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The Loudness War - a different opinion Effects Pedals, Units & Accessories
Old 30th August 2008
  #61
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Quote:
Originally Posted by greggybud View Post
I believe this part of the article is true:

"Records today are mastered loud because most bands request it that way. Most of the time, the ARTISTS want to hear their creations loud and compressed so they won’t feel like they’re falling back in time!"

One way to tell a wana-be from a mastering engineer is the continual never-ending false statement repeated over and over in forums that the A&R guy or high level record guy is the culprit demanding loudness.

In reality, from what I have experienced and consulting with others, it is the ARTIST who demands the volume.

Any ME's care to disagree or give examples of A&R guys who ruined the ARTISTS record?
The rest of the article is also true
Old 30th August 2008
  #62
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheNoize View Post
The rest of the article is also true
Not to sound too disrespectful, but I think you're really barking up the wrong tree, posting on a mastering forum. Not too many here will agree with your article because most here are quite familiar with the issue and don't have to rely on assumptions. We are the ones who, upon your request, butcher your recording. We try to do induce as little harm as possible - we are experts in all different methods of slaughter - but there is no completely "humane" way to kill. It's still killing. And we know that.

We don't have magical "analog" ways of achieving loudness at no compromise and if you must quote Limp Biskit, some of us do enjoy the crunch on the snare - which to some extent may well be an artistic decision - but certainly don't enjoy the continuously sctratching clipping on the vocals (or on some sustained guitars), which I can guarantee you is an unwanted byproduct of making it loud with no aesthetic consideration whatsoever. If it were, then I, personally, would have no beef with it.

As those who master recordings, we always know the before and after, we know what is a wanted attribute and what is an unfortunate, accepted compromise. I guess it should be great for us if others identify or rather rationalise an unwanted artifact as a positive feature - that kinda makes our job a lot easier in the short term. If that same person comes back as a client, asking for that "cool, high frequenzy distortion scratchy sizzle" that all the huge acts have on their discs (and them being gods surely is no accident), then that's a bit bewildering though.

Either way, what your article fails to do is to separate sound aesthetic from medium. Yes, the aesthetics change and medium limitations have an influence on eachother. But as long as you're tied to a medium, this can't be called intentional because you don't have any choice. Vinyl crackle (in parts of songs or as part of a beat, etc) became interesting when it wasn't tied to a vinyl disc. Then it became an aesthetic, not before. Only then was it an artistic decision. By the same argument, a sound characteristic that is necessarily introduced by making it loud is not an aesthetic choice if the album "has to be" loud. It's a lame compromise. there's nothing glamorous, youth-culturous, cool, intentional, bohemian, futuristic or improbable-chancey-artsy about it.
Old 30th August 2008
  #63
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 24-96 Mastering View Post
Not to sound too disrespectful, but I think you're really barking up the wrong tree, posting on a mastering forum. Not too many here will agree with your article because most here are quite familiar with the issue and don't have to rely on assumptions. We are the ones who, upon your request, butcher your recording. We try to do induce as little harm as possible - we are experts in all different methods of slaughter - but there is no completely "humane" way to kill. It's still killing. And we know that.

We don't have magical "analog" ways of achieving loudness at no compromise and if you must quote Limp Biskit, some of us do enjoy the crunch on the snare - which to some extent may well be an artistic decision - but certainly don't enjoy the continuously sctratching clipping on the vocals (or on some sustained guitars), which I can guarantee you is an unwanted byproduct of making it loud with no aesthetic consideration whatsoever. If it were, then I, personally, would have no beef with it.

As those who master recordings, we always know the before and after, we know what is a wanted attribute and what is an unfortunate, accepted compromise. I guess it should be great for us if others identify or rather rationalise an unwanted artifact as a positive feature - that kinda makes our job a lot easier in the short term. If that same person comes back as a client, asking for that "cool, high frequenzy distortion scratchy sizzle" that all the huge acts have on their discs (and them being gods surely is no accident), then that's a bit bewildering though.

Either way, what your article fails to do is to separate sound aesthetic from medium. Yes, the aesthetics change and medium limitations have an influence on eachother. But as long as you're tied to a medium, this can't be called intentional because you don't have any choice. Vinyl crackle (in parts of songs or as part of a beat, etc) became interesting when it wasn't tied to a vinyl disc. Then it became an aesthetic, not before. Only then was it an artistic decision. By the same argument, a sound characteristic that is necessarily introduced by making it loud is not an aesthetic choice if the album "has to be" loud. It's a lame compromise. there's nothing glamorous, youth-culturous, cool, intentional, bohemian, futuristic or improbable-chancey-artsy about it.
Agreed! Thanks for your feedback.

