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Modern Vinyl "Masters" vs. CD--My Experience, It Really IS About the Music
extrabigmehdi
post Dec 6 2012, 03:56
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Well, just by looking at the graphs I wouldn't be able to tell which sounds better.
The loudness compression difference doesn't look significant.
And obviously some LP have some limiter applied to them such like "Oceans of Grey" from "The Great Mass" . I'd be more interested by LP versions if there was more significant differences on the dynamic range.
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Engelsstaub
post Dec 6 2012, 03:56
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I've no software on the Macintosh platform that utilizes RG. (I sold my Windows computer recently, so I've no access to one at the moment.) I don't even use Soundcheck in iTunes. What I may be able to do is edit the AAC file in QuickTime so that it trims off the music before and after that which I used in the 30 second sample.

It's not something I'm accustomed to doing so I need to relearn how to do it then I can upload it for you soon hopefully.


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Engelsstaub
post Dec 6 2012, 04:04
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QUOTE (extrabigmehdi @ Dec 5 2012, 20:56) *
Well, just by looking at the graphs I wouldn't be able to tell which sounds better.
The loudness compression difference doesn't look significant.
And obviously some LP have some limiter applied to them such like "Oceans of Grey" from "The Great Mass" . I'd be more interested by LP versions if there was more significant differences on the dynamic range.


Did you listen to the samples I uploaded? You don't have to base your judgement on the graphs.

The feedback I've gotten thus far from those who've listened is that the difference is significant. If you don't feel it's significant enough, as I or others do, you're certainly free to continue not caring about the LPs.

I'm not even saying that the difference should outweigh someone's legitimate reasons for preferring digital. I stand by my assertions that it is indeed significant. Some much more so than others, but still a notable difference in nearly every case.

Edited for clarity.

This post has been edited by Engelsstaub: Dec 6 2012, 04:06


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extrabigmehdi
post Dec 6 2012, 04:43
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QUOTE (Engelsstaub @ Dec 6 2012, 03:04) *
Did you listen to the samples I uploaded? You don't have to base your judgement on the graphs.


Ok, just listened to the samples, and the LP does indeed sound better.
However I've looked at the waveforme , thanks to "wavefoorm seekbar" component,
and the squashing of dynamic range is more obvious than on the graph you published.

Sample : "dirty window of opportunity" , top is LP.



I'm thinking that the graph you published are not very representative of the difference,
maybe you should show left/right channel graph separately, instead of mid channel, or zoom on problematic parts.

This post has been edited by extrabigmehdi: Dec 6 2012, 04:45
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Engelsstaub
post Dec 6 2012, 06:35
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QUOTE (extrabigmehdi @ Dec 5 2012, 21:43) *
Ok, just listened to the samples, and the LP does indeed sound better.
However I've looked at the waveforme , thanks to "wavefoorm seekbar" component,
and the squashing of dynamic range is more obvious than on the graph you published.

...


Thanks for your time and input. I appreciate it. I'm not so knowledgable about graphs and meaningful information portrayed therein, so your graphs would very likely be far more useful than mine. smile.gif

@mjb2006: I uploaded some samples as you requested here.

(Quicktime X has a trim command that is super-easy to use. For some reason I always forget about it because I never have cause to use it.)

Edit: I did not apply gain this time to the LP version, so in this instance it was not brought up to -0.1 dB like all of the previous examples. Or like the example illustrated in the graph.

This post has been edited by Engelsstaub: Dec 6 2012, 06:43


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hlloyge
post Dec 6 2012, 09:25
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I've replaygained Ropes sample and played them back with track gain adjustment, so they are at same volume.
You can say whatever you want, but these samples DO sound different - the LP one is clearer, and the CD one is muddier - just listen to the guitars. Also, LP version is much easier on ears.
I find the LP version better sounding.

And I really don't care about the medium the content is delivered, as long as it sounds good. Be it LP, CD, 24 bit FLAC, whatever.

