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"Music Sounds Better on Vinyl", I am so tired of this argument being brought up by the layperson
cliveb
post Feb 23 2012, 09:38
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QUOTE (cliveb @ Feb 22 2012, 17:04) *
There was a rumour at the time that prior to the huge oil price rise the centre (with label) was cut out first, whereas after the oil crisis, the whole LP (including paper label) was ground down for re-use.

I just wanted to post a followup on this subject. Botface PM'd me to say that he worked at Phonodisc around the same time and at that plant the centres were always cut out before regrinding, and that he believed it was common practice throughout the industry. So it seems that the rumour that was going around the retail industry at the time may have been false. Doesn't alter the fact that pressing quality definitely went down at the time, though.
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2Bdecided
post Feb 23 2012, 14:56
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QUOTE (cliveb @ Feb 23 2012, 08:34) *
QUOTE (Redark @ Feb 23 2012, 00:01) *
In the following video, however, the loudness skirmish is dismissed by professionals as an irrelevant issue. The question begins around the 45:00 mark: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=playe...p;v=gGwaHBH4_Oo

This is just shocking. One of them (starting around 47:00) basically said that the we don't need to worry about the loudness war any more because people have got used to hearing "distressed" sound. So that's OK then.
I haven't watched the video - but while it's not OK, I think that if enough people come to regard highly compressed/distorted sound as "normal", it's hard to sell them anything else. There comes a point where it's not possible to change.

I'm fairly clued up (I think), but if I listen to very compressed material for a week, and then switch back to something mastered conservatively in the 1960s or 1970s, it does sound very strange to me. Kind of "empty". It's not just the loudness, or the distortion itself - it's the whole density of sound, the balance between vocals and instruments, etc has changed over time.

When listening to modern recordings, I often wonder if there's a way to get that "dense" kind of sound without introducing blatant distortion. So it will still sound loud and in-your-face, but without clipping it. So that on a decent system, while it still won't sound natural, at least there won't be obvious distorted drum kicks etc.


I also remember that singles which I heard loads on the radio often sounded "wrong" when I finally bought the CD. But then when subsequent singles were released from that same CD, those later singles (which I'd listened to first on CD) sounded "wrong" on the radio. It's easy to like what you've got used to.


I have a theory that modern music is changing to adapt to hyper-compression. Look at the number of songs that introduce minute pieces of silence into the track, just to give it some dynamics. This was really rare years ago (a few examples stick out), but now tracks often have a very sparse arrangement (because the DRC will make it fuller anyway?), staccato rhythms, gaps etc. A few tracks use an over-loud kick drum + heavy compressor to "stuck out" all the rest of the content at the moment of the kick drum, effectively giving you a beat surrounded by brief moments of silence to accent it. All (to my ears) clear trends that make the music cut through the hypercompression. What would once have been quieter verses (vs louder choruses) are now sparser verses vs full instrumented choruses. It's the only way to get some form of light/shade through the compressor.

Cheers,
David.
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2Bdecided
post Feb 23 2012, 15:11
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QUOTE (Gretschguy @ Feb 22 2012, 05:55) *
I think the explanation of why vinyl sounds better to many of us is right there in that Apple article -- that speaks volumes to me about what's going on.
I think it's wishful thinking that the whole process is so carefully thought through.

As far as I know Apple (the computer company) have nothing to do with mastering music. Apple (the record company wink.gif ) may be in a place to make intelligent comment.


FWIW people were mixing music for the lowest common denominator back in the 1960s. Google Auratone.


You'd think DVD-A and SACD would offer the place for what you're suggesting (mixes with more dynamic range). Sometimes that's true, but mostly not. It's just a way of making money, not genuinely offering more. Same is true of some 24/96 downloads. Same is true of the Beatles 24-bit USB stick! Same is true of some vinyl.

Cheers,
David.
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cliveb
post Feb 23 2012, 16:01
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QUOTE (2Bdecided @ Feb 23 2012, 13:56) *
When listening to modern recordings, I often wonder if there's a way to get that "dense" kind of sound without introducing blatant distortion.

Not now Phil Spector is banged up tongue.gif

QUOTE (2Bdecided @ Feb 23 2012, 13:56) *
I have a theory that modern music is changing to adapt to hyper-compression. ...
What would once have been quieter verses (vs louder choruses) are now sparser verses vs full instrumented choruses. It's the only way to get some form of light/shade through the compressor.

