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Is my music not worthy?

post #1 of 41
Thread Starter 
I remember reading some guy's comments in another forum, which ran along the lines of less noticeable improvement when upgrading if you're listening to electronica or something along those lines. I'm curious - if so, why is that so? I mainly listen to artists like lostprophets, angels & airwaves, acceptance, breaking benjamin, yanni, etc. where electric guitars and synthesizers are a huge thing. If that's the case, should I even bother upgrading? Is there such a thing as "audiophile genres of music?"
post #2 of 41
You'll always be able to notice some difference, especially in the early ranges (going from crap to not-crap is always the biggest step). What others have been alluding to is that, in general, electronica has less detail and is less well-mastered as far as dynamic range, compression, etc. when compared to most other genres. That doesn't mean upgrading isn't worth it, it just means you won't notice the differences as apparently in some instances.
post #3 of 41
i just imported my cd's again to play at 320kb/s mp3 vs 160 kb/s. I just got a new ipod touch and I was already messing around in itunes so i figured, Why not?

Anyway, I found that all of my acoustic, indie, jazz, folk, etc. sound much better in 320, but some of my alternative rock heavy in electric guitars and percussion do not sound much more detailed, just a little more crisp.

If a song does not have many intricacies, there isn't much to cut out when compressing.
post #4 of 41
U will really not enjoy Electronic with headphones like HD600+ or AKG 701+ ..

Mainly Trance music .. it doesnt have great dynamic range or real sounds anyway.
post #5 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by t3hggnore View Post
Is there such a thing as "audiophile genres of music?"
No. And acoustic or electronic doesn't matter from an objective point of view.

For a given listener, it has an importance. Our listening skills evolve with the music we listen to. If someone is used to acoustic music, then unknown electronic music will sound unsuited for hifi assessment to his ears, but the opposite is true also. Someone used to electronic sounds will have problems assessing high fidelity with an acoustic recording that he doesn't know.

Using an unknown acoustic recording for someone used to acoustic, or an electronic recording for someone used to electronic, is easier, because the ear have known cues in order to process the sonic message, and try to distinguish an improvement in the system.

Some people use to say that this or that piece of equipment is "suited for electronic music", because it has a strongly coloured sound, and should be enjoyable with this kind of "artificial-flavoured" music.
I was once in a shop, talking about DACs. I once got a Micromega Microdac, which I did not like. To my ears, that used to listen only to electronic music, this DAC was not transparent... "suited for classical music", I thought.
In the salesman's opinion, who did not like it either, that DAC was just suited for electronic music !

The matter of fact is that when we do not like a kind of sound, we sometimes think, by analogy, that it is suited for a kind of music that we do not like.

Objectively, no kind of music can be neutral, except white and pink noises. While electronic music suffers from an arbitrary choice of tonal balance, and lack of dynamics (*), it is nonetheless mastered on calibrated monitors, and acoustic music suffers from the coloration of the recording location and of the microphones used.

The best music is the one that seem most demanding to your ears. Your way of listening is your own

.

(*) which is not always true... just listen to Kraftwerk's Man-Machine, Peter Baumann's Trans Harmonic Nights, or some Depeche Mode remixes like Personal Jesus - Pump Mix, Strangelove - Pain mix, or Kaleid - Remix (but beware of clipressed remasterings)
post #6 of 41
I find electronic music perfect for high quality headphone listening, actually.

Also, I have to say that if you ever think of asking "is my music good enough", you're in this for the wrong reasons. All this high end gear is to get the best experience out of the music you want to hear. You shouldn't be here looking for the music to get the most out of your gear. Looking for high quality music can certainly be worthwhile, but all the high end gear and SACDs in the world aren't going to make the Moody Blues worth listening to (...for example).
post #7 of 41
Infected Mushroom (early to mid discography especially) is so rich with texture and dynamics - it is the first music I go to for checking out new gear

Particularly the track "Dancing With Kadafi"

Get a lossless copy of that and try it out on your rig

As for the OP - it's worth it though pop stuff, particularly modern pop stuff, is going to be the least dynamic stuff, most likely
post #8 of 41
Thread Starter 
Thanks for your inputs

Yeah Monolith, I definitely agree with what you said. It's just that I don't have too much money to slap together, so I'm just checking out marginal utility atm...Maybe I'm not quite into the dump-the-money-out-of-my-wallet phase yet (blasphemy I know)
post #9 of 41
I would like to point out that specific scenarios can make particular distortions particularly evident.