I know the ABX is not precise in testing CD vs. LP, but the difference in sound is very obvious. ABX is really not needed.

foo_abx 1.3.4 report
foobar2000 v1.1.15
2012/12/06 09:19:48

File A: C:\Users\itisljar\Desktop\Ropes__CD_.flac
File B: C:\Users\itisljar\Desktop\Ropes__LP_.flac

09:19:48 : Test started.
09:20:07 : 01/01 50.0%
09:20:23 : 02/02 25.0%
09:20:39 : 03/03 12.5%
09:20:55 : 04/04 6.3%
09:21:10 : 05/05 3.1%
09:21:28 : 06/06 1.6%
09:21:50 : 07/07 0.8%
09:21:58 : 08/08 0.4%
09:22:08 : 09/09 0.2%
09:22:32 : 10/10 0.1%
09:22:41 : 11/11 0.0%
09:23:00 : Test finished.

----------
Total: 11/11 (0.0%)
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Nessuno
post Dec 6 2012, 10:26
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QUOTE (krabapple @ Dec 5 2012, 23:24) *
QUOTE (StephenPG @ Dec 5 2012, 16:14) *

I have a classical CD collection dating back to 1980 and have yet to find a 'brickwalled' recording.

Not brickwalling, in my experience -- which I take here to mean plateaus visible at low magnification ('zoomed out' ) view of a waveform -- but there has been some spot hard limiting in classical CD releases. I have no idea how common it is though.

Yes, clipping sometimes, albeit rarely, occur in classical recordings, but to my knowledge (I'm not a sound engineer) this problem is not related to the use of dynamic compression techniques, but is a side effect of multimicrophonic recording setups, often used by labels as DG or Decca, and the difficulties arising to calibrate the different mic levels during recording in the first place and then during mixing and final mastering stages. They are unwanted errors of course and not so easy to spot by ears, anyway. No, definitely not brickwalling.

Generally speaking, a classical recording, especially a symphonic or operatic one is considered more valuable and appealing the larger the dynamic and I understand perfectly well Engelsstaub concerns, but for classical, digital delivery formats are only too great a blessing!
I have some early Telarc CDs with a disclaimer printed in the booklet not to play quieter passages at high volume because, due to the larger dynamic range of digital media, louder ones might then result too loud and even damage speakers!

As an anecdote, I have also an old Decca LP, a 1960 recording of Thurston Dart playing Bach's French Suites at the clavichord, whose internal sleeve reports an advice to play at a volume level higher than usual because of the typical sound of that instrument, very quiet and with a limited dynamic range.



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2Bdecided
post Dec 6 2012, 11:28
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QUOTE (Engelsstaub @ Dec 5 2012, 19:59) *
I believe those screenshots I exported from iZotope RX2 Advanced more than adequately demonstrate the normalization that is present on the CDs but not on the LPs.
No, they don't, not at that zoom level. You really should follow the two links that krabapple posted...
http://audiamorous.blogspot.co.uk/2008/09/...ed-harmful.html
...and...
http://www.hydrogenaudio.org/forums/index....mp;#entry587401
...because they show the exact situation where the zoomed out graphs look just like yours, but the zoomed in graphs show the clipping present on the CD is also present on the LP.

However, when zoomed in, and listened to, your results are different. In Dirty Window of Opportunity, at 0:27.924 in the AAC version the kick drum clips, whereas it does not appear to clip in the LP version (found at 0:27.811). The sound of the two versions becomes much closer if you match the volume (drop the CD version by 8.47dB) and match the EQ (between flat and -2dB at 100Hz, raising to 0dB around 3kHz, 2-3dB up by 10kHz; gentle slope throughout) - but the CD still has a slightly more compressed sound. I think it may have better stereo separation though - listen to the guitars - though again that may be due to compression.

I'm not so convinced by Ropes. With the volume and EQ matched, I'm not sure I can hear a difference (beyond not quite matching the volume and EQ perfectly!). Also, the LP version appears to include the clipping from the CD version. See 0:04.379 on the CD vs 0:04.627 on the LP - same flat line! (note that the CD is inverted wrt the LP).

Haven't had change to check your other sample.

It seems your turntable set-up boosts the treble by 2-3dB. It's quite common for cartridges to add a little "smiley face" EQ, though yours doesn't seem to help the bass. All other things being equal, if you like this EQ, you'll prefer vinyl over CD every time on your set up.

Cheers,
David.
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[JAZ]
post Dec 6 2012, 12:06
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QUOTE (krabapple @ Dec 5 2012, 23:13) *
You can't turned a hard limited (as in a limiter was used aggressively) waveform into an unlimited one via replaygain or any other method. You will never get those CD waveforms to look like the LP ones.