So what you're saying is that the modern dogma of hypercompression is constraining musicians and songwriters as to how they conduct their art. That could explain why pretty much all modern pop/rock sounds the same to me. (And I thought it was just because I'm getting old).

This post has been edited by cliveb: Feb 23 2012, 16:03
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knutinh
post Feb 23 2012, 16:59
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QUOTE (cliveb @ Feb 23 2012, 17:01) *
So what you're saying is that the modern dogma of hypercompression is constraining musicians and songwriters as to how they conduct their art. That could explain why pretty much all modern pop/rock sounds the same to me. (And I thought it was just because I'm getting old).

Technology, the art of sound production and the art of music making have always been interacting.

Up until now, seemingly every time there have been a trend 'A' for some time, there have been a period of 'not A' afterwards.

-k

This post has been edited by knutinh: Feb 23 2012, 16:59
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2Bdecided
post Feb 23 2012, 17:47
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QUOTE (cliveb @ Feb 23 2012, 15:01) *
So what you're saying is that the modern dogma of hypercompression is constraining musicians and songwriters as to how they conduct their art.
I don't think "constraining" is quite the right word, because anyone can choose to release a non-compressed CD (though there are plenty of reasons they might choose not to).

The Beatles were constrained by 4-track tape when making most of their albums. They had no choice. The constraint contributed to the final product in both positive and negative ways. Who can say how Sgt Pepper would have sounded if it had been made with Pro Tools?

I'm not suggesting that having to cut through hypercompression is raising today's artists to quite the same level of genius, but it's certainly helping them to find something new.


QUOTE
So what you're saying is that the modern dogma of hypercompression is constraining musicians and songwriters as to how they conduct their art. That could explain why pretty much all modern pop/rock sounds the same to me. (And I thought it was just because I'm getting old).
It might be because you're not interested in it. Which may have something to do with getting old. I'm 36 and not interested in it either. But to try to avoid my kids being too out of it (they borrow my gramophone records, and are quite happy with music from the 1930s-1960s) I'm trying to get into it again.

It's bound to be less interesting when it's no longer the sound track to key moments in your life. If you're just talking about pure musical value, I think you have to look harder for that. The non-bland stuff was rarely in the charts when I was 16, and that's still true today. I realised the other day that, living in the countryside, I miss pirate radio. The internet could easily make up for it, but you have to go looking.

Cheers,
David.
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cliveb
post Feb 23 2012, 19:07
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QUOTE (2Bdecided @ Feb 23 2012, 16:47) *
QUOTE (cliveb @ Feb 23 2012, 15:01) *
So what you're saying is that the modern dogma of hypercompression is constraining musicians and songwriters as to how they conduct their art.

The Beatles were constrained by 4-track tape when making most of their albums. They had no choice.

Of course you are right - I was a little too hasty making my comment.

I guess it all comes down to the fact that I do not care for the "in your face" style of modern music with its lack of dynamic subtlety. It seems that dynamics these days is limited to quiet bits and loud bits. (And of course with modern mastering, the quiet bits are anything but). Whatever happened to the middle ground?

QUOTE (2Bdecided @ Feb 23 2012, 16:47) *
I'm 36 and not interested in it either.

A mere whippersnapper. As I approach my 55th birthday, I am resigned to admitting there is a generation gap and I'm on the wrong side of it.
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rick.hughes
post Feb 24 2012, 14:40
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I'm 57. I have found that music follows Sturgeon's Law whatever the era.

I have found something good in "new music" for 5 decades now. A lot of it never got any "airplay".
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Gretschguy
post Feb 25 2012, 05:36
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QUOTE (rick.hughes @ Feb 24 2012, 15:40) *
I'm 57. I have found that music follows Sturgeon's Law whatever the era.

I have found something good in "new music" for 5 decades now. A lot of it never got any "airplay".


I can also find music from each decade including new music that I enjoy. The difference is that I can listen to a recording from the 50's, 60's, 70's, 80's, 90's but most stuff from the 00's just sounds bad. So I don't really buy into this a stylistic thing I think its a bigger problem brought on the death of the hi-fi in favor of the portable player.

