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Does Heavy Metal sound bad or is it my speakers?
Dave@Metal-Fi
post Jul 16 2013, 23:31
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Thanks for mentioning us ferday! The truth is that the vast majority of metal records sound mediocre to appalling. Issues with room setup can definitely exacerbate the problem, but the recordings themselves are still a huge part of the issue. That's the reason I helped start Metal-Fi. Metal usually sounds like garbage and it doesn't have to. Every album we review we measure with the TT Dynamic Range meter. 99% of them are DR5 or DR6 - loudness war casualties. A really good sounding album needs to be a minimum of DR8, and what we really like to see are double digits. Unfortunately what this means if you're a metal fan is that you pretty much have to buy a turntable. Not because of any "analog warmth" nonsense - these albums are cut from 24/48 or 24/96 digital masters, but because the vinyl versions aren't brickwall mastered and thus typically have double the amount of dynamic range as their CD counterparts.

Full dynamics usually improves even poorly mixed metal albums, and when you have a really well recorded and mixed album like Enslaved's RIITIIR that's been completely squashed, when you take that away on the vinyl which is DR11 instead of DR6, the results are fantastic.

If you think a particular metal band's album sounds like crap, tell them. A lot of bands still don't really understand this issue, and they think that people genuinely want an album where everything is stupid loud and sounds horrible. I used to blame the mastering engineers for smashing everything to hell, but in many cases they don't like it any more than I do, but they have to earn a living and the customer is always right.
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Martel
post Jul 17 2013, 08:02
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But will they care about opinion of few? The masses need to start chanting "we want more dynamic range" for anything to change (and it would be even better for the masses to actually understand what DR is good for and what it is going to improve for them). It's the masses where revenue comes from, not individuals.


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Porcus
post Jul 17 2013, 08:22
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For a band to throw in a “raw, less produced” version in the for-fans-only “deluxe” edition, likely costs much less than polishing up live tracks for bonus ... so what the holy Hell are you waiting for?

QUOTE (Dave@Metal-Fi @ Jul 17 2013, 00:31) *
like Enslaved's RIITIIR that's been completely squashed, when you take that away on the vinyl which is DR11 instead of DR6


And a few of their other releases ... http://www.dr.loudness-war.info/index.php?...artist=Enslaved

This post has been edited by Porcus: Jul 17 2013, 08:28


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_if
post Jul 17 2013, 11:02
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QUOTE (Dave@Metal-Fi @ Jul 16 2013, 17:31) *
Unfortunately what this means if you're a metal fan is that you pretty much have to buy a turntable. Not because of any "analog warmth" nonsense - these albums are cut from 24/48 or 24/96 digital masters, but because the vinyl versions aren't brickwall mastered and thus typically have double the amount of dynamic range as their CD counterparts.

I bet that easily the majority of those records are sourced from similarly mastered tracks as the corresponding CD. The inaccuracies inherent in playing and recording vinyl act to exaggerate peaks and thus artificially inflate DR Meter values. I have encountered several times people on the Internet raving about how much better a record sounds than the CD of the same album when I know for sure they were produced from the same mastering (like Bob Dylan's recent albums, which have hilariously/frustratingly been held up as transformative and oh-so-great-sounding on vinyl, compared to the "fatiguing" CDs).

Here's a rather simple way to check. Load a track from the CD into any audio editor and zoom in and find a peak that clips. The larger the flat line is the better. Then load the same song from the vinyl recording and don't be too impressed by the "more natural" appearance of many peaks sticking out above others in varying degrees. Locate the same place that you found the clipped peak on the CD version and look at it. It definitely won't be flat anymore, but it will likely be a curved line with less complexity than the stuff surrounding it – a straight line that has been bent. If this is so, that's a tell-tale sign the record has been pressed from the same bad mastering job, whether or not it was 24/96. If you don't see that, and if the same can be said for other places where there was clipping on the CD version, congratulations, you probably have a record that indeed was mastered better. If you do find the clipping, you'll probably also see that if you volume match like with ReplayGain and compare the two waveforms, the vinyl recording looks superficially different in peaks, but the average volume will be the same throughout (which it wouldn't be if you matched volumes and one was really different, like less compressed) and the brickwalled form is still there under the misleading peaks.

