Hydrogenaudio Forums

CD-R and Audio Hardware => Vinyl => Topic started by: Engelsstaub on 2012-12-05 17:59:29

Title: Modern Vinyl "Masters" vs. CD--My Experience
Post by: Engelsstaub on 2012-12-05 17:59:29
Due to some recent past experiences in other threads wherein some members (who plainly state their honest dislike of vinyl) claim that modern LPs are just as dynamically clipped as their CD-counterparts, I'd like to take an opportunity to illustrate that this is IME not the case. I've heard it stated more than once that "vinyl is not about the music..it's about the ritual.) This is seemingly just plain-old lazy bias. It can easily be forgiven in that these posters make it pretty obvious that they don't purchase vinyl, let alone compare modern releases to their CD-counterparts.

Here are screenshots from needledrops I've done of some of my favorite recent records. All but one were released in the past two years. Warrel Dane's "Praises to the War Machine" was released in 2008. (As a fun side-note, the vinyl LP came with the CD and was limited to 1,000 copies worldwide.)

I would like to note that I did not cherry-pick these examples. I only have about three more needledrops that I also have a CD copy or iTunes Matched version of. I can upload those as well. It should also be noted that all of these examples are on the heavier-side of the metal genre and probably are far more dense in sound than most other examples from other genres.

I've brought each vinyl recording up to 0.1 under 0 dB for easier comparison. None of the peaks are "pops" or any artifacts associated with the LP medium. Only one had a "pop" that hit the ceiling and I corrected it before applying gain.


Borknagar - "The Earthling" from "Urd" (2012)

LP

(http://img707.imageshack.us/img707/2700/05theearthling.png)

iTunes Matched AAC

(http://img404.imageshack.us/img404/7674/04theearthling.png)


In Flames - "Ropes" from "Sounds of a Playground Fading" (2011)

LP

(http://img31.imageshack.us/img31/9759/ropesr.png)

CD

(http://img805.imageshack.us/img805/3583/09ropes.png)

(This album is an egregious example of how bad they can make a modern CD sound through destructive normalization.)


Saint Vitus - "Let Them Fall" from "Lillie: F-65" (2012)

LP

(http://img571.imageshack.us/img571/4663/letthemfall.png)

CD

(http://img600.imageshack.us/img600/9966/01letthemfall.png)

(Yes, really. It sounds worse than it looks IME.)


Warrel Dane - "Brother" from "Praises to the War Machine" (2008)

LP

(http://img26.imageshack.us/img26/1167/brotherp.png)

CD

(http://img690.imageshack.us/img690/8687/09brother.png)


Septicflesh - "Oceans of Grey" from "The Great Mass" (2011)

LP

(http://img822.imageshack.us/img822/6413/oceansofgrey.png)

CD

(http://img26.imageshack.us/img26/1094/05oceansofgrey.png)


[continued in next post due to apparent image constraints]
Title: Modern Vinyl "Masters" vs. CD--My Experience
Post by: Engelsstaub on 2012-12-05 18:00:46
Dimmu Borgir - "Born Treacherous" from "Abrahadabra" (2010)

LP


Title: Modern Vinyl "Masters" vs. CD--My Experience
Post by: Nessuno on 2012-12-05 18:24:50
Never actually made measurement of the sort, but may we safely assume that all this doesn't apply to classical?
Title: Modern Vinyl "Masters" vs. CD--My Experience
Post by: Engelsstaub on 2012-12-05 18:29:03
Probably not  I think people who produce classical music pay far more attention to detail and far less to "normalization" of the end-product.

My "measurements" are admittedly unscientific in that those pictures can't tell us how the recordings sound. I feel they do pretty well illustrate what's "going on" so to speak. If anyone's interested I can upload an actual audio sample of any of them later today.
Title: Modern Vinyl "Masters" vs. CD--My Experience
Post by: Porcus on 2012-12-05 19:05:06
If anyone's interested I can upload an actual audio sample of any of them later today.


Please do. Those pictures make me wanna violate TOS#9.
Title: Modern Vinyl "Masters" vs. CD--My Experience
Post by: [JAZ] on 2012-12-05 19:08:36
@Engelsstaub: While I agree that probably more care was taken to make the vinyl versions of those albums, I would like to make the comparison a bit more fair.

Could you make both songs equal loudness (i.e applying replaygain, or, if you don't want to change the vinyl one, apply the corresponding gain to the CD version so that its loudness is the same than the LP).
Once applied that gain, apply a lowpass filter around 18Khz. A soft rolloff filter would be better than a brickwall one.

I believe that doing these two things, those waveforms will look much less different, although I guess the CD version could still show hardclipping, but should be less obvious.
Title: Modern Vinyl "Masters" vs. CD--My Experience
Post by: Engelsstaub on 2012-12-05 19:22:04
@ Porcus: I'm going to try to get a few samples up in about eight hours or less. I have to attend to some stuff at the mo.

@[JAZ] When I upload the aforementioned samples you or anyone else is more than welcome to manipulate them in any way you like. I would suggest making the CD/AAC versions as "loud" as the vinyl ones though. I don't think boosting the gain and ultimately clipping the needledrops would prove anything one way or another.
Title: Modern Vinyl "Masters" vs. CD--My Experience
Post by: rgtb on 2012-12-05 19:25:06
My "measurements" are admittedly unscientific in that those pictures can't tell us how the recordings sound. I feel they do pretty well illustrate what's "going on" so to speak. If anyone's interested I can upload an actual audio sample of any of them later today.

I don't think you can infer too much by means of eyeballing.


An anecdote: recently, I downloaded a FLAC EP via Bandcamp. I own the vinyl version of this EP but the vinyl copy I have is perhaps VG so I wasn't 100% happy with the quality of my digitization. I hoped to get a nice digital version from Bandcamp. But what I got was a relatively severe victim of the loudness war. The waveforms of the Bandcamp FLACs looked quite different from the FLACs based on my own digitization.

I ended up contacting the artist about the issue and writing him about my frustration. I told him that I considered the vinyl master "proper" but not the Bandcamp master. Turns out the artist was a really nice guy. He explained to me no separate master was done for Bandcamp. He even went as far as sending me his original masters as provided to him by the mastering studio. I could then appreciate that the FLAC EP was indeed off the original master.

There's not really a moral of the story. I don't know what caused the perceived difference. Was it a Placebo-like effect? Was the vinyl not faithful to the digital master? Again, I'm not sure. I'm just a layperson when it comes to audio. In any case, I'd be curious to learn more about these things.
Title: Modern Vinyl "Masters" vs. CD--My Experience
Post by: Engelsstaub on 2012-12-05 19:59:58
I think it should be a bit more clear that we're not really talking about "masters" here, rgtb. I doubt that any of my examples were really "mastered" differently. They appear to be rather destructively normalized on the CD.

I also will have to respectfully and adamantly disagree. I believe those screenshots I exported from iZotope RX2 Advanced more than adequately demonstrate the normalization that is present on the CDs but not on the LPs. I can't talk about how much different it sounds, obviously. It should suffice to say that "information is permanently lost" on the CD that is still present on the LP. I would further add that much of that "information" is percussion. It shouldn't be at all difficult to ascertain that the dynamic range of the former is far less than that of the latter. Usually to the point of complete dissatisfaction of and contempt for the CD version.

I'm no recording engineer, but I can assure you that I'm not merely eyeballing these recordings, but listening to them as well. I'm trying to avoid the TOS 8 violations of talking about the way it sounds. ABXing CD against vinyl would be an experiment riddled with inaccuracy and flaw.

EDIT: I would also like to apologize for the tone I got with you in the other thread. We're all humans and have bad days, but I really could have handled it better. Sorry/Ich bitte um Entschuldigung
Title: Modern Vinyl "Masters" vs. CD--My Experience
Post by: almostmitch on 2012-12-05 20:32:17
I like what I see  especially after just taking the plunge into vinyl.
Metal is my primary genre.
Title: Modern Vinyl "Masters" vs. CD--My Experience
Post by: Engelsstaub on 2012-12-05 20:41:24
I like what I see  especially after just taking the plunge into vinyl.
Metal is my primary genre.


Awesome. Just know that it's higher maintenance than digital

I've included thirty second samples from the song "Ropes" by In Flames, as illustrated above.

Link to samples of "Ropes." (http://www.hydrogenaudio.org/forums/index.php?showtopic=98201)

I can get around to a few more perhaps later today, if needed. The Woods of Ypres and Saint Vitus ones are jaw-droppingly different (IME.)

...please note that nothing was done to these samples apart from applying some gain to the vinyl versions. There was no declicking or other processing of any sort.

Edit: I used to be a good speller
Title: Modern Vinyl "Masters" vs. CD--My Experience
Post by: [JAZ] on 2012-12-05 20:45:19
I'll wait for the samples, to see what I can get out of them.

Still, to dynamically compress a song previous to put it on a CD is not something I would expect to see.
The only reason I could make out of it is that one intentionally makes the CD to be played on small boomboxes or devices with low output power. I could believe that lossy files, especially if sold individually on internet stores could be generated like this (still a stupid thing to do, but more probable), but not as a general rule.

On the other hand, to put a song on a Vinyl does require special treatment. (More so if it is loud).  That's why i want to see with a little (not much) dsp processing, if the CD can be more like the vinyl version in this case.

Title: Modern Vinyl "Masters" vs. CD--My Experience
Post by: Triza on 2012-12-05 20:50:09
I left the rock scene primarily because of bad masters. Only listen to jazz and classical. I cannot stand these overamplified albums.
Title: Modern Vinyl "Masters" vs. CD--My Experience
Post by: Engelsstaub on 2012-12-05 20:59:09
I left the rock scene primarily because of bad masters. Only listen to jazz and classical. I cannot stand these overamplified albums.


I really do understand the sentiment, Triza. I listen to some other forms of music too.

For me there was once a time I was in danger of making "my tastes" conform to an audiophool-norm. I realized that there's is close to nothing I want to hear that is released on exotic formats like SACD.

I'm guessing your experience is different, though. Jazz and classical are great and it could be pretty easy for someone to find enough music to satisfy them in those genres alone. As for me, I've been banging the head a bit too long to change now
Title: Modern Vinyl "Masters" vs. CD--My Experience
Post by: StephenPG on 2012-12-05 21:14:40
Never actually made measurement of the sort, but may we safely assume that all this doesn't apply to classical?



I have a classical CD collection dating back to 1980 and have yet to find a 'brickwalled' recording.


ps, love the avatar... :-)
Title: Modern Vinyl "Masters" vs. CD--My Experience
Post by: almostmitch on 2012-12-05 21:22:34
As for me, I've been banging the head a bit too long to change now


Although I don't see it happening, I hope I too will be able to say this many years from now 

You were right about the samples, the CD is ridiculously loud.
While we're on it, do you have any other recommendations for good metal LP's? I like my metal modern, progressive, heavy, djenty, and technical. So if you have any like that I'd be glad to hear them.
Title: Modern Vinyl "Masters" vs. CD--My Experience
Post by: [JAZ] on 2012-12-05 21:56:08
Mmm... after a few tests, I cannot get what I wanted.

(http://psycle.free.fr/josepma/compare-cd-lp.png)

As i said, i've first applied the same gain to both files, so that we could compare properly. At that point, what can be seen and heard is that in the LP version, the highs are boosted/more present.
I tried boosting the highs on the CD version too, but the waveform didn't change much  (boost starting from 10Khz ending at +12dB at 20Khz).

What there is no doubt is that this example favours the LP (both, by graphs and by ear).
Title: Modern Vinyl "Masters" vs. CD--My Experience
Post by: krabapple on 2012-12-05 22:13:44
You can't turned a hard limited (as in a limiter was used aggressively) waveform into an unlimited one via replaygain or any other method. You will never get those CD waveforms to look like the LP ones.

That said, not all CDs are limited this much.  And some LPs reportedly have been cut from limited masters.


Quote
Still, to dynamically compress a song previous to put it on a CD is not something I would expect to see.


??  It's been happening for new releases since at least the mid 1990s.  (e.g. Oasis).  And  if indeed the limiting  was done during the creation of the original master  --- if it was 'printed' to the masters --  no version short of a remix from the original multitracks will recover that lost dynamic range.  (If it's on the multis, forget it) .  If it was done specifically for a particular CD mastering, then the original master version may have more dynamic range available.  Which could be released on CD, or on LP (the CD will do a better job of retaining it).
Title: Modern Vinyl "Masters" vs. CD--My Experience
Post by: krabapple on 2012-12-05 22:24:44
Never actually made measurement of the sort, but may we safely assume that all this doesn't apply to classical?



I have a classical CD collection dating back to 1980 and have yet to find a 'brickwalled' recording.


ps, love the avatar... :-)



Not brickwalling, in my experience  -- which I take here to mean plateaus visible at low magnification ('zoomed out' ) view of a waveform --  but there has been some spot hard limiting in classical CD releases.  I have no idea how common it is though.  Here's an example posted by HA's own Axon:

http://audiamorous.blogspot.com/2008/11/th...ering-does.html (http://audiamorous.blogspot.com/2008/11/think-classical-music-mastering-does.html)
Title: Modern Vinyl "Masters" vs. CD--My Experience
Post by: krabapple on 2012-12-05 22:27:16
And please, before you conclude that vinyl 'sounds better' based on a waveform view, read this other post from Axon's blog

http://audiamorous.blogspot.com/2008/09/wa...ed-harmful.html (http://audiamorous.blogspot.com/2008/09/waveform-plots-considered-harmful.html)

and see this old HA thread he started on 'Mastering Vinyl, Myths, questions, discussion'

http://www.hydrogenaudio.org/forums/index....mp;#entry587401 (http://www.hydrogenaudio.org/forums/index.php?showtopic=65806&st=0&p=587401&#entry587401)
Title: Modern Vinyl "Masters" vs. CD--My Experience
Post by: Engelsstaub on 2012-12-05 23:41:46
And please, before you conclude that vinyl 'sounds better' based on a waveform view, read this other post from Axon's blog

http://audiamorous.blogspot.com/2008/09/wa...ed-harmful.html (http://audiamorous.blogspot.com/2008/09/waveform-plots-considered-harmful.html)

and see this old HA thread he started on 'Mastering Vinyl, Myths, questions, discussion'

http://www.hydrogenaudio.org/forums/index....mp;#entry587401 (http://www.hydrogenaudio.org/forums/index.php?showtopic=65806&st=0&p=587401&#entry587401)


I'm attempting to conclude that it is, >85% IME, by the sound samples as well. I can keep them coming but I'm not getting too much feedback thus far on the ones I've already uploaded. Thank you kindly for the links. I'll be sure to read them.

@almostmitch: I don't really have anything djent, but I plan on picking up The Faceless' "Autotheism" when it is pressed on black vinyl. I'll let you know. If you can find Krisiun's "The Great Execution" definitely get that while you still can. "Blackened Death Metal" with a lot of groove. Very "musical" for that sort of genre. That LP completely craps all over the CD-version and I didn't even post it in this thread. I'll PM you a bit later with others that I can think of. I just picked up a Back on Black-pressing of Ihsahn's newest album "Eremita." I haven't listened to the vinyl yet, but that CD is very progressive for a former black metal vocalist. There's even well-executed saxophone.

Basically just get vinyl of bands you like while it's still available. It's usually limited pressings. Even if a few turn out to be as bad or worse than the CD there's a resale/trade-in value to well-taken-care-of vinyl that is nearly non-existent but for the rarest of CDs.
Title: Modern Vinyl "Masters" vs. CD--My Experience
Post by: Engelsstaub on 2012-12-05 23:46:00
[quote author=[JAZ] link=msg=816293 date=1354744568]
...
What there is no doubt is that this example favours the LP (both, by graphs and by ear).[/quote]

Thanks for your valued feedback, [JAZ]. It is immensely appreciated regardless of your findings.

I suspect most if not all of the other examples would as well, but my feelings should be well-known by now
Title: Modern Vinyl "Masters" vs. CD--My Experience
Post by: mjb2006 on 2012-12-06 00:57:28
Can you upload a clip of one of the AAC files and a clip of the corresponding vinyl rip?

Sometimes (often?), MP3 or AAC clipping is artificial; applying negative ReplayGain brings the peaks down to saner levels.
Title: Modern Vinyl "Masters" vs. CD--My Experience
Post by: Engelsstaub on 2012-12-06 01:27:25
Can you upload a clip of one of the AAC files and a clip of the corresponding vinyl rip?

Sometimes (often?), MP3 or AAC clipping is artificial; applying negative ReplayGain brings the peaks down to saner levels.


I had to edit the AAC file as AIFF. I converted it to FLAC with xACT. I can assure you that it came from my legally-acquired/purchased iTunes Store album.

The album was legally acquired from my local indy metal & punk record store

Same link for the earlier samples.
Title: Modern Vinyl "Masters" vs. CD--My Experience
Post by: mjb2006 on 2012-12-06 01:44:28
No, I mean, start with the AAC file and "apply" ReplayGain to it, i.e. reduce the global gain field in every frame before you convert it to AIFF. This should get rid of any clipping caused by floating-point values exceeding ±1.0; any clipping that remains should be what was in the source material.
Title: Modern Vinyl "Masters" vs. CD--My Experience
Post by: extrabigmehdi on 2012-12-06 02:56:03
Well, just by looking at the graphs I  wouldn't be able to tell which sounds better.
The loudness compression difference doesn't look significant.
And obviously some LP  have some limiter applied to them such like  "Oceans of Grey" from "The Great Mass" . I'd be more interested by LP  versions if there was more significant differences on the  dynamic range.
Title: Modern Vinyl "Masters" vs. CD--My Experience
Post by: Engelsstaub on 2012-12-06 02:56:10
I've no software on the Macintosh platform that utilizes RG. (I sold my Windows computer recently, so I've no access to one at the moment.) I don't even use Soundcheck in iTunes. What I may be able to do is edit the AAC file in QuickTime so that it trims off the music before and after that which I used in the 30 second sample.

