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Dark Knight FAIL - another CD mastered with excessive gain - Page 3

post #31 of 79

I think most of us feel this way, but that's why a lot of proper around here also have a more...forgiving headphone in their collection.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by beaver316 View Post

Thank you so much for this post. I consider myself new to the audiophile world and i've been doing a lot of reading in recent months. This post motivated me to do further research on dynamic compression and just how bad it is with modern music. This really is a case where you could say ignorance is bliss. 

 

I have a lot of modern music in my collection and agree that a lot of it is harsh and fatiguing to my ears, but now i know the reason for it. It kind of makes me sad now that i know this... a lot of my favourite songs have pretty terrible compression, makes me want to slap the producers.

post #32 of 79

Any audio engineer in their right mind would not allow digital clipping to wind up in their recordings. It's a shame that music these days isn't master better, there's some well mastered music but the loudness war has ruined many good albums.

 

 deadhorse.gif

post #33 of 79
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by MorbidToaster View Post

PS: You've been added to the Texas Head-fier list. You'll probably get PMs about meets from time to time. :D

 

 

Thanks!   Sign me up!  popcorn.gif

post #34 of 79

IIRC the Dark Knight also had clipping rolleyes.gif (and noise in at least one track angry_face.gif

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by sridhar3 View Post

 

What a huge disappointment.

 

Did the Dark Knight OST have clipping as well?

post #35 of 79

Question for you LFF: Did you manage to find a copy of the proper master for comparison, or are green waveforms in the lower picture just some sort of extrapolation based on the original version?

Quote:
Originally Posted by LFF View Post

Here we go...Track No. 9

 

The retail version (same as CD and HDTracks):

1000

 

What it should look like (Proper master!):

1000

 

Comparison:

1000

 

The BLACK waveform is the original at the SAME volume level as the proper master in DARK GREEN.

 

What does this mean?

 

It means that had it been a proper master, there would have been a 9.6db difference in average volume meaning the retail version is severely limited/compressed in it's dynamic range.   frown.gif

 

What else does this tell you?

 

It also tells you that high resolution (24/192) etc doesn't mean jack if it is not mastered PROPERLY!!!!  angry_face.gif

 

This has been a public service announcement by LFF.

post #36 of 79
Quote:
Originally Posted by SoItGoes View Post

Question for you LFF: Did you manage to find a copy of the proper master for comparison, or are green waveforms in the lower picture just some sort of extrapolation based on the original version?


wink_face.gif

post #37 of 79
Thread Starter 

It must be a secret!  biggrin.gif

 

Meanwhile, I've been researching how I might expand the dynamic range of an excessively compressed recording.  

 

I came across this thread at the Audacity forum where the creator of an Expander plugin for Audacity (called SE4), explains that it's impossible to perform a proper dynamic range expansion without knowing precisely how the compression was performed in the first place.  (In other words, you're likely to do more damage than you are to correctly guess how to adjust the plugin parameters for expansion.

 

Have a look at the last post in this thread:  http://forum.audacityteam.org/viewtopic.php?f=28&t=3750

 

This is yet another example of how once they've damaged a recording with clipping and/or compression, it's next to impossible to recover something akin to the original signal.

 

Mike

post #38 of 79
Itt: we theorize if LFF is:

 

a) a well connected/skilled mastering engineer

b) connected to Hans Zimmer

c) Batman

Quote:
Originally Posted by LFF View Post


wink_face.gif

 

On a more serious note, the Audacity stuff basically confirms everything I felt deep down about this DRC stuff: it's permanent. The best we can do is to try to save the gems that have yet to be committed to tape.

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by zilch0md View Post

It must be a secret!  biggrin.gif

 

Meanwhile, I've been researching how I might expand the dynamic range of an excessively compressed recording.  

 

I came across this thread at the Audacity forum where the creator of an Expander plugin for Audacity (called SE4), explains that it's impossible to perform a proper dynamic range expansion without knowing precisely how the compression was performed in the first place.  (In other words, you're likely to do more damage than you are to correctly guess how to adjust the plugin parameters for expansion.

 

Have a look at the last post in this thread:  http://forum.audacityteam.org/viewtopic.php?f=28&t=3750

 

This is yet another example of how once they've damaged a recording with clipping and/or compression, it's next to impossible to recover something akin to the original signal.

 

Mike

 
post #39 of 79

The talk of the Inception soundtrack reminds me

 

How is the mastering on Titanic's soundtrack?

post #40 of 79
Quote:
Originally Posted by zilch0md View Post

It must be a secret!  biggrin.gif

 

Meanwhile, I've been researching how I might expand the dynamic range of an excessively compressed recording.  

