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Does Heavy Metal sound bad or is it my speakers?
Canar
post Sep 12 2013, 16:33
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QUOTE (Mach-X @ Sep 11 2013, 23:32) *
When did I imply that nobody could abx 320kbps mp3?
My point was simply that the flawed reasoning you used to dismiss the Loudness War is the same sort of flawed reasoning that I've seen used before to dismiss high-bitrate ABX.


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ktf
post Sep 12 2013, 19:18
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QUOTE (Kohlrabi @ Sep 12 2013, 10:28) *
QUOTE (ktf @ Sep 12 2013, 06:29) *
Besides, while I like 'dynamic range' with classical music, jazz etc., I don't care about little dynamic range with metal. Metal is (in my ears) not supposed to sound refined, I like it this way.
I don't understand why Metal in your PoV doesn't need dynamics. Most of the time this kind of music is heavy on drums, and those need a lot of DR to sound well and defined. If it's possible, why not use the dynamic range?

Maybe I'm just misinformed, but I've heard a few comparisons comparing early albums of certain bands with newer ones. I remember this one best: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KMNJEC1G-fE It is supposed to show dynamic range going down, but I really can't enjoy the old ones but do enjoy the new ones. I think it's mainly because of the drum sound, which is, as said, affected the most by DRC. It's not a fair comparison by far, as their playing probably improved, but this isn't the only one.

The thing is, this discussion started with heavy metal sound bad on a certain reproduction system (I've had similar problems, I think it has to do with metal music and the extensive use of cymbals exposing certain weaknesses in speaker systems) and as of the second post, it was mostly about dynamic range and bashing metal music. I've to say, I generally enjoy metal music and never felt the (lack of) dynamics to be a problem.


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greynol
post Sep 12 2013, 19:33
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Those first Maiden albums sound thin. I've never liked them because of it. It has little if nothing to do with the dynamic range, however.


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rohangc
post Sep 13 2013, 04:59
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Greynol, what is your take on the remastered versions of the first Iron Maiden albums?
I presume you are talking about "Iron Maiden" and "Killers", or are you referring to albums that followed these two?
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greynol
post Sep 13 2013, 05:47
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I think Number of the Beast is every bit as bad. I've never heard the remasters.


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Martel
post Sep 13 2013, 07:53
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My impression is that over-bassed albums were not so common before (second half of?) 90s. Better thin than ridiculously thick, IMO. smile.gif

This post has been edited by Martel: Sep 13 2013, 07:54


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greynol
post Sep 13 2013, 12:42
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Do you have a working definition of what is the Goldilocks zone for bass that applies to people without compromised frequency response? What is the reference level?

Would you mind citing a few releases that to you have the correct amount of bass?

Myself, I've been having trouble listening to a some hard rock/heavy metal from the '70s shuffled with similar music from the '80s and up to the present. Granted, I do think some titles are too thick and don't like the way they sound when played at 85 dBSPL.

This post has been edited by greynol: Sep 13 2013, 12:53


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julf
post Sep 13 2013, 18:59
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QUOTE (greynol @ Sep 13 2013, 13:42) *
Granted, I do think some titles are too thick and don't like the way they sound when played at 85 dBSPL.


85 dBSPL? Clearly your amp doesn't go to 11! smile.gif
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DARcode
post Sep 13 2013, 23:27
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Dunno how relevant it can be, but 80's Megaforce productions weren't muddy at all and modern metal era Andy Sneap ones are very good too, as far as death goes the original Sunlight Studios sound and today's numerous imitations are way ahead of all Morrisound products, just my 2 cents.


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Mach-X
post Sep 14 2013, 03:57
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QUOTE (greynol @ Sep 13 2013, 07:42) *
Do you have a working definition of what is the Goldilocks zone for bass that applies to people without compromised frequency response? What is the reference level?

Would you mind citing a few releases that to you have the correct amount of bass?

Myself, I've been having trouble listening to a some hard rock/heavy metal from the '70s shuffled with similar music from the '80s and up to the present. Granted, I do think some titles are too thick and don't like the way they sound when played at 85 dBSPL.