It's not something I'm accustomed to doing so I need to relearn how to do it then I can upload it for you soon hopefully.
Title: Modern Vinyl "Masters" vs. CD--My Experience
Post by: Engelsstaub on 2012-12-06 03:04:34
Well, just by looking at the graphs I  wouldn't be able to tell which sounds better.
The loudness compression difference doesn't look significant.
And obviously some LP  have some limiter applied to them such like  "Oceans of Grey" from "The Great Mass" . I'd be more interested by LP  versions if there was more significant differences on the  dynamic range.


Did you listen to the samples I uploaded? You don't have to base your judgement on the graphs.

The feedback I've gotten thus far from those who've listened is that the difference is significant. If you don't feel it's significant enough, as I or others do, you're certainly free to continue not caring about the LPs.

I'm not even saying that the difference should outweigh someone's legitimate reasons for preferring digital. I stand by my assertions that it is indeed significant. Some much more so than others, but still a notable difference in nearly every case.

Edited for clarity.
Title: Modern Vinyl "Masters" vs. CD--My Experience
Post by: extrabigmehdi on 2012-12-06 03:43:40
Did you listen to the samples I uploaded? You don't have to base your judgement on the graphs.


Ok, just listened to the samples, and the LP  does indeed sound better.
However I've looked at the waveforme , thanks to "wavefoorm seekbar"  component,
and the squashing of dynamic range is more obvious than on the graph you published.

Sample : "dirty window of opportunity" ,  top is LP.

(http://i45.tinypic.com/28i20kx.jpg)

I'm thinking that the graph you published are not very representative of the difference,
maybe you should show left/right channel graph separately,  instead of mid channel, or zoom on problematic parts.
Title: Modern Vinyl "Masters" vs. CD--My Experience
Post by: Engelsstaub on 2012-12-06 05:35:15
Ok, just listened to the samples, and the LP  does indeed sound better.
However I've looked at the waveforme , thanks to "wavefoorm seekbar"  component,
and the squashing of dynamic range is more obvious than on the graph you published.

...


Thanks for your time and input. I appreciate it. I'm not so knowledgable about graphs and meaningful information portrayed therein, so your graphs would very likely be far more useful than mine.

@mjb2006: I uploaded some samples as you requested here. (http://www.hydrogenaudio.org/forums/index.php?showtopic=98201&st=0&gopid=816325&#entry816325)

(Quicktime X has a trim command that is super-easy to use. For some reason I always forget about it because I never have cause to use it.)

Edit: I did not apply gain this time to the LP version, so in this instance it was not brought up to -0.1 dB like all of the previous examples. Or like the example illustrated in the graph.
Title: Modern Vinyl "Masters" vs. CD--My Experience
Post by: itisljar on 2012-12-06 08:25:13
I've replaygained Ropes sample and played them back with track gain adjustment, so they are at same volume.
You can say whatever you want, but these samples DO sound different - the LP one is clearer, and the CD one is muddier - just listen to the guitars. Also, LP version is much easier on ears.
I find the LP version better sounding.

And I really don't care about the medium the content is delivered, as long as it sounds good. Be it LP, CD, 24 bit FLAC, whatever.

I know the ABX is not precise in testing CD vs. LP, but the difference in sound is very obvious. ABX is really not needed.

foo_abx 1.3.4 report
foobar2000 v1.1.15
2012/12/06 09:19:48

File A: C:\Users\itisljar\Desktop\Ropes__CD_.flac
File B: C:\Users\itisljar\Desktop\Ropes__LP_.flac

09:19:48 : Test started.
09:20:07 : 01/01  50.0%
09:20:23 : 02/02  25.0%
09:20:39 : 03/03  12.5%
09:20:55 : 04/04  6.3%
09:21:10 : 05/05  3.1%
09:21:28 : 06/06  1.6%
09:21:50 : 07/07  0.8%
09:21:58 : 08/08  0.4%
09:22:08 : 09/09  0.2%
09:22:32 : 10/10  0.1%
09:22:41 : 11/11  0.0%
09:23:00 : Test finished.

----------
Total: 11/11 (0.0%)
Title: Modern Vinyl "Masters" vs. CD--My Experience
Post by: Nessuno on 2012-12-06 09:26:50

I have a classical CD collection dating back to 1980 and have yet to find a 'brickwalled' recording.

Not brickwalling, in my experience  -- which I take here to mean plateaus visible at low magnification ('zoomed out' ) view of a waveform --  but there has been some spot hard limiting in classical CD releases.  I have no idea how common it is though.

Yes, clipping sometimes, albeit rarely, occur in classical recordings, but to my knowledge (I'm not a sound engineer) this problem is not related to the use of dynamic compression techniques, but is a side effect of multimicrophonic recording setups, often used by labels as DG or Decca, and the difficulties arising to calibrate the different mic levels during recording in the first place and then during mixing and final mastering stages. They are unwanted errors of course and not so easy to spot by ears, anyway. No, definitely not brickwalling.

Generally speaking, a classical recording, especially a symphonic or operatic one is considered more valuable and appealing the larger the dynamic and I understand perfectly well Engelsstaub concerns, but for classical, digital delivery formats are only too great a blessing!
I have some early Telarc CDs with a disclaimer printed in the booklet not to play quieter passages at high volume because, due to the larger dynamic range of digital media, louder ones might then result too loud and even damage speakers!

As an anecdote, I have also an old Decca LP, a 1960 recording of Thurston Dart playing Bach's French Suites at the clavichord, whose internal sleeve reports an advice to play at a volume level higher than usual because of the typical sound of that instrument, very quiet and with a limited dynamic range.

Title: Modern Vinyl "Masters" vs. CD--My Experience
Post by: 2Bdecided on 2012-12-06 10:28:09
I believe those screenshots I exported from iZotope RX2 Advanced more than adequately demonstrate the normalization that is present on the CDs but not on the LPs.
No, they don't, not at that zoom level. You really should follow the two links that krabapple posted...
http://audiamorous.blogspot.co.uk/2008/09/...ed-harmful.html (http://audiamorous.blogspot.co.uk/2008/09/waveform-plots-considered-harmful.html)
...and...
http://www.hydrogenaudio.org/forums/index....mp;#entry587401 (http://www.hydrogenaudio.org/forums/index.php?showtopic=65806&st=0&p=587401&#entry587401)
...because they show the exact situation where the zoomed out graphs look just like yours, but the zoomed in graphs show the clipping present on the CD is also present on the LP.

However, when zoomed in, and listened to, your results are different. In Dirty Window of Opportunity, at 0:27.924 in the AAC version the kick drum clips, whereas it does not appear to clip in the LP version (found at 0:27.811). The sound of the two versions becomes much closer if you match the volume (drop the CD version by 8.47dB) and match the EQ (between flat and -2dB at 100Hz, raising to 0dB around 3kHz, 2-3dB up by 10kHz; gentle slope throughout) - but the CD still has a slightly more compressed sound. I think it may have better stereo separation though - listen to the guitars - though again that may be due to compression.

I'm not so convinced by Ropes. With the volume and EQ matched, I'm not sure I can hear a difference (beyond not quite matching the volume and EQ perfectly!). Also, the LP version appears to include the clipping from the CD version. See 0:04.379 on the CD vs 0:04.627 on the LP - same flat line! (note that the CD is inverted wrt the LP).

Haven't had change to check your other sample.

It seems your turntable set-up boosts the treble by 2-3dB. It's quite common for cartridges to add a little "smiley face" EQ, though yours doesn't seem to help the bass. All other things being equal, if you like this EQ, you'll prefer vinyl over CD every time on your set up.

Cheers,
David.
Title: Modern Vinyl "Masters" vs. CD--My Experience
Post by: [JAZ] on 2012-12-06 11:06:43
You can't turned a hard limited (as in a limiter was used aggressively) waveform into an unlimited one via replaygain or any other method. You will never get those CD waveforms to look like the LP ones.

That said, not all CDs are limited this much.  And some LPs reportedly have been cut from limited masters.

Yes, I know i cannot "decompress" a compressed sound. I expected to change a bit the equalization and borders. The replaygain for the CD version was -11.62 (the -8.62 was the result of replaygain +3).

Quote
Still, to dynamically compress a song previous to put it on a CD is not something I would expect to see.


??  It's been happening for new releases since at least the mid 1990s.  (e.g. Oasis).  And  if indeed the limiting  was done during the creation of the original master  --- if it was 'printed' to the masters --  no version short of a remix from the original multitracks will recover that lost dynamic range.  (If it's on the multis, forget it) .  If it was done specifically for a particular CD mastering, then the original master version may have more dynamic range available.  Which could be released on CD, or on LP (the CD will do a better job of retaining it).


I wrote that too fast, so I'll try to be more concrete. I am counting the work of mixing the multitracks and tweaking the sound to the artist's likeness to be part of mastering (In other words, the wanted result).  I wanted to say that I don't see as reasonable to do a post-processing of this before putting it on a CD, other than to make it "less like the master". It probably is done when making multiple-artists CDs (to make the album more alike), but I wouldn't expect it on a single-artist CD.

Of course, another master can be done at a later time if keeping the original multitracks/computer song.
Title: Modern Vinyl "Masters" vs. CD--My Experience
Post by: Kohlrabi on 2012-12-06 12:33:01
While I agree it is likely worthwhile to get into vinyl seeing those waveforms, this more shows that the current (and future?) generation of (label-employed) mastering engineers is batshit retarded, more than vinyl is a superior medium. This clearly shows that their often touted argument "the artist wanted it like that" is not true at all, and they're the only people to blame for shitty sounding records.

There must be some really weird business reasons seeing that major labels intend to destroy CDs (and digital) and replace them with vinyl again. Are win margins larger with vinyl, somehow? I always assumed CD technology was a win-win for both customers and producers, maybe I'm wrong?
Title: Modern Vinyl "Masters" vs. CD--My Experience
Post by: rgtb on 2012-12-06 12:58:32
Are win margins larger with vinyl, somehow? I always assumed CD technology was a win-win for both customers and producers, maybe I'm wrong?

I don't think the profit margins for vinyl are higher. Afaik, nowadays, the majority of vinyl presses result in a loss but I'm not entirely sure. Even if vinyl was vastly more profitable than CDs, it would still be a tiny market. For example, look at the sales figures for 2011 for the home country of both of us, Germany. Revenues from vinyl were EUR 14 mil (based on 0.7 mil units sold), while revenues from CD were EUR 1.1 bil (based on 97 mil units sold). So in 2011, the market for CDs was about 80 times as large as the market for vinyl.
Title: Modern Vinyl "Masters" vs. CD--My Experience
Post by: almostmitch on 2012-12-06 14:46:09
@almostmitch: I don't really have anything djent, but I plan on picking up The Faceless' "Autotheism" when it is pressed on black vinyl. I'll let you know. If you can find Krisiun's "The Great Execution" definitely get that while you still can. "Blackened Death Metal" with a lot of groove. Very "musical" for that sort of genre. That LP completely craps all over the CD-version and I didn't even post it in this thread. I'll PM you a bit later with others that I can think of. I just picked up a Back on Black-pressing of Ihsahn's newest album "Eremita." I haven't listened to the vinyl yet, but that CD is very progressive for a former black metal vocalist. There's even well-executed saxophone.

Basically just get vinyl of bands you like while it's still available. It's usually limited pressings. Even if a few turn out to be as bad or worse than the CD there's a resale/trade-in value to well-taken-care-of vinyl that is nearly non-existent but for the rarest of CDs.


Thanks, I'll check them out. I already have Autotheism and I really like it. I've actually had the vinyl release in my cart on Amazon for a couple weeks 
I'm also going to pick up as much Between the Buried and Me as I can. I imagine their stuff will sound awesome on vinyl with all the gapless track changes they have.
Title: Modern Vinyl "Masters" vs. CD--My Experience
Post by: Nessuno on 2012-12-06 14:46:23
I don't think the profit margins for vinyl are higher. Afaik, nowadays, the majority of vinyl presses result in a loss but I'm not entirely sure. Even if vinyl was vastly more profitable than CDs, it would still be a tiny market.

Maybe the profit margins are not (so) higher, but let's consider that it's a market which didn't exist any more and they've started it again. Once you reach the breakeven (and I don't think there are big investments involved, both in R&D and actual production), every individual that buys a vinyl setup is a new customer and surely he already owns a digital player and he'll still keep on buying digital music alongside.

Let's consider also that it could be a tiny market, yes, but made also of people (audiophiles) ready to pay many times the actual value of things, if properly swayed.

And making LPs sound a little better than the corresponding CDs, will only encourage that niche, without stealing customers from the digital market.
Title: Modern Vinyl "Masters" vs. CD--My Experience
Post by: 2Bdecided on 2012-12-06 16:45:48
I've checked out "the earthling". There's some mild clipping on the CD that's not present on the vinyl, but with matched levels and EQ I think I'd be struggling to ABX it. I can't hear the clipping.

So of the three samples posted, one was audibly+measurably different, one was measurably but not really audibly different, and one was the same clipped mastering on CD and vinyl.

Cheers,
David.
Title: Modern Vinyl "Masters" vs. CD--My Experience
Post by: Engelsstaub on 2012-12-06 16:48:52
I've replaygained Ropes sample and played them back with track gain adjustment, so they are at same volume.
You can say whatever you want, but these samples DO sound different - the LP one is clearer, and the CD one is muddier...


I greatly value your input. I'm glad to see respondents to this topic are taking this in the right spirit. I feared the reaction would largely be...well...reactionary

...
You really should follow the two links that krabapple posted...
...
However, when zoomed in, and listened to, your results are different. In Dirty Window of Opportunity, at 0:27.924 in the AAC version the kick drum clips, whereas it does not appear to clip in the LP version (found at 0:27.811). The sound of the two versions becomes much closer if you match the volume (drop the CD version by 8.47dB) and match the EQ (between flat and -2dB at 100Hz, raising to 0dB around 3kHz, 2-3dB up by 10kHz; gentle slope throughout) - but the CD still has a slightly more compressed sound. I think it may have better stereo separation though...
...
It seems your turntable set-up boosts the treble by 2-3dB. It's quite common for cartridges to add a little "smiley face" EQ, though yours doesn't seem to help the bass. All other things being equal, if you like this EQ, you'll prefer vinyl over CD every time on your set up...


Many thanks for your time and input, David. I'm now aware that my little pictures are somewhat inadequate in conveying the existence of the sort of problems I'm talking about. I'm hoping we're all learning even just a little here. I know I've learned a lot thus far.

I'm going to be completely honest and concede that I've never tried to match the two quite as meticulously as you have. ...so there's that  In my experience, and the way I've compared (namely just listening to the two on the same stereo at about the same volume) I almost always favor the vinyl "masters" by a significant margin. I don't believe this is personal bias because I actually really want the CDs/AACs to sound better. It's less of a pain in my ass that way

Regarding my TT: I guess I do prefer just slightly more treble than what any given recording really has by default. I usually leave it alone either way whether listening to vinyl or digital. FWIW I'm listening to my iPod plugged into my receiver right now and the treble seems very agreeable to me. I've no intention of hunting down the vinyl version of what I'm currently listening to--a 2012 release...it sounds perfectly adequate and I'm enjoying the music and not thinking about how much better it could have been produced.

There's a point IMO when people, regardless of medium-preference, start becoming so overly-analytical that  they actually appear to not even want to try to enjoy the music. (This isn't directed at you....it's just a closing observation. Nobody in this thread has come across this way to me. I enjoy your posts and find them enlightening.)


While I agree it is likely worthwhile to get into vinyl seeing those waveforms, this more shows that the current (and future?) generation of (label-employed) mastering engineers is batshit retarded, more than vinyl is a superior medium...


I couldn't agree more. I would never argue that vinyl is a superior medium to digital. I feel it can be more than adequate, but I prefer digital when all things are seemingly equal to me. I think we may be able to all agree that modern pop, rock, and metal "masterings" suck and that they only seem to suck a little less at least on some of these vinyl examples I've provided. As before, I don't really believe that the word "mastering" is adequate for description or that it's terribly different between the CD and the vinyl. I believe we're really hearing a "normalization" that would be best left up to the consumer. The problem is that the public by and large gives less than two-thirds of a crap. Their iTunes software provides Soundcheck for them but they'd rather have their digital music spoon-fed too them at "acceptable" levels for their cell phones.


Are win margins larger with vinyl, somehow? I always assumed CD technology was a win-win for both customers and producers, maybe I'm wrong?

I don't think the profit margins for vinyl are higher. Afaik, nowadays, the majority of vinyl presses result in a loss but I'm not entirely sure. Even if vinyl was vastly more profitable than CDs, it would still be a tiny market. For example, look at the sales figures for 2011 for the home country of both of us, Germany. Revenues from vinyl were EUR 14 mil (based on 0.7 mil units sold), while revenues from CD were EUR 1.1 bil (based on 97 mil units sold). So in 2011, the market for CDs was about 80 times as large as the market for vinyl.


From personal observation it seems that vinyl is produced in higher numbers for the UK/EU market. I think the sales may be even less for the North American or Australian market, for example.

Edit for grammar.
Title: Modern Vinyl "Masters" vs. CD--My Experience
Post by: Engelsstaub on 2012-12-06 16:56:09
...
Generally speaking, a classical recording, especially a symphonic or operatic one is considered more valuable and appealing the larger the dynamic and I understand perfectly well Engelsstaub concerns, but for classical, digital delivery formats are only too great a blessing!
I have some early Telarc CDs with a disclaimer printed in the booklet not to play quieter passages at high volume because, due to the larger dynamic range of digital media, louder ones might then result too loud and even damage speakers!

As an anecdote, I have also an old Decca LP, a 1960 recording of Thurston Dart playing Bach's French Suites at the clavichord, whose internal sleeve reports an advice to play at a volume level higher than usual because of the typical sound of that instrument, very quiet and with a limited dynamic range.