That said, not all CDs are limited this much. And some LPs reportedly have been cut from limited masters.

Yes, I know i cannot "decompress" a compressed sound. I expected to change a bit the equalization and borders. The replaygain for the CD version was -11.62 (the -8.62 was the result of replaygain +3).

QUOTE (krabapple @ Dec 5 2012, 23:13) *
QUOTE
Still, to dynamically compress a song previous to put it on a CD is not something I would expect to see.


?? It's been happening for new releases since at least the mid 1990s. (e.g. Oasis). And if indeed the limiting was done during the creation of the original master --- if it was 'printed' to the masters -- no version short of a remix from the original multitracks will recover that lost dynamic range. (If it's on the multis, forget it) . If it was done specifically for a particular CD mastering, then the original master version may have more dynamic range available. Which could be released on CD, or on LP (the CD will do a better job of retaining it).


I wrote that too fast, so I'll try to be more concrete. I am counting the work of mixing the multitracks and tweaking the sound to the artist's likeness to be part of mastering (In other words, the wanted result). I wanted to say that I don't see as reasonable to do a post-processing of this before putting it on a CD, other than to make it "less like the master". It probably is done when making multiple-artists CDs (to make the album more alike), but I wouldn't expect it on a single-artist CD.

Of course, another master can be done at a later time if keeping the original multitracks/computer song.
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Kohlrabi
post Dec 6 2012, 13:33
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While I agree it is likely worthwhile to get into vinyl seeing those waveforms, this more shows that the current (and future?) generation of (label-employed) mastering engineers is batshit retarded, more than vinyl is a superior medium. This clearly shows that their often touted argument "the artist wanted it like that" is not true at all, and they're the only people to blame for shitty sounding records.

There must be some really weird business reasons seeing that major labels intend to destroy CDs (and digital) and replace them with vinyl again. Are win margins larger with vinyl, somehow? I always assumed CD technology was a win-win for both customers and producers, maybe I'm wrong?

This post has been edited by Kohlrabi: Dec 6 2012, 13:37


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rgtb
post Dec 6 2012, 13:58
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QUOTE (Kohlrabi @ Dec 6 2012, 13:33) *
Are win margins larger with vinyl, somehow? I always assumed CD technology was a win-win for both customers and producers, maybe I'm wrong?

I don't think the profit margins for vinyl are higher. Afaik, nowadays, the majority of vinyl presses result in a loss but I'm not entirely sure. Even if vinyl was vastly more profitable than CDs, it would still be a tiny market. For example, look at the sales figures for 2011 for the home country of both of us, Germany. Revenues from vinyl were EUR 14 mil (based on 0.7 mil units sold), while revenues from CD were EUR 1.1 bil (based on 97 mil units sold). So in 2011, the market for CDs was about 80 times as large as the market for vinyl.

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almostmitch
post Dec 6 2012, 15:46
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QUOTE (Engelsstaub @ Dec 5 2012, 18:41) *
@almostmitch: I don't really have anything djent, but I plan on picking up The Faceless' "Autotheism" when it is pressed on black vinyl. I'll let you know. If you can find Krisiun's "The Great Execution" definitely get that while you still can. "Blackened Death Metal" with a lot of groove. Very "musical" for that sort of genre. That LP completely craps all over the CD-version and I didn't even post it in this thread. I'll PM you a bit later with others that I can think of. I just picked up a Back on Black-pressing of Ihsahn's newest album "Eremita." I haven't listened to the vinyl yet, but that CD is very progressive for a former black metal vocalist. There's even well-executed saxophone.

Basically just get vinyl of bands you like while it's still available. It's usually limited pressings. Even if a few turn out to be as bad or worse than the CD there's a resale/trade-in value to well-taken-care-of vinyl that is nearly non-existent but for the rarest of CDs.


Thanks, I'll check them out. I already have Autotheism and I really like it. I've actually had the vinyl release in my cart on Amazon for a couple weeks laugh.gif
I'm also going to pick up as much Between the Buried and Me as I can. I imagine their stuff will sound awesome on vinyl with all the gapless track changes they have.
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Nessuno
post Dec 6 2012, 15:46
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QUOTE (rgtb @ Dec 6 2012, 13:58) *
I don't think the profit margins for vinyl are higher. Afaik, nowadays, the majority of vinyl presses result in a loss but I'm not entirely sure. Even if vinyl was vastly more profitable than CDs, it would still be a tiny market.

