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Old 27th November 2012, 03:54 PM   #121
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Originally Posted by SY View Post
Live music has peaks of 100-110dB SPL, not referenced to the room noise, but rather referenced to 20uP. No recording venue, no concert venue, no listening room has 0dB noise. So indeed, some sounds are buried under the room noise- that's what live music sounds like. And it's a good thing- would you expect to hear the clacking of the keys of a brass ensemble or the scritch scritch of the third violinist in an orchestra scratching himself from out in the hall?
Since microphones are not sitting "in the hall" but up on stage, expect to hear pages turning, clacking keys of brass instruments, and even the breathing of woodwind players - these things all happen on the stage. Secondly, the reference for dynamic range in our HOMES begins when the signal drops below the ambient level of the room, not referenced at 20uP. So let's connect the dots here. Since you recognize that musical peaks can be as loud as 110db, and the average ambient level of most rooms is around 40-55db - if we do not use any form of compression, the end user system must be capable of a playback level of near 150db - something that no end user playback system can achieve. So it is easy to record a solo act with no compression, no EQ, and no additional processing, but as the size of the ensemble grows, it makes it more difficult to take that approach.

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Since I never argued that all recordings should be done with single point mikes or crossed figure 8s (which is a mike setup I like to use for soloists and small ensembles), again you're arguing with the voices in your head, not with me.
So you never have to make this silly statement again when having a conversation with me - I don't argue with voices inside or outside my head. It is a waste of time to do so.




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I can say that the very best orchestral sound I've ever heard in my living room happened to be done just that way (the engineer used a Royer stereo ribbon mike), but I also own excellent recordings using other techniques.
This illustrates how one recording technique does not fit all situations.

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What I do argue is that making excuses for bland and dynamically eviscerated recordings is a guarantee of continuing sonic mediocrity. And I argue that 24/96 or other hi-res formats are a waste of time as long as this "common wisdom" grips the minds of engineers and producers- and as long as that's what satisfies the mass market.
I am not making excuses for anyone, so YOU are arguing with a person in your head on that one. What I was doing was re-directing you criticism to where it actually belongs - at the decision makers. The audio and mastering engineers don't make final decisions, the bean counters and marketing people do. Blame them for how music sounds, that where the fault belongs.

There is another reality here. The music that suffers from over processing has nothing to do with 24/96khz, as it is not recorded at that resolution. Let's cut through your generalizations here. Classic music does not have this problem, Jazz does not have this problem. Most forms of alternative music does not have this problem, and quite a bit of music does not have this problem. Rock and pop have this problem. So there is no true "common wisdom" when it comes to recordings, because not all of them have an over-processing problem.
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Old 27th November 2012, 04:06 PM   #122
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In order:

1. Most of them. Start with Stereophile. Online magazines, there's Enjoy the Music.
Perhaps you didn't like the recordings they liked. It is the height of arrogance to think your opinion of a recording is more valid than theirs. We all have different taste, and your isn't the reference for which we should judge.

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2. Go to HD Tracks who sell thousands of them.
Well, I have bought hundreds of titles off of HDtracks and I have never come across the things you mentioned. Maybe it is the genre of music you choose.


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3. All of us have to, since we don't have the choice. And that's what this thread is about, the lack of choice- and the industry people who want to excuse the mediocrity. Where I depart is the root cause- it's not the 16 bits or the 44.1 kHZ sample rate, it's the dynamic compression, over-EQ, and the dazzling array of studio electronic effects.
There are thousands of titles on HDtracks, 2L website, Linn's website, and at least a dozen other as well. So the idea of "there is no choice" is just plain ridiculous. Now there may not be enough music in your genre of choice, but there is plenty of choices for those of us that like a wide variety of music.
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Old 27th November 2012, 04:11 PM   #123
jcx is offline jcx  United States
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Jazz and Classical together sell less than Rap

saying the majority of commercial music recoding releases have a "Loudness War" dynamic range compression problem is hardly unsupported by the numbers
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Old 27th November 2012, 04:29 PM   #124
Pano is offline Pano  United States
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Originally Posted by Soundtrackmixer View Post
Are you making the statement that ALL popular recordings are compressed down to a 10db window? Have you actually measured this in ALL popular recordings?
Have you? I've analyzed 100s, perhaps several 1000. All the recent ones are slammed right up to the top. 10-12dB dynamic range is the norm, not the exception. Can this be generalized to all popular recordings? I don't know.

Only the older releases I own have decent dynamic range. Some actually quite good, like 25-30dB or more on pop and rock. That's as good as many classical recordings.

I keep reading in the trade rags and on the pro boards the rants of the mastering engineers against the loudness wars. "It's not our fault!" The costumer, the producers, the corporate goons are always to blame. Always. Never the poor mastering engineer. And yet in the same places you'll read all sorts of tips about how to maximize loudness, using clipping to your advantage, etc. I'm beginning not to believe the engineers any more.

