Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Sound Science › 24 bit Vinyl rip or CD Remaster?
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

24 bit Vinyl rip or CD Remaster? - Page 3

post #31 of 171
Quote:
Originally Posted by nelamvr6 View Post

But we can still be friends, right? beerchug.gif

 

I don't mind discussions like these so long as tempers don't flare.

 

But I would really be interested in knowing just how many of those arguing so ardently against vinyl have really heard a good vinyl rig...

Sure, always willing to clink a beer mug!

 

Well, I'd like to think I've heard vinyl as good as it gets.  But then, these were systems I spend a lot of time with trying to make sure they tracked the RIAA curve precisely, hit the two tangency nulls, and listened to virgin pressings, or at least ones with under 10 plays.  Does that qualify?  

post #32 of 171

I have heard rigs built by friends, myself and even one engineer who went so far as to measure FR's and specific frequencies from an RIAA playback LP to make sure the transfers were perfect.

 

For all that hassle, I'd rather take a 24/96 file and master it myself.

post #33 of 171
Quote:
Originally Posted by jaddie View Post

All your observations are completely true, but they aren't defining a difference between analog and digital, they're defining a difference in the total system path to the release.  And in both paths were tools operated, subjectively, but humans making decisions.  That's the problem here.  The reason that there's any preference at all for vinyl is that in it's heyday, the people responsible were highly trained professionals.  That largely went away when digits arrived resulting in some rather bad CDs.  And today, anyone with low-cost hardware can hang a shingle out claiming to be a mixer, or mastering engineer.

 

Actually, reading stories about the recording of classic albums at Sound On Sound rather contradicts this unless you are a strong believer in the educational powers of making tea.

 

The recent loss of sound quality is pretty easily ascribed to the loudness war. And the driver for that it is very interesting: radio stations were fighting the LW years before the recording industry and so people grew up with the resulting compressed dynamic range. And they had grown to prefer it - through aclimatisation and the operation of nostalgia, music with a compressed range now sounds right to most people - or at least instantly appealing - so that's what is recorded. 

post #34 of 171
Quote:
Originally Posted by jaddie View Post

Sure, always willing to clink a beer mug!

 

Well, I'd like to think I've heard vinyl as good as it gets.  But then, these were systems I spend a lot of time with trying to make sure they tracked the RIAA curve precisely, hit the two tangency nulls, and listened to virgin pressings, or at least ones with under 10 plays.  Does that qualify?  

 

 

Yeah, I suppose that counts.  But I wasn't specifically thinking of you, you don't think you're the only vinyl detractor here, do you?  wink.gif

post #35 of 171
Quote:
Originally Posted by scuttle View Post

 

Actually, reading stories about the recording of classic albums at Sound On Sound rather contradicts this unless you are a strong believer in the educational powers of making tea.

Yes, I'm sure those stories say otherwise.  But a handful of stories doesn't paint the whole picture, however fun they may be to tell.  Mastering back then was a pretty well-skilled trade.

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by scuttle View Post

The recent loss of sound quality is pretty easily ascribed to the loudness war. And the driver for that it is very interesting: radio stations were fighting the LW years before the recording industry and so people grew up with the resulting compressed dynamic range. And they had grown to prefer it - through aclimatisation and the operation of nostalgia, music with a compressed range now sounds right to most people - or at least instantly appealing - so that's what is recorded. 

Interesting theory.  Having worked decades in broadcast, I have been in a rather odd position to be able to compare by direct switch the unprocessed and processed signals, with appropriate volume adjustments to they match.  The general consensus has always been, even among those in the trade, that unprocessed is always better and more pleasing to listen to, but never chosen because it's not "competitive".  I am quite certain that if even today's kids were given the choice, they'd pick unprocessed.  Just like, given the choice, they pick uncompressed...can't think of where that study was done, but it's within a year or so. Turns out, good recorded sound is good recorded sound, even if all you've heard is bad recorded sound because...this is the trick...everyone's reference is "life", which is uncompressed, unprocessed, except for what goes on in our own hearing. 

post #36 of 171
Quote:
Originally Posted by jaddie View Post
Yes, I'm sure those stories say otherwise.  But a handful of stories doesn't paint the whole picture, however fun they may be to tell.  Mastering back then was a pretty well-skilled trade.

 

This is true: the problem with anecdotal evidence is that the best anecdotes tend to be the most atypical.

Interesting theory.  Having worked decades in broadcast, I have been in a rather odd position to be able to compare by direct switch the unprocessed and processed signals, with appropriate volume adjustments to they match.  The general consensus has always been, even among those in the trade, that unprocessed is always better and more pleasing to listen to, but never chosen because it's not "competitive".  

