CD vs. Vinyl...the DeathMatch! - Page 7 - AVS Forum
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post #181 of 2578 Old 07-06-2007, 01:07 PM
 
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I was 17 years old in 1969 so to say that I grew up in the vinyl world would be an accurate statement. I still have most all of my vinyl and my collection is easily many hundreds. When CD's came out, I jumped on the bandwagon. I simply included a CD player(s) into my system(s) and repurchased most of my vintage albums on CD. (don't ask me about 8 track, reel to reel or Cassette) The ease of play, the ability to put them in my car, the portability of the media was and is fantastic. Clearly has a place. When MP3 and other digital formats became popular. I jumped on the bandwagon. Now I have most of my entire CD collection of about a thousand CD's on my computer and sync various artists and playlist to my iPod weekly. Man, do I LOVE the ease of the iPod. I can transport my music anywhere. I can "borrow" music from anybody that I care to carry my computer to, I can listen to what I want, when I want, easily. The iPod didn't replace my CD's it added to them just as the CD's didn't replace my vinyl. It was all addition, not subtraction.

But although I agree that, on paper, CD should easily sound superior to vinyl most times it doesn't. I always figured it HAD to be the mastering. Not in all cases but in a LOT of cases they must be compressing the shi* out of those CD's. I have always thought that in an apples to apples comparison, vinyl should lose to CD but, at least in my collections, more often than not my albums sound superior to my CD's so I attribute it to the above. The mastering. Not always, just most times. And there are times when my CD's sound better than my vinyl. Usually though those CD's cost more, and state that they were digitally mastered from the original recordings. The way it should work, on paper would be:

1. CD (SACD)
2. Vinyl
3. MP3 etc.

But with exceptions, in the real world, in my system how it really sounds is:

1. Vinyl
2. CD
3. MP3 etc.

So why are CD's compressed so much? That's a debate I would like to follow. Why isn't there the same level of effort to ensure the best possible sound from CD like there was and is on vinyl? I may be wrong, (as my wife repeatedly states) but that's the way it sounds to my ears.
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post #182 of 2578 Old 07-06-2007, 01:13 PM
 
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Originally Posted by atdamico View Post

So why are CD's compressed so much?

That is the $60,000 question isn't it. It certainly is worthy of its own thread. The answer, of course, is record industry competition (always about the bottom-line, never about the music.) Perhaps the more important question is what can we, as music lovers, do about it. There has been enough complaining, now the industry needs to start listening.
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post #183 of 2578 Old 07-06-2007, 01:33 PM
 
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Originally Posted by PULLIAMM View Post

That is the $60,000 question isn't it. It certainly is worthy of its own thread. The answer, of course, is record industry competition (always about the bottom-line, never about the music.) Perhaps the more important question is what can we, as music lovers, do about it. There has been enough complaining, now the industry needs to start listening.

Spot on. Unfortunately it looks as if CD's as a media are going the way of vinyl. Like it or not, online, digitized, compressed music is most likely going to be the norm. Sadly, those of us who love music as compared to those who love, muzak, are a dying breed. we on this site are not the norm, we are the exception and a small exception at that. Have you taken a look at the general population recently? A

I just reread the end of my post above and, man, do I sound like an egotistical, snobbish, elitist! Oh wait a minute, I am
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post #184 of 2578 Old 07-06-2007, 02:05 PM
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Originally Posted by atdamico View Post

So why are CD's compressed so much?

isn't it due to the fact that disc size is limited (700MB), therefore limiting the size of the final mix-down configuration. From what I understand the mastered source-code would never (on average) fit within this standard disc format. However, the sophisticated compression formats due yield pretty good resolution, and are always being enhanced with new technology.
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post #185 of 2578 Old 07-06-2007, 02:23 PM
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I look at some of my vinyl collection, maybe most of it, and virtually every song on the album is both recognizeable and emminently listenable. All the old Floyd, Who, Beatles, Stones, Dylan, Mayall, Traffic, Tull, Bowie, Hendrix, ELP, Dead, Allman Brothers, Cat Stevens, all the Motown, and the list goes on. Maybe it's me, because I'm as old as atdamico, but for me anyways, this doesn't seem to be the case anymore. At least not with any regularity. There's only a few songs. Maybe one that's a keeper and the rest is filler garbage. Back in the good old days, there was the King Biscuit Flour Hour and other things I'd listen to where I'd hear concerts and a few of us would get together, around a POS radio, play bridge (weird, I know), do things we weren't supposed to, and listen to the whole thing.