That is why there is a follow-up article in the making, to finally defend the engineers side the right way!
Never criticize someone without complimenting first, right? That's what I'm going for with the loudness war series

Subscribe now and don't miss it!
Old 30th August 2008
  #64
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheNoize View Post
That is why there is a follow-up article in the making, to finally defend the engineers side the right way!
Jonathan, again with all due respect engineers have been defending themselves quite well for years now. There really is no need for another article on this anymore than a need for Rocky VII. Loudness war debates have reached the level of the debates on "which is better analog or digital". There are SO many other issues that we should be addressing like the degradation of audio due to the "dumming down" of audio production, mainstream distribution via lossy codecs, the decline of CD, etc. Stay with fresh content if you want subscribers especially from this forum, let's not rehash articles on beating dead equestrians, enough people have gotten mileage from this issue.
Old 30th August 2008
  #65
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Quote:
Originally Posted by masteringhouse View Post
Jonathan, again with all due respect engineers have been defending themselves quite well for years now. There really is no need for another article on this anymore than a need for Rocky VII. Loudness war debates have reached the level of the debates on "which is better analog or digital". There are SO many other issues that we should be addressing like the degradation of audio due to the "dumming down" of audio production, mainstream distribution via lossy codecs, the decline of CD, etc. Stay with fresh content if you want subscribers especially from this forum, let's not rehash articles on beating dead equestrians, enough people have gotten mileage from this issue.
Great!
Old 31st August 2008
  #66
I would like to see a movement in the other direction. A new audiophile movement where the end product is 24 bit and at least 88.2 sample rate. Where the end of chain limiting is just the right amount to make the song sound it's best. Where the quality is high and the quality of the listener is high. ahhh but I'm sure it's the standard engineer dream.

It's no secret, I think we all want this. but let me ask why the hell hasn't it happened? Can't most any new computer sound card play back files like that? They'd just have to auto-detect the resolution instead of be manually switched and even if the listener did have to manually switch it. Does the end listener just not care? and it's not like we can't send around files like that on the internet. It's just takes a little longer. Anyone watched the comcast slowskies commercial?..... the internet is so fast now people send me 24bit stereo tracks in under 2 minutes!!! Would people not wait 15 minutes for a album download of superior sound quality? I think the bigger artists should just make higher res files available free with the lower res ones to get it started. Yes I know some are starting to do that. but damnit why does 16/44 even exist anymore? we've been recording 24 bit almost ten years. It's rediculous. The loudness wars come from this same mentality of the listener just doesn't or can't hear the difference. Why then do some audiophiles buy speakers that cost more than a car? and yet they play a 44/16 or even an mp3 thru them.

ok, rant done.
Old 31st August 2008
  #67
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Yep!
Old 31st August 2008
  #68
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StarfishMusic View Post
I would like to see a movement in the other direction. A new audiophile movement where the end product is 24 bit and at least 88.2 sample rate. Where the end of chain limiting is just the right amount to make the song sound it's best. Where the quality is high and the quality of the listener is high. ahhh but I'm sure it's the standard engineer dream.

It's no secret, I think we all want this. but let me ask why the hell hasn't it happened? Can't most any new computer sound card play back files like that? They'd just have to auto-detect the resolution instead of be manually switched and even if the listener did have to manually switch it. Does the end listener just not care? and it's not like we can't send around files like that on the internet. It's just takes a little longer. Anyone watched the comcast slowskies commercial?..... the internet is so fast now people send me 24bit stereo tracks in under 2 minutes!!! Would people not wait 15 minutes for a album download of superior sound quality? I think the bigger artists should just make higher res files available free with the lower res ones to get it started. Yes I know some are starting to do that. but damnit why does 16/44 even exist anymore? we've been recording 24 bit almost ten years. It's rediculous. The loudness wars come from this same mentality of the listener just doesn't or can't hear the difference. Why then do some audiophiles buy speakers that cost more than a car? and yet they play a 44/16 or even an mp3 thru them.

ok, rant done.
Can't think of a good reason for an 88.2 sample rate at the listener's end. Perhaps somebody could propose one?
Old 31st August 2008
  #69
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When I master songs for my clients, I really just go with my gut with respect to how loud I think it should be. I'm very picky about overall loudness, and I can tell almost immediately if it is too loud (or quiet).

