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Truth in metering? Utility Plugins
Old 14th September 2007
  #31
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lupo View Post



Flatfinger: Thanks for the comments! Sorry if my English is odd at times. Is it alright if I draw the second language card? BTW; The use of the word Antithesis was not in Hegelian sense. :-)


Cheers,

Andreas N

Your english is better than most native speakers! , my reference was a lamentation of my own limited vocabulary!!!!

It's always good to get as many angles and explanations of this subject matter as
I can and I truly appreciate all you guys taking the time to share your knowledge!

Cheers

Old 14th September 2007
  #32
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Thanks. OK, the writing may be al right, but you'd laugh if you heard my pronunciation! :-)


Been thinking about this thing you wrote earlier in the thread:

Quote:
Originally Posted by flatfinger View Post
Yup, The "use every bit" mentality , especially fosterd during the transition from tape to 16 bit(the standared at the time) is a seemingly irrepairable curse ! If peak meters had'nt been imlemented, and the VU , RMS type of metering would have prevailed , we'd be better off.
This is so true!

It reminds me of the horror I felt when flicking through a magazine earlier this year. "Computer music" or something like that. The mag was strategically placed in the couch area of a studio with a very young budding engineer. The typical demographic of such a mag, next generation engineers. It ran a feature on essential gadgets for operating the studio or similar subject. My eyes was drawn a the picture of a VU meter, hoping they'd write something useful about it. The caption read something like "VU meters are pretty devices, but have no use in a modern studio"... Ouch!



Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul Frindle View Post
And BTW a sin(x)/x filter is far from ideal for this job as it is not steep enough and too sloppy.
Please let me check if I got this right: as far as I've gathered, the sinx/x is a mathematical ideal, not a practical one. Looking at the unit circle, this seems to be so, but I'm not good at math so I might very well be wrong. I know the sinx/x is not what is required of a practical implementation(ringing, run length and so forth), but is it correct to view it as a mathematical ideal, if disregarding practical implementation? Or am I totally off?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul Frindle View Post
So if so designed - it is possible for the digital filter to overload and clip - or the DAC after the filter to do likewise, completely independently of what may go on in the scaling of the analogue signal.
Interesting! Does this imply that the digital side of the DAC have to use another bit for headroom? Is this typically implemented?


Regards,

Andreas Nordenstam
Old 14th September 2007
  #33
Gear Head
 

First of all: This is a very informative thread! Great reading.

Quote:
Originally Posted by lucey View Post
But the client has the last word on your "competence". Some clients are all about certain distortions, other are not as they want the compromises. When I'm mastering I'm hearing all kinds of noise that I wish wasn't there, but that's life. So it's more about the clients definitions than my own.
What other profession do you know where the client can define what is sound practices or not? You know: Mastering Engineers used to have to inform people about the limitations of LP's all the time: only so many songs, only so much low frequency, only so much high frequency and so on. Of course these were guys that knew their lathes inside out and understood what they were talking about well enough to sell it to the client... Another point is of course that the client could see the problem of the stylus jumping off the LP. Maybe CD players should be made to mute the signal for 5 seconds every time a 0dBFS sample occured?

To blame all of this on the client is a poor excuse in my opinion. It's your name on the end product and the ME is the one that gets the blame for the horrible sound. So why not do the right thing?

Quote:
Originally Posted by lucey View Post
Listen to Audioslave/Audioslave and tell me that Vlado Meller is not "competent". He clearly is, but not in the way you might be, or she might want, or he might be.
I notice you wrote "competent". What is good about the way that CD sounds? It is horrible! Everything is a complete distorted mush and it's impossible to play loud because ear fatigue sets in after 4 seconds. - and the worst thing is: The better monitor system you have the worse it sounds.

I am also very upset about the "if I can't hear it it's good" argument, and this leads me to another issue that I haven't seen mentioned here: Most mastering engineers that I have talked to work with the high-res files and none of them have actually listened to the CD or what it sounds like after it is converted to 16/44.1. During the conversion the low-pass filter is moved way down and more aliasing will become apparent and large difference in sampling frequency also leads to +dBFS signals that might not have showed up even on a oversampling meter.