I don't believe I could ever tell someone that it is better to listen to classical on vinyl instead of digital in these times. The background noise between tracks and in quiet passages of rock music is of no distraction or displeasure to me. I could see it quickly becoming annoying when tying to listen to the many quiet passages in classical.


...
So of the three samples posted, one was audibly+measurably different, one was measurably but not really audibly different, and one was the same clipped mastering on CD and vinyl...


Thanks for sharing you findings
Title: Modern Vinyl "Masters" vs. CD--My Experience
Post by: DVDdoug on 2012-12-06 19:36:54
Most of my CDs don't "look" that bad...  For the most part they are not that over compressed.  Most of my music is rock from the 60's 70's and 80's, so it was originally recorded in analog before the loudness wars.  But, most if the "current" music I've bought in the last decade isn't quite that bad either.  (If I sort my collection by date, it looks like the median original release date is around 1979, and it ranges from the 1020s through 2012)

I haven't purchased any vinyl since sometime in the early 80's when I got my 1st CD player.  In cases where I have (or had) the 30-40 year old vinyl and the CD,  the CD sounds better to me.  The ones that were remastered were not destroyed by the remastering (and may have been improved by the re-mastering).  I'm sure current vinyl is produced with more care, since consumers now expect "digital quality".    Of course my old records are worn and damaged, but in the "vinyl days" when they were new, most of 'em didn't sound that great either...  it was a rare treat to find a record with really good "clean" sound, at least in the rock/popular genre. 

...this more shows that the current (and future?) generation of (label-employed) mastering engineers is batshit retarded, more than vinyl is a superior medium. This clearly shows that their often touted argument "the artist wanted it like that" is not true at all, and they're the only people to blame for shitty sounding records.
With a traditional record company, the artist doesn't have that much say in the matter.  I'd blame the consumers and the management of the record company.  It's the way the managers want it to sound.  The consumer has the final say.  If there are 2 or 3 big "Number 1 hits" with a "New dynamic sound",  everybody will be copying that sound.    I actually expected that to happen when CDs were introduced.    With all of this new dynamic range to play around with, I expected artists (and producers) to start taking advantage of it...  Boy, was I wrong!

The engineers are just doing what they are told.    A few weeks ago, I posted some excerpts from an article (http://www.hydrogenaudio.org/forums/index.php?showtopic=97899) by a mastering engineer who got fed-up and quit!

The "sound" is supposed to be the responsibility of the producer.    But, it starts with the music & musicians...  Everybody  plays & sings constantly-loud through the whole song...  That's the current popular style.  Of course there's the occasional quiet passage, and then it's back to loud, with every little dynamic contrast in the individual instruments or the overall sound.    Sometimes, I want ot say, "Once more, with FEELING!"    But, I think the producer is saying, "Once more, with INTENSITY!

Then the producer works with the recording & mastering engineer to get the "best sound", which currently seems to include the "best loudness".

Finally, it's submitted to the record label for approval.


Title: Modern Vinyl "Masters" vs. CD--My Experience
Post by: Engelsstaub on 2012-12-06 19:56:03
...I'm sure current vinyl is produced with more care, since consumers now expect "digital quality"....


Not always, to be honest. I see handling-marks, warps, and off-centre pressings more than I care to. Vinyl is almost always more expensive now while CDs have stayed about the same, in spite of inflation, since the eighties. We should expect higher quality pressings. Unfortunately, I think the industry's idea of "higher quality" really only involves numbered/limited quantities, colored vinyl, and 180 gram vinyl (whoopty-do, I say to the latter.)

I can pick through a stack of used eighties vinyl all day long at a local store and find nary an obviously off-centre pressing. For new vinyl it's about one in thirty I purchase I'm loosely estimating.

I'm with you all the way on blaming the average consumer above all. I don't want to sound elitist but it is what it is, I guess.
Title: Modern Vinyl "Masters" vs. CD--My Experience
Post by: mjb2006 on 2012-12-07 10:20:24
Assuming the QuickTime trim function doesn't transcode, I compared "Let Them Fall" around the 7-second mark (the first snare hit after the lyric "choose to fight"), and confirmed that 99.999% of the dynamic range compression (rough estimate ) is baked-in.

That is, when I run the .aac through AACGain to adjust the global gain values by -6 dB (approximately what's needed to match the levels of the vinyl rip), the result is almost identical to decoding the original .aac and scaling the sample values by the same amount. There are, as I predicted, some peaks where the samples differ due to clipping introduced during decoding of the original .aac, but these are infrequent and the differences are very tiny, certainly inaudible.

Anyway, when compared to the vinyl, it's evident that the CD/iTunes Match mastering is quite different. I wouldn't be surprised if brickwalled recordings are sent to vinyl mastering houses on occasion, but as Engelstaub said his original post, that's probably the exception rather than the rule.

I noticed the vinyl rip is out of phase by about one sample; the right channel is delayed, as compared to the AAC file, at least in the segment I looked at. I'm guessing this happened in the ripping process and isn't actually that way on the record. My old USB soundcard used to do this when recording. I wouldn't worry about it, though it'd be nice to know why it happens. The vinyl rip may also be playing ever-so-slightly fast as compared to the AAC file, not enough to make a noticeable difference in pitch, but enough to make the waveforms not line up without some stretching.

(http://hyperreal.org/~mike/tmp/ha/Let_Them_Fall_animation.gif)
Title: Modern Vinyl "Masters" vs. CD--My Experience
Post by: Engelsstaub on 2012-12-07 15:31:00
Assuming the QuickTime trim function doesn't transcode...
...
Anyway, when compared to the vinyl, it's evident that the CD/iTunes Match mastering is quite different. I wouldn't be surprised if brickwalled recordings are sent to vinyl mastering houses on occasion, but as Engelstaub said his original post, that's probably the exception rather than the rule.

I noticed the vinyl rip is out of phase by about one sample; the right channel is delayed, as compared to the AAC file, at least in the segment I looked at. I'm guessing this happened in the ripping process and isn't actually that way on the record. My old USB soundcard used to do this when recording. I wouldn't worry about it, though it'd be nice to know why it happens. The vinyl rip may also be playing ever-so-slightly fast as compared to the AAC file, not enough to make a noticeable difference in pitch, but enough to make the waveforms not line up without some stretching.
...


Thanks for taking the time to listen and for your findings, mjb2006.

I am basically assuming that QuckTime's trim-function is actually trimming losslessly. I know I've read somewhere in the past that this is indeed the case, but I can't prove it at this time. QuickTime's help-documentation is far too general and doesn't seem to cover any technical things like that.

I know that 2Bdecided concluded that the In Flames example came from the same clipped master. I wouldn't doubt that. Some past In Flames CD's masterings sound so bad to me that I often don't even want to listen in spite of the fact that I like the music. I do still contend that it seems to be the exception that vinyl mastering houses are being sent the exact same stuff that's going on the CD and the digitally-distributed formats. I wish they would do the same with CDs as with most LPs now that iTunes-sales has pretty much caught up. They could leave the "cellphone mixes" to the market in which it would be more appreciated and (arguably) desired.

These needledrops are less than ideal. I need to redo most of them soon partly because of some of those issues that didn't seem to escape your attention. The Pro-ject Debut III USB's USB 1.1 out seems to be far less ideal than I hoped it would be. I'm in the process of working on a Firewire solution for that, but that's another story.

I think we're mostly on the same page here, but if anyone would like more samples let me know. I'd be happy to up the rest of them. I have another one (a 2011 example,) that I hadn't posted a graph of here, which is even more strikingly different than  the Woods of Ypres comparison.
Title: Modern Vinyl "Masters" vs. CD--My Experience
Post by: krabapple on 2012-12-07 16:42:44
Yes, clipping sometimes, albeit rarely, occur in classical recordings, but to my knowledge (I'm not a sound engineer) this problem is not related to the use of dynamic compression techniques, but is a side effect of multimicrophonic recording setups, often used by labels as DG or Decca, and the difficulties arising to calibrate the different mic levels during recording in the first place and then during mixing and final mastering stages. They are unwanted errors of course and not so easy to spot by ears, anyway. No, definitely not brickwalling.



Why are they hitting headroom limits on classical releases?  Are they not doing tracking and production at 24bits or more?  (the recording linked to was a recent DDD recording on DG)
Title: Modern Vinyl "Masters" vs. CD--My Experience
Post by: mixminus1 on 2012-12-07 18:20:29
My thoughts exactly.

I'd be very surprised if a recording engineer for any major-label classical release was OK with the "Over" indicator *ever* lighting up on his A/D(s) while recording (and an over is usually four consecutive samples @ 0 dBFS).

Yes, levels usually change between rehearsal and performance, but that's why, as krabapple stated, you track at 24-bit and leave lots of headroom.  After all the editing/mixing is done, you then apply any level adjustments deemed necessary, which may involve compression/limiting, or could be as simple as just normalizing.
Title: Modern Vinyl "Masters" vs. CD--My Experience
Post by: mjb2006 on 2012-12-07 21:07:22
I'm wondering if we should change the vinyl myths page in the wiki (http://wiki.hydrogenaudio.org/index.php?title=Myths_(Vinyl)), then, because it currently reads (with much boldface):

There are documented instances of different masters being used on vinyl releases compared to CD releases. One notable example is The White Stripes' Icky Thump. However, there are also many documented instances of the same masters being used on vinyl releases compared to CD releases. In fact, if you purchase an album produced in the last two decades on vinyl, it is logical to assume that the master will be no better than on CD unless evidence is found to the contrary. Alternative masters for vinyl cost money, and mastering is a significant cost of producing a record. It is very likely that some producers - believing in the myth that vinyl is an inherently superior medium, as mentioned in other myths described here - will simply use the CD master for the vinyl release, believing that it will automatically yield a superior sound.

I'm not sure any of that is false, but it seems to really be going to some trouble to imply that vinyl is often mastered the same as CD, when our experience shows that it's still quite often different / not brickwalled.
Title: Modern Vinyl "Masters" vs. CD--My Experience
Post by: greynol on 2012-12-07 21:44:49
OT regarding the wiki:
I would strive to make the language more neutral and unassuming.  It's simply not a good idea to levy broad generalizations based on a limited number of titles from an even more limited number of labels and genres.
Title: Modern Vinyl "Masters" vs. CD--My Experience
Post by: Engelsstaub on 2012-12-07 22:49:27
Agreed. My personal vote (assuming I even have one    ) would be for more neutral as well.

I could upload samples of every record I own and we still couldn't necessarily draw strong conclusions...it's just my experience thus far. There's an awful lot of music out there and we shouldn't necessarily assume that my small sampling is representative of the majority. (I own less than one hundred records.) With the exception of a few classic rock records, pretty much everything I own on vinyl is loosely classified as metal of one sort or another. I really wish I could make more various contributions (regarding genre) here.

It's been said before that many new pop releases are just as brickwalled or dynamically clipped as the CDs/MP3s/AACs. I'm inclined to believe that though I've not verified it yet for myself.
Title: Modern Vinyl "Masters" vs. CD--My Experience
Post by: RonaldDumsfeld on 2012-12-08 00:47:23
Impressive and thought provoking  thread. Thanks Engelsstaub and all contributors.

Quote
I don't think the profit margins for vinyl are higher.


It's all very recent. You could always get represes of classic or cult albums on vinyl for significantly less than the CD. Now the vinyl is two or even three times the asking price of the CD.

The last straw for me was last year. I've been buying Ry Cooder on vinyl for over 40 years. The last one he wanted £35.
Title: Modern Vinyl "Masters" vs. CD--My Experience
Post by: Nessuno on 2012-12-08 09:46:22
Why are they hitting headroom limits on classical releases?  Are they not doing tracking and production at 24bits or more?  (the recording linked to was a recent DDD recording on DG)

Good point. Maybe the clipping was not in the 24bits (or whatever) single tracks, not even in the two channel master, but what if, to give the whole track a louder overall level (DG productions have typically a "spectacular" sound signature) and stil accommodate the whole dynamic without compression (full grancassa or timpani strokes listened or recorded at short distance could naturally approach pain threshold, ask the players!) the sound engineer applied a little more gain and when (if) down-quantizing traded for this a few samples of completely inaudible clipping? I wouldn't dismiss this as bad mastering, if the final result is still pleasing to listeners ears: preserved overall dynamic between pianissimo and fortissimo, good presence and clarity of various orchestral sections and no audible flaws.

A multi-microphonic production is far more complex than putting two or three microphones behind the whole orchestra and monitor for overs and sometimes the final result even if technically perfect, could be artistically a complete fiasco, with too much altered dynamics between various instruments, no spatial clues and  a sense of big mess overall (it's okay to me to hear a triangolo clearly than live, but don't make it as big and near as the soloists piano!).

But now I'm getting off topic. Just a last remark: thinking along this topic at hand, I'm developing a great concern that, as we have evidence of different mastering between two delivery format for marketing reasons only, the same could happen on the same digital domain between 16/44.1 and those new hi-res formats.
Title: Modern Vinyl "Masters" vs. CD--My Experience
Post by: dhromed on 2012-12-08 12:20:32
In light of this thread, I de-sweep my earlier sweeping detracting statement about vinyl.

It's simply not a good idea to levy broad generalizations based on a limited number of titles from an even more limited number of labels and genres.


So one reasonable thing to do is get together more albums and more LPs from the last decade from a wild variety of sonic styles, and compare. There probably aren't too many individuals with both the LP and CD for their entire collection, but when pooling our resources, I'm sure we can come to reasonable conclusions.
Title: Modern Vinyl "Masters" vs. CD--My Experience
Post by: Engelsstaub on 2012-12-08 16:12:02
...Now the vinyl is two or even three times the asking price of the CD.

The last straw for me was last year. I've been buying Ry Cooder on vinyl for over 40 years. The last one he wanted £35.


This is (19/20 times) unfortunately true IME as well. Vinyl is beginning to be seen as a niche-market for serious audiophiles (and hipsters    ) so they're beginning to price the product accordingly. Part of it's due to vinyl's very low marketshare...they try to make up profits by making limited collectible pressings.


...I'm developing a great concern that, as we have evidence of different mastering between two delivery format for marketing reasons only, the same could happen on the same digital domain between 16/44.1 and those new hi-res formats.


I could probably demonstrate that this is the case at least for the few DVD-As that I have. Katatonia issued a limited DVD-A for their latest album "Dead End Kings." It was my observation that the CD was +3 dB louder. The difference wasn't massive though. I've always suspected that this was the case with most DVD-As and SACDs.


In light of this thread, I de-sweep my earlier sweeping detracting statement about vinyl.

It's simply not a good idea to levy broad generalizations based on a limited number of titles from an even more limited number of labels and genres.


So one reasonable thing to do is get together more albums and more LPs from the last decade from a wild variety of sonic styles, and compare. There probably aren't too many individuals with both the LP and CD for their entire collection, but when pooling our resources, I'm sure we can come to reasonable conclusions.


Thanks for that, dhromed. I think it's a common misconception so it shouldn't be seen as specific to your statement only. If somebody reminded me of all the incorrect (and sometimes downright asinine) things I've said on this forum we could have pages devoted to it.    I don't think you intended to malign anyone...it's just what you legitimately believed.

Yours is a great idea. We should keep it going if possible. Just bump the thread with new examples or whatever admin or mods would see as appropriate. It wouldn't even matter if it took a few years to collect enough examples to start forming better conclusions IMO. As long as it's beneficial to the community.
Title: Modern Vinyl "Masters" vs. CD--My Experience
Post by: 2Bdecided on 2012-12-10 13:00:51
I wouldn't be surprised if brickwalled recordings are sent to vinyl mastering houses on occasion, but as Engelstaub said his original post, that's probably the exception rather than the rule.
I don't think you have any evidence for this either way. There are certainly plenty of examples of both, and not enough careful assessment to even determine which is the majority, never mind the "exception rather than the rule".

Cheers,
David.

Title: Modern Vinyl "Masters" vs. CD--My Experience
Post by: Engelsstaub on 2012-12-10 17:30:58
I had to go back nearly ten years (in pressing dates) to find an example in my collection where the CD is equal to or better than the LP. I included a sample of it in the uploads (http://www.hydrogenaudio.org/forums/index.php?showtopic=98201) forum.

I have no empirical evidence other than my own experience thus far...but I would confidently say that, regarding modern rock and metal, one is almost guaranteed not to get a "better" CD with regards to the topic at hand. The only recent pressing I have of a non rock or metal LP and equivalent CD is the 2009 remaster of Beastie Boys' "Paul's Boutique." Interestingly enough that CD is not bad at all and the LP is little if any real improvement.

Included in the last upload were also samples from Krisiun and Ensiferum. The former very obviously favors the LP while the latter does more moderately (IMO of course.)
Title: Modern Vinyl "Masters" vs. CD--My Experience
Post by: Gecko on 2012-12-10 19:11:47
I just had a quick listen to the "Heathen Throne" sample and apart from the HF boost on the LP version they sound about the same to me.

In light of the second figure in Axons's blog entry (http://audiamorous.blogspot.de/2008/09/waveform-plots-considered-harmful.html) linked earlier, a look at the waveforms reveals hard limiting artifacts in both version. See for example the following time codes (the tracks are slightly offset):
CD: 25.153s
LP: 24.341s
Title: Modern Vinyl "Masters" vs. CD--My Experience
Post by: greynol on 2012-12-10 19:20:12
BTW, just because a straight line in a waveform might not be horizontal does not mean the master was not clipped.  An all-pass or high-pass filter can cause such a slope, as examples.  Does anyone find it convenient that a record stylus is high-pass in nature?
Title: Modern Vinyl "Masters" vs. CD--My Experience
Post by: Blueshirt on 2012-12-10 19:39:07
I have no empirical evidence other than my own experience thus far...but I would confidently say that, regarding modern rock and metal, one is almost guaranteed not to get a "better" CD with regards to the topic at hand. The only recent pressing I have of a non rock or metal LP and equivalent CD is the 2009 remaster of Beastie Boys' "Paul's Boutique."

