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John Dyson

DolbyA decoding feedback -- 'feral' examples (yes/no)

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I took a bit of advice -- trying to see if people might agree about the possibility (I say probablility -- give opinons).

Sometimes the decoding can sound okay, likewise sometimes undecoded (with EQ) can sound okay.

 

Things to look for:  HF compression improvement, Stereo depth/ambiance (fullness)

Problems with DolbyA decoding:  choosing the correct calibration and corrective EQ.  I tried to do my best on the examples.

Problems with decoding unencoded material:  serious surging.  really/dead highend (sometimes), but crazy/extreme sibilance.

Problem with undecoded:  sometimes hiss, sometimes a little strident high end, HF compression

 

I am using slightly long snippets (still under 1 minute), if I get complaints -- I can shorten them or segment them if needed.

They are mp3, but the Dropbox player sometimes gives 'phasing' sounds -- I make them mp3 for quick online evaluation, flac available if desired.

 

First example, Bread -- Audio Fidelity AFZ5 197

This album is in question.  This is a *difficult* choice!!!  I don't even know for sure.

I have also included the 'before' decoding.

 

https://www.dropbox.com/sh/fopp4ll0ua6hrue/AABm-3EVloApEihtnBV29rf9a?dl=0

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Got another example -- Nat King Cole...

Audio Productions Remaster -- 2011

Issues same as before -- esp listen for hiss here.

 

Listen for the compression on the choral vocal on 'Orange Colored Sky' -- compressed, but when decoded -- more 'natural' and louder.

 

https://www.dropbox.com/sh/vm7iuupm3n4vee4/AABGvkN7DZLxGkq2QAdY_rB1a?dl=0

 

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Thanks! Are you saying these Audio Fidelity and Analogue Productions masterings sound like they used undecoded Dolby A tapes as their sources? That can't be the case with the Nat King Cole, can it? Apologies if I'm misunderstanding.

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2 hours ago, John Dyson said:

Got another example -- Nat King Cole...

Audio Productions Remaster -- 2011

Issues same as before -- esp listen for hiss here.

 

Listen for the compression on the choral vocal on 'Orange Colored Sky' -- compressed, but when decoded -- more 'natural' and louder.

 

https://www.dropbox.com/sh/vm7iuupm3n4vee4/AABGvkN7DZLxGkq2QAdY_rB1a?dl=0

 

Hi John

 A word of warning. You should ask Chris to edit the link out and only provide it on PM request.

 Too many views of this from just merely curious visitors will result in Dropbox shutting it down, perhaps even your account due to bandwidth used being excessive .

 Kind Regards

Alex

 


"If you can't hear the difference between an original CD and a copy of your CD,

you might as well give up your career as a tester. The difference between a reconstituted FLAC and full size WAV is much less than that, but it does exist. - Cookie Marenco"

 

PROFILE UPDATED 18-06-2019

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Okay, I just tried the Bread, Baby I'm a Want You ... sorry, I prefer the originals, the before - the character of the track is part of the artistry of what was created, and John's processing has dulled the "specialness" of the Bread 'sound' - unlike many, I enjoy the sparkle and lift of well reproduced treble; and therefore don't feel a need to make it go away ... :).


Frank

 

http://artofaudioconjuring.blogspot.com/

 

 

Ahhh, Mankind ... Porsche intellect, Trabant emotions ...

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2 hours ago, tmtomh said:

Thanks! Are you saying these Audio Fidelity and Analogue Productions masterings sound like they used undecoded Dolby A tapes as their sources? That can't be the case with the Nat King Cole, can it? Apologies if I'm misunderstanding.

For the Nat King Cole -- look at the hiss for example.  It is too great for those examples -- the tape wasn't that bad back then.  Also, look at the increased hiss vs. frequency above 10kHz on a spectogram -- that is typical of DolbyA encoding.

So yes, the 'original' versions are likely (not 100%) DolbyA encoded.

I'll answer another comment below -- but I might have gotten the compensating EQ a little off --  that is one of the problems with Feral DolbyA.

