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Samples: More mastering is sometimes better?, than almost no mastering at all
post Jan 30 2013, 13:34
Post #1

ReplayGain developer

Group: Developer
Posts: 5663
Joined: 5-November 01
From: Yorkshire, UK
Member No.: 409

I chose to "remaster" this track because, while it's a beautiful recording, it has very little compression. This style of music is often heard with far more compression, especially on the radio, and I wanted to see if it sounded more "normal" to my ears with more compression. I think it does, though I still prefer the original. See/hear what you think.

Attached File  strong_a.mp3 ( 654.47K ) Number of downloads: 242

Various, mostly increasing, levels of "remastering":
Attached File  strong_b.mp3 ( 686.2K ) Number of downloads: 193

Attached File  strong_c.mp3 ( 612.5K ) Number of downloads: 174

Attached File  strong_d.mp3 ( 712.42K ) Number of downloads: 244

Attached File  strong_e.mp3 ( 683.32K ) Number of downloads: 171

Excessive remastering (though no clipping):
Attached File  strong_f.mp3 ( 723.45K ) Number of downloads: 211

All remasters have been loudness-matched to the original using fb2k's EBU R128-based ReplayGain scanner.
All done by a person with no experience in this area (i.e. me!) using free tools (Cool Edit Pro and the WinAMP plugin Stereo Tool)

If anyone wants to try themselves, here is a lossless copy of the original:
Attached File  strong_a.flac ( 2.56MB ) Number of downloads: 162

Track is "That's What Makes You Strong", performed by:
Keith Greeninger — vocals / acoustic guitar / percussion
Dayan Kai — vocals / steel & nylon string guitars / dobro / piano / flute / cajon
Steve Uccello — stand up bass
Jim Norris — drums & percussion
Recorded and mastered by Cookie Marenco in DSD.
From the album "Make It Rain",

Original is track 1 from here: http://keithdayan.downloadsnow.net/
I downloaded the (paid-for) DSD file and downconverted it myself to 88.2/24 using fb2k foo_input_sacd. I peak normalised the result. (The peak doesn't lie within the posted 30 second sample). I resampled to 44.1/16 using CEP, and called this the "original" for all the above.

While almost everything from Blue Coast Records is "audiophile" quality (though the reverb sounds obviously artificial to me), this track included audible distortion and audible clipping (though not within the 30 seconds I have posted).

I think if you heard strong_f.mp3 many times, and then heard strong_a.mp3 for the first time, it would sound very strange. Yet strong_a.mp3 is the most natural/real sound of all the above.


P.S. apologies for the cruel and unmusical cutting of this track down to 30 seconds.

This post has been edited by 2Bdecided: Jan 31 2013, 13:02
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