Yeah, I can see where you are coming from. I only really listen to loud music, which I accept would mask many of the deficiencies of vinyl. So even though I am aware that CDs should sound superior, more often than not, with the equivalent releases on CD I don't notice much difference at all, although some modern metal/rock CDs do tend to distort a heck of a lot more at high volume. I wouldn't say that the vinyl is ever superior, as I assume that the CD and vinyl would come from the same digital master, so logic tells me that it shouldn't be. However, at times, for my ears the vinyl is certainly more pleasing.

As I prefer collecting vinyl anyway, I don't really care if it is technically the best or not, I leave that for others to debate. But I think these producers of modern CDs have a lot to answer for with the way that they are mastering releases. (Metallica's Death Magnetic was a terribly mastered album, which did the CD format no justice at all... I never even bothered with the vinyl version of that album, as I was so disgusted with how that CD sounded played loudly!)
Title: Modern Vinyl "Masters" vs. CD--My Experience
Post by: Engelsstaub on 2012-12-10 20:25:14
I just had a quick listen to the "Heathen Throne" sample and apart from the HF boost on the LP version they sound about the same to me.
...


Thanks for giving it a listen and your input.


...I think these producers of modern CDs have a lot to answer for with the way that they are mastering releases. (Metallica's Death Magnetic was a terribly mastered album, which did the CD format no justice at all... I never even bothered with the vinyl version of that album, as I was so disgusted with how that CD sounded played loudly!)


I lost interest in Metallica (like many) quite some time ago, but I understand that Rick Rubin just basically Rick Rubined that release.    I have the last Slayer record on vinyl which he produced and I'm pretty sure it's just the same compressed sounding master that could be heard on the CD. (I can't be certain as I've never needledropped the record to compare it...but it does say Rick Rubin on the jacket.)

That Krisiun record makes me very grateful to own the record though.
Title: Modern Vinyl "Masters" vs. CD--My Experience
Post by: GeSomeone on 2012-12-10 21:03:48
I could probably demonstrate that this is the case at least for the few DVD-As that I have. Katatonia issued a limited DVD-A for their latest album "Dead End Kings." It was my observation that the CD was +3 dB louder. The difference wasn't massive though.

In this particular case you cannot compare them. There is no real stereo mix on the DVD-A, just a downmix of the 5.1 (and the first pressing had that wrong too). Apparently there was no higher than CD resolution stereo mix available when the DVD-A was authored.
So here we're looking at a different mix and mastering between CD and DVD-A. However I must say that the dynamics were surprising for a recent rock album.
Title: Modern Vinyl "Masters" vs. CD--My Experience
Post by: Engelsstaub on 2012-12-10 22:20:50
Well that's disappointing to hear.

I'm glad you mentioned it though. I would have never known.
Title: Modern Vinyl "Masters" vs. CD--My Experience
Post by: WernerO on 2012-12-11 08:04:37
BTW, just because a straight line in a waveform might not be horizontal does not mean the master was not clipped.  An all-pass or high-pass filter can cause such a slope


True enough. You can load the worst shredded track into an editor, attenuate it a bit, apply a steep high pass at 20Hz, and suddenly the graphs looks compressed no more.

Title: Modern Vinyl "Masters" vs. CD--My Experience
Post by: Engelsstaub on 2013-01-04 18:08:54
I'm bumping in the interest of continued relevance and eventual conclusions.

I was really hoping others could contribute examples as well as almost all of my modern vinyl falls into nearly one genre. The only exception is The Beastie Boys' 20th anniversary remaster of "Paul's Boutique." I have both the LP and the CD, and that is the only example of the CD being equal (in lack of DRC) to the LP in my observation.

I have a few more that I could contribute (one from Paradise Lost's "Faith Divides Us - Death Unites Us," but I can assure you the conclusion would be for the vinyl in those cases. I haven't been transferring any new vinyl lately as I'm anticipating acquiring a new TT, cart, and sound card.

In any case I'd like to update some more findings on that In Flames record. I tested the vinyl against the CD with the TT DR Offline Meter to ascertain a measurement of dynamic range. These are the findings and seem to support what hilloyge and I believe. (It seems both "masters" suffer from DRC, but I contend that the vinyl suffers less.)

CD

Code: [Select]
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Analyzed folder: /Users/Jay/Music/Vinyl Rips/Vinyl Rips/In Flames/Sounds of a Playground Fading
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
DR        Peak        RMS        Filename
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

DR3        -0.10 dB     -5.61 dB     01 - Sounds of a Playground Fading.wav
DR4        over        -5.19 dB     02 - Deliver Us.wav
DR4        -0.10 dB     -5.49 dB     03 - All For Me.wav
DR4        over        -4.95 dB     04 - The Puzzle.wav
DR5        -0.10 dB     -6.12 dB     05 - Fear is the Weakness.wav
DR4        over        -5.71 dB     06 - Where the Dead Ships Dwell.wav
DR8        -1.10 dB     -11.22 dB     07 - The Attic.wav
DR3        -0.10 dB     -5.24 dB     08 - Darker Times.wav
DR5        -0.10 dB     -6.19 dB     09 - Ropes.wav
DR4        -0.10 dB     -4.56 dB     10 - Enter Tragedy.wav
DR7        -0.10 dB     -12.58 dB     11 - Jester's Door.wav
DR3        -0.10 dB     -5.50 dB     12 - A New Dawn.wav
DR4        -0.10 dB     -6.40 dB     13 - Liberation.wav
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Number of files:    13
Official DR value:    DR4

==============================================================================================


LP

Code: [Select]
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Analyzed folder: /Users/Jay/Music/Vinyl Rips/Vinyl Rips/In Flames/Sounds of a Playground Fading
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
DR        Peak        RMS        Filename
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

DR11        -0.32 dB     -13.69 dB     02 - Sounds of a Playground Fading.wav
DR12        -0.45 dB     -13.52 dB     03 - Deliver Us.wav
DR11        -1.40 dB     -14.13 dB     04 - All For Me.wav
DR11        -1.15 dB     -13.00 dB     06 - The Puzzle.wav
DR11        -1.61 dB     -14.41 dB     07 - Fear is the Weakness.wav
DR11        -1.24 dB     -14.16 dB     08 - Where the Dead Ships Dwell.wav
DR11        -5.32 dB     -18.57 dB     10 - The Attic.wav
DR11        -0.31 dB     -13.08 dB     11 - Darker Times.wav
DR12        -0.66 dB     -14.20 dB     12 - Ropes.wav
DR11        -1.19 dB     -12.91 dB     13 - Enter Tragedy.wav
DR12        -2.56 dB     -20.79 dB     15 - Jester's Door.wav
DR10        -0.75 dB     -13.22 dB     16 - A New Dawn.wav
DR11        -0.98 dB     -14.29 dB     17 - Liberation.wav
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Number of files:    13
Official DR value:    DR11

==============================================================================================


I can keep uploading thirty-second samples too, but I'm wondering if that's always a completely adequate way of analyzing the DR of an entire song or album.
Title: Modern Vinyl "Masters" vs. CD--My Experience
Post by: gnypp45 on 2013-01-04 21:35:20
I haven't read this thread in detail, but I would suggest looking at the data in other ways as well.

I therefore took the liberty of running the "Ropes" samples through the LTS MasVis (http://www.lts.a.se/lts/masvis) program (freeware). Indeed the crest factor of the allpass filtered signal increased substantially (by some 6 dB) in the CD version. This usually correlates well with situations where the 2-channel mix has undergone destructive loudness maximation. In the case of the LP version next to nothing happens with the allpassed crest factor, which suggests that it was not much dynamically compressed as a 2-ch mix.
(http://img692.imageshack.us/img692/9776/ropescdlp.gif)
Title: Modern Vinyl "Masters" vs. CD--My Experience
Post by: DVDdoug on 2013-01-04 22:04:32
Quote
Indeed the crest factor of the allpass filtered signal increased substantially (by some 6 dB) in the CD version. This usually correlates well with situations where the 2-channel mix has undergone destructive loudness maximation. In the case of the LP version next to nothing happens with the allpassed crest factor, which suggests that it was not much dynamically compressed as a 2-ch mix.
Or....  Maybe it suggests that the pre & post RIAA equalization along with the mechanical filtering of the recording & playback heads is doing something very-similar to your allpass filter.   

Your all-pass filter can muck with the relative phase relationships at different frequencies and make the file "appear" more dynamic without changing the actual sound.    The vinyl process is very-likely doing the same thing, but with additional analog noise & frequency response errors introduced.  So, "vinyl processing" is likely to change (degrade) the sound more than a digital all-pass filter.

P.S 
I am NOT denying that some vinyl records may be better-mastered than the digital version.    I'm just saying (repeating what others have said) that there MAY be another explanation for "better looking" and "better measuring" waveforms.
Title: Modern Vinyl "Masters" vs. CD--My Experience
Post by: Engelsstaub on 2013-01-04 23:37:48
I'm not even sure what proof we still require that demonstrates what I contend is currently going on: that, more often than not, masters are being destructively normalized in application to digital formats but not for vinyl. Yes, some of them perhaps were mastered with DRC already. But the situation is aggravated further by what I believe is the music industry making sure modern digital files are all equally "loud."

By ear, the In Flames example is a bit more subtle than some of the blatant examples I've submitted. It "sounds better" to me and some others. David said he thought it sounded about the same after some manipulation. My software, used to measure dynamic range, indicates a considerable difference. I'm not familiar with gnypp45's method but he's claiming it indicates what is already obvious to most of us.

I mean this earnestly and am not trying to be a smartass: what's it going to take to get the aforementioned absolutist language of the wiki entry changed to more honest and neutral wording? I already feel I've overstated my case. The fact that it's still somehow not convincing is a bit disheartening.

I want to be clear in that I'm in no way trying to crap on digital. I honestly wish that the current industry would stop making the digital versions sound inferior to the vinyl ones. Even if one does prefer vinyl, he or she can't get even half the music he/she wants anymore on that format. I'm seeing, from my own modest collection of modern LPs, more than just some. It looks like a real trend.

So I guess my question now is this: is the TT DR Meter not a trustworthy application for measuring dynamic range? If it is it shows a moderate to considerable difference in all of these albums which I've taken samples from. I used the In Flames one here because it was one of only a couple that one or two members said they didn't perceive the difference.
Title: Modern Vinyl "Masters" vs. CD--My Experience
Post by: DVDdoug on 2013-01-05 00:34:29
Quote
So I guess my question now is this: is the TT DR Meter not a trustworthy application for measuring dynamic range?
I don't know...  But apparently, gnypp45 has demonstrated that an all-pass filter can increase the true-mathematical dynamic range without altering the musical content or the sound.    (Of course, you usually have to lower the volume of the digital file to create headroom for the new-increased peaks.)

If the vinyl signal-chain does the same thing, you would expect to see more than a 6dB improvement from a less-compressed vinyl master, since you can get up to 6dB just from the process....    Although, I'm not sure if 6dB is the limit from this kind of filtering...  Maybe you can get more...

As gnypp45 suggested, the all-pass filter should have little or no effect on "natural" totally-uncompressed audio (if you can find such a thing).
Title: Modern Vinyl "Masters" vs. CD--My Experience
Post by: rgtb on 2013-01-05 08:39:43
I'm not even sure what proof we still require that demonstrates what I contend is currently going on: that, more often than not, masters are being destructively normalized in application to digital formats but not for vinyl.

this is an outrageous claim. last year, there were 4.6 million vinyl records sold (http://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20130104005149/en/Nielsen-Company-Billboard%E2%80%99s-2012-Music-Industry-Report) in the US. that number is tiny. just to give a point of reference: a single track (gotye feat. kimbra Somebody That I Used to Know) sold more units digitally (it had 6.8 million paid downloads).

given vinyl is such a small market niche, why would anyone pay the price for a separate master for vinyl? why leads you to this strong conjucture that "more often than not, masters are being destructively normalized in application to digital formats but not for vinyl?"
Title: Modern Vinyl "Masters" vs. CD--My Experience
Post by: Kohlrabi on 2013-01-05 08:47:35
I mean this earnestly and am not trying to be a smartass: what's it going to take to get the aforementioned absolutist language of the wiki entry changed to more honest and neutral wording? I already feel I've overstated my case. The fact that it's still somehow not convincing is a bit disheartening.
It's an open wiki, you can edit it freely. You can change the wording directly, or suggest a new wording in this thread, which can then be tweaked. IMHO, after reading this thread, there should only be the mention that a vinyl master may or may not be different, and nothing about the relative frequency of one or the other, since I guess nobody did a thorough enough sampling across multiple genres.

I just now changed the wording to be more neutral, please read it and change it accordingly. I also removed the suggestive bold-facing from this paragraph.

So I guess my question now is this: is the TT DR Meter not a trustworthy application for measuring dynamic range? If it is it shows a moderate to considerable difference in all of these albums which I've taken samples from. I used the In Flames one here because it was one of only a couple that one or two members said they didn't perceive the difference.
DR rating also depends on genre. There are some genres which are less or more dynamic in nature and by design. Though in the genres you mentioned so far (metal, alt rock, rock and so forth) DR does matter, and it has been ignored for quite a while.
Title: Modern Vinyl "Masters" vs. CD--My Experience
Post by: Nessuno on 2013-01-05 09:51:52
given vinyl is such a small market niche, why would anyone pay the price for a separate master for vinyl?

Vinyl market is a niche, but as a whole, SW plus HW, a very high gain one. Don't look only to mass numbers, but to the return of selling a single piece of hardware. And it's an industrial niche still surviving on old technology instead of converting its production to something different or simply disappear.
I don't see so strange that someone is willing to pay for making a vinyl release sound different, and maybe as a side effect, actually even better to "cultivated" ears. Maybe they're not willing to rely on audiophile rewiewers's words only...

As an example, give a look at the price tag of gears and even record releases on this (http://www.analogplanet.com/) site, amongst many others.
Title: Modern Vinyl "Masters" vs. CD--My Experience
Post by: Engelsstaub on 2013-01-05 11:01:05
...
given vinyl is such a small market niche, why would anyone pay the price for a separate master for vinyl? why leads you to this strong conjucture that "more often than not, masters are being destructively normalized in application to digital formats but not for vinyl?"


I think I made it perfectly clear 1.) in an earlier response to you, in this same thread, that I do not believe there is a separate master for vinyl. 2.) You even quoted me stating it, albeit less emphatically, again. Again...what seems to be happening (in my observation) is that the same master is having more gain applied to it than that of the vinyl. This gain is causing destructive and irreversible normalization. This introduces even further clipping as everyone here has already observed in at least most of the examples I've submitted. You stated here in this thread as well (http://www.hydrogenaudio.org/forums/index.php?showtopic=98090&pid=815606&mode=threaded&show=&st=0) all the way back in November that "I rarely encounter a modern record where it is obvious that it came off a different master than the CD counterpart." 3.) My immediate response to you was the same thing.

In order to continue any productive discourse with you, I need to understand if you're being willfully ignorant for the sake of argumentation or if you're having a comprehension problem based on difficulties with a second-language or whatnot. I don't want to waste any more of your time and I certainly don't need you wasting mine. It's aggravating.

Are you even listening to any of these samples? I don't know what the word conjucture means, but if you're calling my observations conjecture then that conjecture is based on observations from every last record I've bought and recorded digitally.

I must have been extraordinarily lucky to have bought so many records in a row that indicate what I'm already saying. I'd be happy to hear your contributions of examples of LPs that are equally clipped as their CD-counterparts since, as you've insisted previously, you're listening to vinyl counterparts of CDs you have.
Title: Modern Vinyl "Masters" vs. CD--My Experience
Post by: Engelsstaub on 2013-01-05 11:10:25
...It's an open wiki, you can edit it freely. You can change the wording directly, or suggest a new wording in this thread, which can then be tweaked. IMHO, after reading this thread, there should only be the mention that a vinyl master may or may not be different, and nothing about the relative frequency of one or the other, since I guess nobody did a thorough enough sampling across multiple genres.

I just now changed the wording to be more neutral, please read it and change it accordingly. I also removed the suggestive bold-facing from this paragraph.

...There are some genres which are less or more dynamic in nature and by design. Though in the genres you mentioned so far (metal, alt rock, rock and so forth) DR does matter, and it has been ignored for quite a while...


Thanks for changing it, Kohlrabi. I honestly didn't know I could just change it myself. The change was already discussed in this thread and greynol even suggested more neutral wording.

I know it's unfortunate that pretty much the only examples of modern vinyl I can contribute are from "heavier" genres. On the bright side: perhaps it's more interesting and productive/relevant as such (considering that "theoretically" genres like metal ought to be more dense and less dynamic than some others. I don't know...)
Title: Modern Vinyl "Masters" vs. CD--My Experience
Post by: itisljar on 2013-01-05 15:02:13
I think that there is one mastering proces where the first edition is made for vinyls, and then applied some gain to get the same master louder for digital/cd distribution.
But that is, by my measure, different master, although they aren't made by two different processes from mixing to mastering.
Title: Modern Vinyl "Masters" vs. CD--My Experience
Post by: Engelsstaub on 2013-01-05 16:02:31
I think that there is one mastering proces where the first edition is made for vinyls, and then applied some gain to get the same master louder for digital/cd distribution.
But that is, by my measure, different master, although they aren't made by two different processes from mixing to mastering.


You're probably right. I just can't call it a "master" because certain posters and even the wiki seem adamant that a "separate master" is going to cost big money and apparently that is why what is obvious to us so far is just impossible.

I find it exceedingly ironic that a HA wiki entry entitled "Myths (Vinyl)" perpetuates even more myths with statements like this: "Alternative masters for vinyl cost money, and mastering is a significant cost of producing a record."