For me, greynol I find both to be poorly done, ie Kiss of the 70s or those maiden albums too much bass guitar with no true bottom end with muddy mixes. 80s stuff like ratt, warrant or even the much ballyhooed Holy Diver are unlistenable to me because of the papery thin production. Holy Diver is just horribly underproduced due to Dios well known ego and desire to have his vocals way above everything else. Perhaps this is why, at my "ripe old age" of 35, I'm thouroughly enjoying the same "metal core" as the "kids". Stuff like Lamb of God and Whitechapel. Fully realized bottom end with well placed "bass drops", nice thick guitar tone, and mixed loud enough that my clip+ doesn't have to strain for decent volume. If those are "brick walled" I don't hear it and don't care if analysis says they are. They still sound better than the majority of metal produced during the lp era. Sabbath and zeppelin are the exceptions to that rule, somehow they "got it right".

This post has been edited by Mach-X: Sep 14 2013, 04:02
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Martel
post Sep 14 2013, 09:45
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Anathema's Eternity sounds OK to me as does Dimmu Borgir's Stormblast. I consider Paradise Lost's Icon to be a bit thin, Draconian Times is about right. Sepultura's Roots is overbassed.

This post has been edited by Martel: Sep 14 2013, 09:57


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Boiled Beans
post Sep 14 2013, 20:13
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Get Rage Against the Machine's 1992 S/T album. Not the 2012 Vlado Meller remaster!

Wikipedia even says "The album is known for its high production values, which are almost to the strictest audiophile standards. Some audiophile sites and magazines even go as far as using the album — in particular the song "Take the Power Back" — to test amplifiers and speakers."
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rage_Against_...ine_%28album%29

IMHO, audio highlights of "Take the Power Back" are the kick drum thumps and bass guitar at the beginning of the song, the crystal clear cymbals during the chorus, and the bridge near the end of the song.

Black Sabbath's Heaven and Hell sounds great as well (Get the 2010 remaster).
The ballads on Metallica's Black Album are not too bad. But those aren't death metal.

This post has been edited by Boiled Beans: Sep 14 2013, 20:16
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greynol
post Sep 14 2013, 20:30
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>Rage Against the Machine's 1992 S/T album

Not that I care anywhere near as much as a lot here seem to care, but, at the very least, this album has quite a bit of peak limiting.

This post has been edited by greynol: Sep 14 2013, 20:30


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Kohlrabi
post Sep 14 2013, 20:42
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QUOTE (ktf @ Sep 12 2013, 20:18) *
QUOTE (Kohlrabi @ Sep 12 2013, 10:28) *
QUOTE (ktf @ Sep 12 2013, 06:29) *
Besides, while I like 'dynamic range' with classical music, jazz etc., I don't care about little dynamic range with metal. Metal is (in my ears) not supposed to sound refined, I like it this way.
I don't understand why Metal in your PoV doesn't need dynamics. Most of the time this kind of music is heavy on drums, and those need a lot of DR to sound well and defined. If it's possible, why not use the dynamic range?

Maybe I'm just misinformed, but I've heard a few comparisons comparing early albums of certain bands with newer ones. I remember this one best: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KMNJEC1G-fE It is supposed to show dynamic range going down, but I really can't enjoy the old ones but do enjoy the new ones. I think it's mainly because of the drum sound, which is, as said, affected the most by DRC. It's not a fair comparison by far, as their playing probably improved, but this isn't the only one.
The quality of the recording process/setup of the instrument is of course even more important than dynamic range, they likely used a better recording studio and engineer. A poor mastering job can just void that advantage.

QUOTE (ktf @ Sep 12 2013, 20:18) *
The thing is, this discussion started with heavy metal sound bad on a certain reproduction system (I've had similar problems, I think it has to do with metal music and the extensive use of cymbals exposing certain weaknesses in speaker systems) and as of the second post, it was mostly about dynamic range and bashing metal music.
That's because (IMHO!) most metal music is mastered (and sometimes even recorded) very poorly, and the deficiencies in playback equipment are mostly irrelevant. I just wanted to answer the question in a straight way. I think nobody has attacked certain artists or the genre as a whole. I enjoy metal music too, but that doesn't mean I'm fine with the production values. Hell, the opposite is true, I'd be all for better production of music I enjoy.

This post has been edited by Kohlrabi: Sep 14 2013, 20:43


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Hotsoup
post Sep 14 2013, 21:02
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QUOTE (greynol @ Sep 14 2013, 12:30) *
>Rage Against the Machine's 1992 S/T album
Not that I care anywhere near as much as a lot here seem to care, but, at the very least, this album has quite a bit of peak limiting.

