Loud master and Audiophile master for NIN Hesitation Marks - AVS Forum
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Old 08-28-2013, 07:22 PM - Thread Starter
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Even if you are not a fan, I think many people on AVS would support this idea.  Can't wait!

 

http://nineinchnails.tumblr.com/post/59587808317/hesitation-marks-was-mastered-in-two-different

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Old 08-29-2013, 02:41 AM
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You beat me to the post! Hell yeah, I'm excited!!!!

Trent Reznor, I love you.

Ok, I've always known Trent & Co. cared about sound quality. Most of the music over the years has sounded pretty good all considering, except the past few years a few releases slipped into the loudness war and the quality suffered.

The new album, Hesitation Marks, appears to be the first album ever to be released in two versions: the standard "LOUD" mastering and an alternate "AUDIOPHILE" mastered version.

I want to cry with tears of joy and happiness!!!! I've pre-ordered the deluxe CD and vinyl editions from the NIN website, both which come with the download.

I've copied the text in that link so people can read it here. Let's hope that through NIN.com they offer the same download options for all past releases. I would purchase EVERY single/album/halo release over again in a less-compressed audiophile edition.

From the website nin.com:

Hesitation Marks was mastered in two different ways - the standard, “loud” mastering (which is what you’ll find on the CD, on iTunes, and everywhere else), and also an alternate “audiophile” mastering, which we’re offering as a free download option for anyone who purchases the album through nin.com. For the majority of people, the standard version will be preferable and differences will be difficult to detect. Audiophiles with high-end equipment and an understanding of the mastering process might prefer the alternate version.

Alan Moulder, who mixed the album, offers a more detailed explanation:

When we were mixing Hesitation Marks we decided to treat the mastering process in a slightly different way to the usual. Since we had tried to treat every other aspect of making this record differently to how we were used to, it seemed to make sense. We were mixing as we went along with the production of each song rather than at the end, so we thought that once we had a song pretty close we would send it off to Tom Baker, our long time serving mastering engineer, to give it some mastering treatment. Normally you wait until the record is finished being recorded and mixed, then take all the mixes to mastering. But we thought doing it again, as we went along, might make us push the process further and spend more time on mastering rather than rush through it at the end. Whilst doing this we became aware of how much low bass information there was on the record. Since that can define how loud of a level the mastering can be, we were faced with a dilemma: do we keep the bass and and have a significantly lower level record, or do we sacrifice the bass for a more competitive level of volume? The biggest issue in mastering these days tends to be how loud can you make your record. It is a fact that when listening back-to-back, loud records will come across more impressively, although in the long run what you sacrifice for that level can be quality and fidelity. So after much discussion we decided to go with two versions. On the main release Tom did exceptional work to maintain the integrity of our mixes and reproduce the low end as much as possible and still get a decent level, although it’s still nowhere as loud as a lot of modern records. The Audiophile Mastered Version is more true to how the mixes sounded to us in the studio when we were working on the songs. Have a listen, turn up the volume and enjoy the experience!

Mastering Engineer Tom Baker adds:

I believe it was Trent’s idea to master the album two different ways, and to my knowledge it has never been done before.

The standard version is “loud” and more aggressive and has more of a bite or edge to the sound with a tighter low end.

The Audiophile Mastered Version highlights the mixes as they are without compromising the dynamics and low end, and not being concerned about how “loud” the album would be. The goal was to simply allow the mixes to retain the spatial relationship between instruments and the robust, grandiose sound.


NOTE: The standard mastered version is in no way inferior to the Audiophile Version - we wouldn’t release something inferior as the default. And vinyl purists rest assured, the vinyl edition was mastered to sound the very best for that format. The Audiophile Version is merely an alternate take on the mastering, which some people will appreciate. It’s meant to give a slightly different experience, not denigrate the standard version. Listen to each and come to your own conclusions.

