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Old 23rd August 2006, 02:33 PM   #1
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Default "CDs are too small"!!!

Bob Dylan's take on modern recordings.

http://www.soundgenerator.com/news/s...TOKEN=87980737

Once again, he thrusts himself into a position to be either adored, or dismissed.... good for him, I guess. I was leaning a little into his argument until I got to the "cd's are small - ergo - there is no stature to them - ergo - they must, logically, sound likewise unsubstantial". That's a pretty adventurous paraphrasing, but I'm sorry, I smell a curmudgeon.
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Old 24th August 2006, 07:59 PM   #2
infinia is offline infinia  United States
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It's hard to say what his meaning by "CD's being too small". Dylan may have been taken out of context, based on the size of the article, and the media's preference for a sound bite.

1) Too small for proper art work? I sometimes miss LP's for this.

2) Too small for adequate sampling rates/ Technology has moved on in this area since the invention of CD's almost 30 yrs ago. Are you really happy with the quality provided with 16 bit/44.1KHz? I'm not.
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Old 27th August 2006, 05:20 PM   #3
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I heard him mention this, and took it to mean the CD's physical size - nothing to do with data carrying capability.

Unfortuately, I don't think Dylan did his credibility any good with that one......

I can't say I've ever gone much on this guy's musical offerings, either.
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Old 27th August 2006, 10:53 PM   #4
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"CDs are small. There's no stature to it."

You can probably read a lot into that, and I agree with all of it.

CDs sound small. There's no body to the music. The body of vinyl may be distortion and crosstalk and whatnots. But it sounds good. The last years have been in process of transforming my sound system from hi-fi to lo-fi. The CD still doesn't cut it.

CDs are small. Holding a CD in your hand is like holding nothing in your hand. People who don't care about vinyl still get impressed by vinyl. You can get lost for hours in a great collection. A collection CDs is a collection of nothing. "There's no stature to it."

Edit: Forgot the best part: "It ain't worth nothing anyway". $20 for nothing! You've got to be kidding.
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Old 27th August 2006, 11:44 PM   #5
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Default "hard to say ..."

Infinia: " ... It's hard to say what his meaning by "CD's being too small". Dylan may have been taken out of context, based on the size of the article, and the media's preference for a sound bite. ..."

"Too small" now meaning too small segment in a very broad market, saturated with junk ... I believe Dylan referes [generally] to the fact that the music producers and engineers don't lend enough credence or weight to the value of the market place ... thus producing poor quality trash as opposed to trying to hit a higher level of performance / audio quality / production values.

This is correct, or close to my beliefs as well, engineers crank up the analog to digital levels (transcription to production CDs from the studio master) attempting to "punch through" the noise ... Line Level, headroom, undistorted reproduction no longer having any real meaning, etc., in the final production for sale.

And I believe he is correct about the producers (publishers) being uncaring about the audio quality, either, prefering to rush the "product" to market and maximize return, not caring about future sales, future of the musician, future of CD quality ...

Considering the high quality of Dylan's "Love and Theft" CD from Columbia (very tight backup band, generally quite high quality reproduction) compared to his latest new release on Sony ... he may be trying to pre-empt any complaints about quality ...

(For those of you into tubes & vinyl, it may come as a suprise that "Love and Theft" is, I believe, every bit as good as it gets, digital or analog recording wise ... check it out for yourself.)

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Old 27th August 2006, 11:56 PM   #6
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Default 16 bit v. what?

Infinia: " ... Too small for adequate sampling rates/ Technology has moved on in this area since the invention of CD's almost 30 yrs ago. Are you really happy with the quality provided with 16 bit/44.1KHz? I'm not. ..."

Me either.

Sony recently bought Columbia, everything: contracts, artists, production and distribution. My copy of "Love and Theft" has Columbia copyrights & logos on the CD and Sony copyrights on the jewel case jacket & litrature.

My guess is the Sony in its greedy heart has "messed with" or otherwise screwed up Dylan's latest CD ... and until I can get it and listen to it I might agree ... Sony could very well have produced it in 16 bit/44k quality or worse yet, MP3 quality ...

This is not the first time a recording artist has "dised" the Sony greedheads for screwing up a perfectly good album ...

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Old 28th August 2006, 06:00 PM   #7
phn is offline phn  Sweden
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Default Re: 16 bit v. what?

Quote:
Originally posted by FastEddy
Infinia: " ... Too small for adequate sampling rates/ Technology has moved on in this area since the invention of CD's almost 30 yrs ago. Are you really happy with the quality provided with 16 bit/44.1KHz? I'm not. ..."
Stereophile and the rest of the mouthpieces in the audio press have blurbed that digital sound reproduction has finally matured every month for more than a decade now. Somewhere down the line the truth and lie became inseparable.

