Hi Res Audio Confusion

Page 2 - Seeking answers? Join the What HiFi community: the world's leading independent guide to buying and owning hi-fi and home entertainment products.
I don't really have any way of getting some kind of equalisation into my system.....the superuniti runs off a nas and my pc is located in another room (I don't keep it powered 24/7).So what you hear is what you get....my frightened rabbits albums must be some of the worst recorded albums I own.
 

andyjm

New member
Jul 20, 2012
15
3
0
Visit site
Gray said:
Might get that DR checker into my Foobar. Though during that long speech, the man from the recording industry questioned the accuracy of DR testers. He seemed to be saying that some (or all?) of the checkers include the (variable length) start silence and fade-outs of tracks, which affects the score. (You'd sort of hope they'd start and stop tight on the music, in which case there wouldn't be a problem)

Who knows? At least, by using the same checker to compare all files, there should still be a meaningful comparison between them (If not a consistency between different DR testers!)

The Foobar DR checker does not produce a 'dynamic range' number that an engineer would recognise. Engineering 'dynamic range' would be the ratio of the loudest sound to the quietest, which doesn't really capture the listener experience very well. If I recall correctly, Foobar DR compares average sound level with peak, using a sliding time window for comparison. This avoids the lead-in and music gap issue mentioned above.

The DR number from Foobar is NOT dynamic range in dB, but it is a useful comparison number. So listening to a track with a higher DR number will sound as if it has more dynamic range than a track with a lower DR number. As pointed out above, it is also useful to compare different mixes of the same track to see if DR has changed.

DR numbers produced by different alogorithms are NOT comparable.
 
D

Deleted member 108165

Guest
Agreed that the Foobar DR meter isn't super accurate but it does give a meaningful score for my personal use, basically predicting where the volume dial should be for certain recordings to sound their best. It also seems to form the backbone of the many submissions to the DR Database.

I've given up with remasters, I now look for originals or re-issues instead.

Gray, take a look at the DR Database for my favourite artist, most of the entries there have been submitted by me. It's interesting; you can see more detail regarding the submission by clicking on the album title where a blue i icon is against the entry.
 
D

Deleted member 108165

Guest
All very interesting lpv. What annoys me is with the superiority of todays recording electronics over those used say 40 years ago, why do they have to destroy what they have created by brickwalling in todays market. Some older recordings do sound dire but I guess we have to allow for recording techniques and kit available back then, you can't make a silk purse out of a sows ear. But why then do we have accept that it is okay for them to make a sows ear out of a silk purse.

Interesting vid that I'm sure most of you have seen: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3Gmex_4hreQ
 

davedotco

New member
Apr 24, 2013
20
1
0
Visit site
DougK said:
All very interesting lpv. What annoys me is with the superiority of todays recording electronics over those used say 40 years ago, why do they have to destroy what they have created by brickwalling in todays market. Some older recordings do sound dire but I guess we have to allow for recording techniques and kit available back then, you can't make a silk purse out of a sows ear. But why then do we have accept that it is okay for them to make a sows ear out of a silk purse.

Interesting vid that I'm sure most of you have seen: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3Gmex_4hreQ

This kind of rubbish should be rejected and not listened too, simple as that. It's your choice.

Personally I do not find the lack of dynamic range in modern pop music that big of an issue, it's pretty much par for the course. What I find really objectional is when the music is driven into overload, which in a digital system means 'squaring off' the peaks.

This produces a sound, a certain kind of distortion that is common across a wide range of modern pop releases. The moment I hear it I switch it off, no ifs, no buts. It is not worth wasting my time on it.
 
MajorFubar said:
DougK said:
Brothers In Arms, I've got it on: mp3, hi-res...

Now that should be a laugh, it was only recorded at 16/44.1 to start with. Talk about a complete marketing gimmick to ensnare the gullible and naive... (no personal offence intended of course).
But the SACD sounds much better than the CD. If that is purely down to mastering, fair enough.

What I would like to hear though, is the studio 16/44 file against the released CD 16/44 file.
 