In fact I like a lot of new music when I hear it over my tiny tiny iPhone speakers (not even headphones) when I listen to my favorite internet radio show. Then I go buy the stuff on CD, vinyl, or download and it sits around collecting dust (or taking space). It's just no fun to listen to it. Sometimes the vinyl is decent which makes vinyl the last oasis for hi-fi in my opinion right now (SACD to a certain extent too).

I have a suggestion -- why don't they simply create two versions of each release -- one "portable" and one "hi fi" -- the portable release could be compressed and EQ'd for small speakers and noisy environments (subway). The "hi-fi" version would be for people with full range speakers who listen in quiet controlled environments. Having these releases in hi-res would be a plus but not even the biggest issue in my opinion.

Hey, I'd rather have 12 bits of hi-fi audio than 32 bits of brickwalled, EQ shifted, presence boosted audio.

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kraut
post Feb 25 2012, 09:04
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QUOTE
but most stuff from the 00's just sounds bad.


I knew from your postings that you were full of yourself. You just have proven conclusively that you are.
What percentage of music have you listened to to come to such an idiotic statement?
Read carefully, you did not say `what I listened to...sounded bad`, no, in your all encompassing arrogance that is well reflected in your previous postings about the supremacy of an utterly flawed medium - falsifiable so by measurement alone, not to mention critical unbiased listening - you clearly state `most of the stuff.
Let me repeat the question: What percentage of released music did you listen to...

Any of these:

Johnny Cash
American

Béla Fleck
| | +---Daybreak
| | +---Drive
| | +---Inroads
| | +---Left of Cool
| | +---Little Worlds, Disc 1
| | +---Little Worlds, Disc 2
| | +---Little Worlds, Disc 3
-Tinariwen
| +---Aman Iman
| +---Amassakoul
| \---The Radio Tisdas Sessions
+---Toubab Krewe
| \---Toubab Krewe
+---Toumani Diabate with Ballake Sissoko
| \---New Ancient Strings
+---Toumani Diabaté
| +---Kaira
| \---THE MANDE VARIATIONS
+---Toumani Diabaté's Symmetric Orchestra
| \---Boulevard de l'Indépendance
+---Various
| +---Musical Crossroads of Asia
| +---Rai Rebels
| +---The Wassoulou Sound Volume 2- Women of Mali
| +---The Wassoulou Sound- Women Of Mali
| \---Zimbabwe The Soul of Mbira
+---Vas
| \---In The Garden Of Souls
+---Vieux Diop
| \---Afrika Wassa
+---Vieux Farka Touré
| \---World Village
-Yo-Yo Ma, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, The Silk Roa
| \---New Impossibilities
+---Yo-Yo Ma, The Silk Road Ensemble
| +---Silk Road Journeys- Beyond the Horizon
| \---When Strangers Meet - The Silk Road Project
| +---Ben Harper
| | +---Ben Harper & The Innocent Criminals
| | | \---Lifeline
| | +---Both Sides of the Gun, Disc 1
| | +---Both Sides of the Gun, Disc 2
| | +---Burn to Shine
| | +---Diamonds on the Inside
| | +---Fight for Your Mind
| | +---The Will to Live
| | +---There Will Be a Light
| +---Jimmie Vaughan
| | +---Do You Get the Blues¿
| | +---Out There
| | \---Strange Pleasure
| +---Kenny Wayne Shepherd
| | \---Ledbetter Heights
| +---Kenny Wayne Shepherd Band
| | \---Trouble Is
| +---Robert Randolph & The Family Band
| | +---Colorblind
| | +---Live At The Wetlands
| +---Altramar
| | +---Iberian Garden, Vol. 1
| | \---Iberian Garden, Vol. 2
| +---Arvo Paert
| | +---Arbos
| | +---Arvo Part - Lamentate (2005) [FLAC]
| | +---Arvo Part - Litany, Psalom, Trisagion
| | +---Arvo Part - Triodion
| | +---Neeme Jarvi_ Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra-Nielsen_ Symphonies #4 & 6
| | +---Neeme Jarvi_ Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra-Nielsen_ Symphonies #4 & 6 (2)
| +---Evelyn Glennie
| | +---Evelyn Glennie; Drumming
| | +---Light in Darkness
| | \---Shadow Behind the Iron Sun
| +---Giya Kancheli
| | \---Kancheli; Caris Mere
| +---Philip Glass
| | +---'Low' Symphony
| | +---1000 Airplanes On The Roof
| | +---Akhnaten, Disc 1
| | +---Akhnaten, Disc 2
| | +---Einstein on the Beach, Disc 1
| | +---Einstein on the Beach, Disc 2
| | +---Einstein on the Beach, Disc 3
| | +---Einstein on the Beach, Disc 4
| | +---Glassworks
| | +---Itaipu; The Canyon [Shaw]
| | +---Kundun Original Soundtrack
| | +---Philip Glass - 1999 - Dracula [FLAC]
| +---Leonard Cohen
| | +---Cohen Live
| | +---Dear Heather
| +---Bill Frisell
| | +---Blues Dream
| | +---gone, just like a train
| | +---Live
| | +---Music for the Film of Buster Keaton
| | +---Music For The Films Of Buster Keaton - Go West
| | \---Nashville
| +---Bill Frisell Quartet
| | \---Quartet
| +---Billy Cobham
| | +---Powerplay
| | +---Shabazz
| | +---Spectrum
| | \---Total Eclipse
| +---Bob Mintzer
| | \---[Big Band] Camouflage
| +---Bobby McFerrin
| | +---CircleSongs
| | +---Hush
| | +---Medicine Music
| | +---Paper Music
| | \---Play
| +---Branford Marsalis
| | +---Crazy People Music
| | +---Mo' Better Blues
| | +---Random Abstract
| | +---Requiem
| | +---The Dark Keys
| | \---Trio Jeepy
| +---Brecker Brothers
| | +---Out Of The Loop
| | \---The Return Of The Brecker Brothers
| +---Buena Vista Social Club
| | \---World Circuit - Nonesuch
| +---Béla Fleck and The Flecktones
| | +---Bela Fleck & The Flecktones
| | +---Flight of the Cosmic Hippo
| | +---Live Art, Disc 1
| | +---Live Art, Disc 2
| | \---UFO Tofu
| +---Carla Bley
| | +---4x4
| | +---Duets
| | \---I Hate To Sing
| +---Carla Bley & Paul Haines
| | +---Escalator Over the Hill (Disc 1)
| | \---Escalator Over The Hill (Disk 2)
| +---Cassandra Wilson
| | +---Blue Light 'Til Dawn
| | +---New Moon Daughter
| | \---Thunderbird
| +---Charles Lloyd
| | +---Canto
| | +---The Call 1993
| | \---Voice In The Night
| +---Charles Mingus
| | +---Right Now - Live At the Jazz Workshop
| | +---Thirteen Pictures- The Charles Mingus Anthology Disc 1
| | \---Thirteen Pictures- The Charles Mingus Anthology Disc 2
| +---Charlie Haden
| | +---Charlie Haden Liberation Music Orchestra
| | +---Dream Keeper
| | +---Haunted Heart
| | +---Night And The City
| | +---Nocturne
| | +---Now Is The Hour
| | +---Silence
| | \---The ballad of the fallen


