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  1. #61

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    Hopefully Country music won't fall victim, they typically do a really nice job of mastering.

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  2. #62

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    The only solution to this problem is to karma it off



    REGARDS SNOW
    Well, I just pulled off the impossible by doing a double-blind comparison all by myself, purely by virtue of the fact that I completely and stupidly forgot what I did last. I guess that getting old does have its advantages after all :D

  3. #63

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    The last Norah Jone's cd is a horrible recording, simply horrible. Worse than 21.

    H9
    "Appreciation of audio is a completely subjective human experience. Measurements can provide a measure of insight, but are no substitute for human judgment. Why are we looking to reduce a subjective experience to objective criteria anyway? The subtleties of music and audio reproduction are for those who appreciate it. Differentiation by numbers is for those who do not".--Nelson Pass

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  4. #64

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    If you think the quality of the CD is poor, you should hear/see the vinyl! I had to return the record 3 times due to bad pressings. The first record had a bubble that formed a hole clear through the first track. The second record was an incomplete pressing and shaped like an oval. The third record was flattened at one point so the tracks faded to nothing like someone melted and mashed it. Fortunately Amazon was cooperative with the whole mess, but I think the factory needs to buy some inspection equipment from my company!

  5. #65

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    We need an "Occupy the studio" movement. Grab your signs men. I think we should start in Cali---they'll feed us for free!

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  6. #66

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    Here is the full song waveform of Adele, Set Fire To The Rain...

    Click image for larger version

Name:	Set Fire To The Rain-Adele Full song.jpg
Views:	59
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ID:	66779

    This is pretty typical of today's music to show no dynamics after the intro! And it's pretty much any type of popular music coming out! Interestingly, Hip Hop may have more dynamics in some cases than pop or country! On this Adele song, it didn't take me a minute at all to find clipped waveforms.

    Click image for larger version

Name:	Set Fire To The Rain - Adele clipped.jpg
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ID:	66780

    That's zoomed way in, so only the peak in the center shows a clip.

    If you go back in time, you can see very easily that music was treated VERY differently! Here is Lionel Richie from 1984 with Stuck On You...
    Click image for larger version

Name:	Stuck On You - Lionel Richie Full song 1984.jpg
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ID:	66781

    And then Linda Ronstadt from 1974 with Silver Threads and Golden Needles...
    Click image for larger version

Name:	Silver Threads And Golden Needles - Linda Ronstadt - 1974 Full Song.jpg
Views:	38
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ID:	66782

    Pretty easy to the emphasis of what they want today is very different than in the past!

    CJ

  7. #67

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    Wow, just as I suspected; Adele is clipped all to hell. No wonder it sounds awful. What program is that? Notice the total lack of delineation, that's why the music sounds so frickin "hashy" and muddled.

    If I'm reading that right, it looks like the MAXIMUM dynamic range of that song is 15dB! and that is toward the beginning (look at 26 seconds in), so it may not be up to full volume yet. And years ago we complained of vinyls' "meager" 60-70dB limit?

    ...and the industry wonders why no one buys CD's anymore?
    Last edited by steveinaz; 02-22-2012 at 10:44 AM.

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  8. #68

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    Great post cooljazz

  9. #69

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    The Adele recording looks like constant noise compared to the Lionel Richie track.

    I would think something's broken to produce a waveform like that.

  10. #70

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    No wonder there's been a big resurgence of vinyl for the last 15 years...

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  11. #71

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    Quote Originally Posted by steveinaz View Post
    No wonder there's been a big resurgence of vinyl for the last 15 years...
    I think I may start going this route myself after hearing about recordings like these the past couple of years

  12. #72

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    Vinyl may be re-surging, but if the CD looks like that, how would the vinyl version be any different?

  13. #73

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    Quote Originally Posted by polkfarmboy View Post
    I think I may start going this route myself after hearing about recordings like these the past couple of years
    Amen....the recording industry just can't help shooting themselves in the foot while chasing that bottom line. A quality recording has long moved down the list of priorities.

  14. #74

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    Quote Originally Posted by EndersShadow View Post
    Vinyl may be re-surging, but if the CD looks like that, how would the vinyl version be any different?
    The way I understand it is that you can do "brickwall limiting" in the digtal realm, but not in analog.