...because apparently taking ten minutes in iZotope RX2 or Adobe Audition to add destructive gain to the CD master to the point of clipping is going to be an expensive and time-consuming process. [sarcasm] This is, of course, completely ridiculous as nobody thinks that applying a special EQ-curve like RIAA to the master going on a record is going to cost big bucks and thus prevent the recording industry from doing it.
Title: Modern Vinyl "Masters" vs. CD--My Experience
Post by: GeSomeone on 2013-01-05 17:46:00
[..] nobody thinks that applying a special EQ-curve like RIAA to the master going on a record is going to cost big bucks and thus prevent the recording industry from doing it.

With making a vinyl master the step of cutting the master is one where the volume again might be changed (in contrary to the glass master made for optical (digital) discs, where the content stays unchanged). The reason is that the loudness of the signal directly relates to the space the groove takes up on the record. Also there are limits to groove swing (especially at high frequencies). I guess the RIAA curve will be applied by some (maybe analog) filter in the cutting setup and not as a separate process.

This document of a vinyl cutting service (http://www.chicagomasteringservice.com/vinyl.html) gives some insight in the process.
Title: Modern Vinyl "Masters" vs. CD--My Experience
Post by: Engelsstaub on 2013-01-06 16:47:06
Yes, I don't doubt that that is quite possibly the norm (RIAA EQ applied during the cutting-process.) Thanks for the link.

I'm not a music-industry professional so I don't claim to know for certain exactly what is being done to the CD-versions of almost all of the recent albums I've purchased. I can only guess that they are pushing the masters to clipping and/or introducing more DRC while applying them to CD pressings and iTunes releases. This is just based on what I hear and can (accurately?) measure with tools such as the TT Dynamic Range Offline Meter.

I'm going to hopefully revisit this thread in a few months when I acquire some new equipment (TT, soundcard, preamp...) I don't want to digitize any more vinyl before that. Seems pointless when I can listen to it anyway and will get slightly more satisfactory results with the newer gear.

In the meantime...f anyone has any suggestions of modern vinyl that you'd like to see compared to the CD, feel free to suggest or send me a PM. I don't guarantee I'll purchase or do it, but if it's something interesting to myself and my collection I'll consider it. It doesn't have to be rock or metal either. I'll consider nearly any genre if the album is (IMO) good or interesting.
Title: Modern Vinyl "Masters" vs. CD--My Experience
Post by: 2Bdecided on 2013-01-07 14:46:11
I don't have anything recent on both vinyl and CD to compare.

I can't remember how the DR meter works. It would be worth taking a smashed CD master, attenuating it by 6dB, and running that through the DR meter as-is, and then applying a suitable all-pass filter and running that filtered copy through the DR meter - see if it gets fooled.

Cheers,
David.
Title: Modern Vinyl "Masters" vs. CD--My Experience
Post by: Engelsstaub on 2013-01-07 17:21:08
Sounds like a good idea, David. I can easily figure out how to do this up to the part about applying an all-pass filter.

Does anyone know of a suitable all-pass filter plugin for Audacity or iZotope RX2 Advanced? (That's pretty much all I use on OS X.) I've been Googling my arse off and not finding anything...I'm a complete newb with respect to implementing such a filter.
Title: Modern Vinyl "Masters" vs. CD--My Experience
Post by: Kees de Visser on 2013-01-07 20:00:27
Does anyone know of a suitable all-pass filter plugin for Audacity or iZotope RX2 Advanced?
There's the free PhaseNudge AU (audio unit): (assuming your Audacity can handle AU plugins, if not, Reaper could be an option):
http://www.airwindows.com/index.html (http://www.airwindows.com/index.html)
Quote
PhaseNudge is a free allpass for phase rotation, such as matching dissimilar mics or adjusting the upfrontness of a track. Higher values rotate the attack farther back behind the body of the sound.

Title: Modern Vinyl "Masters" vs. CD--My Experience
Post by: Engelsstaub on 2013-01-07 20:55:20
Thanks, Kees de Visser.

Apparently iZotope RX2 does support the use of this plugin. Do I need to just batch-process an entire album with it set as in this illustration?

Title: Modern Vinyl "Masters" vs. CD--My Experience
Post by: DVDdoug on 2013-01-07 22:02:06
Quote
Does anyone know of a suitable all-pass filter plugin for Audacity or iZotope RX2
I don't have an all-pass filter handy, so I tried something different...    I applied some EQ (boosting the highs & cutting the lows), and then I applied the opposite EQ settings.  (I didn't try to duplicate the RIAA curves, I just tried to duplicate the basic concept without the mechanical effects.)  I did seem to get some "magical" dynamic range improvement.  

I just did some quick-and-dirty experiments with GoldWave and with Audacity, and I didn't even listen to the results, since I'm at work...    (You can "fool" GoldWave into reporting the peak & average values.)  GoldWave increased the difference between peak & average by about 6dB.    With Audacity, the difference increased by 2 or 3 dB.  (I didn't use the exact same settings, since the equalizers are different.)

If the equalizer doesn't introduce any phase shift, or if the opposite settings introduce the exact-opposite phase shift, I wouldn't expect this to "work"...  So, a "better" equalzer might have less effect or no effect at all.
Title: Modern Vinyl "Masters" vs. CD--My Experience
Post by: Engelsstaub on 2013-01-08 23:02:19
Here is the DR value analysis of the CD (FLAC rip) Woods of Ypres' "Woods IV: The Green Album" prior to any further processing. (I chose this particular one because it is, to me, one of the most offensively smashed of my original examples in comparison to the vinyl.)

Code: [Select]
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 Analyzed folder: /Users/Jay/Music/Vinyl Rips/Vinyl Rips/Woods of Ypres/CD
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 DR Peak RMS Filename
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 DR5 -0.30 dB -8.91 dB 01 - Shards Of Love (Hurt Forever).wav
 DR4 -0.30 dB -5.25 dB 02 - Everything I Touch Turns To Gold (Then To Coal).wav
 DR5 -0.30 dB -6.72 dB 03 - By The Time You Read This (I Will Already Be Dead).wav
 DR5 -0.30 dB -7.61 dB 04 - I Was Buried In Mount Pleasant Cemetery.wav
 DR4 -0.30 dB -6.50 dB (null)
 DR5 -0.30 dB -6.73 dB 06 - Pining (For You).wav
 DR5 -0.30 dB -5.93 dB 07 - Wet Leather.wav
 DR4 -0.35 dB -6.09 dB 08 - Suicide Cargoload (Drag That Weight).wav
 DR4 -0.30 dB -5.98 dB 09 - Halves And Quarters.wav
 DR7 -0.35 dB -8.38 dB 10 - You Are Here With Me (In This Sequence Of Dreams).wav
 DR5 -0.35 dB -7.17 dB 11 - Retrosleep In The Morning Calm.wav
 DR4 -0.30 dB -5.94 dB (null)
 DR4 -0.30 dB -5.70 dB 13 - Natural Technologies.wav
 DR4 -0.30 dB -5.99 dB 14 - Mirror Reflection & The Hammer Reinvention.wav
 DR5 -0.35 dB -6.42 dB 15 - Our Union (In Limbo).wav
 DR6 -0.35 dB -7.72 dB 16 - Move On! (The Woman Will Always Leave The Man).wav
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 Number of files: 16
 Official DR value: DR5

==============================================================================================


As per David's suggestion I processed the CD for Woods IV: The Green Album in iZotope RX2 Advanced by dropping the gain of all tracks by about -6 dB. Here are the results following that...

Code: [Select]
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 Analyzed folder: /Users/Jay/Music/Vinyl Rips/Vinyl Rips/Woods of Ypres/CD/-6db
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 DR Peak RMS Filename
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 DR5 -6.34 dB -14.95 dB 01 - Shards Of Love (Hurt Forever).wav
 DR4 -6.34 dB -11.29 dB 02 - Everything I Touch Turns To Gold (Then To Coal).wav
 DR5 -6.34 dB -12.76 dB 03 - By The Time You Read This (I Will Already Be Dead).wav
 DR5 -6.34 dB -13.65 dB 04 - I Was Buried In Mount Pleasant Cemetery.wav
 DR4 -6.34 dB -12.54 dB (null)
 DR5 -6.34 dB -12.77 dB 06 - Pining (For You).wav
 DR5 -6.34 dB -11.97 dB 07 - Wet Leather.wav
 DR4 -6.39 dB -12.13 dB 08 - Suicide Cargoload (Drag That Weight).wav
 DR4 -6.34 dB -12.02 dB 09 - Halves And Quarters.wav
 DR7 -6.39 dB -14.42 dB 10 - You Are Here With Me (In This Sequence Of Dreams).wav
 DR5 -6.39 dB -13.21 dB 11 - Retrosleep In The Morning Calm.wav
 DR4 -6.34 dB -11.98 dB (null)
 DR4 -6.34 dB -11.75 dB 13 - Natural Technologies.wav
 DR4 -6.34 dB -12.03 dB 14 - Mirror Reflection & The Hammer Reinvention.wav
 DR5 -6.39 dB -12.46 dB 15 - Our Union (In Limbo).wav
 DR6 -6.39 dB -13.76 dB 16 - Move On! (The Woman Will Always Leave The Man).wav
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 Number of files: 16
 Official DR value: DR5

==============================================================================================


I used the AU PhaseNudge plugin (Kees de Visser's suggestion,) via iZotope RX2 with the settings shown in my previous illustration, to then further process those files. It did indeed seem to influence the DR analysis.

Code: [Select]
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 Analyzed folder: /Users/Jay/Music/Vinyl Rips/Vinyl Rips/Woods of Ypres/CD AU phase nudge
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 DR Peak RMS Filename
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 DR9 -2.65 dB -15.22 dB 01 - Shards Of Love (Hurt Forever).wav
 DR9 -1.95 dB -11.64 dB 02 - Everything I Touch Turns To Gold (Then To Coal).wav
 DR9 -2.36 dB -13.06 dB 03 - By The Time You Read This (I Will Already Be Dead).wav
 DR9 -2.13 dB -13.95 dB 04 - I Was Buried In Mount Pleasant Cemetery.wav
 DR9 -1.98 dB -12.87 dB (null)
 DR9 -2.50 dB -13.07 dB 06 - Pining (For You).wav
 DR9 -2.11 dB -12.30 dB 07 - Wet Leather.wav
 DR9 -2.09 dB -12.47 dB 08 - Suicide Cargoload (Drag That Weight).wav
 DR9 -2.26 dB -12.36 dB 09 - Halves And Quarters.wav
 DR9 -3.71 dB -14.67 dB 10 - You Are Here With Me (In This Sequence Of Dreams).wav
 DR10 -2.03 dB -13.51 dB 11 - Retrosleep In The Morning Calm.wav
 DR9 -2.13 dB -12.31 dB (null)
 DR9 -1.71 dB -12.09 dB 13 - Natural Technologies.wav
 DR9 -1.91 dB -12.37 dB 14 - Mirror Reflection & The Hammer Reinvention.wav
 DR9 -2.00 dB -12.77 dB 15 - Our Union (In Limbo).wav
 DR9 -2.49 dB -14.05 dB 16 - Move On! (The Woman Will Always Leave The Man).wav
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 Number of files: 16
 Official DR value: DR9

==============================================================================================


Here is the original DR analysis of my vinyl transfer (after a few clicks were removed.)

Code: [Select]
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 Analyzed folder: /Users/Jay/Music/Vinyl Rips/Vinyl Rips/Woods of Ypres/Woods IV- The Green Album
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 DR Peak RMS Filename
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 DR12 -3.86 dB -20.48 dB 01 - Shards of Love (Hurt Forever).wav
 DR12 -2.71 dB -16.50 dB 02 - Everything I Touch Turns To Gold (Then To Coal).wav
 DR13 -2.53 dB -18.18 dB 03 - By The Time You Read This (I Will Already Be Dead).wav
 DR13 -3.81 dB -19.43 dB 04 - I Was Buried In Mount Pleasant Cemetery.wav
 DR12 -2.92 dB -16.83 dB 05 - Into Exile- Can You Get Here in 10 Days.wav
 DR12 -3.07 dB -17.17 dB 06 - Pining (For You).wav
 DR12 -2.50 dB -16.17 dB 07 - Wet Leather.wav
 DR11 -2.76 dB -16.30 dB 08 - Suicide Cargoload (Drag that Weight!).wav
 DR11 -2.64 dB -15.34 dB 09 - Halves and Quarters.wav
 DR11 -6.06 dB -18.43 dB 10 - You Are Here with Me (In This Sequence of Dreams).wav
 DR12 -3.59 dB -16.75 dB 11 - Retrosleep in the Morning Calm.wav
 DR11 -0.84 dB -13.92 dB 12 - Don't Open The Wounds (Skywide Armspread).wav
 DR12 -1.44 dB -15.77 dB 13 - Natural Technologies.wav
 DR12 -1.43 dB -15.84 dB 14 - Mirror Reflection (And The Hammer Re-Invention).wav
 DR12 -2.86 dB -17.06 dB 15 - Our Union (in Limbo).wav
 DR12 -3.66 dB -18.30 dB 16 - Move On! (The Woman Will Always Leave The Man).wav
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 Number of files: 16
 Official DR value: DR12

==============================================================================================


Sooo...I'm honestly not sure what I"m to conclude from this so please bear with me. Am I to conclude that the DR analysis tool is not to be trusted because screwing with the phase of a recording will make it look like it has more DR (or more like the vinyl "master" as in this instance?) (Does this, by extension, imply that the sound on a record could be so screwed that it would also give the false indication of more dynamic range?)

Title: Modern Vinyl "Masters" vs. CD--My Experience
Post by: greynol on 2013-01-09 00:41:25
Does this, by extension, imply that the sound on a record could be so screwed that it would also give the false indication of more dynamic range?

This.
Title: Modern Vinyl "Masters" vs. CD--My Experience
Post by: Engelsstaub on 2013-01-09 02:23:07
I'm struggling  to believe that the LP, even taking into account its inherent limitations, is that unfaithful to the master.

Title: Modern Vinyl "Masters" vs. CD--My Experience
Post by: greynol on 2013-01-09 03:16:49
Beats not knowing that such an effect exists.
Title: Modern Vinyl "Masters" vs. CD--My Experience
Post by: 2Bdecided on 2013-01-09 10:07:28
Thank you for posting those results Engelsstaub.

I'm struggling  to believe that the LP, even taking into account its inherent limitations, is that unfaithful to the master.
By definition it can't store DC (or very low frequency) components, and in practice it's rare for the system (cutting or replay) to be linear phase.

Within sensible limits, neither of these issues create an audible problem, but they can make the waveform look completely different.


You could make a DR measurement algorithm that wasn't tricked by such things.


IMO some of your LPs do demonstrate less compressed/clipped masters than the CD release of the same material, but others do not.

Cheers,
David.
Title: Modern Vinyl "Masters" vs. CD--My Experience
Post by: Engelsstaub on 2013-01-09 15:33:33
Ah, ok. Thanks for the clarification.

I know some of these examples are essentially no better than the CD. I just uploaded most of the needledrops I have done thus far and wasn't trying to cherry-pick the obviously better ones that would promote my agenda.

...I don't have an agenda. I do like to collect records but I have to admit they can be a pain in the ass. It's time-consuming to digitize them. I sometimes get bad/defective pressings right out of the package.... When they're good they're really good. But I've gotten maybe one or two defective CDs, in comparison, in my entire life. I wish I could buy CDs knowing that I"m getting the best possible reproduction of recordings I like. Honestly. I remember when I got my first CD player I thought "this is it for now. I couldn't possibly want to step back to other formats."

...makes me want to get into a time-machine and go back to about '88 when I could count on either format being mastered in a way that wasn't fatiguing to my ears.
Title: Modern Vinyl "Masters" vs. CD--My Experience
Post by: Kohlrabi on 2013-01-09 15:58:31
...makes me want to get into a time-machine and go back to about '88 when I could count on either format being mastered in a way that wasn't fatiguing to my ears.
If you had a time-machine, it would be much more beneficial to go back in time and destroy Masterdisk and have Rick Rubin see an ear specialist.
Title: Modern Vinyl "Masters" vs. CD--My Experience
Post by: Engelsstaub on 2013-01-09 23:12:26
If you had a time-machine, it would be much more beneficial to go back in time and destroy Masterdisk and have Rick Rubin see an ear specialist.


 

"Rickrubined" should become a new universal term describing the worst possible/brickwalled production.
Title: Modern Vinyl "Masters" vs. CD--My Experience
Post by: greynol on 2013-01-09 23:16:55
Remove the b.
Title: Modern Vinyl "Masters" vs. CD--My Experience
Post by: Engelsstaub on 2013-01-09 23:31:19
Even better 

I think I'm going to give this thread a rest for now. I'm not sure what I can demonstrate even when I do have more samples to contribute. Even if I / we continue to find the same "better master-to-same master" ratio as what we have so far, I don't think it would convince that many to run right out and get new TTs and sound cards to do vinyl transfers.

It would be great (for me at least) to know exactly which albums are like the obvious ones here so I could just buy those and CDs/digital for most of the rest of the releases I want. I know it's just a pipe-dream but my life would be a bit easier.

Title: Modern Vinyl "Masters" vs. CD--My Experience
Post by: 2Bdecided on 2013-01-10 15:13:25
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.
Title: Modern Vinyl "Masters" vs. CD--My Experience
Post by: Engelsstaub on 2013-01-10 16:16:40
I'll try to do my part in the near future. Maybe about March or so I'll have a bunch more transfers done.

My (modern) vinyl-purchasing is usually quite constrained to one or two specific genres...and even then my choices tend to be a bit obscure by most people's standards. Hopefully down the road a few other people will come along with (more various) examples of their own. I think it's a worthwhile effort too...it has to start somewhere.
Title: Modern Vinyl "Masters" vs. CD--My Experience
Post by: greynol on 2013-01-28 21:29:18
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.
Title: Modern Vinyl "Masters" vs. CD--My Experience
Post by: Engelsstaub on 2013-01-28 22:42:26
...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...


