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Hydrogenaudio Forum => General Audio => Topic started by: pisymbol on 2013-02-27 22:52:50

Title: CD masters rejected for vinyl production
Post by: pisymbol on 2013-02-27 22:52:50
Even though I'm walking into a complete flame fest....I would to state something for reaction...

As I understand it, its common practice to use the same master for both CD and vinyl. Cost is the mitigating factor most of the time.

HOWEVER, given the "Loudness War" and the absolutely crappy sounding masters due to hyper compressed music, a lot of labels will not master the vinyl from the original Redbook one, but create a new one that is significantly less compressed. Has nothing to do with bitrate or "analog vs digital" arguments...

And in fact I spoke with one particular label who submitted the original CD master which was rejected by the engineer who is responsible for the vinyl release. He subsequently lowered the amount of DRC applied before sending it to press. This is not unheard of and IMO, one of the key reasons why vinyl can and DOES sound better than CD from time to time. Typically its because the Redbook master was done by an amateur, and the vinyl one was done by a professional.

I also have another example of DDA file getting screwed up and the engineer sending the CD directly to the label for press. Worked just fine that way (there was no LP release).
Title: CD masters rejected for vinyl production
Post by: db1989 on 2013-02-27 23:14:15
HOWEVER, given the "Loudness War" and the absolutely crappy sounding masters due to hyper compressed music, a lot of labels will not master the vinyl from the original Redbook one, but create a new one that is significantly less compressed. Has nothing to do with bitrate or "analog vs digital" arguments...
It may have nothing to do with those but a lot to do with the physical inability of vinyl to competently reproduce highly brickwalled signals for extended periods of time without risking damage to at least one stage of the playback chain.

Quote
And in fact I spoke with one particular label who submitted the original CD master which was rejected by the engineer who is responsible for the vinyl release. He subsequently lowered the amount of DRC applied before sending it to press. This is not unheard of and IMO, one of the key reasons why vinyl can and DOES sound better than CD from time to time. Typically its because the Redbook master was done by an amateur, and the vinyl one was done by a professional.
Typically? Where are the statistics on this? It could just as easily be typically done because the mastering engineer – whether professional, amateur, or amateur-masquerading-as-professional – was forced by the limitations of vinyl to tone down their otherwise highly excessive compression and limiting.

Sure, this can sometimes result in vinyl sounding better in terms of dynamics. Does that count as an advantage of vinyl? Seeing as it’s an indirect and quite possible less-than-voluntary result of a theoretical limitation of the format, nope. And I don’t see it as cause for promoting vinyl (not that I’m zealously against it), which would be a spurious conclusion: I see it only as further cause for opposing the loudness war.
Title: CD masters rejected for vinyl production
Post by: pisymbol on 2013-02-28 00:47:39
You bring up a good point and that's very true. But what I am also saying is true, when a label wants a higher fidelity release, they will cut a different master from the overly compressed Redbook one.
Title: CD masters rejected for vinyl production
Post by: greynol on 2013-02-28 01:30:58
...assuming they have access to it.
Title: CD masters rejected for vinyl production
Post by: pisymbol on 2013-02-28 12:48:25
HOWEVER, given the "Loudness War" and the absolutely crappy sounding masters due to hyper compressed music, a lot of labels will not master the vinyl from the original Redbook one, but create a new one that is significantly less compressed. Has nothing to do with bitrate or "analog vs digital" arguments...
It may have nothing to do with those but a lot to do with the physical inability of vinyl to competently reproduce highly brickwalled signals for extended periods of time without risking damage to at least one stage of the playback chain.

Sure, this can sometimes result in vinyl sounding better in terms of dynamics. Does that count as an advantage of vinyl? Seeing as it’s an indirect and quite possible less-than-voluntary result of a theoretical limitation of the format, nope. And I don’t see it as cause for promoting vinyl (not that I’m zealously against it), which would be a spurious conclusion: I see it only as further cause for opposing the loudness war.


I forgot to respond to that last paragraph...

I am not even close to insinuating that vinyl has some kind of inherit advantage over CD (well in terms of packaging art maybe!).

But that last sentence utterly perplexes me. So you rather BUY CDs that are terribly mastered as a way to send a message to labels and artists to stop the Loudness War? WHAT!?

In fact, I currently believe that most vinyl junkies will freely admit that Redbook is superior and SOUNDs superior IF PROPERLY MASTERED.

While the "state of the art" of digital mastering is light years ahead of what it was say 10-15 years ago, the fact is the overwhelming majority of CDs released today sound like crap. And when there are two different versions of the same release, one highly compressed DR4-5 Redbook, and one DR11-12 LP, it doesn't shock me that folks want the LP and then claim vinyl sounds better than CD.

Bottom line is this: Despite CD's (and more contextually relevant, digital music) superiority in every possible conceivable way, it gets a bad rap at times for poor sound mainly due to poor mastering. Garbage in, garbage out.

NOTE: I personally do not collect LPs.
Title: CD masters rejected for vinyl production
Post by: krabapple on 2013-02-28 16:46:44
While the "state of the art" of digital mastering is light years ahead of what it was say 10-15 years ago, the fact is the overwhelming majority of CDs released today sound like crap. And when there are two different versions of the same release, one highly compressed DR4-5 Redbook, and one DR11-12 LP, it doesn't shock me that folks want the LP and then claim vinyl sounds better than CD.