My understanding is that this is not the case. In particular some professor at Harvard (? I must start keeping actual notes) has been testing and tracking incoming students preference in format and it has been tending increasingly towards more compressed forms.

 

 

Just like, given the choice, they pick uncompressed...can't think of where that study was done, but it's within a year or so. Turns out, good recorded sound is good recorded sound, even if all you've heard is bad recorded sound because...this is the trick...everyone's reference is "life", which is uncompressed, unprocessed, except for what goes on in our own hearing. 
 
This is poetic but unconvincing. If people tended back to life as the ultimate reference then there would no film or videogame industries. 
 
Otoh, this is mostly positive:
 
 
post #37 of 171
Quote:
Originally Posted by scuttle View Post

My understanding is that this is not the case. In particular some professor at Harvard (? I must start keeping actual notes) has been testing and tracking incoming students preference in format and it has been tending increasingly towards more compressed forms.

 

There is also plenty of evidence to the contrary.  I don't know of the details of the setup you're referring to, but you can for example check the slides here:

http://seanolive.blogspot.com/2012/05/more-evidence-that-kids-even-japanese.html

post #38 of 171
Quote:
Originally Posted by mikeaj View Post

 

There is also plenty of evidence to the contrary.  I don't know of the details of the setup you're referring to, but you can for example check the slides here:

http://seanolive.blogspot.com/2012/05/more-evidence-that-kids-even-japanese.html

 

But otoh - and I just found this by accident -

 

http://trustmeimascientist.com/2012/03/03/can-you-hear-what-i-hear-an-mp3-test-and-a-guide-to-listening-blind/

 

- see the section about more tests of college students, this time showing them to prefer low br mps3 to more accurate files.

post #39 of 171

This is obviously just one data point, but when I see this:

 

 

 

..then the explanation that a deliberate decision has been made to go "One louder" with each generation makes much more sense than increasing incompetence. Because, hey, how hard is it to leave something alone? I'd take a lot of convincing before I would believe that the mainstream music industry doesn't believe louder sells.

post #40 of 171
Quote:
Originally Posted by scuttle View Post

This is obviously just one data point, but when I see this:

 

 

 

..then the explanation that a deliberate decision has been made to go "One louder" with each generation makes much more sense than increasing incompetence. Because, hey, how hard is it to leave something alone? I'd take a lot of convincing before I would believe that the mainstream music industry doesn't believe louder sells.


Agreed.  But the "Loudness War" issue is really separate from the debate over digital vs analog. 

 

Yes, a segment of the record industry thinks louder is better, not because it sells (there's no evidence), but because they want their stuff to be louder in the playlist, bars, on the air (that doesn't work), etc.  I've always thought of it as an ego thing, which it is in radio past a certain point.  But I have to go back to it being a bit of lack of competence, not so much on the part of the engineer, but that of the producer, assuming its not the same guy.  The idea to keep pushing it louder and that's better is complete fallacy, of course, we all get that here.  Between automatic gain controls, on-air processing, and replay gain normalizers, it's just making the producer feel good.  But that's where I think there is a lack of competence.  How hard is it to understand that a louder record won't be any louder on the radio?  And that background music providers level things out.  And so on.

 

The reality is, louder doesn't sell any better, but sadly no worse either.  People listen for content not quality, that's why AM radio persists even in 2013.

post #41 of 171
Quote:
Originally Posted by jaddie View Post


Agreed.  But the "Loudness War" issue is really separate from the debate over digital vs analog. 

 

Almost entirely - I think the War might be plausibly linked for that possible tolerance - or even preference! - for so-so codecs used with low br. 

 

 

Yes, a segment of the record industry thinks louder is better, not because it sells (there's no evidence), but because they want their stuff to be louder in the playlist, bars, on the air (that doesn't work), etc. 

 

It's quite possible that the record companies are doing it to please radio stations who are getting no benefit from it all!

 

 

 I've always thought of it as an ego thing, which it is in radio past a certain point.  But I have to go back to it being a bit of lack of competence, not so much on the part of the engineer, but that of the producer, assuming its not the same guy.  The idea to keep pushing it louder and that's better is complete fallacy, of course, we all get that here.  Between automatic gain controls, on-air processing, and replay gain normalizers, it's just making the producer feel good.  But that's where I think there is a lack of competence.  How hard is it to understand that a louder record won't be any louder on the radio?

