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post #1 of 95 Old 03-19-2008, 09:55 AM - Thread Starter
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Ever wonder what DVDA stereo tracks would look like if you could rip them the way you can rip a CD?

Well, it turns out some would look like this

"Out On The Weekend", Neil Young Harvest DVDA



or this:

"Quadrant 4" , Billy Cobham, Spectrum DVDA



but others would look like this:

"Roundabout", Yes Fragile DVDA





or this:
"Burning Down the House", Talking Heads Speaking In Tongues DualDisc



or even this:

"Death On Two Legs", Queen A Night at the Opera DVDA (2002)



for comparison, the same track from most recent CD version of Night at the Opera looks like this:


"Death On Two Legs", Queen A Night at the Opera anniversary CD (2007)
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post #2 of 95 Old 03-19-2008, 12:28 PM
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For those of use less educated on the ripping tools/graphs (me ) can you explain the scales/graphs? To me it looks like the CD version of 'death on two legs' is a better copy than the DVDA.


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post #3 of 95 Old 03-19-2008, 12:42 PM
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And those are the reasons why some are good and some are bad. I wonder if the six channel mixes would be better.

Harvest sounds great. Steely Dan sounds great. Fagan is nice.
Some bad ones just sound like the CD only LOUDER.

The good ones are amazing to hear in 6 channel. The best sounding disks are the ones that have quality recording, mixing and mastering. DVD-A should be compared to DTS and Dolby-D not CD's anyway. A well done CD sounds fine, but those are few and far between.
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post #4 of 95 Old 03-19-2008, 04:09 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tiggers View Post

For those of use less educated on the ripping tools/graphs (me ) can you explain the scales/graphs? To me it looks like the CD version of 'death on two legs' is a better copy than the DVDA.

Yes, it does, doesn't it.


Each graph shows two 'black rectangles' with green waveforms in them, left channel is the green trace on top, and right channel on bottom.

The x-axis is time, the y axis is sample level with respect to digital full-scale (0dB ) and 'infinity' (perfect silence -- that is the grey line bisecting each channel) .


So, If the waveform (the green stuff) touches the top or the bottom of its 'black rectangle', those are the timepoints in the track where it has reached maximum digital level (you can say maximum loundess, thought that's not quite correct). The more time the green stuff spends near these limits, the more limited its dynamic range is.

Notice that the Cobham and Young traces only send out very thin 'feelers' to these limits, with significant black space around them, with most of the solid reen well below them; this is good old-fashioned mastering to preserve dynamic range (that's what 'resolution' translates to in digital world) .

Notice that as I went from the Yes to the Queen, the solid green part of waveform got wider and/or blockier, with few 'feelers' until parts of the Queen track look almost like 'bricks' of green.
Where the waveform actually looks 'shaved flat' on top or bottom, there may be digital clipping going on. This is bad modern mastering where every moment is almost as loud as every other moment. Great for listening in noisy environments, though.
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post #5 of 95 Old 03-19-2008, 04:13 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gregmp View Post

And those are the reasons why some are good and some are bad. I wonder if the six channel mixes would be better.

They might well be. Here's the front Left/Right channels of the 6-channel DVDA mix from the 2002 ('Death on Two Legs' again)



However, I don't htink there's anything intrinsically preventing an engineer from making a highly compressed/limited/clipped surround mix for DVDA. I just haven't looked at that many yet.

Quote:


DVD-A should be compared to DTS and Dolby-D not CD's anyway.

Why shouldn't the stereo mixes be compared to CD?

Quote:


A well done CD sounds fine, but those are few and far between.

I have many. Most are classical .
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post #6 of 95 Old 03-19-2008, 04:18 PM
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Hi krabapple,

Those graphs are interesting. Can you post info on how you were able to generate them? I'd like to try this on some DVD-As that I have...

Thanks,

- Steve O.
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post #7 of 95 Old 03-19-2008, 04:33 PM - Thread Starter
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See this thread and follow the links therein:

http://www.hydrogenaudio.org/forums/...howtopic=61928
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post #8 of 95 Old 03-19-2008, 05:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by krabapple View Post

See this thread and follow the links therein:

http://www.hydrogenaudio.org/forums/...howtopic=61928

What's the program that generates the graphs?

