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Better mastered music could be on the way!

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BenLaw's picture
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RE: Better mastered music could be on the way!

John Duncan wrote:

steve_1979 wrote:
Your question is unrelated to this issue. A bluray is better quality because it's of a higher resoultion than a DVD not because it's been mastered to look different

So you think that blurays and DVD are not mastered in different ways to optimise both their sound and visuals to suit their respective mediums? (sigh)

 

Are you saying that dynamically compressing music is optimising it for CD?

 

(sigh, etc)

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RE: Better mastered music could be on the way!

Can someome who is also on the Linn forum ask Linn why they don't make the 16-bit download and the MP3 download directly from the studio master file? Perhaps the answer is they're not allowed to, but it wouldn't hurt to ask.

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RE: Better mastered music could be on the way!

BenLaw wrote:

John Duncan wrote:

steve_1979 wrote:
Your question is unrelated to this issue. A bluray is better quality because it's of a higher resoultion than a DVD not because it's been mastered to look different

So you think that blurays and DVD are not mastered in different ways to optimise both their sound and visuals to suit their respective mediums? (sigh)

 

Are you saying that dynamically compressing music is optimising it for CD?

 

(sigh, etc)

Are you saying that mastering for CD is by definition deliberately hamstringing it so that they can sell a more expensive 24 bit master, or is it using the mastering engineer's judgement to produce the best possible mix for the target medium and market (which also happens to account for about 99.9% of sales)?

(etc)

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BenLaw's picture
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RE: Better mastered music could be on the way!

John Duncan wrote:

BenLaw wrote:

John Duncan wrote:

steve_1979 wrote:
Your question is unrelated to this issue. A bluray is better quality because it's of a higher resoultion than a DVD not because it's been mastered to look different

So you think that blurays and DVD are not mastered in different ways to optimise both their sound and visuals to suit their respective mediums? (sigh)

 

Are you saying that dynamically compressing music is optimising it for CD?

 

(sigh, etc)

Are you saying that mastering for CD is by definition deliberately hamstringing it so that they can sell a more expensive 24 bit master, or is it using the mastering engineer's judgement to produce the best possible mix for the target medium and market (which also happens to account for about 99.9% of sales)?

(etc)

 

What you put forward are not the only alternatives. Your second proposition (I say again) would be a capitulation in the 'loudness war'. Not good. 

 

I say categorically it is NOT the best possible mix for the target medium. If you think that music on CD has to be dynamically compressed, please explain why. 

 

I'm not saying it is deliberate 'hamstringing' by Linn because they haven't produced the third party masters. However, to leave the situation as is does benefit them., due to the artificial benefits of 24 bit (ie benefits which are not related to the medium, but to the different masters). I said straight after Linn's response, and others have since agreed, that Linn could and should downmix the studio master to 16 bit formats and below (whether they do it themselves or get the third party to do it). 

 

You come closest by saying 'best possible mix for the target MARKET', I'm sure from the producer's perspective that is why the masters exist in this form. This is the whole point of the loudness war. It is also what those who disagree with dynamic compression are opposed to in the loudness war. 

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RE: Better mastered music could be on the way!

BenLaw wrote:

I'm not saying it is deliberate 'hamstringing' by Linn because they haven't produced the third party masters. However, to leave the situation as is does benefit them., due to the artificial benefits of 24 bit (ie benefits which are not related to the medium, but to the different masters). I said straight after Linn's response, and others have since agreed, that Linn could and should downmix the studio master to 16 bit formats and below (whether they do it themselves or get the third party to do it). 

Ben, have you heard anything from Linn Records?

This is not meant as a stirring comment.....but it helps to put the argument (re Linn) in perspective, with regards to their present sound quality.

As to other record labels and the recording industry as a whole, that's a different kettle of fish.

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RE: Better mastered music could be on the way!

CnoEvil wrote:

BenLaw wrote:

I'm not saying it is deliberate 'hamstringing' by Linn because they haven't produced the third party masters. However, to leave the situation as is does benefit them., due to the artificial benefits of 24 bit (ie benefits which are not related to the medium, but to the different masters). I said straight after Linn's response, and others have since agreed, that Linn could and should downmix the studio master to 16 bit formats and below (whether they do it themselves or get the third party to do it). 

Ben, have you heard anything from Linn Records?

This is not meant as a stirring comment.....but it helps to put the argument (re Linn) in perspective, with regards to their present sound quality.

As to other record labels and the recording industry as a whole, that's a different kettle of fish.