Gazzip said:
Exactly my thoughts. The CD Red Book parameters for 16/44 are a reference standard. It strikes me that no demonstrable standard exists for hi-res, so the foo merchants can merrily work away in the hi-res realm unchecked. Add to that the fact that nobody seems to really know what a DAC actually does to the dignal when it upsamples etc., I think my money is staying in my pocket.
If 16/44 supposedly holds all the delights our ears can apparently appreciate, surely 16/44 IS hi-res to our ears?
 

cheeseboy

New member
Jul 17, 2012
245
1
0
Visit site
davidf said:
But the SACD sounds much better than the CD. If that is purely down to mastering, fair enough.

https://www.discogs.com/Dire-Straits-Brothers-In-Arms/master/23684

looks like the SACD is remastered - so yes, a different master.
 

MajorFubar

New member
Mar 3, 2010
690
7
0
Visit site
davidf said:
But the SACD sounds much better than the CD. If that is purely down to mastering, fair enough.

What I would like to hear though, is the studio 16/44 file against the released CD 16/44 file.

Never underestimate how much a great remastering-job can appear to bring out more life, width, depth, clarity, definition (etc) even though theoretically no remaster can give you something that wasn't there to start with.

'BIA' is another one of those seminal albums like 'Rumours' that's had more different masterings than I've had hot dinners. I'd wager that my original 1985 John Dent master (matrix ending 02) is probably as direct a digital clone of the original 16/44.1 master-tape as you're ever going to get, yet it's not necessarily everyone's favourite-sounding master. There's even a 30 page thread on the Steve Hoffman forum about the various Dire Straits masters, and the verdict is many people prefer the later re-issues. Also, it's interesting to note that some versions (even some of the early versions, by Bob Ludwig) have the channels reversed.

However the one thing no remaster of 'BIA' will ever be is true 'hi res' (though I'm a 100% firm believer that we don't need a master to be higher than 16/44.1 in any case).
 

cheeseboy

New member
Jul 17, 2012
245
1
0
Visit site
Gray said:
What about if a remix was part of the remaster? As well as tweaking eq, they could decide to bring up individual channel levels (even some that weren't there on the original master, in which case you would be getting something that wasn't there to start with)

That would of course be fundamentally changing the track - but who's stopping them? Do they only do this on tracks officially labelled as remixes do you think?

remastering works in 2 (l + r) channels, where as a remix would go back to the original mulitrack to do what you say. But no, unless it's specified as a remix, then the remastering wouldn't be able to do what you say.
 

Gray

Well-known member
MajorFubar said:
davidf said:
But the SACD sounds much better than the CD. If that is purely down to mastering, fair enough.

What I would like to hear though, is the studio 16/44 file against the released CD 16/44 file.

Never underestimate how much a great remastering-job can appear to bring out more life, width, depth, clarity, definition (etc) even though theoretically no remaster can give you something that wasn't there to start with.

What about if a remix was part of the remaster? As well as tweaking eq, they could decide to bring up individual channel levels (even some that weren't there at all on the original master, in which case you would be getting (or losing) something that wasn't (or was) there to start with!)

That would of course be fundamentally changing the track - but who's stopping them? Do they only do this on tracks officially labelled as remixes do you think?
 

Native_bon

Well-known member
Nov 26, 2008
181
4
18,595
Visit site
lpv said:
https://people.xiph.org/~xiphmont/demo/neil-young.html
Been mentioned lots of times by myself here nothing new. 24bits helps with headroom when mixing and mastering. This is one of the most genuine no nonsense article I've read for a while. Nice one Ipv.

Most 24bit sold are just better mastered versions, as having SQ advantages over 16bit.
 

lpv

New member
Mar 14, 2013
47
0
0
Visit site
davidf said:
Gazzip said:
Exactly my thoughts. The CD Red Book parameters for 16/44 are a reference standard. It strikes me that no demonstrable standard exists for hi-res, so the foo merchants can merrily work away in the hi-res realm unchecked. Add to that the fact that nobody seems to really know what a DAC actually does to the dignal when it upsamples etc., I think my money is staying in my pocket.
If 16/44 supposedly holds all the delights our ears can apparently appreciate, surely 16/44 IS hi-res to our ears?

this is unnecessary complication..

cd quality is all we need. period.
 

BigH

Well-known member
Dec 29, 2012
113
7
18,595
Visit site
Gray said:
MajorFubar said:
davidf said:
But the SACD sounds much better than the CD. If that is purely down to mastering, fair enough.

What I would like to hear though, is the studio 16/44 file against the released CD 16/44 file.

Never underestimate how much a great remastering-job can appear to bring out more life, width, depth, clarity, definition (etc) even though theoretically no remaster can give you something that wasn't there to start with.