Maybe the profit margins are not (so) higher, but let's consider that it's a market which didn't exist any more and they've started it again. Once you reach the breakeven (and I don't think there are big investments involved, both in R&D and actual production), every individual that buys a vinyl setup is a new customer and surely he already owns a digital player and he'll still keep on buying digital music alongside.

Let's consider also that it could be a tiny market, yes, but made also of people (audiophiles) ready to pay many times the actual value of things, if properly swayed.

And making LPs sound a little better than the corresponding CDs, will only encourage that niche, without stealing customers from the digital market.

This post has been edited by Nessuno: Dec 6 2012, 15:55


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2Bdecided
post Dec 6 2012, 17:45
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I've checked out "the earthling". There's some mild clipping on the CD that's not present on the vinyl, but with matched levels and EQ I think I'd be struggling to ABX it. I can't hear the clipping.

So of the three samples posted, one was audibly+measurably different, one was measurably but not really audibly different, and one was the same clipped mastering on CD and vinyl.

Cheers,
David.
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Engelsstaub
post Dec 6 2012, 17:48
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QUOTE (hlloyge @ Dec 6 2012, 02:25) *
I've replaygained Ropes sample and played them back with track gain adjustment, so they are at same volume.
You can say whatever you want, but these samples DO sound different - the LP one is clearer, and the CD one is muddier...


I greatly value your input. I'm glad to see respondents to this topic are taking this in the right spirit. I feared the reaction would largely be...well...reactionary smile.gif

QUOTE (2Bdecided @ Dec 6 2012, 04:28) *
...
You really should follow the two links that krabapple posted...
...
However, when zoomed in, and listened to, your results are different. In Dirty Window of Opportunity, at 0:27.924 in the AAC version the kick drum clips, whereas it does not appear to clip in the LP version (found at 0:27.811). The sound of the two versions becomes much closer if you match the volume (drop the CD version by 8.47dB) and match the EQ (between flat and -2dB at 100Hz, raising to 0dB around 3kHz, 2-3dB up by 10kHz; gentle slope throughout) - but the CD still has a slightly more compressed sound. I think it may have better stereo separation though...
...
It seems your turntable set-up boosts the treble by 2-3dB. It's quite common for cartridges to add a little "smiley face" EQ, though yours doesn't seem to help the bass. All other things being equal, if you like this EQ, you'll prefer vinyl over CD every time on your set up...


Many thanks for your time and input, David. I'm now aware that my little pictures are somewhat inadequate in conveying the existence of the sort of problems I'm talking about. I'm hoping we're all learning even just a little here. I know I've learned a lot thus far. smile.gif

I'm going to be completely honest and concede that I've never tried to match the two quite as meticulously as you have. ...so there's that smile.gif In my experience, and the way I've compared (namely just listening to the two on the same stereo at about the same volume) I almost always favor the vinyl "masters" by a significant margin. I don't believe this is personal bias because I actually really want the CDs/AACs to sound better. It's less of a pain in my ass that way biggrin.gif

Regarding my TT: I guess I do prefer just slightly more treble than what any given recording really has by default. I usually leave it alone either way whether listening to vinyl or digital. FWIW I'm listening to my iPod plugged into my receiver right now and the treble seems very agreeable to me. I've no intention of hunting down the vinyl version of what I'm currently listening to--a 2012 release...it sounds perfectly adequate and I'm enjoying the music and not thinking about how much better it could have been produced.

There's a point IMO when people, regardless of medium-preference, start becoming so overly-analytical that they actually appear to not even want to try to enjoy the music. (This isn't directed at you....it's just a closing observation. Nobody in this thread has come across this way to me. I enjoy your posts and find them enlightening.)


QUOTE (Kohlrabi @ Dec 6 2012, 06:33) *
While I agree it is likely worthwhile to get into vinyl seeing those waveforms, this more shows that the current (and future?) generation of (label-employed) mastering engineers is batshit retarded, more than vinyl is a superior medium...


