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Modern Vinyl "Masters" vs. CD--My Experience, It Really IS About the Music
2Bdecided
post Jan 30 2013, 10:46
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QUOTE (Kohlrabi @ Jan 29 2013, 15:41) *
Is there a reason for not putting this new version out on CD or iTunes?
What?! Try and sell a "new and improved" version on the same format that's quieter than the original?!?!?!

wink.gif

This is the best excuse for new hi-res formats - you can fix your previous mastering mistakes without ever admitting you even made a mistake.

Cheers,
David.
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2Bdecided
post Jan 30 2013, 13:38
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You set me thinking - sometimes more "remastering" is better, and sometimes going from more to less sounds strange when you're used to more. Of course, there are limits!

Check out the samples in this thread...
http://www.hydrogenaudio.org/forums/index....showtopic=99166
...I prefer (a), but then I heard (a) first. Yet if I heard a radio station, or genre complication CD, include a track sounding exactly like (a), I'd find that sound to be totally weird and jarring - I'd expect one of (b)-(e) on a compilation CD, and (f) on the radio.

Cheers,
David.
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Henry66
post Jul 4 2013, 16:58
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Sorry to come into this thread so late. I found it while googling for info about how modern vinyl LPs are actually made.

What is the source for the data that is cut into the plastic? Isn't it a digital file (nowadays)? Does anyone know someone who could get hold of such a digital source file (unaltered) that we can analyze and compare with an LP rip of the same?
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Engelsstaub
post Jul 5 2013, 04:37
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QUOTE (Henry66 @ Jul 4 2013, 10:58) *
...
What is the source for the data that is cut into the plastic? Isn't it a digital file (nowadays)? Does anyone know someone who could get hold of such a digital source file (unaltered) that we can analyze and compare with an LP rip of the same?


It is almost always a digital file for modern releases. Some of the stoner/doom bands still like to do full-analogue albums but it's not common in most genres and sub-genres. (IMO recording to tape is an unnecessary pain in this century.)

I do have some studio master files. Some are from a compilation/tribute CD that hasn't been distributed in physical format yet...but it will never see a vinyl release. (An interesting side-note is this: 75% of the original submissions were very dynamic--talking DR 12 or so--for some pretty extreme forms of metal. They got "normalized" ie: boosted to the point of clipping/near-brickwalling for the proper release. I digress.)

The only other master file I have I haven't done a transfer of the vinyl and unfortunately never will. Besides being pointless for me, I don't want to open the vinyl because it's a limited pressing: 79 of 500.




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Blueshirt
post Jul 30 2013, 14:14
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QUOTE (Engelsstaub @ Jul 5 2013, 04:37) *
I don't want to open the vinyl because it's a limited pressing: 79 of 500.


You keep your vinyl sealed? Each to their own and all that, but I don't see the point in buying a record to keep it in a wrapper. Play it and enjoy it I say! smile.gif
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Engelsstaub
post Aug 5 2013, 06:06
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QUOTE (Blueshirt @ Jul 30 2013, 08:14) *
You keep your vinyl sealed? ...


No, I usually don't. ...but I'm also a collector. The particular artist who released that album is personally familiar to me and I have the 24/48 files that were used to press that album.

...so in such instances I feel there's no use in playing the record when I'd rather sit on it and watch the collector's value skyrocket when it's out of print smile.gif


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TomasPin
post Aug 5 2013, 20:40
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QUOTE (Engelsstaub @ Aug 5 2013, 02:06) *
I have the 24/48 files that were used to press that album.

What, no 192khz? Are you kidding me? He must not like you very much...

wink.gif


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pisymbol
post Oct 9 2013, 13:52
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QUOTE (greynol @ Jan 28 2013, 17:29) *
I want to revisit this discussion because I just provided a link to it from another discussion and realized that I failed to point out earlier that based on simply viewing the waveforms in the first two posts and my understanding of how vinyl is created and subsequently played back, it appears to me that DRC may have been applied to the CD version above and beyond the source that was used to create the vinyl version for only one title shown: the last one.

