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Topic: Mastered For Itunes Hissing... (Read 14945 times) previous topic - next topic
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Mastered For Itunes Hissing...

Hi.  I recently gave into the mastered for itunes thing and bought led zeppelins Houses of the holy. I had already owned the album from "The complete Led zeppelin" version i had from amazon mp3. I compared the two and what really annoyed me was the high amount of hiss from the mastered for itunes version compared to the "complete led zeppelin" version. As a side note, id like to add that i used Audio Technica ATH-M50 for comparing the two. Can somebody explain why there is an excessive amount of hiss on the itunes version and if it means that version is better or worst than the amazon mp3 version?


Mastered For Itunes Hissing...

Reply #2
Pure speculation, but the mastered for itunes version had less noise reduction applied to it?

Mastered For Itunes Hissing...

Reply #3
Discussions about sound quality are useless without evidence. ABX results and 30-second clips which are aligned in time and matched in level or go home.



i did abx it with foobar2000 and it was extremely easy to tell which one was which because the one from itunes had a large amount of hiss so it was useless.

Mastered For Itunes Hissing...

Reply #4
I recently gave into the mastered for itunes thing
"Mastered for iTunes" does not magically turn horrible engineers and producers into good ones, or vice versa. It is still hit-or-miss just like with CDs, though nowadays it seems to me it's miss 90% of the time in rock and pop music. If anything, it's just a marketing sticker saying some specific Apple software was used.
It's only audiophile if it's inconvenient.

Mastered For Itunes Hissing...

Reply #5
This might help.

Mastered For Itunes Hissing...

Reply #6
Different mastering process? Less NR as binaryhermit suggested? A removed/less aggressive lowpass filter (not any higher sampling rate) exposing previously buried high-frequency noise? Who knows?

At the risk of being made to walk the plank, I’m not so against the idea of spectral analysis or whatever if the noise is blatantly at an audible level in one master but not the other, making it something that’s sufficiently non-subtle to make ABX unnecessary. But I acknowledge that it somewhat sounds like I’m putting the cart before the horse there, so maybe someone will insist on seeing the ABX results first. I don’t know!

Perhaps the discussion could then progress to possible reasons for the difference, although I’m not sure what any analysis here could really provide, other than support for what Kohlrabi said.

Mastered For Itunes Hissing...

Reply #7
The Complete Studio Recordings is a digital remaster. I'm speculating, but I believe the masters used for the Mastered for iTunes version didn't benefit from the same "clean up" as the former.

If this is the case, then it would be fair to expect the tape hiss that was present on the master submitted to Apple for this version. (I don't have either version...only a needledrop...so I can't compare.)
The Loudness War is over. Now it's a hopeless occupation.

Mastered For Itunes Hissing...

Reply #8
This might help.

Quote from: pdf link=msg=0 date=

I was following everything until this step.

Quote from: pdf link=msg=0 date=

That is what is used in qaac, is it not?

If OP would please post samples, I am interested in comparing.

I am wondering if
Code: [Select]
 qaac.exe -v 256 --no-dither -N -r 41000 --native-resampler=bats,127

produces a "Mastered for iTunes" file.

Mastered For Itunes Hissing...

Reply #9
Comparing versions these days is getting really annoying.
Many albums of halfway famous artists go around in circles in form of some first or later generation tapes. Sometimes "mixing artists" get the music as digital files.
Now there are several ways these mixmen think it has to sound and do different sounding versions therefore.
There are also the Mastersound hunters that get sold so called "directly taken from the mastertapes" shit that gets resold in different shapes regulary.

Now with that Led Zeppelin recording i can imagine that Amazon just got some files from the label and simply converted it to mp3.
The itunes version may have done with the marketing driven "mastered for" idea and the delusional try of the mixman to pimp it for the mp3 generation, unfortunately pushing highs as effect to be beyond beauty, showing with hiss.

Now that i think of it a sample really could be interesting.
Is troll-adiposity coming from feederism?
With 24bit music you can listen to silence much louder!

Mastered For Itunes Hissing...

Reply #10
This might help.

Quote from: pdf link=msg=0 date=

I was following everything until this step.

Quote from: pdf link=msg=0 date=

That is what is used in qaac, is it not?

If OP would please post samples, I am interested in comparing.

I am wondering if
Code: [Select]
 qaac.exe -v 256 --no-dither -N -r 41000 --native-resampler=bats,127

produces a "Mastered for iTunes" file.

Can you tell me how?


Mastered For Itunes Hissing...