There are many times with vinyl that the music gets changed in the process of getting that recorded sound to you. The engineer at the pressing plant may have to to roll off high frequencies to prevent overheating of the cutting lathe, especially on very loud material. The pressing, I would guess, is not going to give an exact 1:1 representation of the waveform anyway. Your phonograph cartridge surely does not have a flat frequency response, and so is boosting and cutting different frequencies, acting like an EQ, and simply equalizing moderately a brickwalled recording is likely to boost the DR Meter's rating a couple decibels. There's also turntable rumble and vinyl artifacts like tracking distortion and treble distortion as the arm moves closer to the center of the record. The signal is then sent, analogue (i.e. imperfectly, to some degree) to an amplifier that probably has its own tonal coloration, and if you're recording that's another device with its own characteristics. So finally, you end up with your recorded file, and those flattened peaks don't come out so flat anymore, but the damage is still there, even if it has been masked. Other people could probably even point out sound-altering steps in the vinyl chain I missed.

It's true, the record may well sound better even on an album that's produced from the same master as the CD, but that's probably because you (that is, generic you, not necessarily you in particular, Dave) prefer the EQ that's effectively been done to it and a similar result could be achieved by playing the CD with an EQ curve approximating your cartridge's. Often it's a bass and treble boost, which makes drums and cymbals sound more present and most other things seem a bit nicer.

I see in your Katatonia vinyl review you talk about the spectrum analysis showing frequencies up to about 60 KHz and so conjecture the album was likely recorded at 176.4 KHz or higher. It may have been, but that doesn't mean the record was mastered from that. Vinyl also tends to exaggerate the high frequencies in a spectrum analysis. I think you'll find most digital recordings made with studio microphones intended for music (as opposed to recording bats and stuff where it needs to have a really high frequency range) are going to have frequencies related to the music topping out below the 60 KHz point, in my experience in the ~30 KHz range, occasionally, weakly, up to about 40 KHz. If you see strong harmonics going up that high from a record, it's likely analogue distortion.
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pisymbol
post Jul 17 2013, 11:42
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QUOTE (_if @ Jul 17 2013, 05:02) *
QUOTE (Dave@Metal-Fi @ Jul 16 2013, 17:31) *
Unfortunately what this means if you're a metal fan is that you pretty much have to buy a turntable. Not because of any "analog warmth" nonsense - these albums are cut from 24/48 or 24/96 digital masters, but because the vinyl versions aren't brickwall mastered and thus typically have double the amount of dynamic range as their CD counterparts.

I bet that easily the majority of those records are sourced from similarly mastered tracks as the corresponding CD. The inaccuracies inherent in playing and recording vinyl act to exaggerate peaks and thus artificially inflate DR Meter values. I have encountered several times people on the Internet raving about how much better a record sounds than the CD of the same album when I know for sure they were produced from the same mastering (like Bob Dylan's recent albums, which have hilariously/frustratingly been held up as transformative and oh-so-great-sounding on vinyl, compared to the "fatiguing" CDs).

Here's a rather simple way to check. Load a track from the CD into any audio editor and zoom in and find a peak that clips. The larger the flat line is the better. Then load the same song from the vinyl recording and don't be too impressed by the "more natural" appearance of many peaks sticking out above others in varying degrees. Locate the same place that you found the clipped peak on the CD version and look at it. It definitely won't be flat anymore, but it will likely be a curved line with less complexity than the stuff surrounding it – a straight line that has been bent. If this is so, that's a tell-tale sign the record has been pressed from the same bad mastering job, whether or not it was 24/96. If you don't see that, and if the same can be said for other places where there was clipping on the CD version, congratulations, you probably have a record that indeed was mastered better. If you do find the clipping, you'll probably also see that if you volume match like with ReplayGain and compare the two waveforms, the vinyl recording looks superficially different in peaks, but the average volume will be the same throughout (which it wouldn't be if you matched volumes and one was really different, like less compressed) and the brickwalled form is still there under the misleading peaks.

