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What are some well-mastered cd's?, Compact discs that you can actually listen to...
Firon
post May 15 2006, 18:19
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Anacondo: I have those soundtracks, they're wonderful (and the movies are good, too). Making of Cyborg and Reincarnation are my favorite tracks, they're really powerful when you hear them in 5.1 in the movie!

The Stand Alone Complex OSTs by Yoko Kanno are also great. smile.gif

This post has been edited by Firon: May 15 2006, 18:29
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gasmann
post May 15 2006, 20:00
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Also recommendable are the StarWars OST's, at least Episode 1-3 (Episode 4-6 are old, analogue recordings but still sound really good).

Episode II - Attack of the Clones is the best. It's my absolute favourite cd. RG_ALBUM_GAIN=+0.37 RG_ALBUM_PEAK=1.033703 (analysis done on lame 3.97b2 -V 5 --vbr-new lossy, that's why the peak is higher than 1; but there are no clipped samples and no excessive hardlimiting).


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Johnnydex
post Jun 10 2006, 03:42
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Nora Jones -Come away with me.
Tool - 10,000 days.
Death Cab for Cutie - Plans.
Seal - IV



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Demodave
post Jun 10 2006, 04:55
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The new David Gilmour "On An Island" is mastered really well with actual dynamic range!!
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HotshotGG
post Jun 10 2006, 05:05
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QUOTE
On the extremely high end of things, BT's Emotional Technology displays good pop mastering at it's limit: Circles has an RG of -10.97dB. The album has an RG of -9.56dB. Despite that, there are places where it is very dynamic, like in the intro to Animals.


I love BT's stuff and I think he is a fantastic producer, but the hot levels on that disc make me cringe. It's the same with MITSL, which I own. laugh.gif.

If you want well mastered albums, look into soundtrack's, classical pieces, and 80's recordings. wink.gif


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pianoman
post Jun 11 2006, 02:40
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David GILMOUR? smile.gif

Hey, cool! I still remember that brilliant version of "Running up that hill" he did with Kate Bush, back in '87. cool.gif Dynamics at their best! rolleyes.gif (As if Kate sat directly in your ear laugh.gif )
Thanks for mentioning...

Hmmm ... intelligent pop + live.
That could spawn another album title from within my mind...Eurythmics live 1983-1989, brilliant stuff.
Hm and what about Supertramp live in Paris 1980?
Supertramp? Sure. Breakfast in America. Recorded in 1979? If I didn't know, I couldn't guess. rolleyes.gif

Conclusion: lots of live albums (and bootlegs) are well-mastered.
I also remember a live bootleg from Supertramp where they stated on the CD that the sound was supposed to be as rough as possible and that least possible modifying/enhancing had been done on it. Been very old stuff, pre-"Breakfast in America".

This post has been edited by pianoman: Jun 11 2006, 02:49


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blinded_with_sci...
post Jun 11 2006, 22:59
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QUOTE (Johnnydex @ Jun 9 2006, 18:42) *
Nora Jones -Come away with me.
Tool - 10,000 days.
Death Cab for Cutie - Plans.
Seal - IV

I'm just gonna quit here, even though I could go on and on.


Hey wait a minute..
Norah Jones? Are you serious?

The first track on the album, "Don't know why", has very audible distortion in her voice. It's one of those tracks that has bugged me the most, because clipping is completely uncalled for it this genre. sad.gif

Listen at 1:13-1:14. It's not hard clipped, the damage was probably done by a soft clipper during mastering. I've noticed there are people who consider soft clippers to be "spectrally clean", which is absolutely not true.
1:45, 1:46 likewise, 1:55-1:58 - basically all the times she sings loudly. If you don't notice it in speakers, try headphones, but it should be audible.

Plans by Death Cab and Seal IV aren't bad for for a recent recordings, but they could have sounded better with more dynamics. For modern mastering they're about as good as it gets though. sad.gif


Sorry everyone, didn't mean to turn the "well mastered CD" thread into yet another "poorly mastered CDs" thread. Let's see if I can redeem myself. smile.gif

For a truly truly excellent mastering, try Still Life (Talking) by Pat Metheny (1987). It's Jazz, but so extremely well made and melodious, it's almost impossible not to like it. If you want to try just one track, try "Third wind". CDs can't sound much better than this. smile.gif

Infected Mushroom - B. P. Empire (2002) sounds incredible too. If you're at all into electronic music, it's a must-listen. The album is clip-free as far as I can tell, they probably used a little bit of look-ahead limiting, but nothing I can hear. And dare I say it, if there's a flaw, it'll jump out and bug me, whether I like it or not smile.gif.

