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  1. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by d6jg View Post
    You are 100% correct about Loudness although Vinyl isn’t totally immune from it, it is as you say much less likely to occur.

    As usual the Record Industry exploits those of us who rebel against Loudness by selling FLAC etc for much more than MP3. The only additional cost is a bit of storage yet it can be double the price. If it’s an old album I’ll always source a secondhand CD and rip it myself.
    You're right. I meant to mention that. I actually found that with Nirvana's Nevermind album, which in its vinyl release of the past few years, is a victim of the loudness war. That was a point I wanted to make. Vinyl is not immune. I do think that if everything is relatively equal, especially the sources, then the argument for vinyl is really subjective.

  2. #32
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    Just wanted to comment on a few of the issues you raise:

    Quote Originally Posted by emalvick View Post
    I've noticed plenty of examples where the vinyl sounds better than the CD and it isn't because vinyl is better, it's just the mastering.
    Agreed. Despite its manifest flaws, vinyl can sound pretty damn good, but if it sounds better than the CD, it's because a better master has been used.

    However...
    Quote Originally Posted by emalvick View Post
    Vinyl, however, has been immune to this type of mastering, probably because it can't really stand up to it
    This simply isn't true. It's perfectly possible to cut a hypercompressed master to vinyl. In fact many (most?) modern releases use the same basic master for vinyl and CD (although of course the vinyl master is further processed to cope with the limitations of the medium).

    Quote Originally Posted by emalvick View Post
    I really started noticing the decline in CD mastering quality around 2004 / 2005 (I'm sure it began sooner).
    I think the rot set in big time during the mid-1990s. The earliest example I can think of where the degree of dynamic range compression was just a tad too much is the Led Zeppelin remasters from 1991.

    Quote Originally Posted by emalvick View Post
    I remembering ripping a few CD's that just sounded terrible once ripped. Using audacity and then a few other tools showed me that the music was clipped across the board. A few years later, I found a vinyl copy of one of the albums, and when it was ripped, I noted there was no clipping
    If you're checking for clipping with an audio editor, presumably you're looking for flat-topped waveforms. Note that a flat-topped waveform is an example of DC (ie. it has a frequency of 0Hz). Vinyl by its very nature imparts a high-pass filtering effect (ie. there are no frequencies below, say, 20Hz). As such, a flat-topped waveform is impossible to cut to vinyl, so even if the master is clipped, what gets cut (and what you'll see in an audio editor) is a waveform with a sloping top and so it doesn't appear to be clipped, even though it is.

    Now of course it may be possible that in this case the vinyl was genuinely from a different (less compressed) master than the CD, but beware of jumping to conclusions. Remember: most LPs these days are cut from the same master as the CD.

    One way of pretty much guaranteeing that you get a non-hypercompressed album is to buy secondhand stuff from earlier than 1990. Unfortunately although CDs from that era weren't compressed, a lot were made from copy masters that had generational losses. And of course buying used vinyl is a crapshoot. So basically you can't win. Life's a bitch, eh?
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  3. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by cliveb View Post
    Just wanted to comment on a few of the issues you raise:


    Agreed. Despite its manifest flaws, vinyl can sound pretty damn good, but if it sounds better than the CD, it's because a better master has been used.

    However...

    This simply isn't true. It's perfectly possible to cut a hypercompressed master to vinyl. In fact many (most?) modern releases use the same basic master for vinyl and CD (although of course the vinyl master is further processed to cope with the limitations of the medium).


    I think the rot set in big time during the mid-1990s. The earliest example I can think of where the degree of dynamic range compression was just a tad too much is the Led Zeppelin remasters from 1991.


    If you're checking for clipping with an audio editor, presumably you're looking for flat-topped waveforms. Note that a flat-topped waveform is an example of DC (ie. it has a frequency of 0Hz). Vinyl by its very nature imparts a high-pass filtering effect (ie. there are no frequencies below, say, 20Hz). As such, a flat-topped waveform is impossible to cut to vinyl, so even if the master is clipped, what gets cut (and what you'll see in an audio editor) is a waveform with a sloping top and so it doesn't appear to be clipped, even though it is.

    Now of course it may be possible that in this case the vinyl was genuinely from a different (less compressed) master than the CD, but beware of jumping to conclusions. Remember: most LPs these days are cut from the same master as the CD.

    One way of pretty much guaranteeing that you get a non-hypercompressed album is to buy secondhand stuff from earlier than 1990. Unfortunately although CDs from that era weren't compressed, a lot were made from copy masters that had generational losses. And of course buying used vinyl is a crapshoot. So basically you can't win. Life's a bitch, eh?
    I don't disagree with any of what you said, but when buying newer music, I do check closely at how the vinyl is mastered: I track record companies who put more care into the process (and note it), I look for samples and reviews of the albums I am interested in, reviews of an album or discussion regarding, and even the availability of high-res files for sale. In fact, if they are selling a high-res version of an album, the vinyl will usually be from that source; although, I've seen high-res that is obviously from a CD format, but people are becoming more aware of that too.

    Oh well... It's tough to win on this. It can all be a crap-shoot, but a little effort improves the odds of getting something good if it's important. I am not an audiophile enough to get too hung up; I just want to avoid the obvious distortion of a hypercompressed album that is mastered too loud. Not that a non-clipped hypercompressed album is fantastic, but if there isn't distortion and the music is good, I'm happy.

  4. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by emalvick View Post
    "but if there isn't distortion and the music is good, I'm happy."
    Right on!
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  5. #35
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    I think they rarely go full scale DC for any number of samples on any recordings, they are pushing it too hot but it's compression not "distortion" as such, (though we choose to call it such because we are pedants..) so wouldn't see that level of distortion.

    Extreme compression is pretty horrible and results in a deeply unpleasant sound however.


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  6. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by drmatt View Post
    I think they rarely go full scale DC for any number of samples on any recordings, they are pushing it too hot but it's compression not "distortion" as such, (though we choose to call it such because we are pedants..) so wouldn't see that level of distortion.

    Extreme compression is pretty horrible and results in a deeply unpleasant sound however.


    Transcoded from Matt's brain by Tapatalk
    I don't know, when they compress it and run it at the limits (volume-wise), it is pretty noisy. Maybe not distorted, but definitely not what was intended.

    Regardless, I miss the time when bands and musicians actually used dynamics as an element to their music. The steady volume levels of music these days is what really ruins it for me. And why does music need to be distributed at such loud levels. It isn't like we don't have the ability to change the volume ourselves. But now I am just ranting, and those complaints are beyond the fact CD's are dying.

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