BTW, despite that horrid graph, Speaking In Tongues still sounds great (to me).

"All men are frauds. The only difference between them is that some admit it. I myself deny it."
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post #9 of 95 Old 03-19-2008, 08:41 PM - Thread Starter
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It's called DVDAExplorer. Follow the link above.

Btw here's another for the honor roll -- a DVDA stereo mastering that isn't smashed to bits

'Space Truckin' from Deep Purple, Machine Head DVDA


and here's one that maybe belongs on the dishonor roll

"Dreams" from Fleetwood Mac Rumours DVDA


Do you remember 'Dreams' sounding as loud as 'Space Truckin' back in the 70's? Me neither.


Quote:


BTW, despite that horrid graph, Speaking In Tongues still sounds great (to me).

But one wonders how it would compare in a levelmatched blind comparison to a DVDA stereo mastering from the original masters, that WASN'T compromised in dynamic range. (The CD version from the DualDisc is no better than the DVDA stereo version)
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post #10 of 95 Old 03-19-2008, 09:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by krabapple View Post

It's called DVDAExplorer. Follow the link above.

I just want to analyze the compression (or lack of compression) of some of my remastered CDs vs. the original CDs. What program is best to use simply for CDs? Thanks.

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post #11 of 95 Old 03-19-2008, 09:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sivadselim View Post

I just want to analyze the compression (or lack of compression) of some of my remastered CDs vs. the original CDs. What program is best to use simply for CDs? Thanks.

Any standard wav editor/recorder. The one used in the screenshots is Adobe Audition, but there are free ones all over the place. Chances are one came with your sound card.
All you do is open the wav file/CD track (may have to rip first depending on the program) and it will show the waveform like that.
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post #12 of 95 Old 03-20-2008, 05:01 AM
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Is it possible to reverse the dynamic compression with a tool like the Adobe product mentioned?
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post #13 of 95 Old 03-20-2008, 05:52 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sneezy View Post

Is it possible to reverse the dynamic compression with a tool like the Adobe product mentioned?

I've never tried that. My first instinct is probably no, because you'd be trying to get back parts of the waveform that was simply cut out with the compression - like how a lossy codec simply cuts out information, and it's lost.
You'd have to go back to the original source. There may be some smart methods/algorithms to try and *improve* it, but again I'm no expert there. Either way, I'm sure that a DRC-applied track cannot be fully restored to the original dynamic range.
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post #14 of 95 Old 03-20-2008, 06:58 AM
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I tried that - knowing that what was lost could never be regained. I still had to try though, and it was a failed experiment :|

the information is just not there anymore, and all you get is a lower level that may not clip, but theres no dynamic range still, and probably even less satisfying that the first version. at least that one was loud..

Boo!
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post #15 of 95 Old 03-20-2008, 07:14 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by frenchglen View Post

I've never tried that. My first instinct is probably no, because you'd be trying to get back parts of the waveform that was simply cut out with the compression - like how a lossy codec simply cuts out information, and it's lost.
You'd have to go back to the original source. There may be some smart methods/algorithms to try and *improve* it, but again I'm no expert there. Either way, I'm sure that a DRC-applied track cannot be fully restored to the original dynamic range.

You CAN reverse dynamic compression, like that done with a dynamic range compressor or limiter - but NOT "compression" as in lossy data compression such as MP3 and the like.

I still use a dbx-128 processor in my system, which is an all-in-one Dynamic Range Expander/Peak Un-Limiter and dbx Type-II Noise Reduction unit. The, uh, "modern" normalized CD's actually sound quite a bit better when ran through the 128 with an expansion ratio of about 1.4. I set the threshold way up so that, basically, everything but the loudest sound is being expanded downward, and it really seems to nicely restore the impact and overall quality of these nasty normalized CD's.

Also, if you do much FM listening, the dbx-128 is great for peak un-limiting FM signals, which usually have a lot of peak-limiting applied. A gentle expansion ratio of about 1.2 will push down the noise just enough to make the sound much more listenable.

