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A new discussion on over-compressed CD titles, Split from the one comparing vinyl to CD (no vinyl involved)
db1989
post Jan 29 2013, 18:20
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QUOTE (Kohlrabi @ Jan 29 2013, 15:41) *
QUOTE (2Bdecided @ Jan 29 2013, 12:03) *
This looks like one for the list of vinyl that beats the CD issue:
http://forums.stevehoffman.tv/threads/cali...-4#post-8180551
(note - it's only the new vinyl, not the old vinyl).
Is there a reason for not putting this new version out on CD or iTunes? Other than finally giving the world the evidence that Vlado Meller has devastating influence on rock music?
QUOTE (Engelsstaub @ Jan 29 2013, 22:35) *
In my opinion there's never a reason why a good-sounding master, as found on any LP, shouldn't be put to CD or iTunes. (And I say that as one who likes and purchases vinyl as much or more than digital.)

EDIT: I don't mean any LP has a better sounding master than the CD. Poorly-worded perhaps.
Yes, fans with competent hearing feeling obliged to buy a new version would be insult enough, but that’s so many times worse when it costs $35 (to quote one figure) and is not properly (=100%) archivable.

And now for something completely different: Is Coldplay’s Mylo Xyloto covered in clipping, or was I imagining it? I have yet to examine any waveforms, but I seem to have noticed a distinct fizziness a couple of times while listening to it, which really doesn’t fit the style (as if clipping ever does, but you know what I mean).

This post has been edited by db1989: Feb 1 2013, 17:07
Reason for edit: adding quotes to contextualise first paragraph due to threads being split
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cliveb
post Jan 31 2013, 11:16
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I don't listen to Coldplay, but my wife has a lot of their albums. I had in the past casually noticed that when she played X&Y on our main system is sounded absolutely dreadful.

So this thread prompted me to do a quick clipping analysis of all the albums she has. And on first inspection, Mylo Xyloto has the least amount of clipping. See the various attached images. Clipping here is defined as 4 or more consecutive samples at or above -0.5dB which have the same sample value within a variance of 0.2% (ie. comprise a "flat-top"). As you can see, there is a fairly shocking amount of clipping on all the Coldplay albums, and indeed Parachutes is the worst of the lot:
Attached Image

Attached Image

Attached Image


Attached Image

Attached Image


However, the apparent less-damaged nature of Mylo Xyloto is partially hidden by the fact that it has a lot of clipping well below full scale. All of the above scans were looking for clipping at or above -0.5dB. If we rescan Mylo Xyloto looking for clipping at or above -1.5dB, we get a worse result:
Attached Image


My personal opinion is that except in extreme circumstances (eg. perhaps the cannon shots in the 1812 overture) there can be no excuse for any clipping whatsoever.
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Engelsstaub
post Jan 31 2013, 12:16
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QUOTE (cliveb @ Jan 31 2013, 04:16) *
...except in extreme circumstances (eg. perhaps the cannon shots in the 1812 overture) there can be no excuse for any clipping whatsoever.


This should be elevated to Quote of the Week-status. smile.gif

I've been using some of my spare time on the 'net to harass kindly ask some of the bands I follow on Facebook (who are posting updates about new albums) to not let the engineers/producers brickwall the recordings. They're listening, but I'm not too hopeful that they will care enough. I think sometimes it's the artists themselves who choose the clipped mixes.


--------------------
The Loudness War is over. Now it's a hopeless occupation.
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2Bdecided
post Jan 31 2013, 12:28
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QUOTE (Engelsstaub @ Jan 31 2013, 11:16) *
I think sometimes it's the artists themselves who choose the clipped mixes.
I think they could be less likely to if they listened with loudness matching enabled. (SoundCheck in iTunes, ReplayGain in foobar2k and various other places).

Without it, people usually prefer the louder one in an A/B test, even if its worse.