Who would buy a CD player that had specs that said "THD = 10%"? Why should I buy CD's with 10% THD? ...and remember we're not talking about musical distortion! this is not a distorted guitar.. this is severe distortion of program..

Another issue is of course that all this compression and limiting also robs the life out of the music. What about soundstage? What about "depth of field" in the music?

Regards
H
Old 14th September 2007
  #34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hybrid View Post
What other profession do you know where the client can define what is sound practices or not?
Umm, almost all of them...
Old 14th September 2007
  #35
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hybrid View Post
To blame all of this on the client is a poor excuse in my opinion. It's your name on the end product and the ME is the one that gets the blame for the horrible sound. So why not do the right thing?
It's a conversation. Not a dictatorship. The "right" thing is a compromise of skills and the client du jour.

Quote:
I notice you wrote "competent". What is good about the way that CD sounds? It is horrible! Everything is a complete distorted mush and it's impossible to play loud because ear fatigue sets in after 4 seconds. - and the worst thing is: The better monitor system you have the worse it sounds.
Correct, Rubin liked it in his pick up. The End. I agree it sounds terrible in every Chorus, but that's life. Vlado is a slammer, but he is competent. Someone was putting "incompetence" onto loud records.

Quote:
I am also very upset about the "if I can't hear it it's good" argument, and this leads me to another issue that I haven't seen mentioned here: Most mastering engineers that I have talked to work with the high-res files and none of them have actually listened to the CD or what it sounds like after it is converted to 16/44.1. During the conversion the low-pass filter is moved way down and more aliasing will become apparent and large difference in sampling frequency also leads to +dBFS signals that might not have showed up even on a oversampling meter.
Everyone I know listens to 16 bits and knows EXACTLY what's being put out.


Quote:
Another issue is of course that all this compression and limiting also robs the life out of the music. What about soundstage? What about "depth of field" in the music?

Regards
H
I agree with you 100%, but it's a service job not a dictatorship. The thing I do and the thing we all should do is start low. But then again, loud and good is another skill in the bag.
Old 14th September 2007
  #36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brad Blackwood View Post
Umm, almost all of them...
Really? So you can tell your electrician that you want phone wire for your 120V? Or a contractor to use 2x4's where he insists on 2x12's?
I's be interested in hearing examples from you

Regards
H
Old 14th September 2007
  #37
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hybrid View Post
Really? So you can tell your electrician that you want phone wire for your 120V? Or a contractor to use 2x4's where he insists on 2x12's?
I's be interested in hearing examples from you

Regards
H
Come on man. You can tell your electrician where you want the outlets. And there is a code on how many and what size of wire/service box he must use. There is a technical element to mastering as well, RedBook, 16/44.1, etc ... but that code has nothing to do with the sound ... that's the choice part.

We all feel your pain, but your position is impractical and without experience. IMO Rubin was a fool for approving that record, and for using his truck as a ref, but he's allowed to be that fool, as it works for him as we all know. That's all there is to say about it.

If you want a lower level record, make one. There is no problem making a nice record up around -10 rms that still moves air and is not all crapped out and that's where I like to draw the line. You can build your house anyway you want.
Old 14th September 2007
  #38
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hybrid View Post
Really? So you can tell your electrician that you want phone wire for your 120V? Or a contractor to use 2x4's where he insists on 2x12's?
I's be interested in hearing examples from you

Regards
H
I can't believe this old argument still has legs.

[by the way Hybrid, this is a really bad example. An electrician HAS to do certain things BY LAW and by the physics that govern electricity. That won't stop clients from asking an electrician to do many stupid things - if a the client WANTS 200 amp serrvice but only NEEDS 100 amp service, the electrician will give them 200.... get it???]

Being a mastering engineer has much more in common with being a chef. If the client wants his Kobe beef medium well when it would taste "better" to most of us at medium rare, then he is going to get his $120 dollar steak cooked the way he likes it by all but the most obnoxious and pretentious [and soon to be out of business]chefs.

