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Modern Vinyl "Masters" vs. CD--My Experience, It Really IS About the Music
Engelsstaub
post Dec 5 2012, 18:59
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Due to some recent past experiences in other threads wherein some members (who plainly state their honest dislike of vinyl) claim that modern LPs are just as dynamically clipped as their CD-counterparts, I'd like to take an opportunity to illustrate that this is IME not the case. I've heard it stated more than once that "vinyl is not about the music..it's about the ritual.) This is seemingly just plain-old lazy bias. It can easily be forgiven in that these posters make it pretty obvious that they don't purchase vinyl, let alone compare modern releases to their CD-counterparts.

Here are screenshots from needledrops I've done of some of my favorite recent records. All but one were released in the past two years. Warrel Dane's "Praises to the War Machine" was released in 2008. (As a fun side-note, the vinyl LP came with the CD and was limited to 1,000 copies worldwide.)

I would like to note that I did not cherry-pick these examples. I only have about three more needledrops that I also have a CD copy or iTunes Matched version of. I can upload those as well. It should also be noted that all of these examples are on the heavier-side of the metal genre and probably are far more dense in sound than most other examples from other genres.

I've brought each vinyl recording up to 0.1 under 0 dB for easier comparison. None of the peaks are "pops" or any artifacts associated with the LP medium. Only one had a "pop" that hit the ceiling and I corrected it before applying gain.


Borknagar - "The Earthling" from "Urd" (2012)

LP



iTunes Matched AAC




In Flames - "Ropes" from "Sounds of a Playground Fading" (2011)

LP



CD



(This album is an egregious example of how bad they can make a modern CD sound through destructive normalization.)


Saint Vitus - "Let Them Fall" from "Lillie: F-65" (2012)

LP



CD



(Yes, really. It sounds worse than it looks IME.)


Warrel Dane - "Brother" from "Praises to the War Machine" (2008)

LP



CD




Septicflesh - "Oceans of Grey" from "The Great Mass" (2011)

LP



CD




[continued in next post due to apparent image constraints]


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Engelsstaub
post Dec 5 2012, 20:59
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I think it should be a bit more clear that we're not really talking about "masters" here, rgtb. I doubt that any of my examples were really "mastered" differently. They appear to be rather destructively normalized on the CD.

I also will have to respectfully and adamantly disagree. I believe those screenshots I exported from iZotope RX2 Advanced more than adequately demonstrate the normalization that is present on the CDs but not on the LPs. I can't talk about how much different it sounds, obviously. It should suffice to say that "information is permanently lost" on the CD that is still present on the LP. I would further add that much of that "information" is percussion. It shouldn't be at all difficult to ascertain that the dynamic range of the former is far less than that of the latter. Usually to the point of complete dissatisfaction of and contempt for the CD version.

I'm no recording engineer, but I can assure you that I'm not merely eyeballing these recordings, but listening to them as well. I'm trying to avoid the TOS 8 violations of talking about the way it sounds. ABXing CD against vinyl would be an experiment riddled with inaccuracy and flaw.

EDIT: I would also like to apologize for the tone I got with you in the other thread. We're all humans and have bad days, but I really could have handled it better. Sorry/Ich bitte um Entschuldigung smile.gif

This post has been edited by Engelsstaub: Dec 5 2012, 21:08


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2Bdecided
post Dec 6 2012, 11:28
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QUOTE (Engelsstaub @ Dec 5 2012, 19:59) *
I believe those screenshots I exported from iZotope RX2 Advanced more than adequately demonstrate the normalization that is present on the CDs but not on the LPs.
No, they don't, not at that zoom level. You really should follow the two links that krabapple posted...
http://audiamorous.blogspot.co.uk/2008/09/...ed-harmful.html
...and...
http://www.hydrogenaudio.org/forums/index....mp;#entry587401
...because they show the exact situation where the zoomed out graphs look just like yours, but the zoomed in graphs show the clipping present on the CD is also present on the LP.

However, when zoomed in, and listened to, your results are different. In Dirty Window of Opportunity, at 0:27.924 in the AAC version the kick drum clips, whereas it does not appear to clip in the LP version (found at 0:27.811). The sound of the two versions becomes much closer if you match the volume (drop the CD version by 8.47dB) and match the EQ (between flat and -2dB at 100Hz, raising to 0dB around 3kHz, 2-3dB up by 10kHz; gentle slope throughout) - but the CD still has a slightly more compressed sound. I think it may have better stereo separation though - listen to the guitars - though again that may be due to compression.