Whereas, of course, just given one of A or B, a consumer sets their volume control to whatever level they want to listen at, and any loudness advantage of the clipped mix is lost - they just get the clipping.

Cheers,
David.
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bug80
post Jan 31 2013, 13:37
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QUOTE (2Bdecided @ Jan 31 2013, 13:28) *
QUOTE (Engelsstaub @ Jan 31 2013, 11:16) *
I think sometimes it's the artists themselves who choose the clipped mixes.
I think they could be less likely to if they listened with loudness matching enabled. (SoundCheck in iTunes, ReplayGain in foobar2k and various other places).

Without it, people usually prefer the louder one in an A/B test, even if its worse.

Whereas, of course, just given one of A or B, a consumer sets their volume control to whatever level they want to listen at, and any loudness advantage of the clipped mix is lost - they just get the clipping.

Cheers,
David.

Well, that's the nice thing about Spotify; it also has some kind of replaygain built-in. This is why, for example, old U2 albums sound so much better and more dynamic on Spotify than the new ones. Hopefully, this will create awareness as well.

BTW, I would be curious to see these 'clipping analyzer' results for What's the Story Morning Glory... that is definitely the worst sounding album in my CD collection. No dynamics and clipping all over the place.
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2Bdecided
post Jan 31 2013, 15:08
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QUOTE (bug80 @ Jan 31 2013, 12:37) *
Well, that's the nice thing about Spotify; it also has some kind of replaygain built-in.
I read somewhere that it is just ReplayGain. I know I should know, but I don't. You get no automatic say or royalties in the use of free software and public domain ideas!

QUOTE
BTW, I would be curious to see these 'clipping analyzer' results for What's the Story Morning Glory... that is definitely the worst sounding album in my CD collection. No dynamics and clipping all over the place.
If you haven't seen it already, read and weep: http://www.oasis-recordinginfo.co.uk/?page_id=6

I only just saw that there's an SACD surround version, and mixing it down into stereo can supposedly give a nice result...
http://live4ever.proboards.com/thread/70515

Cheers,
David.

This post has been edited by 2Bdecided: Jan 31 2013, 15:08
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bug80
post Feb 1 2013, 13:51
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QUOTE (2Bdecided @ Jan 31 2013, 16:08) *
QUOTE (bug80 @ Jan 31 2013, 12:37) *
Well, that's the nice thing about Spotify; it also has some kind of replaygain built-in.
I read somewhere that it is just ReplayGain. I know I should know, but I don't. You get no automatic say or royalties in the use of free software and public domain ideas!

I've read that too somewhere.

QUOTE
If you haven't seen it already, read and weep: http://www.oasis-recordinginfo.co.uk/?page_id=6

Yeah, I've read an interview with the engineer before... doesn't seem like he really knew what he was doing, sadly.

So, here are some numbers:

Coldplay - A rush of blood to the head (EAC rip to WAV)
Album gain: -8.75 dB
Dynamic Range: DR7

Again, not very shocking for a modern pop record. However, my evaluation copy of Wave Repair finds 359 'clippings' in the first track. That is more than 1 per second, on average!

Oasis - What's the stoy, morning glory? (EAC rip to WAV)
Album gain: -12.45 dB (!)
Dynamic range: DR5 (!)

Now we're talking. These values are really bad and explain the squashed sound. Suprisingly, Wave Repair does not find clipping in the first track!! So, we probably are listening to analog clipping in hardware like EQs and limiters. cliveb, what do you think?

** Just to add: The least dynamic track on the Oasis' album is the closer, Champagne Supernova. Replaygain: -12.63 dB, Dynamic Range: DR3 (wow!). But also in this song Wave Repair finds no clippings **

This post has been edited by bug80: Feb 1 2013, 13:55
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cliveb
post Feb 1 2013, 15:41
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QUOTE (bug80 @ Feb 1 2013, 12:51) *
Coldplay - A rush of blood to the head (EAC rip to WAV)
Album gain: -8.75 dB
Dynamic Range: DR7

Again, not very shocking for a modern pop record. However, my evaluation copy of Wave Repair finds 359 'clippings' in the first track. That is more than 1 per second, on average!