Too many of the new recordings where I like the music are way over-compressed. That ruins the music for me. I don't buy it any more. I therefore vote with my dollars.
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Old 27th November 2012, 05:22 PM   #125
mitchba is offline mitchba  Canada
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I use DR Database to check DR values. While not end all beat all, it helps choose recordings that have not (completely) succumbed to the loudness war.

A while back, I ran an experiment that objectively compared 16/44 versus 24/192. The experiment is easy to repeat.

As an ex recording/mixing engineer, getting back into binaural recording, I am more concerned on how the music is recorded, mixed, and mastered then the distribution format. Poorly recorded, mixed, or mastered music is going to sound poor regardless of what format it is delivered in.

To me, what is worse is the current trend of (most) remasters being even more compressed/limited than the original master and then offered up on sites like HDTracks as "high resolution audiophile music".

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Old 27th November 2012, 05:24 PM   #126
qusp is offline qusp  Australia
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yep, sorry soundtrackmixer, you cant have, because its widespread, not just rock and pop its everywhere, records by artists who I used to admire for their quality of production have been ruined by overzealous compression and if you are all so up in arms about it, do something about it, dont just pass the buck

Last edited by qusp; 27th November 2012 at 05:27 PM.
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Old 27th November 2012, 05:32 PM   #127
qusp is offline qusp  Australia
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mitchba, are you seriously telling me you took 16/44.1 and 24/192 and in order to compare them upsampled the 16/44.1 to 24/192? I dont think there is any or at least not from me, that simply upsampling is completely pointless, we are looking for content that has been produced this way to stay that way for release. its unfortunate that so much of the crap at these places is exactly that though...

I have somewhat different motivations to some, though any higher quality recording is fine by me
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Old 27th November 2012, 06:37 PM   #128
mitchba is offline mitchba  Canada
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mitchba, are you seriously telling me you took 16/44.1 and 24/192 and in order to compare them upsampled the 16/44.1 to 24/192? I dont think there is any or at least not from me, that simply upsampling is completely pointless, we are looking for content that has been produced this way to stay that way for release. its unfortunate that so much of the crap at these places is exactly that though...

I have somewhat different motivations to some, though any higher quality recording is fine by me
qusp, the article states the reasons for the upsampling of the 16/44 to 24/192 in order to compare to "native" 24/192.

The point is that, even with upsampling, Audio DiffMaker finds the comparison difference between the two -100dB down. In the Foobar ABX listening test, I could not tell the difference between the native 24/192 and the upsampled 16/44.

I was trying to prove Monty wrong and failed. Maybe others will have better luck, but this is chasing a red herring to me. If the source recording, mixing, or mastering is not good, then keeping the native high resolution is a waste of bits. And even if the recording is excellent, it seems that based on my one data point, two if you count Monty's, it still does not matter beyond 16/44.

Best of luck.
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Old 27th November 2012, 07:22 PM   #129
qusp is offline qusp  Australia
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yes I read why, in an attempt to average out the long term jitter, but neither was a native recording.... you only tested a 'hires' recording of an analogue recording vs a 24/192 resampling of a 44.1 recording of an analogue recording didnt you? none of it was native 24/192 recorded material correct? so in effect all you tested was the dithering since the 44.1 probably already recorded the analogue recording, in your test both could not attain higher than the base level analogue tape.

what you needed to do was compare a quality digital 24/192 master, not remaster, master, but thats very hard to do because its bound to be difficult to find a performance that was recorded both in analogue and modern digital at the same time.

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If the source recording, mixing, or mastering is not good, then keeping the native high resolution is a waste of bits.
I'm yet to read anyone here arguing with this, i'm not sure why its being given so much lip-service. why does asking for one preclude the other? its a hell of an easier thing to ask for than insisting on artists and producers, who may not even be capable of producing work that is dynamic enough to justify it, while the content is actually there and actually bounced down to a lower resolution before being sent to consumer equipment that dithers it right back up again. i'm just asking them to skip that intermediate downsampling process...

and also for my objective, 24bit recordings of crappy original recordings still more faithfully describe that authentic crappiness when I have my 40bit floating point digital volume turned down to use with more sensitive headphones, instead of adding another layer of dither to the crappiness which is only bareable at all due to that higher bandwidth 24bit dither in the 24bit dac. it IS an additive process like it or not .

is this really so hard to understand?

Last edited by qusp; 27th November 2012 at 07:30 PM.
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Old 27th November 2012, 07:49 PM   #130
mitchba is offline mitchba  Canada
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The digital recording I compared is the original master "natively" recorded at 24/192 by Barry Diament, from Soundkeeper recordings.

The recording is as "audiophile" as one is ever going to get with a stereo pair and no processing whatsoever. Some would argue that there is no better than Barry's recordings in the world today from an audiophile perspective.

I would recommend you, and others interested, download the masters yourself from Barry's site and ABX to see if you really can hear a difference.

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