IOW, I don't find the visual evidence presented here very compelling in order to conclude that vinyl is typically derived from a different master than the one used to create a CD, FWIW and IMHO.


A lot of times in the metal hemisphere, they are indeed different masters. It depends on the label, but the smaller ones almost always do a dedicated vinyl master mainly because the original digital one is so clipped (DR3/4 territory if we are counting).

Also there are the politics behind all of this as well which is outside the current discussion...
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greynol
post Oct 9 2013, 14:54
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Thanks for the anecdote. Now do you have any evidence to back it up?


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pisymbol
post Oct 9 2013, 15:01
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QUOTE (greynol @ Oct 9 2013, 09:54) *
Thanks for the anecdote. Now do you have any evidence to back it up?


From talking to dozens of artists and labels. I'm not saying all or even this particular example.

Also, many vinyl releases in metal are done by a different label than the one the CD was initially distributed on (do a little Googling) and typically that means a different master.

This post has been edited by pisymbol: Oct 9 2013, 15:02
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greynol
post Oct 9 2013, 15:14
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More anecdotes. Will we be seeing any hard evidence from you?

In terms of examples in this discussion, what was the total number of titles offered that obviously originated from a different master from that used to create the CD again?

This post has been edited by greynol: Oct 9 2013, 17:04


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pisymbol
post Oct 9 2013, 16:33
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QUOTE (greynol @ Oct 9 2013, 10:14) *
More anecdotes. Will we be seeing any hard evidence from you?


No. Mainly due to your generally condescending tone that is pervasive in all of your posts. Cheers!

This post has been edited by pisymbol: Oct 9 2013, 16:36
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greynol
post Oct 9 2013, 16:51
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How convenient.

The OP acted in good faith by creating a discussion centered on evidence. I would like to think additional contributions would come in the way of more evidence or analysis of the evidence already presented.

I'm flattered that you wish to make this about me, and have no problem being your scapegoat.

This post has been edited by greynol: May 21 2014, 23:01
Reason for edit: Added "you" to "you wish to ..." as well as a comma in the same sentence.


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Engelsstaub
post Oct 9 2013, 19:55
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At this time I guess I could offer nothing but anecdotal musings as well. (I have the TT and cart to do decent rips but I lack a decent ADC and external preamp so I won't be doing any rips until I get some new gear. The ones I submitted were from a Pro-Ject Debut III with a seriously treble-biased cart.)

While I won't argue either way at this point I'm going to concede that the last couple of requests I made (that were answered) to record companies on mastering info were answered with "same."

The last two bands I literally spoke to about it said "same" as well. However both of those releases were fairly dynamic by today's metal standards though. (Both CDs were DR8; not terrible IMO for dense black metal and doom metal respectively.)

I personally feel at this point that a lot of what I thought was some completely separate master could possibly just be the effects vinyl playback has on clipped digital sources.


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pisymbol
post Oct 9 2013, 20:39
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QUOTE (Engelsstaub @ Oct 9 2013, 14:55) *
At this time I guess I could offer nothing but anecdotal musings as well. (I have the TT and cart to do decent rips but I lack a decent ADC and external preamp so I won't be doing any rips until I get some new gear. The ones I submitted were from a Pro-Ject Debut III with a seriously treble-biased cart.)

While I won't argue either way at this point I'm going to concede that the last couple of requests I made (that were answered) to record companies on mastering info were answered with "same."

The last two bands I literally spoke to about it said "same" as well. However both of those releases were fairly dynamic by today's metal standards though. (Both CDs were DR8; not terrible IMO for dense black metal and doom metal respectively.)

I personally feel at this point that a lot of what I thought was some completely separate master could possibly just be the effects vinyl playback has on clipped digital sources.


DR8 CDs in metal are fairly rare and that's why I suspect you are hearing the "same" answers. The overwhelming majority of metal CDs are in the DR6 or lower territory.

I would ask labels regarding those CDs (<=DR6) if the vinyl master had a separate release and share you experience. I suspect you will learn, as I have, that smaller labels that cater to vinyl only releases typically pay for an entire new master which is almost always not pushed to the levels of their CD counterparts.