Oasis - What's the stoy, morning glory? (EAC rip to WAV)
Album gain: -12.45 dB (!)
Dynamic range: DR5 (!)

Now we're talking. These values are really bad and explain the squashed sound. Suprisingly, Wave Repair does not find clipping in the first track!! So, we probably are listening to analog clipping in hardware like EQs and limiters. cliveb, what do you think?

** Just to add: The least dynamic track on the Oasis' album is the closer, Champagne Supernova. Replaygain: -12.63 dB, Dynamic Range: DR3 (wow!). But also in this song Wave Repair finds no clippings **


If you ran Wave Repair's clip detection "out of the box", then you'll be running the default settings, which looks for 4 or more consecutive samples at 0dB. Many overcompressed CDs have clipping below 0dB, and so those won't be found. (Incidentally, the version of "Rush of Blood" I have access to has 815 such clips on track 1 ("Politik"), so I'm guessing you have a different mastering).

I suggest you try setting different clip detection values. Invoke File > Options, go to the Operations tab, and as a starting point choose the "Overcompressed CDs" preset. Then re-run the clipping detection to see what you get on the Oasis track. (Using that setting when checking Politik on Rush of Blood gives me 3027 clips!). If this still doesn't find many clips, try setting the clipping level lower (eg. -2dB) and the flat-top variance higher (eg. 1.0). These settings are there specifically so you can find things like analogue clipping and/or clipping that has subsequently been normalised below 0dB - perhaps to defeat casual attempts to detect clipping.

After the clip detection is run, zoom in on some of the markers to take a close look at the waveform to get an idea of what the clipping is like. Note that some clipping looks like genuine flat tops at normal levels, but if you switch off the "Maximise Amplitude" setting (View menu) you can then use the scroll bars on the right hand side to zoom in the vertical scale to see the fine detail. Some clips are not perfect flat-tops, but have a slightly ragged appearance.

