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Old 27th May 2006, 02:24 PM   #21
Netlist is offline Netlist  Belgium
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Default Morph The Cat

For those who think vinyl was unaffected (as I supposed), here's a fine example of another bad mastered product.
Being a fan of Steely Dan I thought I'd buy the highly praised Morph The Cat double album, carefully recorded as we are used to from Mr. Fagen, nine songs laid out over 4 sides of 180g vinyl.
While listening I could clearly hear distorted bass and thought something was wrong with my system. I lowered the volume, because this album really shakes the house but the distortion remained.
So I made a recording of the album and here are the results.
Someone tell me something’s wrong with my system...
At least I can fix that.

/Hugo
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Old 29th May 2006, 11:23 AM   #22
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I agree that many modern recordings are often needlessly over-compressed.

But I think there are plenty of creative uses for compression and hard limiting. There are genres that feature extreme compression to give them their distinctive sound.
I do find it frustrating however, when in those genres, compression is over used just to sound contemporary and with no artistic merit.

Many of the early popular digital recordings had relatively little compression. Often they sounded empty with instruments occuping discrete spaces within the mix but without any sense that they belonged together with the other instruments. The mix often failed to unify the instruments into a whole. Part of the early digital sound.

Newer recordings sometimes use compression, limiting, distortion and other dynamic effects on every instrument. I feel that these dynamic manipulations meld the instruments into a more convincing and cohesive whole.

I suspect that some of the appeal of vinyl and analogue tape is the dynamic distortion and compression that the medium natually provides, which also tends to blend and unify the sound of the different instruments.

Viva compression!

Don't blame the technique, blame the technician!

Cheers,
Ralph
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Old 29th May 2006, 01:26 PM   #23
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I think we all agree to that.
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Old 14th July 2006, 03:23 PM   #24
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Default if good, join them!

http://digido.com/portal/pmodule_id=...er_page_id=93/


I haven`t got the time to check it out entirely, but appears to be interesting.
Cheers
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Old 21st July 2006, 05:57 PM   #25
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IMO it's just plain old psychoacoustics - give the ordinary consumer two pop albums appealing to his taste, and he'll buy the one that's louder. I didn't even believe it was that bad until recently - I just received my copy of the chesky "ultimate demonstration disk", and after listening to this at some high volume, I decided to go for The Hives - Veni Vidi Vicious; well, of course it's unfair to compare a highend jazz record to garage rock music, but still... first of all I had to turn down the volume pot by around 60° to get the same volume as on those chesky recordings, and then I tried just for a second to listen to the drums - as if they were playing in another room or perhaps even another building - just very loudly so. I guess that's the effect that people like - music that sounds as if it was played at some place distant, at an incredible volume. Very similar to the situation of camping at one of those major music festivals, if you think about it...

Christian
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Old 21st July 2006, 07:57 PM   #26
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Default Re: Modern cd's - over compression

Quote:
Originally posted by VanHal
http://brianstagg.co.uk/p_t_a_clipressed/

It's shocking!

Precious (Playing The Angel, 2005) [cdstumm260] CD:
Click the image to open in full size.

Precious (Playing The Angel, 2005) [lpstumm260] VINYL:
Click the image to open in full size.
I must question that Soundforge screen capture for CD version, is it done right?
I know about over usage of compression on todays records but that is just to much.
See some dynamics on fade out but not in middle, looks like graph is "clipping" and not the music.
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Old 25th August 2006, 02:03 PM   #27
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Default Re: Re: Modern cd's - over compression

Quote:
Originally posted by 4fun


I must question that Soundforge screen capture for CD version, is it done right?
I know about over usage of compression on todays records but that is just to much.
See some dynamics on fade out but not in middle, looks like graph is "clipping" and not the music.

...glad to read this! At least one person does not believe every fake tuned pic in the WEB. I measured music audio signal for another purpose roughly one year back. It was in order to determine the ratio between peak power and average power in normal music program. The graphs which I fetched were all basically looking like the vinyl pic, but I used CDs.....
Nevertheless, dynamic compressors might be an issue. And the fake pics were probably only used to visualize the issue.
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Old 25th August 2006, 05:04 PM   #28
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To me, even the vinyl graphic looks pretty NON musical.
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Old 25th August 2006, 08:13 PM   #29
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True enough; It is an easy matter to load an audio file into Sound Forge and up the vulume by 10dB, not that I'm suggesting this is the case here. It is possible to fake results, but the fact remains, modern recordings are so often like this.

As most of you are aware, with vinyl there was no 0dB level as such - no clipping. The only limiting factor was the width of the land between the groove, and whether it was wide enough to accomodate the deviation.

With CD there is a hard 0dB level, and there is no higher level.

My main complaint is that producers/engineers seem bent on pushing to the max, and with so much dynamic range available it seems such a shame.

Talking of dynamic range, I was just telling my lad (18 yrs old) about this discussion, and I decided to explain dynamic range to him. The best and easiest source of such a sound is at a carnival, such as we have in the UK. Stand beside the road, and listen (feel!) as a brass band marches past. If anyone hasn't experienced such a thing, i suggest you try to do so. The crispness of the brass instruments, the stomach-thumping sound of the bass drum..... You can't get that with a CD recording fed through a 100 watt sound system!

Actually, what would you need?
24, or even 32 bit depth recording, 10KW sound system?
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Old 25th August 2006, 09:12 PM   #30
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Default posted by Andy Westcott

Quote:
Talking of dynamic range, I was just telling my lad (18 yrs old) about this discussion, and I decided to explain dynamic range to him. The best and easiest source of such a sound is at a carnival, such as we have in the UK. Stand beside the road, and listen (feel!) as a brass band marches past. If anyone hasn't experienced such a thing, i suggest you try to do so. The crispness of the brass instruments, the stomach-thumping sound of the bass drum..... You can't get that with a CD recording fed through a 100 watt sound system!
Nice and back-to-earth post, Andy.

I have done things like that very much too -here in Buenos Aires you have lots of ocassions to do so: even in the commutting to my work, on the train, there are a pair of peruvian musicians doin´ music from Los Andes-... and I believe that the underpresent noise of the train running acts as a sort of ¨dither¨... strange, incredible phenomenom, ´cause you never lose the feeling of dynamics, despite all the noise around...
A good dose of listening to non-amplified music is useful to know what real dynamics are: yes, is something that you feel in the chest.
Sometimes, I use some good vumeters that I have around; with some recordings -ie Air, ¨Talkie Walkie¨, got their needles stucked in the red. They barely move at all! The recording sounds pretty though, but excessively hot. I have to turn the volume down a good deal to avoid speaker saturation.
Some other music -mostly from vinyl, but plenty of cd´s too- exhibit a degree of movement and dynamics that translates into a wild swing of the needles: in all those cases, sound is much more natural, and much more suggesting of the real thing.
I don´t know what´s the reason for that over compression: if marketing for air playing, if heavy-handeness, if fashion.
But it´s a pity, for sure.
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