That album came out right at the peak of my teenage angst. I thought it sounded spectacular at the time and was (and still currently) oblivious to any sonic "flaws". Wasn't that recorded at Sound City? I wonder how much the recording venue influences the rest of the production chain, ie how it gets mastered and so on. I have no idea.
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ktf
post Sep 15 2013, 09:45
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QUOTE (Kohlrabi @ Sep 14 2013, 21:42) *
[...] and the deficiencies in playback equipment are mostly irrelevant. [...] I enjoy metal music too, but that doesn't mean I'm fine with the production values.

I've just uploaded two samples here: http://www.hydrogenaudio.org/forums/index....howtopic=102660

I don't think a comparison gets any more fair than this one. I took two songs from my collection which feature a fade-out to infinity that was applied before limiting and tried to match volume through the sample. The first few seconds are 'brickwalled', the last part has a lot of dynamic range. To be honest, I don't feel there's a big difference between them (I don't have a real preference I think) so when only considering DRC, I wouldn't say definciencies in playback equipment are irrelevant. Of course, there are other aspects of mastering that are at play, that's why I think this comparison is as fair as it gets when referring to DRC.

I'd like to hear what other people think of it. Maybe I'm somehow not sensitive to DRC or just ignorant?


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dhromed
post Sep 15 2013, 12:26
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I can't discern anything really obvious in those samples either. I think I can intuit the point where the fadeout starts, but it's not as obvious as for example a cut or a glitch.
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TomasPin
post Sep 15 2013, 22:00
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QUOTE (ktf @ Sep 15 2013, 05:45) *
To be honest, I don't feel there's a big difference between them

Me neither. Interesting experiment though, It serves as a showcase for how much is lost in this DRC craze... I'll try this on some of the compressed albums in my collection later and see if I find something to cry for. biggrin.gif

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Kohlrabi
post Sep 16 2013, 05:23
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I cannot really hear a huge difference either, though to me it'd be more interesting to have a brickwalled and a non-brickwalled version for ABX comparison. Knowing that the first part is brickwalled makes me listen more intently for differences. smile.gif

Still the cymbals on either track sound atrocious, and especially the "Mercenary" track sounds mostly like pure noise without any definition of instruments at all (intentionally?), though I feel that the kick drum and toms might sound a bit better in the latter part. But again, that's probably just me knowing about how this track was created.

Nevertheless, this shows that lack of DRC doesn't magically make a track sound good, interesting.


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greynol
post Sep 16 2013, 05:34
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Perhaps someone can scan their collection for an HDCD album that utilizes peak extension. Maybe not fully brick-walled, but it will give you access to content that uses soft-limiting when not decoded.

This post has been edited by greynol: Sep 16 2013, 06:36


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ktf
post Sep 16 2013, 16:26
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QUOTE (Kohlrabi @ Sep 16 2013, 06:23) *
I cannot really hear a huge difference either, though to me it'd be more interesting to have a brickwalled and a non-brickwalled version for ABX comparison. Knowing that the first part is brickwalled makes me listen more intently for differences. smile.gif

Yeah, but as I am not experienced in mastering (i.e.: I don't have a good limiter plug-in for whatever DAW) I thought this would be the thing closest to such a comparison.

QUOTE
especially the "Mercenary" track sounds mostly like pure noise without any definition of instruments at all

I really start to question how and through what you are listening, that track is my absolute favourite... There is no accounting for tastes.


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Kohlrabi
post Sep 16 2013, 17:12
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QUOTE (ktf @ Sep 16 2013, 17:26) *
I really start to question how and through what you are listening, that track is my absolute favourite....
Listened through my KRK KNS-6400s. Again, I would have surely misliked that production on any of my cans. And that I was able to see the nearly square waveform in the foobar2000 wave seekbar didn't help, either, expectation bias kicking in. sad.gif

QUOTE (ktf @ Sep 16 2013, 17:26) *
There is no accounting for tastes
Of course taste is a major factor, if I'm in the mood I can even stand the mastering on Mastodon or Meshuggah albums. Keep in mind that I don't criticize the music, but the production. But then, this is also a matter of taste. smile.gif

This post has been edited by Kohlrabi: Sep 16 2013, 17:44


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Mach-X
post Sep 17 2013, 07:29
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QUOTE (Martel @ Sep 14 2013, 04:45) *
Sepultura's Roots is overbassed.


Maybe so but still one of the greatest ever!
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