Jump to content
IGNORED

Article: And The Winner Is …


Recommended Posts

It's unfortunate we aren't the winners. I would think regardless of the urge to support Beck's mastering decisions there are many people that are disappointed. I am. It's not as if there isn't the iTunes mastering option available. Just don't put that on the CD.

Link to post
Share on other sites
there is also a 16/44 lossless version on Qobuz. :)

Morning Phase | Beck*– Télécharger et écouter l'album

 

Yep and it sounds as good as needs to for me - this isn't classical or jazz or raw blues recorded down to two track tape in 1956, this is modern, much processed, multi-tracked and well fiddled with pop, it has probably worked its way through thousands of circuits in hardware and software before it had reverb added and goodness knows what else to get just the sound required by the producer - well maybe that's a bit over the top but you know what I mean!! ;-)

Tim.

Qobuz -> Auralic Aries Mini -> Chord Mojo DAC -> Heed Obelisk SI -> Mark Audio Pluvia 11 Custom Built  Mass Loaded Transmission Line Speakers

Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for the in-depth review Chris...and for all the input from your readers.

 

I came across the HDtracks version via a friend and it's truly terrible sounding.

 

Even the cat got up and left...utter dreck it is.

 

Does anyone know where or whom to complain to? Of course in a professional manner.

 

Something has to change. I'd be pissed if I paid for this poor quality.

 

I gladly pay for well recorded and mastered music...but feel ripped off paying for ear bud or subway listening style recordings.

 

Anyone know who to write to?

BattleScarze,

 

More is only better when less is no good!

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 3 weeks later...

Great piece. Measurements and analysis. However I disagree with the following statement:

 

"The fact that four of the five versions of Morning Phase are majorly dynamically compressed is just one of those things we as consumers have to accept."

 

No we don't. Nothing forces me to buy it. In fact not buying is the best way to signal to the producers and publishers that consumers do not have to accept it. The funniest part is Beck on Neil Young's pro-Pono youtube video extolling the virtues of the added dynamic range and detail of 24/192. I guess, it also goes to show how little artistic decision making the artist actually gets to make.

Link to post
Share on other sites
Great piece. Measurements and analysis. However I disagree with the following statement:

 

"The fact that four of the five versions of Morning Phase are majorly dynamically compressed is just one of those things we as consumers have to accept."

 

No we don't. Nothing forces me to buy it. In fact not buying is the best way to signal to the producers and publishers that consumers do not have to accept it. The funniest part is Beck on Neil Young's pro-Pono youtube video extolling the virtues of the added dynamic range and detail of 24/192. I guess, it also goes to show how little artistic decision making the artist actually gets to make.

You have to accept it although you don't have to buy it. Sure you can stick to your guns but think about all the good music you'll have to avoid. You can attempt to prove a point to the labels but my guess is it will be more painful for you than them.

Founder of Audiophile Style

Announcing The Audiophile Style Podcast

Link to post
Share on other sites
You have to accept it although you don't have to buy it. Sure you can stick to your guns but think about all the good music you'll have to avoid. You can attempt to prove a point to the labels but my guess is it will be more painful for you than them.

 

Well said...

 

As a full-time mastering engineer, I have this irrational desire to eat and shelter myself...crazy, I know and it leads to doing things to masters that I'd rather not do (on many of them). However, some music is very intentionally loud, distorted or otherwise sonically idiosyncratic..that's the artist's choice and I support that, too. That's called living in the paradox of life, not being an asshole that doesn't care about music (far from it...) and just crushing everything because I can. My job is to help artists realize their vision.

 

Regarding the loudness war:

 

It's been going on for many, many, years and 'blossomed' when the necessary tools became *widely* available. If those tools were available in the 1950's they would have been used as much then as they are now.

 

It affects all kinds of musical genres, including classical.

 

It is not directly related to the need to reduce the dynamic range of music to fit in either a specific medium (vinyl, tape) or in a specific playback environment (automobile, iPod, etc.). It is related to a human 'failing' that louder = better. At least that was the radio station programme director's point of view across the world...the louder record would win the coveted place in the radio station's playlist and money would be made...pretty simple.

 

I suppose the other human 'failing' is the competitive nature of business...the idea that my recording/magazine/product/whatever must be louder/more saturated than the next in order that it stand out and be chosen (so I can eat/survive and all that.)

 

Yes, of course, it's now totally out of hand...I'd love to see way less of this, myself, but guess what? Now it's part of the artistic presentation by the artists themselves and since I get to do this work because they exist, I'm not going to tell them how to make their art.

 

Clipping is seen as a valid method of raising the level of masters and again, it's in service of the artist's / producer's request. Masters can sound better when this method is used, as it doesn't have some of the limiter artifacts that might otherwise be on a master. So, the clipping master may sound better than the alternative you'll never hear outside of the mastering studio, even if it measures worse. I use other methods to achieve the required RMS levels but I'm no angel if need be.

 

'Mastered for iTunes' offers some sensible hope because of Apple's requirements that there be no clipped samples in the AAC file. This is not the same as the clipping mentioned above, rather it's about the clipping that can occur during a conversion to a lossy format. At least there are some guidelines here and given a good-sounding source, the 'MFiT' versions are a serious improvement over lossy formats where no such care is taken.

 

The trouble with the MFiT approach is that it will only really work if 'SoundCheck' is turned on by default in iTunes...that little switch will level the playing field (sorry about the pun) and provide a clearer picture of the differences between very crushed and even moderately-limited mixes and masters.

 

Many decisions and compromises to be made but as others have already said, I'll take dirty art over pristine muzak, any day...stick to your guns but do come over once in a while and listen to something new...

 

In case you wanted to know: The world I live in spans from Ray Kimber's IsoMike SA-CDs to heavy bands like City of Fire and a recent fav: The excellent (and dirty...) 'Nine O'Clock Gun' album by the Dave Philips Band.

 

Sorry for the long post...I got a little fed up with the finger-pointing ;->

 

Graemme

zen mastering

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now


×
×
  • Create New...