The only incentive today is to make sure some song or two on the album gets played. Toss in some T&A, massive production on MTV and VH1, and the record companies and artists are instant millionaires but the public is left with not a whole lot. Frankly, I don't think there's too much any of us can do about it. Complaining doesn't work. Voting with a wallet does but the recording industry sees that as another reason for DRM.

Just remember, things can be worse.


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post #186 of 2578 Old 07-06-2007, 03:28 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Chu Gai View Post

... there was the King Biscuit Flour Hour...

I have enjoyed your posts for many years here, but I now owe you big time. I haven't thought about the King Biscuit Flour Hour in freaking years. What the hell happened to my memory? I couldn't have done that many drugs when I was young to explain my forgetting that. A BIG thanks for reminding me of something that was a great part of my youth that I had forgotten about.

And you are right as well. When I sync music to my iPod, I usually find that on the older stuff I pretty much include most every song. But when I sync the newer stuff I burn maybe 2-3 songs from an album. There are exceptions, like Los Lonely Boys, but those are exceptions.
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post #187 of 2578 Old 07-06-2007, 03:30 PM
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Originally Posted by Chu Gai View Post

there was the King Biscuit Flour Hour

was that an "east-coast" thing?
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post #188 of 2578 Old 07-06-2007, 03:49 PM
 
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Originally Posted by WestCoastD View Post

was that an "east-coast" thing?

Nope, not to my knowledge. The King Biscuit Flower Hour was a rock and roll radio program that was usually broadcast weekly, if I remember rightly, and what was unique, was that they played killer music, usually played the entire album, and sometimes featured live artists. They had everyone who was somebody at the time like, Emerson, Lake & Palmer, Deep Purple, Jimmy Page, Foghat, David Crosby, the Who, etc. It was a do not miss program in the early 70's. Funny that while Chu was playing Bridge and listening my friends and I played pinocle tournaments, smoked a little if you know what I mean, laid back and just enjoyed the buzz of great music of the times.
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post #189 of 2578 Old 07-06-2007, 03:59 PM
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I remember back then one of the 'debates' going on in the radios was whether the group, YES, could do on stage what they did in their studio albums, which if I recall, was answered in one of the programs. Now, for a couple of little strange tidbits peculiar to me.

I don't know if you remember a fairly short lived publication called The TransOceanatic Trouser Press. Well I went to school with one, make that two of the guys who started that. I think they both dropped out to persue that venture.

Now, while you were playing pinochle atdamico, I was playing bridge in Brooklyn with an interesting group of characters. I and a few others rented out the bottom half of a 4 story brownstone in Brooklyn. Seedy f***** area. The top two floors, which were already occupied, was being rented by a quasi-commune that came from Taos, NM. Now originally they hailed from Detroit and the very interesting part about it all, was that they knew Charles Manson and that whole crew. In fact, when the book Helter Skelter came out, they were mentioned although not by their real names. Funny stuff, huh?

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post #190 of 2578 Old 07-06-2007, 04:23 PM
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Originally Posted by atdamico View Post

smoked a little if you know what I mean

oh, I'm sure you mean Marlboro's correct?

yeah, that was a great "renaissance" time for music, and the recording industry. My collection, both, LP's and CD's reflects most all the music you mention and beyond, up to now.

I guess we (in our little world here), in the L.A. suburbs, became especially entranced into "progressive" music (jazz, jazz-rock, jazz-fusion, R&B, rock), mostly from influences like Jimi Hendrix, Santana, Miles Davis, Herbie Hancock, Sly Stone, and graduated into stuff from the like's of Weather Report, Stanley Clarke, WAR, Billy Cobham, Jeff Beck, Chick Corea/Return to Forever, even Earth Wind & Fire, etc.,...Of course we all listened to the Stones, the Who, and more.........

