iTunes sound check is the KILLER of MUSIC
post-1417988
Thread Starter
Post #1 of 19

akwok

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
May 16, 2005
Messages
4,368
Reaction score
13
Joined
May 16, 2005
Posts
4,368
Likes
13
Hey all,

So a couple of weeks ago I bought a few of Satriani CDs. Ripped them all via Apple Lossless to my computer, then started listening to them throughout the week.

The first CD sounded fine, the second CD sounded horrible. It was like the music was stuck in the center of my head, and while the highs were there it was just painful to listen to because it seemed like a whole chunk of the music was missing. I brushed this off as a bad CD recording, and didn't listen to it ever again.

Today I was browsing one of the threads here, and I eventually stumbled across an iTunes thread (which linked to the iVolume thread coincidentally). I turned off 'Sound Check', 'Volume Control', and 'Crossfade Playback' just for kicks, to see if it did anything. WOW. The difference was phenominal. There IS A SOUNDSTAGE NOW with the 'crappy' CD. It is sounding amazing!

Just wanted to share my experiences with the sound check, and provide a heads up. A horrible POS, avoid it by all means.
 
     Share This Post       
post-1418201
Post #2 of 19

3lusiv3

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
Feb 10, 2004
Messages
3,677
Reaction score
13
Joined
Feb 10, 2004
Posts
3,677
Likes
13
WRONG!

Your problem is Sound Enhancer. Crossfade and Sound Check have absolutely NO effect on sound quality.
 
     Share This Post       
post-1418220
Post #3 of 19

3lusiv3

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
Feb 10, 2004
Messages
3,677
Reaction score
13
Joined
Feb 10, 2004
Posts
3,677
Likes
13
By the way, I use Mac OS X so I don't know if it's different on Windows.
 
     Share This Post       
post-1420031
Post #4 of 19

3lusiv3

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
Feb 10, 2004
Messages
3,677
Reaction score
13
Joined
Feb 10, 2004
Posts
3,677
Likes
13
Does anybody else think that Sound Check degrades sound quality? It's possible that I'm wrong but I don't hear any sound degradation when using Sound check? Maybe my hearing isn't as good as I thought.
 
     Share This Post       
post-1420138
Post #5 of 19

Oliver :)

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
Apr 14, 2002
Messages
2,882
Reaction score
13
Joined
Apr 14, 2002
Posts
2,882
Likes
13
Quote:

Originally Posted by 3lusiv3
Does anybody else think that Sound Check degrades sound quality? It's possible that I'm wrong but I don't hear any sound degradation when using Sound check? Maybe my hearing isn't as good as I thought.


I do, as you know
Please burn a Mix-CD with SE on and compare on a CDP with headphones.
Crossfade does not do any harm, Sound Enhancer may add distortion, but it is Sound Check that kills, to my ears, dynamics & muffles the high end.
 
     Share This Post       
post-1421781
Post #6 of 19

3lusiv3

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
Feb 10, 2004
Messages
3,677
Reaction score
13
Joined
Feb 10, 2004
Posts
3,677
Likes
13
Quote:

Originally Posted by Oliver :)
I do, as you know
Please burn a Mix-CD with SE on and compare on a CDP with headphones.
Crossfade does not do any harm, Sound Enhancer may add distortion, but it is Sound Check that kills, to my ears, dynamics & muffles the high end.



You keep mentioning CD's but I don't burn my own CD's I only listen from iTunes.
 
     Share This Post       
post-1421824
Post #7 of 19

Oliver :)

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
Apr 14, 2002
Messages
2,882
Reaction score
13
Joined
Apr 14, 2002
Posts
2,882
Likes
13
Quote:

Originally Posted by 3lusiv3
You keep mentioning CD's but I don't burn my own CD's I only listen from iTunes.


I see. Yet this is the scenario where the difference becomes really striking, when you have the same material side by side. Once adapted woth SC, once not adapted.
The sad thing is that you cannot compare the results of a *good* adaption this way due to iTunes ignoring those 3rd party volume changes upon burning (see my other thread).
You may also just turn SC off for comparison, no doubt about that. My main reason for recommending the mix-CD approach is that presumably most folks have not integrated iTunes into their HQ-system the way you have, yet a HQ-system should render the problem even more evident.
 
     Share This Post       
post-1422359
Post #8 of 19

akwok

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
May 16, 2005
Messages
4,368
Reaction score
13
Joined
May 16, 2005
Posts
4,368
Likes
13
I am close to 100% sure that the Mac version of iTunes has a SC'ing which is far superior to the Windows version (the Windows version checks the high and low peaks, which is death for head-fi'ers)
 
     Share This Post       
post-1422364
Post #9 of 19

Oliver :)

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
Apr 14, 2002
Messages
2,882
Reaction score
13
Joined
Apr 14, 2002
Posts
2,882
Likes
13
Quote:

Originally Posted by akwok
I am close to 100% sure that the Mac version of iTunes has a SC'ing which is far superior to the Windows version (the Windows version checks the high and low peaks, which is death for head-fi'ers)


I'd guess it's the same, since I am on a Mac, and if the SC you get on Win is even worse then... good night. Never compared though.
 
     Share This Post       
post-1422366
Post #10 of 19

akwok

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
May 16, 2005
Messages
4,368
Reaction score
13
Joined
May 16, 2005
Posts
4,368
Likes
13
The highs and lows are killed when you play Lossless with SC on in iTunes. :-/
 
     Share This Post       
post-1422439
Post #11 of 19

kin0kin

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
Jan 4, 2005
Messages
2,804
Reaction score
12
Joined
Jan 4, 2005
Posts
2,804
Likes
12
i thought every audiophile knows that sound check/volume normalization and such screw things up, apparently not


dont use it, it causes clipping, extremely apparent with ipod.
 
     Share This Post       
post-1422445
Post #12 of 19

Cyrilix

500+ Head-Fier
Joined
May 31, 2005
Messages
715
Reaction score
10
Joined
May 31, 2005
Posts
715
Likes
10
Quote:

Originally Posted by kin0kin
i thought every audiophile knows that sound check/volume normalization and such screw things up, apparently not


dont use it, it causes clipping, extremely apparent with ipod.



How would you describe the sound effect of "clipping"?
 
     Share This Post       
post-1422513
Post #13 of 19

kin0kin

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
Jan 4, 2005
Messages
2,804
Reaction score
12
Joined
Jan 4, 2005
Posts
2,804
Likes
12
Quote:

Originally Posted by Cyrilix
How would you describe the sound effect of "clipping"?


distortion. both the itunes and ipod exhibit this problem whenever sound check is turned on.
 
     Share This Post       
post-1422863
Post #14 of 19

3lusiv3

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
Feb 10, 2004
Messages
3,677
Reaction score
13
Joined
Feb 10, 2004
Posts
3,677
Likes
13
Have you guys actually heard the distortion caused by Sound Check from iTunes or are you just reiterating something you have read? I have tried many times and can't hear any difference, except for a change in volume.
 
     Share This Post       
post-1422868
Post #15 of 19

akwok

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
May 16, 2005
Messages
4,368
Reaction score
13
Joined
May 16, 2005
Posts
4,368
Likes
13
... there's no logic in me starting a new thread to reiterate someone else's opinion, is there? :-/.
 
     Share This Post       

Users Who Are Viewing This Thread (Users: 0, Guests: 1)

Top