If you ordered any format of Hesitation Marks from nin.com, you’ll be able to download one or both mastering versions, in whichever formats you prefer (MP3, FLAC, Apple Lossless, and WAV), beginning September 3rd, 2013.

Here's the link to the Dynamic Range Database for the Nine Inch Nails uploads. I've still got to put a few more up.
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Old 08-29-2013, 03:17 AM
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Sounds awesome! All over it. Thanks for posting this.
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Old 08-29-2013, 02:09 PM
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Good idea, but...

Why not just issue the audiophile version instead of bucking to the ongoing trend?
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Old 08-29-2013, 02:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by noisebeam View Post

Good idea, but...

Why not just issue the audiophile version instead of bucking to the ongoing trend?

In the event that the music is played at a venue or commercial setting I would assume. The audiophile version would potentially sound quieter than the other music in the mix.
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Old 08-29-2013, 03:15 PM
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Great concept. Sadly, not my kind of music. But hopefully others will follow the cue.
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Old 08-29-2013, 03:20 PM
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Originally Posted by popalock View Post

In the event that the music is played at a venue or commercial setting I would assume. The audiophile version would potentially sound quieter than the other music in the mix.
Then they need a compressor and/or DJ that knows what they are doing. Broadcast already does this.
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Old 08-29-2013, 03:23 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Osadciw View Post

You beat me to the post! Hell yeah, I'm excited!!!!

Trent Reznor, I love you.

Ok, I've always known Trent & Co. cared about sound quality. Most of the music over the years has sounded pretty good all considering, except the past few years a few releases slipped into the loudness war and the quality suffered.

The new album, Hesitation Marks, appears to be the first album ever to be released in two versions: the standard "LOUD" mastering and an alternate "AUDIOPHILE" mastered version.

I want to cry with tears of joy and happiness!!!! I've pre-ordered the deluxe CD and vinyl editions from the NIN website, both which come with the download.

I've copied the text in that link so people can read it here. Let's hope that through NIN.com they offer the same download options for all past releases. I would purchase EVERY single/album/halo release over again in a less-compressed audiophile edition.

From the website nin.com:

Hesitation Marks was mastered in two different ways - the standard, “loud” mastering (which is what you’ll find on the CD, on iTunes, and everywhere else), and also an alternate “audiophile” mastering, which we’re offering as a free download option for anyone who purchases the album through nin.com. For the majority of people, the standard version will be preferable and differences will be difficult to detect. Audiophiles with high-end equipment and an understanding of the mastering process might prefer the alternate version.

Alan Moulder, who mixed the album, offers a more detailed explanation:

When we were mixing Hesitation Marks we decided to treat the mastering process in a slightly different way to the usual. Since we had tried to treat every other aspect of making this record differently to how we were used to, it seemed to make sense. We were mixing as we went along with the production of each song rather than at the end, so we thought that once we had a song pretty close we would send it off to Tom Baker, our long time serving mastering engineer, to give it some mastering treatment. Normally you wait until the record is finished being recorded and mixed, then take all the mixes to mastering. But we thought doing it again, as we went along, might make us push the process further and spend more time on mastering rather than rush through it at the end. Whilst doing this we became aware of how much low bass information there was on the record. Since that can define how loud of a level the mastering can be, we were faced with a dilemma: do we keep the bass and and have a significantly lower level record, or do we sacrifice the bass for a more competitive level of volume? The biggest issue in mastering these days tends to be how loud can you make your record. It is a fact that when listening back-to-back, loud records will come across more impressively, although in the long run what you sacrifice for that level can be quality and fidelity. So after much discussion we decided to go with two versions. On the main release Tom did exceptional work to maintain the integrity of our mixes and reproduce the low end as much as possible and still get a decent level, although it’s still nowhere as loud as a lot of modern records. The Audiophile Mastered Version is more true to how the mixes sounded to us in the studio when we were working on the songs. Have a listen, turn up the volume and enjoy the experience!

