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  • bugfella
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Beatles USB format revisited
Hello,
I was reading comments on the old forum from just after the release of the USB Beatles catalog.  I understand purchase justification by the comments from Amazon, but I also understand people being PO'ed by EMI and their antics!!  Any fresh comments now that the sting of that release and screw from EMI has settled down?  The USB will likely disappear soon and I am very interested.  Personally, I hear very crisp, clear and great versions on Beatles-A-Rama and I often wonder what the source of these versions are.  They are obviously not alternative mixes or versions, but the same as the 2009 and are much better sounding with elements of the music I had not noticed before.  I believe I have a more acute sense of hearing than the average person, so maybe the subtle differences are not noticed by most people. My bragging aside, I have always been able to notice things in music that other people thought I was crazy to point out.  I also believe this would be the source of the "better" versions I hear on Beatles-A-Rama as they state they sell a service to receive a higher sampling rate which they make available free from time to time.  Thanks for reading and your comments.

  • hlloyge
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Beatles USB format revisited
Reply #1
As for hearing, check out TOS #8.

What elements of music you are hearing and not heard before? I find that old music hard to listen anyway, because the sound is rough, but they had like, what, 4 instruments and vocals to record, it's not that they forgot to mix Ringo drumming, and now you hear drums...? And there is no high frequency content worth mentioning anyways.

So, care to explain in some more detail? But first, check out TOS, especially #8.

  • greynol
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  • Global Moderator
Beatles USB format revisited
Reply #2
In case the "Terms of Service" link at the top of the page has gone unnoticed, TOS #8 and all the other rules members are expected to follow can be found here:
http://www.hydrogenaudio.org/forums/index.php?showtopic=3974
  • Last Edit: 17 November, 2012, 12:48:44 PM by greynol
13 February 2016: The world was blessed with the passing of a truly vile and wretched person.

Your eyes cannot hear.

  • fuflo
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Beatles USB format revisited
Reply #3
I'll just say that i agree partly. You may hear different small details listening to same track over and over again, depending how you focus your ears. Similarly to how you can notice things with periferal vision.
While the whole track might disguise some parts with more obvious ones, if you really want to - you will hear the small details.
This is coming from my personal experience.

Different track masterings may or may not make it easier to achieve this. ( boom, free of TOS8  )

  • bugfella
  • [*]
Beatles USB format revisited
Reply #4
As for hearing, check out TOS #8.

What elements of music you are hearing and not heard before? I find that old music hard to listen anyway, because the sound is rough, but they had like, what, 4 instruments and vocals to record, it's not that they forgot to mix Ringo drumming, and now you hear drums...? And there is no high frequency content worth mentioning anyways.

So, care to explain in some more detail? But first, check out TOS, especially #8.



Sorry, not really able to extensively test myself or the audio profiles.  My observations are strictly anecdotal as I do not have access to the tracks I hear differently.  I do hear things like background comments, drum fills, bass lines, hand-claps and distinguishing background vocals sometimes I never noticed before, sometimes with greater clarity.  Again, not sure of the source, sorry about that.  I really just wanted to hear if anyone found any differences by simply listening to the tracks rather than "testing" or "analyzing" them.  I know you guys are more intense than I regarding audio, but I am interested in breaking down the sound and I have done some fun stuff with Audacity regarding sound inversion, reversal, and other mixing.  I have also been interested in "oopsing" music, especially Beatles, but have never done that.

  • bugfella
  • [*]
Beatles USB format revisited
Reply #5
In case the "Terms of Service" link at the top of the page has gone unnoticed, TOS #8 and all the other rules members are expected to follow can be found here:
http://www.hydrogenaudio.org/forums/index.php?showtopic=3974

Understand, sorry.  TOS seem to be rarely enforced except in extreme cases.  I just liked reading in-depth analyses by members.  I enjoy learning about  elements of sound and music recording, but maybe this forum is too intense for me.  Or maybe I should do some reading before commenting to get the flow of things.  Just had a certain sense of time with this one. I was more detailed in my response to another member helpful in guiding me to the issue. Anyone suggest a forum that may be more casual?  Thanks,,

  • cliveb
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  • Developer
Beatles USB format revisited
Reply #6
I do hear things like background comments, drum fills, bass lines, hand-claps and distinguishing background vocals sometimes I never noticed before, sometimes with greater clarity.

That is a common phenomenon. Everybody has experienced times where a track that they thought they knew really well suddenly revealed a detail they had never noticed before. But it is rarely anything to do with the playback system, because once you have noticed it, you then hear it clearly everytime you play the track, regardless of the hardware in use. It's probably more to do with your state of mind at the time you first noticed it.

