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  1. #1

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    Thumbs down Dynamic Compression

    Here's an atricle I find very interesting...

    http://forums.klipsch.com/forums/649757/ShowPost.aspx


    I was planning to post my point of view about this but was too lazy until I read the article in the link above.

    The other night I decided to pull out some recordings I used to listen to 6-7 years ago. This was when I used to listen to more mainstream artists.

    I popped them into my cd player hoping I'd enjoy the trip back in time. That's not what I got. I ended up sitting there and asking myself, how can anybody listen to this sh*t??? I didn't hear music. I heard music that's been compressed to hell that there was no life, air, feel and fun factor to it. I'm talking no dynamic range. Maybe 1-2db which is completely useless. This is very sad. Dynamic range makes music sound real, lively and exciting. I can't believe more and more engineers are compressing music today to have the "hottest" sound on the radio and please mp3 fans.

    It seems a lot of music today is "fast food" instead of a fine meal.

    You've all seen the commercials. iPods and other "cool" mp3 players are the bomb and mp3 is the future. This is what they're telling us. If the device is not the size of a pubic hair with all sorts of bells and whistles, it's not cool. Seems the recording industry is trying to please this crowd that follow trends and don't care about quality. I'm not saying all engineers are like this but the majority of them are.

    If I had an unlimited source of income, I'd hire some engineers to design a unit for the studio. I'd call this device DFS, "Downgrading For Suckers". The enginners get the chance to master music the way it's supposed to. This is what is going to be printed on CD's for us music lovers to buy.

    So where does the DFS machine come in? Before sending out the recording to radio stations and to be placed on the internet, they'd have to go through this process. What it does is compress the music to the point that there is no dynamic range and make the recording HOT so it would be as loud as possible. Eff 'em, give them what they deserve. This would please us audio enthusiasts and the "cool and hip iPod carrying internet pirates".

    I don't even own an mp3 player. If I want to listen to my music outside of my home, I use my discman and bring along some cd's with me.

    What the music industry need to do is think. Who appreciates music more? Those who listen to music at home and truly enjoy it or those with the latest gadgets who want to show off to their friends? "Isn't this awesome? My mp3 player can download music, take pictures and trim my nose hair at the same time. I hear there's anew model coming out in a few months that can wipe my butt for me".

    But most don't care. When $$$ is involved, they're going to give the people what they want and don't care about us minorities.

    If this trend continues, what's the point of owning hi-fi gear in 20 years? We should all buy Bose and forget about good sound.

    We should all be thankful because we have nice systems and know how to enjoy and appreciate music.

    I'm so glad the music I listen to today have excellent sound because they're produced by people with balls. It seems like these "unknown artists" know how music should sound and I give them props for that.

    Well, thanks for letting me take your time to hear me bitch about this issue.

    Maurice
    Last edited by organ; 12-14-2005 at 09:00 PM.
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  2. #2

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    Rock on!
    'Political Correctness'.........defined

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    That is the VERY reason I don't buy CD's from "mainstream" newer artists. Some of them are rather good, but I'll be damned if I can find any good mixes. The days of great sounding albums almost seem to have disappeared. What a shame...

    I don't have any type of mp3 either. I don't own a walkman... If I want to listen, I've 1400 watts of HT, 1150 watts of 2ch, and 1300 watts of 12 volt in the truck... You can't feel a walkman.
    I smell ass, burning ass, glowing cherry red spanked ass.

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    Mass production of poor sound predates mp3 and so forth by a few decades.

    Fact is; the majority of the music buying public really could care less about sound quality and never did. Some recent vinyl converts tend to go overboard and think that if it was released on vinyl that it was da shiite. Fact is, there was a LOT of poorly recorded crap on vinyl as well.

    Audiophiles have been a small market segment for generations.....

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  5. #5

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    I find it funny that these people were complaining about music downloads hurting the industry and then they go on to master music for these people.

    btw, that was me bitching up there, it's not the article from the link. I just noticed it looked like I posted the article on here. Gotta edit original post now. Click on the link to see the interesting article.
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  6. #6

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    From a techincal standpoint the MP3 codec does a pretty good job of retaining dynamics, so don't blame that so much as recording studios. low dynamics is convenient, but they should just put the 'night mode' option on everything. You don't want much dynamics if you are listening to headphones on the go, because if you turn it up loud enough to hear the soft parts the loud parts will kill your eardrums.

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    Yep, I've bitched about the same thing in a couple of previous posts. It's gotten so bad that much of the music I prefer sounds like $h(t because of the way it's recorded and mastered. For me I've enjoyed great sounding recordings more than the artists themselves. Pop music of today is crap and while I still can listen to it; it's just not as appealing. I look for great recordings now to enjoy. Sad...Sad...Sad. Great music recorded poorly for mass consumption is a real tragedy :( .