 

Ok: I thought the point of the Radio Loudness Wars was not someone should switch station at any given moment and encounter loud, rather than quiet music? So the point, surely, is not to make the loudest parts louder but the quietest part?

post #42 of 171

http://www.nbcnews.com/video/nightly-news/51013811#51013811

 
biggrin.gif
 
You guys keep arguing, I'm just gonna spin some black gold!
post #43 of 171
Quote:
Originally Posted by nelamvr6 View Post

http://www.nbcnews.com/video/nightly-news/51013811#51013811

 
biggrin.gif
 
You guys keep arguing, I'm just gonna spin some black gold!

 

And I'm going to carry on listening to the Pixes without being tied in one place, with better sound quality than vinyl is capable of. Thus allowing me to listen to Debaser while darting back and forth from the kitchen, where I am experimenting with a new corned beef hash recipe, and goading the Altman Tera owner who has sent me hate mail. (Which is hilarious btw!)

post #44 of 171
Quote:
Originally Posted by scuttle View Post

 

And I'm going to carry on listening to the Pixes without being tied in one place, with better sound quality than vinyl is capable of. Thus allowing me to listen to Debaser while darting back and forth from the kitchen, where I am experimenting with a new corned beef hash recipe, and goading the Altman Tera owner who has sent me hate mail. (Which is hilarious btw!)

 

beerchug.gif

 

Give that Terra owner hell!   Ask him what's coming up next in his queue... Oh, that's right, he has no idea!  

 

(BTW, I still that that crack about "better sound quality than vinyl is capable of" is nonsense!)

post #45 of 171
Quote:
Originally Posted by scuttle View Post

It's quite possible that the record companies are doing it to please radio stations who are getting no benefit from it all!

Loud recordings don't please radio stations (or listeners) because radios has it's own loudness war.  Stations process very aggressively, and yet want to sound both loud and clean, which you'd think were polar opposites, but the current crop of digital processors actually has made some improvements in both directions.  Stations have no choice but to process everything the same.  So when they get an over processed recording, and then do their thing on top of that, it doesn't get louder at all, but it does get much more distorted.  Stations know that distortion is bad, so the  situation is not good for them either.

Quote:
Originally Posted by scuttle View Post
Ok: I thought the point of the Radio Loudness Wars was not someone should switch station at any given moment and encounter loud, rather than quiet music? So the point, surely, is not to make the loudest parts louder but the quietest part?

Stations are competitive.  There's hardly a market anywhere that listeners don't have several choices of stations that have essentially the same type of programming (format). Stations make their money by selling advertising, and advertisers buy radio time based on the number of people they can reach for their dollar (called "cost per point" or "cost per 1000").  Stations audiences are now continually audited live, along with any other entertainment options (except headphone-based!!!!) and the data culled each evening, and compiled.  The greater the number of listeners in any segment of the day, the lower cost per point to the advertiser (even if the cost per minute is higher), and the greater number of ears he can reach for his money.  Station managers and program directors know that little things that can capture and hold a listener all add up to more listeners.  One of these little things is a good strong and loud signal.  When they dial around listening to their competition, if their own station "jumps off the dial" when they tune to it, they feel good, happy, proud, etc.  So they demand exotic and aggressive processing.  Some of these devices cost over $20k per unit, and are so complex that they take months to fine tune, if they are ever completely finalized at all.  I once had a general manger say to me, "I want to be the loudest station on the dial, and I'm willing to spend whatever it takes to do it!"  And he did it, and it was a local industry joke.

 

So the goal of radio processing is to make the station loud on the dial.  Doing that also makes quiet parts louder, makes louder parts louder, changes the overall EQ of everything, and adds distortion on a dynamic basis.  If you want an example of intermod distortion, listen to any contemporary music FM station, and hear bass "fluttering" or modulating highs as a result of fast limiting, peak limiting and deliberate clipping. 

 

The discussion of the mechanics of radio processing is way too deep for this thread, but you might now have a bit of the idea.  It's ego and pride driven, and supported by demand for financial gain from company owners.

 

The sad reality is, people don't care about processing so long as they can hear the station adequately. They will adjust their volume control anyway if the volume isn't right for them. They listen for what they want to hear in content, it's self serving, and that's it. And they don't care if it's overly loud either, except for a couple of special formats like jazz and classical.  In both AM and FM radio, processing extends coverage by keeping audio above the noise floor that increases with distance from the transmitter, but we are so far beyond that now its ridiculous. 

 

Here something that hit my inbox just this morning...seems sort of pertinent to this:

http://dynamicrangeday.co.uk/dynamic-range-day-2013/

 

Anybody want to throw a DR party?

New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Sound Science
Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Sound Science › 24 bit Vinyl rip or CD Remaster?