Reply #12
Can somebody explain why there is an excessive amount of hiss on the itunes version and if it means that version is better or worst than the amazon mp3 version?
Perhaps the discussion could then progress to possible reasons for the difference, although I’m not sure what any analysis here could really provide, other than support for what Kohlrabi said.
To make my point more clear: You have to decide on your own which version you like better, the "hissy" version might still sound better to you. ABX tests will only tell us whether there is a perceivable difference, maybe level matching will make the hiss imperceivable, or reveal it in the amazon version. But the question is not whether we can ABX different masters, but why different masters can sound different, or which one is "better". Uploaded samples will only allow us to tell you which version we prefer, though some knowledgeable user might identify the cause. Still, there is nothing you can do about the cause after the fact, so I'd suggest to just go with whichever version you like best.
It's only audiophile if it's inconvenient.

Mastered For Itunes Hissing...

Reply #13
some knowledgeable user might identify the cause

Some of us own all three digital versions (four with the most recent best-of compilation?) of the songs from this album found on CD.

If there are indeed differences, I am confident it can be determined which versions were used for each. From there I imagine some of us will be able to deduce the cause.

Mastered For Itunes Hissing...

Reply #14
Can somebody explain why there is an excessive amount of hiss on the itunes version and if it means that version is better or worst than the amazon mp3 version?
Perhaps the discussion could then progress to possible reasons for the difference, although I’m not sure what any analysis here could really provide, other than support for what Kohlrabi said.
To make my point more clear: You have to decide on your own which version you like better, the "hissy" version might still sound better to you. ABX tests will only tell us whether there is a perceivable difference, maybe level matching will make the hiss imperceivable, or reveal it in the amazon version. But the question is not whether we can ABX different masters, but why different masters can sound different, or which one is "better". Uploaded samples will only allow us to tell you which version we prefer, though some knowledgeable user might identify the cause. Still, there is nothing you can do about the cause after the fact, so I'd suggest to just go with whichever version you like best.

Ok Thanks

Mastered For Itunes Hissing...

Reply #15
Should we take that as a no to the several requests for samples (30 seconds or shorter) so that we can actually assess your reports?


Mastered For Itunes Hissing...

Reply #17
Discussions about sound quality are useless without evidence. ABX results and 30-second clips which are aligned in time and matched in level or go home.


I first baulked reading this after seeing the OPs description. But, having just purchased The Song Remains The Same from Houses Of the Holy (Remastered) from iTunes and comparing with the original CD I have (case at home so can't check which issue but will later) I'm going to have to concur. The hiss is no more prominent in the iTunes version.

I'll provide some time aligned clips this week when I get a chance.
daefeatures.co.uk

Mastered For Itunes Hissing...

Reply #18
Should we take that as a no to the several requests for samples (30 seconds or shorter) so that we can actually assess your reports?

The last person to comment on this topic said he would upload them. I havnt the slightest idea of how to upload samples so if anyone can help me with that it would be much appreciated.



Mastered For Itunes Hissing...

Reply #21
Sounds like the two samples are EQ'd differently. AAC version has more prominent highs (and actually sounds louder subjectively even if RG and DR Meter claim the opposite, oddly enough), so it comes as no surprise that hiss is correspondingly more prominent. I'd guess the MP3 version is derived from the original (at least it has that typical early-'70s slightly "phat" sound), while the AAC version has been re-EQ'd.

Mastered For Itunes Hissing...

Reply #22
Thanks!
No one can say they didn't apply to much noise reduction at least.
It is only a short snipped but like you reported the hiss is much more prominent on the AAC version.
Here we clearly have a high boost that can have several origins. Modern remastering may have used a simple EQ but also harmonic restauration that leads to brighter sound but makes many details come out as it was a modern recording. What i don't hear with a short sample is if it was to much of it. It must be a pretty hefty boost how i hear it. I wonder why in that case they didn´t care a bit more to apply some noise reduction.
I don't know much music of Led Zeppelin and for sure no different masters so i can't comment if it is some newer remaster of someone who just pushed the knobs to much.

One very confusing thing is that when i apply de-emphasis to the AAC version the replaygain values match pretty exact and the mp3 version sounds nearer to the de-emphed AAC version as to the un-de-emphed.

This means the boost in highs between the 2 versions can be around +9dB and that is not healthy i guess.
The other thing is that i can bet there found some albums the way into online services that were never correctly identified having pre-emphasis.
Is troll-adiposity coming from feederism?
With 24bit music you can listen to silence much louder!


Mastered For Itunes Hissing...

Reply #24
I am pretty certain that none of the CD issues of Houses of the Holy (or any other Led Zeppelin title) have pre-emphasis.

Maybe evereux still can find some time to prepare his cd and itunes sample also.
Is troll-adiposity coming from feederism?
With 24bit music you can listen to silence much louder!