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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 Jan 5 2013, 00:37
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I'm not even sure what proof we still require that demonstrates what I contend is currently going on: that, more often than not, masters are being destructively normalized in application to digital formats but not for vinyl. Yes, some of them perhaps were mastered with DRC already. But the situation is aggravated further by what I believe is the music industry making sure modern digital files are all equally "loud."

By ear, the In Flames example is a bit more subtle than some of the blatant examples I've submitted. It "sounds better" to me and some others. David said he thought it sounded about the same after some manipulation. My software, used to measure dynamic range, indicates a considerable difference. I'm not familiar with gnypp45's method but he's claiming it indicates what is already obvious to most of us.

I mean this earnestly and am not trying to be a smartass: what's it going to take to get the aforementioned absolutist language of the wiki entry changed to more honest and neutral wording? I already feel I've overstated my case. The fact that it's still somehow not convincing is a bit disheartening.

I want to be clear in that I'm in no way trying to crap on digital. I honestly wish that the current industry would stop making the digital versions sound inferior to the vinyl ones. Even if one does prefer vinyl, he or she can't get even half the music he/she wants anymore on that format. I'm seeing, from my own modest collection of modern LPs, more than just some. It looks like a real trend.

So I guess my question now is this: is the TT DR Meter not a trustworthy application for measuring dynamic range? If it is it shows a moderate to considerable difference in all of these albums which I've taken samples from. I used the In Flames one here because it was one of only a couple that one or two members said they didn't perceive the difference.


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Kohlrabi
post Jan 5 2013, 09:47
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QUOTE (Engelsstaub @ Jan 5 2013, 00:37) *
I mean this earnestly and am not trying to be a smartass: what's it going to take to get the aforementioned absolutist language of the wiki entry changed to more honest and neutral wording? I already feel I've overstated my case. The fact that it's still somehow not convincing is a bit disheartening.
It's an open wiki, you can edit it freely. You can change the wording directly, or suggest a new wording in this thread, which can then be tweaked. IMHO, after reading this thread, there should only be the mention that a vinyl master may or may not be different, and nothing about the relative frequency of one or the other, since I guess nobody did a thorough enough sampling across multiple genres.

I just now changed the wording to be more neutral, please read it and change it accordingly. I also removed the suggestive bold-facing from this paragraph.

QUOTE (Engelsstaub @ Jan 5 2013, 00:37) *
So I guess my question now is this: is the TT DR Meter not a trustworthy application for measuring dynamic range? If it is it shows a moderate to considerable difference in all of these albums which I've taken samples from. I used the In Flames one here because it was one of only a couple that one or two members said they didn't perceive the difference.
DR rating also depends on genre. There are some genres which are less or more dynamic in nature and by design. Though in the genres you mentioned so far (metal, alt rock, rock and so forth) DR does matter, and it has been ignored for quite a while.

This post has been edited by Kohlrabi: Jan 5 2013, 09:48


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Engelsstaub
post Jan 5 2013, 12:10
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QUOTE (Kohlrabi @ Jan 5 2013, 02:47) *
...It's an open wiki, you can edit it freely. You can change the wording directly, or suggest a new wording in this thread, which can then be tweaked. IMHO, after reading this thread, there should only be the mention that a vinyl master may or may not be different, and nothing about the relative frequency of one or the other, since I guess nobody did a thorough enough sampling across multiple genres.

I just now changed the wording to be more neutral, please read it and change it accordingly. I also removed the suggestive bold-facing from this paragraph.

...There are some genres which are less or more dynamic in nature and by design. Though in the genres you mentioned so far (metal, alt rock, rock and so forth) DR does matter, and it has been ignored for quite a while...


Thanks for changing it, Kohlrabi. I honestly didn't know I could just change it myself. The change was already discussed in this thread and greynol even suggested more neutral wording.

I know it's unfortunate that pretty much the only examples of modern vinyl I can contribute are from "heavier" genres. On the bright side: perhaps it's more interesting and productive/relevant as such (considering that "theoretically" genres like metal ought to be more dense and less dynamic than some others. I don't know...)


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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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