Expansion with peak un-limiting also works well with films that have highly compressed soundtracks meant for that was optimized for optical sound prints - like the HD-DVD audio of the Charlton Heston version of The Omega Man. And if you still watch LaserDisc's, it's great for non-CX encoded FM analog tracks or hissy Dolby-A mastered films (a good example is the original LD of Neil Diamond 'film' The Jazz Singer).

Ty C. :-)
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post #16 of 95 Old 03-20-2008, 07:25 AM
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Krabapple,

Do you have the "un-released", non-Brian May mixed/mastered version of the DVD-A of A Night At The Opera? I wonder if it would show different results from the officially-released version that you used? (I assume you used the Brian May mixed version of ANATO)

BTW, for those who haven't heard it (or know the story), the non-Brian May version of ANATO DVD-Audio is truly retched in its 6-track mix... And on "Bohemian Rhapsody", guitars are even missing in certain parts! When the album was originally remixed/mastered for DVD-A by DTS Entertainment, Brian May wasn't involved at all - DTS had the resulting DVD-A pressed, sent to reviewers and ready to ship to stores when Brian May finally heard the disc and said "NO WAY!" - DTS put the release on "hold" while Brian supervised a proper remix - DTS claimed the differences between the two versions were "minor", but that is a vast understatement - besides the actual surround mix differences, which are numerous and obvious, the non-Brian May DVD-A has such heavy NR applied you can hear the hiss duck on and off as voices and instruments come and go. It's just awful.

Anyway, I wonder if it's clipped like the version you used Krabapple?

Ty C. :-)
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post #17 of 95 Old 03-20-2008, 07:42 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SiriuslyCold View Post

I tried that - knowing that what was lost could never be regained. I still had to try though, and it was a failed experiment :|

the information is just not there anymore, and all you get is a lower level that may not clip, but theres no dynamic range still, and probably even less satisfying that the first version. at least that one was loud..

It goes to show that the record industry cares more about money than giving a good quality product to the consumer.
And it seems some don't even respect the DVD-Audio format. IMO they should take the opportunity for MP3 to be the domain for all the detritus, and keep the good mastering for the hi-res prints.

If this juggernaut trend of crap audio production and consumption cannot be stopped, then we will have to have a definitively separate version of each product for the people who care good sound.
I'm sure that not ONE (good) mastering engineer would ever employ anything like hard limiting of their own volition. They are told what to do by their tyrant executives.
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post #18 of 95 Old 03-20-2008, 07:56 AM
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Sometimes the artists also insist on certain "undesirable" techniques (I know I've read about a few such bands, though the specifics elude me at the moment). But the bulk of the "demands" come from marketing departments who don't want their CDs to be 10dB down from the others in the mega changer in the music store.
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post #19 of 95 Old 03-20-2008, 08:04 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ovation View Post

Sometimes the artists also insist on certain "undesirable" techniques (I know I've read about a few such bands, though the specifics elude me at the moment). But the bulk of the "demands" come from marketing departments who don't want their CDs to be 10dB down from the others in the mega changer in the music store.

Well in that case, it is part of their art and if you don't like it it means you don't like that particular track/album that they've applied those techniques to. It's like some films are deliberately grainy or with a certain effect...
I'm guessing genres like heavy rock/metal would be the more likely ones?
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post #20 of 95 Old 03-20-2008, 09:10 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sivadselim View Post

I just want to analyze the compression (or lack of compression) of some of my remastered CDs vs. the original CDs. What program is best to use simply for CDs? Thanks.

I use Audition, but it's not free.

Audacity can do it too, I think -- and that's free. Any wave editor will show yuo a waveform (some will show it different than others). Audition has a 'statistics' function that displays data from which I can calculate crest factor (difference between peak and average level)
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post #21 of 95 Old 03-20-2008, 09:14 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Disclord View Post

Krabapple,

Do you have the "un-released", non-Brian May mixed/mastered version of the DVD-A of A Night At The Opera? I wonder if it would show different results from the officially-released version that you used? (I assume you used the Brian May mixed version of ANATO)

I bought the disc fairly soon after it came out. The date on the packaging is 2002. From the liner notes I presume Brian May was involved.