How about Saint Vitus? I hear pretty distinct differences in most examples. I realize that my subjective observations have little place here, but I thought more than just the Woods of Ypres example seemed pretty obvious.
Title: Modern Vinyl "Masters" vs. CD--My Experience
Post by: greynol on 2013-01-28 22:50:31
Just the last one.  Again this is solely based on how the waveforms appear.

I understand and respect that we are all attempting to be as objective as possible.  I'm not discounting objective listening evaluations provided they were well-controlled and acknowledge that waveforms do not necessarily tell the whole story.
Title: Modern Vinyl "Masters" vs. CD--My Experience
Post by: 2Bdecided on 2013-01-29 11:03:27
This looks like one for the list of vinyl that beats the CD issue:
http://forums.stevehoffman.tv/threads/cali...-4#post-8180551 (http://forums.stevehoffman.tv/threads/californication-reissue-cut-by-bernie-grundman.291679/page-4#post-8180551)
(note - it's only the new vinyl, not the old vinyl).
Title: Modern Vinyl "Masters" vs. CD--My Experience
Post by: Kohlrabi on 2013-01-29 15:41:13
This looks like one for the list of vinyl that beats the CD issue:
http://forums.stevehoffman.tv/threads/cali...-4#post-8180551 (http://forums.stevehoffman.tv/threads/californication-reissue-cut-by-bernie-grundman.291679/page-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?
Title: Modern Vinyl "Masters" vs. CD--My Experience
Post by: Engelsstaub on 2013-01-29 22:35:32
...Is there a reason for not putting this new version out on CD or iTunes? ...


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.
Title: Modern Vinyl "Masters" vs. CD--My Experience
Post by: 2Bdecided on 2013-01-30 09:46:47
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?!?!?!



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.
Title: Modern Vinyl "Masters" vs. CD--My Experience
Post by: 2Bdecided on 2013-01-30 12:38:06
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 (http://www.hydrogenaudio.org/forums/index.php?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.
Title: Modern Vinyl "Masters" vs. CD--My Experience
Post by: Henry66 on 2013-07-04 16:58:52
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?
Title: Modern Vinyl "Masters" vs. CD--My Experience
Post by: Engelsstaub on 2013-07-05 04:37:29
...
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.


Title: Modern Vinyl "Masters" vs. CD--My Experience
Post by: Blueshirt on 2013-07-30 14:14:15
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!   
Title: Modern Vinyl "Masters" vs. CD--My Experience
Post by: Engelsstaub on 2013-08-05 06:06:19
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
Title: Modern Vinyl "Masters" vs. CD--My Experience
Post by: TomasPin on 2013-08-05 20:40:25
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...

Title: Modern Vinyl "Masters" vs. CD--My Experience
Post by: pisymbol on 2013-10-09 13:52:04
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...
Title: Modern Vinyl "Masters" vs. CD--My Experience
Post by: greynol on 2013-10-09 14:54:34
Thanks for the anecdote. Now do you have any evidence to back it up?
Title: Modern Vinyl "Masters" vs. CD--My Experience
Post by: pisymbol on 2013-10-09 15:01:50
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.
Title: Modern Vinyl "Masters" vs. CD--My Experience
Post by: greynol on 2013-10-09 15:14:46
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?
Title: Modern Vinyl "Masters" vs. CD--My Experience
Post by: pisymbol on 2013-10-09 16:33:53
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!
Title: Modern Vinyl "Masters" vs. CD--My Experience
Post by: greynol on 2013-10-09 16:51:14
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.
Title: Modern Vinyl "Masters" vs. CD--My Experience
Post by: Engelsstaub on 2013-10-09 19:55:41
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.
Title: Modern Vinyl "Masters" vs. CD--My Experience
Post by: pisymbol on 2013-10-09 20:39:03
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.
Title: Modern Vinyl "Masters" vs. CD--My Experience
Post by: greynol on 2013-10-09 21:28:57
An example of a CD <= DR6:
In any case I'd like to update some more findings on that In Flames record.

CD
Code: [Select]
 DR5        -0.10 dB     -6.19 dB     09 - Ropes.wav

LP
Code: [Select]
 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).
Title: Modern Vinyl "Masters" vs. CD--My Experience
Post by: Engelsstaub on 2013-10-09 22:40:01
Come on. I really wanted to believe those were different

Srs: I love the songs on that album but the production is terribly harsh.
Title: Modern Vinyl "Masters" vs. CD--My Experience
Post by: Porcus on 2014-05-20 12:16:03
In case someone is still reading this thread: Swedish death metal guru Dan Swanö (who has done studio work on literally hundreds of releases (http://www.metal-archives.com/artists/Dan_Swanö/433)) 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/the-dan-swano-challenge/)
http://www.metal-fi.com/taking-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 (http://wiki.hydrogenaudio.org/index.php?title=Vinyl_Mastering#Some_known_examples:_Vinyl_releases_with_a_different_master_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/ (http://www.metal-fi.com/insomnium-shadows-dying-sun/)
Title: Modern Vinyl "Masters" vs. CD--My Experience
Post by: 2Bdecided on 2014-05-21 10:36:07
http://www.metal-fi.com/taking-swano-challenge/ (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.

Title: Modern Vinyl "Masters" vs. CD--My Experience
Post by: look_Sharp on 2014-05-21 18:34:22
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:
(http://www.pbase.com/mark_antony/image/155749567.jpg)

I can't reiterate my disappointment, the amazon link to the track is here:
http://www.amazon.co.uk/Espana-VINYL-Vario...=argenta+espana (http://www.amazon.co.uk/Espana-VINYL-Various/dp/B000063J01/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1400693586&sr=8-1&keywords=argenta+espana)

The 'free MP3' is what I'm complaining about the vinyl is a first class demo disk.
Title: Modern Vinyl "Masters" vs. CD--My Experience
Post by: Engelsstaub on 2014-05-21 19:13:30
In case someone is still reading this thread: Swedish death metal guru Dan Swanö (who has done studio work on literally hundreds of releases (http://www.metal-archives.com/artists/Dan_Swanö/433)) 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/the-dan-swano-challenge/)
http://www.metal-fi.com/taking-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 (http://wiki.hydrogenaudio.org/index.php?title=Vinyl_Mastering#Some_known_examples:_Vinyl_releases_with_a_different_master_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/ (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.
Title: Modern Vinyl "Masters" vs. CD--My Experience
Post by: Dark_wizzie on 2014-05-21 22:26:16
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 (http://www.hydrogenaudio.org/forums/index.php?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.
Title: Modern Vinyl "Masters" vs. CD--My Experience
Post by: krabapple on 2014-05-22 16:25:46
http://www.metal-fi.com/taking-swano-challenge/ (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 ;>
Title: Modern Vinyl "Masters" vs. CD--My Experience
Post by: plasticpitchfork on 2014-09-20 10:17:26
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

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...

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?!?!?!



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...
Title: Modern Vinyl "Masters" vs. CD--My Experience
Post by: Wombat on 2014-09-20 13:45:51
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.
Title: Modern Vinyl "Masters" vs. CD--My Experience
Post by: plasticpitchfork on 2014-09-21 06:43:20
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.


Is this to say you believe that their is a version that is used for vinyl that is different from CD? Or you don't know, and don't trust it? I know that this would never happen. The masses get don't care, so the labels will not. My understanding of the assertions of some of the more knowledgeable members on here is that the brickwalled CD master is turned down(with destructive gain/clipping) and put on vinyl. I am struggling with this. I can see it definitely for some labels and artists but not so much for others. Depending on how much pride and control they have when it comes to vinyl release. What do you mean about iTunes? Are you talking about different sounding versions or just the "bonus tracks" and such? I think the latter. In any case you are right.

My understanding was that this is not "technically" possible with vinyl and so therefore, they may not make a whole new master for the LP, but send it out for LP before the final brickwall limiting gain is applied. If not, the squared waves would make the stylus jump out of the groove. But then not all CDs clip like mad, they just have very little dynamic range and the peaks look more like, IDK, a desert cliff with very small variations in the flat top surface, where maybe one sample will hit 0db and the rest of the peak will be between -.1 and .5 db or so.

This master described above can be attenuated a bit with it's heavily limited waveforms and sent to vinyl and pressed? Would that not make the record sound a lot like the CD, and behave similarly in an audio editor, as in have about the same dynamic range from peak to RMS? I'm not talking about tricking TT DR meter. I'm talking about actually listening and watching for indication of dynamic range in the meters and waveforms. Even if it is only 3-5db in peak transients, I have not observed a case where I felt the CD had as much DR or sounded as suffocated, in the loud parts.* With 10 bits of DR in vinyl, of course the CD will have more DR in the unaffected areas. I am trying to wrap my head around and understand what is being asserted in the course of this thread.
*Kanye West - Dark Fantasy(horrible production in the mixing stage it seems) and A Perfect Circle(CDs are limited, but maybe not too much?) releases are the most questionable I have found

In case of filters like all-pass is that to say; because the CD has more bass or certain frequencies, it appears the vinyl has more DR when it is actually just lack of bass(or certain frequencies) to make the waveforms look different?

I have googled and it always seems to lead me back here, where it seems half don't commit to a conclusion and half are insistent on an absolute conclusion. This is important to me, if you couldn't tell.

If you haven't any of the above, for which I don't blame you, this is the meat of my post:
Assuming some LPs are just limited masters turned down and the "dynamic range" I see(and hear) is all analogue playback effect posing as DR, Is there a solid, easy way to test this that I missed? In this case TT DR Meter doesn't cut it, as the sampled LP is just a representation of the analogue playback, which is tricking me. Some records have enough press that I know; NIN Hesitation Marks mentions the LP master on the site because of the "Audiophile" master he put out. I do have all three versions of that album, which would make for an interesting post. Maybe it is relevant, since the CD and Audiophile are just a few dB different in level. Also, we know that there is 3 masters in that case. I digress, other cases it is more likely done the cheap way like, Ludacris or She Wants Revenge--one 12" not special edition or double, 180g etc....
If what I fear is true all or most of the time; What about double LPs or 12" singles? Why do these almost always have a nice lot of more DR, as opposed to just being louder? I think I have an Eminem 12" that sounds just louder, but most serious electronic acts like Daft Punk or Justice, this seems ti be the case
I am off to do some A-B comparisons, no X since I am alone, shocker

EDIT: Too long and repeated sentiments from last post.
Title: Modern Vinyl "Masters" vs. CD--My Experience
Post by: plasticpitchfork on 2014-09-21 08:32:27
After doing some reading plenty of people just say "some are just CDs on vinyl" But then I some comes on that seems to know what they are talking about and confirms what I understood(thought I did) which is contradicted all over this site and thread. It's there are technical limitations that force the producer of an LP to be at least to some extent, less compressed, like it would have to be 7 mins per side or be so low that the hiss would make it sound crap. I am sure there are some records out there like that, or just barely get by and therefore are not worth it. I think you have to take it on a case by case, which sucks, how are you going to test CD and Vinyl(rips) without buying them? not cool.

If this is the case, then this would mean 2xLPs can be less dynamic and more loud because they have to put less music on each side, of course why can't anything just be easy? Single 180g special editions with research I think are the safest for now... Hi Res, please enforce a standard like the movie industry! I will buy all your crap again... I love music and sound that much. *Another reason to have a thread that can't be closed or deleted(do they have those?) That is an ongoing source of CD and vinyl samples and anecdotal and scientific observations as to the quality of any given vinyl release. The better the equipment and user the... better.* I will try to start one here or wherever people care... another day, though
Title: Modern Vinyl "Masters" vs. CD--My Experience
Post by: Wombat on 2014-09-21 12:41:06
Anyone tried to analyze a relaese that offers the opportunity to check the special vinyl master?
I googled and Tom Pettys Mudcrutch release from 2008 seems to give a cd by the vinyl version that should have the corresponding master on it.
Comparing this to the standard cd may be intereesting IF they really did.
Title: Modern Vinyl "Masters" vs. CD--My Experience
Post by: Engelsstaub on 2014-09-21 18:01:16
Anyone tried to analyze a relaese that offers the opportunity to check the special vinyl master?
I googled and Tom Pettys Mudcrutch release from 2008 seems to give a cd by the vinyl version that should have the corresponding master on it.
Comparing this to the standard cd may be intereesting IF they really did.


Yes, twice in recent memory/last year or so. Witherscape's The Inheritance and Iced Earth's Plagues of Babylon..  The CD releases were the somewhat standard DR6 while the vinyl masters (distributed also in digital format) were DR11 and DR9 respectively.
Title: Modern Vinyl "Masters" vs. CD--My Experience
Post by: JabbaThePrawn on 2014-09-21 19:26:31
Just to muddy the waters,wasn't there a recent Nine Inch Nails release that had a 'regular' and 'audiophil' release - the latter with higher dynamic range measurements? Were both versions available on multiple formats?
Title: Modern Vinyl "Masters" vs. CD--My Experience
Post by: Wombat on 2014-09-21 19:36:08
I think the audiophile version was 24/48 only. I didn't look it up exactly but 3db or alike more dynamics simply don't fit into 16bit anymore 
Title: Modern Vinyl "Masters" vs. CD--My Experience
Post by: JabbaThePrawn on 2014-09-21 22:31:48
I think the audiophile version was 24/48 only. I didn't look it up exactly but 3db or alike more dynamics simply don't fit into 16bit anymore 

Well, NIN isn't really my thing, so I don't know if both versions were released on disc (of any kind) or not.

Anyhoo, here's some Burmese death metal recorded on wax cylinder, so we all know just how lucky we are: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CDJrHQk4Idc (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CDJrHQk4Idc)
Title: Modern Vinyl "Masters" vs. CD--My Experience
Post by: DVDdoug on 2014-09-22 00:27:11
My understanding of the assertions of some of the more knowledgeable members on here is that the brickwalled CD master is turned down(with destructive gain/clipping) and put on vinyl. I am struggling with this. I can see it definitely for some labels and artists but not so much for others. Depending on how much pride and control
  CDs are brickwall limited because that's the sound the producer (or somebody) wants.  I wouldn't assume they want anything different from the vinyl.  If they want to make a "high fidelity" or "audiophile" version for vinyl, I'd hope they would make a similar master available digitally.

The artist rarely has the control or the technical expertise to make these decisions.


Quote
Would that not make the record sound a lot like the CD, and behave similarly in an audio editor, as in have about the same dynamic range from peak to RMS? I'm not talking about tricking TT DR meter. I'm talking about actually listening and watching for indication of dynamic range in the meters and waveforms.
It would sound like the CD if not for the technical limitations of the analog recording/playback process.  If the DR meter is fooled, the RMS & peak meters will also be fooled, and the waveforms will look different and fool your eyes. 


You have to use your ears.    But, the problem with that is vinyl sounds different from digital and the difference (which may be preferable to some listeners) may not be due to dynamic range.    It's not unusual for listeners to describe the more-compressed version as more dynamic, because it's more "intense".


Quote
It's there are technical limitations that force the producer of an LP to be at least to some extent, less compressed, like it would have to be 7 mins per side or be so low that the hiss would make it sound crap.
No.  Vinyl does not have to be less compressed.  In the old vinyl days, they were doing basically the same thing and using compression to make the records louder. 


Quote
In case of filters like all-pass is that to say; because the CD has more bass or certain frequencies, it appears the vinyl has more DR when it is actually just lack of bass(or certain frequencies) to make the waveforms look different?
All-pass filtering doesn't change the amount of bass.  The deep bass (and the highest frequencies) may be rolled-off for vinyl, but that's different from the all-pass filtering effect.  The all-pass filtering comes from the cutting head and playback cartridge, and the RIAA recording EQ and complementary RIAA playback EQ.

Ideally, the cutting head and playback cartridge would be complementary, and the RIAA EQ would be complementary and net result would be flat frequency response (like digital).  The all-pass phase-shifting is just a side effect of all this.  The phase shift isn't audible and it doesn't cause any harm, but it will change the shape of the waveform.

All-pass filtering causes different frequencies to be phase-shifted differently.  So the different frequencies are shifted-slightly in time and this causes the peaks at different frequencies to line-up differently.  The resulting overall waveform (containing all of the frequencies) will have some higher peaks and some lower peaks (without affecting the perceived peak volume).  If you measure the new-higher peaks to make your dynamic range measurement, you have just increased the (measured) dynamic range.    If you all-pass filter a highly compressed-limited recording, this "fake dynamic range increase" will be more dramatic with a compressed/limited than with an uncompressed recording.
Title: Modern Vinyl "Masters" vs. CD--My Experience
Post by: Engelsstaub on 2014-09-22 01:47:24
Just to muddy the waters,wasn't there a recent Nine Inch Nails release that had a 'regular' and 'audiophil' release - the latter with higher dynamic range measurements? Were both versions available on multiple formats?


IIRC the "audiophile" version didn't fare much better when looking at the DR numbers. There was a little bit of whining going on from fetishists in the blogosphere; the ones who demand to see magic numbers.  Thing is is Trent Reznor's style of music has always relied on heavy compression. Even the Broken EP, released in 1992, was very compressed for the time. I don't usually buy the "it's an artistic choice" line but in Reznor's case I believe that's the way he wants it. He's a very hands-on type of artist and likes to control all aspects of his recording process.

I don't think it's known whether the double LP release of Hesitation Marks had a dedicated master or if it used the so-called "audiophile version" that was distributed digitally.
Title: Modern Vinyl "Masters" vs. CD--My Experience
Post by: mitchco on 2014-09-22 07:29:27
Sometime ago I wrote an article on Guide to Converting Analog Vinyl To Digital Files Using Windows (http://www.computeraudiophile.com/content/486-guide-converting-analog-vinyl-digital-files-using-windows/). Not my best work.  But there is a fun bit at the end comparing a vinyl rip to a CD-ROM rip from what appears to be the same master.  Not a modern vinyl master (or CD) and not the best "controlled" comparison, but something to listen to. Here is the excerpt from the article:

Do you feel you can hear the difference between the LP and CD rips? Do you think you can pick which one is which? I have to stack the deck a little, as starting out from dead silence would be too easy. But once the music masks the noise floor, who knows…

I picked the last 60 seconds of the recording starting with the bass drum ramp up and finale of the three transient hits of the bass drum. I lined up the tracks timing and matched the levels as best as possible. The vinyl rip and CDROM version alternate every 15 seconds. Meaning for the first 15 seconds, you are listening to either the vinyl or CD rip, then it switches to the other rip, every 15 seconds, swap. In fact, you will hear the digital edits for the first couple of 15 second transitions.