The TT meter AFAICT reflects that fact DESPITE being misleading when the numbers are much closer DR6 vs DR8. And as everyone has said, DR scores are just guidelines (dubious ones at that when applied to the analog domain) and in the end you must listen to confirm the dynamics present in a recording.

This post has been edited by pisymbol: Oct 9 2013, 21:05
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greynol
post Oct 9 2013, 21:28
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An example of a CD <= DR6:
QUOTE (Engelsstaub @ Jan 4 2013, 11:08) *
In any case I'd like to update some more findings on that In Flames record.

CD
CODE
DR5        -0.10 dB     -6.19 dB     09 - Ropes.wav

LP
CODE
DR12        -0.66 dB     -14.20 dB     12 - Ropes.wav

Uploaded waves strongly indicate (to me) that these are from the same master. Areas where this is clipping in CD have straight lines in the LP, just sloped (EDIT: and steeply at that).

This post has been edited by greynol: Oct 9 2013, 22:08


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Engelsstaub
post Oct 9 2013, 22:40
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Come on. I really wanted to believe those were different biggrin.gif

Srs: I love the songs on that album but the production is terribly harsh.


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Porcus
post May 20 2014, 12:16
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In case someone is still reading this thread: Swedish death metal guru Dan Swanö (who has done studio work on literally hundreds of releases) made sure that his recent project Witherscape made three mixes/masterings available digitally. The album was supposed to be available on CD, vinyl and for download, and the CD contains a data session with the two other releases on (mp3) file.

The story does support the word-of-mouth that a sufficiently low DR is specified by the record company - suggesting, if complying with industry specs is done in a late stage, there is a near-master non-compressed mix somewhere, and it might find its way to the vinyl grooves.

More on this release:
http://www.metal-fi.com/the-dan-swano-challenge/
http://www.metal-fi.com/taking-swano-challenge/ <--- This one tells the reader how to set up a blind ABX with fb2k
Maybe include it on http://wiki.hydrogenaudio.org/index.php?ti...ter_than_the_CD ?


BTW: Here is a case where Metal-Fi would get the information from the label that some particular release was sourced from the same master for LP and CD: http://www.metal-fi.com/insomnium-shadows-dying-sun/


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2Bdecided
post May 21 2014, 10:36
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QUOTE (Porcus @ May 20 2014, 12:16) *
http://www.metal-fi.com/taking-swano-challenge/ <--- This one tells the reader how to set up a blind ABX with fb2k

QUOTE
The only thing that hyper compression does is make a song sound worse. Period. It doesn’t sound better on earbuds, it doesn’t sound better on laptop speakers or car stereos, and it certainly doesn’t sound better on my Logitech computer speakers. It also does not sell any more albums. Alex and I are going to keeping beating our heads into the wall until this idiocy stops.

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look_Sharp
post May 21 2014, 18:34
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QUOTE (Nessuno @ Dec 5 2012, 19:24) *
Never actually made measurement of the sort, but may we safely assume that all this doesn't apply to classical?


Not safely at all; just recently I bought Decca SXL 2020 analogue reissue on Speakers Corner from Amazon and to my delight I qualified fro a 'free download' autorip?

In my opinion the vinyl is one of the best classical recordings ever (despite being recorded in 1957) very dynamic in fact a real audiophile demonstration disk-it's great!
I imagined that the rip (MP3 256kbs) would be good enough to listen to in the car or on my iPod, I couldn't have been more wrong-ear bleedingly bad compression a NASTY experience not worth having.
Here is a little screenie from Adobe Soundbooth:


I can't reiterate my disappointment, the amazon link to the track is here:
http://www.amazon.co.uk/Espana-VINYL-Vario...=argenta+espana

The 'free MP3' is what I'm complaining about the vinyl is a first class demo disk.

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Engelsstaub
post May 21 2014, 19:13
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QUOTE (Porcus @ May 20 2014, 05:16) *
In case someone is still reading this thread: Swedish death metal guru Dan Swanö (who has done studio work on literally hundreds of releases) made sure that his recent project Witherscape made three mixes/masterings available digitally. The album was supposed to be available on CD, vinyl and for download, and the CD contains a data session with the two other releases on (mp3) file.