There are many times with vinyl that the music gets changed in the process of getting that recorded sound to you. The engineer at the pressing plant may have to to roll off high frequencies to prevent overheating of the cutting lathe, especially on very loud material. The pressing, I would guess, is not going to give an exact 1:1 representation of the waveform anyway. Your phonograph cartridge surely does not have a flat frequency response, and so is boosting and cutting different frequencies, acting like an EQ, and simply equalizing moderately a brickwalled recording is likely to boost the DR Meter's rating a couple decibels. There's also turntable rumble and vinyl artifacts like tracking distortion and treble distortion as the arm moves closer to the center of the record. The signal is then sent, analogue (i.e. imperfectly, to some degree) to an amplifier that probably has its own tonal coloration, and if you're recording that's another device with its own characteristics. So finally, you end up with your recorded file, and those flattened peaks don't come out so flat anymore, but the damage is still there, even if it has been masked. Other people could probably even point out sound-altering steps in the vinyl chain I missed.

It's true, the record may well sound better even on an album that's produced from the same master as the CD, but that's probably because you (that is, generic you, not necessarily you in particular, Dave) prefer the EQ that's effectively been done to it and a similar result could be achieved by playing the CD with an EQ curve approximating your cartridge's. Often it's a bass and treble boost, which makes drums and cymbals sound more present and most other things seem a bit nicer.

I see in your Katatonia vinyl review you talk about the spectrum analysis showing frequencies up to about 60 KHz and so conjecture the album was likely recorded at 176.4 KHz or higher. It may have been, but that doesn't mean the record was mastered from that. Vinyl also tends to exaggerate the high frequencies in a spectrum analysis. I think you'll find most digital recordings made with studio microphones intended for music (as opposed to recording bats and stuff where it needs to have a really high frequency range) are going to have frequencies related to the music topping out below the 60 KHz point, in my experience in the ~30 KHz range, occasionally, weakly, up to about 40 KHz. If you see strong harmonics going up that high from a record, it's likely analogue distortion.


I also think when you have a DR6 CD and a DR11/12 vinyl, this isn't just cartridge EQ.

Most of the engineers, labels, and artists I've talked too use a different master for the vinyl even if the Redbook one isn't bricked. Do they have too? No. But they do.

The fact is in the metal hemisphere, you got a better shot of getting a less brickwalled master with the vinyl release than the CD. The main reason for this is politics, not technology.

Many metal artists don't CARE about the vinyl release sounding loud so engineers are given leeway to master for sound instead of volume. Remember, many many times, it's the artist putting pressure on the engineer to turn the volume up due to ignorance.

Moreover, smaller record-focused labels are typically outsourced by bigger ones to do the vinyl release, Again, in these circumstances, the engineer is free to do the right thing based on the original recording. All the ones I've talked too use the original digital or analog recording and re-master. Yea, there is Back on Black that use Redbook clipped master, but that's well understood.

Most of the big big labels (CM, Nuclear Blast) do exactly what you describe, they pay for one master and it get it pressed to Redbook and wax - now the LP sounds even WORSE because of the inherit weaknesses of the format. Do they care? No, because the LP is more of a collectible than anything else for them (given the low numbers they are pressed).

Btw, the above isn't a case to buy vinyl or dust off your old TT either.

It's simply the unfortunate consequence of the Loudness War. And with metal, its really bad.
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_if
post Jul 17 2013, 12:58
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True, I hadn't considered how things might be different in the smaller metal scene compared to the way big label stuff gets handled. Even still, this kind of thing needs to be verified by close inspection on a case-by-case basis, because people regularly have untrue assumptions of the existence of new masters when they're listening to vinyl. If you don't know about the many things that get in the way of perfect, flat reproduction on vinyl of the master it was made from, it can seem downright reasonable to assume it's a different master because it can sound so different by the time it reaches your ears.

