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Author Topic: Do mp3s of Loud Masters Clip?!  (Read 13901 times)

Matt_G

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Re: Do mp3s of Loud Masters Clip?!
« Reply #30 on: October 26, 2007, 12:16:32 am »

Alexey Lukin wrote on Wed, 24 October 2007 08:17

Matt_G wrote on Mon, 22 October 2007 11:13

Then get Apple to license this product for playback in iTunes/iPods. Is iZotope RX capable of doing this?

Yes, it is, but it's actually using Apple QuickTime to decode mp3. So, Apple iTunes (and all other players) just needs a good mastering limiter to bring peak levels back below 0 dBFS.


I understand the RX decoder is 32bit float & that it has the necessary headroom to expand the signal on decode beyond 24bits without clipping, but what's the point if you have to strap another limiter on the end of it prior to D/A conversion?

Then we get into the age old debate, what sounds better clipping or limiting. Not to mention all the additional DSP processing from RX & the limiter & do we need to dither... blah, blah. My guess would be that clipping would sound closer to the original master then this work around.

Matt
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Matthew Gray Mastering

Brisbane Australia

cerberus

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Re: Do mp3s of Loud Masters Clip?!
« Reply #31 on: October 26, 2007, 04:04:40 am »

Matt_G wrote on Fri, 26 October 2007 00:16

I understand the RX decoder is 32bit float & that it has the necessary headroom to expand the signal on decode beyond 24bits without clipping, but what's the point if you have to strap another limiter on the end of it prior to D/A conversion?
limiting is one option. attenuating the gain would be another.
Alexey Lukin wrote on Wed, 17 October 2007 02:46

suitable for normalization or limiting.
i do not do the n-word thing exactly.  matt has just convinced me to allow five discontiguous samples  into the house of
pancakes per song (for now). i hope it isn't audible (example below).
Quote:

Then we get into the age old debate, what sounds better clipping or limiting. ... My guess would be that clipping would sound closer to the original master then this work around.
attenuating the gain and then making it up in the analog domain would
yield the results that are most similar to the original master.
cerberus wrote on Wed, 24 October 2007 08:41

another request for a loud 192 mp3 last night.  
i suppose it is for the itunes store.
i feel so dirty.
actually not. (dirty... it is indeed "for earbuds".) my client said "very happy, well done brother, excellent job, you can quote me".
and that is what i get paid for. here it is. the analog reconstruction will clip at five individual samples; maybe six if the
converter is cheese. could anyone hear that? does it affect the listener? i don't know.

jeff dinces

Matt_G

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Re: Do mp3s of Loud Masters Clip?!
« Reply #32 on: October 26, 2007, 07:53:13 am »

cerberus wrote on Fri, 26 October 2007 18:04

 matt has just convinced me to allow five discontiguous samples  into the house of
pancakes per song (for now). i hope it isn't audible (example below).


Haven't listened but did you hear anything? it's up to you & your client to be the judge, use your ears. If the overs are on quick transients you won't hear it.

Quote:

attenuating the gain and then making it up in the analog domain would yield the results that are most similar to the original master.


Not if you were level matching the attenuated Mp3 with the original pcm master. As I said I doubt a handful of transient peak overs are going to be audible, certainly not as audible as the Mp3 encoding space monkeys Smile

Matt
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Matthew Gray Mastering

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cerberus

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Re: Do mp3s of Loud Masters Clip?!
« Reply #33 on: October 26, 2007, 09:34:53 am »

Matt_G wrote on Fri, 26 October 2007 07:53

Haven't listened but did you hear anything? it's up to you & your client to be the judge, use your ears. If the overs are on quick transients you won't hear it.
i am terribly biased. my opinion is that clipped samples are like having ground glass in
one's food, err... a few grains here and there won't harm you. likewise, i believe
that the presence of white noise in music has an "irritating" or disturbing"
psychoacoustic effect. this may trigger certain adrenaline centers too,
perhaps makes the music exciting. like chrome on a corolla.
hot peppers to make boring food seem exciting.

imo, whether a test subject can identify the source of the nervous irritant is another
question. if they can't, it still doesn't mean that there is no psychoacoustic effect.
hot peppers taste spicy; eat enough and they will make you perspire. so i think
that likewise: asking a music listener what they "hear"does not cover all.
music is like a drug. it can cause the brain to produce endorphins, etc.
(but not violent behavior, that would be tv and videogames! :+)

as for the minimum duration for this effect, i do not know. however, we could say that
the clipped signal is -loud-.   why could we assume that  would ever be inaudible? and
considering that most playback systems would not recover in time to reproduce
the immediately following samples accurately, the effect on reproduction in the
analog domain could last longer than it may appear to on our screens.
Quote:

As I said I doubt a handful of transient peak overs are going to be audible, certainly not as audible as the Mp3 encoding space monkeys Smile

any kind of torture causes unbearable discomfort. we cannot say one kind
of torture is better than another.  and as i said above. i am not so
concerned with audibility as in the effect on brain chemistry or
neuro-electrical activity. on mood, which affects behavior.
even if a sound is masked; it still affects everything.