///Leif
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HotshotGG
post Jun 11 2006, 23:43
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QUOTE
Infected Mushroom - B. P. Empire (2002) sounds incredible too. If you're at all into electronic music, it's a must-listen. The album is clip-free as far as I can tell, they probably used a little bit of look-ahead limiting, but nothing I can hear. And dare I say it, if there's a flaw, it'll jump out and bug me, whether I like it or not


It's also a good listen to if you have a pair of headphones. I have Classical Mushroom and IM The Supervisor. They tend to use a lot of reverberation and phase filtering, which makes their pieces standout in terms of realism.


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blinded_with_sci...
post Jun 12 2006, 15:14
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QUOTE (HotshotGG @ Jun 11 2006, 14:43) *
QUOTE
Infected Mushroom - B. P. Empire (2002) sounds incredible too. If you're at all into electronic music, it's a must-listen. The album is clip-free as far as I can tell, they probably used a little bit of look-ahead limiting, but nothing I can hear. And dare I say it, if there's a flaw, it'll jump out and bug me, whether I like it or not


It's also a good listen to if you have a pair of headphones. I have Classical Mushroom and IM The Supervisor. They tend to use a lot of reverberation and phase filtering, which makes their pieces standout in terms of realism.


I agree about Classical Mushroom or any of their earlier stuff, but sound quality took a steep dive on I'm the Supervisor. It's completely smashed, and while there's not a lot of clipping, there's a ton of limiting, drums have very little impact, the top 6dB has been squashed like on so many other recordings. Actually processing this album through a carefully adjusted expander made a big difference for me, and I'm able to listen to my modified copy. Sure, more processing isn't usually a good thing, but at least there are some peaks for the ears to focus on instead of noticing every other flaw.

"I'm the supervisor" is not the worst recording I've ever heard, but I thought this thread was about WELL MASTERED cd's, not "far-from-the-worst-but-still-crap".


I'm the supervisor, track 02

///Leif
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ShowsOn
post Jun 12 2006, 18:21
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I just want to point out that Vlado Meller has mastered some good CDs.

Wynton Marsalis' album Black Codes (From The Underground) is an all digitally recorded, mixed and mastered album. Meller did the mastering, and it sounds wonderful.

Some may be amazed to know that it contains heaps of dynamic range.

I replaygained the album, the loudest song required -3.37 correction, the quietest song required an increase of +1.69.


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andi
post Jun 12 2006, 21:04
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Hats by The Blue Nile on the Linn Label. Good edgy stuff too. Did the guy who said Nora Jones ger Banned? tongue.gif . I like her too blink.gif . Did i just type that laugh.gif
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Never_Again
post Jun 13 2006, 07:34
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Any CD by This Mortal Coil. It'll End In Tears is veritable audio nirvana, both in terms of sound quality and content.
QUOTE (andi @ Jun 12 2006, 16:04) *
Did the guy who said Nora Jones ger Banned? tongue.gif . I like her too blink.gif . Did i just type that laugh.gif
Johnnydex has not been banned. One wonders what would prompt you with such a wild, preposterous speculation as claiming that ppl get banned from HA for stating their musical preferences.
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rudefyet
post Jun 13 2006, 09:19
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There's 2 christian labels that seem to release amazing sounding cds

Sparrow and inPop....their both connected, so that explains the similar mastering quality

as for more mainstream music...i have a couple remastered Pink Floyd / AC/DC albums that sound great...along with Nine Inch Nails cds and 10 Years are the best newer music i've heard, but still not perfect

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Lashiec
post Jun 13 2006, 09:41
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I would personally recommend Chris Rea: "On the Beach" and Bryan Ferry: "Boys and Girls". Both albums sound quite good, with all music instruments well differentiated. Listening to them it's so nice... tongue.gif . Theoretically, Bryan Ferry album is a HDCD (that's what it have printed on the case), but WMP doesn't recognize it...
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GeSomeone
post Jun 13 2006, 12:17
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I like how the Porcupine Tree albums are mastered. Their 2001 release In Absentia a bit less (I guess they went for a louder sound or it was due to the (switch of) record company).
But all the others are good, dynamics wise. The newly remixed/remastered Stupid Dream is a great example. That the original was from 1999 may account for some of it. The real reason is that the band leader is very much in control over what happens to the albums, including mastering.
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Lashiec
post Jun 13 2006, 12:40
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QUOTE (GeSomeone @ Jun 13 2006, 13:17) *
I like how the Porcupine Tree albums are mastered. Their 2001 release In Absentia a bit less (I guess they went for a louder sound or it was due to the (switch of) record company).
But all the others are good, dynamics wise. The newly remixed/remastered Stupid Dream is a great example. That the original was from 1999 may account for some of it. The real reason is that the band leader is very much in control over what happens to the albums, including mastering.