Yes, ignorance of causes and effects is not shocking, but let's not *accept it*, OK? 

And you know what?  There are *other* audible parameters that might matter as much or more than dynamic range -- parameters in which even the 'crap' CDs that overwhelm us today, perform better than LPs.

This obsession with DR as the be-all of audio quality is starting to annoy the bejebus out of me.
Title: CD masters rejected for vinyl production
Post by: greynol on 2013-02-28 17:01:16
Just as annoying is that the expectation bias that vinyl will sound more dynamic than its CD counterpart is being fueled by the misinterpretation of waveform graphs and DR values.  That vinyl may look and measure better is no guarantee that it was derived from a different master from that used to create the CD.  These differences may be attributable to the cutting and playback processes.
Title: CD masters rejected for vinyl production
Post by: db1989 on 2013-02-28 18:16:35
blah
blah
You bring up a good point and that's very true. But what I am also saying is true, when a label wants a higher fidelity release, they will cut a different master from the overly compressed Redbook one.
As I questioned your assertion that vinyl is “typically” mastered by “professionals” whereas CDs are relegated to the machinations of mere “amateurs”, so must I question even more strongly your even more conclusive assertion here that labels master vinyls for higher fidelity – presumably in the belief that the format offers this – and not just technical reasons. Saying this at all would have been enough cause for concern, but insinuating that it is a universal phenomenon is something else altogether. Again: where are the statistics to back up these grand claims?

Sure, this can sometimes result in vinyl sounding better in terms of dynamics. Does that count as an advantage of vinyl? Seeing as it’s an indirect and quite possible less-than-voluntary result of a theoretical limitation of the format, nope. And I don’t see it as cause for promoting vinyl (not that I’m zealously against it), which would be a spurious conclusion: I see it only as further cause for opposing the loudness war.
that last sentence utterly perplexes me. So you rather BUY CDs that are terribly mastered as a way to send a message to labels and artists to stop the Loudness War? WHAT!?
You might want to save the shouted cries of confusion and disbelief for yourself. Again, you are pushing a false premise without substantiation: vinyls are always mastered better, therefore people should not buy CDs, and those concerned by the loudness war should buy vinyl even if they don’t want to or cannot use it. It’s a false dichotomy between disapproving of the loudness war and not wanting to be restricted by the inherent properties of vinyl, shored up by fanciful tales about the intentional superiority of masters on the latter. The fact that you twist my words into an illogical conclusion that I never even hinted at is irksome to me, but in the context of other things you’ve said, not surprising.
Title: CD masters rejected for vinyl production
Post by: pisymbol on 2013-02-28 21:25:54
I suggest you go back re-read my statements again since I neither claimed that vinyls are always mastered better than CDs or that CDs are always mastered by amateurs. I did insinuate that due to the proliferation of easy to use tools to "master" we are definitely seeing a lot of artists who aren't really mastering engineers that typically yield poor results.

I made the claim that a lot of labels pay for a different master because typically in today's LW's climate, CDs are hyper-compressed. You mentioned about needle having a hard time with very compressed CDs. I agreed.

I also said that part of the reason why CDs can get a bad rap is frankly due to poor mastering techniques such as the overzealous use of DRC.

Finally, can you learn to be a little less confrontational in your responses? I realize this is the Internet, but it would be nice to have a conversation with a potential new friend that shares a mutual passion for fidelity than just bantering back and forth (even if what I wrote wasn't exactly clear, your responses leave a lot to desire with respect to board diplomacy).
Title: CD masters rejected for vinyl production
Post by: db1989 on 2013-02-28 21:49:27
Perhaps I would interpret the points in question differently with a fresh mind, but I don’t have that luxury at the moment, so all I can say is that this is a good example of why you need to be more clear when offering hypothetical scenarios. This applies especially when generalisations are involved, or at least statements that are prone to being misinterpreted as generalisations, if that’s not the sense in which you intended them. If I overread, then that’s my mistake. But don’t make it easy for people to do so.

Separate from that, there isn’t much misinterpretation to be had in the faulty reasoning that my reluctance to buy vinyls as though that will slow the progress of the loudness war means that my buying CDs (which I do very rarely, by the way) makes me fully complicit in its continuation. Sure, perhaps a hardliner would refuse to buy any release, on any medium, that wasn’t mastered sanely. Do people who like music have that option in practical terms? Not really. And it isn’t always as easy or desirable to just buy the – only sometimes better-mastered – vinyl instead. Neither will said act necessarily, or perhaps even often, register directly as a vote of no confidence in the loudness war. That was my point. If I reacted strongly, it’s because I perceived your objection as having been presented strongly. All I’m trying to say is that things aren’t that simple, and drawing conclusions on behalf of others doesn’t always go down well, especially when the issues are more complex than an either-or choice would suggest.

I didn’t intend any personal offence; nor do I harbour any animosity. Things that you might have perceived as such in my posts were instead just reactions to words and arguments as part of posts, not a person.
Title: CD masters rejected for vinyl production
Post by: Arnold B. Krueger on 2013-02-28 22:36:16
While the "state of the art" of digital mastering is light years ahead of what it was say 10-15 years ago,


What advances/changes have happened in the last 10-15 years.
Title: CD masters rejected for vinyl production
Post by: 2Bdecided on 2013-03-01 09:42:48
And you know what?  There are *other* audible parameters that might matter as much or more than dynamic range -- parameters in which even the 'crap' CDs that overwhelm us today, perform better than LPs.
What, audibly? On compressed pop music? Only once the record gets worn or damaged IME (though the capacity for damage and/or wear is a major factor in vinyl's inferiority).

