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HDCD list - Page 36

post #526 of 545

After installing the foobar plugin I've noticed some CDs I ripped long ago showing up as HDCD (with PE). When I try decoding sample tracks from them with eac3to (using -decodehdcd) they all come up with a constant/average bit depth of 17.

 

Is something wrong with the way eac3to decodes them or are most HDCDs really closer to 16-bit than 20-bit? And if they're some form of variable bit depth, is there any tool that can show me the actual bit-depth during playback or even high/low values?


Edited by fumbles - 4/26/12 at 10:30am
post #527 of 545

There are 2 more Motley Crue HDCD's, Theatre Of Pain and Shout At The Devil. Both are the remaster series.

post #528 of 545

Megadeth Cryptic Writings is also one...original release NOT the remasters.

post #529 of 545

The Beach Boys' Smile Sessions (Capitol, 2012) is an HDCD. The "main disc" (ie the main reconstruction, not the sessions themselves) is, at least. Can't confirm the rest. 

post #530 of 545

didn't see this listed on main page and to many pages to look through .... not sure if this has been mentioned :_

 

Lionel Richie - Renaissance - pop/soul  is HDCD  it's not listed on the case

post #531 of 545
NOFX- The Decline
post #532 of 545

God Bless the Go-Go's barcode 639857818225

 

HDCD logo is on spine and it is HDCD encoded registering max 20 bits.

post #533 of 545

There is a false entry in the list on page 1:

 

King Crimson (most releases, all EG stuff)

 

Using the HDCD.exe utility, none of the following releases are detected as HDCDs.  None of them have HDCD labeling on the package either:

 

In the Court of the Crimson King (1989 Definitive Edition remaster, EG)

Larks' Tongues in Aspic (1989 Definitive Edition remaster, EG)

Red (1989 Definitive Edition remaster, EG)

Discipline (1989 Definitive Edition remaster, EG)

VROOM (1994 Discipline Records)

Thrak (1995 DGM)

The Power to Believe (2003 DGM)

the construKction of light (2007 DGM)

 

The only King Crimson disc I have with any HDCD features is the 2004 30th anniversary remaster of "USA" on DGM.  It has the LLE (low level extension) feature only.

post #534 of 545

Tortoise: TNT

Is detected by HDCD.exe as an HDCD, but none of the encoding features are used.

 

Al DiMeola, John McLaughlin, Paco de Lucia: Friday Night in San Francisco

The MasterSound Legacy SBM gold disc edition (Columbia CK64410) is not detected as an HDCD, nor is it labeled as such.

 

Gil Evans: Svengali

Is detected as an HDCD with no encoding features used.

 

Vivaldi: L'estro Armonico conducted by Neville Marriner on London/Decca

Is neither labeled as HDCD nor detected as HDCD.

post #535 of 545

HDCDs to add to the list:

 

Rock, etc:

Gorillaz: Gorillaz (2000) tracks 18-19 only

 

Jazz:

Bela Fleck & The Flecktones: Left of Cool

Nuclear Whales: Isotopia

Andy Summers: Green Chimneys

Joni Mitchell: Shadows & Light

 

Bluegrass/folk:

Sam Bush: Glamour & Grits

Mike Marshall & Chris Thile: Into the Cauldron, Live Duets (uses LLE only)

Mike Marshall & Jovino Santos Neto: Serenata (uses LLE only)

Klezmer Dance Band: Freylach Time (uses LLE only)

 

Classical:

Joel Fan: World Keys

Lara St. John: Gypsy

Matt Haimovitz: Goulash (detected as HDCD but uses no HDCD features)


Edited by John Stimson - 6/8/13 at 2:24pm
post #536 of 545
Quote:
Originally Posted by fumbles View Post

After installing the foobar plugin I've noticed some CDs I ripped long ago showing up as HDCD (with PE). When I try decoding sample tracks from them with eac3to (using -decodehdcd) they all come up with a constant/average bit depth of 17.

 

Is something wrong with the way eac3to decodes them or are most HDCDs really closer to 16-bit than 20-bit? And if they're some form of variable bit depth, is there any tool that can show me the actual bit-depth during playback or even high/low values?

 

Hi Fumbles,

 

Sorry for the VERY late reply. I didn't have internet access for a long time. The short answer is YES, most HDCD's are really closer to 16 bits than 20. Here's the long answer:

 

Only two of the encoding features affect the dynamic range -- Peak Extend and Low-Level Extension. If Peak Extend was turned on by the mastering engineer, the top 9 dB of level on the master recording is "scrunched" into only 3 dB of level on the disc. Since most pop and rock is ALREADY over-compressed, the instruction manual for the HDCD encoder recommends NOT to use Peak Extend for material that is already heavily compressed. If it is, when played back on a non-HDCD player, it will have almost NO dynamic range and sound pretty bad.