Just as easily as you could say that, because metal artists/labels are a more niche and dedicated group, they put more care into it, you could say they also usually have less money and resources and so are less able to afford a whole new master for a vinyl release.

In regards to a DR rating of 6 for the CD versus 11 or 12 for the record likely not being caused just by cartridge EQ: it may not be just that, but with the combination of it and some other factors that I named, it certainly is possible. The very first song I did a comparison of from stuff I already had on my hard drive was The Strokes' "Under Cover of Darkness", which the DR Meter rates a 6 on the CD, but gives the recording from the 7" single release a 12. I have done the clipped peak/average volume test, and, indeed, the record is surely the same (loud) master. I can give screenshots and the DR logs, if you want. The recording certainly does sound different, but that's not the mastering's merit.
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maggior
post Jul 17 2013, 14:33
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QUOTE (Mach-X @ Jul 5 2013, 19:18) *
Yes, I believe room acoustics are part of the issue because they don't sound so bad at low volumes through headphones. My living room is all hard floor and painted walls. So I eliminated the center speaker and turned off dolby pro logic, letting the mk3se's shine on their own and everything is substantially better, thanks for all the replies. As to 'what did I listen on before' it was all sub optimal so everything just sounded bad. It's the old hifi rabbit hole, once you've heard better, what you have no longer sounds any good.


That makes sense. My experience with using processing like dolby pro logic is that it enhances the sound at lower volumes and with acoustic music. Crank the volume or play metal or techno, and it starts to sound bad. I can just imagine how muddy it would make "dense" music like metal. That fact that is sounds good through headphones makes sense too since that elminates dolby pro logic as well.
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psix
post Jul 18 2013, 10:25
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QUOTE (Mach-X @ Jul 6 2013, 01:18) *
Yes, I believe room acoustics are part of the issue because they don't sound so bad at low volumes through headphones. My living room is all hard floor and painted walls.

I don't really know anything about anything, but I'd add carpets, thicker-than-paper wallpaper and maybe even (wooden/composite) bookshelves and paintings just to reduce echoes in general and to get a tighter, more intimate, even muffled, soundscape. It might add some unwanted corners and reflections, but hard surfaces are a real killer, at least for my tastes. I don't think any audio is produced with the specific intention of being listened in echo-y places, so you might even improve your TV and DVD experience.

Pop is essentially very simple or harmonic and classic music is intended for, or at least is due to strict rules of harmony very suitable for, echo-y places. They don't suffer as much. They might even gain something. Metal on the other hand, especially extreme metal, is, in a way, fairly broad, organic* noise carefully corralled to produce a specific soundscape and harmonies and is therefore very sensitive to disturbances. It requires control. At concerts not doing proper soundchecks kills the sound for metal and even more so if the venue isn't suitable. To me, a lot of grindcore (whether you want to classify it as metal or not) is unlistenable live because it's such a noisy genre and most of the time simply degrates to pure noise. For some reason, they don't control the sound, possibly because of bad venues, poor soundchecks, lack of a good sound guy, lack of effort, lack of proper equipment, general sloppiness, misguided punk attitudes, etc.

*) Organic as opposed to the constructed noises used in electronic music, which due to only having specific frequencies is less affected.
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Engelsstaub
post Jul 18 2013, 12:07
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QUOTE (pisymbol @ Jul 17 2013, 05:42) *
...
Most of the big big labels (CM, Nuclear Blast) do exactly what you describe, they pay for one master and it get it pressed to Redbook and wax...


Those two labels you mentioned are very forthcoming IME when asked about specific masterings for vinyl. They've straight up told me and others, in more than one instance, when the master was the same between a specific title's CD and vinyl pressing. Sometimes they are and sometimes they are not.

I'm not an engineer but I have a really hard time wrapping my head around this oft-repeated line of "extra cost for separate master" thing. In talking to some bands (the ones that actually know) and my own admittedly limited experience it seems much of the "mastering" (brickwalling and whatever) is taking place as a final step.