 

* 1/2" 3trk had lots of tape moving under the heads.  Not like 16-32track later on.

 

John

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1 hour ago, fas42 said:

unlike many, I enjoy the sparkle and lift of well reproduced treble; and therefore don't feel a need to make it go away ... :)

 

 But , you are using just a laptop to listen to these, are you not ?


"If you can't hear the difference between an original CD and a copy of your CD,

you might as well give up your career as a tester. The difference between a reconstituted FLAC and full size WAV is much less than that, but it does exist. - Cookie Marenco"

 

PROFILE UPDATED 18-06-2019

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1 hour ago, fas42 said:

Okay, I just tried the Bread, Baby I'm a Want You ... sorry, I prefer the originals, the before - the character of the track is part of the artistry of what was created, and John's processing has dulled the "specialness" of the Bread 'sound' - unlike many, I enjoy the sparkle and lift of well reproduced treble; and therefore don't feel a need to make it go away ... :).

I remember playing the orignal Bread vinyl many years ago -- I remember a lush kind of sound, not a bright one.

 

For stereo image -- listen carefully -- I am a little surprised that the discontinuous sense of forward (L+R)  and back (LR+RR) in the stereo image on the original isn't obvious.  If you listen to the ambiance on the decoded copy -- especially near the beginning - hear that the sound between the forward and parallel (I mean L+R and the sensation of LR + RR) is continuous.   That flat or odd stereo image on the original, where there is a LF + RF and only a parallel stereo image -- nothing in between.

 

Likewise, the noise veil on Bread on the original is two strong -- listening to the sound, it wasn't a heavy mixdown (like Nat King Cole was on a full 3trk, not multi-track) so the hiss should not be that great.)

 

But, you are welcome to disagree -- I am still not 100% sure, but there are too many defects in the original for my taste.   It is VERY possible that I got the compensating EQ wrong also -- they usually seem to use -3dB at 3k for pop, and it might have needed a bit more (like a +6 instead of +3 compensation.

 

John

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14 minutes ago, sandyk said:

 

 But , you are using just a laptop to listen to these, are you not ?

 

To carefully compare, one would need headphones on this material -- headphones that someone is really used to listening on.  Or, an extremely image-stable listening room with good (I mean damned good) speakers.  This is NOT an easy thing to do, and I am providing the *most difficult* possible examples to compare.  Maybe it is self-destructive, but I believe that showing the most 'on the edge' examples might illustrate my plight, and the fact is that there are 100's of additional examples that are infinitely more obvious that DolbyA has leaked.

 

I am producing a different run of the Bread examples, but with a different EQ.  It does sound more bright, it takes about 5 minutes to do a run of snippets.

 

John

 

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New decode attempts -- the brightness is closer to the original, but now the stereo image is where I expect it to be (more continuous, rather than discrete forward and side (or rear -- depending on listening environment)) but the undecoded version has a stark stereo image.

 

The hard thing with this stuff -- getting the right mix between the calibration and the EQ -- because they almost always (not every time though) apply at least a -3dB at 3k EQ -- fools people into thinking that it is okay.  However, stereo image (and sometimes noise spectrum) is the clincher.


Look for the '-V2.mp3' files for the new decodes with new configuration.  It might be more tolerable -- not sure.

https://www.dropbox.com/sh/fopp4ll0ua6hrue/AABm-3EVloApEihtnBV29rf9a?dl=0

 

John

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3 hours ago, tmtomh said:

Thanks! Are you saying these Audio Fidelity and Analogue Productions masterings sound like they used undecoded Dolby A tapes as their sources? That can't be the case with the Nat King Cole, can it? Apologies if I'm misunderstanding.

Yes -- there are enough 'tells' in the sound that the probability of not being decoded is high.  I have other cases where there is NO CONTEST.

 

Okay -- the Bread example has better brightness.  The stereo image should seem improved. (uploaded a V2 version.)

I think that the Nat King Cole with the better noise characteristics is set where it should be.