Quote:
BTW, for those who haven't heard it (or know the story), the non-Brian May version of ANATO DVD-Audio is truly retched in its 6-track mix... And on "Bohemian Rhapsody", guitars are even missing in certain parts! When the album was originally remixed/mastered for DVD-A by DTS Entertainment, Brian May wasn't involved at all -

But Roy Thomas Baker was , wasn't he? You'd think he'd get it right. I've never heard that guitar parts were actually missing, just that May didn't like some of the level and placement choices in the surround mix.

Quote:
DTS had the resulting DVD-A pressed, sent to reviewers and ready to ship to stores when Brian May finally heard the disc and said "NO WAY!" - DTS put the release on "hold" while Brian supervised a proper remix - DTS claimed the differences between the two versions were "minor", but that is a vast understatement - besides the actual surround mix differences, which are numerous and obvious, the non-Brian May DVD-A has such heavy NR applied you can hear the hiss duck on and off as voices and instruments come and go. It's just awful.


You've heard it?

Quote:
Anyway, I wonder if it's clipped like the version you used Krabapple?

Send it to me and I'll tell you
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post #22 of 95 Old 03-20-2008, 09:18 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Disclord View Post

You CAN reverse dynamic compression, like that done with a dynamic range compressor or limiter - but NOT "compression" as in lossy data compression such as MP3 and the like.

You can only truly everse dynamic range compression in a dbx-like scheme, where the compression and expansion are done by the same compander technology. For dbx that means buying recordings encoded in dbx (those used to be available, long ago) or making your own recordings using dbx.

You can't take a CD you bought from the store, and actually 'restore' the original dynamics on the master tape. You can only make a 'guess' at it using certain software or hardware. That's what you're doing with the dbx device when you apply it to a CD.

see this thread and others like it for discussion

http://www.hydrogenaudio.org/forums/...howtopic=53456
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post #23 of 95 Old 03-20-2008, 11:12 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by krabapple View Post

You can only truly everse dynamic range compression in a dbx-like scheme, where the compression and expansion are done by the same compander technology. For dbx that means buying recordings encoded in dbx (those used to be available, long ago) or making your own recordings using dbx.

You can't take a CD you bought from the store, and actually 'restore' the original dynamics on the master tape. You can only make a 'guess' at it using certain software or hardware. That's what you're doing with the dbx device when you apply it to a CD.

see this thread and others like it for discussion

http://www.hydrogenaudio.org/forums/...howtopic=53456

I didn't mean to imply it would be 'exactly' the way an uncompressed studio master would sound - just that it can really, really help a lot - whereas with lossy compression systems, there's nothing to be done for them!

Ty C. :-)
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post #24 of 95 Old 03-20-2008, 11:15 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by krabapple View Post

I bought the disc fairly soon after it came out. The date on the packaging is 2002. From the liner notes I presume Brian May was involved.





But Roy Thomas Baker was , wasn't he? You'd think he'd get it right. I've never heard that guitar parts were actually missing, just that May didn't like some of the level and placement choices in the surround mix.




You've heard it?



Send it to me and I'll tell you

Yeah, I have both DVD-A's - during Bohemian Rhapsody, after the middle chorus, when Brian May's guitar is supposed to come in, it's completely missing... VERY bizzare sounding. And as I said, the aggressive gating applied for NR is just awful.

Ty C. :-)
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post #25 of 95 Old 03-20-2008, 01:07 PM
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Guys, I don't understand what you're getting at. The subject was "Hi Rez". Nothing in this thread has anything to do with resolution, only dynamic range compression. Every commercial recording ever made (except for classical) uses dynamic range compression; it has to, otherwise a mix would be imposssible. All the way from the classic UREI LA-2a's, 3a's, 1176LNs, and now their digital plug-in counterparts. Usually these days, the peaks just get lobbed off.

It's all up to the discretion and artistry of the mastering engineer. None of this has anything to do with resolution. Can you explain your point?

The first thing that a microphone goes into -- at least in a pop/rock music recording session -- before even being captured on tape or on a digital workstation -- is a dynamic range compressor. It has to. The human voice is too unmanageable in dynamic range to ever record without going into distortion without doing a touch of compression as step #1. Not only that, but it just doesn't sound very good without a touch of compression. It's the same reason a singer in concert pulls the mike away from their mouth when singing a loud note -- that is dynamic range compression performed by the performer.