Hybrid, what is your involvement in the music industry? You're obviously not a professional mastering engineer. What do you do?
Old 14th September 2007
  #39
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lucey View Post
It's a conversation. Not a dictatorship. The "right" thing is a compromise of skills and the client du jour.
I get that but when it's actually exeeding the limits of the equipment it's hard for me to understand.

Quote:
Originally Posted by lucey View Post
Correct, Rubin liked it in his pick up. The End. I agree it sounds terrible in every Chorus, but that's life. Vlado is a slammer, but he is competent. Someone was putting "incompetence" onto loud records.
..and to me it is either incomptence (because they can't explain to the client that it can't really be done and the sound will suffer horribly) or it's "i don't care" and I'm not sure what is worse.

Quote:
Originally Posted by lucey View Post
Everyone I know listens to 16 bits and knows EXACTLY what's being put out.
That is not what ME's that I have spoken to tell me.

Quote:
Originally Posted by lucey View Post
I agree with you 100%, but it's a service job not a dictatorship. The thing I do and the thing we all should do is start low. But then again, loud and good is another skill in the bag.
Loud and good is a skill - distorted and horrible is not...

Regards
H
Old 14th September 2007
  #40
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There is a lot of distortion all over most recorded music ... some of the mixes I get are more distorted already than anything I'll do with a little limiting/clipping to make them loud. So it's really a taste thing all the way from composition to tracking to mixing to mastering. That's why I put a piano in my life, to occasionally get away from harmonic distortion!

Mastering guys you know are fools if they are not listening to the 16/44.1 ... no offense but that's just not the way to work.

Consumer gear tends to mask by addition, not reveal by addition, that's why Rubin's truck didn't bother him. Audioslave in the car/truck is fine, the clipping is masked as more typical analog distortion ... and thus the subjective wins.
Old 14th September 2007
  #41
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hybrid View Post
Really? So you can tell your electrician that you want phone wire for your 120V? Or a contractor to use 2x4's where he insists on 2x12's?
I's be interested in hearing examples from you
These horrible analogies can result in someone's death. No one ever died from listening to a loud master.

A better analogy is a restaurant or a dry cleaner - they are offering a service and do what you want. If I want my steak well done, the chef prepares it that way. He might suggest I try it differently, but it's my meal, so he prepares it the way I wish. Likewise, if i want my shirt with extra starch, the dry cleaner doesn't refuse the work or tell me I'm wrong, they simply write it down and insure it's done the way I asked.

It's called pleasing the client. Until my name is larger than the artist's on the artwork, it's their call.

Based on your posts here, I thin it's a safe bet you aren't a mastering engineer...
Old 14th September 2007
  #42
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Masterer View Post
I can't believe this old argument still has legs.

[by the way Hybrid, this is a really bad example. An electrician HAS to do certain things BY LAW and by the physics that govern electricity. That won't stop clients from asking an electrician to do many stupid things - if a the client WANTS 200 amp serrvice but only NEEDS 100 amp service, the electrician will give them 200.... get it???]
Law of physics that govern electricity... there you go.. the same kinds of laws applies to digital sampling theory! There are things it can do and things it can't do. One of the things it can't to is contain samples that goes outside of the frequency spectrum (dictated by the sampling freq). It can't do it! The result is distortion that destroys the music.

No I'm not a mastering engineer. I'm a music lover that enjoys great music that sounds great. Lately this has meant that I have bought CD's from before 1995... I am buying other CD's too but I get so dissapointed over how horrible they sound that I have allmost given up.

So I'm sorry if I offend mastering engineers here but I am offended every time I pay $18 for a CD that really shouldn't have reached the market. ...and this in the era where the equipment is better than it has ever been before in "recorded" history.

