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Whats is the worst mastered CD [your opinions] ?
Hancoque
post Sep 8 2008, 11:50
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I divided the length in samples of all tracks by 588. All results were whole numbers.

By the way, I just cancelled the order and ordered the vinyl version instead.
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vize84
post Sep 8 2008, 12:12
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QUOTE (Hancoque @ Sep 8 2008, 11:50) *
I divided the length in samples of all tracks by 588. All results were whole numbers.

By the way, I just cancelled the order and ordered the vinyl version instead.



crying.gif crying.gif crying.gif

Tell me it's not true... I cannot stand this f...in' loudness war
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Raiden
post Sep 8 2008, 14:01
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I doubt the vinyl is better. I wouldn't be surprised if it is mastered from the CD.
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bhoar
post Sep 8 2008, 15:03
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QUOTE (Hancoque @ Sep 8 2008, 06:50) *
I divided the length in samples of all tracks by 588. All results were whole numbers.

By the way, I just cancelled the order and ordered the vinyl version instead.


Hypothetically, what does this point to?

I'm assuming the worst case is that it was a transcode from a lossy format, but that's not the only reason this would occur, correct?

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edwardar
post Sep 8 2008, 18:00
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I've been thinking recently that perhaps the best way to stop the loudness war is for CDs to continue to get more and more clipressed until the distortion is so bad that everyone notices it. So when Metallica releases an album which is virtually unlistenable to, they are raising the profile of the problem of poor mastering.

Just a more positive way of looking things!
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Hancoque
post Sep 8 2008, 19:04
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QUOTE (Raiden @ Sep 8 2008, 15:01) *
I doubt the vinyl is better. I wouldn't be surprised if it is mastered from the CD.
Vinyl cannot be mastered as hot as CDs. Even -9 dB is nigh impossible. The latest Slayer album has an album gain of about -7 dB. The CD has -12.5 dB. So at least there will be better preserved transients and less distortion compared to the CD.

QUOTE (bhoar @ Sep 8 2008, 16:03) *
Hypothetically, what does this point to?

I'm assuming the worst case is that it was a transcode from a lossy format, but that's not the only reason this would occur, correct?
It simply means that it is highly probable that the initial source is a CD. Apart from that there is no reason to believe that the source for the MP3 encoder is not a CD because the frequency spectrum is not crippled in any way. All frequencies that LAME preserves at the V2 quality preset are there.
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randal1013
post Sep 8 2008, 19:09
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QUOTE (edwardar @ Sep 8 2008, 13:00) *
I've been thinking recently that perhaps the best way to stop the loudness war is for CDs to continue to get more and more clipressed until the distortion is so bad that everyone notices it. So when Metallica releases an album which is virtually unlistenable to, they are raising the profile of the problem of poor mastering.

Just a more positive way of looking things!

nice ideal but i doubt it. clipression is the norm. the average joe is used to it and even expects it.
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Axon
post Sep 8 2008, 19:38
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QUOTE (Hancoque @ Sep 8 2008, 13:04) *
QUOTE (Raiden @ Sep 8 2008, 15:01) *
I doubt the vinyl is better. I wouldn't be surprised if it is mastered from the CD.
Vinyl cannot be mastered as hot as CDs. Even -9 dB is nigh impossible. The latest Slayer album has an album gain of about -7 dB. The CD has -12.5 dB. So at least there will be better preserved transients and less distortion compared to the CD.


Wrong. There are diverse examples of CD masters being cut to LP. It may require some waveform tweaking or a lowering of levels, but it is quite straightforward from what I understand. (Also, dB means something completely different on LP; +6db is quite possible.)

Note that because of distortion effects and perhaps the occasional pop/tick, the dynamic range may appear superior on a waveform plot, but a quasi-peak-to-average measurement (or pfpf) can tease out if the overall loudness range is the same or if it is greater.

IMHO, you can thank all the subjectivist audiophiles (JA and Mikey particularly) for promulgating the myth that vinyl as a format is superior to CD, thus giving producers the justified false belief that putting a CD cut on vinyl automatically makes it sound better.

This post has been edited by Axon: Sep 8 2008, 19:40
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Livy
post Sep 8 2008, 20:14
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LP's can be cut from CD masters, but isn't there a physical limitation (in terms of the depth of the groove of the record) as to how loud an LP can be?

If there is, as you say there may be, a lowering of the levels in order to put out a recording on LP, doesn't that validate part of what was proposed in the initial post, e.g. that the LP will not sound as distorted/clipped as the CD? Not that the said LP will have a more elastic dynamic range, but that clipping and distortion will be reduced or non-existent?

Words like "superior" carry loaded meanings. LP's were (are) superior to CD's, for example, when it comes to cover art! Otherwise, I think that is too subjective of a term to use in such a discussion.