After doing this for over 4 years, I have yet to have a client tell me "Make it LOUDER!". To me, getting a loud sound is far more than just buss compression and a limiter. It's largely due to proper use of EQ. Get a good, balanced sound first with an EQ, then beef it up with tasteful compression and a limiter if needed. I usually use a look-ahead peak limiter to catch stray peaks, not to butcher the track for sheer volume.
Old 31st August 2008
  #70
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StarfishMusic View Post
I would like to see a movement in the other direction. A new audiophile movement where the end product is 24 bit and at least 88.2 sample rate. Where the end of chain limiting is just the right amount to make the song sound it's best. Where the quality is high and the quality of the listener is high. ahhh but I'm sure it's the standard engineer dream.

It's no secret, I think we all want this. but let me ask why the hell hasn't it happened? Can't most any new computer sound card play back files like that? They'd just have to auto-detect the resolution instead of be manually switched and even if the listener did have to manually switch it. Does the end listener just not care? and it's not like we can't send around files like that on the Internet. It's just takes a little longer. Anyone watched the comcast slowskies commercial?..... the Internet is so fast now people send me 24bit stereo tracks in under 2 minutes!!! Would people not wait 15 minutes for a album download of superior sound quality? I think the bigger artists should just make higher res files available free with the lower res ones to get it started. Yes I know some are starting to do that. but damnit why does 16/44 even exist anymore? we've been recording 24 bit almost ten years. It's ridiculous. The loudness wars come from this same mentality of the listener just doesn't or can't hear the difference. Why then do some audiophiles buy speakers that cost more than a car? and yet they play a 44/16 or even an MP3 thru them.

ok, rant done.
A lot of people across the US still have dial up Internet . I read one article recently that said about 22% still are using dial-up. I know that I live in a small town and the best I can do with a cable modem is about 750K which means that a 600 MB file takes over an hour to download. We also have a very artificial 2 gig download limit from our ISP and after that you have to pay by the MB. So even though you have a fast Internet connection a vast majority of people still are working with less than "state of the art Internet" but you are correct that in a few years this will not be the norm and high speed Internet will be available to most people if they want it and can afford it.

Most people today want portable music. Music that they can take into their cars and with them while walking to class and most of this is on MP3s or CDs. I was recently in a big box merchant and I simple could not believe the amount of space devoted to MP3 playback equipment. Everything from IPODS to big ticket surround systems that have a place to plug in your MP3 player. I think the hand writing is on the wall and MP3s have become the "standard" playback medium.

I was at a high end stereo shop recently. Even some of their really high end equipment has a place to plug in an MP3 player and we are talking systems that start at $15,000 and go WAY up from there.

There are some audiophiles and some golden eared people that would pay for the higher sampling and bit rates but I think the whole industry has been dumbed down to thinking in the MP3 world and are not concerning themselves in the least with anything of higher quality. Maybe in the future this will be different. Musical taste have a way of swinging like a pendulum between content and technology and right now it all seems to be content driven.

Best of luck on your idea and I personally think it would be a great thing to have available but I wonder seriously how much it would be used????
Old 31st August 2008
  #71
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Convenience and price usually plays a larger role in consumer purchases that quality, especially among teens. However it's still nice to have a choice. While it's convenient and cheaper to watch a movie on a portable DVD player or video Ipod, many still want to see movies on the large screen. Having mp3 as the only choice for a new artist would be a very sad state of affairs. A lot of great technology is being wasted.

I don't know of any studies offhand, but it seems that people are more stimulated visually that aurally. Why does high definition video seem to be a big seller while SACD and DVD-A have little impact?
Old 31st August 2008
  #72
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Quote:
Originally Posted by masteringhouse View Post

I don't know of any studies offhand, but it seems that people are more stimulated visually that aurally. Why does high definition video seem to be a big seller while SACD and DVD-A have little impact?
I believe that is because hearing is (unless trained) handled mostly by the subconscious. We all know that hearing provides a hell of a lot of information, but average Joe's brain handles it all mostly in the background, whereas with vision, one is always aware of the focal point in the field of vision.