24/441 Which is which  (http://audio.computeraudiophile.com/2012/1029/Which-one-is-which.wav)(18MB WAV)

Does the recording start with the vinyl rip or CDROM rip?
Title: Modern Vinyl "Masters" vs. CD--My Experience
Post by: 2Bdecided on 2014-09-22 09:43:33
Is there a format that always is "remastered?"
Nothing technically stops people using bad masters on new/different formats. While obviously the actual digits are different on, say, SACD vs DVD-A vs CD, they can all use the same "master" in the sense that you mean it, so the answer is "no".

Even places like HDTracks carry some releases with heavy DRC.

Is any store, any audio format, any record label brave enough to reject releases on the basis of poor sound quality? Even audiophile re-issue labels have to do the best with what's provided to them, though they are often the best place to look.

Enjoy (and tell people here about) any genuinely improved mastering you find, but don't drive yourself mad looking for it.


It's pretty clear that people sometimes cut clipped CD/digital masters to vinyl, and anyone saying this is impossible because of square waves etc etc etc is just wrong. Didn't they notice people have been cutting synthetic sounds (often containing square waves) to vinyl for decades?
Assuming some LPs are just limited masters turned down and the "dynamic range" I see(and hear) is all analogue playback effect posing as DR, Is there a solid, easy way to test this that I missed?
Yes, you get both versions and examine the waveforms. Find some clipping in the CD version, zoom in on the same part in the vinyl version, and look for clipping there. If the same flat top is present in the vinyl version (usually visible as a skewed / diagonal - it doesn't look exactly the same as the CD waveform, but it should still be a fairly clear straight line that has no place in most music recordings) then you know the CD master was used for the vinyl. If you find there's no flat line, and even better you find that the peaks (which were chopped off in the CD version) are clearly present in the vinyl version, then you know a different master was used.

Poor playback equipment, different EQ (either in the masters or the playback), and an inability to find exactly the same moment of both recordings, can make this comparison quite difficult - but often it provides a conclusive answer one way or the other.

Cheers,
David.
Title: Modern Vinyl "Masters" vs. CD--My Experience
Post by: plasticpitchfork on 2014-09-22 21:12:26
Just to muddy the waters,wasn't there a recent Nine Inch Nails release that had a 'regular' and 'audiophil' release - the latter with higher dynamic range measurements? Were both versions available on multiple formats?


IIRC the "audiophile" version didn't fare much better when looking at the DR numbers. There was a little bit of whining going on from fetishists in the blogosphere; the ones who demand to see magic numbers.  Thing is is Trent Reznor's style of music has always relied on heavy compression. Even the Broken EP, released in 1992, was very compressed for the time. I don't usually buy the "it's an artistic choice" line but in Reznor's case I believe that's the way he wants it. He's a very hands-on type of artist and likes to control all aspects of his recording process.

I don't think it's known whether the double LP release of Hesitation Marks had a dedicated master or if it used the so-called "audiophile version" that was distributed digitally.


"NOTE: The standard mastered version is in no way inferior to the Audiophile Version - we wouldn’t release something inferior as the default. And vinyl purists rest assured, the vinyl edition was mastered to sound the very best for that format. The Audiophile Version is merely an alternate take on the mastering, which some people will appreciate. It’s meant to give a slightly different experience, not denigrate the standard version. Listen to each and come to your own conclusions." -nin tumblr

This doesn't really tell us too much. except for the Audiophile version is good enough for me. As at first I was pissed because it was still brickwalled and loud, it is amazing what just a few db can do to a mix. I am going to compare all three. I am not even a big NIN fan, but a big industrial fan, and all industrial has gone the way of the rest. Luckily it's hayday was the old days, and there is tons of music I still haven't yet even heard from those days.

In regard to Broken, you are right. I didn't like him back in the day for being too commercial but I did like Pretty Hate Machine and some Downward Spiral. I have listened to this one a bit recently and I don't really like it now and didn't back then either. I assumed because of it's date it wasn't smashed. I think this is the reason I never liked it. Ironically, Pretty Hate Machine is a very dynamic record--too dynamic in places--because that is from when Trent "didn't know what he was doing." The record made him a star and a very rich man. It's songs are still the ones that get the most response live. Lucky for us he "fixed it" in 2010  The vinyl release of that remaster has several spots where remixing was done(shakers here, samples there) I wonder if it is an indication that it is a different master. It seems like the changes are in parts where vinyl noise would be distracting.

Thanks DVDdoug, I have learned most of the answers to this on another thread and from Ian Shepard's video. I don't get the all pass filtering stuff, but that is my own ignorance about all-pass filtering. In any case I have a had my bubble burst. A bubble I was living in since 2008. I have gone back to several of my vinyl rips to realize that there is indeed little difference in dynamic range. They just sound different. Often times low-mid is often pervasive on CD which clouds out high hats and such. I think I all too often mistook that for fidelity and DR. I think I will have to retrain my ears to truly detect DR and fidelity. I have been taking it on faith for many years. Belief is a powerful thing.

About Motown, I read about that and know there was heavy compression on those records, as well as all recordings from the time have less range because of technology. But an IEEE article, the same one which gave me the belief that records just could not hold that kind of level, said it was these limitations that kept Motown and every one else in check for so long...
I think maybe they are just as heavily compressed, which I never minded, but maybe the brickwall limiting, clipping, waveform distortion is what wasn't possible?

Edit: Broken is heavily compressed for it's day, yes, but looking at it next to modern NIN(or anything else), I would take it any day.
Title: Modern Vinyl "Masters" vs. CD--My Experience
Post by: plasticpitchfork on 2014-09-23 13:48:23
Quote
Yes, you get both versions and examine the waveforms. Find some clipping in the CD version, zoom in on the same part in the vinyl version, and look for clipping there. If the same flat top is present in the vinyl version (usually visible as a skewed / diagonal - it doesn't look exactly the same as the CD waveform, but it should still be a fairly clear straight line that has no place in most music recordings) then you know the CD master was used for the vinyl. If you find there's no flat line, and even better you find that the peaks (which were chopped off in the CD version) are clearly present in the vinyl version, then you know a different master was used.



I Think I have found an example of this on the track I already had up when I read your post. I will post a screen shot when I have time. It looks exactly as you describe. The nerve of this industry... BTW it can be a challenge to find the exact moment in time, but I have fixing clicks and pops enough to find them fairly easily.
Title: Modern Vinyl "Masters" vs. CD--My Experience
Post by: 2Bdecided on 2014-09-24 10:42:17
In case you missed it, greynol just posted a textbook example in another thread:
http://www.hydrogenaud.io/forums/index.php...st&p=875605 (http://www.hydrogenaud.io/forums/index.php?s=&showtopic=104328&view=findpost&p=875605)

Cheers,
David.
Title: Modern Vinyl "Masters" vs. CD--My Experience
Post by: greynol on 2014-09-24 14:42:19
Thanks, David.

Thanks for this post as well:
http://www.hydrogenaud.io/forums/index.php...st&p=875447 (http://www.hydrogenaud.io/forums/index.php?s=&showtopic=98199&view=findpost&p=875447)

Anyone tried to analyze a relaese that offers the opportunity to check the special vinyl master?
I googled and Tom Pettys Mudcrutch release from 2008 seems to give a cd by the vinyl version that should have the corresponding master on it.
Comparing this to the standard cd may be intereesting IF they really did.

Yes, twice in recent memory/last year or so. Witherscape's The Inheritance and Iced Earth's Plagues of Babylon..  The CD releases were the somewhat standard DR6 while the vinyl masters (distributed also in digital format) were DR11 and DR9 respectively.

Why are people continuing to cite DR numbers in a CD vs. Vinyl comparison when they have been shown to be bogus for this purpose?

http://www.hydrogenaud.io/forums/index.php?showtopic=102895 (http://www.hydrogenaud.io/forums/index.php?showtopic=102895)

Many modern CDs are just pathological examples of this. A low pass filter, a high pass filter, proper sub-sample interpolation, and an all pass filter - all these things will raise the peak-to-average ratio compared with calculating it for the raw samples. Yet the sound doesn't change at all - it's subjectively the same signal. TT DR is measuring numbers, not sounds.

I think the easiest way to compare like-for-like with an "objective" "DR" tool is to run the CD version through an all-pass filter first and use that as the baseline against which you compare the vinyl version. Or just assume, if the CD looks clipped, that there's 3-4dB more energy in the clipped peaks just waiting to burst out the moment you fiddle with them.

Here are links to other relevant topics...
http://www.hydrogenaud.io/forums/index.php?showtopic=66401 (http://www.hydrogenaud.io/forums/index.php?showtopic=66401)
http://www.hydrogenaud.io/forums/index.php?showtopic=68641 (http://www.hydrogenaud.io/forums/index.php?showtopic=68641)
http://www.hydrogenaud.io/forums/index.php?showtopic=80679 (http://www.hydrogenaud.io/forums/index.php?showtopic=80679)
Title: Modern Vinyl "Masters" vs. CD--My Experience
Post by: Engelsstaub on 2014-09-24 21:06:41
Why are people continuing to cite DR numbers in a CD vs. Vinyl comparison when they have been shown to be bogus for this purpose?


Both of the "vinyl mixes" I cited earlier were included with limited versions of the CDs. I wasn't referring to a needledrop.

The Witherscape release includes a copy of the vinyl mix at 320 Kbps MP3s as CD data and the Iced Earth special edition has a lossless copy on the DVD.
Title: Modern Vinyl "Masters" vs. CD--My Experience
Post by: plasticpitchfork on 2014-09-26 17:28:05
Still trying to figure out the uploading of audio. I'm sure I will soon, but here are some pics of a CD and vinyl comparison that I really had a hard time finding "clipped" spots, as in 5+ samples in a straight line. the rest is a very compressed track, without a lot of brickwall clipping. The kind that make it really hard to spot CD masters on vinyl.

Also, without audio samples, I can't go into it too much, but suffice to say these two versions sound very different. To the point that an ABX would be a waste of time because it is so obvious. The vinyl is more pleasing to me. Again, without risking TOS #8, I would have to say just more midrange in the CD seemingly drowning out high hats. Does anyone have any insight into this, and before I try to use Relife(I'm on Mac), is there DSP beside eq'ing that would give me more listenable results on CD versions? EQing is seldom a good fix IME.

Thanks, 2bDecided for the advice, again. I am interested in possibly a faster way of "testing" my vinyl rips for "same master" syndrome. I am pretty ignorant to all-pass filtering, for all my time hobbying with Pro Audio. So if the answer is in there, it flew over my head.

Note: On second track the Right channel is on top to better see against the top track's Right channel. AND, the vinyl is out of phase with CD (common occurrence) IDK why.
--PM me if you know how to use Dropbox on here without getting "dynamic page" error. I have a paid premium DB account and image shack is free(and 280px max, I think.)

M83 - Midnight City (2011) CD on bottom. Vinyl on top(sometimes zoomed vertically.)
(http://imagizer.imageshack.us/v2/280x200q90/661/j9dqMe.png) (http://imageshack.com/f/idj9dqMep)
(http://imagizer.imageshack.us/v2/280x200q90/661/VzEmcQ.png) (http://imageshack.com/f/idVzEmcQp)
(http://imagizer.imageshack.us/v2/280x200q90/746/xeVZOF.png) (http://imageshack.com/f/kqxeVZOFp)
(http://imagizer.imageshack.us/v2/280x200q90/905/d9AX02.png) (http://imageshack.com/f/p5d9AX02p)

Audio samples to follow...
EDIT: Maybe I'm just tired, but I searched for 15 mins and can't find where to upload audio samples... apologies
Title: Modern Vinyl "Masters" vs. CD--My Experience
Post by: DVDdoug on 2014-09-26 18:29:33
There is a sub-forum called Uploads (http://www.hydrogenaud.io/forums/index.php?act=post&do=new_post&f=35).  Below the text box there a window to attach a file to your post.

Quote
To the point that an ABX would be a waste of time because it is so obvious.
That's almost always the case with analog vs. digital.  Sometimes people do hear an "obvious" or "night and day" difference between two speaker cables or between 44.1khz/16-bit and 96kHz/24 bit and that's when the TOS #8 red flags all come out! 

Unless you are comparing a digital copy of the analog with the direct analog (which requires a hardware ABX box).  In that case, the digital copy may sound exactly like the analog.  But a CD or MP3 almost always sounds different from the vinyl, and hopefully nobody will challenge you (or me!) about that.

The same is true with speakers.  Nobody here will ask you to prove that two speakers sound different.
Title: Modern Vinyl "Masters" vs. CD--My Experience
Post by: _if on 2014-09-27 00:37:08
The better sound quality of the record can be caused by a cartridge whose frequency response is far off from flat. Then it basically applies an EQ to everything played and you may like this EQ better. They could be different masters, but it's something to keep in mind with all recordings of vinyl. I, and I'm sure people more qualified than me, will surely take a look when you post the samples.
Title: Modern Vinyl "Masters" vs. CD--My Experience
Post by: greynol on 2014-09-27 00:42:43
It's not just the cartridge, there is also RIAA equalization to contend with.
Title: Modern Vinyl "Masters" vs. CD--My Experience
Post by: _if on 2014-09-27 00:48:53
Which should, theoretically, be evened out during playback, unless you plug your phono outs directly into your recording device. But of course, "in theory there is no difference between theory and practice." 
Title: Modern Vinyl "Masters" vs. CD--My Experience
Post by: plasticpitchfork on 2014-09-27 06:46:06
There is a sub-forum called Uploads (http://www.hydrogenaud.io/forums/index.php?act=post&do=new_post&f=35).  Below the text box there a window to attach a file to your post.

Thanks, trying to upload attachments directly to this topic. Not seeing any option to do such in the Add Reply UI. On Mac with all three browsers. greynol is helping me so as to not derail topic. But ideas are appreciated as to what I am not getting.

It's not just the cartridge, there is also RIAA equalization to contend with.

In Audacity RIAA curve is +7db in low end dropping off to -a lot around 400k is this because of the cartridges "eq" which would be low on bass and REALLY high in treble/mids? A flat/accurate vinyl playback set-up would sound a lot more like the CD than mine?
If I have this right it would explain the SH.TV topic that was referred to over there about "audiophiles" not liking flat, but preferring the common "brightness" that most carts color playback with. Maybe this is what I am experiencing, mistaking this coloration for the "breathing room" that proper headroom provides.
Title: Modern Vinyl "Masters" vs. CD--My Experience
Post by: plasticpitchfork on 2014-09-27 08:55:10
Link to M83 - Midnight City
CD and LP samples:
http://www.hydrogenaud.io/forums/index.php...107033&st=0 (http://www.hydrogenaud.io/forums/index.php?showtopic=107033&st=0)
Title: Modern Vinyl "Masters" vs. CD--My Experience
Post by: plasticpitchfork on 2014-09-27 12:35:39
Lucky for us he "fixed it" in 2010  The vinyl release of that remaster has several spots where remixing was done(shakers here, samples there) I wonder if it is an indication that it is a different master. It seems like the changes are in parts where vinyl noise would be distracting.

NIN - Pretty Hate Machine 2010 Remaster vinyl was what I am speaking of above. No need to waste my bandwidth on audio samples. The proof is pretty conclusive in these pics. There are are some I am not really sure about. Mostly because the CD version is not Clipped for more than a sample at a time. Making the only way to really know being:
1. Label/artist/engineer confirms(not guaranteed)
2. Digital version of vinyl master is made available for comparison
3. Listen - This is where opinions come in. I suspect my ears will become more keen on real and "fake" dynamics as they did with recognizing a compressed CD. Still wondering if I should start a topic dedicated to information we have about masters and comparisons for different releases.

Here is NIN - Head Like a Hole 2010 CD-Vinyl.
(https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/s/w8ag5941h5rxlwk/HLH%20Both%20clips.png)
Title: Modern Vinyl "Masters" vs. CD--My Experience
Post by: _if on 2014-09-27 14:11:08
You need to match the volumes of the two files when you compare. The waveform scales differently and your ears perceive differently dependent on what level they're each at so it's important to do. Just ReplayGain scan both and subtract one track gain value from the other and adjust the louder one down by that value in Audacity.

Your vinyl recording certainly sounds pretty different from the CD. I can't really say much as to what causes the difference besides that it is the sum of all frequency transformations the record has gone through. To pinpoint what does it the most you could try a different phono cartridge or a different preamp. To measure the amount of error your phonograph introduces you could get a test disc and record it to see how it alters the sounds. They each would require some expense, but the test disc sounds like it could even be fun if you care enough to justify the expense.
Title: Modern Vinyl "Masters" vs. CD--My Experience
Post by: un autre moi on 2014-09-27 20:37:49
Link to M83 - Midnight City
CD and LP samples:
http://www.hydrogenaud.io/forums/index.php...107033&st=0 (http://www.hydrogenaud.io/forums/index.php?showtopic=107033&st=0)

Judging from the pictures (especially the second and the fourth one) you posted earlier, I would say they are from the same master. I've tried to apply some equalization to your LP sample (https://www.dropbox.com/s/279hwbe12vuwwwl/02_Midnight_City_LP_eq.mp3?dl=1) to make its sound closer to the CD. However, there is still a difference between the two, but I believe it would be possible to make it sound nearly the same.
Title: Modern Vinyl "Masters" vs. CD--My Experience
Post by: plasticpitchfork on 2014-09-29 16:01:27
I'm not sure about the expense any more, as I don't even own a decent turntable. The M83 rip was not mine nor was the NIN. Both were done on decent tables, but I'm not sure when the stylus was replaced etc... All my rips were done on a nice table but owned by my brother. And then I have a bunch on a hollow plastic table with $100+ DJ Ortofon cart. I haven't even gone into more than one of either of these yet.