Regards
H
(waiting for the next great CD that comes out that becomes a reference for audiophiles - but not holding my breath)
Old 14th September 2007
  #43
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hybrid View Post
Law of physics that govern electricity... there you go.. the same kinds of laws applies to digital sampling theory!
Yeah, I knew you were gonna go there. Actually they are very different. If breaking the laws of "sampling theory" would kill a few more people maybe we wouldn't have to have this conversation. The sonic qualities of any form of over-modulation in audio are subject to opinion. You don't like it, I might not like it but apparently Rick Rubin does and he doesn't give a crap what you think. If you don't dig the sound then don't buy the records. Want to complain? write a letter to Rick, or the thousands of artists that put crushed records out every year. Mastering engineers have complained longer and louder than you for years. You are late to the party. Complaining to or about this to mastering engineers is pissing in the wind. You want better sounding records? this ain't gonna do it. You want wet pants? Go right ahead, just don't touch any live wires.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hybrid View Post
No I'm not a mastering engineer.
I got that.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Hybrid View Post
So I'm sorry if I offend mastering engineers here but I am offended every time I pay $18 for a CD that really shouldn't have reached the market. ...and this in the era where the equipment is better than it has ever been before in "recorded" history.
Not offended, just tired. See above for where to submit your complaints. Believe me we wish you luck with that.
Old 14th September 2007
  #44
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brad Blackwood View Post
These horrible analogies can result in someone's death. No one ever died from listening to a loud master.
My analogies might not be the best but my point was that people that go to a professional, no matter what the business is, goes there to get the best result possible. Is the result as good as it can be when it has 10% THD?
I also do understand that the "crap in crap out" rule applies to mastering studios and I do know that a lot of stuff is mixed as loud as someone elses mastered stuff and still they ask to "make it louder".
I have to dissagree with your analogies too though - it is not about liking your stake red, medium or well done. Those desicions are creative and should be made during production. And compression for induvidual instruments to underscore the music and it's dynamic changes and to enhance the listener impact but to "make it louder" so that someone is happy when they listen in their pick-up truck is to me just wrong. These guys might be the same guys that are all into expensive vintage mic's and "oh I love the sound of this" but do they actually hear those qualities in the 10% THD ultracompressed CD in their pick-up truck?

There is no indication that what sounds great will sound horrible in the car - on the otherhand there are plenty of examples of stuff that sounds ok in the car sounds horrible everywhere else.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brad Blackwood View Post
It's called pleasing the client. Until my name is larger than the artist's on the artwork, it's their call.
I guess what I don't get it how giving the client something that sounds horrible can become "pleasing the client". At that point I would conclude that the client need to be educated about what is going on exactly in the same manner as the ME would have to tell clients that they can't have certain signals on an LP.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brad Blackwood View Post
Based on your posts here, I thin it's a safe bet you aren't a mastering engineer...
I explained in my previous post that I'm not a mastering engineer. I'm just a guy that wishes that Green Days "american idiot" would be a thrill to listen to so that I would pick it up every now and then to listen to - Like I do Ziggy Stardust, Breakfast in America, extreme's "three sides of every coin" (also very heavily compressed but it sounds great!) and many more CD's that dates before 1995 or thereabouts..

Regards
H
Old 14th September 2007
  #45
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Masterer View Post
Not offended, just tired. See above for where to submit your complaints. Believe me we wish you luck with that.
An I am trying to talk to as many people as I can about this. I have audio both as a hobby and profession so this is something I feel very strongly about.
The problem for me is that there will be a decade or two with music that none will ever bother to listen to again. It also means that a lot of kids thinks that this is the "best" it can sound while all of todays pop/rock could sound as good as the stuff on Chesky records (that actually has use for 24/96!) These kids will have (or maybe this is already the situation) no concept of soundstage, depth ...or even something every engineer should know - what stereo is!

The reason why I'm still bothering you masterin engineers is that your role has for so many years been to make things sound the best possible - to baffle clients with making their stuff sound awsome! What happened? What is your opinion of what happened?

Regards
H
Old 14th September 2007
  #46
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hybrid View Post
I guess what I don't get it how giving the client something that sounds horrible can become "pleasing the client". At that point I would conclude that the client need to be educated about what is going on exactly in the same manner as the ME would have to tell clients that they can't have certain signals on an LP.
Frankly, the implication that most clients requesting this are stupid and need to be educated is crazy - most of my clients are not cutting their first CD, they've released several and are pretty well informed as to what happens in mastering. They request it because they want it for their art.