These days, pop/rock records usually compress vocals down to a no more than 10db dynamic range -- then manually edit out all the breath sounds.

In remixes, compressors are again used just to balance out the mix; otherwise it would be musical chaos. It would just sound like a jam session.

And please don't confuse dynamic range compression with digital encoding compression, i.e. lossy vs. lossless. Neither one has anything to do with the other. Nothing. Except that they both have "compression" in their name. It's like confusing spring the season vs. spring the water vs. spring the twisty metal thing. Neither has anything to do with the other.


-John
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post #26 of 95 Old 03-20-2008, 01:56 PM
 
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Average volume, dynamic range and crest factor are highly correlated with resolution.
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post #27 of 95 Old 03-20-2008, 02:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tbrunet View Post

Average volume, dynamic range and crest factor are highly correlated with resolution.

No they're not, they have nothing to do with each other. Dude, I'm really sorry, I don't know who you are, and I want you to be a friend, but I have been working as an audio engineer all my life, making my living at it since the mid 1970's. So did my dad and my grandfather. My friend Dave Haynes developed the Studer Dyaxis, the world's first digital workstation. I've been working with digital audio since the early 1980's often traveling to Sony in Teaneck just to evaluate equipment designs and prototypes.

I've been a consultant and an evaluator at Dolby, spent three years developing the country's first media digital audio network at Skywalker Ranch, and have a couple Emmy awards for my work in TV sound. Right now I'm working on several major projects with film studios.

I really, really hate "pulling rank", and I don't want to offend you, but you're spouting words you don't even understand yourself, obviously. Stop it; you're just confusing people.

=John
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post #28 of 95 Old 03-20-2008, 02:29 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PenteoSurround View Post

No they're not, they have nothing to do with each other. Dude, I'm really sorry, I don't know who you are, but I have been working as an audio engineer all my life, making my living at it since the mid 1970's.

Irrelevant to the facts of the matter!

http://www.audio-software.com/K-System.html
Narrow Dynamic Range Pop Music
“We can avoid a new loudness race and consequent quality reduction if we unite behind the K-System before we start fresh with high-resolution audio media such as DVD-A and SACD. Similar to the above classical music example, pop music with a crest factor much less than 14 dB should not be mastered to peak to full scale, as it will sound too loud.”
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post #29 of 95 Old 03-20-2008, 02:35 PM
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Originally Posted by tbrunet View Post

“The average level of popular music compact discs continues to rise. Popular CDs with this problem are becoming increasingly prevalent, coexisting with discs that have beautiful dynamic range and impact, but whose loudness (and distortion level) is far lower.”

But none of that has anything to do with resolution. 16-bit, 24-bit, and a zillion-bit recordings can still be mastered too loud, clipping the peaks, if that's what you're talking about -- but that has nothing to do with resolution. Resolution is how many bits you're using for each sample.

Are you talking about clipping peaks when mastering too loudly? I, too, hate that, but it has nothing whatsoever to do with resolution, it's simply dynamic range clipping. Bob Katz would be the first to agree with me. But again, it has nothing to do with resolution. Please keep the terminology accurate; I apologize for Bob.

And especially this has nothing to do with whether something is a "high res" recording. A 24/96 recording can still be poorly mastered, with extremely high peak clipping (just too darn loud), but being 96/24, it's still a "high res" recording, by definition. High res is simply anything above 44.1/16, it has nothing to do with how well or poorly mastered it was.
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post #30 of 95 Old 03-20-2008, 04:06 PM
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Originally Posted by krabapple View Post

'hi rez' DVD-A? Sometimes.

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Originally Posted by PenteoSurround View Post

Guys, I don't understand what you're getting at. The subject was "Hi Rez". Nothing in this thread has anything to do with resolution, only dynamic range compression.

Yeah. I agree. The thread title misleading. Compressed or not, the examples presented as compressed DVD-As are still "hirez".

I DO think the dynamic range compression sounds better in hirez.

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