The story does support the word-of-mouth that a sufficiently low DR is specified by the record company - suggesting, if complying with industry specs is done in a late stage, there is a near-master non-compressed mix somewhere, and it might find its way to the vinyl grooves.

More on this release:
http://www.metal-fi.com/the-dan-swano-challenge/
http://www.metal-fi.com/taking-swano-challenge/ <--- This one tells the reader how to set up a blind ABX with fb2k
Maybe include it on http://wiki.hydrogenaudio.org/index.php?ti...ter_than_the_CD ?


BTW: Here is a case where Metal-Fi would get the information from the label that some particular release was sourced from the same master for LP and CD: http://www.metal-fi.com/insomnium-shadows-dying-sun/


Dan Swanö is The Man. That Witherscape album sounds great and I bought the CD just for the MP3s of the vinyl mix.

Trivium's last album "Vengeance Falls" is a great example of your "near-master non-compressed mix somewhere" theory. HDTracks wound up getting a DR10 digital copy whilst the "Mastered for iTunes" version was like DR4 or 5. (Same as the CD.) This after I was told by two different people on the inside that all "masterings" were "the same." It was mastered finally by Ted Jensen who obviously was given less-compressed files to work with. I'm guessing he was told to "crush it" by Roadrunner.

I'm finding more and more people at the labels and in the bands seem to know about as little as those of us making the inquiries. I spoke to a pretty high-profile bassist for a well-known band regarding the dynamic range compression of his last release and he told me it had to be compressed due to streaming bandwidth. He seriously didn't know the difference between DRC and the compression employed in lossy encodings. Seriously. That's how "hands off" some artists are.


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Dark_wizzie
post May 21 2014, 22:26
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QUOTE (2Bdecided @ Jan 30 2013, 05:38) *
You set me thinking - sometimes more "remastering" is better, and sometimes going from more to less sounds strange when you're used to more. Of course, there are limits!

Check out the samples in this thread...
http://www.hydrogenaudio.org/forums/index....showtopic=99166
...I prefer (a), but then I heard (a) first. Yet if I heard a radio station, or genre complication CD, include a track sounding exactly like (a), I'd find that sound to be totally weird and jarring - I'd expect one of (b)-(e) on a compilation CD, and (f) on the radio.

Cheers,
David.

Heard your tracks in your thread and I'm with with A or F. What actually bothers me is when clipping occurs.
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krabapple
post May 22 2014, 16:25
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QUOTE (2Bdecided @ May 21 2014, 05:36) *
QUOTE (Porcus @ May 20 2014, 12:16) *
http://www.metal-fi.com/taking-swano-challenge/ <--- This one tells the reader how to set up a blind ABX with fb2k

QUOTE
The only thing that hyper compression does is make a song sound worse. Period. It doesn’t sound better on earbuds, it doesn’t sound better on laptop speakers or car stereos, and it certainly doesn’t sound better on my Logitech computer speakers. It also does not sell any more albums. Alex and I are going to keeping beating our heads into the wall until this idiocy stops.




that range of gear -- earbuds to 'Logitech computer speakers' -- seems rather dynamically compressed ;>
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plasticpitchfork
post Sep 20 2014, 10:17
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QUOTE (2Bdecided @ Jan 10 2013, 10:13) *
Actually, I think it would be wonderful to have a collection of proper information about which releases are audibly better on vinyl due to the CDs having clipping/DRC, and the LPs having less/none.

Useful for collectors and listeners, and a timely prod to the audio industry.

Cheers,
David.


What is the verdict? Do we want more examples? And what role does the gear play in these comparisons? Is "good enough" going to tell us the story? Are we going to just keep with these few albums the OP posted?