I'm not so convinced by Ropes. With the volume and EQ matched, I'm not sure I can hear a difference (beyond not quite matching the volume and EQ perfectly!). Also, the LP version appears to include the clipping from the CD version. See 0:04.379 on the CD vs 0:04.627 on the LP - same flat line! (note that the CD is inverted wrt the LP).

Haven't had change to check your other sample.

It seems your turntable set-up boosts the treble by 2-3dB. It's quite common for cartridges to add a little "smiley face" EQ, though yours doesn't seem to help the bass. All other things being equal, if you like this EQ, you'll prefer vinyl over CD every time on your set up.

Cheers,
David.
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Posts in this topic
- Engelsstaub   Modern Vinyl "Masters" vs. CD--My Experience   Dec 5 2012, 18:59
- - Engelsstaub   Dimmu Borgir - "Born Treacherous" from ...   Dec 5 2012, 19:00
|- - Nessuno   Never actually made measurement of the sort, but m...   Dec 5 2012, 19:24
|- - StephenPG   QUOTE (Nessuno @ Dec 5 2012, 20:24) Never...   Dec 5 2012, 22:14
|- - krabapple   QUOTE (StephenPG @ Dec 5 2012, 16:14) QUO...   Dec 5 2012, 23:24
|- - Nessuno   QUOTE (krabapple @ Dec 5 2012, 23:24) QUO...   Dec 6 2012, 10:26
|- - krabapple   QUOTE (Nessuno @ Dec 6 2012, 04:26) Yes, ...   Dec 7 2012, 17:42
|- - Nessuno   QUOTE (krabapple @ Dec 7 2012, 17:42) Why...   Dec 8 2012, 10:46
- - Engelsstaub   Probably not I think people who produce classical...   Dec 5 2012, 19:29
|- - Porcus   QUOTE (Engelsstaub @ Dec 5 2012, 19:29) I...   Dec 5 2012, 20:05
|- - rgtb   QUOTE (Engelsstaub @ Dec 5 2012, 19:29) M...   Dec 5 2012, 20:25
- - [JAZ]   @Engelsstaub: While I agree that probably more car...   Dec 5 2012, 20:08
- - Engelsstaub   @ Porcus: I'm going to try to get a few sample...   Dec 5 2012, 20:22
- - Engelsstaub   I think it should be a bit more clear that we...   Dec 5 2012, 20:59
|- - 2Bdecided   QUOTE (Engelsstaub @ Dec 5 2012, 19:59) I...   Dec 6 2012, 11:28
- - almostmitch   I like what I see especially after just taking th...   Dec 5 2012, 21:32
|- - Engelsstaub   QUOTE (almostmitch @ Dec 5 2012, 14:32) I...   Dec 5 2012, 21:41
- - [JAZ]   I'll wait for the samples, to see what I can g...   Dec 5 2012, 21:45
- - Triza   I left the rock scene primarily because of bad mas...   Dec 5 2012, 21:50
|- - Engelsstaub   QUOTE (Triza @ Dec 5 2012, 14:50) I left ...   Dec 5 2012, 21:59
- - almostmitch   QUOTE (Engelsstaub @ Dec 5 2012, 15:59) A...   Dec 5 2012, 22:22
- - [JAZ]   Mmm... after a few tests, I cannot get what I want...   Dec 5 2012, 22:56
|- - Engelsstaub   QUOTE ([JAZ] @ Dec 5 2012, 15:56)...   Dec 6 2012, 00:46
- - krabapple   You can't turned a hard limited (as in a limit...   Dec 5 2012, 23:13
- - krabapple   And please, before you conclude that vinyl 'so...   Dec 5 2012, 23:27
|- - Engelsstaub   QUOTE (krabapple @ Dec 5 2012, 16:27) And...   Dec 6 2012, 00:41
- - mjb2006   Can you upload a clip of one of the AAC files and ...   Dec 6 2012, 01:57
|- - Engelsstaub   QUOTE (mjb2006 @ Dec 5 2012, 18:57) Can y...   Dec 6 2012, 02:27