What about if a remix was part of the remaster? As well as tweaking eq, they could decide to bring up individual channel levels (even some that weren't there at all on the original master, in which case you would be getting (or losing) something that wasn't (or was) there to start with!)

That would of course be fundamentally changing the track - but who's stopping them? Do they only do this on tracks officially labelled as remixes do you think?

Yes they have remixed some albums with some mixed results, the Doors were one group that had that done to some albums which resulted in an outcry from many, I thought they were awful probably because I was familiar with the the originals. I don't think there was any warnings on those albums about remixing, they just were called 40th anniversary editions.
 

MajorFubar

New member
Mar 3, 2010
690
7
0
Visit site
Gray said:
What about if a remix was part of the remaster? As well as tweaking eq, they could decide to bring up individual channel levels (even some that weren't there at all on the original master, in which case you would be getting (or losing) something that wasn't (or was) there to start with!)

That would of course be fundamentally changing the track - but who's stopping them? Do they only do this on tracks officially labelled as remixes do you think?

As Cheeseboy stated, generally that would be classed as a remix. But there are grey areas (pun unintended).

A high-profile example was the 2007 version of Oxygene by Jean-Michel Jarre, labelled 'New Master Recording'. It coincided with Jarre's move from Francis Dreyfus Music to EMI, and FDM's refusal to let Jarre take publishing rights with him. Jarre created a new version of Oxygene, touted as 'the original score re-recorded and mixed by Jean Michel Jarre'. I'm not sure if it was available anywhere to purchase, but it was distributed for free to Mail On Sunday readers on CD in 2008. I picked up a copy, and to my ears it was very clear it was definitely not truly re-recorded (i.e. from new recording sessions), but it was clearly a new mix, presumably from the original multitracks.

This important detail definitely did not escape the attention of FDM who said it intended to sue both EMI and Mail On Sunday based on the claim that the contents of the CD was from the original master, though it wasn't, and here's the grey area: what constitues a master in legal terms? I'm not exactly sure how that eventually panned out, but it would appear that the only version of Oxygene you can purchase new today is the Dreyfus version, so presumably it did not go well.
 

Gray

Well-known member
BigH said:
Gray said:
MajorFubar said:
davidf said:
But the SACD sounds much better than the CD. If that is purely down to mastering, fair enough.

What I would like to hear though, is the studio 16/44 file against the released CD 16/44 file.

Never underestimate how much a great remastering-job can appear to bring out more life, width, depth, clarity, definition (etc) even though theoretically no remaster can give you something that wasn't there to start with.

What about if a remix was part of the remaster? As well as tweaking eq, they could decide to bring up individual channel levels (even some that weren't there at all on the original master, in which case you would be getting (or losing) something that wasn't (or was) there to start with!)

That would of course be fundamentally changing the track - but who's stopping them? Do they only do this on tracks officially labelled as remixes do you think?

Yes they have remixed some albums with some mixed results, the Doors were one group that had that done to some albums which resulted in an outcry from many, I thought they were awful probably because I was familiar with the the originals. I don't think there was any warnings on those albums about remixing, they just were called 40th anniversary editions.

Yes, I have my doubts whether the distinction has always been made as clear as it needs to be.

You'd like to think that any band would get the final approval on such remixes.
 

Gray

Well-known member
MajorFubar said:
Gray said:
What about if a remix was part of the remaster? As well as tweaking eq, they could decide to bring up individual channel levels (even some that weren't there at all on the original master, in which case you would be getting (or losing) something that wasn't (or was) there to start with!)

That would of course be fundamentally changing the track - but who's stopping them? Do they only do this on tracks officially labelled as remixes do you think?

As Cheeseboy stated, generally that would be classed as a remix. But there are grey areas (pun unintended).

A high-profile example was the 2007 version of Oxygene by Jean-Michel Jarre, labelled 'New Master Recording'. It coincided with Jarre's move from Francis Dreyfus Music to EMI, and FDM's refusal to let Jarre take publishing rights with him. Jarre created a new version of Oxygene, touted as 'the original score re-recorded and mixed by Jean Michel Jarre'. I'm not sure if it was available anywhere to purchase, but it was distributed for free to Mail On Sunday readers on CD in 2008. I picked up a copy, and to my ears it was very clear it was definitely not truly re-recorded (i.e. from new recording sessions), but it was clearly a new mix, presumably from the original multitracks.