I'm out. Have fun lambasting people out of ignorance.
Old 14th September 2007
  #47
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hybrid View Post
The reason why I'm still bothering you masterin engineers is that your role has for so many years been to make things sound the best possible - to baffle clients with making their stuff sound awsome! What happened? What is your opinion of what happened?

Regards
H
Digital limiters happened. It's that simple.

The ME as audio guardian was lost to some extent, although not really, it just sounds ... er ... different.
Old 14th September 2007
  #48
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brad Blackwood View Post
Frankly, the implication that most clients requesting this are stupid and need to be educated is crazy - most of my clients are not cutting their first CD, they've released several and are pretty well informed as to what happens in mastering. They request it because they want it for their art.
I'm out. Have fun lambasting people out of ignorance.
I am not saying stupid at all! I'm saying they are users - do you know everything about a car because you drive one? You can't expect everyone to know everything.
Your point about them being well informed about mastering - I wish it was true - In my experience as a listener the CD's sounds worse the more they expect to sell. I have friends with small studios that make better sounding recordings than lot (most?) of these million $$ artists.
Look at this thread alone: Not a lot of people understand the sqare wave issue and how +dBFS is killing music. I'm blaming declining sales in music on this issue - i know I'm rarely buing new CD's and I used to buy a ton - of all kinds of music.

What is wrong about asking for better sounding recordings? Professionals and consumers have been asking for better sounding equipment and media sinse the early days of recorded sound and now, with all this excelent equipment, the recordings sound like they are 8/22 and not 24/48(or 96).

Am I the one missing the point?

Regards
H
Old 14th September 2007
  #49
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by lucey View Post
Digital limiters happened. It's that simple.
The ME as audio guardian was lost to some extent, although not really, it just sounds ... er ... different.
It is sad that ME has lost that role.
As far as sounding different: I agree, and this is because of a very different approact (in many cases) to music production. Distortion, even for loudness, on one or two instruments or vocals is ok but having significant distortion from start to end on a CD's because bad level practice just rubs me the wrong way. (and like I mentioned before: I'm not blaming ME alone for this - regular recording engineers and producers need to understand this issue too)

Best regards
H
Old 14th September 2007
  #50
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This is an old topic. Clients are wanting to sound modern, loud, etc. They are afraid of being ignored by the idiots that do A&R or on the iPod. It's really that simple. Fear and greed often run the world ... this time it's fear. Many know they are going over the top.

There have been many good discussions about this, and even lately the "Turn Me Up" group is emerging to give artists some credible label to put on their work to distinguish it for being more dynamic.

Sales are not what they could be for many reasons. This is one, I agree, but it's not a simple problem with a simple solution. MEs are forced to learn to print hotter, better, that's all. Consumers are occasionally very disappointed and should contact labels and complain.
Old 14th September 2007
  #51
Gear Head
 

I believe everything you say here is right lucey and I'll look up the "Turn Me Up" group.

One of the hottest, but still very clean, sonding CD's I own is Extreme's "three sides of every coin". It is possible to combine "hot" and "clean" to get a great sounding result and all I'm asking is to make sure that the end user doesn't end up with a product that is close to unlistenable.

Thanks
H
Old 14th September 2007
  #52
Craneslut
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hybrid View Post
What is wrong about asking for better sounding recordings?
Nothing, no one said there was. What's wrong is kicking in the door accusing mastering engineers of being the problem when in fact, in most cases, that's simply not true.
Old 14th September 2007
  #53
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brad Blackwood View Post
Nothing, no one said there was. What's wrong is kicking in the door accusing mastering engineers of being the problem when in fact, in most cases, that's simply not true.
I can see your point but I have come to believe that some flaming is required as, in my experience, things keep getting worse. The ME is part of the "chain" before the CD hit the market and traditionally they have ensured great sounding stuff.

This is a mastering forum and I'm acused of being just as hard on other people in other forums :-) Let me also assure you that I know that what comes in to the ME also is a large part of the problem.