Anecdotal: I was recently involved in the funding of a tribute/compilation CD. Most of the bands (mostly extreme forms of metal) submitted their master tracks as 24/48 or 24/44.1. (4 of 17 submitted "master tracks" as 16/44.1.) About 75% of the submissions sounded to me very dynamic and measured better than DR 10. The remaining tracks that were pre-compressed, nearly-bricked, and loud as all-hell were all of the ones submitted at Redbook and a few others. The so-called "mastering" was done by a singer from the most well-known band involved in the project on his computer and completed in less than a day. All he did was normalize (and ruin) the other songs to make them sound stupid-loud like his and the few other bricked submissions.

He actually called what he did "mastering" (which I suppose in a sense it was...the term is very generic now) when all he did was add destructive gain to the majority of the files to match the loudness of the pre-bricked ones. Nothing expensive or even time-consuming about that process. Even I could have done it in iZotope in less than a half an hour.


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CatsEyeRecords
post Jul 18 2013, 13:09
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QUOTE (Mach-X @ Jul 4 2013, 07:41) *
Topic sums it up. In my home theater I picked up some vintage paradigm mk3se's as since the first time I heard paradigm speakers I was a fan. Using a pair of atoms for surround. I am a fan of of deathcore/death metal/thrash, etc, and whenever I listen to any of this on my system I can't stand the sound. It's lifeless with overbearing mud. When watching a dvd with dolby digital, or playing pop music like Madonna's celebration double disc set, the audio is sublime with bass that punches you in the chest, and when somebody jangles keys in a movie it sounds like it's coming from _over there_. Is metal just badly produced? Is it _supposed_ to sound so muddy? My favorite metal albums like Master of Puppets or Whitechapel's A New Era of Corruption just sound aweful.


I think it entirely depends on the mixing behind it, there are some metal albums I've listened to that really suit that muddy/badly EQed style, and then there are others that sound amazing because it's been produced right... I think the main problem with a lot of these bands is they get too excited too quickly and end up making a mess of what could have been something potentially amazing. Take Jiezuberband for instance (not really metal), they waited until they could hit a proper studio before recording and it was one of my favorite album releases last year (It's called Sound of The Sun and I highly recommend it tongue.gif). But then there are albums like "RnFnR" the Slash album, all the songs are completely different and most of them are mixed differently, it depends on what sound you're going for but all in all in my opinion you should never settle for something badly produced unless you intend for it to be that way. smile.gif
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Mach-X
post Sep 12 2013, 00:39
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Actually it really had nothing to do with the 'loudness war', something I think is a little overblown by people using spectral analysis instead of ears to listen to music. (exception being death magnetic which is audibly distorted, but that doesn't bother me all that much I like the sound in the context of that album), rather it was my live non-carpeted living room that was the problem, as well as putting the mk3se's in the corners of the room. I've now switched to a pair of atom monitors, and everything is very nice now.
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Canar
post Sep 12 2013, 01:01
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QUOTE (Mach-X @ Sep 11 2013, 16:39) *
Actually it really had nothing to do with the 'loudness war', something I think is a little overblown by people using spectral analysis instead of ears to listen to music.
The antipathy towards the loudness war began with people using nothing more than their ears. Please don't propagate this kind of ignorance. Just because you can't hear it doesn't mean it isn't incredibly obvious to those of us who hate it.

There are people here who can ABX 320kbps MP3 reliably on all kinds of samples. I can't, but that shouldn't be used to imply that the people actually ABXing are just using spectrograms.


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db1989
post Sep 12 2013, 01:06
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As well as evidence for the insinuation that lots of people complaining about the loudness war assess its effects spectrally, I’d like a citation for the accompanying implication that said effects tend to manifest in that domain.
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greynol
post Sep 12 2013, 02:12
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I'm skeptical of people who post DR values to proclaim something is shit, but still willing to give them the benefit of the doubt.

Then there are those who pile-on after the post who probably never heard the actual content. This can definitely be classified as propagation of ignorance.

I'm also annoyed with the broad-brushed color code associated with DR values, especially if it isn't genre-specific.