This important detail definitely did not escape the attention of FDM who said it intended to sue both EMI and Mail On Sunday based on the claim that the contents of the CD was from the original master, though it wasn't, and here's the grey area: what constitues a master in legal terms? I'm not exactly sure how that eventually panned out, but it would appear that the only version of Oxygene you can purchase new today is the Dreyfus version, so presumably it did not go well.

Your remix may be valuable Major, loads of those freebies would have been binned - along with the ones, 'Re-recorded by one or more members of the original group' - always the cheap ones we avoid buying in shops.

Yes, it's all about knowing what you're buying. Which brings us back to 'hi-res' and companies thriving on the fact that people don't.
 

BigH

Well-known member
Dec 29, 2012
113
7
18,595
Visit site
davidf said:
cheeseboy said:
davidf said:
But the SACD sounds much better than the CD. If that is purely down to mastering, fair enough.

https://www.discogs.com/Dire-Straits-Brothers-In-Arms/master/23684

looks like the SACD is remastered - so yes, a different master.
Even so, if SACD attracts better masters, I'm all for that, and would buy SACD if possible.

Yes but then the SACD masters are often used in subsequent cd releases. In tests very few people can differentiate between 24 bit and 16 bit. From sites like Hoffman, sacd masters are not always better. Quite surprisingly sacd are often more compressed than some of the cd versions, see Steely Dan for example.
 

davedotco

New member
Apr 24, 2013
20
1
0
Visit site
BigH said:
Gray said:
MajorFubar said:
davidf said:
But the SACD sounds much better than the CD. If that is purely down to mastering, fair enough.

What I would like to hear though, is the studio 16/44 file against the released CD 16/44 file.

Never underestimate how much a great remastering-job can appear to bring out more life, width, depth, clarity, definition (etc) even though theoretically no remaster can give you something that wasn't there to start with.

What about if a remix was part of the remaster? As well as tweaking eq, they could decide to bring up individual channel levels (even some that weren't there at all on the original master, in which case you would be getting (or losing) something that wasn't (or was) there to start with!)

That would of course be fundamentally changing the track - but who's stopping them? Do they only do this on tracks officially labelled as remixes do you think?

Yes they have remixed some albums with some mixed results, the Doors were one group that had that done to some albums which resulted in an outcry from many, I thought they were awful probably because I was familiar with the the originals. I don't think there was any warnings on those albums about remixing, they just were called 40th anniversary editions.

If anyone wants to see what differences this kind of 'tampering' has on a recording, you can easily compare the 'original' recording (already remastered for CD) with the new 50th Aniversary Delux edition.

Both of the first two Doors albums, 'The Doors' and 'Strange Days' are on Spotify, in both versions.

The differences are not subtle, try them and see what you think.
 
Q

QuestForThe13thNote

Guest
I wouldn’t get caught up in this Gazzip, just go with what sounds best to you, or ignore Bw
 
davedotco said:
If anyone wants to see what differences this kind of 'tampering' has on a recording, you can easily compare the 'original' recording (already remastered for CD) with the new 50th Aniversary Delux edition.

Both of the first two Doors albums, 'The Doors' and 'Strange Days' are on Spotify, in both versions.

The differences are not subtle, try them and see what you think.
TIDAL MQA too.
 

MajorFubar

New member
Mar 3, 2010
690
7
0
Visit site
Gray said:
Your remix may be valuable Major, loads of those freebies would have been binned - along with the ones, 'Re-recorded by one or more members of the original group' - always the cheap ones we avoid buying in shops.

Yes, it's all about knowing what you're buying. Which brings us back to 'hi-res' and companies thriving on the fact that people don't.

No sign of that just yet. I've come to the conclusion over the years that it was a shrewd move by EMI / Jarre, intended really just to reduce the value of the publishing rights that Francis Dreyfus Records insisted on retaining after Jarre's move to EMI: distribute 2 million copies of the new master recording for free, no-one will ever want to buy the old one new again...

Publishing rights and copyright laws are weird beasts. During the 1980s there was a slew of releases by the Shadows featuring newly recorded versions of their classic tracks from the 50s - 70s. Often plugged as 'Superb re-recordings of classic Shadows anthems, many in true stereo for the first time!!", the real reason for doing it was they'd moved from EMI Records to Polydor, and EMI wouldn't give them access to any of their old recordings neither literally nor figuratively, so everything had to be re-recorded to give them the right to perform it / distribute it.
 

TRENDING THREADS