just a few examples from my library of well produced music.

Let me be presumptuous and similarly arrogant as well - maybe the music you are listening to just doesn`t deserve the name.

This post has been edited by kraut: Feb 25 2012, 09:05
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MichaelW
post Feb 25 2012, 11:29
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QUOTE (2Bdecided @ Feb 24 2012, 05:47) *
The non-bland stuff was rarely in the charts when I was 16, and that's still true today.


+1
It is chastening to look at compilation albums of the Number Ones of the '60s and '70s. In my case, the soundtrack to the significant events of my life (good phrase) included Buddy Holly, The Beatles, Dylan, The Band, The Incredible String Band et al. What reached the top of the charts? Mercifully, you have forgotten/never heard of most of it.

The mastering/remastering discussion has parallels to the Original Instruments and Historically Informed Performance bit. Remastering old music to make it louder is a bit like performing Baroque keyboard music on a Main Battle Steinway. Ultimately a question of taste (though it is possible to discuss taste in a disciplined fashion), but it would be nice to be able to make the choice. And hey, the music companies could sell us their back catalogue one more time.
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Wombat
post Feb 25 2012, 16:40
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I wonder if some of the people who prefer Vinyl simply have an unbalanced, badly sounding system most likely the speakers.
They try to compensate some nastyness in sound with muddening the source. Just came me to mind when thinking about the problem gets better with lowering the music at ~1khz. Wouldn´t be the first time. Especially some so called High-End speakers measure badly and are voiced to have some special charakter, they can´t sound good with certain sources.
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greynol
post Feb 25 2012, 17:45
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FWIW, the loudness war began in the very early '90s.