Those who have experience with live sound, especially with performances that are equally visual as well as auditorial, will be aware of the phenomenon that the audience will notice and praise good lighting or projection, whereas often, the best reaction you will get regarding sound is that noone noticed anything bad. They might say "the music was great". But hardly anyone, only those interested in the matter, will focus on sound itself.
The same is true for sound to picture. Visual effects are noticed much more often than sound effects. Perfect sound in that regards usually means that "everything sounds like it should". "I didn't notice anything unusual" may mean that the sound designers did a fantastic job.

Maybe this is because humans haven't relied on hearing as much as vision for survival for a long time. I suspect that our ancestors hunting in the woods had better training in homing in on single sounds, in focusing on specific auditorial information.
Or it may be because hearing is, in a sense, more developed, better integrated with our mind. We get only relevant information and we get it already translated to a meaningful message (instead of "there's a single note sound, coming from behind me with fast rising amplitude" we think "CAR HORN - JUMP TO THE LEFT!!!).
Or maybe hearing is such a simple, basic function which just doesn't need as much attention and is handled in the background, simply because it can be, whereas vision is too complex for that.

Another reason why it's easier to sell HDTV than HDAudio may be that picture delivery mechanisms are, in my opinion, a lot more rudimentary, thus there are bigger improvements to be made. After all, we still watch our moving pictures in a little square box, we're not even trying to create an illusion of reality here.

Either way, all this is of course shockingly unscientific, just some thoughts that come to mind. The bottom line is it's much easier to make average Joe aware of the "crisp picture quality" than the "lack of artifacts in the playback of a recording" because he never noticed those artifacts before. His brain did notice them and filtered them out quite successfully, but that is not something Joe is aware of.
Old 31st August 2008
  #73
Quote:
Originally Posted by hackenslash View Post
Can't think of a good reason for an 88.2 sample rate at the listener's end. Perhaps somebody could propose one?
I said at least 88.2 because that's really the first common higher sample rate that people use to get higher quality. 48k is only only marginally different than the standard 44k. of course 96k or higher produces higher fidelity results too.

If your asking how: for one it's about the highest frequencies reproduced by the recording. 44k samlple rate captures up to 22k audio but 88.2 captures 44k audio. but the more important thing to me is It gets that digital aliasing out of the way. It's just the nature of digital recording that the freuencies at the top of the captured frequency range "alias" meaning the get all crunchy and must have a filter that smears them. When you use a higher sample rate gets all this (arguably) above the range of human hearing. 192k sampling rate drives this concept even further although is probably overkill. It does however allow for inaudible high frequencies that are felt more than heard and or affect lower ones. 192k is way debatable i believe but 88.2 and up is not as far as playback is concerned.

about the portability arguement: ipods and such could easily be made to play back 24 bit high sample rate files they would just hold less of them. Do you really need 4000 songs in your ipod all the time? how about 2000 low quality and 30 super high quality. you can always easily change them from the hard drive in your computer.
Old 31st August 2008
  #74
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thomas W. Bethe View Post
A lot of people across the US still have dial up Internet...
There is wireless broadband which, based on what I saw a friend's system do, is remarkably good. Still I think we probably won't be seeing much further expansion of cable and DSL.

I also don't buy the idea that everything will move to downloads. The bar is just much higher for the quality of music, audio and graphics if you expect people to want to buy a disk. Mo Ostin figured that out at Verve in the late 1960s but today's sorcerers' apprentices have forgotten what it takes to sell albums rather than singles.
Old 31st August 2008
  #75
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6L2

You guys need to learn the "6L2" technique. There was a video some time ago on the web.


After many years junior mastering just with plug-ins,I had the opportuniy to recently build and start improving a high-end analog chain ( Crane-Pendulum-etc).
Ahtough 99,9999% of my clientes are always happy with the final results, I hear 2 concerns of them occasionally:

a) "Willl it be similar to US Sterling Sound standards"?
b) "I guess I have heard my mix engineer reference discs so manytimes, that t now seems things are not that loud."