I've not listened to many Porcupine Tree songs, but Steven Wilson is widely considered as an excellent producer by many bands, like Opeth (whose albums are also widely considered to have an excellent production... Steven Wilson is the co-producer of three of them biggrin.gif )
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molnart
post Jun 13 2006, 13:22
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Gordian Knot's self-titled debut sounds quite good.

This post has been edited by molnart: Jun 19 2006, 22:50


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BoNeLeSS
post Jun 13 2006, 17:14
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Mike oldfield's "amarok"... Talk about insane dynamic range and still no perceptible distortion.

Alan Parsons Project, Tales of mistery and imagination, remastered/remixed version of 1987. Another damn good sounding album. The drums on the first track "A dream within a dream" are just amazing.
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GeSomeone
post Jun 13 2006, 17:24
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QUOTE (BoNeLeSS @ Jun 13 2006, 18:14) *
Mike oldfield's "amarok"... Talk about insane dynamic range and still no perceptible distortion.

I heard he did that to annoy the record company, when he had to fill his contract with one more album tongue.gif
To me it's not his worst album (but those few loud passages in the first part are annoying indeed (happ-py?))

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BoNeLeSS
post Jun 13 2006, 18:35
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QUOTE (GeSomeone @ Jun 13 2006, 18:24) *
QUOTE (BoNeLeSS @ Jun 13 2006, 18:14) *

Mike oldfield's "amarok"... Talk about insane dynamic range and still no perceptible distortion.

I heard he did that to annoy the record company, when he had to fill his contract with one more album tongue.gif
To me it's by far not his worst album (those few loud passages in the first part are annoying indeed)


Indeed, he made it intentionally anticomercial plaging it with abrupt volume changes and weird noises and just one track of exactly one hour, not the music you'd expect to hear in commercial radioformulas, but for me is one of his best albums. The last 1/4 hour is pure genious. Very different from the garbage that were the previous (earth moving) and next (heaven's open) albums.
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flcpge
post Jun 13 2006, 19:16
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Dave Brubeck Quartet - Time Out (1997)
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Johnnydex
post Jun 13 2006, 19:31
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QUOTE (blinded_with_science @ Jun 11 2006, 16:59) *
QUOTE (Johnnydex @ Jun 9 2006, 18:42) *

Nora Jones -Come away with me.
Tool - 10,000 days.
Death Cab for Cutie - Plans.
Seal - IV

I'm just gonna quit here, even though I could go on and on.


Hey wait a minute..
Norah Jones? Are you serious?

The first track on the album, "Don't know why", has very audible distortion in her voice. It's one of those tracks that has bugged me the most, because clipping is completely uncalled for it this genre. sad.gif





Yeah, Yeah, tou·ché on the Nora Jones smack down. You are absolutely right, I admit to bluring the lines and including good production. The production on that album was great but you are right the mastering was not. And since this thread is not about well produced albums I should'nt have included it.

This post has been edited by Johnnydex: Jun 13 2006, 19:38
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pianoman
post Jun 14 2006, 06:36
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Just a question aside, what software are you guys doing these shiny spectrograms with?
CoolEdit?
I have an old WaveLab lying around somewhere, but it looks *quite* different to the above diagrams.


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gasmann
post Jun 17 2006, 16:01
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QUOTE (pianoman @ Jun 14 2006, 07:36) *
Just a question aside, what software are you guys doing these shiny spectrograms with?
CoolEdit?
I have an old WaveLab lying around somewhere, but it looks *quite* different to the above diagrams.


About any Waveeditor should do. Be it Cool Edit, Nero Wave Editor (crap, I know), Audition, or WaveLab...
Just open the file in the Editor and make a screenshot of the displayed waveform (e.g. using Alt-PrintScreen then inserting into IrfanView or so and just cut out the waveform, then save as png and upload somewhere).


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Fandango
post Jun 17 2006, 16:34
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Adobe Audition (former Cool Edit) allows to alter the spectral colors quite nicely via the Spectral Controls window. For example making the louder frequencies really bright colored and the not-that-loud frequencies almost black.... this way the spectral view is also useful for displaying clipping as it already is for showing compression.



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