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pioneer31
post Aug 3 2012, 22:50
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There's an obvious issue with vinyl that I never hear/see mentioned.

Unless you have a linear tracking deck, the tracking angle is incorrect for much of the LP, no matter how you align it.

Also, the inner (last) track of an lp has lower resolution than the first. There is less 'groove' flying past the stylus in one revolution. Add this to tracking alignment error and you have problems.

I grew up with vinyl and even as a kid, was aware that an LP's first track ALWAYS sounded noticeably better than the last one. I didn't know why though.

The degradation in sound is very noticeable. The music becomes 'mushy' sounding and sibilance tends to be worse.

For this reason alone, I think vinyl loses. I can't have my favourite tracks being on the end of an LP.

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RonaldDumsfeld
post Aug 3 2012, 23:29
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QUOTE
was aware that an LP's first track ALWAYS sounded noticeably better than the last one.


They always put the best track as #1 on side 2.

Music sounds good because you like it. Not because of the 'quality' of the playback system.

If you think the ability of music to move you is down to the way it was recorded you are doing it wrong.

Vinyl is good enough. Fucks sake, cassette was good enough in the right circumstances.
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Ron Jones
post Aug 4 2012, 05:38
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QUOTE (Woodinville @ Oct 13 2011, 18:15) *
She likes some forms of euphonic distortion. Good for her.

By definition, everyone likes euphonic distortion. Disagreeable distortion is by definition not euphonic wink.gif

EDIT: Necro'd, of course. Oh well.

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chrisz78
post Aug 4 2012, 11:25
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QUOTE (knutinh @ Feb 23 2012, 17:59) *
Technology, the art of sound production and the art of music making have always been interacting.


Pardon? To the best of my knowledge, people have been making music for many centuries before any sound-reproducing or -transmitting technology was available. How's that for "always interacting"?

And I find it puzzling that everybody here seems to accept the boundless arrogance of music producers (yes, including - but not invented by - Phil Spector) in not even attempting to faithfully reproduce the sound made by the voices and instruments of the artists, but rather subjecting listeners to (in the least offensive case) copious amounts of the ambience of the recording room - most if not all modern "classical" recordings suffer from this - or (much worse) to an artificial "ambience" created by adding reverberation, compression, limiting, intentional distortion etc. All of this hopelessly distances the performance from the playback location of the resulting record, no matter if analogue or digital, mini-portable or audiophile Hi-Fi. Unless you habitually listen in an acoustically dead box and attempt to convince yourself you are really sitting in a concert hall or a stadium, the only recording that would sound truly natural in your living-room would be one that carries as little ambient sound with it as your own voice or any noise you make, namely NONE. In the very old days (probably beyond the knowledge of most here), recording engineers knew that and meticulously dampened any recording room to get as little irritating reverb as possible, and (despite the mostly very noisy media available at the time) used volume control settings mostly to adjust the level during rehearsals to zero headroom at the loudest spots, and left it at that. It was the performers' responsibility to not overstrain the dynamic range of the machine - this kept the less disciplined and refined ones mostly out of the recorded repertoire, which had a nice side-effect on musical taste as well.

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knutinh
post Aug 4 2012, 12:18
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QUOTE (chrisz78 @ Aug 4 2012, 12:25) *
QUOTE (knutinh @ Feb 23 2012, 17:59) *
Technology, the art of sound production and the art of music making have always been interacting.


Pardon? To the best of my knowledge, people have been making music for many centuries before any sound-reproducing or -transmitting technology was available. How's that for "always interacting"?

Musical instruments required technology to work. And they enabled new kinds of music.
QUOTE
And I find it puzzling that everybody here seems to accept the boundless arrogance of music producers (yes, including - but not invented by - Phil Spector) in not even attempting to faithfully reproduce the sound made by the voices and instruments of the artists, but rather subjecting listeners to (in the least offensive case) copious amounts of the ambience of the recording room - most if not all modern "classical" recordings suffer from this - or (much worse) to an artificial "ambience" created by adding reverberation, compression, limiting, intentional distortion etc. All of this hopelessly distances the performance from the playback location of the resulting record, no matter if analogue or digital, mini-portable or audiophile Hi-Fi. Unless you habitually listen in an acoustically dead box and attempt to convince yourself you are really sitting in a concert hall or a stadium, the only recording that would sound truly natural in your living-room would be one that carries as little ambient sound with it as your own voice or any noise you make, namely NONE.