 

I came across this thread at the Audacity forum where the creator of an Expander plugin for Audacity (called SE4), explains that it's impossible to perform a proper dynamic range expansion without knowing precisely how the compression was performed in the first place.  (In other words, you're likely to do more damage than you are to correctly guess how to adjust the plugin parameters for expansion.

 

Have a look at the last post in this thread:  http://forum.audacityteam.org/viewtopic.php?f=28&t=3750

 

This is yet another example of how once they've damaged a recording with clipping and/or compression, it's next to impossible to recover something akin to the original signal.

 

Mike


It must be.

 

Guys...take it from me...once it has been done...it can't be undone.

post #41 of 79
Thread Starter 

News Flash

 

After 6 days, Amazon has apparently decided to DELETE my customer image from their Dark Knight Rises page:

 

http://www.amazon.com/The-Dark-Knight-Rises-Soundtrack/dp/B008645YEE

 

This is the customer image Amazon has now censored:  

 

 

1000

 

I haven't received any e-mails from Amazon regarding this action.

 

As yet, they haven't censored my 2-star review, which currently shows 46 out of 48 people have found it helpful.  

 

My review has the title, "CD was mastered with excessive gain levels" and has been listed as the most helpful negative review since I first posted it.

 

Prior to the image getting deleted, it too had a high percentage of positive votes (something like 8 out of 9 voters liked the image.)

 

I wonder why Amazon deleted it?   blink.gif

 

Mike

post #42 of 79

LOL!

 

I would re-post it and explain why....

post #43 of 79
Thread Starter 

I suspect Amazon would just delete the image again, and I'd rather not threaten the longevity of my review.  They could have pulled that, as well, but haven't, thus far.

 

Anyone can download a copy of Audacity and open tracks one at a time, to inspect the peak levels of any CD.   Interestingly, the tracks on the Dark Knight Rises CD have all been peak-limited below the absolute peak of  0 dB, and thus, technically speaking, there is absolutely no clipping on this CD - contrary to my over-simplified claims. 

 

It's obvious, however, that the clipping (damage) was done PRIOR to applying compression and peak-limiting - to force the entire track to fit the producer's ideal.  So you end up with signals that are hitting a false ceiling, instead of using the entire dynamic range available to 16-bit audio.  Thus, the audible dynamic range is compromised through compression, making the low-gain signals louder and the high-gain signals softer, all the while TECHNICALLY avoiding any evidence of true clipping - where the wave forms would have to hit the 0 dB level. 

It's all very cleverly designed to raise the average (RMS) gain of the song so that it sounds "LOUD" when played over the radio, or on cheap MP3 players, and that includes iPods when used with ear cheap buds.  When you listen to music in a car, there is so much road noise and, perhaps, fan noise, that the softer portions of the music cannot be heard, much less enjoyed, without turning up the volume.  Then, if the track was mastered with anything close to the dynamic range that 16-bit audio can support, a drum hit or other high-level signal that comes along would only have the listener scrambling to turn down the volume.  This same situation occurs with people who walk the streets, ride trains, or subways, etc. wearing ear buds to listen to their iPods.  Once again, the consumer's equipment fails to isolate his ears from all the ambient noise that would interfere with his ability to hear/enjoy low-level signals amidst high-level signals in any track that's mastered with a decent amount of dynamic range.  

 

Ironically, there seems to be a social-correctness movement toward the use of isolating headphones (like the Philips CitiScape Downtown) and IEMs - not for the purpose of enjoying tracks mastered with greater dynamic range, but rather, to avoid offending thy neighbors - a worthy cause, to be sure, as I don't miss the boom box days when people walked the streets with them on their shoulders - but I can't help but wonder how many people have purchased isolating products with the desire to reduce their impact on fellow travelers, without the first inkling of the benefit isolation offers with recordings that have good dynamic range. 

 

tongue.gif

In short, greed demands that the needs of the many be met rather than the needs of the few, and the average Joe Consumer is none the wiser that he is paying for music that was severely compromised in an effort to accommodate audio equipment and listening conditions which are themselves severely compromised.

I submit that if the industry had never compromised the mastering of music that's sold to Joe Consumer, he might be using better equipment, today, including IEMs instead of ear buds, closed headphones instead of open, cars that include improved sound insulation along with high-end audio upgrades, etc.)  

 

We are the misfits, my friends.  We are the abnormal minority and thus, have no voice.

 

Mike

post #44 of 79

Such an unfortunate aspect to the industry.  

post #45 of 79

If I were Zimmer, I would be furious at such a thing. The whole excess gain ordeal confuses me across all genres. I just don't see the artists wanting such a thing to happen.

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