The canonical example here is listening for pitch instability on a turntable. It's surprisingly inaudible most of the time. It's best audible with very constant, loud, pure tones, which don't occur in rock, and surprisingly rarely occur in classical (the vibrato on most stringed instruments obscures a lot of things). But solo piano is almost perfect for detecting pitch changes, and in my experience, pitch issues which are often completely inaudible with most other records become clear as day with a solo piano record.

A more applicable example is relating to harmonic distortion. If the distortion inherent in the recording (or the instrument) is high enough, it could obscure the distortion inherent in the playback system. So the idea here is that instruments with a "purer tone" will have fewer harmonics associated with them which might obscure harmonics applied in the playback chain. Again, this traditionally is seen to favor older instruments, like piano, strings, and (well-recorded) vocals.

Another example relates to stereo imaging. A record mixed for "realism" should be able to represent a continuous soundstage of instruments in the mix, from one speaker to the other, with each instrument at a well-defined location in the mix. Much popular music is not produced in this way, and often is entirely mono except for "special effects" work on the sides. But classical and jazz tend to be notoriously good at this sort of thing.

So from an audiophile's point of view, electronic music tends to involve instruments which are more heavily distorting than other instruments. And owing to its increased loudness and its rougher (or even mono) mixing, is perceived to have less of a "refined" mix than some other genres. But of course counterexamples could easily be found (Squarepusher is an obvious example).
post #10 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by Luminette View Post
Infected Mushroom (early to mid discography especially) is so rich with texture and dynamics - it is the first music I go to for checking out new gear

Particularly the track "Dancing With Kadafi"

Get a lossless copy of that and try it out on your rig

As for the OP - it's worth it though pop stuff, particularly modern pop stuff, is going to be the least dynamic stuff, most likely
amen.
post #11 of 41
yeah, it all matters if you're importing at a high bitrate

you'd be surprised at some of the nuances in rock music
post #12 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by t3hggnore View Post
I remember reading some guy's comments in another forum, which ran along the lines of less noticeable improvement when upgrading if you're listening to electronica or something along those lines. I'm curious - if so, why is that so? I mainly listen to artists like lostprophets, angels & airwaves, acceptance, breaking benjamin, yanni, etc. where electric guitars and synthesizers are a huge thing. If that's the case, should I even bother upgrading? Is there such a thing as "audiophile genres of music?"
Some will argue that electric/electronic instruments produce less complex timbres than acoustic instruments such as pianos or strings. Whether or not that is true, it is the quality of the recording that matters, in my opinion. Brilliantly recorded and produced electronic music will sound better on better equipment. Poorly recorded acoustic music will not necessarily sound better on superior equipment. YMMV.
post #13 of 41
well, if you are producing purely in the digital domain from the start and working at high sample rate and bit depth, you are essentially skipping all the problems commonly encountered in terms of equipment - high quality mics/recording equipment/etc. that only the top studios can afford. So theoretically it is possible for a lot more people to produce "higher quality" music if you work purely in the digital domain - the detail will obviously depend on the type of synthesis, digital instruments, etc. you use...
try these electronic artists (some has samples inbetween - but mostly synthesized sounds): kim cascone, richard chartier, sogar, taulor deupree, ryoji ikeda, alva noto, etc. etc.
post #14 of 41
apart from production standards (low in most mainstream pop & rock), the 'texture' of instruments also plays a role here. while electronically generated music commonly has less texture than acoustic or amplified instruments, this could change soon (or has already changed: i wouldn't be surprised if electronica afficionados could provide a long list of examples)

movie analogy: while early 3d animation had very little background and 'texture', movies like the pixar masterpieces ratatouille and wall-e give standard films a run for their money when it comes to details and set-decoration.

groups like infected mushroom show the way...
post #15 of 41
There are a lot of exceptions.

Electronic artists like Boards of Canada, Four Tet, Shpongle obssessively master their music.
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