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Article: Why We Need Audiophiles, The subjective perspective
krabapple
post Aug 17 2009, 19:48
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QUOTE (extrabigmehdi @ Aug 16 2009, 09:52) *
@carpman
QUOTE
Many times I've felt that sound engineers got carried away with the potential stereo seperation on CDs [...] and over-did it (just because you can split the content 100% Left 100% Right, doesn't mean it's aesthetically a good move).

That's an interesting remark. I've re-listened to the "bad" track, and perhaps my critic would be that the left and right, are somehow "not related".
It's as if I'm not able to recreate a "stereoscopic" image, and instead hearing two different thing simultaneously.
I could say that my ears are "squinting", although, that's a bit exaggerated if I would compare with true eyes problems.
Maybe I should just enable the option "dolby headphone" of my sound card, the problem seems less obvious.



A mastering engineer typically isn't going to control the degree of 'stereo' separation -- that's usually a mixing-stage job via (though it can be done in mastering -- witness Rudy Van Gelder's bizarre remasters, where he folded down much of the soundstage of his old recordings). If the LP version of the same mix sounds less 'separated' than the CD, it's probably distortion -- there is more interchannel crosstalk in LP playback than CD. IOf course you may prefer it, because that's what you get to do.

This post has been edited by krabapple: Aug 17 2009, 19:49
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zielwolf
post Sep 6 2009, 08:53
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I've come to a very definitive conclusion regarding my ears' abilities to resolve sonic information: there's a finite limit. Investing $350,000 in an ultra-high-end stereo isn't going to suddenly grant my ears the ability to hear atoms bonding or to be able to resolve the sound of a mosquito sucking blood from an elephant in Zimbabwe. To me, it's more about trying damn hard to be realistic about the capabilities of my physical (and mental) self and trying damn hard not to get caught up in a tailspin of perceptions I can't attribute to a known reality.

I have a strict policy of listening to whatever format contains music I enjoy. If that means 128kbps CBR FhG MP3s circa 2001, if that's all I have, then great! If that happens to be 24/96 FLAC, that's better because I know it's better, but it's still just as great as listening to the admittedly less-than-stellar MP3s. To me, there's no major difference in terms of my being able to enjoy listening to music -- even when there are obvious artifacts or other problems that can be attributed to lossy compression. I just do my best to enjoy what I have available.


A bit late to the discussion, but, I totally agree. I have a couple of tracks in my library whose song names and performers I have never managed to find out and probably never will. I originally recorded them off FM radio onto cassette back in 1996 before MP3 existed in any useful sense, and because when they had become useful, I didn't know any better at the time and was just a poor student with a couple of blank CD-Rs to burn in an age when a couple of blank CD-Rs cost 20% of my fortnightly government student stipend, I burnt them as 128 kbps MP3s, and even worse, forgot to turn the X-BASS setting off on the cassette player when I did it.

These are now the only copies I have, and maybe they are about as far from audiophile league as North Korea is from the US ideologically speaking, but they are all I have and I still love those songs and enjoy listening to them immensely because they are really excellent tracks in my opinion and I could listen to them on my tinny mobile phone speaker and still really enjoy them. So what if (referring to the Gizmodo article) Bowie's Heroes sounds like whatever the antonym of musically "flat" (musically "shapeful"? "dimensional"??) is on a 350K sound system compared to an iPod. I'm sure Heroes has been played on much worse systems (such as AM radio receivers the world over) many thousands of times before and it's still a great song. Not because of a sound system though.

I am of the suspicion that people like Fremer need friends, not more fancy $4000 power leads.
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gerwen
post Sep 10 2009, 17:46
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QUOTE (zielwolf @ Sep 6 2009, 03:53) *
A bit late to the discussion, but, I totally agree. I have a couple of tracks in my library whose song names and performers I have never managed to find out and probably never will. I originally recorded them off FM radio onto cassette back in 1996 before MP3 existed in any useful sense

Have you tried Shazam?

Find someone with an iPhone, they'll likely have it installed, or can easily install it in a few minutes. It might id these songs for you, so you can get a decent copy if you want.
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