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Author Topic: Just a thought...  (Read 1851 times)

Cooker

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Just a thought...
« on: February 11, 2010, 05:30:54 pm »

On a Turkish forum currently we are doing the analog vs digital stuff again  Very Happy  though surprisingly some original ideas are shared this time...

I didn't write about this there but it had me thinking, I gained interest to mastering when the loudness war was already on.  

Till now I always though it was just for radio, as the louder song gets more attention...anyway, today everything is loud and no one is a winner of anything but a race continues.

About tape, scientifically its faulty compared to digital recording but we like it more. Now remember when first listening CD after cassette, CD pretty much sucked for me! was thin sounding.

So just thinking that tape has the hiss and coloration compared to digital, are M.E. making loud masters to avoid the thin sound of CD?

I know its sort of weird comment, loud master's are actually even thinner sounding compared to original mix. But with loud mastering dist. is added and noise floor is raised, these are familiar to tape...just a thought...
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compasspnt

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Re: Just a thought...
« Reply #1 on: February 11, 2010, 06:05:52 pm »

Super loud masters are actually *lower* in apparent volume on the radio.

And I doubt anyone is pumping the vol to avoid "CD sounding" results.

It's just to be The Loudest.

That, and it has now become "a sound of its own."


Sort of like Autotune.
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TotalSonic

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Re: Just a thought...
« Reply #2 on: February 11, 2010, 06:16:15 pm »

Cooker wrote on Thu, 11 February 2010 17:30

On a Turkish forum currently we are doing the analog vs digital stuff again  Very Happy  though surprisingly some original ideas are shared this time...

I didn't write about this there but it had me thinking, I gained interest to mastering when the loudness war was already on.  

Till now I always though it was just for radio, as the louder song gets more attention...anyway, today everything is loud and no one is a winner of anything but a race continues.

About tape, scientifically its faulty compared to digital recording but we like it more. Now remember when first listening CD after cassette, CD pretty much sucked for me! was thin sounding.

So just thinking that tape has the hiss and coloration compared to digital, are M.E. making loud masters to avoid the thin sound of CD?


As far as CD's being "thin" by default I completely disagree.  Get a better DAC and a good monitoring system, and then CD's that have been well balanced and not crushed in mastering will actually sound that way.

Anyway - the loudness war in fact started with vinyl record production.  Initially it was simply efforts to get a decent signal to noise ratio by making improvements in both the mastering and reproduction systems.  I'd say the true beginning of the loudness war started in the early 1960's when mastering engineers deliberately decreased band width (i.e. with the applications of HPF's and LPF's) and increased level - to the point where it would actually start to distort on many playback systems - in order to make 7" singles "pop" out more when they were played on juke boxes or over radio.  So at this point fidelity to the original source was indeed being sacrificed to the desire for higher average levels.  Obviously based on Motown sales this strategy paid off in some cases.

Quote:


I know its sort of weird comment, loud master's are actually even thinner sounding compared to original mix. But with loud mastering dist. is added and noise floor is raised, these are familiar to tape...just a thought...


Any form of peak limiting or clipping will add at least some distortion and artifacts regardless of claims as to the processor being "transparent"

Best regards,
Steve Berson

Cooker

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Re: Just a thought...
« Reply #3 on: February 11, 2010, 08:27:55 pm »

TotalSonic wrote on Thu, 11 February 2010 17:16



As far as CD's being "thin" by default I completely disagree.  Get a better DAC and a good monitoring system, and then CD's that have been well balanced and not crushed in mastering will actually sound that way.


Thanks for the replys, but about the part I quote here: Maybe thinking as the average listener might explain what I'm trying to describe better.

I haven't been listening to casettes for years and probably would dislike it now. But from memory that tape hiss,loss of highs and maybe saturation gave a sense of depth to me from what I remember. Not something professional in any way but to my limited knowledge about mastering, when I have to crush something (besides 1-2 more tools) saturation (like analog hardware, not like plug-ins that clip internally and being sold as tape saturation) helps for sense of depth before I clip.

By the way, cd's sounding thin was my first impression back in the day. Naturally what I want to hear today is similar to you guys likings.

Maybe lower resolution being sensed as more depth has something to do with people being ok or even prefering MP3's on blind tests. The more being the creator, the more you become less of a user so I'm just trying to figure out what non-engineers like to listen without even being aware of it.
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Adam Dempsey

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Re: Just a thought...
« Reply #4 on: February 12, 2010, 12:15:49 am »

Cooker wrote on Fri, 12 February 2010 12:27

By the way, cd's sounding thin was my first impression back in the day. Naturally what I want to hear today is similar to you guys likings.

Maybe lower resolution being sensed as more depth has something to do with people being ok or even prefering MP3's on blind tests. The more being the creator, the more you become less of a user so I'm just trying to figure out what non-engineers like to listen without even being aware of it.

http://www.facebook.com/pages/That-1-song-on-your-ipod-that- plays-real-loud-scares-the-crap-out-of-you/271284433203?v=ap p_2373072738&ref=mf


In my experience, cumulative stages of lower res dsp, and still cases of cumulative poor digital gain staging, has more to do with the likelihood of things becoming 'thin' than anything else. D-A quality aside, it's all in the user. I think many of us are increasingly hearing more depth & "bigness" from ITB mixes being made with more conservative mix buss levels and >24 bit dsp.