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  15. #75

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    Quote Originally Posted by steveinaz View Post
    The way I understand it is that you can do "brickwall limiting" in the digtal realm, but not in analog.
    Someone may have said that but doesn't seem right to me. True analog brickwall limiting is as simple as a diode set on top of a pot to give you the ability to adjust it's voltage threshold. It will sharply clip any and everything at the threshold voltage. Sounds like poop of course.

    I'd suspect the more correct part to today's stuff being so crunched is the fact that all kinds of digital effects boxes and processors are available so cheap. So guys have them and play with them all the time as they learn their craft. It becomes part of their "sound". So then when the go into a studio they expect it as part of how they sound.

    Then after that expectation, the studios have gotten where they don't want somebody else's release to be louder than them, so they push more processing on the material to raise their level too.

    Personally, I think the way it used to be done was to capture the sound and listen to it. Mic placement and the studio environment was super critical. Now they "assemble" the recording a musician at a time, not at all in real time. The whole rack of processing is used on each and every track to achieve the sound wanted on it and then as it's mixed down on a whole a final "sweetening" is applied. Processing is viewed as "improving" sound and not as a degrading. The desire to make the guitar player sound "pop" out of the mix is the guitarist desire. The drummer wants to make sure his beat is there. The vocalist has to have his lines ride right over the top off all. But wait, the bassist wants to make sure the low end is right there evenly... etc...etc....

    The screenshot's are from Adobe Audition.

    CJ

  16. #76

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    OK...some more screenshots of songs you might be familiar with...or maybe don't want to be!

    Here is Boom Boom Pow from the Blacked Eyed Peas, released in 2009.

    Click image for larger version

Name:	Boom Boom Pow - Blacked Eyed Peas - 2009.jpg
Views:	43
Size:	148.4 KB
ID:	66791

    And to show that country isn't much different...Mine from Taylor Swift in 2010.

    Click image for larger version

Name:	Mine - Taylor Swift - 2010.jpg
Views:	36
Size:	132.8 KB
ID:	66792

    And now one that's really, really, really loud! Sorry For Party Rocking, LMFAO which is a current release...

    Click image for larger version

Name:	Sorry For Party Rocking - LMFAO - 2012.jpg
Views:	50
Size:	81.5 KB
ID:	66793

    Wow...Just wow! If you haven't already bought it maybe it's on Youtube or somewhere if you need real bad to hear how it sounds.

    CJ

  17. #77

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    Jeezz.

    What happened to people like Michael Bishop?

    http://www.recording.pro/index.php?o...=39&Itemid=111
    I am sorry, I have no opinion on the matter. I am sure you do. So, don't mind me, I just want to talk audio and pie.

  18. #78

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    CoolJazz, glad I saw your efforts as I was about to pull out "21" and fire up Audacity myself.
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  19. #79

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    What a neat program. There are some songs, albums that I would love to see how they measure up. I'm familiar with a few of the songs listed. I agree some of it's so loud during playback.

  20. #80

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    I don't own "21" yet, but this thread has me wondering if I'm better off purchasing the vinyl, can anyone who has it on vinyl comfirm the sound quality of it vs. the CD?

    I had to laugh when I just saw this thread where many of these guys love it, and put it in their top 10 for sound quality??

    http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=1393736
    "Life is one grand, sweet song, so start the music." ~ Ronald Reagan

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  21. #81

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    Hello, Serendipity. Here's a review I posted elsewhere on this very album. I apologize for being late to the party but there has been some chatter recently about Adele's 21 album being an excellent recording. I beg to differ. Here's my non-professional review...

    I had some time to listen to up to song 5. I had to turn it off after that and put in something that sounded a bit more pleasing to these ears. I dig her music but it sounds better in the car with a boatload of ambient noise and I'll reserve listening to it again for just that. Listening to it in the car. Anyhoo, at a volume level of about 8:30 [which was about all I could stand] on the dial, I gave her CD another whirl so that I could offer my observations to you. Forgive my way of typing this out. I just started writing things down on a piece of paper and whatever hit my fancy to write down is how it's gonna be offered in this observation.

    First off, it's mixed hot. There are little to no dynamics in the recording whatsoever. The bass riffs hit too hard with too much unnatural reverb or butchering, maybe both. The background singers sound fake at times. There is very little detail and things just sound congested. Nothing was really palpable. Horrible imaging when compared to a well recorded album. Impact?.....I don't think they know the definition or that it even exists. I can detect a slight noise during the recording and the noise floor on certain instruments and singers is high. The piano sounds like arse and is not at all accurate with no detail or naturalness to it at all, whether it is played by itself our during a busy passage.