As Arny has often said, the surprising thing about vinyl is that it can sound OK, despite measuring terribly.

Quote
This obsession with DR as the be-all of audio quality is starting to annoy the bejebus out of me.
I guess it's just the biggest quality-killer of the last decade in CD releases, so it's justified to be obsessed about it. When it's gone, we can moan about something else

I think in pure numerical terms you need people who don't fully understand something to jump on the band wagon anyway in order for things to change. When only the people who really understand things speak up, the mainstream just carries on its own sweet way. While the DR meter can be confused and there are many other attributes to a good recording, maybe the only way that DRC is going to be backed off if through ill-informed as well as well-informed criticism.

Cheers,
David.
Title: CD masters rejected for vinyl production
Post by: pisymbol on 2013-03-01 15:25:18
And you know what?  There are *other* audible parameters that might matter as much or more than dynamic range -- parameters in which even the 'crap' CDs that overwhelm us today, perform better than LPs.
What, audibly? On compressed pop music? Only once the record gets worn or damaged IME (though the capacity for damage and/or wear is a major factor in vinyl's inferiority).

As Arny has often said, the surprising thing about vinyl is that it can sound OK, despite measuring terribly.

Quote
This obsession with DR as the be-all of audio quality is starting to annoy the bejebus out of me.
I guess it's just the biggest quality-killer of the last decade in CD releases, so it's justified to be obsessed about it. When it's gone, we can moan about something else

I think in pure numerical terms you need people who don't fully understand something to jump on the band wagon anyway in order for things to change. When only the people who really understand things speak up, the mainstream just carries on its own sweet way. While the DR meter can be confused and there are many other attributes to a good recording, maybe the only way that DRC is going to be backed off if through ill-informed as well as well-informed criticism.

Cheers,
David.


I think you already conceded that DRC is one of it not THE biggest factor in the degradation of audio quality over the last decade. And with copious amounts of DRC applied, comes the ever dreaded clip which I think we can all agree is not good for the music or mastering in general.

@Arny: Software/hardware has improved leaps and bounds over the last 10-15 years which allows for much more advanced forms of mastering. I agree the media has not nor has the fundamental concepts of digital audio (though I will argue that some facets of the chain have improved, especially USB based audio).

As Neuron mentioned, albums with a DR4 and even DR6 aren't that great to listen too.  It does not surprise me one iota that if you take the equivalent LP with a DR of 11 or higher vs its compressed equivalent, it sounds a lot better despite the fact that CDs are a superior format to LP in practically every measurable way.

I am firmly in the camp that improperly mastered music destroys it regardless of medium. It just so happens that in today's climate, LP seems to benefit from its niche status and sort of ducks the "Loudness War" a bit.

Until that changes, I think there is a lot to be said for music lovers who collect LP's and want higher dynamics in the music. (NOTE AGAIN: I don't collect LPs, I live with the fact that DR5-6 is sort of the industry norm).

I WANT to also state that the DR metric isn't the be all or end all of a master either. But no matter how you swing it, once you get it in the 6 or lower numbers, you take a hit and it sucks! :-(
Title: CD masters rejected for vinyl production
Post by: krabapple on 2013-03-01 15:47:46
And you know what?  There are *other* audible parameters that might matter as much or more than dynamic range -- parameters in which even the 'crap' CDs that overwhelm us today, perform better than LPs.
What, audibly? On compressed pop music? Only once the record gets worn or damaged IME (though the capacity for damage and/or wear is a major factor in vinyl's inferiority).


And that vulnerability to 'damage' (pops, tics, scratches, wear) is a huge deal for some of us.  Add to that, extended bass; pitch stability; lack of inherent surface noise; excellent channel separation; immunity to position-dependent playback errors (e.g., mistracking near the label).

Quote
As Arny has often said, the surprising thing about vinyl is that it can sound OK, despite measuring terribly.


I would say that lot of modern pop can sound very enjoyable too, despite being horrifying to audio purists.  That should not be surprising...it has EVER BEEN THUS.
Title: CD masters rejected for vinyl production
Post by: Arnold B. Krueger on 2013-03-01 20:27:38
And you know what?  There are *other* audible parameters that might matter as much or more than dynamic range -- parameters in which even the 'crap' CDs that overwhelm us today, perform better than LPs.

This obsession with DR as the be-all of audio quality is starting to annoy the bejebus out of me.


The two common orthogonal parameters of a channel whether analog or digital are linear and nonlinear distortion. There can be as many pairs of orthogonal parameters as you wish to invent, but these two seem to make the most sense. Dynamic range seems to correspond best to nonlinear distortion. It does not seem to be linear.
Title: CD masters rejected for vinyl production
Post by: paul46 on 2013-03-16 20:01:17
While the "state of the art" of digital mastering is light years ahead of what it was say 10-15 years ago, the fact is the overwhelming majority of CDs released today sound like crap. And when there are two different versions of the same release, one highly compressed DR4-5 Redbook, and one DR11-12 LP, it doesn't shock me that folks want the LP and then claim vinyl sounds better than CD.