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they knew Charles Manson and that whole crew

yeah, that book illustrated quite a few "scenes" that, supposedly, referenced many specific area's, and people, around Los Angeles.

Funny you mention this because I remember being a teenager and that book ("Helter Skelter") was new and popular. Kid's at (high) school were talking about many parts (and images) in the book that would very clearly illustrate (or describe) streets and neighborhoods nearby (even in my neighborhood) where it was told that the Manson gang had driven through during those famous nights, either on the way to, or coming from the Hollywood Hills area (which is about 7 miles from me). These references became kind of like "real" ghost stories for kids in the L.A. area. I remember teachers would not allow that book in the class-room actually (because of the mature content). So it was "cool' if you snuck a copy around.
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post #191 of 2578 Old 07-06-2007, 04:29 PM
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I was a Benson & Hedges menthol person myself.

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post #192 of 2578 Old 07-06-2007, 04:49 PM
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BTW, there is a kingbiscuit.com and at http://concerts.wolfgangsvault.com/ you'll find plenty of live concerts that you can either stream to your PC or download. Me, I like the live concerts and bootlegs even if they're flawed.

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post #193 of 2578 Old 07-06-2007, 04:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by atdamico View Post

So why are CD's compressed so much? That's a debate I would like to follow. Why isn't there the same level of effort to ensure the best possible sound from CD like there was and is on vinyl? I may be wrong, (as my wife repeatedly states) but that's the way it sounds to my ears.

Unfortunately, you can trust your ears on this one.

Just to be sure we're all on the same page here, we're talking about "compression" to the dynamic range of the music (the size of the volume separation between the quiet parts and the loud peaks in a recording). This is not to be confused with the "compression" of a computer file of music to make it fit into a more compact file size such as is done with MP3, WMA etc. This also can distort the music, but in a different way. The music on a normal CD is not "compressed" in that sense.

Music has traditionally been compressed prior to radio transmission for many, many years. This increases the radio stations' ad revenue because instead of an effective 30 mile radius, their signal can still be picked up over the noise from 60 miles away [don't quote me on the actual miles, this is just for comparison purposes, YMMV!] More listeners = more money. This great article points out one reason why CD recording engineers may choose to squash the music's dynamic range; it makes it "radio ready":

http://www.cdmasteringservices.com/dynamicrange.htm

Look at the chart, in that link, to see how the dynamic range gets compressed more and more year after year. Yikes!

Like I said in an earlier post, don't blame the format medium, CD is actually capable of a far greater dynamic range than LPs! Blame the idiot recording/mastering engineers, or at least the greedy record executives that are holding guns to their heads to do this nonsense.

In A/V reproduction accuracy, there is no concept of "accounting for taste". We don't "pick" the level of bass any more than we get to pick the ending of a play. High fidelity is an unbiased, neutral, exact copy (or "reproduction") of the original source's tonal balance, timing, dynamics, etc..

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post #194 of 2578 Old 07-07-2007, 05:52 AM
 
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I was a Benson & Hedges menthol person myself.

Back in the day, there was nothing like a Kool
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post #195 of 2578 Old 07-07-2007, 11:05 AM
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Originally Posted by m. zillch View Post

Just to be sure we're all on the same page here, we're talking about "compression" to the dynamic range of the music (the size of the volume separation between the quiet parts and the loud peaks in a recording)

thanks for clarifying this. That is very interesting and bazaar that the dynamic range would be "truncated" like that.

Although, seems to me, most modern CD mixes, especially full digital (DDD) mixes, exhibit very powerful dynamics. Noticeably more dynamic than any LP mix that I can think of.

I remember a somewhat popular release by the famous virtuoso (jazz fusion) drummer Billy Cobham titled "Warning", where the front cover had a caution disclaimer (in small print) that noted: "be very careful with your volume setting as this album has been recorded so powerful it may cause damage to your speakers and/or system" (or something to that affect). And it was very much powerful but very clean (a GRP produced recording).
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post #196 of 2578 Old 07-07-2007, 12:50 PM
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Although I have no direct evidence, I would assume it is only rock/pop music that has had its dynamic range severely compressed in recent years' CD issues. Jazz and classical I don't think have been compromised..........yet.