 

Hi Cno,

 

don't worry, I don't take your question as stirring. The answer is no, I have no 24bit playback facility, I don't really download music at all and in any event my tastes don't tend to match their output. However, given your earlier suggestion I have checked that I can access the Linn radio stations via Sonos. I don't have much time to listen at the moment, but I will check it out when I get the chance. 

 

I don't doubt that their general quality is high. Just to be clear, from my perspective (and I think from Steve's also) Linn are not being singled out because they are a particularly bad offender, far from it. In fact, it is a coincidence they are being singled out, based (I believe) on the fact that they have been giving away tracks for free and therefore have given Steve this opportunity without expense. 

 

However, whilst the mp3s and red book they are selling no doubt remain excellent, clearly they could be improved upon by NOT being dynamically compressed. For a company renowned for its quality, it is a big opportunity missed in the loudness war. Any lesser company than Linn can easily say 'well even Linn aren't bothering, why should we', or 'even Linn thinks compressed red book is fine, why should we do anything else'.

 

So, I hope it's clear this is not an attack on Linn but simply they happen to be a convenient example in the general argument. Once that is understood, I really struggle to see why anyone rational doesn't buy into the argument. Indeed, the only people who seem blinkered against the argument, such as mirren boy, manicm and native_bon, seem anything but rational. 

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RE: Better mastered music could be on the way!

BenLaw wrote:

Hi Cno,

don't worry, I don't take your question as stirring. The answer is no, I have no 24bit playback facility, I don't really download music at all and in any event my tastes don't tend to match their output. However, given your earlier suggestion I have checked that I can access the Linn radio stations via Sonos. I don't have much time to listen at the moment, but I will check it out when I get the chance. 

Can't say fairer than that.

IMO. If we could get everybody up to Linn's standard, it would be a huge improvement........if that's ever achieved, then it might be time to pressurize Linn into giving a sound quality that few, if any achieve atm (ie. MP3 and CD).

Confronting Linn for an explanation, though worthwhile given Steve's findings, is in my opinion tackling the serious issue of mastering quality at the wrong end. ie. Start with the serious culprits.

 

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RE: Better mastered music could be on the way!

CnoEvil wrote:
Ben, have you heard anything from Linn Records?

This is not meant as a stirring comment.....but it helps to put the argument (re Linn) in perspective, with regards to their present sound quality.

As to other record labels and the recording industry as a whole, that's a different kettle of fish.

This is a good point Cno. Lets not forget that the sound quality of Linn's music is of a very high standard, especially when compared to most of the other record labels.

 

Much of the modern music that's available from the other record labels has had the dynamic range compressed to a much greater extent than the music that Linn sells. For example if you listen to any of the Red Hot Chili Peppers albums from the past ten years you'll find that they have a massive amount of compression which is very clearly audiable.

 

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RE: Better mastered music could be on the way!

Here is a short YouTube video that explains how reduced dynamic range affects the sound quality of music.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3Gmex_4hreQ

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RE: Better mastered music could be on the way!

Is this the longest thread ever on the forums ?  Quest

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RE: Better mastered music could be on the way!

basshound wrote:

Is this the longest thread ever on the forums ?  Quest

No...

This one is.

It's about people actually [sharp intake of breath] listening to the stuff!

Subjective fools. (Don't they have software to analyse the music for them?)  

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RE: Better mastered music could be on the way!

Mirren Boy wrote:

I would have spent over 20,000 on the system

WOW! you don't say!...

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RE: Better mastered music could be on the way!

John Duncan wrote:

using the mastering engineer's judgement to produce the best possible mix for the target medium and market (which also happens to account for about 99.9% of sales)?

(etc)

so, does that mean that in your opinion 99.9% of CD buying market wants dynamically compressed music?

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RE: Better mastered music could be on the way!

oldric_naubhoff wrote:

John Duncan wrote:

using the mastering engineer's judgement to produce the best possible mix for the target medium and market (which also happens to account for about 99.9% of sales)?

(etc)

so, does that mean that in your opinion 99.9% of CD buying market wants dynamically compressed music?

In my opinion 99.9% of the CD buying market couldn't give a EDITED.

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RE: Better mastered music could be on the way!

John Duncan wrote:

oldric_naubhoff wrote:

John Duncan wrote:

using the mastering engineer's judgement to produce the best possible mix for the target medium and market (which also happens to account for about 99.9% of sales)?

(etc)

so, does that mean that in your opinion 99.9% of CD buying market wants dynamically compressed music?

In my opinion 99.9% of the CD buying market couldn't give a EDITED.

sadly, but this is exactly the attitude why the 0.1% gets what we get....

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