If I'm bothering ME's it's part because I believe that they have a unique position to reach the record company, the A&R person, the producer and the artist and I believe if they could explain these issues, such as what is written in this forum by "lupo" (Andreas Nordensomething), we could actually see improvement sooner than a few CD buying people writing letters.

Regards
H
Old 14th September 2007
  #54
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hybrid View Post
I can see your point but I have come to believe that some flaming is required as, in my experience, things keep getting worse. The ME is part of the "chain" before the CD hit the market and traditionally they have ensured great sounding stuff.

This is a mastering forum and I'm acused of being just as hard on other people in other forums :-) Let me also assure you that I know that what comes in to the ME also is a large part of the problem.

If I'm bothering ME's it's part because I believe that they have a unique position to reach the record company, the A&R person, the producer and the artist and I believe if they could explain these issues, such as what is written in this forum by "lupo" (Andreas Nordensomething), we could actually see improvement sooner than a few CD buying people writing letters.

Regards
H
Wrong. No flaming required. The mastering engineer has existed to provide the service of preparring LP's and CD's etc, for manufacturing. Part of that is delivering the overall tone and level of the project per the clients taste and vision [and yes we have SOME influence and most of us have used that for the "greater good" since Christ was a carpenter]. Clients with bad taste have released bad sounding records since forever. Clients with good taste continue to make great sounding records [are you really surprised that this is rare??] Artists have approval of the sound of their record. You are hearing exactly what THEY like and what THEY want you to hear. Complaining to a bunch of mastering engineers about something they have been struggleing to mitigate is a complete waste of time [much like this post apparently].


Stop preaching to our choir, and go find a flock yourself.
Old 15th September 2007
  #55
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hybrid View Post


I explained in my previous post that I'm not a mastering engineer. I'm just a guy that wishes that Green Days "american idiot" would be a thrill to listen to so that I would pick it up every now and then to listen to - Like I do Ziggy Stardust, Breakfast in America, extreme's "three sides of every coin" (also very heavily compressed but it sounds great!) and many more CD's that dates before 1995 or thereabouts..

Regards
H
OMG I could second that wish for the rest of my life!

In our family this Green Day record came to an awful grief. My wife and 2 daughters decided it sounded horrible - the youngest one (10 years old at the time) made a copy on the PC thinking it might get better - it didn't so she threw the copy in the bin. I found out when I tried to borrow it for work (as it was the most compressed programme I could remember we had). that they had subsequently tried to take it back to the store for a refund - were refused - and by now it had holes drilled in it and was part of a mobile decoration the eldest had made (along with a collection of other 'hit' CDs only weeks old) that were dangling forlornly from the ceiling! The CD had survived only a mere week - no one ever even listened to it right to the end :-( How utterly sad :-(

No one in our house has bought a CD for at least 2 years now, this is despite the fact that we are a music crazy family, there are instruments all over the house and I work in the business.

How many other people's CD buying habits have changed like this, we cannot be the only ones? Every time I hear woes about dropping CD sales I just need to look at ourselves to understand what the essential cause of this most probably is.
Old 15th September 2007
  #56
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Sorry I missed this:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lupo View Post


Please let me check if I got this right: as far as I've gathered, the sinx/x is a mathematical ideal, not a practical one. Looking at the unit circle, this seems to be so, but I'm not good at math so I might very well be wrong. I know the sinx/x is not what is required of a practical implementation(ringing, run length and so forth), but is it correct to view it as a mathematical ideal, if disregarding practical implementation? Or am I totally off?
No you are right that this is the math refering to the sampled channel. I meant only that such a filter will not reconstruct the signal - thats all.


Quote:
Interesting! Does this imply that the digital side of the DAC have to use another bit for headroom? Is this typically implemented?
In effect, yes. But actually since the output of the digital filter would also clip before the DAC, what's needed is to make the filter effectively lose 6dB so that the filter would not clip - and then feed this directly to the DAC, which would then output -6dB wrt flat out for legal signals. That's where we lose the noise performance figures.
Old 15th September 2007
  #57
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hybrid View Post
I explained in my previous post that I'm not a mastering engineer. I'm just a guy that wishes that Green Days "american idiot" would be a thrill to listen to so that I would pick it up every now and then to listen to -
Regards
H
compared to a lot of todays loudness CD's (which is pretty much most of them) i think Green Day's American Idiot sounds pretty good.
first heard it in my car was amazed at how good it sounded. heard it on the radio it sounded good. heard it in my studio sounded good and on one of my audiophile friends system it sounded good as well as well as, ipod.

so it ticks all my boxes.