This post has been edited by cliveb: Feb 1 2013, 15:43
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Posts in this topic
- db1989   A new discussion on over-compressed CD titles   Jan 29 2013, 18:20
- - Kohlrabi   QUOTE (db1989 @ Jan 29 2013, 18:20) And n...   Jan 29 2013, 23:13
|- - bug80   QUOTE (Kohlrabi @ Jan 30 2013, 00:13) QUO...   Jan 30 2013, 14:31
|- - Kohlrabi   QUOTE (bug80 @ Jan 30 2013, 14:31) Pleade...   Jan 30 2013, 14:49
|- - bug80   QUOTE (Kohlrabi @ Jan 30 2013, 15:49) QUO...   Jan 30 2013, 15:03
- - cliveb   I don't listen to Coldplay, but my wife has a ...   Jan 31 2013, 11:16
|- - 2Bdecided   QUOTE (cliveb @ Jan 31 2013, 10:16) I don...   Jan 31 2013, 11:57
||- - cliveb   QUOTE (2Bdecided @ Jan 31 2013, 10:57) Ho...   Jan 31 2013, 18:17
|- - Engelsstaub   QUOTE (cliveb @ Jan 31 2013, 04:16) ...ex...   Jan 31 2013, 12:16
||- - 2Bdecided   QUOTE (Engelsstaub @ Jan 31 2013, 11:16) ...   Jan 31 2013, 12:28
||- - bug80   QUOTE (2Bdecided @ Jan 31 2013, 13:28) QU...   Jan 31 2013, 13:37
||- - 2Bdecided   QUOTE (bug80 @ Jan 31 2013, 12:37) Well, ...   Jan 31 2013, 15:08
|||- - bug80   QUOTE (2Bdecided @ Jan 31 2013, 16:08) QU...   Feb 1 2013, 13:51
|||- - cliveb   QUOTE (bug80 @ Feb 1 2013, 12:51) Coldpla...   Feb 1 2013, 15:41
||- - cliveb   QUOTE (bug80 @ Jan 31 2013, 12:37) BTW, I...   Jan 31 2013, 18:23
|- - db1989   QUOTE (cliveb @ Jan 31 2013, 10:16) I don...   Feb 4 2013, 22:51
- - 2Bdecided   Talking of clipping and distortion: Emeli Sandé - ...   Feb 1 2013, 14:12
|- - bug80   QUOTE (2Bdecided @ Feb 1 2013, 15:12) You...   Feb 1 2013, 14:24
||- - krabapple   QUOTE (bug80 @ Feb 1 2013, 08:24) QUOTE (...   Feb 7 2013, 04:34
||- - cliveb   QUOTE (krabapple @ Feb 7 2013, 03:34) Wha...   Feb 7 2013, 21:02
||- - krabapple   Sorry cliveb, I'd forgotten about the variance...   Feb 8 2013, 21:05
|- - bug80   QUOTE (2Bdecided @ Feb 1 2013, 15:12) Tal...   Feb 1 2013, 14:32
- - mixminus1   Just because a waveform visibly clips doesn't ...   Feb 1 2013, 18:20
|- - bug80   I rescanned 'Champagne Supernova' with the...   Feb 1 2013, 18:55
|- - David Jay   Glad people here found the Owen Morris interview o...   Feb 3 2013, 16:03
|- - 2Bdecided   QUOTE (David Jay @ Feb 3 2013, 15:03) Gla...   Feb 4 2013, 14:39
|- - bug80   QUOTE (2Bdecided @ Feb 4 2013, 14:39) QUO...   Feb 4 2013, 15:09
|- - David Jay   QUOTE (2Bdecided @ Feb 4 2013, 14:39) Wow...   Feb 8 2013, 14:05
- - LithosZA   QUOTE It's good that a site like this exists, ...   Feb 4 2013, 16:18
|- - bug80   QUOTE (LithosZA @ Feb 4 2013, 16:18) QUOT...   Feb 4 2013, 23:17
|- - cliveb   QUOTE (bug80 @ Feb 4 2013, 22:17) That ma...   Feb 5 2013, 10:05
|- - krabapple   QUOTE (cliveb @ Feb 5 2013, 04:05) Limiti...   Feb 7 2013, 04:38
- - Neuron   If I find something not loud enough, I turn up the...   Feb 4 2013, 22:22
|- - 2Bdecided   QUOTE (Neuron @ Feb 4 2013, 21:22) If I f...   Feb 5 2013, 17:02
|- - Engelsstaub   QUOTE (2Bdecided @ Feb 5 2013, 10:02) ......   Feb 6 2013, 01:24
- - LithosZA   QUOTE That makes me curious: what kind of music do...   Feb 5 2013, 12:21
- - Mach-X   I think too much has been made of the whole 'l...   Feb 6 2013, 10:41
|- - Stone Free   QUOTE (Mach-X @ Feb 6 2013, 10:41) I...   Feb 6 2013, 15:33
|- - Engelsstaub   QUOTE (Mach-X @ Feb 6 2013, 03:41) ....   Feb 6 2013, 16:46
|- - krabapple   QUOTE (Mach-X @ Feb 6 2013, 04:41) I...   Feb 7 2013, 04:43
- - greynol   FWIW, I believe later releases of Justice got the ...   Feb 6 2013, 17:48
|- - Porcus   QUOTE (greynol @ Feb 6 2013, 17:48) FWIW,...   Feb 6 2013, 18:29
- - greynol   Clearly not the treatment I'm talking about, w...   Feb 6 2013, 20:58
- - bug80   On a positive note, the new Nick Cave album did no...   Feb 15 2013, 10:53


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