 

But if a recording uses the Peak Extend feature, it can (at the most) result in a 6 dB increase in dynamic range when played back on a player that decodes it. Now we have to do some math. Each doubling of signal level is equal to 6 dB, which is the same as 1 bit. So if used properly, the Peak Extend can increase the dynamic range of a CD from 16 bits to 17 bits when decoded.

 

The other feature that affects the dynamic range is Low-Level Extension (LLE). As the recorded signal drops below -45 dB below Full Scale (dBFS), the gain or the recording is increased in 0.5 dB steps. But the MOST gain change that can possibly happen is only 4.0 dB. This is not even 1 bit's worth of dynamic range. So the VERY MOST increase that can be had is actually only about 1.5 dB, NOT the 4 dB that HDCD claimed. (Remember when I said they had great engineers, but sleazy marketers?)

 

But even more discouraging is that LLE is virtually useless. It only comes into effect at such extremely low levels that almost the only time that it is used is in the fade out between tracks. I have only seen the LLE light come on an a VERY few classical recordings of solo guitar or harp or harpsichord or things like that where the levels are EXTREMELY low. And even if it was used, the most increase it would give would be around 0.5 bits!!

 

So you are probably wondering why in the world they claimed up to 20 dB of dynamic range. Well, politely is is called "smoke and mirrors". Bluntly it is called marketing BS. They have six or seven selectable dither curves when recording with the HDCD converter. Dither changes what would be distortion that is correlated with the music signal into just random noise (like tape "hiss"). They claimed that this would yield another two bits of effective dynamic range. Well, this is pretty debatable and it depends on how you define dynamic range. But the kicker is that nowadays virtually every A/D converter in the world has dither. And even before they intentionally added dither, the early A/D converters had enough noise in their analog electronics to produce what actually turns out to be a very good dither signal!!

 

The bottom line is that if you have some way to measure the dynamic range, you are almost NEVER going to see anything going past 17 dB. That is because the only process that reliably adds any dynamic range is the Peak Extend, and it only adds 1 bit's worth of extra range.

 

I hope this clears up what you have been seeing with your analyses, which are very much correct -- and far more accurate than the claims made by the HDCD marketing department!  :-)

 

The best thing about the HDCD encoded discs was that for about 10 years, it really was the best sounding A/D converter on the planet. From around 1995 their one-of-a-kind prototype machine was built it took almost ten years before the other manufacturers of pro gear caught up with the sheer sound quality of the HDCD converter. Keith Johnson really went all-out on that thing and it was truly amazing in its day -- but the great sound quality had virtually ZERO to do with the HDCD features....


Edited by CHansen - 6/10/13 at 2:31am
post #537 of 545
Quote:
Originally Posted by CHansen View Post

 

Hi Fumbles,

 

Sorry for the VERY late reply. I didn't have internet access for a long time. The short answer is YES, most HDCD's are really closer to 16 bits than 20. Here's the long answer:

 

Only two of the encoding features affect the dynamic range -- Peak Extend and Low-Level Extension. If Peak Extend was turned on by the mastering engineer, the top 9 dB of level on the master recording is "scrunched" into only 3 dB of level on the disc. Since most pop and rock is ALREADY over-compressed, the instruction manual for the HDCD encoder recommends NOT to use Peak Extend for material that is already heavily compressed. If it is, when played back on a non-HDCD player, it will have almost NO dynamic range and sound pretty bad.

 

But if a recording uses the Peak Extend feature, it can (at the most) result in a 6 dB increase in dynamic range when played back on a player that decodes it. Now we have to do some math. Each doubling of signal level is equal to 6 dB, which is the same as 1 bit. So if used properly, the Peak Extend can increase the dynamic range of a CD from 16 bits to 17 bits when decoded.

 

The other feature that affects the dynamic range is Low-Level Extension (LLE). As the recorded signal drops below -45 dB below Full Scale (dBFS), the gain or the recording is increased in 0.5 dB steps. But the MOST gain change that can possibly happen is only 4.0 dB. This is not even 1 bit's worth of dynamic range. So the VERY MOST increase that can be had is actually only about 1.5 dB, NOT the 4 dB that HDCD claimed. (Remember when I said they had great engineers, but sleazy marketers?)

