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Opeth's music has fallen victim to the Loudness War

Discussion in 'Opeth (Archived)' started by Seance, Aug 3, 2007.

  1. Jester-Race

    Jester-Race Member

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    Who gives a fucking shit about a cd being louder than something else? What a bunch of motherfuckin' crybabies, bring on the noise goddamnit. A few extra decibel levels doesn't hurt shit but your ears, pussies.

    what i mean to say is....



    BIG FUCKING DEAL.
     
  2. el_serpiente

    el_serpiente Member

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    The cd was not recorded but ripped, meaning that the discussion about red marks or other modifications that you think I made makes no sense. You could also look at the waveform in the first post.

    And I do use my ears and I think that I can hear a difference between the CD and the LP and I like the sound from the LP better.
     
  3. Ermz

    Ermz ¯\(°_o)/¯

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    A good way to compare those two waveforms would be to take the CD waveform and reduce the gain until it appears to be sitting roughly at the same spot as the LP waveform. This way your visual interpretation isn't marred by the non-linear scale of the volume readings in the software.

    As soundave said, there appears to be a greater gap between peaks and troughs on the CD version, and this is likely due to the scaling of the waveform view when level approaches 0dBFS.
     
  4. el_serpiente

    el_serpiente Member

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    It does appear as if the scale (the y-axis) is linear. It also appears as if the level between 'quiet' and 'loud' is almost the same, except that it is cut off on the cd.

    Anyway the cutting is not as bad as i would have expected.
     
  5. soundave

    soundave Member

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    It has everything to do with it. I'm not saying his wasn't a good post, or that I don't appreciate seeing the waveforms. His post has helped further this discussion, which I think is the best we've had on this topic, tbh. What I'm saying is, and it goes back to the post right before the one you're questioning here, is that music is meant to be HEARD. And that since a lot of folks can't differentiate the subtleties of sound quality, the waveforms become the ONLY way for them to distinguish the differences they're arguing about. And since people don't (or shouldn't) watch waveforms scroll across the screen as their means of appreciating music, what the waveforms look like shouldn't matter.

    The bottom line is that I don't think there's much difference at all in the waveforms he displayed. I think what we're seeing is that CD players have hotter outputs than turntables (duh). The key is that with Compressed audio, the differences between peaks and troughs appear to be less, and ALL the waveforms would appear to be of a similar height, and pretty loud. In this instance, there is still a difference. It's just louder. And I think it's the component, not the media.
     
  6. soundave

    soundave Member

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    On point one: Okay. Like I said, I'm not familiar with the program (is it Audacity?). It just looks to me like you clipped on playback at some point. That's what those red marks typically mean.

    On point two: I didn't mean to imply that you didn't, and I'm sorry if you took it that way. :) I'm just saying that what matters most is what we hear. You prefer the vinyl, and that's cool. I'm just sick of people who can't appreciate the differences in sound quality making a big stink about something they can only see.
     
  7. Ermz

    Ermz ¯\(°_o)/¯

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    If that were the case, the CD version would be much more dynamic.

    Look at the waveforms again. Look at how many pixels separate the level drop from the loud parts to quiet section in the middle of the song. On the CD waveform there appears to be a larger gap... since it's very unlikely that the CD would be more dynamic than the LP, that scale has to be non-linear.
     
  8. biggsy

    biggsy New Metal Member

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    i know jack shit about said topic, but i thought id drop in with a quick congrats. enjoying reading guys. proceed.
     
  9. el_serpiente

    el_serpiente Member

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    You are correct. To be able to compare in a good way I need to record the cd at the same "volume" as the LP. I don't know if I have the time to do this.
     
  10. el_serpiente

    el_serpiente Member

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    1. I actually think the read marks are there because I made a playback of the sone before I made the picture.

    2. I actually agree on this. It is the ear that decides if it is good not the eyes or the price of the equipment.

    I can hear a difference in a blind test I actually made one to be sure. I had my gf change between the LP and the CD and I told what sounded the best. It is difficult to know if it is my equipment or if there actually is a difference. As you can see on the pictures I posted there is a difference. The question is if it is the wavecutting I can hear or just a difference in equipment, I don't know.
     
  11. wankerness

    wankerness Member

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    fixed
     
  12. soundave

    soundave Member

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    1. Right. That's what I figured. Clipped on playback.