Let's also remember that there can be a world of difference between multi-band DRC and basic limiting which DR values won't reveal.

Tools are good things, so long as they aren't misused. Unfortunately they get misused. I see it with waveform plots, frequency response plots and spectral graphs. Why would it not happen with RG and DR values?

This post has been edited by greynol: Sep 12 2013, 02:25


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markanini
post Sep 12 2013, 02:26
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QUOTE (greynol @ Sep 12 2013, 03:12) *
I'm skeptical of people who post DR values to proclaim something is shit, but still willing to give them the benefit of the doubt.

Then there are those who pile-on after the post who probably never heard the actual content. This can definitely be classified as propagation of ignorance.

I'm also annoyed with the broad-brushed color code associated with DR values, especially if it isn't genre-specific.

Let's also remember that there can be a world of difference between multi-band DRC and basic limiting which DR values won't reveal.

Tools are good things, so long as they aren't misused. Unfortunately they get misused. I see it with waveform plots, frequency response plots and spectral graphs. Why would it not happen with RG and DR values?

Scepticism of DR values is more warranted for vinyl sources.
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greynol
post Sep 12 2013, 04:03
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Most definitely! I didn't even go there.


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ktf
post Sep 12 2013, 05:29
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QUOTE (greynol @ Sep 12 2013, 03:12) *
Let's also remember that there can be a world of difference between multi-band DRC and basic limiting which DR values won't reveal.

+1

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.


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Engelsstaub
post Sep 12 2013, 07:06
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QUOTE (ktf @ Sep 11 2013, 23:29) *
...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. Even the new Gorguts album (DR9) sounds great for that sort of music. The latest Pallbearer album sounds so great on CD (DR10) that I am content not to waste my money on the vinyl. All three Colosseum albums were mastered very well and measured about the same...they all sound pretty good for a funeral-doom band with vocals that nobody could decipher without a lyric-sheet. These and other "extreme" bands didn't shit up their releases with a DR3 master like Immolation did with their last album.

BTW/in general and not to you in particular: that last Immolation album "Kingdom of Conspiracy" sounds way better on vinyl. The measurement is DR10.. I'm no expert, and I've been known to be wrong before, but I'm thinking that when a CD is DR3 and the LP is DR10 it's not just some "vinyl/cartridge EQ" making it measure that differently. The DR analysis is a helpful guide but I also use my ears. Sometimes the CD sounds better in my limited experiences too. I just call it as I hear it.

This post has been edited by Engelsstaub: Sep 12 2013, 07:10


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Mach-X
post Sep 12 2013, 07:32
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QUOTE
The antipathy towards the loudness war began with people using nothing more than their ears. Please don't propagate this kind of ignorance. Just because you can't hear it doesn't mean it isn't incredibly obvious to those of us who hate it.

There are people here who can ABX 320kbps MP3 reliably on all kinds of samples. I can't, but that shouldn't be used to imply that the people actually ABXing are just using spectrograms.


When did I imply that nobody could abx 320kbps mp3?

QUOTE
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.


100%. I will take, for example, a modern Whitechapel album over an older weak sounding Testament album for those very reasons. When using something with low output such as a clip+, the louder albums work better as opposed to having to crank up the volume on a quieter one to the point of noise/distortion.

What bugs me is the FIRST THING somebody did when Black Sabbath put out the single 'God is Dead?' for their new album is run it through an analyzer and proclaim it sounds bad. The song isn't even a loud song other than a few parts, I doubt there is even anything remotely audible IN the song to make it sound 'bad' 'compressed' 'brickwalled' or whatever.
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Martel
post Sep 12 2013, 07:40
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Some metal arrangements have a heavily distorted electric guitar playing throughout the whole song. It's hard to achieve any decent dynamic range measurement in that case. But that does not mean it has to sound bad.


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_if
post Sep 12 2013, 07:56
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QUOTE (Engelsstaub @ Sep 12 2013, 02:06) *
... I'm thinking that when a CD is DR3 and the LP is DR10 it's not just some "vinyl/cartridge EQ" making it measure that differently.

