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Dilemma - Mixing mastering results of EQ?


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but... you can't tell ME that that solo flute on a 16/44.1 CD does NOT sound good. I think it sounds GREAT, and I have very good hearing. But is the sound REAL? Of course not. It's a recording processed in a studio, touched by mastering, played thru a pre-amp, into an amp and across some wires and out of some SPEAKERS.

 

EVERY TYPE OF RECORDING - not matter how analog or digital - will go thru this so none of it will ever be "real". Everything above 16/44 will also go through all that processing too - somehow neutered at every step of the way - and is moot as long as what comes out that back end SOUNDS GREAT :)

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Here's the thing--now that we've got perfection or near perfection (non existant noise floor of cds, no anomalies like tape jams, pops or clicks of vinyl), people are moving back to the old ways. Vinyl increasing in popularity is becoming representative of an allergic reaction to all the absolutely perfect ways of listening to music. I still love cds....but I love vinyl, too. It just seems like more of an event....it takes more to prepare, costs alot more than cds (if you factor in shipping back from the pressing plant), and it makes you have to pay some attention to the medium--you can't just set it and forget it like cds, you have to flip it over, etc. But I like that....alot of the best albums like Zep's III, you were getting a different vibe, different sound when you flipped the record over.

 

My main qualm with cds, is that while you had more opportunities to make a complete recording statement from beginning to end (and much more time to develop an epic vision without double vinyl....at least without having to press double vinyl if you exceeded the 40 minute range and not worrying about sound compromise), you also lost the epic song at the end of side 2. Listen to alot of the greatest classic albums, you'll find a slower, more expansive and epic song on there, sort of like the finale to the side, the conclusion. Side 2 often gave way to a different sound. Alot of the best albums oriented bands owe alot of their success, I think, to the LP format, because it sort of emphasized those risks. Now, on cd, if you place an epic song in the middle of the album where the last song on side 1 was, it may just sound out of place.

 

MP3's are even worse, because then bands are competing for singles terrain, and the problem becomes that everything has to be everything to everyone--and as immediate as possible. Pete Townshend had to fight Daltrey and Moon for albums like "Tommy" and "Quadrophenia"....because they wanted the singles side of the band, and Townshend realized that they'd never really get the acclaim and longevity and long term respect that they were after. And what happens with an MP3 dominated world, is that you start losing development, plotlines, pacing, flow, mood. It's sort of like a movie where everything has to be {censored} blowing up just to retain one's attention, and as flashy and immediate as that is, I feel that there needs to be some plot, some character/ material development to draw one in and keep their attention with things that don't just appeal to the eyes or one prevalent sense. And MP3's are like the trailer of a film where you're getting all of the fancy big budget explosions.....but little of the real legitimate reason to really stay and watch the rest of the movie. Kind of like a Pam Anderson film....at first you're drawn in by the spectacle, but there has to be some sort of substance to it.

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everyone is right! every one of you!!

 

 

Yep, a flute sounds good. never said it didn't!

lol... all i'm sayin is if you take a look at the higher frequencies by zooming in, they don't look like they ought to, and hence don't quite sound as nice as they possibly could.

 

That's it, i'm finished :D

 

man.. it's a tough one though

 

 

btw; weeman, some audio programs will not show you what's actually in there to such a detail that the logic editor does. You can zoom in to actually see sample points themselves, which is what those pictures are all about (except the sound forge one, which doesn't really show all that much)

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Recording has not reach its pinacle. Niether has playback. It won;t reach that level until a recording sounds exactly the same as the sound that was captured.

 

We are a long long way from that. I think when bandwidth hits 2ghz and 64 bits we would be getting pretty close.

 

Oddly I find this discussion oddly mising the most important part of bandwidth that is disticnt in human hearing. The more instruments we add to a give rate of sampling the more detail we loose.

 

For instance a solo flute sounds great. Now add a flute quartet with a solo and we simply loose the bandwidth to truly capture the beauty of the flute quartet and the Solo. We can hear this easily if we record and listen and playback the same things.

 

There are always looses. The job is far from done. I seriously think we are looking at potentially 10x the bandwidth today to truly capture a 5 piece rock band.