Yes, ignorance of causes and effects is not shocking, but let's not *accept it*, OK? 

And you know what?  There are *other* audible parameters that might matter as much or more than dynamic range -- parameters in which even the 'crap' CDs that overwhelm us today, perform better than LPs.

This obsession with DR as the be-all of audio quality is starting to annoy the bejebus out of me.


Digital has potential to perform better than vinyl but currently the CD format is 16 bit by 44.1 kHz which allows for only sixty five thousand different volume levels.  A vinyl record has limited volume variations based on the master recording which is usually 24 bit by 196 kHz with millions of volume variations.  Someone needs to bring that kind of quality to the consumer and then vinyl would be surpassed.
Title: CD masters rejected for vinyl production
Post by: db1989 on 2013-03-16 20:19:05
Except no, because you blatantly have no understanding of digital-to-analogue conversion and the relevant aspects of human hearing. Would you like to go away and educate yourself and come back to this discussion later, or shall we just bin it now?
Title: CD masters rejected for vinyl production
Post by: LithosZA on 2013-03-16 20:20:28
Quote
Digital has potential to perform better than vinyl but currently the CD format is 16 bit by 44.1 kHz which allows for only sixty five thousand different volume levels. A vinyl record has limited volume variations based on the master recording which is usually 24 bit by 196 kHz with millions of volume variations. Someone needs to bring that kind of quality to the consumer and then vinyl would be surpassed.

CD already surpasses vinyl. 24bit/196Khz doesn't make any audible difference in audio quality. 16bit/44.1Khz is enough for music unless somebody can prove otherwise.
Title: CD masters rejected for vinyl production
Post by: Porcus on 2013-03-16 21:33:39
Except no, because you blatantly have no understanding of digital-to-analogue conversion and the relevant aspects of human hearing. Would you like to go away and educate yourself and come back to this discussion later, or shall we just bin it now?


Since I am not a moderator who has to do the dirty S/N improvement filter here over and over, I generally think it is OK to be misinformed at least once.
So I suggest the former. And good a Saturday Night reading for the poster: http://people.xiph.org/~xiphmont/demo/neil-young.html (http://people.xiph.org/~xiphmont/demo/neil-young.html)
Title: CD masters rejected for vinyl production
Post by: db1989 on 2013-03-16 21:45:53
Don’t get me wrong: everyone has misconceptions, learning is great, and so on.

But it’s not easy to summon patience for people who dive in with their first post to make uninformed claims, while seemingly trying to come across as someone who knows what they’re talking about by quoting numbers but, notably, not any citations for their supposed ramifications.

Also:
Quote
A vinyl record has limited volume variations based on the master recording which is usually 24 bit by 196 kHz
I’d like sources for the claims (A) that vinyl can faithfully reproduce signals of any given dynamic and frequency ranges input into it, and (B) that masters for vinyl are “usually” sampled at 192 kHz.
Title: CD masters rejected for vinyl production
Post by: krabapple on 2013-03-16 22:42:39
Digital has potential to perform better than vinyl but currently the CD format is 16 bit by 44.1 kHz which allows for only sixty five thousand different volume levels.  A vinyl record has limited volume variations based on the master recording which is usually 24 bit by 196 kHz with millions of volume variations.  Someone needs to bring that kind of quality to the consumer and then vinyl would be surpassed.


Wrong.


Title: CD masters rejected for vinyl production
Post by: greynol on 2013-03-16 23:56:54
Quote
A vinyl record has limited volume variations based on the master recording which is usually 24 bit by 196 kHz

I’d like sources for the claims (A) that vinyl can faithfully reproduce signals of any given dynamic and frequency ranges input into it, and (B) that masters for vinyl are “usually” sampled at 192 kHz.

None will be forthcoming as (A) is simply and patently wrong.  Bit-depth dictates a signal to noise ratio and it has yet to be demonstrated that vinyl can produce a signal to noise ratio better than what 16 bits can offer, let alone 24 bits.  Silly arguments describing digital stair steps and smooth analog waves need not apply.  These are uneducated pedestrian notions that do nothing more than demonstrate a complete lack of knowledge of digital signals and analog reconstruction. With (B) I'm sure the poster pulled this out of his ass, unless 196 was a typo.  We already had this question in the thread from which this discussion was split.  But hey maybe it is usually 24/192.  Paul46, please provide some compelling evidence as to why we should believe you.
Title: CD masters rejected for vinyl production
Post by: Engelsstaub on 2013-03-17 03:44:21
I think if anyone's truly interested in the bit depths/sample rates of digital masters applied to modern vinyl, we should truly start asking the people currently involved in such production.

I'm willing to do my part and start sending some emails to the record companies I get the most vinyl from. Hopefully some others would be agreeable as well. I'm not of mind to make contributions and expend my time and efforts if nobody else cares or just wants to argue and say "prove it," "that's just you," this is too genre-specific," or whatever. I know for a fact that Century Media accommodates (with seeming honesty) such requests.

...might be a good academic exercise to just go ahead and figure out what's customary so everyone here (myself included) can stop insulting one another and move on with real-world evidence.

The Krisiun album (Century Media) that I presented in this thread (http://www.hydrogenaudio.org/forums/index.php?showtopic=98199) was actually recorded to analogue tape according to the parties involved in the recording process. (What I don't know is if that same tape was used to cut the vinyl...I'm guessing at some point it could have been digitized.) Also the dynamic range of the LP version is very obviously different from the CD.