Mastering Engineer Tom Baker adds:

I believe it was Trent’s idea to master the album two different ways, and to my knowledge it has never been done before.

The standard version is “loud” and more aggressive and has more of a bite or edge to the sound with a tighter low end.

The Audiophile Mastered Version highlights the mixes as they are without compromising the dynamics and low end, and not being concerned about how “loud” the album would be. The goal was to simply allow the mixes to retain the spatial relationship between instruments and the robust, grandiose sound.


NOTE: The standard mastered version is in no way inferior to the Audiophile Version - we wouldn’t release something inferior as the default. And vinyl purists rest assured, the vinyl edition was mastered to sound the very best for that format. The Audiophile Version is merely an alternate take on the mastering, which some people will appreciate. It’s meant to give a slightly different experience, not denigrate the standard version. Listen to each and come to your own conclusions.

If you ordered any format of Hesitation Marks from nin.com, you’ll be able to download one or both mastering versions, in whichever formats you prefer (MP3, FLAC, Apple Lossless, and WAV), beginning September 3rd, 2013.

Here's the link to the Dynamic Range Database for the Nine Inch Nails uploads. I've still got to put a few more up.

Thanks for the database link, awesome.  Looking forward to my downloads next week and then concert end of Sept here in St. Paul.  

 

In addition to the great mastering work of the music I love the effort put into the shows and seems this one will be just as good.  See youtube link http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1NwgIhDzlN4

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Old 08-30-2013, 07:58 PM
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I read about this release in the paper yesterday for the first time and had already decided to buy it. The fact that you can get an uncompressed version is even better.
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Old 08-31-2013, 08:35 PM
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My Deluxe CD came in the mail yesterday a few days before release...haven't opened it yet...will wait until tomorrow to listen. Can't wait!
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Old 09-03-2013, 10:09 AM - Thread Starter
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Downloaded both of my versions this morning but won't have much time to compare the two for a couple of days.  Quick listening I did showed definite lower overall level with Audiophile version which is to be expected and hopefully means better dynamic range.

 

Love the album after my quick listen, a lot more like old school NIN and Pretty Hate Machine era.

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Old 09-07-2013, 06:30 PM
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The vinyl version is incredible (I can't speak for the audiophile version). It reminds me of pretty hate machine but with a more electronic twist of his newer work.
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Old 09-08-2013, 09:17 PM
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Still waiting for the vinyl. The audiophile version is getting a lot of flack. I haven't listened to it yet, just the CD.
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Old 09-08-2013, 09:27 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Osadciw View Post

Still waiting for the vinyl. The audiophile version is getting a lot of flack. I haven't listened to it yet, just the CD.

 

Been reading up on some of that after I didn't hear as big of a difference as I thought I might.  It sounds slightly different but not by much.  

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Old 09-09-2013, 04:20 AM
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Here's the link to the Dynamic Range Database for the Nine Inch Nails uploads. I've still got to put a few more up.
Thanks for that link for loudness wars data!

larry

Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work. -- Thomas Alva Edison
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Old 09-29-2013, 04:36 PM
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You're welcome! It's an addictive site! I sometimes make purchase decisions based on the data here!
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Old 09-30-2013, 04:37 AM
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You're welcome! It's an addictive site! I sometimes make purchase decisions based on the data here!
Yes, very addictive! I got the foobar plugin and have a few DR logs to upload to the site. smile.gif

I had ordered the BD of Primus's "Sailing the Seas of Cheese" from Amazon (via another party) and they sent me a CD instead of the BD. So instead of going through the hassle of returning it, etc., I asked for a refund of the difference of price for the CD they had listed. I listened to the CD and was impressed with the recording only to find out via DR database that they sent me the 1991 CD instead of the remaster. The remaster didn't fare so well wrt dynamic range. So, the mistake actually worked out to my benefit! http://www.dr.loudness-war.info/index.php?search_artist=primus&search_album=sailing+the+seas+of+cheese

larry

Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work. -- Thomas Alva Edison
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