The infamous 6L2 technique, that was once spread at youtube was basically 6 L2plug-ins providing 2db reduction on each instance!!!!heh
Old 31st August 2008
  #76
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Olhsson View Post
I also don't buy the idea that everything will move to downloads. The bar is just much higher for the quality of music, audio and graphics if you expect people to want to buy a disk. Mo Ostin figured that out at Verve in the late 1960s but today's sorcerers' apprentices have forgotten what it takes to sell albums rather than singles.
February 2008:

When will iTunes replace Wal-Mart as No. 1 music retailer? | Tech news blog - CNET News

April 2008:

Apple's iTunes beats Wal-Mart to become top U.S. music store - Machinist - Salon.com
Old 1st September 2008
  #77
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I don't think the sound of CDs are so terrible to the point that it should be replaced with a new format just because we can now store sound at higher sampling rates and resolutions. That's just me.

I've heard CDs that have been mastered beautifully and with the right amount of dynamics and superb definition. Part of it is a reflection of the mix itself and the other part, the mastering engineer. Let's compare the sound of the "Smiley Smile" album by the Beach Boys which was "24 Bit Digitally remastered" in 2001 by so on so and the Brian Wilson's "Smile" album which was recorded and mixed the way Brian intended it to sound all along and one of the best mastered CDs I've ever heard. There is no comparison, "Good Vibrations" on the Smiley Smile album sounds...well... with bad ones (Loud, harsh and without definition).

I realize that the source was the original demo reel tape, but that doesn't warrant such a slaughter to the original sound.

That said, I am not suggesting to remain at 44.1/16 but, we could create the ultimate audio format (maybe 192kHz/24) and call the "Hi end" format which can be heard through DVD medium and that's it. We could put behind any doubts as to whether the high end format should be 88.2 or 96kHz or anything below 192kHz and just build a new library of music.

However, consumers like to hang on to their music collections regardless of the size of the medium. I still have, for example, a nice little colllection of cassettes and LPs and yes, CDs. What I feel reluctant about is to buy another album that I have on CD, but on a newer format and start building all over again upon another collection simply because it promises to be the "ultimate sound".

But, keep in mind that I am an older consumer guy. The kids today, some of them all they own is on mp3 format. Many of them have never even heard an LP or at least heard an A/B comparison.

So, before we start rocking the music boat, we must make a compelling and definite argument to the manufacturing industry and mainly to the consumers, especially the young ones.

The sound of the industry, in my view, is driven by consumers, not engineers, producers, A&R people and certainly not mastering engineers. If the product is bad, it doesn't make it out there.

The manufacturing industry only produces what consumers are willing to buy.

True, many consumers know nothing about good sound, otherwise there wouldn't be a discussion about the "Loudness War" in the first place.

Moreover, we can't assume that good music means more record sales. There are things that happen to be accepted as better or more commercially saleable than others which are beyond a logical explanation. Still, it has to sound up to a certain quality standard or reach a certain "general consensus" that defines a recording as sounding "good".

This is the main challenge, to change the perception that a CD which was mastered at certain "loudness" constitutes a bad sound and therefore, it no longer meets the "new industry standards".

My fellow engineers, in a world of fast download mp3's and $10 or less album CDs, we are going to have a tough time making a compelling case to move the consumer standards even a notch higher.

I guess we could wait (if it ever happens) for consumers to demand more dynamics and more definition out of music, so that we can make the argument that moving to a new digital format, say 192kHz/24bit (even 88.2) and reducing the levels of all those butchered CDs, is a good and logical step up in sound quality for the "new industry standard". By then, storage size and computing power will be irrelevant.

That said, I look forward to this new renaissance in music sound quality and industry standard...
Old 1st September 2008
  #78
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Well said Joe, my concern is that we don't take steps backward in quality simply for the sake of convenience. Though I guess some would argue that the same happened when we went from vinyl to CD.
Old 1st September 2008
  #79
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Frankly Wal-Mart is no loss. Small, genre-specific stores have always been where the action was. Wal-Mart and Target dropping out creates a huge opportunity for much more music and music-fan friendly stores.
Old 1st September 2008
  #80
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Olhsson View Post
Frankly Wal-Mart is no loss. Small, genre-specific stores have always been where the action was. Wal-Mart and Target dropping out creates a huge opportunity for much more music and music-fan friendly stores.
I wish this were true, but I'm not hearing this from a friend who owns one. There is always the opportunity to buy CDs online, but downloads are still beating these types of sales too from the info I've seen. One report that I read said that CDs will essentially be replaced by downloads around 2011. Given the current pace I would bet sooner. Around here "record stores" are closing or trying to hang on by selling download cards or have added other merch along with music CDs.