I couldn't agree more. I would never argue that vinyl is a superior medium to digital. I feel it can be more than adequate, but I prefer digital when all things are seemingly equal to me. I think we may be able to all agree that modern pop, rock, and metal "masterings" suck and that they only seem to suck a little less at least on some of these vinyl examples I've provided. As before, I don't really believe that the word "mastering" is adequate for description or that it's terribly different between the CD and the vinyl. I believe we're really hearing a "normalization" that would be best left up to the consumer. The problem is that the public by and large gives less than two-thirds of a crap. Their iTunes software provides Soundcheck for them but they'd rather have their digital music spoon-fed too them at "acceptable" levels for their cell phones.


QUOTE (rgtb @ Dec 6 2012, 06:58) *
QUOTE (Kohlrabi @ Dec 6 2012, 13:33) *
Are win margins larger with vinyl, somehow? I always assumed CD technology was a win-win for both customers and producers, maybe I'm wrong?

I don't think the profit margins for vinyl are higher. Afaik, nowadays, the majority of vinyl presses result in a loss but I'm not entirely sure. Even if vinyl was vastly more profitable than CDs, it would still be a tiny market. For example, look at the sales figures for 2011 for the home country of both of us, Germany. Revenues from vinyl were EUR 14 mil (based on 0.7 mil units sold), while revenues from CD were EUR 1.1 bil (based on 97 mil units sold). So in 2011, the market for CDs was about 80 times as large as the market for vinyl.


From personal observation it seems that vinyl is produced in higher numbers for the UK/EU market. I think the sales may be even less for the North American or Australian market, for example.

Edit for grammar.

This post has been edited by Engelsstaub: Dec 6 2012, 17:59


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Engelsstaub
post Dec 6 2012, 17:56
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QUOTE (Nessuno @ Dec 6 2012, 03:26) *
...
Generally speaking, a classical recording, especially a symphonic or operatic one is considered more valuable and appealing the larger the dynamic and I understand perfectly well Engelsstaub concerns, but for classical, digital delivery formats are only too great a blessing!
I have some early Telarc CDs with a disclaimer printed in the booklet not to play quieter passages at high volume because, due to the larger dynamic range of digital media, louder ones might then result too loud and even damage speakers!

As an anecdote, I have also an old Decca LP, a 1960 recording of Thurston Dart playing Bach's French Suites at the clavichord, whose internal sleeve reports an advice to play at a volume level higher than usual because of the typical sound of that instrument, very quiet and with a limited dynamic range.


I don't believe I could ever tell someone that it is better to listen to classical on vinyl instead of digital in these times. The background noise between tracks and in quiet passages of rock music is of no distraction or displeasure to me. I could see it quickly becoming annoying when tying to listen to the many quiet passages in classical. wink.gif


QUOTE (2Bdecided @ Dec 6 2012, 10:45) *
...
So of the three samples posted, one was audibly+measurably different, one was measurably but not really audibly different, and one was the same clipped mastering on CD and vinyl...


Thanks for sharing you findings smile.gif


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DVDdoug
post Dec 6 2012, 20:36
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Most of my CDs don't "look" that bad... For the most part they are not that over compressed. Most of my music is rock from the 60's 70's and 80's, so it was originally recorded in analog before the loudness wars. But, most if the "current" music I've bought in the last decade isn't quite that bad either. (If I sort my collection by date, it looks like the median original release date is around 1979, and it ranges from the 1020s through 2012)

I haven't purchased any vinyl since sometime in the early 80's when I got my 1st CD player. In cases where I have (or had) the 30-40 year old vinyl and the CD, the CD sounds better to me. The ones that were remastered were not destroyed by the remastering (and may have been improved by the re-mastering). I'm sure current vinyl is produced with more care, since consumers now expect "digital quality". Of course my old records are worn and damaged, but in the "vinyl days" when they were new, most of 'em didn't sound that great either... it was a rare treat to find a record with really good "clean" sound, at least in the rock/popular genre.

QUOTE (Kohlrabi @ Dec 6 2012, 04:33) *
...this more shows that the current (and future?) generation of (label-employed) mastering engineers is batshit retarded, more than vinyl is a superior medium. This clearly shows that their often touted argument "the artist wanted it like that" is not true at all, and they're the only people to blame for shitty sounding records.
With a traditional record company, the artist doesn't have that much say in the matter. I'd blame the consumers and the management of the record company. It's the way the managers want it to sound. The consumer has the final say. If there are 2 or 3 big "Number 1 hits" with a "New dynamic sound", everybody will be copying that sound. I actually expected that to happen when CDs were introduced. With all of this new dynamic range to play around with, I expected artists (and producers) to start taking advantage of it... Boy, was I wrong!