I have about 15 modern vinyl rips--lossless CD versions of most or many. Some MP3(V0 - 320kbps)-- from mostly Alternative/Rock to some Hip-Hop to Electronic ripped from new vinyl--but with these components:
-Numark/Ion TTUSB (using it's Pre-amp)
-New to barely broken in Ortofon Arkiv (Concorde Series)
-Sitting on a fairly level IKEA pressboard nightstand and tiptoed around during rip. Anti-skate set to ??? I didn't know better so I think it was 1/2 full range.
-M-Box 1 > Pro Tools 7 > Aiff > ALAC.
I did this for the specific reason of DRC, have I fooled myself? examples: A Perfect Circle, Lady GaGa, M.I.A, Royskopp, She Wants Revenge, Silversun Pickups, Santigold, Digitalism, Ludacris, Timbaland. Result is OK, with a vibration hum from the plastic hollow body being the worst aspect. The rest I ripped on my brother's gear(below).

I also have about 20 rips done on:
-Music Hall MM5
-Goldring 1012gx
-not sure the pre-amp, a good one, about the same level as above gear.
-MBox > Protools > Aiff > ALAC. Same IKEA Nightstand, level, carpeted floor.
Examples are mostly the same as above but different albums minus the Pop and Hip Hop and plus a lot more indie, alternative, electronic. (NIN, Arcade Fire, AFI, Radiohead...)
Have lossless CD versions of most of these too, but less so.

Although I had no calibrating equipment all were done with great care to new records. Even though my cleaning gear must suck and static seems to be a problem because clicks and pops are all too prevalent. No Click repair or processing done to any except for a few normalizations and DC Offset removal... Levels done by eyeball trying to keep overall even level of peaks(I think I should have used RMS though)

I also have some friends that have loaned me copies of their rips ranging in gear and quality(usually DJ TTs). I also have duplicate rips I borrowed to compare to my own, and to compare the gear they have vs. mine. Mine usually win in case of MM5. Friends' rips seem to have a "soft" high end, bias toward one channel or poor timing(warped or too slow or fast) with exceptions. Sometimes too much ClickRepair, tracking weights, old styli, old records, careless level setting or bias setting. In case of my first batch it is cheap gear. Prob a combo, point is this all effects accuracy of observations--but to what extent?

The question is this;, have we decided that LPs have no more dynamic range? It is all just analogue errors? I don't know if I buy it. I now have to go and compareall my rips to the CD--ABX obsessively, as if I don't already do this... Am I wasting my time? I don't do this because I love vinyl. I do it because I HATE Brickwalled CDs.

All CDs and LPs owned and ripped myself, unless otherwise noted. On a side note: The reason I have vinyl rips of Timbaland etc... is because when I first "discovered" the loudness war, I went crazy and bought and ripped LPs for one song I used for work(in "bars"), because they would sound better over loudspeakers. As if anyone ever knew or cared. What a colossal waste of time crying.gif

Am I still wasting my time? Does anyone on here work in the business? I want answers, not arguments. Is it just case by case, like we know Stadium Arcadium was done "right," but every LP doesn't have press like that one. I haven't even listened to the OPs samples yet, and this post is too long, so...

QUOTE (2Bdecided @ Jan 30 2013, 04:46) *
QUOTE (Kohlrabi @ Jan 29 2013, 15:41) *
Is there a reason for not putting this new version out on CD or iTunes?
What?! Try and sell a "new and improved" version on the same format that's quieter than the original?!?!?!

wink.gif

This is the best excuse for new hi-res formats - you can fix your previous mastering mistakes without ever admitting you even made a mistake.

Cheers,
David.


I'm OK with that. As long as we have somewhere to turn. I have acquired some DVD-A rips of Linkin Park and Oasis and NIN and mastering is the same. Is there a format that always is "remastered?" Depeche Mode Playing the Angel SACD is very nice, while CD is well, we know...

This post has been edited by plasticpitchfork: Sep 20 2014, 10:51


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Wombat
post Sep 20 2014, 13:45
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IF the labels give us lossless flac of exactly the versions they use for the vinyl pressing all would be fine.
As it is now i can't stop feeling fooled.
Like with many things they recreated very successfull their own market and use the magic of propaganda in people get starting discussing all day long cd <-> vinyl.
It is the same to me when the HighnBitarte version sounds purposely very different to the cd or you get the super dupa deluxe only when buying the itunes version.
Instead of making buying music more attractive it all became worse imho.
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