|- - mjb2006   No, I mean, start with the AAC file and "appl...   Dec 6 2012, 02:44
- - extrabigmehdi   Well, just by looking at the graphs I wouldn...   Dec 6 2012, 03:56
|- - Engelsstaub   QUOTE (extrabigmehdi @ Dec 5 2012, 20:56)...   Dec 6 2012, 04:04
|- - extrabigmehdi   QUOTE (Engelsstaub @ Dec 6 2012, 03:04) D...   Dec 6 2012, 04:43
|- - Engelsstaub   QUOTE (extrabigmehdi @ Dec 5 2012, 21:43)...   Dec 6 2012, 06:35
- - Engelsstaub   I've no software on the Macintosh platform tha...   Dec 6 2012, 03:56
- - hlloyge   I've replaygained Ropes sample and played them...   Dec 6 2012, 09:25
- - [JAZ]   QUOTE (krabapple @ Dec 5 2012, 23:13) You...   Dec 6 2012, 12:06
- - Kohlrabi   While I agree it is likely worthwhile to get into ...   Dec 6 2012, 13:33
|- - rgtb   QUOTE (Kohlrabi @ Dec 6 2012, 13:33) Are ...   Dec 6 2012, 13:58
||- - Nessuno   QUOTE (rgtb @ Dec 6 2012, 13:58) I don...   Dec 6 2012, 15:46
|- - DVDdoug   Most of my CDs don't "look" that bad...   Dec 6 2012, 20:36
- - almostmitch   QUOTE (Engelsstaub @ Dec 5 2012, 18:41) @...   Dec 6 2012, 15:46
- - 2Bdecided   I've checked out "the earthling". Th...   Dec 6 2012, 17:45
- - Engelsstaub   QUOTE (hlloyge @ Dec 6 2012, 02:25) I...   Dec 6 2012, 17:48
- - Engelsstaub   QUOTE (Nessuno @ Dec 6 2012, 03:26) ... G...   Dec 6 2012, 17:56
- - Engelsstaub   QUOTE (DVDdoug @ Dec 6 2012, 13:36) ...I...   Dec 6 2012, 20:56
- - mjb2006   Assuming the QuickTime trim function doesn't t...   Dec 7 2012, 11:20
|- - 2Bdecided   QUOTE (mjb2006 @ Dec 7 2012, 10:20) I wou...   Dec 10 2012, 14:00
- - Engelsstaub   QUOTE (mjb2006 @ Dec 7 2012, 04:20) Assum...   Dec 7 2012, 16:31
- - mixminus1   My thoughts exactly. I'd be very surprised if...   Dec 7 2012, 19:20
- - mjb2006   I'm wondering if we should change the vinyl my...   Dec 7 2012, 22:07
- - greynol   OT regarding the wiki: I would strive to make the ...   Dec 7 2012, 22:44
|- - dhromed   In light of this thread, I de-sweep my earlier swe...   Dec 8 2012, 13:20
- - Engelsstaub   Agreed. My personal vote (assuming I even have one...   Dec 7 2012, 23:49
- - RonaldDumsfeld   Impressive and thought provoking thread. Thanks E...   Dec 8 2012, 01:47
- - Engelsstaub   QUOTE (RonaldDumsfeld @ Dec 7 2012, 18:47...   Dec 8 2012, 17:12
|- - GeSomeone   QUOTE (Engelsstaub @ Dec 8 2012, 17:12) I...   Dec 10 2012, 22:03
- - Engelsstaub   I had to go back nearly ten years (in pressing dat...   Dec 10 2012, 18:30
|- - Blueshirt   QUOTE (Engelsstaub @ Dec 10 2012, 18:30) ...   Dec 10 2012, 20:39
- - Gecko   I just had a quick listen to the "Heathen Thr...   Dec 10 2012, 20:11
- - greynol   BTW, just because a straight line in a waveform mi...   Dec 10 2012, 20:20
|- - WernerO   QUOTE (greynol @ Dec 10 2012, 21:20) BTW,...   Dec 11 2012, 09:04
- - Engelsstaub   QUOTE (Gecko @ Dec 10 2012, 13:11) I just...   Dec 10 2012, 21:25
- - Engelsstaub   Well that's disappointing to hear. I'm gl...   Dec 10 2012, 23:20
- - Engelsstaub   I'm bumping in the interest of continued relev...   Jan 4 2013, 19:08