The engineers are just doing what they are told. A few weeks ago, I posted some excerpts from an article by a mastering engineer who got fed-up and quit!

The "sound" is supposed to be the responsibility of the producer. But, it starts with the music & musicians... Everybody plays & sings constantly-loud through the whole song... That's the current popular style. Of course there's the occasional quiet passage, and then it's back to loud, with every little dynamic contrast in the individual instruments or the overall sound. Sometimes, I want ot say, "Once more, with FEELING!" But, I think the producer is saying, "Once more, with INTENSITY!

Then the producer works with the recording & mastering engineer to get the "best sound", which currently seems to include the "best loudness".

Finally, it's submitted to the record label for approval.


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Engelsstaub
post Dec 6 2012, 20:56
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QUOTE (DVDdoug @ Dec 6 2012, 13:36) *
...I'm sure current vinyl is produced with more care, since consumers now expect "digital quality"....


Not always, to be honest. I see handling-marks, warps, and off-centre pressings more than I care to. Vinyl is almost always more expensive now while CDs have stayed about the same, in spite of inflation, since the eighties. We should expect higher quality pressings. Unfortunately, I think the industry's idea of "higher quality" really only involves numbered/limited quantities, colored vinyl, and 180 gram vinyl (whoopty-do, I say to the latter.)

I can pick through a stack of used eighties vinyl all day long at a local store and find nary an obviously off-centre pressing. For new vinyl it's about one in thirty I purchase I'm loosely estimating.

I'm with you all the way on blaming the average consumer above all. I don't want to sound elitist but it is what it is, I guess.


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mjb2006
post Dec 7 2012, 11:20
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Assuming the QuickTime trim function doesn't transcode, I compared "Let Them Fall" around the 7-second mark (the first snare hit after the lyric "choose to fight"), and confirmed that 99.999% of the dynamic range compression (rough estimate rolleyes.gif) is baked-in.

That is, when I run the .aac through AACGain to adjust the global gain values by -6 dB (approximately what's needed to match the levels of the vinyl rip), the result is almost identical to decoding the original .aac and scaling the sample values by the same amount. There are, as I predicted, some peaks where the samples differ due to clipping introduced during decoding of the original .aac, but these are infrequent and the differences are very tiny, certainly inaudible.

Anyway, when compared to the vinyl, it's evident that the CD/iTunes Match mastering is quite different. I wouldn't be surprised if brickwalled recordings are sent to vinyl mastering houses on occasion, but as Engelstaub said his original post, that's probably the exception rather than the rule.

I noticed the vinyl rip is out of phase by about one sample; the right channel is delayed, as compared to the AAC file, at least in the segment I looked at. I'm guessing this happened in the ripping process and isn't actually that way on the record. My old USB soundcard used to do this when recording. I wouldn't worry about it, though it'd be nice to know why it happens. The vinyl rip may also be playing ever-so-slightly fast as compared to the AAC file, not enough to make a noticeable difference in pitch, but enough to make the waveforms not line up without some stretching.

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Engelsstaub
post Dec 7 2012, 16:31
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QUOTE (mjb2006 @ Dec 7 2012, 04:20) *
Assuming the QuickTime trim function doesn't transcode...
...
Anyway, when compared to the vinyl, it's evident that the CD/iTunes Match mastering is quite different. I wouldn't be surprised if brickwalled recordings are sent to vinyl mastering houses on occasion, but as Engelstaub said his original post, that's probably the exception rather than the rule.

I noticed the vinyl rip is out of phase by about one sample; the right channel is delayed, as compared to the AAC file, at least in the segment I looked at. I'm guessing this happened in the ripping process and isn't actually that way on the record. My old USB soundcard used to do this when recording. I wouldn't worry about it, though it'd be nice to know why it happens. The vinyl rip may also be playing ever-so-slightly fast as compared to the AAC file, not enough to make a noticeable difference in pitch, but enough to make the waveforms not line up without some stretching.
...


Thanks for taking the time to listen and for your findings, mjb2006.

I am basically assuming that QuckTime's trim-function is actually trimming losslessly. I know I've read somewhere in the past that this is indeed the case, but I can't prove it at this time. QuickTime's help-documentation is far too general and doesn't seem to cover any technical things like that.