...if course this has little-to-nothing to do with bit-depths and sampling frequencies, but I think it fairly demonstrates that what we think is "industry standard" could possibly be otherwise...and that such information is not that difficult to obtain.
Title: CD masters rejected for vinyl production
Post by: paul46 on 2013-03-17 04:45:42
Except no, because you blatantly have no understanding of digital-to-analogue conversion and the relevant aspects of human hearing. Would you like to go away and educate yourself and come back to this discussion later, or shall we just bin it now?


Since I am not a moderator who has to do the dirty S/N improvement filter here over and over, I generally think it is OK to be misinformed at least once.
So I suggest the former. And good a Saturday Night reading for the poster: http://people.xiph.org/~xiphmont/demo/neil-young.html (http://people.xiph.org/~xiphmont/demo/neil-young.html)


I thought compact discs are limited to around 65,000 volume variations, am I wrong? Do you remember when computers only had thousands of colors? Todays computers have millions of colors but compact discs have not progressed into millions of sound level variations! To me vinyl with all its noise still sounds more alive with its more than a million possible different volume levels.... I looked this up on wikapedia about compact disc limitations.
Title: CD masters rejected for vinyl production
Post by: greynol on 2013-03-17 05:25:38
I thought compact discs are limited to around 65,000 volume variations, am I wrong?

No, you are not wrong (on this point), though the number is 65,536.

Do you remember when computers only had thousands of colors?

I remember when computers had far less than that.

Todays computers have millions of colors but compact discs have not progressed into millions of sound level variations!

At first I was going to say this comparison was rather silly, but perhaps you might consider how many levels of intensity there are for any given color.  This is what would be analogous to a "sound level variation".  But sure, let's go down your path of counting colors.  Now you're specifically talking about discrete frequencies.  The frequency response of discrete time signals is limited to half the sample rate and is capable of capturing any frequency from DC to this upper bound.  With digital audio frequency is not discretely quantized like a computer's color palette.

To me vinyl with all its noise still sounds more alive with its more than a million possible different volume levels.... I looked this up on wikapedia about compact disc limitations.

As you were already told, the error resulting from quantized levels manifests itself as noise.  For CD, this noise is less than what is present when playing back vinyl.

Regarding the "more alive" comment, please keep these types of useless (and most likely baseless) placebo-driven terms to yourself m'kay?
Title: CD masters rejected for vinyl production
Post by: greynol on 2013-03-17 05:37:51
real-world evidence

Here's some:
http://www.hydrogenaudio.org/forums/index....st&p=825852 (http://www.hydrogenaudio.org/forums/index.php?s=&showtopic=99623&view=findpost&p=825852)
Title: CD masters rejected for vinyl production
Post by: Engelsstaub on 2013-03-17 06:44:39
real-world evidence

Here's some:
http://www.hydrogenaudio.org/forums/index....st&p=825852 (http://www.hydrogenaudio.org/forums/index.php?s=&showtopic=99623&view=findpost&p=825852)


...and that should be taken into consideration as a worthwhile and informative contribution as well. (I obviously didn't bother reading it the first time for previously stated "reasons.")

Century Media was forthcoming that Voivod's newest album "Target Earth" was cut from the same master as the CD. I got this through a reviewer who inquired for me and in whom I trust. (As a result I bought the CD instead of waiting for the costlier and more pressing error-prone vinyl release.) I also hear other "professionals" (I know, it's hard to prove credentials on the 'net where everyone's a Google-expert) state that it is most common to work with 24-bit files.

Whether "it matters" or not is relevant too  and I admit I've been mistaken and misunderstood that in the past. I just think it would be fun to challenge this "it happens all the time" stuff that gets thrown around like it's fact. Slightly OT: this sort of thing reminds me of the oft-repeated and accepted line "vinyl masters cost money and most artists/studios won't go to the expense" and "it would state on the record as a big deal if it was mastered differently." None of my very obvious examples, including the Woods of Ypres one you even admitted, has such a sticker or indication. In fact, I have three copies of that album (and the CD) and one is still in the shrink-wrap I could submit as photographic proof. I'm know they sometimes advertise the vinyl that way, but none of my LPs were promoted as such.

Like I said: I'll cover some metal labels like Earache, CM, etc. I think we'd have better luck getting responses from labels that aren't too big, but any similar enthusiasm/effort sans the usual confrontation (I accept that I am at least equally guilty) would be welcome IMO.

In the interest of fairness I am aware of certain vinyl within the metal genre that was cut from lossy encodes as well.
Title: CD masters rejected for vinyl production
Post by: greynol on 2013-03-17 07:02:08
Let's keep in mind that 24/96 and 24/192 is cheap and ubiquitous and has been for several years now.

This doesn't excuse the ignorant presentation of nonsense and obnoxious post icon that brought this discussion back to the top of the portal, however; nor does it excuse the TOS #8 violation.
Title: CD masters rejected for vinyl production
Post by: greynol on 2013-03-17 07:09:11
The Krisiun album (Century Media) that I presented in this thread (http://www.hydrogenaudio.org/forums/index.php?showtopic=98199) was actually recorded to analogue tape according to the parties involved in the recording process. (What I don't know is if that same tape was used to cut the vinyl...I'm guessing at some point it could have been digitized.) Also the dynamic range of the LP version is very obviously different from the CD.

