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Better mastered music could be on the way!

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

sometimesuk wrote:

Steve,

Thanks for the links, I'll download them and let you know what I find.

This is what the people here have to say about 24Bit:

"Traditionally when mastering for final production on CD, the 24/96 master will be “normalized” to 0dB as part of the mastering process. Normalizing the recording effectively introduces digital amplification to ensure the maximum dynamic range offered by the CDs 16bits is utilised. This normalisation is critical for a 16bit recording as any “headroom” in the recording will have a significant impact on the dynamic range. For example -6dB of headroom in a recording would only utilize 15 of the 16bits available.

Unfortunately the normalization process introduces quantization errors in the recording - i.e. some bits of the recording may be unintentionally rounded up or down as part of this process. However the balance between quantization noise and loss of dynamic range is an accepted part of the 16bit mastering process.

At 24bit resolution, the issues surrounding dynamic range are not applicable as a 24bit recording provides an additional 48dB of dynamic range over a 16bit recording.

With Kate’s high resolution downloads we have chosen to leave these recordings at the level they were mixed on the studio tape. We have deliberately chosen not to “normalize” these recordings to avoid introducing any quantization noise as described above. As a result, you may notice that the 24/96 files sound quieter when replayed on 16bit devices such as MP3 players or portable CD players"

 

Even if the above is an exaggeration, and CD is the paramount of digital reproduction, i.e Its impossible to be improved upon, it seems we would all be better off sound back 60 years are using reel to reel tapes!

Regardless of format, if you want better sounding albums, say so here

thanks for that input SUK. interesting read. so we find out that CD version was slightly compressed compared to 24/16. however, I really see no reason why they should be squashing dynamic peaks when normalising for CD version. if they set the reference level lower then all peaks would fit in without any problems. see here:

http://www.dr.loudness-war.info/index.php?search_artist=bush&search_album=+%0950+Words+for+Snow

as you can see even the hi-res version is not as dynamic as it is possible to capture on a CD. and by a big margin.

incidentally I have this album at home. and I admit it sounds very good (not the best in my collection though). however I also have other CD albums which are easily even more dynamic than Kate's "50 words..." in hi-res version. for instance Prokofief's "Romeo and Juliet" by LSO. so this means it's possible to record very dynamically demanding material on a CD without the need to revert to peak level slashing. let me put it this way; many people claim superiority of vinyl over digital but obviously few people realise that vinyl has only about 50dB of dynamic range. looks like 50dB of dynamic range is more than enough for music reproduction. if only recording studios cared to use dynamic range capability of available media without dynamically compressing recorded material I believe we wouldn't have this conversation here and now...

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

Aldric it’s most of what I have been saying further back in posts that CD is compressed further than 24bit. The listening is not huge but noticeable enough to notice ( maybe depending on your equipment. As for vinyl again we can look at graphs at dynamic range and so on. However the sound is warmer and softer to the ears over digital by quite a margin. Again going over old ground numbers and graphs can not replace the quality of playback. Our ears do that. The poster further back is right. If you enjoy what you have then there is no problem. Sometimes people try to analyze things too much.  

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

chebby wrote:

I found out for myself that 320k AAC (VBR) sounds as good, to me, as Apple Lossless for my purposes. My 'raw material' is rips from my own CDs (16bit 44.1khz) and I have no interest in 24/96 files (or higher) because there is so little choice and prices are so high.

What the rest of you get up to is of no matter to me.

However, the tone these debates take is toxic to the forum. The same characters 'parachuted in' every time to lay down the law and set tests (where do we hand in our homework sir?) as if they, personally, represent the only truth possible and should automatically hold some natural authority on the subject.

Of course they don't. 'The truth' in these matters is always what makes the individual happy.

Some people want to pay the premium and use higher resolution files in the same way that some have preferred SACDs to CDs or returned to vinyl LPs (or use valves or prefer active speakers or whatever else is on offer). Good luck and good listening to all of you. Keep buying the gear and keep the industry and the choices going.

I am stubbornly sticking to my autodidactic and selfish ways of using whatever I like in any way I choose that suits me. If your 320k MP3s sound better than my 320k AACs and someone else's 24/96 files sound even better than my Apple Lossless files then well done. You are probably as happy with your setup as I am with mine.

Stuff the homework, the links, the downloads the tests and the overbearing "this is for your own good, now put on these electrodes",  tub-thumping acolytes of 'The One True Way'.

 

Post of the thread, and quite possibly of all threads like these.  Especially that bit in bold.

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

Agreed. It is all so tiresome, whatever happened to being able to enjoy things.

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

char_lotte wrote:
Agreed. It is all so tiresome, whatever happened to being able to enjoy things.

 

Chuh, too radical!!

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RE: Better mastered music could be on the way!

Just to let eveyone know if they haven't already seen it, Linn are giving away a free track every day leading up to Christmas. we are currently on day 2.