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If audio quality is still advancing, then why did we backslide into 160kbps iTunes MP3s? That "advancement" was a giant step backward quality wise. Sure, it's easier to market - like fast food - but it is also all that is required meaning even the meager 16/44.1 is overkill to get the music out sounding "Good enough". So reaching 16GHZ is really just for fun... and wasting space :)

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come on man, do you honestly think 160kbps MP3 quality is really 'all that is required'?? DVD audio quality obviously sounds better, and in 10 years time there will be something that sounds even better. Sure 160kbps can be used, but so can 80 and even less, problem is the lower you go the worse it sounds! obviously, the higher you go the better it'll sound. If I have had a TB of spare HDD spare then I wouldn't worry if my MP3 takes 10MB as opposed to 3MB, as long as the quality is there I'm happy. Are you really happy, and always will be, with 160kbps MP3s?

 

Maybe some people have more trouble than others distinguishing between levels and minute things pertaining to quality, but many others can. When mixing a song you don't nudge the channel faders up or down 3dB at a time because that's what some person says 'the ear's ability to distinguish' is! Sometimes I go up or down something like 0.3dB and that makes all the difference to me. I'm not superman or anything, but I can definitely hear it!

 

 

To answer your question, I'm betting a lot of it has to do with download speed, and reducing uploads from iTunes itself. They make it cheaper on themselves but having less to upload each time someone wants something, plus less storage space required for them. Quicker for the customer to download, and at an acceptable quality for everyone. If you go listen to a 96KHz or higher master of a recording before it gets downsampled to 44, you'd think wtf are these guys doing still working with CDs, but we all know the answer to that don't we

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Personally, I've never joined or downloaded anything from iTunes, probably never will. :)

 

I'm saying 95% of the music buying public doesn't notice the diff from 160kbps VS 24/96k and probably never will. And doesn't care. TO ME, that says music production has peaked.... we got it down enough now... we covered 20-20k, and now people only need up 16k according to iTune sales. [iTunes has upped everything to non DRM 256k I read recently]

 

FWIW I'm on the quality side of thought and only arguing the counterpoint to keep it interesting :D

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come on man, do you honestly think 160kbps MP3 quality is really 'all that is required'?? DVD audio quality obviously sounds better, and in 10 years time there will be something that sounds even better. Sure 160kbps can be used, but so can 80 and even less, problem is the lower you go the worse it sounds! obviously, the higher you go the better it'll sound. If I have had a TB of spare HDD spare then I wouldn't worry if my MP3 takes 10MB as opposed to 3MB, as long as the quality is there I'm happy. Are you really happy, and always will be, with 160kbps MP3s?


Maybe some people have more trouble than others distinguishing between levels and minute things pertaining to quality, but many others can. When mixing a song you don't nudge the channel faders up or down 3dB at a time because that's what some person says 'the ear's ability to distinguish' is! Sometimes I go up or down something like 0.3dB and that makes all the difference to me. I'm not superman or anything, but I can definitely hear it!



To answer your question, I'm betting a lot of it has to do with download speed, and reducing uploads from iTunes itself. They make it cheaper on themselves but having less to upload each time someone wants something, plus less storage space required for them. Quicker for the customer to download, and at an acceptable quality for everyone. If you go listen to a 96KHz or higher master of a recording before it gets downsampled to 44, you'd think wtf are these guys doing still working with CDs, but we all know the answer to that don't we

 

 

I don't like to be defeatist, but a large portion of audiences don't really care that much about the optimization of sound. Look at all the people that cram as many 128 or 160 KBPS sound files into their harddrive or IPod, because they can fit more of them in there. 320 KBPS takes up more than double the memory and download times.

 

It's frustrated me for a long time, but also consider this: alot of people listen to music on crappy earbuds or boomboxes with small speakers that can't reproduce the sub 250 Hz lows.

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FWIW I'm on the quality side of thought and only arguing the counterpoint to keep it interesting
:D

 

argh.. not to mention pissing me off!! :mad: phew.. sorry man, I gotta relax

 

Yeah, you guys are completely right though

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argh.. not to mention pissing me off!!
:mad:
phew.. sorry man, I gotta relax


Yeah, you guys are completely right though

 

 

WHAT? I COULDN'T HEAR YOU WITH MY 96kbps DI.FM STREAMING AUDIO IN MY EARS!!! :D

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If audio quality is still advancing, then why did we backslide into 160kbps iTunes MP3s?

 

 

Because the public continually chooses convenience (portability) over fidelity.

 

This is why there was a "back slide" to cassettes instead of vinyl or reel-to-reel.

 

Also, recording technology continually slowly ramp up in quality. Many would argue that we've taken a step back in terms of clarity and depth in going from multi-tracking on analog to multi-tracking on digital, with the greatest amount of clarity peaking in the late '80s to mid-'90s.

 

If we continue down the digital path, which is rather likely, then yes, we've got a long ways to go to improve overall overall clarity, depth, and fidelity.

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