Perhaps, though once again I really must call into question the mechanism that causes the difference.  The spectral content of the peaks you seem to so highly covet in the LP version of this specific title is quite ugly.  I seriously doubt they exist on the analog tape this way.  In fact I would not be the least bit surprised that the CD version is a more faithful presentation, both audibly and in the visual appearance of the waveforms.  I haven't listened yet but I have a feeling that the LP version will contain the same type of audible distortion that I revealed (http://www.hydrogenaudio.org/forums/index.php?s=&showtopic=99623&view=findpost&p=825416) the last time I auditioned a pair of your samples.
Title: CD masters rejected for vinyl production
Post by: DVDdoug on 2013-03-17 07:42:03
Quote
I thought compact discs are limited to around 65,000 volume variations, am I wrong?
You absolutely cannot hear the difference between 65,000 and 65,001.      And, that's not only because it's a small percentage change.  You cannot hear a 100% change between "1" & "2" on a CD either, because you simply cannot hear any sounds that quiet (and no-fair cranking-up the volume to the point where the rest of the CD is unlistenable.) 

Quote
To me vinyl with all its noise still sounds more alive with its more than a million possible different volume levels....
Noise is exactly the problem with your analysis.  Accepting your "resolution" of one million, let's pretend you can get a signal-to noise ratio of 60 dB.  That's 1/1000,  or 1000 out of a million, or 65 out of 65,000.  In the real world, your SNR on a good vinyl recording and a good system is probably closer to 40dB or 10 times worse!

Precision is useless without accuracy, and noise kills your accuracy.  I can easily use some multiplication and randomness to get more than one million different values out  of a CD.  My "analog" tape measure may have "infinite resolution" but my digital caliper is more accurate.

It's fine if you prefer vinyl or if it "sounds better" or "more alive" to you.  That's a matter of personal prefrence.    But that's NOT because vinyl has more resolution...  It has less, and it's technically inferior (in terms of noise, distortion, and frequency response)..
Title: CD masters rejected for vinyl production
Post by: Engelsstaub on 2013-03-17 07:53:32
...The spectral content of the peaks you seem to so highly covet in the LP version of this specific title is quite ugly.  I haven't listened yet but I have a feeling that they will contain the same type of audible distortion that I revealed (http://www.hydrogenaudio.org/forums/index.php?s=&showtopic=99623&view=findpost&p=825416) the last time I auditioned a pair of your samples.  I seriously doubt they exist on the analog tape this way.  In fact I would not be the least bit surprised that the CD version is a more faithful presentation, both audibly and in the visual appearance of the waveforms.



Not trying to backpedal but my cartridge on that was the stock OM5 that came with last-gen Debut III's. I'm actually having a friend re-record that title for me on his (impressive) set-up. It sounded (to me) pleasing and better than the CD on my home stereo and car stereo. I've been listening to some of those examples on headphones and noticing that this cart seems to be emphasizing quite a bit of treble at the seeming expense of the midrange. (I wonder how long it would have taken me to realize my cart sucks if I hadn't gotten so critical.) I don't know if that affects the peaks and distortion or not...but I guess it should be "good enough" for someone more knowledgable to get to the bottom of it.

If I remember correctly the DR Meter gave it a "12," but as David(2BDecided) fairly demonstrated in that thread, that thing can apparently be tricked as well.

As a sidenote and since there's more than one direction this thread is going at the moment: I'm in no way in agreement with anything paul46 is putting forth. I know it gets tiring to have to keep addressing the same issues like the ones he brought up, but we're all at different levels of understanding I guess. (That's more addressed to myself and my own lack of patience and generally being a dick sometimes.)
Title: CD masters rejected for vinyl production
Post by: Porcus on 2013-03-17 09:38:19
I also hear other "professionals" (I know, it's hard to prove credentials on the 'net where everyone's a Google-expert) state that it is most common to work with 24-bit files.


“work with” is something else than “distribute as”. There are good reasons to work in a 24 bits domain.

If they hae finalized the mix to a 24-bit file and feed it right into the cutter (assuming they are using one which accepts digital inputs), but for the CD dither it down to 16 bits; are they then two different masters? Technically you may argue that they are different digital files, but in reality it only amounts to adapting the same file to each format; CD by converting to 16 bits, LP by a RIAA EQ and a DAC. A very mechanical form of a DAC.
Title: CD masters rejected for vinyl production
Post by: [JAZ] on 2013-03-17 09:49:38
Isn't this the perfect example where to show Monty's "Xiph, Episode 2" (http://www.hydrogenaudio.org/forums/index.php?s=&showtopic=99681&view=findpost&p=825639) to teach someone what a digital signal actually is?
Title: CD masters rejected for vinyl production
Post by: db1989 on 2013-03-17 12:36:37
Quote
I thought compact discs are limited to around 65,000 volume variations, am I wrong?
You absolutely cannot hear the difference between 65,000 and 65,001.      And, that's not only because it's a small percentage change.  You cannot hear a 100% change between "1" & "2" on a CD either, because you simply cannot hear any sounds that quiet (and no-fair cranking-up the volume to the point where the rest of the CD is unlistenable.)
This omits something that cannot be stated enough. greynol already introduced this, but perhaps it bears a slight elaboration. Once the signal is reconstructed by the DAC (assuming it’s not abysmally made hardware), the volume will not be limited to the 65536 ‘stairsteps’, and therefore the naïve idea that the actual output signal is hopelessly constrained to 65536 steps is totally false. Asserting anything about the quality of digital based upon the unreconstructed signal is completely invalid and, again, indicates a lack of any effort to educate oneself before presenting an opinion.

