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Question about vinyl rip frequencies range.

(Note I have already posted this topic at Steve Hoffman's forum, but since it's waiting for a mod's approval, and since I registered here aswell, here it goes).

Hi there:) New here. This is Cristian from Argentina (OOPArgentina as username).
I need input from someone with enough knowledge about this matter. Would any of you be able to help?
The matter is: a friend of mine got and digitized (three times already) a Laura Branigan Test Pressing LP (that was recorded between 1980 & 1981, and was rejected by the Atlantic Records). Many people seem to be right about the fact that one 5 copies of it were pressed, and only one of them has the seal on the envelope saying "Rejected". Now... being this rare, we Branigan admires want to get the best quality out of it. The vinyl is warped in a section but no skips were detected, although the "almost skips" on each round during that vinyl's portion playback can be "heard", by putting more weight on the needle's tornarm's end we got rid of that almost "silent" part on each groove's round whenever the needle would go through the warped part. That's particularly noticed on side 1, not side 2.
Now... I've been digitizing vinyls records since many years now and I'm pretty sure at this point I digitized over 1000 records by now (I'm 48 years old). I have never (ever) saw a vinyl's freq. range (tested with Spek or Audition or any other software) that gets cut at 14kHz like my friend is sending me. On the other hand, he's run some tests with other vinyls, and capturing at 48kHz, 24bit seem to produce normal, regular 20-22 kHz marks. BUT, this record in particular has the following range:
Whole record (Spek):



First track of the record:



I work with a Stanton T55 USB, original cartridge.

I'm gonna ask him which turntable & stylus he's using, although as I said before, that wouldn't be the problem, since other records's rips he's sent me have the normal freq. range. It draw my attention the fact that an old rip of the same TP's in mp3 format at 192kbps have their freq. range reach 18kHz.

The questions are (cause he's checked all the settings already and found nothing rare):

Is this vinyl's recording already limited to that range and nothing can be done about it?
Is there a chance something in the equipment or config is wrong in conjuction with this particular vinyl's recording?
Could these old mp3 files have had their frequencies, by some process, have been modified and for that reason they have a larger frequencies range?
Here are a couple of those mp3s Spek reports:





He's got the record, I don't. I'm kind of the man in the middle between him and this forum lol. I only have his rips (he lives in the US, I live in Argentina - He's been lent this record. He's got to return it to its owner at some point).
BTW, here's the release (and he was the one uploading the scans recently):

Laura Branigan's first solo album (unreleased - rejected by recording company)

Any help on this will be much appreciated!
Best regards everyone!


Cristian


Re: Question about vinyl rip frequencies range.

Reply #1
Let us know what they say on the Hoffman forum (or give us a link once it's approved).

There are lots of intentional and unintentional ways to limit frequency response, but it does look like "brick wall" filtering which would probably be intentional, or maybe a sample-rate limit.    (There is some high frequency "information" but it may be vinyl noise & distortion.)

We can rule-out MP3 in 1981.   I did some quick searching and it looks like the early Sony digital studio tape recorders had a sample rate of at least 44.1kHz so if it was professionally recorded we can probably rule-out "early digital recording" too.

Re: Question about vinyl rip frequencies range.

Reply #2
https://forums.stevehoffman.tv/threads/question-about-vinyl-rip-frequencies-range.916122/

That's the post at Steve Hoffman's. My latest answers (three) are waiting for moderation. Thanks so much for your input :))))))) I'm considering there might have made 2 different TPs, as many Branigan fans have heard a 9-tracks TP exists, which includes the song "When", which was released as the B-side of "Looking out for number one". Unless someone who has the record and can confirm this, it's just a theory for the time being.

Re: Question about vinyl rip frequencies range.

Reply #3
From your post on the Hoffman forum:
Quote
Yes he's sent me the untouched wav, raw format. There I posted the freq. range according to Spek. It was me who saw that his raw wav file, which sounds amazing compared to my old mp3 files, have its freq. cut at 14kHz while the mp3 files I have that sound like s**t have their freq. reach 18kHz. I simply don't get it.
First of all, it's not  valid to compare different recordings, and of course there's more to sound quality than frequency response  like noise and distortion (as well as the quality & style of the performance, and the mix & production which can't be "measured").