 

John

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Okay -- no more tries on Bread -- till we get more discussion...   I have tried one more V3 version.

Normally, the sequence for correction is [email protected], [email protected] and last, +5dB at 3kHz.  This is BEFORE decoding.

Sometimes, like on ABBA they used a Q of 1.0 instead of 0.707 (yes, it is critical.)

It almost never helps to do an EQ of 9kHz before decoding, and I think that when I need to do that -- I have made a calibration error.

On all examples, I did NO post decoding EQ -- this is RAW RAW RAW results.

If one was to do any post decoding EQ, it might be [email protected]/Q=0.707 -- to compensate for the (lack of) vinyl cutting behavior.

 

There is the default, a V2 and a V3 decode.  After listening again -- I think that the V2 decode is a bit better.   The V3 seems to have an uneven 'crispness', but V2 seems to be more intense, but more even crispness.

As my recording engineers friends say -- you NEVER know what the masteringing has done.

 

https://www.dropbox.com/sh/fopp4ll0ua6hrue/AABm-3EVloApEihtnBV29rf9a?dl=0

 

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Okay -- I lied about not working on Bread -- I created a -V4.mp3 version.

This is really difficult because the mastering person had messed around with the recording (EQ to hide the DolbyA, probably other EQ that I don't know about, I don't know the calibration, so need to guess by listening.)

 

My project partner warned me about the rather large variation in DolbyA unit behavior -- and I heard something in the V2 decode (the other good one) that allowed me to make an adjustment (they were using a DolbyA unit with a calibration offset of about 0.75dB for the 9kHz band.)   I created a new -V4.mp3 version that REALLY sounds better.  The vocals are more clean sounding.

 

This is one of the troubles with the DolbyA setup -- esp the DHNRDS with the extreme clarity.  An old DolbyA would have fogged over these differences (the detail would have been lost).    HD Carpenters version is coming some time today.

 

(The purpose of this is NOT to get people to do their own decodes -- IT IS DIFFICULT/TRICKY -- but to get the distributors to do the right thing!!!)

 

https://www.dropbox.com/sh/fopp4ll0ua6hrue/AABm-3EVloApEihtnBV29rf9a?dl=0

John

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7 hours ago, Doak said:

Finally got around to listening to the Bread snippets - Wow!!!

IMO this is probably the most important thing I have seen on this site as far as increasing sound quality.

Thanks for chasing this, John. 

Now I need to get to your more recent posts .

 

Thank you, and guess what -- I just found a pair of quality improvements the decoder (the DHNRDS DA), so the results are being re-run probably tomorrow night.    I am in the midst of the verification testing, and will pass the decoder to Richard tomorrow for his testing.  These are 2nd order issues -- but the fixes/improvements do help the sound, and make the decoder much easier to use.  There haven't been any changes for about 1.5months -- that is REALLY a long stability period for anything that I work on (tweak tweak tweak.)

 

At that point, I will be freed up to do some (IMO) much improved decoding -- it embarasses me about the actual improvement coming up -- I wish that I would have caught the issues before.    The sibilance is much better, and the ambiance should be more smooth yet (nothing about attack/release or anything like that -- but it is a phasing thing intended to cancel distortion, but it caused more problems than helped.)


Thanks again -- The DHNRDS DA decoder itself and the fact that DolbyA is leaking are BOTH important to me.  The DHNRDS notwithstanding ,I think that the DolbyA being leaked should be important to ALL of us.   I know that everyone understands this:  I can make mistakes on any one example, but doing 'mastering' isn't really the purpose of this discussion.  Even though the demos might be entertaining -- and I am willing to decode 'favorite songs' for people offline, my purpose here is to wake music listeners/lovers up to the *possibiity* of feral DolbyA.

 

As mentioned before, for decoding ones own collection, I am happy to make copies of the DHNRDS DA with a timeout of maybe 2 months to play with.  I am not into selling the software -- not my thing, and if there wasn't a professional side of the project, I'd probably just give the decoder away.  Also, the DHNRDS is NOT fun to use (tedious, irritating, ibuprofen&tylenol are necessary medications when using it.)