Quote
It's fine if you prefer vinyl or if it "sounds better" or "more alive" to you.  That's a matter of personal prefrence.
Actually, it’s not fine if that perception is not backed up by valid testing and is presented here. There’s personal preference, and then there’s the placebo effect. We don’t want the latter. The type of personal preference that is relevant to vinyl in that sense is an acknowledgement of its limitations but nonetheless liking the unique distortions, etc. introduced by the medium. Spurious conclusions caused by expectation bias need not apply.

[quote author=[JAZ] link=msg=827694 date=1363513778]Isn't this the perfect example where to show Monty's "Xiph, Episode 2" (http://www.hydrogenaudio.org/forums/index.php?s=&showtopic=99681&view=findpost&p=825639) to teach someone what a digital signal actually is?[/quote]Porcus already linked episode 1, but sure, thanks for this. Hopefully it will put these misconceptions even further to rest, and the two of you won’t need to do any more work on paul46’s behalf. Xiph’s presentations are fantastic, so I do hope they achieve their intended purpose to educate here.
Title: CD masters rejected for vinyl production
Post by: 2Bdecided on 2013-03-19 14:52:01
This omits something that cannot be stated enough. greynol already introduced this, but perhaps it bears a slight elaboration. Once the signal is reconstructed by the DAC (assuming it’s not abysmally made hardware), the volume will not be limited to the 65536 ‘stairsteps’, and therefore the naïve idea that the actual output signal is hopelessly constrained to 65536 steps is totally false.
With a "perfect" reconstruction filter, the on-sample amplitude values are absolutely constrained to be one of those 65536 step values. We've had this discussion before...
http://www.hydrogenaudio.org/forums/index....mp;#entry790042 (http://www.hydrogenaudio.org/forums/index.php?showtopic=94113&st=25&p=790042&#entry790042)

Cheers,
David.
Title: CD masters rejected for vinyl production
Post by: greynol on 2013-03-19 15:14:44
With a "perfect" reconstruction filter, the on-sample amplitude values are absolutely constrained to be one of those 65536 step values.

Of course they are.  I don't believe anyone was suggesting otherwise; I certainly wasn't.
Title: CD masters rejected for vinyl production
Post by: db1989 on 2013-03-19 17:36:24
On-sample, yes, but not every bit of the signal; reconstructed between-sample information has no such restriction. I was trying to head off any allegation that the stair-steps seen in naïvely drawn waveforms on a screen are at all representative of what’s actually output after reconstruction.

Anyway, no one is going to be able to tell the difference between 16-bit and anything higher on input material that hasn’t been amplified or artificially designed with the express purpose of showing up the format. In this context, 65536 steps on-sample are perfectly adequate.
Title: CD masters rejected for vinyl production
Post by: 2Bdecided on 2013-03-21 10:30:13
On-sample, yes, but not every bit of the signal; reconstructed between-sample information has no such restriction.
True, it doesn't - but this fact gives you no more amplitude resolution in the original signal, and therefore no more amplitude resolution in the reconstructed output.

Perceived amplitude resolution beyond the quantisation step size is due to dither, and the way our ears work. It has absolutely nothing to do with the reconstruction filter. With an ideal amplifier and speaker, it would work equally well without a reconstruction filter.

You need the reconstruction filter to give you a nice graph to show people in a video like monty's, and to avoid ultrasonics that may have undesirable effects in real equipment - but beyond that, it makes absolutely no difference to what people hear. The ear already includes a perfectly acceptable low pass filter.

(anti-alias filtering at A>D is vital though).


Quote
I was trying to head off any allegation that the stair-steps seen in naïvely drawn waveforms on a screen are at all representative of what’s actually output after reconstruction.
In terms of amplitude resolution, it wouldn't matter if they were. You would have to low pass filter it for cutting vinyl though!

Quote
Anyway, no one is going to be able to tell the difference between 16-bit and anything higher on input material that hasn’t been amplified or artificially designed with the express purpose of showing up the format. In this context, 65536 steps on-sample are perfectly adequate.
I agree.

Cheers,
David.
Title: CD masters rejected for vinyl production
Post by: db1989 on 2013-03-21 12:39:31
On-sample, yes, but not every bit of the signal; reconstructed between-sample information has no such restriction [to 65536 evenly spaced values].
True, it doesn't - but this fact gives you no more amplitude resolution in the original signal, and therefore no more amplitude resolution in the reconstructed output.
Also true, and I didn’t mean to imply otherwise.

Thanks for the very helpful elaboration on all your other points.
Title: CD masters rejected for vinyl production
Post by: paul46 on 2013-03-24 16:19:32
Quote
Digital has potential to perform better than vinyl but currently the CD format is 16 bit by 44.1 kHz which allows for only sixty five thousand different volume levels. A vinyl record has limited volume variations based on the master recording which is usually 24 bit by 196 kHz with millions of volume variations. Someone needs to bring that kind of quality to the consumer and then vinyl would be surpassed.