Matt_G wrote on Fri, 26 October 2007 00:16

Then we get into the age old debate, what sounds better clipping or limiting.
everybody has been clipping. and music sales have been slipping.  so that debate seems lost by
default now. i think that music fans decided. i think we could plot these
trends on a graph, the total number of samples clipping on major
label releases would correlate with the drop in sales.  thus my
theory. just ask anyone: "do old recordings sound better?"

jeff dinces

Patrik T

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Re: Do mp3s of Loud Masters Clip?!
« Reply #34 on: October 26, 2007, 03:55:32 pm »

A good sounding wav will sound fairly good as mp3.

I can't believe why there is such a mystery to this!

Balance. Few chopped of tops, or hopefully none. Good room. Good ears.


Best Regards
Patrik




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Sonovo

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Re: Do mp3s of Loud Masters Clip?!
« Reply #35 on: October 26, 2007, 04:08:35 pm »

Just as a tiny apropos,

cerberus wrote on Fri, 26 October 2007 10:34


music is like a drug. it can cause the brain to produce endorphins, etc.
(but not violent behavior, that would be tv and videogames! :+)

jeff dinces


I would say that certain forms of music as well as certain rhythms do indeed promote violent behaviour.

A few years ago during Carnival in Brazil, when one particular band played, people went crazy, violence/fights erupted everywhere, etc. As soon as they passed and the next band arrived, the entire atmosphere changed completely. Still full of energy (and very loud), but completely different (fun/happy).

I asked a few friends there about that, and they said it was common knowledge that with that one band (and with slightly different rhythms than anyone else) there was always a lot of fighting and violence. It was just part of the party, you had to take care when they played.

Obviously this could be due to other factors, but f.x. the bands image was one of solidarity and community, they offered many outreach programs, etc. They were by no means known as a 'bad boy' group of players.

There are other musical genres that I think could also be linked to violent behaviour, perhaps one's better known in the industrial world. I'll leave that as an excercise to the reader  Smile

Cheers,
Thor
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cerberus

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Re: Do mp3s of Loud Masters Clip?!
« Reply #36 on: October 26, 2007, 04:23:27 pm »

i was joking thor... imo the "irritant" effect of clipping may be to draw the attention of
the listener (like a fire alarm), which is  the first step toward selling it. but if
the first step prevents the second step...

jeff dinces

Alexey Lukin

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Re: Do mp3s of Loud Masters Clip?!
« Reply #37 on: October 26, 2007, 05:58:31 pm »

Matt_G wrote on Fri, 26 October 2007 00:16


I understand the RX decoder is 32bit float & that it has the necessary headroom to expand the signal on decode beyond 24bits without clipping, but what's the point if you have to strap another limiter on the end of it prior to D/A conversion?
Then we get into the age old debate, what sounds better clipping or limiting.

Right, it's a debatable question. But in most cases a good limiter will sound better than clipping. This is particularly true on tonal (not percussive) material.
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cerberus

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Re: Do mp3s of Loud Masters Clip?!
« Reply #38 on: October 26, 2007, 06:49:44 pm »

Alexey Lukin wrote on Fri, 26 October 2007 17:58

in most cases a good limiter will sound better than clipping.
btw, i used three instances of ozone on the master that i posted. but there is not
any limiter near the -end- of this chain; so i cannot logically support or
agree with that solution for the playback chain.

since i found that it is possible to cut  loud masters which don't clip appreciably when encoded
to mp3; that solution seems to me to be the one that we all ought to pursue.

jeff dinces

Matt_G

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Re: Do mp3s of Loud Masters Clip?!
« Reply #39 on: October 26, 2007, 09:02:43 pm »

Alexey Lukin wrote on Sat, 27 October 2007 07:58

Matt_G wrote on Fri, 26 October 2007 00:16


I understand the RX decoder is 32bit float & that it has the necessary headroom to expand the signal on decode beyond 24bits without clipping, but what's the point if you have to strap another limiter on the end of it prior to D/A conversion?
Then we get into the age old debate, what sounds better clipping or limiting.

Right, it's a debatable question. But in most cases a good limiter will sound better than clipping. This is particularly true on tonal (not percussive) material.


I totally agree that a limiter sounds best on tonal or sustained material. Percussive transients is another matter. Ozone covers most of this stuff really well.

Matt
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Matthew Gray Mastering

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Alexey Lukin

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Re: Do mp3s of Loud Masters Clip?!
« Reply #40 on: October 27, 2007, 07:12:23 am »

It's simply because Ozone can smoothly transition between clipping, very fast limiting, and slow limiting via Character control. It also has auto-release feature ("IRC") to be faster on transients and slower on steady signals.
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cerberus

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Re: Do mp3s of Loud Masters Clip?!
« Reply #41 on: November 02, 2007, 09:59:21 pm »

here is a view of 16 bit file in rx; followed by similar views of decoded mp3s made from this
file. (in alphabetical order according to the host-app name). blue lines represent literal
digital sample values. red lines represent an interpolated analog waveform.

jeff dinces

index.php/fa/6596/0/

cerberus

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Re: Do mp3s of Loud Masters Clip?!
« Reply #42 on: November 02, 2007, 10:01:54 pm »

index.php/fa/6597/0/

cerberus

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Re: Do mp3s of Loud Masters Clip?!
« Reply #43 on: November 02, 2007, 10:03:42 pm »

index.php/fa/6598/0/

cerberus

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Re: Do mp3s of Loud Masters Clip?!
« Reply #44 on: November 02, 2007, 10:05:16 pm »

index.php/fa/6599/0/
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