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Blu-Ray Audio: The latest gimmick?

post #1 of 129
Thread Starter 
Came across this article on the bbc.
Quote:
DVD-Audio and Super Audio CD (SACD), both of which launched in the early 2000s, delivered better quality sound than ordinary CDs but faltered in the marketplace.

The new format, officially called Pure Audio, uses similar encoding techniques to those predecessors but, crucially, has the support of all the major record labels from the outset.

This is the best part:
Quote:
"The BBC was given several tracks to audition, comparing them directly to the equivalent songs on CD and MP3 through a home stereo system.

Stevie Wonder's I Wish opened up, with a rounder, fuller bass and the intricate hi-hat work sounding crisp and bright.

Bob Marley's Is This Love sounded more spacious than the muddy MP3, with Marley's soulful vocals so clear he could almost have been in the room.

The clarity wasn't always an advantage, however: Serge Gainsbourg's spittle-flecked come-ons in L'hotel Particulier sounded doubly creepy in full resolution."


Seems like another effort on making some money off placebo.
Edited by proton007 - 10/9/13 at 6:14am
post #2 of 129

This?

Quote:
 Record companies are trying to tempt fans away from MP3s by releasing albums in a crystal-clear Blu-Ray format.

 

 

I guess they could start by stopping the loudness war and producing tracks that are more than just mush and walls of noise. After that they could sell all albums as FLACs/ALACs digitally. This has to be cheaper than the CDs.

 

Once that is achieved they can start trying to sell the more expensive "high-res" stuff.


Edited by xnor - 10/9/13 at 10:07am
post #3 of 129

Again, I feel it totally depends on the mastering.  I've got the 2011 Dark Side Of The Moon on Blu Ray audio with the Immersion Set.  I still think my Black Triangle CD sounds better for the stereo mix.  

 

It just proves to me, time and time again, that CD is perfectly capable of excellent sound quality if the mastering is done properly.


Edited by hogger129 - 10/9/13 at 1:52pm
post #4 of 129
Thread Starter 
Well, one interesting observation was that the masters for some of these releases are the analog recordings.
So I'm not sure how many bits of resolution is actually possible.
If they're just up sampling or doing some conversion then whats the point.
post #5 of 129
Quote:
Originally Posted by proton007 View Post

whats the point.

Earning money. :evil:

post #6 of 129
There is the advantage of multichannel sound. SACD is a pretty niche product. DVD and Blu-Ray have much better penetration into the market. The only problem is that most people with 5:1 systems haven't fine tuned them for music playback. They goose things for the boom boom bass of modern special effects movies. My system is 5:1 and is set up for music first and foremost, but I think I am the exception, not the rule.
post #7 of 129
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by bigshot View Post

There is the advantage of multichannel sound. SACD is a pretty niche product. DVD and Blu-Ray have much better penetration into the market. The only problem is that most people with 5:1 systems haven't fine tuned them for music playback. They goose things for the boom boom bass of modern special effects movies. My system is 5:1 and is set up for music first and foremost, but I think I am the exception, not the rule.

 

Also depends on what 5.1 setup are we talking about. Most off the shelf 5.1 are 'home theater' systems.

post #8 of 129

Which is a shame, because 5:1 for music is as big an improvement over stereo as stereo was over mono.

post #9 of 129

I wonder how many of these Blu-ray releases will be in 5.1? A man can only dream, I guess.

 

I'm assuming this will be similar to some 24-bit releases - Maybe a re-master, with a little more dynamic range for analytical listening, and less studio-compression than the originals?

post #10 of 129
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by White Lotus View Post
 

I wonder how many of these Blu-ray releases will be in 5.1? A man can only dream, I guess.

 

I'm assuming this will be similar to some 24-bit releases - Maybe a re-master, with a little more dynamic range for analytical listening, and less studio-compression than the originals?

 

Well, I doubt whether re-mastering can add some dynamic range.

 

Compression yes, but AFAIK, there's no need to do any processing of any kind. Just issue the master's digital copy, there should be plenty of space on these discs.

post #11 of 129

If it isn't 5:1, there isn't much point.

post #12 of 129
And 5:1 audio is like video 3D. For effects, ok,. For main delivery of music, wonky. If the material was designed with 5 main channels in mind, it might have some value but this re-mixing of existing material has been a failure for all but the minority.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Timeline_of_audio_formats

There are more than a few people who still insist a technology invented in 1948 is better than the best offered today.

The only material that can benefit from new formats would be new capture. Working with the material that has already been captured will only be as good as it's format. Since the majority of desired material was made during the analog age, it is what it is and that is mostly tape.

IMO, format advancement is an industry trying to reinvent itself to convince the buyer it's a rewarding effort worth spending a buttload of money on. I've bought enough copies of Dark Side of the Moon to say, no no no. But new material is a different animal. Just not very much of it is to my taste.
Edited by Happy Camper - 10/13/13 at 2:10pm
post #13 of 129
Quote:
Originally Posted by Happy Camper View Post

And 5:1 audio is like video 3D. For effects, ok,. For main delivery of music, wonky.

 

That ain't so. I have a decidedly non-wonky 5:1 system. It's more work to set up properly, but the improvement of multichannel over stereo is as great as stereo over mono.

 

Also, DSPs make even 2 channel audio sound much, much better with a clearer, more dimensional soundstage.


Edited by bigshot - 10/13/13 at 2:39pm
post #14 of 129
Thread Starter 
Maybe I'm missing something, but 5.1 puts two speakers behind the listener right? That would feel like sitting in the centre of a performance.
Is that the intended goal?
post #15 of 129

No. The center channel allows you to separate the front for a wider soundstage, and the rears mesh with the mains to create an ambience that pulls the front soundstage toward the listening position a bit, giving it depth and a slight ambience in the rear that creates the feeling of a larger room. It's a phase thing. The room isn't dead behind you. If fills in just enough to feel present, but not enough to shift the front stage.

 

My Yamaha AV receiver has a 7:1 Stereo DSP that takes stereo recordings and maintains the front stage and stereo placement, but opens it out to fill the room. Hard to describe, but if you cup your hands behind your ears while you listen to two channel, you'll sort of get the idea.

 

When you switch from mono to stereo on a 2 channel system the stage stays the same, but the phase fills in and opens it up. It's like that except all around you.


Edited by bigshot - 10/13/13 at 6:29pm
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