In A/V reproduction accuracy, there is no concept of "accounting for taste". We don't "pick" the level of bass any more than we get to pick the ending of a play. High fidelity is an unbiased, neutral, exact copy (or "reproduction") of the original source's tonal balance, timing, dynamics, etc..

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post #197 of 2578 Old 07-08-2007, 04:49 AM
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Originally Posted by m. zillch View Post

Although I have no direct evidence, I would assume it is only rock/pop music that has had its dynamic range severely compressed in recent years' CD issues. Jazz and classical I don't think have been compromised..........yet.


Sorry, but have seen it from other form och music also.

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post #198 of 2578 Old 07-08-2007, 04:50 AM
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Originally Posted by WestCoastD View Post

Although, seems to me, most modern CD mixes, especially full digital (DDD) mixes, exhibit very powerful dynamics. Noticeably more dynamic than any LP mix that I can think of.


Can you give me some titles?

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post #199 of 2578 Old 07-08-2007, 02:29 PM
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Originally Posted by NIN74 View Post

Can you give me some titles?

Pearl Jam- "Pearl Jam"
Gwen stefani- "Sweet Escape"
Chick Corea- "To The Stars"
Dream Girls- "Soundtrack from Dream Girls Movie"
Joss Stone- "Introducting Joss Stone"
Jamie Cullum- "Twenty something"
Musiq SoulChild- "Luvanmusiq"
The Who- "Endless Wire"
John Legend- "Get Lifted"


A collection of strongly-mixed, recent released, (redbook) titles covering various music genre's.
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post #200 of 2578 Old 07-08-2007, 05:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WestCoastD View Post

Pearl Jam- "Pearl Jam"
Gwen stefani- "Sweet Escape"
Chick Corea- "To The Stars"
Dream Girls- "Soundtrack from Dream Girls Movie"
Joss Stone- "Introducting Joss Stone"
Jamie Cullum- "Twenty something"
Musiq SoulChild- "Luvanmusiq"
The Who- "Endless Wire"
John Legend- "Get Lifted"


A collection of strongly-mixed, recent released, (redbook) titles covering various music genre's.


I have heard both Pearl Jam and The Who CD and both are way compressed, with the Pearl Jam one worse of the two. Most vinyls from the 80's have much more dynamics that those, easily.
And you can look here at Gwen Stefani:




So I wonder what you mean with: "Although, seems to me, most modern CD mixes, especially full digital (DDD) mixes, exhibit very powerful dynamics. Noticeably more dynamic than any LP mix that I can think of."

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post #201 of 2578 Old 07-08-2007, 06:31 PM
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Originally Posted by NIN74 View Post

I have heard both Pearl Jam and The Who CD and both are way compressed, with the Pearl Jam one worse of the two.

Would not surprise me about the Pearl Jam. Record company might have stepped in wanting their radio and lo-fi friendly mix\\mastering.
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post #202 of 2578 Old 07-08-2007, 10:17 PM
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So I wonder what you mean

exactly what I said, I've heard enough LP's, these CD titles have very good dynamics, period. I'll take the CD version over any of their respective LP's.
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post #203 of 2578 Old 07-09-2007, 01:56 AM
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I'm surprised how many people equate loudness to dynamics. I really enjoy the free Audacity software because I can see exactly what my ears are telling me. CD's are often overly compressed and loud which limits them dynamically.
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post #204 of 2578 Old 07-09-2007, 03:12 AM
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exactly what I said, I've heard enough LP's, these CD titles have very good dynamics, period. I'll take the CD version over any of their respective LP's.


The problem is that they are NOT more dynamic. They have no dynamic at all. I think you believe that louder is more dynamic, and it could not be further from the truth. So no, they have not good dynamics.