I guess there is no accounting for taste. oh and i like the songs as well
Old 18th September 2007
  #58
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Hello!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hybrid View Post
If I'm bothering ME's it's part because I believe that they have a unique position to reach the record company, the A&R person, the producer and the artist and I believe if they could explain these issues, such as what is written in this forum by "lupo" (Andreas Nordensomething), we could actually see improvement sooner than a few CD buying people writing letters.
Well, not to put you down, but I believe the mastering service buying public at large don't even need to know about +0dBFS signals. This is, as Lucey likes to point out, but one of many sources of distortion in modern records. The distortion needs to be addressed in general, not only at this specific point. There are plenty of records that are casualties in the loudness war without having a single intersample peak.

That said, I've had good success in explaining these issues to clients and avoiding the most offending levels. The intersample peaks is a fairly easy way to illustrate the problem.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Masterer View Post
... Complaining to a bunch of mastering engineers about something they have been struggleing to mitigate is a complete waste of time [much like this post apparently].

Stop preaching to our choir, and go find a flock yourself.
I'm not the one being addressed by those comments, but I hope it's OK to use them to start off this paragraph. I was actually trying in my earlier posts, as a humble newbie part-time ME in the flock on this board, to preach to the priests! There's been a lot of general loudness war talk in this thread. It actually started out by addressing one specific issue in digital audio - the ability to create signals that are programmed to go above the illusionary 0dBFS limit.

Using regular sample point peak level meters are like trying to draw a map of a twisty mountain road, taking a sample at every 1000 feet. There's plenty of space left where the road may bend and curve beyond those points. This may be a desired feature, to "trick" in some more level into those CD's, but it should at least be a controlled and known factor. It's very probably that every ME in the world is having some sort of control of the peak level of the sample dots. This is actually pretty much an useless idea! The interesting thing is what happens to the level of the reproduced signal. There's been written pages up and down about how much "headroom" to spare, say .01 or .3 dB, which is a moot point when this doesn't tell anything about the real signal.

This, I believe, is even more important in these days of digital broadcasting. Any digital processing will be far worse off when fed a signal full of intersample peaks, than if being fed a stream of "regular" samples.

Using an intersampled peak meter is the only way to have control of the signal level actually being programmed into the CD.


Regards,

Andreas Nordenstam
Old 18th September 2007
  #59
Lives for gear
 

The final link in a chain can do nothing if a link preceeding it has broken. The loud disease also has enterd deeply into the tracking and mixing part of the equation. If an M.E. is presented w/ mixes that contain hidden overs and are a sonic crest factor train wreck , WTF would you like him to do about it????


Have a nice a nice private Idaho (vauge, american pop culture reference !) Day!!!heh




Old 19th September 2007
  #60
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by flatfinger View Post
The final link in a chain can do nothing if a link preceeding it has broken. The loud disease also has enterd deeply into the tracking and mixing part of the equation. If an M.E. is presented w/ mixes that contain hidden overs and are a sonic crest factor train wreck , WTF would you like him to do about it????
Ideally the ME should ask for a remix with correct levels. (Maybe if the record companies would get repeated requests for expensive remixes of everything they would get the point?)

One of the problems is of course that a lot of people expect their MIX (!)to sound as f'ed up as the most horribly clipped store-bought CD they could find. Ideally, at this point, the mix should probably be 15dB softer than that. With 24-bit converters things like resolution is never an issue - on the other hand lack of resolution becomes an issue because of lack of understanding about how digital sampling works. If engineers actually understood the Nyquist theorem and all the issues that is covered by his simple law we would not have had these issues.

Tech Library the documents under this heading (all of them) gives a short introduction to the subject and it also includes measurements of some CD players.

Regards
H
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