- - gnypp45   I haven't read this thread in detail, but I wo...   Jan 4 2013, 22:35
- - DVDdoug   QUOTE Indeed the crest factor of the allpass filte...   Jan 4 2013, 23:04
- - Engelsstaub   I'm not even sure what proof we still require ...   Jan 5 2013, 00:37
|- - rgtb   QUOTE (Engelsstaub @ Jan 5 2013, 00:37) I...   Jan 5 2013, 09:39
||- - Nessuno   QUOTE (rgtb @ Jan 5 2013, 09:39) given vi...   Jan 5 2013, 10:51
||- - Engelsstaub   QUOTE (rgtb @ Jan 5 2013, 02:39) ... give...   Jan 5 2013, 12:01
|- - Kohlrabi   QUOTE (Engelsstaub @ Jan 5 2013, 00:37) I...   Jan 5 2013, 09:47
|- - Engelsstaub   QUOTE (Kohlrabi @ Jan 5 2013, 02:47) ...I...   Jan 5 2013, 12:10
- - DVDdoug   QUOTE So I guess my question now is this: is the T...   Jan 5 2013, 01:34
- - hlloyge   I think that there is one mastering proces where t...   Jan 5 2013, 16:02
|- - Engelsstaub   QUOTE (hlloyge @ Jan 5 2013, 09:02) I thi...   Jan 5 2013, 17:02
|- - GeSomeone   QUOTE (Engelsstaub @ Jan 5 2013, 17:02) [...   Jan 5 2013, 18:46
- - Engelsstaub   Yes, I don't doubt that that is quite possibly...   Jan 6 2013, 17:47
- - 2Bdecided   I don't have anything recent on both vinyl and...   Jan 7 2013, 15:46
- - Engelsstaub   Sounds like a good idea, David. I can easily figur...   Jan 7 2013, 18:21
|- - Kees de Visser   QUOTE (Engelsstaub @ Jan 7 2013, 18:21) D...   Jan 7 2013, 21:00
- - Engelsstaub   Thanks, Kees de Visser. Apparently iZotope RX2 do...   Jan 7 2013, 21:55
- - DVDdoug   QUOTE Does anyone know of a suitable all-pass filt...   Jan 7 2013, 23:02
- - Engelsstaub   Here is the DR value analysis of the CD (FLAC rip)...   Jan 9 2013, 00:02
|- - greynol   QUOTE (Engelsstaub @ Jan 8 2013, 15:02) D...   Jan 9 2013, 01:41
- - Engelsstaub   I'm struggling to believe that the LP, even t...   Jan 9 2013, 03:23
|- - 2Bdecided   Thank you for posting those results Engelsstaub. ...   Jan 9 2013, 11:07
- - greynol   Beats not knowing that such an effect exists.   Jan 9 2013, 04:16
- - Engelsstaub   Ah, ok. Thanks for the clarification. I know some...   Jan 9 2013, 16:33
- - Kohlrabi   QUOTE (Engelsstaub @ Jan 9 2013, 16:33) ....   Jan 9 2013, 16:58
|- - Engelsstaub   QUOTE (Kohlrabi @ Jan 9 2013, 09:58) If y...   Jan 10 2013, 00:12
- - greynol   Remove the b.   Jan 10 2013, 00:16
- - Engelsstaub   Even better I think I'm going to give this...   Jan 10 2013, 00:31
- - 2Bdecided   Actually, I think it would be wonderful to have a ...   Jan 10 2013, 16:13
- - Engelsstaub   I'll try to do my part in the near future. May...   Jan 10 2013, 17:16
- - greynol   I want to revisit this discussion because I just p...   Jan 28 2013, 22:29
|- - Engelsstaub   QUOTE (greynol @ Jan 28 2013, 15:29) ...i...   Jan 28 2013, 23:42
- - greynol   Just the last one. Again this is solely based on ...   Jan 28 2013, 23:50
- - 2Bdecided   This looks like one for the list of vinyl that bea...   Jan 29 2013, 12:03
- - Kohlrabi   QUOTE (2Bdecided @ Jan 29 2013, 12:03) Th...   Jan 29 2013, 16:41
- - Engelsstaub   QUOTE (Kohlrabi @ Jan 29 2013, 09:41) ......   Jan 29 2013, 23:35
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