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Phoenix (the band).. Vinyl edition MP3 sounds terrible... this can't be right
Old 22nd December 2010
  #1
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Phoenix (the band).. Vinyl edition MP3 sounds terrible... this can't be right

I bought the vinyl copy of Phoenix's "Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix" about a year ago. Included was a card with an MP3 download address. I downloaded the files and they sound TERRIBLE. i mean bad to the point there was an error made at mastering or pressing i am sure. I made snippets of the songs "1901" and "Lizstomania". I hope i am not violating any copyrights so i only included about 40 seconds of each song. It sounds so bad that you wouldnt want them anyways.

If anyone worked on this album this is a heads up from a big fan of Phoenix. I know it can't be my ears. Maybe they fixed this problem by now because i downloaded these a while back.
Attached Files

Lizt_GS.mp3 (1.47 MB, 564 views)

1901_GS.mp3 (1.56 MB, 343 views)

Old 22nd December 2010
  #2
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Well, that's were we are today. It's not unusually bad. It's right at the current standard of bad. Unfortunately.

I might as well take care of the other side of the argument while I'm here:

They have to do it that way because people listen on Ipods with stock ear buds in noisy places. If you listened to it that way you would be fine. It's your own damn fault if you tried to listen in any other way. You are probably an eccentric audiophile with an outlandish $400 luxury stereo who does deviant audiophile things like listening to music without distractions.
Old 22nd December 2010
  #3
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haha ok. i am an audiophile for thinking that these sound way too crushed? LOL. I think audiophiles are a sham. I just think that on my earbuds they still sound distorted. Listening on my Yamaha HS80Ms there in the studio.
Old 22nd December 2010
  #4
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Strut78's Avatar
I haven't listened to the MP3's as I'm not at the studio but the album does have a big bass pumping vibe going on! almost too much for a system with subs but dam I love listening to this record.

I can imagine the MP3 processing not being too kind to the massive bottom of this record and creating huge inter-sample peaks! How does the vinyl sound?
Old 22nd December 2010
  #5
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kennybro's Avatar
What you posted is, IMO, way beyond the current edition of "bad."

Something has gone wrong somewhere, be it a tech issue or some newbie with no ears (literally) having been given the power to re-process the tracks before posting for download.
Old 22nd December 2010
  #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jkung View Post
haha ok. i am an audiophile for thinking that these sound way too crushed? LOL.
Looks like I fell victim to "sarcasm doesn't work on the internet".
Old 22nd December 2010
  #7
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vinyl sounds like awesome rich vinyl. my friends CD sounds awesome too. These mp3s sound different. just listen and then tell me what you think. thanks... hope i am not going crazy. I am not some loudness war hater either. I love the way some pop like Kesha sounds.
Old 22nd December 2010
  #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cheebs Goat View Post
Looks like I fell victim to "sarcasm doesn't work on the internet".
hah didn't mean to come off fresh with you. in fact like 5 minutes ago i searched for "audiophile" in the search section cuz my friend was gonna get suckered into buying a really expensive class D amp for like 3000 bucks or something.
Old 22nd December 2010
  #9
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Strut78's Avatar
Like any Sample Rate Conversion, MP3 encoding can push the signal beyond 0dBFs creating many inter-sample peaks, you would hope that the official download would have been passed through the mastering stage but I have found this is rarely the the case and the encoding/compression happens at the label/digital distributor with no QC, personally this is a bigger to reason to use a good mastering studio, and have them produce and QC the master in various formats.

I commonly have had issues with recordings that are mastered at 96kHz with headroom and then converted to 44.1 and have been distorted due to the conversion. Good conversion and mastering is essential!
Old 22nd December 2010
  #10
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loopy's Avatar
 

Totally distorted lows.
Sounds like they are going for the "slam the tape" sound like say the beginning of "You Can't Hurry Love" by The Supremes.

Or, they have simply overloaded everything.
Seriously bad IMHO.
Old 22nd December 2010
  #11
Lives for gear
Some songs just don't convert to mp3 well. Some of the songs on Gwen Stefani's first solo album fall apart and go into distortion really bad when converted to mp3. That's what happens when you take a 40 meg audio file and convert it into a 3 meg mp3 file. Something's gotta give and it's usually the music that pays the price.
Old 22nd December 2010
  #12
Gear Addict
 

I was listening to this record a while back with Andres Meyer ( great mastering engineer BTW ). and we heard 2-3 distinctive overs on the CD as I recall on the first track listening in his studio ... around 40 seconds if my memory serves me correctly. The first 3 tracks off that record are really fun though ... love listening to them : ).
Old 22nd December 2010
  #13
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it sounds like an error though doesn't it? Wouldn't they at least use the CD master to convert MP3? I have never had this occur when encoding a properly mastered CD. Maybe someone else who bought the vinyl can chime in. I know i am not tripping because I did not download or buy the mp3 of the album. The only way i have the mp3s is from the Vinyl download. The radio version of the song sounds nothing like this. I just think it was an oversight by whoever it was converting it.
Old 22nd December 2010
  #14
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mike vee's Avatar
are those files from the vinyl or from the download? why is there vinyl static in them???

I don't understand...with the vinyl came a link to download the files (which were recorded from vinyl as well??)


either way they sound like complete **** and obviously there was a mistake...the real MP3s of these songs sound great.
Old 22nd December 2010
  #15
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I have the album in mp3 format and it sounds nothing like those clips. Something is very wrong there. Sounds like a poor recording from vinyl...
Old 22nd December 2010
  #16
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here is where i downloaded the mp3s. Sascha, are your mp3s from the vinyl pack also? it also says on the bottom of the card "Ripped from the vinyl test pressings"
Attached Thumbnails
Phoenix (the band).. Vinyl edition MP3 sounds terrible... this can't be right-p1010117.jpg   Phoenix (the band).. Vinyl edition MP3 sounds terrible... this can't be right-p1010121.jpg  
Old 23rd December 2010
  #17
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StratSvante's Avatar
 

I've listned to this album countless hours, and yes 1901 has some overs in it but these MP3s you posted is NOT just bad MP3 conversion, they must have clipped the ADs when taking it from vinyl or something, this sounds terrable!
Old 23rd December 2010
  #18
Fhl
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Fhl's Avatar
 

This is one of my favorite albums ever. I love it!

I can assure you that this is not how it should sound, though. My cd, and the mp3s I've heard don't distort digitally (maybe some overs).

The album is, however, over-compressed. But I think it actually gives it an extra edge on lofi speakers.
Old 23rd December 2010
  #19
Gear Addict
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fhl View Post
The album is, however, over-compressed.
Phoenix is part of the same Parisian scene as Daft Punk, et al. They went to school together! Heavy mix compression has always been a sonic trademark of this scene.
Old 23rd December 2010
  #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kennybro View Post
What you posted is, IMO, way beyond the current edition of "bad."

Something has gone wrong somewhere, be it a tech issue or some newbie with no ears (literally) having been given the power to re-process the tracks before posting for download.
I agree that's awful.
Old 23rd December 2010
  #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StratSvante View Post
I've listned to this album countless hours, and yes 1901 has some overs in it but these MP3s you posted is NOT just bad MP3 conversion, they must have clipped the ADs when taking it from vinyl or something, this sounds terrable!
Which is why this is so wierd to me. If they already have digital masters made, why rip from vinyl? I mean, I don't even know how you would do this to an mp3 other than recording too hot or abusing a limiter for some reason before conversion.

The same day i bought Spoon GA GA GA and the mp3 included was fine.
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