So no, there will be no testing of carts because I am finding almost 100%, new records are the CD master, and when they are not one is going to know about it, like in the case of Californication 2012 Vinyl, even though they didn't specifically say "dynamics now!" They hired Grundman to "re-cut it" and when put to the visual and listening test I feel confident that it is NOT the same master. The same can't be said of most other's I have examined. I am compiling a list of my own collection with screenshots in case any vinyl enthusiasts want to know(provided they are not still under the same delusion I have been.)

The effects of my brothers' table(s) are what they are and are not going to be re-ripped, so it is what it is. Many of the records have been resold to buy more records. I am not in a huge hurry as I see a pretty definite trend. If I find an exception, or one I just can't decide on, I will ask the community for input. The test record sounds intriguing though, if it is less than $20.

I am seeing a pretty consistent trend in the sonic qualities that differ from CD to vinyl versions of the same master. As is said in previous posts, I think it just comes down to the stylus acting as an eq. I don't know why CDs don't have that sweet sizzle in the high end, but a little EQing pretty much can make them sound the same. I think the "physical" aspect of the record playback can make it sound more "alive" sometimes, but not more dynamic. IME so far, a lot of CD's, especially loud masters(everything modern I listen to) have a lot more low-mid and less high end (10k+.) It varies wildly though.

See, I am not a vinyl enthusiast. When I started listening to music a lot and buying CDs again in 2008 I quickly learned about the loudness war. Then I read that vinyl could not be brickwalled(basically), then I learned a week ago(here) that, yes, they absolutely can. All my LPs are modern records with compressed CD counterparts. I am music/sound/DR enthusiast, not vinyl. I had been destitute from 2009-2013. I was really close to throwing down on at least a $400 TT and a $100 Pre-amp and a $200 cart. I think this forum has saved me just in time, because what, am I going to spend $800 to listen to Californication? I don't even like that record. The $ will be going into Hi-fi gear to make my movies and compressed CDs sound as good as possible, and maybe a HiRes player for those exceptions like Playing the Angel SACD... unless I already have an SACD player(PS3?) And of course more gear to just make my own.

My posts are never short.

In regards to the level matching, look at the NIN pic above, the gain on the CD is -6.2 or something. The M83 audio samples are not matched because I believe I saw someone else get asked not to do that in Uploads. I am on a Mac at the moment so I don't think we have Replaygain AFAIK. I do it by ear, by eyeballing RMS and/or with the iTunes' inferior Soundcheck level.
Title: Modern Vinyl "Masters" vs. CD--My Experience
Post by: 2Bdecided on 2014-09-29 19:55:43
It might be worth creating a wiki page with a list of vinyl pressings which use a less clipped master than the CD. Maybe also a list showing the ones that are cut from the same clipped master. In both cases links to the relevant forum post(s) to prove the claim.

If sound quality bothers you, try to like some older music, and/or different genres. Not all the world's music is clipped!

Cheers,
David.
Title: Modern Vinyl "Masters" vs. CD--My Experience
Post by: Funkstar De Luxe on 2015-02-24 08:36:54
I've written a few blog articles on this, complete with samples.
Title: Modern Vinyl "Masters" vs. CD--My Experience
Post by: Coreda on 2015-02-24 14:41:25
This is a nice idea for a series of blog posts, cheers. The Nas vinyl sounds so much better.

Wish there were vinyl rips of all albums tbh. I have a little collection of vinyl but lack a turntable to rip them
Title: Modern Vinyl "Masters" vs. CD--My Experience
Post by: greynol on 2015-02-24 16:41:43
The links removed per violation of TOS #9, though I made a comparison between the two versions of the Nas tracks.  The vinyl version was sourced from the same digital master used to create the CD version.

[attachment=8191:nas.jpg]
Title: Modern Vinyl "Masters" vs. CD--My Experience
Post by: Coreda on 2015-02-24 16:46:26
I made a comparison between the two versions of the Nas tracks.  The vinyl version was sourced from the same digital master used to create the CD version.


I find this hard to believe, they sound identifiably different. Why would simply being on vinyl change it that much?
Title: Modern Vinyl "Masters" vs. CD--My Experience
Post by: greynol on 2015-02-24 16:48:11
There may be differences, but the clipping is still there.  The image doesn't lie.

As far as statements about sound quality differences, they are still bound by TOS #8.
Title: Modern Vinyl "Masters" vs. CD--My Experience
Post by: Coreda on 2015-02-24 17:20:05
There may be differences, but the clipping is still there.  The image doesn't lie. As far as statements about sound quality differences, they are still bound by TOS #8.


Quote
All members that put forth a statement concerning subjective sound quality, must -- to the best of their ability -- provide objective support for their claims. Acceptable means of support are double blind listening tests (ABX or ABC/HR) demonstrating that the member can discern a difference perceptually, together with a test sample to allow others to reproduce their findings.

Graphs, non-blind listening tests, waveform difference comparisons, and so on, are not acceptable means of providing support.


So, made two ABX tests of the audio files from the original blog post. One using no ReplayGain adjustment, the other using auto ReplayGain adjustment. Both using Foobar2000's foo_abx (http://www.foobar2000.org/components/view/foo_abx) 10 times each test. Difference seemed clear to me  ¯\_(?)_/¯.

Result 1 (no ReplayGain):

Code: [Select]
foo_abx 2.0 report
foobar2000 v1.3.6
2015-02-25 03:57:17

File A: NASUntitledCD.ogg
SHA1: a0c0ad7e40c0e4056b3016295b8109802fe9082c
File B: NASUntitledVinyl.ogg
SHA1: 90535984e07271d00a67478219d3f49b08b204d2

Output:
DS : Primary Sound Driver
Crossfading: NO

03:57:17 : Test started.
03:58:18 : 01/01
03:58:49 : 02/02
03:59:02 : 03/03
03:59:15 : 04/04
03:59:33 : 05/05
03:59:43 : 06/06
03:59:53 : 07/07
04:00:02 : 08/08
04:00:13 : 09/09
04:00:22 : 10/10
04:00:22 : Test finished.

----------
Total: 10/10
Probability that you were guessing: 0.1%

-- signature --
4086796ba86de53b7c90371a7bdbc506d85e899f


Result 2 (ReplayGain adjustment):
Code: [Select]
foo_abx 2.0 report
foobar2000 v1.3.6
2015-02-25 04:01:22

File A: NASUntitledCD.ogg
SHA1: a0c0ad7e40c0e4056b3016295b8109802fe9082c
Gain adjustment: -7.40 dB
File B: NASUntitledVinyl.ogg
SHA1: 90535984e07271d00a67478219d3f49b08b204d2
Gain adjustment: -3.86 dB

Output:
DS : Primary Sound Driver
Crossfading: NO

04:01:22 : Test started.
04:02:25 : 01/01
04:04:02 : 02/02
04:04:37 : 03/03
04:05:05 : 04/04
04:07:35 : 05/05
04:07:47 : 06/06
04:08:55 : 07/07
04:09:43 : 08/08
04:10:21 : 09/09
04:11:10 : 10/10
04:11:10 : Test finished.

----------
Total: 10/10
Probability that you were guessing: 0.1%

-- signature --
f0bb8f3dbb9bad06b0f6a95766d1b77fcf6ed6d0
Title: Modern Vinyl "Masters" vs. CD--My Experience
Post by: greynol on 2015-02-24 18:16:52
That doesn't change the landscape regarding my point that the vinyl version exhibits the same clipping as the CD version.  It occurs in the same places for the same duration.

As an aside, differences imparted by the process of vinyl transfer have been discussed many times over.  So even if your samples were adequately time-aligned and level-matched (both of which I doubt, despite the use of replaygain), there can (and likely will) still be audible differences.
Title: Modern Vinyl "Masters" vs. CD--My Experience
Post by: cliveb on 2015-02-24 20:14:54
That doesn't change the landscape regarding my point that the vinyl version exhibits the same clipping as the CD version.  It occurs in the same places for the same duration.

Interestingly, the channels appear to be swapped and the phase reversed.

As an aside, differences imparted by the process of vinyl transfer have been discussed many times over.  So even if your samples were adequately time-aligned and level-matched (both of which I doubt, despite the use of replaygain), there can (and likely will) still be audible differences.

If the vinyl is cut from the same master as the CD, it's still likely to sound significantly different due to the various distortions and frequency response anomalies inherent in vinyl. And those distortions can actually be quite euphonic. There's no disgrace in finding the vinyl reproduction preferable to the CD - as long as you don't mistake that for greater accuracy.
Title: Modern Vinyl "Masters" vs. CD--My Experience
Post by: greynol on 2015-02-24 20:28:56
Interestingly, the channels appear to be swapped and the phase reversed.

Yep and the channel reversal should make ABXing quite trivial all by itself. 

If the vinyl is cut from the same master as the CD, it's still likely to sound significantly different due to the various distortions and frequency response anomalies inherent in vinyl. And those distortions can actually be quite euphonic. There's no disgrace in finding the vinyl reproduction preferable to the CD - as long as you don't mistake that for greater accuracy.

I agree.
Title: Modern Vinyl "Masters" vs. CD--My Experience
Post by: greynol on 2015-02-25 01:28:36
Why are people continuing to cite DR numbers in a CD vs. Vinyl comparison when they have been shown to be bogus for this purpose?

Both of the "vinyl mixes" I cited earlier were included with limited versions of the CDs. I wasn't referring to a needledrop.
I forgot to reply to this.
It was clear from your original post that you weren't comparing a vinyl digitization to a CD rip.  My rant was misplaced; I apologize.
Title: Modern Vinyl "Masters" vs. CD--My Experience
Post by: 2Bdecided on 2015-02-26 10:12:16
I made a comparison between the two versions of the Nas tracks.  The vinyl version was sourced from the same digital master used to create the CD version.


I find this hard to believe, they sound identifiably different. Why would simply being on vinyl change it that much?

The EQ is different. It could be mastering differences, but as it's a very similar difference on both of your samples (i.e. CD vs vinyl shows the same trend for NAS and Bowie), I think it's more likely that your vinyl replay system (mostly cartridge and pre-amp) EQs the sound, while your CDs don't have that change applied.

Here's a plot of the long-term spectrum of each of the Bowie files:
[attachment=8192:bowieCDvinylEQ.gif]
pink/cyan is CD
red/green is vinyl

The vinyl is slightly quieter overall (I didn't fix that for the comparison). Note how at around 10kHz the vinyl has as much treble as the CD, but at 3kHz it's 4-5dB lower. It recovers very slightly in the bass. It falls off dramatically above 15kHz (though few listeners will notice this).

Basically, if you matched the loudness, you would find the vinyl has far more treble, far less midrange, and fractionally more bass than the CD. If you EQ the CD to match, it sounds almost the same as the vinyl.

On the Bowie sample, there's no absolutely hard digital clipping*, but there's strong limiting. Take a look at 22.507 seconds (CD) vs 22.526 seconds (vinyl). You get exactly the same flat top on both, just with a slope added on the vinyl version due to vinyl's AC coupling and phase errors. It looks like the same master.

EDIT: here's a greynol style waveform plot of that part, with the two tracks time-aligned...
[attachment=8193:bowieclipping.gif]
CD top, vinyl bottom.
* = I know it looks like pure digital clipping on this scale, but it isn't if you zoom in. The signal was obviously clipped, but not in the final digital mix.

I agree that, as presented, the vinyl sample sounds nicer. I think you could process the CD to sound almost exactly like the vinyl. The vinyl is not giving you any information from the master tape that's lost on the CD.


It's surprising how many vinyl vs CD samples show an EQ difference, with the vinyl usually being preferred. Surprising, because IME the real hardcore audiophiles who prefer vinyl often wouldn't dream of using EQ to change the sound themselves. Yet by buying vinyl, more than anything they're buying a huge EQ change.

IMO most good recordings on good systems shouldn't be messed with at all, BUT where recordings or equipment or rooms have issues which can be fixed with suitable EQ, I wouldn't hesitate to use it.

Cheers,
David.
Title: Modern Vinyl "Masters" vs. CD--My Experience
Post by: Coreda on 2015-02-26 16:19:23
The EQ is different. It could be mastering differences, but as it's a very similar difference on both of your samples (i.e. CD vs vinyl shows the same trend for NAS and Bowie), I think it's more likely that your vinyl replay system (mostly cartridge and pre-amp) EQs the sound, while your CDs don't have that change applied.

It's surprising how many vinyl vs CD samples show an EQ difference, with the vinyl usually being preferred. Surprising, because IME the real hardcore audiophiles who prefer vinyl often wouldn't dream of using EQ to change the sound themselves. Yet by buying vinyl, more than anything they're buying a huge EQ change.

IMO most good recordings on good systems shouldn't be messed with at all, BUT where recordings or equipment or rooms have issues which can be fixed with suitable EQ, I wouldn't hesitate to use it.

Cheers,
David.


Insightful comparison, cheers  Explains why even with gain matching it was still possible to pick the difference (at least in the Nas sample, didn't hear spend much time with the Bowie track). Btw they're not my albums, but Funkstar's.
Title: Modern Vinyl "Masters" vs. CD--My Experience
Post by: greynol on 2015-02-26 17:34:36
I didn't bother with the Bowie albums because I figured the vinyl version could have been sourced from an analog master, considering the age of the release.

Thanks for doing the heavy lifting, David.

For those who don't know by now what axe I have to grind, my involvement here is essentially limited to attempting to assess whether vinyl was sourced from a different master than that used to create a heavily compressed CD.

I also suspect that perceptions of dynamics are heavily influenced by expectation bias. I also believe this is not limited to vinyl vs CD.  Questioning the validity of strongly held beliefs rarely goes over well.
Title: Modern Vinyl "Masters" vs. CD--My Experience
Post by: Coreda on 2015-02-26 17:43:27
I also suspect that perceptions of dynamics are heavily influenced by expectation bias. I also believe this is not limited to vinyl vs CD.  Questioning the validity of strongly held beliefs rarely goes over well.


For me at least this was the exact opposite. For years have known vinyl isn't inherently superior to digital, and didn't come in with any vinyl bias whatsoever tbh. The sample I compared did sound different but apparently that was both the EQ and the changes that occur in vinyl transfers, rather than the master as it turns out.
Title: Modern Vinyl "Masters" vs. CD--My Experience
Post by: krabapple on 2015-02-27 03:27:23
The vinyl is slightly quieter overall (I didn't fix that for the comparison). Note how at around 10kHz the vinyl has as much treble as the CD, but at 3kHz it's 4-5dB lower. It recovers very slightly in the bass. It falls off dramatically above 15kHz (though few listeners will notice this).


I see it, but could you repost the graph with log scaling?
Title: Modern Vinyl "Masters" vs. CD--My Experience
Post by: 2Bdecided on 2015-02-27 09:42:33
The vinyl is slightly quieter overall (I didn't fix that for the comparison). Note how at around 10kHz the vinyl has as much treble as the CD, but at 3kHz it's 4-5dB lower. It recovers very slightly in the bass. It falls off dramatically above 15kHz (though few listeners will notice this).


I see it, but could you repost the graph with log scaling?

Both axes are log scale.
Title: Modern Vinyl "Masters" vs. CD--My Experience
Post by: Kohlrabi on 2015-02-27 11:32:17
It's surprising how many vinyl vs CD samples show an EQ difference, with the vinyl usually being preferred. Surprising, because IME the real hardcore audiophiles who prefer vinyl often wouldn't dream of using EQ to change the sound themselves. Yet by buying vinyl, more than anything they're buying a huge EQ change.
Not quite true, most audiophiles will gladly buy amplifiers and/or headphones which are far off from a flat frequency response.
Title: Modern Vinyl "Masters" vs. CD--My Experience
Post by: Arnold B. Krueger on 2015-02-28 13:09:23
It's surprising how many vinyl vs CD samples show an EQ difference, with the vinyl usually being preferred.


The surprise goes away if you understand the inherent limitations of the LP format which are pretty severe and audible.

The LP and its predecessor (cylinder, 78) formats were tuned over decades if not for more than a century to put their music into a frequency response/dynamic range strait jacket that was generally acceptable if not bland and limiting. 

The CD format and most sequel digital formats took the technical out-of-bounds areas out of the production process.

For production people the new order became: "Your gun, your bullet, the public's ears".
Title: Modern Vinyl "Masters" vs. CD--My Experience
Post by: Engelsstaub on 2015-02-28 20:14:28
Why are people continuing to cite DR numbers in a CD vs. Vinyl comparison when they have been shown to be bogus for this purpose?

Both of the "vinyl mixes" I cited earlier were included with limited versions of the CDs. I wasn't referring to a needledrop.
I forgot to reply to this.
It was clear from your original post that you weren't comparing a vinyl digitization to a CD rip.  My rant was misplaced; I apologize.


Thanks/not a problem.

I've come a long way in my "understanding" since I first started this thread  (IOW: I was pretty much wrong.)
Title: Modern Vinyl "Masters" vs. CD--My Experience
Post by: Funkstar De Luxe on 2015-03-12 09:06:44
The links removed per violation of TOS #9, though I made a comparison between the two versions of the Nas tracks.  The vinyl version was sourced from the same digital master used to create the CD version.

[attachment=8191:nas.jpg]


I think you working on a huge assumption there.  The sample, final mix may be clipped, but the master is certainly not.
Title: Modern Vinyl "Masters" vs. CD--My Experience
Post by: 2Bdecided on 2015-03-12 11:44:44
"Master" is an overused word (though IMO greynol uses it correctly here; YMMV), but there is certainly clipping at some stage of the process between microphone and consumer, and that same clipping has made its way onto the CD and vinyl. Are you saying there is another release format/version that doesn't have this clipping? Or are you trying to make some other point?

Cheers,
David.
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