CD already surpasses vinyl. 24bit/196Khz doesn't make any audible difference in audio quality. 16bit/44.1Khz is enough for music unless somebody can prove otherwise.


Isn't the audio track on blu-ray movies higher quality than CD's? Why?
Title: CD masters rejected for vinyl production
Post by: greynol on 2013-03-24 16:33:37
Not unless someone can demonstrate it in a carefully controlled, level-matched and time-synchronized double-blind test.  Even if someone can demonstrate a difference for a specific piece of audio, this does absolutely nothing, let me reiterate, absolutely nothing in lending even a modicum of credence to the notion that an audible benefit will be obtained from vinyl specifically because it was sourced from a hi-res signal.

Are you actually reading the replies or are you just putting your fingers in your ears repeating to yourself, "I'm not listening; I can't hear you!"?  There have been quite a few posts since the one you quoted.
Title: CD masters rejected for vinyl production
Post by: db1989 on 2013-03-24 17:39:43
Isn't the audio track on blu-ray movies higher quality than CD's? Why?
It will have a higher resolution. It is highly unlikely to be of audible higher quality in a comparison between properly produced Blu-ray and CDDA versions of the same master of the same material. Bigger numbers don’t mean anything for audible quality. Talk of quality is irrelevant beyond the threshold of transparency for any given combination of material and user. Once you can’t discern between a stream and its original source (e.g. master), that’s 100% quality as far as audibility is concerned, and big numbers aren’t relevant at all. Don’t be fooled into believing they are by marketing or subjective reports from highly impressionable users elsewhere.
Title: CD masters rejected for vinyl production
Post by: Porcus on 2013-03-24 23:44:16
Isn't the audio track on blu-ray movies higher quality than CD's? Why?
It will have a higher resolution. It is highly unlikely to be of audible higher quality in a comparison between properly produced Blu-ray and CDDA versions of the same master of the same material.


It need not even have higher resolution? Blu-ray is supposed to have a 640 kb/s AC3, and it need not have any other audio stream?
Title: CD masters rejected for vinyl production
Post by: paul46 on 2013-03-25 02:44:05
Isn't the audio track on blu-ray movies higher quality than CD's? Why?
It will have a higher resolution. It is highly unlikely to be of audible higher quality in a comparison between properly produced Blu-ray and CDDA versions of the same master of the same material.


It need not even have higher resolution? Blu-ray is supposed to have a 640 kb/s AC3, and it need not have any other audio stream?


I watched Prometheus on Blu-Ray with audio going to my receiver with HDMI cable.  The audio track on this movie is DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1, I don't know how many kb/s it is but Wikipedia says DTS-HD Master Audio is lossless audio that is 24.5 Mbit/s and is capable of 8 channels with either 48kHz or 96kHz and 16 or 24 bit sample or six channels of audio with 192kHz and 16 bit or 24 bit sample.
Title: CD masters rejected for vinyl production
Post by: greynol on 2013-03-25 03:39:11
Lest we forget, the discussion is not about Blu-ray.
Title: CD masters rejected for vinyl production
Post by: db1989 on 2013-03-25 09:19:12
I note how you’re able to reel off another bunch of meaningless statistics but not to actually respond to what people have said about the inaccuracy of your claims that vinyl or post-CD digital media are intrinsically superior to CD in an audible sense. That’s keeping in mind the total difference between those two things, as greynol noted, which makes your conflation of them seem a bit too much like a diversionary tactic to me, as if the off-topic replies didn’t perform that role already. None of this is helping to advance your original point. Again, and as greynol has also already said before, are you going to participate in the discussion, or are you just going to keep throwing up road-blocks and hope we don’t notice?
Title: CD masters rejected for vinyl production
Post by: 2Bdecided on 2013-03-25 09:25:09
... 8 channels ... or six channels...
Yes, that can sound better than two channel CD. Or at least different.

Cheers,
David.
Title: CD masters rejected for vinyl production
Post by: paul46 on 2013-03-26 04:03:13
I note how you’re able to reel off another bunch of meaningless statistics but not to actually respond to what people have said about the inaccuracy of your claims that vinyl or post-CD digital media are intrinsically superior to CD in an audible sense. That’s keeping in mind the total difference between those two things, as greynol noted, which makes your conflation of them seem a bit too much like a diversionary tactic to me, as if the off-topic replies didn’t perform that role already. None of this is helping to advance your original point. Again, and as greynol has also already said before, are you going to participate in the discussion, or are you just going to keep throwing up road-blocks and hope we don’t notice?


I was just simply answer a question one guy had, I never said mp3's were superior to CD's.  I prefer buying used CD's on amazon and ripping them into iTunes. I do use this program called "bit perfect" that sets your computers digital out to match the bits in the song on iTunes and noticed it was setting my computer at 24 bits and 44.1 kHz for new iTunes tracks.  Can an mp3 or AAC audio file be 24 bits? This would allow more steps in the final product over 16 bit. What is a good source to find out quality of master recordings for either vinyl or CD's?
Title: CD masters rejected for vinyl production
Post by: greynol on 2013-03-26 05:29:56
What is a good source to find out quality of master recordings for either vinyl or CD's?

Why don't you tell us? I mean you must have had some basis when you posted the following:
A vinyl record has limited volume variations based on the master recording which is usually 24 bit by 196 kHz

The rest of your post was off-topic.  Any and all attempts to address it will be binned with warnings likely being issued.
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