Bob, I'll be coming to Nashville in about a week for a CD release. It will be an interesting "culture shock" for me as I've never been yet. I'll be looking for those shops!

Best,
Tom
Old 1st September 2008
  #81
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Quote:
Originally Posted by masteringhouse View Post
Well said Joe, my concern is that we don't take steps backward in quality simply for the sake of convenience...
Tom, what I actually wanted to say is that it may take us while to have all the right conditions for moving to a higher standard: manufacturers willing to invest in yet another hi definition format, distributors willing to move this new product in all directions, all labels willing to put out and create their new music catalogs to newer standards and update the old ones, the record stores that remain, able to rack them up and make it easy for consumers to buy, the internet connection speeds fast enough for everyone to download and more important, a more educated consumer who now is NOT willing to settle for anything less than the "best sound".

It's IMO, that in a forum like this one that you plant the seeds to create the necessary public awareness for a new generation of consumers.
Old 1st September 2008
  #82
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Quote:
Originally Posted by masteringhouse View Post
...One report that I read said that CDs will essentially be replaced by downloads around 2011...
All of the reports I've seen have originated from the crowd that invests in internet and tech stocks and stand to profit from that perception.

Yes we're in a time of massive transition and small stores have been getting clobbered for the past ten years. However as the big stores move on from selling music, a real opportunity is being created. What IS dead is selling the kinds of CDs that have become common over the past ten years however there's a whole world of other possibilities for packaged recordings.
Old 1st September 2008
  #83
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Olhsson View Post
Frankly Wal-Mart is no loss. Small, genre-specific stores have always been where the action was. Wal-Mart and Target dropping out creates a huge opportunity for much more music and music-fan friendly stores.
Two of my favorites record stores, both the real deal:

Waterloo Records & Video - Online CD Store and Texas Music Catalog

Ernest Tubb Record Shops

JT
Old 1st September 2008
  #84
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Originally Posted by alyricalmind View Post
No, I had to in order to increase my sales. In economics businesses don't do something because they choose to, they have to follow demand in order to be more successful.
so fail in order to suceed?

ohhhhhhhh-kaaaaaaaaaaay
Old 1st September 2008
  #85
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StarfishMusic View Post
I said at least 88.2 because that's really the first common higher sample rate that people use to get higher quality. 48k is only only marginally different than the standard 44k. of course 96k or higher produces higher fidelity results too.

If your asking how: for one it's about the highest frequencies reproduced by the recording. 44k samlple rate captures up to 22k audio but 88.2 captures 44k audio. but the more important thing to me is It gets that digital aliasing out of the way. It's just the nature of digital recording that the freuencies at the top of the captured frequency range "alias" meaning the get all crunchy and must have a filter that smears them. When you use a higher sample rate gets all this (arguably) above the range of human hearing. 192k sampling rate drives this concept even further although is probably overkill. It does however allow for inaudible high frequencies that are felt more than heard and or affect lower ones. 192k is way debatable i believe but 88.2 and up is not as far as playback is concerned.

about the portability arguement: ipods and such could easily be made to play back 24 bit high sample rate files they would just hold less of them. Do you really need 4000 songs in your ipod all the time? how about 2000 low quality and 30 super high quality. you can always easily change them from the hard drive in your computer.
But with reasonably efficient Nyquist filters all aliasing can be taken care of during mastering, making it a moot point for the end user, and since the upper limit of human hearing can't hear anywhere near 44.1 KHz, 88.2 seems overkill on an end-user playback device. Somewhere in the 60s, maybe, would be better. I can see why you chose 88.2, at least, as it is a common sample rate. For the end user, 44.1 is a reasonable compromise, as there aren't many people who can hear up into the 20s, so there aren't really any gains in the real world.
Old 1st September 2008
  #86
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Olhsson View Post
All of the reports I've seen have originated from the crowd that invests in internet and tech stocks and stand to profit from that perception.