    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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  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by lanion
    From a techincal standpoint the MP3 codec does a pretty good job of retaining dynamics, so don't blame that so much as recording studios. low dynamics is convenient, but they should just put the 'night mode' option on everything. You don't want much dynamics if you are listening to headphones on the go, because if you turn it up loud enough to hear the soft parts the loud parts will kill your eardrums.
    Nope......MP3 codecs do a horrible job.....period. Anyone who is trying to convince that MP3's sound good is just blowing smoke....or talking to hear themselves talk. Sure there are some codecs that are better than others, but it's still lossy compression that any audiophile worth their salt can detect. Mp3's are great for convenience on portables or in the car, but certainly leave very much to be desired in an audiophile system.

    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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    Well said, Maurice. I agree. I actually enjoy a lot of music that could be considered "pop", much of it from the '80's (I'm really not ALL that nerdy: I have very wide-ranging musical tastes). Many, many of the things that I might like to listen to, content-wise, are so poorly recorded/engineered that it's just not worth it. And I've found that as my audio equipment has gotten better and better, those bad-sounding recordings just sound that much worse.

    Jason

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by heiney9
    Nope......MP3 codecs do a horrible job.....period. Anyone who is trying to convince that MP3's sound good is just blowing smoke....or talking to hear themselves talk. Sure there are some codecs that are better than others, but it's still lossy compression that any audiophile worth their salt can detect. Mp3's are great for convenience on portables or in the car, but certainly leave very much to be desired in an audiophile system.

    H9
    I think it allows for 100db of range. I'm programming my own codec right for a school project and am using MDCTs (modified discrete cosine transforms) which MP3, AAC, and Ogg Vorbis all use. The main place you loose information is low volume sounds when a very loud sound is being played. How much is thrown it is, I believe, based on human averages for thresholds of hearing. However, these averages have exteremly broad standard deviations, so I've not doubt it sucks for more discerning audiopiles.

  11. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by lanion
    I think it allows for 100db of range. I'm programming my own codec right for a school project and am using MDCTs (modified discrete cosine transforms) which MP3, AAC, and Ogg Vorbis all use. The main place you loose information is low volume sounds when a very loud sound is being played. How much is thrown it is, I believe, based on human averages for thresholds of hearing. However, these averages have exteremly broad standard deviations, so I've not doubt it sucks for more discerning audiopiles.
    I will say MP3's have come along way and I have heard some that don't sound too bad. But an MP3 is always going to be an MP3. For a discerning audiophile it's not acceptable. But I have heard crappy standard music which sounds worse (because of the mastering) than a well encoded MP3 of a stellar standard recording. So, I guess at best it's one big crap shoot.

    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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  12. #12

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    I have an extensive MP3 collection of all my radio favorites starting back from 97, which was long before I started getting into hifi. I try to replace them as I go, but a lot are difficult to find in good quality encodings, and I'd have to buy 100's of CD's just for the singles to do it myself.

    While I could never play any of the stuff back on my rig (ok, I tried once, it sounded horrrible) they are somewhat acceptable listening through the computer on headphones.

    The actual point being that I recently found an MP3 decoder called MAD which works with Winamp. It allows 24-bit output on soundcards that support it, such as my new SB XtremeMusic, and actually creates a notciable increase in quality, even in low-bitrate MP3's.
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  13. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by lomic
    The actual point being that I recently found an MP3 decoder called MAD which works with Winamp. It allows 24-bit output on soundcards that support it, such as my new SB XtremeMusic, and actually creates a notciable increase in quality, even in low-bitrate MP3's.
    Seems like an oxymoron to me. Using a format which, by its very nature, takes away information (bits) in order to lower the overall size of the file, only to be played back at a high resolution bit rate (more bits) to improve the sound. Can't quite get my head around that.

    And this is not even getting into the discussion of the mediocre DAC chip set on most if not all computer sound cards. True 24 bit performance from a computer sound card is hard to believe also. But, to be fair I'm strictly looking at this from an audiophile perspective. A compter and a stand alone soundcard aren't what I'd consider audiophile devices.

    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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  14. #14

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    Oh yeah, I do have MP3's and I do listen to them on my office/comptuer rig. It's not often and I don't have very many....maybe less than 100. Mostly stuff I've DL'd. I rarely if at all listen to them on the main rig. So I'm not an Mp3 hater. They have a place just not in an audiophile grade system.

    My main beef with the whole Mp3 thing is people (not nec those in this thread) are trying to convince the mass public Mp3's are OK and are just as good as a regular CD recording. They aren't and they never will be, PERIOD.

    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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  15. #15

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    MP3's will end up saving you a lot of money, stop your whining! You can get an MP3 under $100 which will take the place of your turntable, CD players, transports and DAC's. As an added bonus you will end up not buying much more new music due to the sound quality. We are all going to get rich off of this new development!!!
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    Another interesting article:

    http://www.audioholics.com/techtips/...sDynamics2.php

    Doesn't hit on the MP3 angle, but they do find evidence of compression on remasters and vinyl that came from low-sample digital masters, etc.
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