 

The promised Carpenters comparison will appear when the updated demos/comparisons (more convincing) are uploaded tomorrow.

I do accept and take criticism VERY seriously, but also happy when the program/results are criticized -- it actually HELPS me.   I adore posiitive feedback, but I appreciate/respect constructive criticism.

 

I want people who participate to ENJOY this exercise.  It is like 'detective' work :-).

 

John

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Right, just has a listen to V5, of Baby I'm-a Want You ... sorry, doesn't work, at least for my laptop playback - I find I get a build up of a sense of distortion in the sound; there's a loss of sweetness, compared to the before - if I was listening to the full song I would probably stop play before the end, because I'm getting irritated.


Frank

 

http://artofaudioconjuring.blogspot.com/

 

 

Ahhh, Mankind ... Porsche intellect, Trabant emotions ...

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The problem with 'Bread' worried me so much that I just ran another decoding pass ahead of schedule  -- with new DHNRDS V0.9.7C  version in testing.  I think that the problems will be mostly resolved.  The phase twists are gone, so that makes the sibilance more stable.   (Again, the phase twists were a result of very old, legacy code -- like over 1yr old.)  I am glad that they have been fixed, because this has been vexing me for the last few months.  I am NOT claiming perfection -- but with these results, they seem much closer to what I had been hearing on other material.

 

The '01 Make it with you' seems to have some odd dynamics.  I don't think that it is wrong, just a bit confusing.

 

Also included .flac files for the snippets.  Playing .mp3 through Dropbox can be misleading, so since a person might do a download for more precise listening, might as well get the best possible quality, right?  On this material, there is actually a very noticeable mprovement of .flac over .mp3.   Normally, .flac and .mp3 sound almost indistinguishable to me (other than the lack of timing resolution) -- this does sound different.  I used lame '--preset insane -q 0' for the .mp3 encoding.

 

If you feel that you need entire pieces to evaluate, contact me directly and we can make arrangements.

Carpenters and the rest of the previous decode updates will be coming tonight.  I did this early because of people being misled by my mistake/bug.

 

Noting again -- this is not intended to be a demo about the DHNRDS DA decoder, instead it is attempt to demonstrate leaks of DolbyA material.  However, further constructive criticism about the DA is VERY welcome.

 

Constructive criticism really helps me...  I GREATLY appreciate and respect the criticism so far!!!

 

Thanks SO VERY MUCH!!!

 

https://www.dropbox.com/sh/fopp4ll0ua6hrue/AABm-3EVloApEihtnBV29rf9a?dl=0

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Hey John,

 

Of course I like to have a constructive contribution here. But well, if telling it is all over wrong is that, then hopefully it is ... that.

Raining on your parade ... (but it hopefully helps anyway) ...

 

I listened to the Bread's V6 FLAC (only those). I don't know where you took that from, but there is no dynamics to be seen anywhere.

Oh, good for others would be to tell what the "original album" is. There is of course nothing original about that to begin with -  it is this "The Best of" :

image.png.ea0e34d454bb38b87c01bce32f62cfd9.png

 

The balance is all over wrong or strange. It is processed (OK, it is, but it shows).

 

Gives me the creeps, no matter how short the tracks. It is just wrong. Sorry. There's also a balance thing in the dynamics itself like drum hits not being in balance of what you'd expect for them for loudness. But this includes frequency ranges as far as I can tell.

 

At the start of the 2nd track within 10 seconds my wife asked me what I had done because it sounded so cold and harsh.

 

The S'es are too profound.

You mentioned sibilance - I think I heard that profoundly in one of the tracks only (I forgot which). But sibilance in a flangering way (top end).

 

It sounds heavy and inside out (phase stuff).

 

If I heard right it draws a little to the right side (all 4 of them). If you don't recognize that, then it's me.

 

I wouldn't know what't wrong with this original (collection), but I'm sure you are hearing something.

The dealbreaker for you could be my ultra fast system (from head to tail).