This post has been edited by Livy: Sep 8 2008, 20:16
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Axon
post Sep 8 2008, 20:20
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QUOTE (Livy @ Sep 8 2008, 14:14) *
LP's can be cut from CD masters, but isn't there a physical limitation (in terms of the depth of the groove of the record) as to how loud an LP can be?

If there is, as you say there may be, a lowering of the levels in order to put out a recording on LP, doesn't that validate part of what was proposed in the initial post, e.g. that the LP will not sound as distorted/clipped as the CD? Not that the said LP will have a more elastic dynamic range, but that clipping and distortion will be reduced or non-existent?
No. All that means is that you have quiet music that's clipping instead of loud music that's clipping.
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Livy
post Sep 8 2008, 20:23
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So you're stating that such a CD master is clipped. Wouldn't one make a separate LP master most of the time? Or are you saying that companies do not do that?

This post has been edited by Livy: Sep 8 2008, 20:25
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Axon
post Sep 8 2008, 20:35
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QUOTE (Livy @ Sep 8 2008, 14:23) *
So you're stating that such a CD master is clipped. Wouldn't one make a separate LP master most of the time? Or are you saying that companies do not do that?
That's exactly what I'm saying. A vinyl remaster is an added expense that, let's face it, hardly anybody is going to care about anyway. If most people can't identify hypercompression on a CD, the vinyl buyers sure as hell aren't going to spot it on their vinyl. Correctly identifying a hypercompressed vinyl master is dreadfully complicated business - you can't just throw it up on Audacity; you get a lot of false negatives that way.

When the label pays the extra money for a vinyl master, like with Icky Thump, you can bet your ass that they are going to let you know about it. If they don't, they clearly don't think highly enough of the vinyl mastering to promote it to audiophiles.

All of the recent new vinyl I've bought has, to my ears & my analyses, the same master as exists on CD.
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Hancoque
post Sep 8 2008, 22:14
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I've prepared a comparison image between the CD and vinyl version of Slayer's Christ Illusion (using the last track "Supremist"). Both files have been normalized to the same volume using ReplayGain. You can see several things:
- Quiet parts don't differ (much), which shows that it's not the turntable that "magically" adds non-existent peaks.
- Loud parts are obviously extremely peak-limited in the CD version while the vinyl version looks quite okay (considering the style of music).
- Whereas the CD version's waveform doesn't indicate a fade-out before 03:25, the vinyl version shows a fade-out about 10 seconds earlier, which also indicates that the peaks aren't added by the turntable.

If Death Magnetic is mastered similarly on vinyl, then it should be quite an improvement over the CD version. The most annoying effect, the heavy distortion, should not exist because the peaks aren't limited to such an extreme extent. Christ Illusion is by the way also produced by Rick Rubin.
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Axon
post Sep 8 2008, 23:08
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What does the track look like when it's zoomed in around a clipped waveform?

Excellent image though. I do wonder if the fades contain any loud percussion like the body of the song does - I would believe that if vinyl distortion does artificially raise the peaks, it would do so for high-acceleration parts (ie loud high frequency stuff like transients).

I'll probably need to prep a few images myself to illustrate what I think are the same masters.

Hancoque, maybe we should split this topic off into a separate discussion of identifying CD/vinyl masters?
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/mnt
post Sep 8 2008, 23:33
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Speaking of Metal albums, I have a album called Total Brutal by Austrian Death Machine. So far the mastering on it seems very questionable. Since there's alot of hi-hat and audio clips that sounds like its come from a lossy source. Also looking at the spectrum gram on foobar2000 makes it look it was mastered from a lossy source. Since it looks it has a been through a lowpass filter.

Here is a shoot of a freq analysis on a track from my flac rip, I did with Audacity.



I have uploaded a couple of sample tracks from the album.

Some of the tracks seem to be very easy to ABX at V2 on LAME like if it was a transcode and also easy to ABX at q 55 on Nero AAC.

CODE
foo_abx 1.3.3 report
foobar2000 v0.9.5.5
2008/09/08 21:31:03

File A: C:\Music\Albums\Austrian Death Machine\Total Brutal\06. Come With Me If You Want To Live.mp3
File B: C:\Rips\Austrian Death Machine - Total Brutal\06. Come With Me If You Want To Live.flac

21:31:03 : Test started.
21:31:43 : 01/01 50.0%
21:31:47 : 02/02 25.0%
21:32:00 : 03/03 12.5%
21:32:04 : 04/04 6.3%
21:32:10 : 05/05 3.1%
21:32:17 : 06/06 1.6%
21:32:30 : 07/07 0.8%
21:32:42 : 08/08 0.4%
21:32:52 : 09/09 0.2%
21:33:01 : 10/10 0.1%
21:33:06 : 11/11 0.0%
21:33:21 : 12/12 0.0%
21:33:24 : Test finished.

----------
Total: 12/12 (0.0%)


A popping noise, just over on 0:13. The artifact is also present on Nero AAC at q 55.