I'm sure a good-quality MP3 made from this "amazing" WAV file will also sound "amazing", and it will might sound identical to the WAV in a proper blind blind ABX listening test listening test. ;)

If you hear MP3 compression artifacts, especially with a high-quality MP3,  it's usually not the loss of high frequencies that you notice.     Even if you can hear up to 20kHz with strong test-tones in a hearing test, your ears are less-sensitive at the highest frequencies and the high-frequency content in normal music/program material is low compared to mid-frequencies so in the context of music those higher frequencies are usually masked (drowned out) by other sounds.   This is how MP3 (and other perceptual CODECs) works.  It tries to throw-away sounds that are masked by other sounds.   (MP3 is usually tuned/tweaked to filter-out everything over about 16kHz before even checking to see if there's anything to drown-out the higher frequencies.)   

Re: Question about vinyl rip frequencies range.

Reply #4
From your post on the Hoffman forum:
Quote
Yes he's sent me the untouched wav, raw format. There I posted the freq. range according to Spek. It was me who saw that his raw wav file, which sounds amazing compared to my old mp3 files, have its freq. cut at 14kHz while the mp3 files I have that sound like s**t have their freq. reach 18kHz. I simply don't get it.
First of all, it's not  valid to compare different recordings, and of course there's more to sound quality than frequency response  like noise and distortion (as well as the quality & style of the performance, and the mix & production which can't be "measured").

I'm sure a good-quality MP3 made from this "amazing" WAV file will also sound "amazing", and it will might sound identical to the WAV in a proper blind blind ABX listening test listening test. ;)

If you hear MP3 compression artifacts, especially with a high-quality MP3,  it's usually not the loss of high frequencies that you notice.     Even if you can hear up to 20kHz with strong test-tones in a hearing test, your ears are less-sensitive at the highest frequencies and the high-frequency content in normal music/program material is low compared to mid-frequencies so in the context of music those higher frequencies are usually masked (drowned out) by other sounds.   This is how MP3 (and other perceptual CODECs) works.  It tries to throw-away sounds that are masked by other sounds.   (MP3 is usually tuned/tweaked to filter-out everything over about 16kHz before even checking to see if there's anything to drown-out the higher frequencies.)   
Thanks so much for your input:))))))))) Yes, I absolutely get what you mean. Still, I need to know if it's somehow "normal" for a vinyl rip to look like this one (frequencies cut at 14kHz). Cause it makes no sense that an old mp3 (supposedly ripped at the time from another copy of this TP) has, even compressed at 192kbps, a wider frequencies range than the newly rip, which has been made from the original record straight to lossless format (in this case, wav, 48kHz, 24bit). So again, is normal that a vinyl (a TP actually, which I've been told that for some reason its very thin in comparison to a regular commercially released LP of the same year) has its frequencies cut like you can see in the above image, at 14kHz.

Re: Question about vinyl rip frequencies range.

Reply #5
Be careful with the information you get at the Hoffman forum. Any information you get will not be subject to scrutiny. Requesting objective means to substantiate the veracity of claims are forbidden by their rules.  Furthermore, you risk being subjugated and maligned if you don’t drink their groupthink coolaid.
Is 24-bit/192kHz good enough for your lo-fi vinyl, or do you need 32/384?

Re: Question about vinyl rip frequencies range.

Reply #6
Be careful with the information you get at the Hoffman forum. Any information you get will not be subject to scrutiny. Requesting objective means to substantiate the veracity of claims are forbidden by their rules.  Furthermore, you risk being subjugated and maligned if you don’t drink their groupthink coolaid.

Truly? Wow! Well, thanks for letting me know:))))))))))
Hopefully, then, I'll have some help here. I truly need help on this from experts.
Thanks so much again!

Re: Question about vinyl rip frequencies range.

Reply #7
Quote
I need to know if it's somehow "normal" for a vinyl rip to look like this one (frequencies cut at 14kHz).
Well...  You said you've digitized 1000 records and you haven't seen that before.

A lot of older recordings from before the disco era (before the late 70's) sound a little "dull" to me (rolled-off highs) but I haven't done any kind of analysis and it would surprise me if they had a sharp cut-off like that.      And, you're saying it doesn't actually sound bad.
 
There are lots of "links in the chain" so it's impossible to know what was done.   Do you know anything about the recording?   ...Maybe it was a "home studio recording" and this was done to reduce tape hiss.   Maybe something else in the analog home-recording chain or maybe something done cheaply in the "test pressing"?

Re: Question about vinyl rip frequencies range.