To me, 'warmth'/depth is more an absence of allowing things to go 'cold', rather than being necessarily analogue (unless you're specifically going for the non-linearities of transformers, tubes or tape).
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Adam Dempsey
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Patrik T

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Re: Just a thought...
« Reply #5 on: February 12, 2010, 06:15:59 am »

Cooker wrote on Thu, 11 February 2010 23:30

So just thinking that tape has the hiss and coloration compared to digital, are M.E. making loud masters to avoid the thin sound of CD?


If the CD sound like ass, something analog causes it.

Pinpoint what and start to print audio that sounds good-to-great everywhere.

Quote:

Maybe lower resolution being sensed as more depth has something to do with people being ok or even prefering MP3's on blind tests.


The reason to prefer a lower resolution could very well be the fact that the balance in high resolution is already "off".


Regards
Patrik
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Jerry Tubb

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Re: Just a thought...
« Reply #6 on: February 12, 2010, 09:22:17 am »

Cooker wrote on Thu, 11 February 2010 19:27

Maybe lower resolution being sensed as more depth has something to do with people being ok or even prefering MP3's on blind tests.


Or preferring to watch the YouTube video over HDTV?

I've never heard anyone say either.

This is preposterous.

I do remember my first Sony CD player ('84) sounding a little bright & "cold", but it was due to early generation AD/DA conversion.

And of course the klanky sounding early ADAT converters...

And listening with "analog" ears.

JT
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Greg Reierson

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Re: Just a thought...
« Reply #7 on: February 12, 2010, 09:48:47 am »

Cooker wrote on Thu, 11 February 2010 19:27

Maybe lower resolution being sensed as more depth has something to do with people being ok or even prefering MP3's on blind tests. The more being the creator, the more you become less of a user so I'm just trying to figure out what non-engineers like to listen without even being aware of it.


It's habit and culture. If you're used to a certain sound (tape, LP, hi-res digital, low-res digital, etc.) then you consider that the reference against which you judge other sounds. Each is its own effect. Each changes the original in some way that you either like or dislike. Studies that show listener preference for an MP3 version over its hi-res digital parent support this argument.


GR
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DarinK

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Re: Just a thought...
« Reply #8 on: February 12, 2010, 05:38:01 pm »

My 81-yr old mother & all her friends (in their sixties, seventies & eighties) say that the best sound (after old (tube) console record player/radios) came from the old Sony Walkman players.  They use words like "warm" & "full".  They all pretty much dislike CDs.  Maybe this has to do with hyperacusis or other hearing changes that occur with age.
They also generally dislike newer TVs, and prefer the sound of VHS tapes over the sound of DVDs.
Funny thing is, I tend to agree with them.  I can tell that their preferences are lower-fidelity, but I often just *like* the sound.  I find it easier to get caught up in the emotion of recorded music when it's slightly distorted somehow.  Although true, natural, symphony hall reality is better than any recording, of course.
I have  a theory that distortion is the sound of emotion and we all pick up on it at least subconsciously.  The voice of someone expressing emotion will distort compared to when there is less emotion.  People push their musical instruments (including acoustic instruments) to the edge of distortion as well when playing emotionally.  As an engineer I think it's a cop-out to try to fake emotion by adding distortion (aural exciter, anyone? or cheap tube gear to "warm up digital sounds"?), but it can be effective in very small doses.  (HEDD?)
Even a low-fi visual (polaroid, super-8, VHS) can trigger a response that a higher-resolution version may not.  They can look more like how our memories look to us, if that makes any sense.
Okay, now I'm rambling...
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Cooker

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Re: Just a thought...
« Reply #9 on: February 12, 2010, 07:38:34 pm »

DarinK: Thats a very interesting finding, though I did think about similar things I never thought enough to be able to express it.
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Cooker

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Re: Just a thought...
« Reply #10 on: February 12, 2010, 07:44:30 pm »

Jerry Tubb wrote on Fri, 12 February 2010 08:22

Cooker wrote on Thu, 11 February 2010 19:27

Maybe lower resolution being sensed as more depth has something to do with people being ok or even prefering MP3's on blind tests.


Or preferring to watch the YouTube video over HDTV?

I've never heard anyone say either.

This is preposterous.

I do remember my first Sony CD player ('84) sounding a little bright & "cold", but it was due to early generation AD/DA conversion.

And of course the klanky sounding early ADAT converters...

And listening with "analog" ears.

JT



Actually what I mean is more like you see Cristal clear vision when watching the news but its not the same with the movie's, though million dollar cameras are used.

MP3 might be different from what I mean, since its bad copy of original. But while composing, a little secret is to carry the emotion to express a groove.

Saturation, hiss, low resolution or whatever might be helpful to the listener to shape that experience in a more personal understanding.
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