Perhaps a different mastering might reveal a previously hidden detail, but before you draw that conclusion about these Beatles-A-Rama tracks, be sure to go back and listen to the old version - I bet you will now hear that detail which had previously gone unnoticed.

  • 2Bdecided
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  • Developer
Beatles USB format revisited
Reply #7
I have already made my feelings known...
http://www.amazon.com/review/RR6OLS715V8TI...odeID=&tag=

Reportedly the new vinyl releases are cut from 44.1kHz 24-bit, but without the peak limiting that was applied to the CD and USB-apple release. Because of this, the digital master that was used to cut the vinyl would be the one to get, if it was available, which it isn't!

Some samples from the latest vinyl have appeared on Beatlesdrops...
http://beatledrops.com/
...along with many other samples.
(note for mods: 30 second samples only on that site, nothing against HA TOS AFAICT).

Cheers,
David.

  • Porcus
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Beatles USB format revisited
Reply #8
I have already made my feelings known...
http://www.amazon.com/review/RR6OLS715V8TI...odeID=&tag=


Ah, resorting to measurement when you are out of reach of TOS#8!

No, seriously: I guess Amazon customers are more likely to be convinced by diffs that indicate they are fed bogus.

  • greynol
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  • Global Moderator
Beatles USB format revisited
Reply #9
I don't know about other countries, but in the US the portion of the population that dismisses science, even logic in favor of superstition is not unsubstantial. Combine this with state legislatures doing away with critical thinking as educational curriculum, I see a potentially bleak road ahead.
13 February 2016: The world was blessed with the passing of a truly vile and wretched person.

Your eyes cannot hear.

Beatles USB format revisited
Reply #10
I don't know about other countries, but in the US the portion of the population that dismisses science, even logic in favor of superstition is not unsubstantial. Combine this with state legislatures doing away with critical thinking as educational curriculum, I see a potentially bleak road ahead.


Couldn't agree more. It's discouraging, to say the least! 

  • Porcus
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Beatles USB format revisited
Reply #11
So ... 2Bdecided should rather have made an investment when that ordain-you-priest diploma mill spam hit his inbox, and claimed to speak G-d's word on the matter?

  • greynol
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  • Global Moderator
Beatles USB format revisited
Reply #12
Yes, that is exactly what I was trying to say.

I was obviously not trying to challenge your take on the likely behavior of Amazon customers by suggesting that you are underestimating the number of people who proudly choose to remain uninformed.
  • Last Edit: 19 November, 2012, 11:43:25 AM by greynol
13 February 2016: The world was blessed with the passing of a truly vile and wretched person.

Your eyes cannot hear.

  • Kohlrabi
  • [*][*][*][*][*]
  • Global Moderator
Beatles USB format revisited
Reply #13
Reportedly the new vinyl releases are cut from 44.1kHz 24-bit, but without the peak limiting that was applied to the CD and USB-apple release. Because of this, the digital master that was used to cut the vinyl would be the one to get, if it was available, which it isn't!
Isn't it ironic how some engineers magically discover their own potential when working on vinyl, and forget most of it when working on digital?
It's only audiophile if it's inconvenient.

  • 2Bdecided
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  • Developer
Beatles USB format revisited
Reply #14
Reportedly the new vinyl releases are cut from 44.1kHz 24-bit, but without the peak limiting that was applied to the CD and USB-apple release. Because of this, the digital master that was used to cut the vinyl would be the one to get, if it was available, which it isn't!
Isn't it ironic how some engineers magically discover their own potential when working on vinyl, and forget most of it when working on digital?
There are several interviews with the engineers for each project (different engineers). Apparently they chose to make the CDs "competitive" with other pop CDs, and chose to master the vinyl like good 2012 vinyl. It's lucky the vinyl mastering engineer was delivered an unlimited master.

I wonder, as CDs fall out of favour, if people will be less interested in maximising the level of them, and we'll see better sounding CDs again?


I'll tell you what though - fascinating as the discussion over at the Steve Hoffman forum are in this case, I really don't understand how you can listen to The Beatles recordings so critically and still enjoy them. I totally buy into the idea of finding the best release of your favourite record, but the problem with the 1960s Beatles mixes is many of them don't stand up to really critical listening. There are tape problems all over the place (major ones fixed in 2009, but hundreds of minor ones remain), and many of the mixes just fall apart when listening via headphones. Better equipment certainly does reveal more of the music and the performance, but listening for faults reveals plenty. Better to listen in a non-critical frame of mind and just enjoy the music.

Cheers,
David.