Reply #8
I’d just go with the best sounding version you can get your hands on. If it appears to not warrant the amount of data then convert it down (samplerate/bitreduction or lossy compression) but not so far as to result in *audible* degradation as determined by an ABX test. Enjoy it and the move along
Is 24-bit/192kHz good enough for your lo-fi vinyl, or do you need 32/384?

Re: Question about vinyl rip frequencies range.

Reply #9
Quote
I need to know if it's somehow "normal" for a vinyl rip to look like this one (frequencies cut at 14kHz).
Well...  You said you've digitized 1000 records and you haven't seen that before.

A lot of older recordings from before the disco era (before the late 70's) sound a little "dull" to me (rolled-off highs) but I haven't done any kind of analysis and it would surprise me if they had a sharp cut-off like that.      And, you're saying it doesn't actually sound bad.
 
There are lots of "links in the chain" so it's impossible to know what was done.   Do you know anything about the recording?   ...Maybe it was a "home studio recording" and this was done to reduce tape hiss.   Maybe something else in the analog home-recording chain or maybe something done cheaply in the "test pressing"?

Thanks so much for your input!
Yes, I actually did digitized that amount of records and never saw an example like this one. However, I have read articles & notes about this album being recorded (Billboard Magazine), with Ahmet Ertegun (Head of Atlantic Records in the US) mentioning this album being produced and released soon (1981, one year before the release of her first solo album ever commercially released, Branigan, which included her hit "Gloria"). So I'm positive this isn't a home recording. She was under contract with Atlantic Records since 1979 when she was signed towards the end of that year after she was seen at this special she tapes in Germany:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y7DJL2lQapQ

Anyway, yes, it sounds amazing to my ears. It's just I'm about the "remaster" it, something that will take some time and work, not using automatic filters at all. And I don't want to do such job if a regular frequencies range copy of this album exists. At this point I'm sure there is not a config problem in the middle. The record itself it recorded that way. I've been sent a whole set of high quality pictures of it. It doesn't seem to be a bootleg vinyl either. I've been told though it is much thinner than regular vinyl records. I don't know... In any case, this record is all we have and if it's true only 5 copies were pressed, we're lucky enough to have this, and I'll end up remastering this test pressing's rip. The 14kHz thing seemed absolutely strange to me and wanted to know if this had happened to someone else with some other record.

Re: Question about vinyl rip frequencies range.

Reply #10
I’d just go with the best sounding version you can get your hands on. If it appears to not warrant the amount of data then convert it down (samplerate/bitreduction or lossy compression) but not so far as to result in *audible* degradation as determined by an ABX test. Enjoy it and the move along
Cool advice:) Thank you so much :))))))))

Re: Question about vinyl rip frequencies range.

Reply #11
Sure thing!

I just want to be sure that you don’t think I’m necessarily suggesting that you reduce the size of the files. Some of us (at least I have) tend to get hung up on the “if you don’t hear it then it doesn’t matter” point of view. It should just come down to what makes you happy.

As far as the rules around here, you just have to adequately prove of claims of audible differences.  There are exceptions when things are obvious such as the sound of speakers or headphones, or when audio is derived from different sources.
Is 24-bit/192kHz good enough for your lo-fi vinyl, or do you need 32/384?

 

Re: Question about vinyl rip frequencies range.

Reply #12
Sure thing!

I just want to be sure that you don’t think I’m necessarily suggesting that you reduce the size of the files. Some of us (at least I have) tend to get hung up on the “if you don’t hear it then it doesn’t matter” point of view. It should just come down to what makes you happy.

As far as the rules around here, you just have to adequately prove of claims of audible differences.  There are exceptions when things are obvious such as the sound of speakers or headphones, or when audio is derived from different sources.
Get it:) Absolutely understood. Guess I was looking for further info on this particular case since I'm about to invest a long time on making this record's rip as best quality as possible. I guess to hear it sound great is not enough for me. I mean, I expected to reach the regular standards I'm used to see. I didn't expect its frequencies range to be like "shrinked", regardless of how great it sounds, in particular in comparison with the old mp3 files, which sound awful and even have many skips (even a lost verse lol in one song).
In any way, lossless is the way to go for me, no matter I can't distinguish between a lossless and a lossy file. Cause this is not only about my hearing experience. We plan on sharing with with other Branigan fans, so other people's ear will experience hearing this record too.
Thanks so much again. If any other input come along I'll gladly read it. You're always learning and it's cool to do it from people that actually know stuff like this. Google doesn't have the answer to everything, lol :)

 
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