    2. Glad you agree, and that you didn't take offense. I didn't mean to be a dick about it. That's not my way. I understand why Seance took my comment personally, being the OP and all. This is the best thread on this topic thus far, and I wouldn't want to derail it. BTW, welcome to the forum, El Serp! :)


    Edit: All this mastering talk has me thinking:do you all remember when Maiden released "A Matter of Life and Death" and announced that it wouldn't be mastered at all? There was a bit of an uproar amongst fans. Harry always felt like mastering drastically changed the sound they worked so hard to capture in the studio. Kevin Shirley's comment was, iirc, if it's not as loud as your other CD's, you'll just have to turn up your stereo. This is a drastic example (as I think that most people talking about the "loudness war" are not suggesting skipping mastering altogether), but it's interesting to hear what an absence of mastering sounds like on a professional release...
     
  13. roadtonowhere08

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    RE LP vs. CD rips:

    Here is a more zoomed in version of my TGC CDrip:

    [​IMG]

    By the nature of Opeth's music, it will be very dynamic (to their credit), but this mastering actually takes away from the overall dynamics. I will bet a large sum of money that if the digital masters were not permanently altered to be like this, they will be MUCH more dynamic in terms of overall headroom for the peaks than what is on the retail product. For the record, not one second of this song is clipped, it is all dynamically compressed. I presume the entire album is clip free digitally, as all of of the peaks are digitally attenuated.

    The LP rip from el_serpiente was not maximized in volume. I am assuming he just set the recording volume to something a bit low and spun the record. If he adjusted the volume so that the highest peak on the album (or each side of the album) hit something close to 0db, it would be a more easy to distinguish comparison. As for the CD, zooming all the way out of an entire song will make things look worse than they really are, but if you were to look at a few MFSL, DCC, and Mastersound CDs, the wavforms look nothing like that. Rather, they look more like the LP rip, even though it is a bit of a quiet rip.

    I think that, in general, taking a look at wavforms should serve as a way to either prove or disprove whether someone is hearing possible clipping or compression. It should not take the place of actually listening to the music.
     
  14. biggsy

    biggsy New Metal Member

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    please go listen to hellyeah.
     
  15. Seance

    Seance Still Writes in Crayon

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    That is where my interest in this topic comes from, though. There's a lot of contemporary albums with production that sounds quite "bad" to me. Ghost Reveries, Deliverance, RUUN, Isa, Sigh's new album, PT's stuff, etc., etc., the list goes on.

    I knew that much, but I didn't know why. Then, I learned about this issue. All those albums meet criteria. That is the order it happened. I don't think anyone is blindly looking for albums to point out and ridicule just because an article told them to, and that's the vibe some people in this thread are putting off, including you with the comment I sort've snapped back at you about. No need to look further than Mr. Niel's dumbass comment in the middle of page 3 for a clear example.
     
  16. Ermz

    Ermz ¯\(°_o)/¯

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    I'll make sure he doesn't link us to Bob Katz again. I mean, heck, who wants to hear what one of the most world-renowned mastering engineers around has to say on the topic.
     
  17. el_serpiente

    el_serpiente Member

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    Correct, I pluged the RIAA directly in to the computer. It is not easy for me to make a better recordign because I have to move my Stereo form the living room to my office (where my computer is) and I am really busy at the moment changing the interior of my house. Perhaps someone else can make a recording of the LP.
     
  18. roadtonowhere08

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    Your recording is fine. It is a bit low, but as long as you have an amp that gives no noise when cranked, it does not matter. Theoretically, a low volume recording might raise the noise floor because of an amp introducing noise at higher volumes, but if you cannot hear any on very quiet passages in the music, don't bother re-recording and enjoy.

    If you want to raise the volume digitally, you can only if you recorded it at 24 or 32 bits. Then you could raise the volume so that the loudest peak gets close to 0db, then you could leave it or mix it to 16 bits. The higher bitrate ensures that you can raise the volume in quiet passages without loosing fidelity or the noise floor.

    If you recorded it in 16 bits, leave it as is and have fun.
     
  19. opeth fan

    opeth fan Member

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    Stereo form,wave forms, what about thought forms?
     
  20. wankerness

    wankerness Member

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    this post brought to you by the power of weed
     

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