 

Maybe there's some help in my recommendation that you should not put up MP3's in the first place. I mean, the fact that you thing this is comparable, speaks. I am not saying it is so much worse, but I can pick them blindly - always. What you (Dolby) do to it should not be influenced by this. But the fact that you do it anyway, makes me things that you don't hear everything yourself (matter of having the experience and references, like you yourself with Dolby, OK ?).

 

Think carefully about this all; you know I carry a warm heart for you.

Peter

 

PS: The main worry should be the LP-like dynamics. You won't get over that IMO.


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51 minutes ago, PeterSt said:

Hey John,

 

Of course I like to have a constructive contribution here. But well, if telling it is all over wrong is that, then hopefully it is ... that.

Raining on your parade ... (but it hopefully helps anyway) ...

 

I listened to the Bread's V6 FLAC (only those). I don't know where you took that from, but there is no dynamics to be seen anywhere.

Oh, good for others would be to tell what the "original album" is. There is of course nothing original about that to begin with -  it is this "The Best of" :

image.png.ea0e34d454bb38b87c01bce32f62cfd9.png

 

The balance is all over wrong or strange. It is processed (OK, it is, but it shows).

 

Gives me the creeps, no matter how short the tracks. It is just wrong. Sorry. There's also a balance thing in the dynamics itself like drum hits not being in balance of what you'd expect for them for loudness. But this includes frequency ranges as far as I can tell.

 

At the start of the 2nd track within 10 seconds my wife asked me what I had done because it sounded so cold and harsh.

 

The S'es are too profound.

You mentioned sibilance - I think I heard that profoundly in one of the tracks only (I forgot which). But sibilance in a flangering way (top end).

 

It sounds heavy and inside out (phase stuff).

 

If I heard right it draws a little to the right side (all 4 of them). If you don't recognize that, then it's me.

 

I wouldn't know what't wrong with this original (collection), but I'm sure you are hearing something.

The dealbreaker for you could be my ultra fast system (from head to tail).

 

Maybe there's some help in my recommendation that you should not put up MP3's in the first place. I mean, the fact that you thing this is comparable, speaks. I am not saying it is so much worse, but I can pick them blindly - always. What you (Dolby) do to it should not be influenced by this. But the fact that you do it anyway, makes me things that you don't hear everything yourself (matter of having the experience and references, like you yourself with Dolby, OK ?).

 

Think carefully about this all; you know I carry a warm heart for you.

Peter

 

PS: The main worry should be the LP-like dynamics. You won't get over that IMO.

 

Thanks, and I am NOT disagreeing with you (rather, I am happy with your input, but still processing the information).

 

I was going to suggest access to a few short examples, but at this point, I do know that there is a hiss/HF compression "problem" with the original, but also the decoder isn't making the material sound like it should.   Even if there is still a DolbyA imprint (there MIGHT NOT be) on the material, it might not be possible to decode because of 'mastering'.  I don't think that the DA is making mistakes itself right now -- I think that it is more of a user issue and trying to reverse engineer the 'mastering'.

 

Almost all 'feral' material needs to be corrected before decoding -- imagine if they did some expansion, what can be done?   It seems that most of the time, the mastering is just a bit of EQ -- but even simple EQ is a pain in the b*tt to compensate for.   This is the reason why the DHNRDS DA is NOT being sold to consumers (if I have troubles, what is ANYBODY, even the most expert user going to do with it?)

 

About the decoder fix:

The decoder actually has linear phase band pass filters for the audio signal (except at 74Hz) -- and there was never actually an input/output delay vs freq shift above about 200Hz, but instead the gain control was happening in different phases.   The gain control phasing issue caused some problems with certain kinds of fast transients (like sibilance that bounces all over the place.)

 

Also, the Dropbox player itself (as you mentioned about mp3) phasor-phases all over the place -- so instead of erring on the direction of convenience, I'll only upload flacs as you suggested. (WRT decoder input/output -- it has a horrendous delay -- up to about 20k samples in the slowest mode, but are all synchronized so that the input/output files have the same timing, but the delay vs. frequency is constant above about 200Hz.)