This post has been edited by /mnt: Sep 9 2008, 11:46


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Hancoque
post Sep 8 2008, 23:40
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QUOTE (Axon @ Sep 9 2008, 00:08) *
Hancoque, maybe we should split this topic off into a separate discussion of identifying CD/vinyl masters?

Yes, this is getting kinda off-topic here. Can you start a new thread? smile.gif
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Raiden
post Sep 9 2008, 00:23
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QUOTE (Hancoque @ Sep 8 2008, 23:14) *
I've prepared a comparison image between the CD and vinyl version of Slayer's Christ Illusion (using the last track "Supremist")


Those comparison images alone (with no close ups) don't prove much.
example:


to



...with a filter in Audition which shifts the wave form around but causes no audible difference. Here is a close up from the second wave form. You still see the clipping.

This post has been edited by Raiden: Sep 9 2008, 00:24
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Borisz
post Sep 9 2008, 01:25
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Worst mastered album I listened to so far has to be the new Dragonforce album.

The peakmeter almost never moved in it, Replaygain was something like -13db. They really did sound like something like an old Nintendo.

This post has been edited by Borisz: Sep 9 2008, 01:26


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unfortunateson
post Sep 9 2008, 16:40
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I'll throw in a +1 on Metallica's Death Magnetic album.

After a while, it becomes immensely tiring to listen to. Its ear torture to try to listen to the album more than once in a row, even at moderate volume levels.

A sad way to showcase some of the best material Metallica have written in the last 20 years. mad.gif
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Buckchoi
post Sep 9 2008, 17:09
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I have the Death Magnetic CD in APE+CUE, RG scan below.

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unfortunateson
post Sep 9 2008, 17:22
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QUOTE (Buckchoi @ Sep 9 2008, 09:09) *
I have the Death Magnetic CD in APE+CUE, RG scan below.



So you own the actual CD? The leak has an album-gain of -13.50db.

Each track on your version seems to be around 2db "cooler" than the leak. Hopefully it's not as fatiguing.

This post has been edited by unfortunateson: Sep 9 2008, 17:23
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krabapple
post Sep 9 2008, 18:18
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QUOTE (Axon @ Sep 8 2008, 15:20) *
QUOTE (Livy @ Sep 8 2008, 14:14) *
LP's can be cut from CD masters, but isn't there a physical limitation (in terms of the depth of the groove of the record) as to how loud an LP can be?

If there is, as you say there may be, a lowering of the levels in order to put out a recording on LP, doesn't that validate part of what was proposed in the initial post, e.g. that the LP will not sound as distorted/clipped as the CD? Not that the said LP will have a more elastic dynamic range, but that clipping and distortion will be reduced or non-existent?
No. All that means is that you have quiet music that's clipping instead of loud music that's clipping.


IIRC, one physical limitation was in the ability of TTs to track very loud parts of LPs (e.g., the infamous cannon shots of the "1812 Overture"). I presume this is less of an issue with today's TT/cart combos, but couldn't say definitively, as I rarely use that technology these days.

This post has been edited by krabapple: Sep 9 2008, 18:19
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vize84
post Sep 9 2008, 18:20
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QUOTE (unfortunateson @ Sep 9 2008, 17:22) *
QUOTE (Buckchoi @ Sep 9 2008, 09:09) *

I have the Death Magnetic CD in APE+CUE, RG scan below.



So you own the actual CD? The leak has an album-gain of -13.50db.

Each track on your version seems to be around 2db "cooler" than the leak. Hopefully it's not as fatiguing.



I've just analyzed the same version... and same results

Even if TDTNC still sounds distorted at the end, is better than preovious leaked version
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krabapple
post Sep 9 2008, 18:22
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QUOTE (Axon @ Sep 8 2008, 14:38) *
QUOTE (Hancoque @ Sep 8 2008, 13:04) *
QUOTE (Raiden @ Sep 8 2008, 15:01) *
I doubt the vinyl is better. I wouldn't be surprised if it is mastered from the CD.
Vinyl cannot be mastered as hot as CDs. Even -9 dB is nigh impossible. The latest Slayer album has an album gain of about -7 dB. The CD has -12.5 dB. So at least there will be better preserved transients and less distortion compared to the CD.


Wrong. There are diverse examples of CD masters being cut to LP. It may require some waveform tweaking or a lowering of levels, but it is quite straightforward from what I understand. (Also, dB means something completely different on LP; +6db is quite possible.)


Well, then, that means, as Hancoque said, that vinyl cannot be mastered as hot as CDs -- i.e., the hottest CDs will be hotter than any LP can handle, unless the waveforms are tweaked or level is lowered...in which case the LP is still not as 'hot' as the CD!

I don't think he meant 'you can never master an LP at the level of a CD'. As long as the CD is mastered within the level range that LP can do, you can do a 'straightforward' transfer.

This post has been edited by krabapple: Sep 9 2008, 18:24
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randal1013
post Sep 9 2008, 18:27
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i just put on death magnetic in lossless. it's horrible.
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