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post #205 of 2578 Old 07-09-2007, 05:22 AM
 
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Originally Posted by WestCoastD View Post

isn't it due to the fact that disc size is limited (700MB), therefore limiting the size of the final mix-down configuration. From what I understand the mastered source-code would never (on average) fit within this standard disc format. However, the sophisticated compression formats due yield pretty good resolution, and are always being enhanced with new technology.

You must be thinking of some other format. Perhaps mp3? CD is a lossless format.
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post #206 of 2578 Old 07-09-2007, 05:29 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WestCoastD View Post

Pearl Jam- "Pearl Jam"
Gwen stefani- "Sweet Escape"
Chick Corea- "To The Stars"
Dream Girls- "Soundtrack from Dream Girls Movie"
Joss Stone- "Introducting Joss Stone"
Jamie Cullum- "Twenty something"
Musiq SoulChild- "Luvanmusiq"
The Who- "Endless Wire"
John Legend- "Get Lifted"


A collection of strongly-mixed, recent released, (redbook) titles covering various music genre's.

I seem to be less sensitive to compression than many here. A lot of CDs that others complain about sound fine to me. I can definitely vouch for the Joss Stone one, though. It is one of the few where the compression clearly reduces the sound quality even to my ears.
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post #207 of 2578 Old 07-09-2007, 05:34 AM
 
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Originally Posted by atdamico View Post

I have enjoyed your posts for many years here, but I now owe you big time. I haven't thought about the King Biscuit Flour Hour in freaking years. What the hell happened to my memory? I couldn't have done that many drugs when I was young to explain my forgetting that. A BIG thanks for reminding me of something that was a great part of my youth that I had forgotten about.

King Biscuit was awesome. I remember when Pink Floyd played Meddle in its entirety before the album itself was released! I enjoyed a lot of the shows, but some more than others. Oddly, one that stands out as especially excellent in my memory was the Dixie Dregs. What ever happened to them?
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post #208 of 2578 Old 07-09-2007, 10:10 AM
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[quote=NIN74]
And you can look here at Gwen Stefani:




QUOTE]


I have occasion to pull tracks into a wav editing program (Goldwave), even some of my daughter's new music, and I never see compression to the degree of that picture. Is it because that is an mp3 file? Mp3's compress (the other way--size) files by removing quiet area that supposedly won't affect the quality of the sound; or at least that is how I understand it. Such a file compression algorithm might produce something like what is shown for that Gwen Stefani song.

************

Ah nolstalgia...I used to love the King Biscuit Flower Hour. I heard some great concerts from that show.

Anyone of you fellow "old timer" from the midwest and listen to WMMS back then? A great radio station in the 70's out of Cleveland. Me and a couple of friends used to tune in every Saturday night at 1:00 AM because the BLF-bash played Maggot Brain (my vote for the greatest guitar solo of all time) every week at that time.
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post #209 of 2578 Old 07-09-2007, 10:20 AM
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Quote:
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the Dixie Dregs. What ever happened to them?

I believe Steve Morse still leads this group with a collection of top players. Although have'nt heard of them playing anywhere lately (at least in L.A.).

The Dixie Dregs were sort of like the group Steely Dan (to me) in that they were a collection of top studio/session players who created their own flavor of progressive music (a mix of jazz-rock, rock, bluegrass), many of which were known in their own right. They would play together as Dixie Dregs, then split-up for a period to record or tour with other major acts, then re-connect and tour and record as Dixie Dregs.

For example, T. Lavitz, popular keyboardist/composer (killer player, I've seen his group few years back here in L.A. jazz club scene); Jerry Goodman, Violinist, played/recorded with the famous Mahavishnu Orchestra (John McLaughlin & Billy Cobham); Dave LaRue, bassist, and more. The player mix varied over the years, however, Steve Morse and Dave LaRue are mainstay's.

Actually, in the late 70's they recorded a "live" album that was the official performance from that "King Biscuit" show. I never saw, or heard, it. I wonder if that is still available on (compressed ) CD format?
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post #210 of 2578 Old 07-09-2007, 10:45 AM
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Originally Posted by Straw_man View Post

I never see compression to the degree of that picture. Is it because that is an mp3 file?

exactly, it's all "hash". It looks like pink noise
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