not notice very much, perhaps it was also discarding the nasty sounding bits of the recording as well. Just a theory.
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Old 22nd January 2005, 11:40 AM   #2
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Quote:
What immediately struck me though was the clarity and lack of irritating distortions that were common in run-of-the-mill pressings back in those days. I'm quite old enough to remember them
A more plausible explanation may be the shrinkage of your personal perceived bandwidth Who says old age does not have its advantages?

I also seem to notice the quality of tweeters over the last 20 years going down the drain.
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Old 22nd January 2005, 02:09 PM   #3
Mr Evil is offline Mr Evil  United Kingdom
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I have thought about MP3 before, and came to the conclusion that since it has a very distinctive sound, like vinyl, that some people are giong to like it. In fact I am very confident that the current generation is going to end up feeling very attached to the sound, just as there are those that are very attached to vinyl, or tubes, or whatever other sound (undoubtedly leading to horrendous flamewars about how the most modern compression methods suck the life out of music or somesuch nonsense!). I sometimes find myself almost enjoying the watery sound of MP3s.
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Old 22nd January 2005, 11:14 PM   #4
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Possibly some annoying high frequencies are being cut out?

Also when one frequency peaks it cuts out the other ones..

Info here: http://stuffo.howstuffworks.com/mp31.htm
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Old 2nd February 2005, 04:47 PM   #5
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Music from a MP3 decoder sound better may have the following reasons.

1. MP3 encoder removed those frequency spectrum below
the threshold due to masking effect. i.e. Music from the MP3
decoder does not contain the full spectrum or you can say,
less complex to process.

2. Most of the low cost amplifier are bad in IM or TIM distortion.
As some of the frequency is removed, the effect of IM or TIM
will be lower and the sound may become better in quality for
listen.
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Old 6th February 2005, 06:28 AM   #6
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By using encoders like MP3Doctor one can really play with music even add some effects like ambiance, 3D surround..etc
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Old 6th February 2005, 05:00 PM   #7
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"Then I got to thinking, with all the processing that goes into making an MP3 file, how it can discard background sounds that your ear may not notice very much, perhaps it was also discarding the nasty sounding bits of the recording as well. Just a theory."

Circlotron,

I believe your theory to be correct. I've noticed the same thing when making mp3 copies of somewhat noisy analog tapes.
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Old 7th February 2005, 02:25 AM   #8
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By adj equaliser, Good scratch and rumble filtering can be achieved must for converting vinly LP's into MP3..
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Old 8th February 2005, 12:36 AM   #9
simon5 is offline simon5  Canada
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Most cheap mp3 encoding programs don't use Lame.

If you don't use Lame, everything over 16 kHz is cut off with a very fast rolloff.

Especially at low bitrates like 128 kbits/sec, even with Lame, you will lose some of the treble, which is good with bad recordings, because it will attenuate high frequency artifacts by the way.

If you use Lame, VBR, at 320 kbits/sec, you will still hear high frequency artifacts without any problems !
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