  • 2Bdecided
  • [*][*][*][*][*]
  • Developer
Beatles USB format revisited
Reply #15
Some samples from the latest vinyl have appeared on Beatlesdrops...
http://beatledrops.com/
...along with many other samples.
(note for mods: 30 second samples only on that site, nothing against HA TOS AFAICT).
Some of the new samples sound really bad. The "new" records sound quite worn out. The pitch stability isn't great either. Makes you realise how good the CDs are!

Cheers,
David.

  • Porcus
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Beatles USB format revisited
Reply #16
I kinda have a fond hope that the undeserved buzz around hi-rez will make the labels think they should deliver those files in a different mastering «closer to the artist's hand» (i.e., take old master tapes before the loudness war). The first consumers' comparison out there already, is the spectrogram-induced «wow, look at how much signal there is at [tape bias frequency]», but what if the next could be a dynamic range analysis? What about a «this format supports the dynamic range of a hand grenade and they deliver 6 dB?» riot?
  • Last Edit: 20 November, 2012, 06:54:27 AM by Porcus

  • GeSomeone
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Beatles USB format revisited
Reply #17
[..] they should deliver those files in a different mastering «closer to the artist's hand» (i.e., take old master tapes before the loudness war)..

Not sure if what you say is more than a generic remark. Pop /rock from the 60's was not "hi-grade" mixed nor mastered. This was the time mono and AM-radio were king. Often the artists were under pressure to finish their records and in this case it is well known that The Beatles only signed off the mono mixes of everything they recorded until and including Stg. Pepper's. The stereo mix was left to the producer (George Martin).
In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice. In practice there is.

  • Kohlrabi
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  • Global Moderator
Beatles USB format revisited
Reply #18
I kinda have a fond hope that the undeserved buzz around hi-rez will make the labels think they should deliver those files in a different mastering «closer to the artist's hand» (i.e., take old master tapes before the loudness war).
The problem is that the improvement in audio quality will be attributed to hi-res rather than proper mastering.
It's only audiophile if it's inconvenient.

  • Porcus
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Beatles USB format revisited
Reply #19
I kinda have a fond hope that the undeserved buzz around hi-rez will make the labels think they should deliver those files in a different mastering «closer to the artist's hand» (i.e., take old master tapes before the loudness war).
The problem is that the improvement in audio quality will be attributed to hi-res rather than proper mastering.

Worth it!

– Porcus Selfish Hedonist Pig

  • greynol
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  • Global Moderator
Beatles USB format revisited
Reply #20
I have to agree with Porcus.  The world is going in the direction of higher resolution whether it is necessary or not.  Assuming that it isn't prohibitive to transfer the increased amount of data, the end user can always convert to a lower resolution.
13 February 2016: The world was blessed with the passing of a truly vile and wretched person.

Your eyes cannot hear.

  • krabapple
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Beatles USB format revisited
Reply #21
The digital versions are competing not just with CDs, but increasingly with downloads and streaming audio, all of which tend to be dynamically compressed too.  If CDs go away, don't expect loudness wars to go away just because of it .
  • Last Edit: 21 November, 2012, 08:52:13 AM by krabapple

  • 2Bdecided
  • [*][*][*][*][*]
  • Developer
Beatles USB format revisited
Reply #22
The digital versions are competing not just with CDs, but increasingly with downloads and streaming audio, all of which tend to be dynamically compressed too.  If CDs go away, don't expect loudness wars to go away just because of it .
Spotify has a volume normaliser (I think it's using ReplayGain, and I think it defaults to on), and anyone streaming audio "like a radio station" will already use radio-station-like processing. In those contexts, louder CDs/files/whatever don't sound louder to the end user, so there is no need to smash them.

Downloads to mp3 players (or iPods with SoundCheck off) face the same problem as CDs. YouTube audio loudness is just a mess. Hence in those situations, the loudness war will continue.

Cheers,
David.

P.S. and some people just don't get it...
http://www.gearslutz.com/board/mastering-f...udness-war.html
..."optional loudness normalisation over my dead body"!
  • Last Edit: 22 November, 2012, 06:47:12 AM by 2Bdecided

  • krabapple
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Beatles USB format revisited
Reply #23
P.S. and some people just don't get it...
http://www.gearslutz.com/board/mastering-f...udness-war.html
..."optional loudness normalisation over my dead body"!



wow, big bunch of free-market a-holes on that thread.


  • Porcus
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Beatles USB format revisited
Reply #24
Had the poll turned out the same if the wording had been «volume normalization»?
Has someone told them that the artist cannot choose both loudness and dynamic range freely?

(That is, until someone invents an amp that goes to 11.)