You can pick 16bit or 24bit whichever your heart desires.

Its free so grab them while you can and enjoy.

steve_1979's picture
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RE: Better mastered music could be on the way!

Neuphonix wrote:

Just to let eveyone know if they haven't already seen it, Linn are giving away a free track every day leading up to Christmas. we are currently on day 2.

You can pick 16bit or 24bit whichever your heart desires.

Its free so grab them while you can and enjoy.

Would you mind posting a link to the page where the free tracks can be downloaded from. I'd like to take advantage of that offer.

Thanks. Smile

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RE: Better mastered music could be on the way!

steve_1979 wrote:

Neuphonix wrote:

Just to let eveyone know if they haven't already seen it, Linn are giving away a free track every day leading up to Christmas. we are currently on day 2.

You can pick 16bit or 24bit whichever your heart desires.

Its free so grab them while you can and enjoy.

Would you mind posting a link to the page where the free tracks can be downloaded from. I'd like to take advantage of that offer.

Thanks. Smile

Google is your friend...

http://christmas.linn.co.uk/

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RE: Better mastered music could be on the way!

the record spot wrote:

char_lotte wrote:
Agreed. It is all so tiresome, whatever happened to being able to enjoy things.

 

Chuh, too radical!!

 

I don't think anyone, with the possible exception of Mirren Boy, said otherwise. I disagree with Chebby in relation to this particular thread, as long as it's not abusive or antagonistic, or the fourth thread about the same subject in a week, then I don't see the problem. Remember this forum is a resource for many as well as a pastime for its few contributors. No need to read the threads if you have no interest in the subject matter. This thread has been pretty amicable and contained some useful information, for those who are interested (obvs).

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steve_1979's picture
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RE: Better mastered music could be on the way!

chebby wrote:
Google is your friend...

http://christmas.linn.co.uk/

Ta. Smile

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RE: Better mastered music could be on the way!

BenLaw wrote:
Remember this forum is a resource for many as well as a pastime for its few contributors.

This is an interesting question in its own right. For whose benefit does the forum exist?

Should "outsiders", who don't contribute to most of the discussions, be allowed to comment in just thise few threads that happen to interest them?

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

BenLaw wrote:

I don't think anyone, with the possible exception of Mirren Boy, said otherwise. I disagree with Chebby in relation to this particular thread, as long as it's not abusive or antagonistic, or the fourth thread about the same subject in a week, then I don't see the problem. Remember this forum is a resource for many as well as a pastime for its few contributors. No need to read the threads if you have no interest in the subject matter. This thread has been pretty amicable and contained some useful information, for those who are interested (obvs).

 

Which, clearly, covers off your reply to Cno a page or two back.  And I'll pass on the self-absolution of "you don't need to read the threads if you don't want to" line.  

Chebby nailed it one.  I don't go for the whole tube rolling, cable swapping, accessory buying stuff either, but if someone wants to do that it doesn't need a bunch of others to go piling in and EDITED on the parade.

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RE: Better mastered music could be on the way!

Neuphonix wrote:

Just to let eveyone know if they haven't already seen it, Linn are giving away a free track every day leading up to Christmas. we are currently on day 2.

You can pick 16bit or 24bit whichever your heart desires.

Its free so grab them while you can and enjoy.

I can't manage to download today's track. I'm told I need Adobe AIR first, and then I always get a download error when trying. Is there a way around this?

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RE: Better mastered music could be on the way!

Not 100% sure, I just use their downloader app which seems to work OK? Not in front of my home PC at the moment so can't remember if your MUST have Air installed for the downloader to work properly?

Sorry

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RE: Better mastered music could be on the way!

I've just downloaded the free track 'Oranges and Apples' from Linn in both 24 bit FLAC and 320kbps MP3 formats.

When comparing the FLAC version to the downloaded MP3 version there is a very slight difference in the way they sound. However when I converted the FLAC file into an MP3 myself it sounds identical to the original FLAC file.

When I analyzed the three files using the program 'Audacity' it's clear that the downloaded FLAC and MP3 files have been mastered to sound different from one another. As you can see from these pictures the downloaded MP3 has less dynamic range than the FLAC file. However when you compare The FLAC file to my own MP3 they both look (and sound) identical and they both have the same amount of dynamic range.

This clearly shows that Linn has deliberatly mastered the MP3 version to sound different to the FLAC version by reducing the amount of dynamic range in the MP3 version.

 

Linn downloaded 24 bit lossless FLAC

http://i1239.photobucket.com/albums/ff512/steve__1979/Linnlossless.jpg

 

 

Linn downloaded MP3

http://i1239.photobucket.com/albums/ff512/steve__1979/LinnMP3.jpg

 

 

My MP3 converted from the original Linn FLAC file

http://i1239.photobucket.com/albums/ff512/steve__1979/MyMP3.jpg

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