 

But even more discouraging is that LLE is virtually useless. It only comes into effect at such extremely low levels that almost the only time that it is used is in the fade out between tracks. I have only seen the LLE light come on an a VERY few classical recordings of solo guitar or harp or harpsichord or things like that where the levels are EXTREMELY low. And even if it was used, the most increase it would give would be around 0.5 bits!!

 

So you are probably wondering why in the world they claimed up to 20 dB of dynamic range. Well, politely is is called "smoke and mirrors". Bluntly it is called marketing BS. They have six or seven selectable dither curves when recording with the HDCD converter. Dither changes what would be distortion that is correlated with the music signal into just random noise (like tape "hiss"). They claimed that this would yield another two bits of effective dynamic range. Well, this is pretty debatable and it depends on how you define dynamic range. But the kicker is that nowadays virtually every A/D converter in the world has dither. And even before they intentionally added dither, the early A/D converters had enough noise in their analog electronics to produce what actually turns out to be a very good dither signal!!

 

The bottom line is that if you have some way to measure the dynamic range, you are almost NEVER going to see anything going past 17 dB. That is because the only process that reliably adds any dynamic range is the Peak Extend, and it only adds 1 bit's worth of extra range.

 

I hope this clears up what you have been seeing with your analyses, which are very much correct -- and far more accurate than the claims made by the HDCD marketing department!  :-)

 

The best thing about the HDCD encoded discs was that for about 10 years, it really was the best sounding A/D converter on the planet. From around 1995 their one-of-a-kind prototype machine was built it took almost ten years before the other manufacturers of pro gear caught up with the sheer sound quality of the HDCD converter. Keith Johnson really went all-out on that thing and it was truly amazing in its day -- but the great sound quality had virtually ZERO to do with the HDCD features....

 

 

When using the foobar script [%__bitspersample% bits] and playing HDCD encoded 16 bit files or the HDCD CD itself, 24 bits is displayed in the status bar (for me anyway). Do you think this is because of that 1 bits worth of extra range and foobar shows 24bit because it is not capable of displaying 17 or 20, etc?


Edited by fiftyonefifty - 6/14/13 at 11:57am
post #538 of 545
Quote:
Originally Posted by fiftyonefifty View Post

 

 

When using the foobar script [%__bitspersample% bits] and playing HDCD encoded 16 bit files or the HDCD CD itself, 24 bits is displayed in the status bar (for me anyway). Do you think this is because of that 1 bits worth of extra range and foobar shows 24bit because it is not capable of displaying 17 or 20, etc?


I can't say for sure (in this case), but digital audio is generally processed in standard word sizes, e.g. 16, 24, 32 bits (sometimes 20).  I would expect that this rounding up of word size to 24 bits is normal behaviour.  The unused bits will be padded withe zeros.  This also gives extra headroom for any digital filtering and attenuation processing.  Once the words have been scaled up to 24 bits any subsequent steps in the processing chain will simply see it as "24 bit" even though 5 or 6 or 7 of them are always stuck at zero.

post #539 of 545
Quote:
Originally Posted by murrays View Post


I can't say for sure (in this case), but digital audio is generally processed in standard word sizes, e.g. 16, 24, 32 bits (sometimes 20).  I would expect that this rounding up of word size to 24 bits is normal behaviour.  The unused bits will be padded withe zeros.  This also gives extra headroom for any digital filtering and attenuation processing.  Once the words have been scaled up to 24 bits any subsequent steps in the processing chain will simply see it as "24 bit" even though 5 or 6 or 7 of them are always stuck at zero.

 

The new Dead May '77 CD Box Set may be "fake" HDCD. There is no PE or LLE, just the TF ticks on and off. The interesting thing is the foobar script [%__bitspersample% bits] displays this as 24 bit as well. So, maybe the mere presence of the HDCD flag causes this? From what I've read, it can't be the TF.

post #540 of 545
Quote:
Originally Posted by fiftyonefifty View Post

 

The new Dead May '77 CD Box Set may be "fake" HDCD. There is no PE or LLE, just the TF ticks on and off. The interesting thing is the foobar script [%__bitspersample% bits] displays this as 24 bit as well. So, maybe the mere presence of the HDCD flag causes this? From what I've read, it can't be the TF.

 

It may have already been observed here, but it appears the entire The Golden Road set (collected albums 1967-73) is likewise "HDCD" only in the sense of having the flag set, but no PE, no TF, and minimum and maximum gain of 0.0 dB.

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