I know that 2Bdecided concluded that the In Flames example came from the same clipped master. I wouldn't doubt that. Some past In Flames CD's masterings sound so bad to me that I often don't even want to listen in spite of the fact that I like the music. I do still contend that it seems to be the exception that vinyl mastering houses are being sent the exact same stuff that's going on the CD and the digitally-distributed formats. I wish they would do the same with CDs as with most LPs now that iTunes-sales has pretty much caught up. They could leave the "cellphone mixes" to the market in which it would be more appreciated and (arguably) desired.

These needledrops are less than ideal. I need to redo most of them soon partly because of some of those issues that didn't seem to escape your attention. The Pro-ject Debut III USB's USB 1.1 out seems to be far less ideal than I hoped it would be. I'm in the process of working on a Firewire solution for that, but that's another story.

I think we're mostly on the same page here, but if anyone would like more samples let me know. I'd be happy to up the rest of them. I have another one (a 2011 example,) that I hadn't posted a graph of here, which is even more strikingly different than the Woods of Ypres comparison.


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krabapple
post Dec 7 2012, 17:42
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QUOTE (Nessuno @ Dec 6 2012, 04:26) *
Yes, clipping sometimes, albeit rarely, occur in classical recordings, but to my knowledge (I'm not a sound engineer) this problem is not related to the use of dynamic compression techniques, but is a side effect of multimicrophonic recording setups, often used by labels as DG or Decca, and the difficulties arising to calibrate the different mic levels during recording in the first place and then during mixing and final mastering stages. They are unwanted errors of course and not so easy to spot by ears, anyway. No, definitely not brickwalling.



Why are they hitting headroom limits on classical releases? Are they not doing tracking and production at 24bits or more? (the recording linked to was a recent DDD recording on DG)

This post has been edited by krabapple: Dec 7 2012, 17:47
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mixminus1
post Dec 7 2012, 19:20
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My thoughts exactly.

I'd be very surprised if a recording engineer for any major-label classical release was OK with the "Over" indicator *ever* lighting up on his A/D(s) while recording (and an over is usually four consecutive samples @ 0 dBFS).

Yes, levels usually change between rehearsal and performance, but that's why, as krabapple stated, you track at 24-bit and leave lots of headroom. After all the editing/mixing is done, you then apply any level adjustments deemed necessary, which may involve compression/limiting, or could be as simple as just normalizing.

This post has been edited by mixminus1: Dec 7 2012, 19:21


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mjb2006
post Dec 7 2012, 22:07
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I'm wondering if we should change the vinyl myths page in the wiki, then, because it currently reads (with much boldface):

There are documented instances of different masters being used on vinyl releases compared to CD releases. One notable example is The White Stripes' Icky Thump. However, there are also many documented instances of the same masters being used on vinyl releases compared to CD releases. In fact, if you purchase an album produced in the last two decades on vinyl, it is logical to assume that the master will be no better than on CD unless evidence is found to the contrary. Alternative masters for vinyl cost money, and mastering is a significant cost of producing a record. It is very likely that some producers - believing in the myth that vinyl is an inherently superior medium, as mentioned in other myths described here - will simply use the CD master for the vinyl release, believing that it will automatically yield a superior sound.

I'm not sure any of that is false, but it seems to really be going to some trouble to imply that vinyl is often mastered the same as CD, when our experience shows that it's still quite often different / not brickwalled.

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greynol
post Dec 7 2012, 22:44
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OT regarding the wiki:
I would strive to make the language more neutral and unassuming. It's simply not a good idea to levy broad generalizations based on a limited number of titles from an even more limited number of labels and genres.


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Engelsstaub
post Dec 7 2012, 23:49
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Agreed. My personal vote (assuming I even have one laugh.gif ) would be for more neutral as well.

I could upload samples of every record I own and we still couldn't necessarily draw strong conclusions...it's just my experience thus far. There's an awful lot of music out there and we shouldn't necessarily assume that my small sampling is representative of the majority. (I own less than one hundred records.) With the exception of a few classic rock records, pretty much everything I own on vinyl is loosely classified as metal of one sort or another. I really wish I could make more various contributions (regarding genre) here.

It's been said before that many new pop releases are just as brickwalled or dynamically clipped as the CDs/MP3s/AACs. I'm inclined to believe that though I've not verified it yet for myself.


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