 

*  An earlier version of the decoder would clobber the SQ/QS matix information -- really embarassing -- it taught me to be much more careful about Hilbert transforms.  All of the HIlbert transforms have to be done in a very intricate way, or the results are phase-shift hell.

 

 

It looks like I am going to 'table' or give-up on the Bread example for now -- until I can get more information/data.   It isn't the most important thing in the world, and I'll put up a more complete caveat when I put-up the Carpenters examples.  I have a very long story to mention about the evil in the Carpenters material...  And then, I cry when I hear the horrid processing against the sibilance in her vocals (all but the 1969 and 1970 album.)

 

If I did make an allegation about the Bread material not being properly decoded, but it really is -- then I apologize.  However, there is *something* wrong with it.  I am NOT a golden ears, and it is a specific kind of problem.   Maybe they used the 'Satin' decoder, which isn't really a 'decoder', but rather a 'processor?'  Something like that does kind of EQ the sound and does some kinds of expansion, but leaves the hiss intact and freq resp is way off....   SO -- again, Bread is tabled until I can get some reference material.

 

Thanks again, and I'll be more careful in the future.

 

John

 

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Good news -- I got the Carpenters example done (This is the Carpenters singles album from HDtracks.)

This should not be controversial (I don't think!?!?) :-).  I even did comparisons with the original albums -- in some ways I prefer the original albums, but the sound of this 'remastered' version has more interesting effects...  Of course, it is very sad that Karen couldn't re-record portions of the songs.

 

The compression in the 'before' examples is extremely obvious -- esp when compared with the decoded copies.

 

All examples are .flac, but I left one decoded .mp3 available (13 Please Mr Postman) for a quick listen to show that the sound quality is reasonably good.  *There is a 'phasing' sound on the mp3s when decoding directly in dropbox.*  The .flac is the ONLY accurate basis of comparison.  I really wish they had a .flac player -- the old service that I used to use DID have a .flac player, but it seems that everyone that I work with uses Dropbox, so that is what I use.

 

You should notice the thin sound, non-full stereo image of the 'before'.   The 'decoded' versions have the 'V0.9.7C' designator, should have more normal stereo image -- a better/smooth back/side to front ambiance.

 

The snippets are 0-40seconds and 55-85seconds of each song shown.

 

After several iterations, I found that the 'decoding on the cheap' was -5dB @3kHz/Q=0.707, which I undid that EQ before decoding.  This use of 3kHz EQ only is a very good thing for DolbyA, and is a reasonable cross-check that the EQ can be correct (just like the calibration of -14.30dB is a very standard level often used on DolbyA tapes.)   (-13.00, -13.40, -13.80, -14.30, -14.70, -15.00 are usual, and I have found -20.00 is sometimes used on safety masters.)  So, all of the cross checks are good.

 

About Karen's Sibilance -- in some cases, that rough sibilance is even on the original 1970s albums (I have DolbyA copies, straight, non-normalized, non-equalized), and there is little that can be done -- they actually used DolbyA in encoding mode to brighten up Karens voice!!!

 

https://www.dropbox.com/sh/hb4shl4xfwv2gs9/AAA1O1HuoAwYEGu6cjIO93ola?dl=0

 

John

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Quick comment/update about the 'sibilance' in Karen C's singing.  It really should be there.  If you listen to the 'before' (undecoded), it will appear to have less sibilance (which it DOES have less.)   However, the DolbyA decoding process is an EXPANDER.  It takes the suppressed sibiliance and rebuilds it.  This is one reason why the DA can be vulnerable to excessive sibilance even when it is working correctly -- it is a matter of calibration and EQ.  Since the EQ had been modified by the person who had partially mastered the original download material -- I had to guess at the EQ needed to undo the damage.  If my 'correction' is off by even 1/2 dB, it can make a very noticeable difference.  (The goal is that we consumers never need to do our own DolbyA decode to hear the material correctly.)