    In general, there is very little stereo separation and none of the voices sound natural. In fact, nothing really sounds real and it sounds as if it is restricted. There are no microdynamics, subtleties or inner detail, let alone texture to most everything in the recording. There is an unnatural balance of frequencies and absolutely no definition in the drums. At times, I wonder if they actually used a drum or if they did, what the hell was wrong with them? No natural rolloff of many instruments and speaking of the instruments, at times they are in front of Adele. I don't understand why she's so far back sometimes. The bass guitar has no texture whatsoever, you hear the notes [not very clear] but that's about all you get. One last thing. It's like there is no crescendo throughout the first 5 songs. Everything seems to be on or at the same level. Overall, a very bad recording.

    Simply comparing it to the Sarah McGlachlin CD I was listening too last night, Adele's recording is a joke. Sarah's piano was very fluid, natural, had a seemingly infinite amount of subtleties, nuances, texture, rolloff and you could even hear when the pedal was lifted up and down...and this happened whether or not the piano was the only thing playing or the passage was a busy one.

    Interesting read here, lots of credit went into the recording and mixing. "Dynamics", according to Tom Elmhirst, was the main issue with the song "Rolling in the Deep". Maybe Tom Elmhirst should get Burmester's CD and listen to Hugh Masekela's "Stimela" and find out what dynamics really are.


    http://www.soundonsound.com/sos/sep1...es/it-0911.htm
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  22. #82

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    Didn't read the whole thread but I'll jump on the bandwagon of 'HOLY CRAP YOU LISTEN AT 0db!?'

    Comfortable for me and my setup is no more than -15, usually around -17 and I can listen forever.

    And I too found the sound quality of 21 to be atrocious. Can Not Stand It.
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  23. #83

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    There are so many cd's I can hardly listen to due to this constant poor recording.
    The Raising Sand cd is also horridly done. Thanks recording industry.
    "The legitimate powers of government extend to such acts only as are injurious to others. But it does me no injury for my neighbour to say there are twenty gods, or no god. It neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg." --Thomas Jefferson

  24. #84

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    Quote Originally Posted by Inspector 24 View Post
    Didn't read the whole thread but I'll jump on the bandwagon of 'HOLY CRAP YOU LISTEN AT 0db!?'

    Comfortable for me and my setup is no more than -15, usually around -17 and I can listen forever.

    And I too found the sound quality of 21 to be atrocious. Can Not Stand It.
    If you read the thread, you would see that 0dB on classical recordings is around 75dB SPL on the Radio Shack SPL meter.

    Now 0dB on a modern recording, such as Adele - 21 is in the 100 dB range - literally it's 20+ dB louder than my classical recordings. I cannot stand this.
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  25. #85

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    Quote Originally Posted by Inspector 24 View Post
    Comfortable for me and my setup is no more than -15, usually around -17 and I can listen forever..
    -15 on what? If it were the Adele recording, it would be very loud.

    But with a quiet recording, 0 to +4 is possible (see video). Especially classical recordings which can vary between passages.
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  26. #86

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    Just get the Live BluRay it's a thousand times better..

  27. #87

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    Honestly, I've lost interest in this type of music because it's all much of the same -- loud, harsh, fatiguing, pumped up to get your attention.

    I'm going in a different direction with both my rig and music collection because I prefer a warmer, quieter sound. Stay tuned.
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  28. #88

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    I was thinking about trading my tube set up for a Krell integrated.
    I dropped the Soundstream DA-1 into the system and played Audel's 21.
    HORRID. Back in the vt-60 went. Not great, but now listenable.
    No trading in my future.
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  29. #89

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    Which is exactly why my new system is going to be warm sounding, completely listenable for all genres of music. I've already bought a few pieces, now waiting for them to arrive.
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    Speaking of Adele....

    British soul singer Adele reached a different kind of milestone: her 2011 album, "21″ (XL/Columbia), which earned her several Grammy Awards, passed 10 million in sales less than two years after its release, according to Nielsen SoundScan.
    It really is amazing just how powerful this young lady is with her singing 'cause it damn sure ain't the recording that made this such a success. I would go so far as to say that it's one of the top one hundred worst recordings ever produced.

    Tom
    In search of accurate reproduction of music. Real sound is my reference and while perfection may not be attainable? If I chase it, I might just catch excellence.

    "The best way to enjoy digital music reproduction is to never listen to good analogue reproduction". - Kenneth Swauger

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