Well, i have listened to music in anechoic chambers, and I have listened to music that was recorded in anechoic chambers. It does not sound very good. Most living rooms have a fairly short RT60, nothing like the ambience that you will find in a stone church. If you want some realism in those church organ recordings, you (currently) need to include the ambience of the recording venue.
QUOTE
In the very old days (probably beyond the knowledge of most here), recording engineers knew that and meticulously dampened any recording room to get as little irritating reverb as possible, and (despite the mostly very noisy media available at the time) used volume control settings mostly to adjust the level during rehearsals to zero headroom at the loudest spots, and left it at that. It was the performers' responsibility to not overstrain the dynamic range of the machine - this kept the less disciplined and refined ones mostly out of the recorded repertoire, which had a nice side-effect on musical taste as well.

In the very old days, musicians used to crowd around a single recording device, and had to stand close in order to be heard over the noise floor. Does not mean that it was the ultimate acoustic choice.

There have been several "trends" in recording technique. "close" microphones. "ambient" microphones.... There seems to be single solution that everyone is happy with. Part of the problem is the variable playback conditions. If everyone had properly corrected multichannel ambisonic-type rigs (in well-damped rooms), perhaps the recording engineers could agree on the "right" way to recreate a sonic event.

Anyways, I think that you are missing an important point: sound engineers are not really engineers. They are craftsmen or artists. In most recordings, their role is to generate a pleasing sound, usually synthetic and physically unrealisable.

-k

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greynol
post Aug 4 2012, 12:40
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@chrisz78: I don't see much evidence supporting the assumptions you have made about the HA community and am more than a bit perplexed as to why you stated them.


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2Bdecided
post Aug 6 2012, 11:32
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QUOTE (pioneer31 @ Aug 3 2012, 22:50) *
There's an obvious issue with vinyl that I never hear/see mentioned.

Unless you have a linear tracking deck, the tracking angle is incorrect for much of the LP, no matter how you align it.

Also, the inner (last) track of an lp has lower resolution than the first. There is less 'groove' flying past the stylus in one revolution. Add this to tracking alignment error and you have problems.

I grew up with vinyl and even as a kid, was aware that an LP's first track ALWAYS sounded noticeably better than the last one. I didn't know why though.

The degradation in sound is very noticeable. The music becomes 'mushy' sounding and sibilance tends to be worse.
This is true (though I think it's often mentioned) - but the problems of the inner groove are much less audible on a decent turntable than on cheap rubbish IMO/E. Not just the obvious geometry/tracking errors, but a decent cartridge and stylus won't trash the groove and create mushy sibilance nearly as much as a poor one.

(I don't think there are many poor ones around any more - though there's some really atrocious geometry on a few modern decks).

I have a theory that poorer cartridges and styli are doing the same damage throughout, but it's more obvious on the inner groove for the reasons you mention. Whereas a decent stylus won't cause so much damage, and the "problems" of the inner groove can be almost inaudible (i.e. not noticeably worse than the start of the LP).

Cheers,
David.
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2Bdecided
post Aug 6 2012, 11:39
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QUOTE (chrisz78 @ Aug 4 2012, 11:25) *
QUOTE (knutinh @ Feb 23 2012, 17:59) *
Technology, the art of sound production and the art of music making have always been interacting.


Pardon? To the best of my knowledge, people have been making music for many centuries before any sound-reproducing or -transmitting technology was available. How's that for "always interacting"?