 

The question if it is really DolbyA or not -- a few of the music selections can show obviously the dynamic range compression in the recording.  If these examples were not DolbyA encoded -- the sound would really surge...  WRT the quality of my mastering -- it sucks.  Also, the DolbyA special effect used on Karen Carpenters vocals also suck.  There are few recordings where her vocals werent' over enhanced.

For fun, listen to a DolbyA copy of Karen singing (that is, DolbyA encoding on top of DolbyA processing -- yuck!!!)

 

John

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You're working hard there, John - good on you! 👍

 

V6 in FLAC - good, the sense of distortion is no longer there, perfectly acceptable as a capture of the event. But, I still go back to the before, to get a better sense of the creative sparkle and lift - the soaring strings have a sweetness and 'bloom' in the before, which I find dulled in V6, by comparison.

 

Now, remember this is on the inbuilt speakers of a laptop that does the audio better than many; the treble is not as 'illuminating' as on really sharpish headphones, so this could make all the difference for some.

 

So, John, this may be exactly what suits the systems of many - thanks for going to all these efforts!


Frank

 

http://artofaudioconjuring.blogspot.com/

 

 

Ahhh, Mankind ... Porsche intellect, Trabant emotions ...

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3 minutes ago, fas42 said:

You're working hard there, John - good on you! 👍

 

V6 in FLAC - good, the sense of distortion is no longer there, perfectly acceptable as a capture of the event. But, I still go back to the before, to get a better sense of the creative sparkle and lift - the soaring strings have a sweetness and 'bloom' in the before, which I find dulled in V6, by comparison.

 

Now, remember this is on the inbuilt speakers of a laptop that does the audio better than many; the treble is not as 'illuminating' as on really sharpish headphones, so this could make all the difference for some.

 

So, John, this may be exactly what suits the systems of many - thanks for going to all these efforts!

 

Thanks!

You know that I am doing my best with the dual-effort.   Trying to (hopefully) get the audiophile community to realize that they have been somewhat cheated -- but not necessarily with malace.  I wouldn't have written the decoder unless I had found the 1992 ABBA Gold CD to have sounded 'just wrong', and after another few months of random-walk research -- decided that it was likely DolbyA encoded.

I am NEVER trying to change someones taste -- just trying to expose the problem for audiophiles who might be interested, and maybe help to improve the situation in some cases.

 

SO, I have two goals -- 1) help open up minds about the possibility that they are listening to a certain sound that was not intended by the artist/recording engineer.   2) help try to create one choice out of a set of solutions -- no profit motive.  My major benefit MIGHT be a feeling that I migiht have contributed something to help.

 

About sound being better or worse -- that is a *conflicted* issue for me.  Sometimes I DO prefer the sound of leaving the DolbyA encoding along with a bit of EQ on the recording to make it sound better.  I think that we all can sometimes prefer a brighter kind of sound -- and on some material, DolbyA doesnt' sound all that bad.

 

On the other hand, like the Nat King Cole stuff -- hiss.  DolbyA wasn't designed to have a 'sound' or be an audio processor.  It was intended to remove some hiss from the analog tape recording process.  Releasing his material with excessive hiss should not have happened (in my opinion.)

 

Now,  we live in a world where DolbyA material has been 'mastered' or changed to the point where it cannot easily be used with a DolbyA decoder (compression, weird EQ, other processing, etc.)   We also live in a world where people have adapted to the sound of DolbyA compression.  I am not in a position to magically say that these situations are wrong -- but it would be nice if the 'good, pure' stuff was available to us.

 

Are we in an evil world?  Well, not because of feral DolbyA -- but sometimes leaving the DolbyA footprint on music is a travesty.  Additionally, the DolbyA HW decoding operation does overly soften the sound.

 

I hope to get enough attention for the issue that the distributors start producing better mastered material.   What is in it for me?  maybe 100 units sold at most at about $50 profit each -- not worth the bother.  I want the industry to provide better qualtiy rather than just make claims about 192/24bits and call it perfection (while the recording is poorer quality than the customer deserves.)

 

Thanks again!!!

 

John

 

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