But those things have nothing to do with what Dylan said. He doesn't care about bits and sampling rates. That's for the engineers. Dylan's an artist. And there's nothing ambiguous about what he said. The CD is small in every sense of the word. It makes everything small.
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Old 28th August 2006, 10:16 PM   #8
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Default Too small??

phn: "... But those things have nothing to do with what Dylan said. He doesn't care about bits and sampling rates. That's for the engineers. Dylan's an artist. And there's nothing ambiguous about what he said. The CD is small in every sense of the word. It makes everything small. ..."

What Dylan (and you) said is true for North American producers/publishers for sure. There are publishers who can put a full load on CD disk that will play on any player made for North America, but it takes a degree of sophistication that Mr. Dylan's current publisher (and most N.A. publishers) can not quite seem to get ... 24 bit x 96k multi channel audio ... CD technology is not really too small, it is the small minds of the publishers that can't see beyond the next release == Sony being a perfect example. Even Sony's own technology is not being utilized to the fullest as they are perfectly capable of doing the trick ... the greedheads at corporate apparently not!

Reference: http://www.harmoniamundi.com/uk/catalogue.php == all titles from this publisher are multi channel 24 bit x 96k (or better) with Dolby 5.1, etc. ... at least 1 hour of really great music with more than enough headroom / noise floor / dynamics for comparison to the best vinyl (or audio DVD). Their cost of manufacture may be a little bit more (around ~US$0.10 per CD), but this should not be outside the capabilities of these N.A. publishers who wish to produce a full album of music with the better quality on the "small" CD.

.... and of course there is always audio on DVD ... but with the p**sing match going on between the champions of the two or more competing DVD formats, this looks to be a futurist question. (One wonders if Sony, et al, are not deliberately making CD products of lesser quality in anticipation of the promotion for these audio DVDs == "look kids, our DVD audio quality is much better than our CD quality, so buy this ...")

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Old 28th August 2006, 11:37 PM   #9
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Default Re: Too small??

Quote:
[i]Originally posted by FastEddy
Mr. Dylan's current publisher (and most N.A. publishers) can not quite seem to get ... 24 bit x 96k multi channel audio ... CD technology is not really too small, it is the small minds of the publishers that can't see beyond the next release == Sony being a perfect example. Even Sony's own technology is not being utilized to the fullest as they are perfectly capable of doing the trick ... the greedheads at corporate apparently not!

Reference: http://www.harmoniamundi.com/uk/catalogue.php == all titles from this publisher are multi channel 24 bit x 96k (or better) with Dolby 5.1, etc. ... at least 1 hour of really great music with more than enough headroom / noise floor / dynamics for comparison to the best vinyl (or audio DVD). Their cost of manufacture may be a little bit more (around ~US$0.10 per CD), but this should not be outside the capabilities of these N.A. publishers who wish to produce a full album of music with the better quality on the "small" CD.

.... and of course there is always audio on DVD ... but with the p**sing match going on between the champions of the two or more competing DVD formats, this looks to be a futurist question. (One wonders if Sony, et al, are not deliberately making CD products of lesser quality in anticipation of the promotion for these audio DVDs == "look kids, our DVD audio quality is much better than our CD quality, so buy this ...")

[/B]

I'm missing your point about CD's with higher sampling rates. If it aint 44.1KHz it aint gonna play in the market near term. (IMO can't count computer as players). Also, just because one's an artist doesn't exclude one from taking sides with technical aspects. (If your ears determine somethings wrong then....). Mostly I agree with you, the problem is corporate greed. They still think nothing is broken so... no change.
BTW haven't you heard DVD-Audio is the winner over SACD.
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Old 29th August 2006, 12:40 AM   #10
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I joined in only to defend Dylan. Not that he needs being defended. I'm not anti-digital. I like the portability of the CD. I always hated the cassette tape and the CD made it obsolete. I love the mp3, the format that promises nothing and delivers everything.

The only times I try to force an issue is when it comes to high-price cables and the likes. Not because I mind people buying that stuff, but because I hate to see, especially, newbies being suckered into it. People should do what they want and like. If anything, I want everybody to throw away his turntable so I can get all the albums nobody else wants for free.

You could write a book on why vinyl and tubes have gotten a revival, and it would start with Marx's theory of alienation and end with the postmodernism--the age of zero value. I think that's the explanation for Dylan's discontent with digital formats.
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