Reference recordings and compression

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I am curious what recordings you might have that you would classify as reference recordings. I don't mean recordings that you like the most, but recordings that are really high fidelity in every sense of the word.

I am also especially interested in recordings that you have found to be especially sensitive to compression, be it MP3, Vorbis, FLAC, AAC, etc...

Any impressions you might have of any of the compression schemes would also be welcome.

I am also interested in recordings that you might use to highlight general response issues, and why you think they work.

Thanks!
 
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i don't think you can have recordings which are "high fidelity in every sense of the word"

i think you can have some recordings which are good at evaluating bass, others good at evaluating vocals etc.

i like 50-Cent to evaluate my subwoofer. i like sting's "fields of gold: best of" to evaluate midrange and treble.

Madonna can be used to test if your system is balanced from top to bottom because she has everything (bass, midrange, treble) and nothing is favored over anything else, its rather flat.

i think "fidelity" is not very useful for testing purposes ... you just need something that sounds "meaningful" to you personally. something that you have an idea of how it should sound.

after all "reference" is something which is known, not something which is quality ...
 
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Ron E said:
I am also especially interested in recordings that you have found to be especially sensitive to compression, be it MP3, Vorbis, FLAC, AAC, etc...

Any impressions you might have of any of the compression schemes would also be welcome.

i have no idea how you expect a recording to be sensitive to FLAC compression given that its lossless.

:confused:
 
OK, Vas, you can cut the smarta$$ bit...

There are actually some (not myself, I haven't done a comparison yet) who claim that they can hear the difference between the WAV and the FLAC - perhaps it is level (maybe they checked normalize) perhaps it is de/compression related, or perhaps it is CPU/Sound card related...or perhaps there are issues with the format. More likely it is nothing and the people just want to believe they hear a difference.

"M&M" and Madonna are not necessarily the kind of recordings I am looking for. Most rock recordings (even the ones I like) are overmanipulated overdubbed sonic maximized crap, and it has only gotten worse since the late eighties. I am not really looking for loudspeaker demo recordings that grate on you on crappy speakers.

My interest in this is studying compression methods, not demoing equipment. I am seeking recordings (regardless of genre) that have a transparent "you are there" quality and a real sense of space, or any recordings that you have found especially sensitive to compression. Recordings with a real transparent nature are rather few and far between, but you know them when you hear them.
 
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yeah i understand. i don't know such recordings :(

however i now do believe that listening for yourself is the way to go because while its possible to delude yourself when it comes to listening its also possible when it comes to logic as technology is often more complex than we realize.

when testing make sure you're not passing your sound through microsoft. if you can change the volume using any of the windows controls and at the same time in your soundcard's control panel (the fancy looking one, not the generic windows one) the sliders don't move it means you're running it through MS.

i recommend using foobar2000 and ASIO.

good luck
 
For general reference recordings of pop music, the middle and late Beatles are really good (even on CD). These were probably the best of their day, darn good now even in digital. For my ears these make decent benchmarks for comparison listening, picking out the advances in recording technology (e.g., the Patricia Barber live performances). Great for checking out progress in my own projects - I know the songs and their sound, how great they can sound - I can hear the effects of my tweaks loud and clear!
 
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