There are ways to be fairly certain about that. If you upload 30-second samples of each version of a song, I and probably others will take a look and listen.

This post has been edited by _if: Sep 12 2013, 07:57
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Engelsstaub
post Sep 12 2013, 09:17
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QUOTE (Mach-X @ Sep 12 2013, 01:32) *
...I will take, for example, a modern Whitechapel album over an older weak sounding Testament album for those very reasons. When using something with low output such as a clip+, the louder albums work better as opposed to having to crank up the volume on a quieter one to the point of noise/distortion.

What bugs me is the FIRST THING somebody did when Black Sabbath put out the single 'God is Dead?' for their new album is run it through an analyzer and proclaim it sounds bad. The song isn't even a loud song other than a few parts, I doubt there is even anything remotely audible IN the song to make it sound 'bad' 'compressed' 'brickwalled' or whatever.


Not trying to be a wiseass but has it occurred to you that it's impossible to illustrate what we individually hear over the internet? The analysis helps convey what we're talking about. It's not perfect. We all perceive things differently, but it's as close as we can get without uploading samples and having polls. You're making an awfully unnecessary assumption when you say that someone just proclaimed it bad after running it through an analyzer. Rick Rubin produced that album and there's a pretty general consensus that he's been messing up and brutally clipping albums for some time now.

As a person who's been listening to Testament since their very first album I can tell you that I'm glad they didn't remaster stuff like "Practice What You Preach" to sound loud at low-volumes on your Clip+. I still listen to that at least once a month and I turn it up and enjoy the dynamics.

I don't believe you are alone in your opinions about loudness-mastering though. A lot of people don't care about the dynamics and want everything to be the same volume as everything else is these days. If that were not so we wouldn't be having this discussion about the Loudness War. (I would really like to know how you think turning up an "old" Testament album is causing noise and distortion. I'll bet I could pick out plenty of distortion from your Whitechapel album at moderate volume.)


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The Loudness War is over. Now it's a hopeless occupation.
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Kohlrabi
post Sep 12 2013, 09:28
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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?

QUOTE (Mach-X @ Sep 12 2013, 08:32) *
100%. I will take, for example, a modern Whitechapel album over an older weak sounding Testament album for those very reasons. When using something with low output such as a clip+, the louder albums work better as opposed to having to crank up the volume on a quieter one to the point of noise/distortion.
You should really use a compressor DSP in your playback chain. IMHO (heavy) compression should mostly happen on the consumer end.

This post has been edited by Kohlrabi: Sep 12 2013, 09:33


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probedb
post Sep 12 2013, 10:59
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QUOTE (Mach-X @ Sep 12 2013, 07:32) *
I will take, for example, a modern Whitechapel album over an older weak sounding Testament album for those very reasons. When using something with low output such as a clip+, the louder albums work better as opposed to having to crank up the volume on a quieter one to the point of noise/distortion.


That's a bizarre comment, you've basically said you're happy with over compressed albums and that the loudness war thing is a good thing huh.gif

Also it sounds like you need a headphone amp, the Clip+ has quite a good headphone stage and shouldn't have issues that you describe. With RG on I'm as happy listening to The Berzerker as I am something like Damnation by Opeth. I don't want albums to be loud unless they're meant to sound that way, artists like Boris for example really turn everything up.
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Juha
post Sep 12 2013, 11:28
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QUOTE (Mach-X @ Jul 4 2013, 10:41) *
Topic sums it up. In my home theater I picked up some vintage paradigm mk3se's as since the first time I heard paradigm speakers I was a fan. Using a pair of atoms for surround. I am a fan of of deathcore/death metal/thrash, etc, and whenever I listen to any of this on my system I can't stand the sound. It's lifeless with overbearing mud. When watching a dvd with dolby digital, or playing pop music like Madonna's celebration double disc set, the audio is sublime with bass that punches you in the chest,

...


Do you mean stereo music in a surround system (is the surround speaker system a matched set and room correction done ?)? If yes then how it sounds as plain stereo?


Juha
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