And I find it puzzling that everybody here seems to accept the boundless arrogance of music producers (yes, including - but not invented by - Phil Spector) in not even attempting to faithfully reproduce the sound made by the voices and instruments of the artists, but rather subjecting listeners to (in the least offensive case) copious amounts of the ambience of the recording room - most if not all modern "classical" recordings suffer from this - or (much worse) to an artificial "ambience" created by adding reverberation, compression, limiting, intentional distortion etc. All of this hopelessly distances the performance from the playback location of the resulting record, no matter if analogue or digital, mini-portable or audiophile Hi-Fi. Unless you habitually listen in an acoustically dead box and attempt to convince yourself you are really sitting in a concert hall or a stadium, the only recording that would sound truly natural in your living-room would be one that carries as little ambient sound with it as your own voice or any noise you make, namely NONE. In the very old days (probably beyond the knowledge of most here), recording engineers knew that and meticulously dampened any recording room to get as little irritating reverb as possible, and (despite the mostly very noisy media available at the time) used volume control settings mostly to adjust the level during rehearsals to zero headroom at the loudest spots, and left it at that. It was the performers' responsibility to not overstrain the dynamic range of the machine - this kept the less disciplined and refined ones mostly out of the recorded repertoire, which had a nice side-effect on musical taste as well.
I'm surprised that you can't accept the work of the producer as part of the music making process. You might not like it, but it is. The choice of microphones and their placement can be as important as the choice of musical instrument. The choice of mixing and mastering can be as important as the style of playing. etc.

But I want to pick you up on one thing - in the mid-late 1920s, there was a craze in the UK recording industry for getting as much ambience on recordings as possible. "Recorded in a public hall" the labels proudly declare - which usually means there's so much echo on the recording that you can't hear many details at all. I can't find a decent example on YouTube - this is one http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I0jmFhVxKNY but it's not that obvious the way it's been transcribed that all the echo is on the record itself.

Cheers,
David.
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mjb2006
post Aug 6 2012, 19:28
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QUOTE (pioneer31 @ Aug 3 2012, 15:50) *
the inner (last) track of an lp has lower resolution than the first. There is less 'groove' flying past the stylus in one revolution. Add this to tracking alignment error and you have problems. [...] The degradation in sound is very noticeable. The music becomes 'mushy' sounding and sibilance tends to be worse.

I don't think you should attribute these audible differences solely to the two causes you state.

I've read that producers were aware of the limitations of vinyl, and deliberately stacked the relatively dynamic and likely-"hit" songs up front on each side, leaving less demanding songs for the end of each side, where they wouldn't suffer as much. Engineers master the sides accordingly, to ensure the songs in the chosen order indeed won't send the needle flying out of the groove. So some of the 'mushy' sound may be coming from the choice of songs and in the way they were mastered.

Also each pressing plate wears out pretty quickly; it can be the luck of the draw whether you get a pressing that was made near the beginning or near the end of a plate's life. My unscientific guess is that the inner groove problems are likely to be worse in the latter case.

As for "sibilance", I think you mean sibilant distortion or perhaps distorted sibilants. Ideally you're not trying to get rid of sibilants, but to have clear, distortion-free ones.

This post has been edited by mjb2006: Aug 6 2012, 19:35
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2Bdecided
post Aug 8 2012, 10:26
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QUOTE (mjb2006 @ Aug 6 2012, 19:28) *
deliberately stacked the relatively dynamic and likely-"hit" songs up front on each side
albums usually start with a hit, but there are plenty of examples where they go out with a bang too. Quite rare to end on a quiet track.

They eye is drawn to the start and end of the track list when browsing albums, so they put hits at both ends. Apparently!

Cheers,
David.

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Steve Forte Rio
post Aug 8 2012, 12:09
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Could you recommend me a vinyl and CD that were written from the same master?

This post has been edited by Steve Forte Rio: Aug 8 2012, 12:14
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Kohlrabi
post Aug 8 2012, 12:34
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QUOTE (RonaldDumsfeld @ Aug 4 2012, 00:29) *
Music sounds good because you like it. Not because of the 'quality' of the playback system.

If you think the ability of music to move you is down to the way it was recorded you are doing it wrong.

Vinyl is good enough. Fucks sake, cassette was good enough in the right circumstances.
How are recording and playback quality not part of the enjoyment? There is a lot of music out there which I like, but where the offered recordings are so utterly shit that I take less joy out of the music. Especially since I know how it could sound. And there have been instances where I only noticed small details when I used good enough headphones instead of shabby speakers. All this does matter, and it's certainly not wrong to long for well recorded music and a transparent playback system. Of course the compositions itself are not affected by any of this, but I don't sit down and just read the music to enjoy it.

And while I agree that vinyl is good enough in most cases, the downsides compared to CD or digital files in handling and wear should convince everyone that it is an obsolete format, on top of its technical deficiencies discussed here.

This post has been edited by Kohlrabi: Aug 8 2012, 12:49


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