Yes we're in a time of massive transition and small stores have been getting clobbered for the past ten years. However as the big stores move on from selling music, a real opportunity is being created. What IS dead is selling the kinds of CDs that have become common over the past ten years however there's a whole world of other possibilities for packaged recordings.
I would love it if this were the case. I remember when growing up there was a record shop where they gave guitar lessons, sold gear, and where I got to look, smell, and feel the inital releases of some band that my parents didn't like called "The Beatles". There were also people there that understood your tastes and would make some good suggestions on new music to check out. If you didn't know the name of a song you could hum a few bars or say part of the lyric and they would know. Sure it was a bit more work to get there, but once you did it was worth it.

Computer monitors and Ipods smell funny and feel the same from album to album.
Old 1st September 2008
  #87
Gear Guru
 
Thomas W. Bethe's Avatar
 

Verified Member
Around this area we were very lucky in that there were a number of small "mom and pop" record stores. They were full of hard to find CDs and the staff was very knowledgeable and friendly. They would even recommend new CDs based on what you had been buying in the past. Then Borders came in. They dropped their prices so low that the "mom and pop" stores could not compete. They also had an in store place where you could eat and you could browse the latest books while you were there. With in a year of Borders coming in almost all the "mom and pop" record stores closed up. Not too much after that the chain music stores closed up shop. It was not even a week after the last "mom and pop" store closed up Borders added about three to four dollars to all of their CD prices. Borders had enough money to sell their CDs at cost until they closed down all their competition and then raised them to MORE than the "mom and pop" stores were charging.

Now if you go to Borders the CD area looks like a vast wasteland and the CD bins are being used to house YOGA and Pilate's equipment for sale. The DVD area is growing and is basically taking over the whole CD area. The staff at the Borders store locally is NOT knowledgeable and if it is not really popular music have NO IDEA WHAT YOU ARE TALKING ABOUT.

One of my favorite local record stores was My Generation. They had a very knowledgeable staff and would special order CDs for you. They also had a lot of CDs that you could not find anywhere else including CDs of local bands. The guy who owned the store was NOT a good businessman but one heck of a good source of knowledge about the recording industry and about particular CDs and their availability. He lasted for a couple of years AB (after Borders) and then just could not compete any more and went under. It was a sad day when they closed their doors.
Old 1st September 2008
  #88
kjg
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hackenslash View Post
But with reasonably efficient Nyquist filters all aliasing can be taken care of during mastering, making it a moot point for the end user, and since the upper limit of human hearing can't hear anywhere near 44.1 KHz, 88.2 seems overkill on an end-user playback device. Somewhere in the 60s, maybe, would be better. I can see why you chose 88.2, at least, as it is a common sample rate. For the end user, 44.1 is a reasonable compromise, as there aren't many people who can hear up into the 20s, so there aren't really any gains in the real world.
+1

64k/24b would be great and pretty much enough for end-user delivery formats. Even 48k allows for less steep aa/reconstruction filtering and results in more open/natural top end. There is no reason what so ever to deliver 30k audio - I guess the non-audiophools agree on that - and the benefits of 24 bit are common wisdom by now.
Dan Lavry's article on higher sample rates also suggest 60k-ish as an optimum, and since 32k is a somewhat standard lo-fi samplerate any way... How hard can it be to have converters and audio apps run at double that rate?

Using a lossless, open source encoder such as flac would result in substantial data reduction which makes it even more viable.

I'm all for flac encoded 64/24 as the new hi-fi standard, with 48/16 as the compromise for situations where storage/bandwidth is at a premium. For lo-fi applications the 48/16 bit data could still be ogg/mp3 encoded.
Old 1st September 2008
  #89
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by alyricalmind View Post
I think in pop / urban music, there's really no way around it. If every major album is a certain volume and some underground artist tries to break the trend by having better dynamics but less volume... guess what... most people will not care about the dynamics and will immediately say something to the sort that "the song doesn't sound professional". I'm mainly a producer and I've noticed that when I started clipping my audio to match the levels of the other producers on Soundclick, people liked my music better. Eventually I had to "remaster" all the tracks for the internet.

very very true

This trend's end'll be start in the mainstream. If I"d start making quiter, more dynamic hip hop songs, everybody'd think I'm living in 89, and don't see what the big deal is.
Old 1st September 2008
  #90
Lives for gear
 
defjamm's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Straight View Post
very very true

This trend's end'll be start in the mainstream. If I"d start making quiter, more dynamic hip hop songs, everybody'd think I'm living in 89, and don't see what the big deal is.
it didn't stop kanye's graduation to sell millions or lil wayne's lollipop to be a hit.
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