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Old 12-29-2007, 03:11 PM
"Cory K."
 
Default "The Death of High Fidelity" Sad, sad, sad...

Sad article on the state of production and how undiscriminating/ignorant
consumers are killing fidelity.

http://www.rollingstone.com/news/story/17777619/the_death_of_high_fidelity/print


It's linked in the article but I also want to point this out:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3Gmex_4hreQ


Just sad.

-Cory m/

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Old 12-29-2007, 04:21 PM
"D. Michael McIntyre"
 
Default "The Death of High Fidelity" Sad, sad, sad...

On Saturday 29 December 2007, Cory K. wrote:

> Sad article on the state of production and how undiscriminating/ignorant
> consumers are killing fidelity.

It's funny reading this with the JAMin tutorial in mind. That tutorial is all
about trying to make everything loud, just like the article hates.

I agree about MP3s too. I just don't get the age of people walking around
with little things shoved in their ears, listening to hollowed out tracks
that have sacrificed their core in the name of lossy compression.

Especially now that so many people are foregoing CDs completely, and just
buying MP3s. They never have a chance to hear what the music wanted to be.

Of course you can make all kinds of arguments about how true audiophiles still
do everything the analog way, and/or the lousy 44.1 kHz/16-bits of CDs just
isn't high enough, etc.

I guess there's a certain element of where to draw the line here, but it's
depressing how far down the line is trending these days.
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Old 12-29-2007, 04:35 PM
"Cory K."
 
Default "The Death of High Fidelity" Sad, sad, sad...

D. Michael McIntyre wrote:
> On Saturday 29 December 2007, Cory K. wrote:
>
>> Sad article on the state of production and how undiscriminating/ignorant
>> consumers are killing fidelity.
>>
>
> It's funny reading this with the JAMin tutorial in mind. That tutorial is all
> about trying to make everything loud, just like the article hates.
>
> I agree about MP3s too. I just don't get the age of people walking around
> with little things shoved in their ears, listening to hollowed out tracks
> that have sacrificed their core in the name of lossy compression.
>

My personal glaring example of this was Vertical Horizon's "Everything
You Want". Big radio song and I heard it a million times before I heard
the CD. WOW. The CD was so much more dynamic. It was like listening to a
different song.

Now I understand the reason for radio compression but to master songs
this way is just criminal.

> Especially now that so many people are foregoing CDs completely, and just
> buying MP3s. They never have a chance to hear what the music wanted to be.
>
> Of course you can make all kinds of arguments about how true audiophiles still
> do everything the analog way, and/or the lousy 44.1 kHz/16-bits of CDs just
> isn't high enough, etc.
>
> I guess there's a certain element of where to draw the line here, but it's
> depressing how far down the line is trending these days.
>

*sigh*


-Cory m/


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Old 12-29-2007, 09:45 PM
"D. Michael McIntyre"
 
Default "The Death of High Fidelity" Sad, sad, sad...

On Saturday 29 December 2007, Cory K. wrote:
> > I guess there's a certain element of where to draw the line here, but
> > it's depressing how far down the line is trending these days.
>
> *sigh*

Kinda makes me wonder if the next big thing in audio formats will be .wax.cyl
files.

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Old 12-29-2007, 09:52 PM
"Cory K."
 
Default "The Death of High Fidelity" Sad, sad, sad...

D. Michael McIntyre wrote:
> On Saturday 29 December 2007, Cory K. wrote:
>
>>> I guess there's a certain element of where to draw the line here, but
>>> it's depressing how far down the line is trending these days.
>>>
>> *sigh*
>>
>
> Kinda makes me wonder if the next big thing in audio formats will be .wax.cyl
> files

Meh. Some heavily DRM'ed lossy format with all the songs/art in 1 file.

CD's aren't going anywhere anytime soon. Hell, I can still buy most of
the music I listen to on vinyl.

-Cory m/

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Old 12-29-2007, 10:07 PM
"D. Michael McIntyre"
 
Default "The Death of High Fidelity" Sad, sad, sad...

On Saturday 29 December 2007, Cory K. wrote:
> Meh. Some heavily DRM'ed lossy format with all the songs/art in 1 file.

You forgot the part where the DRM encoding adds extra noise.

> CD's aren't going anywhere anytime soon. Hell, I can still buy most of
> the music I listen to on vinyl.

I don't want to think too much about vinyl. When I moved out, I didn't have
room for my record collection, and I didn't have a turntable. I left it in
my closet, with Mom's permission. One day a year or so later, Dad decided to
clean house. I don't remember everything I had, but I do know very little of
it has ever made it onto CD. Must have been more than a thousand LPs, all
gifts from my great grantfather. Mostly classical, mostly expensive boxed
set stuff.

All in a landfill somewhere.

Here's a tissue to wipe that tear. I think I'll have one myself.

What I wouldn't give to have that back, and one of the new USB turntables.
--
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Old 12-29-2007, 11:23 PM
"Scott Lavender"
 
Default "The Death of High Fidelity" Sad, sad, sad...

Here's another article about LOUDNESS.

http://www.prorec.com/Articles/tabid/109/EntryID/247/Default.aspx



-----Original Message-----
From: ubuntu-studio-users-bounces@lists.ubuntu.com
[mailto:ubuntu-studio-users-bounces@lists.ubuntu.com] On Behalf Of D.
Michael McIntyre
Sent: Saturday, December 29, 2007 5:08 PM
To: Ubuntu Studio Users Help and Discussion
Subject: Re: "The Death of High Fidelity" Sad, sad, sad...

On Saturday 29 December 2007, Cory K. wrote:
> Meh. Some heavily DRM'ed lossy format with all the songs/art in 1 file.

You forgot the part where the DRM encoding adds extra noise.

> CD's aren't going anywhere anytime soon. Hell, I can still buy most of
> the music I listen to on vinyl.

I don't want to think too much about vinyl. When I moved out, I didn't have

room for my record collection, and I didn't have a turntable. I left it in
my closet, with Mom's permission. One day a year or so later, Dad decided
to
clean house. I don't remember everything I had, but I do know very little
of
it has ever made it onto CD. Must have been more than a thousand LPs, all
gifts from my great grantfather. Mostly classical, mostly expensive boxed
set stuff.

All in a landfill somewhere.

Here's a tissue to wipe that tear. I think I'll have one myself.

What I wouldn't give to have that back, and one of the new USB turntables.
--
D. Michael McIntyre

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Old 12-30-2007, 04:31 AM
"D. Michael McIntyre"
 
Default "The Death of High Fidelity" Sad, sad, sad...

On Saturday 29 December 2007, Scott Lavender wrote:

> Here's another article about LOUDNESS.
>
> http://www.prorec.com/Articles/tabid/109/EntryID/247/Default.aspx

This really is an interesting subject. The visuals in that one prompted me to
go look at the thing I've been tinkering with for a couple of weeks, and sure
enough, guess what I'm doing? I've been trying to cram everything up and up
until a sample of the mix looks a lot like the latest "dogshit" Rush example.

Interesting. Monkey hear, monkey do?

On a cool note, I just realized I've had the same ZynAddSubFX running this
whole time, and JACK hasn't had any xruns yet either. I think I started this
at least two weeks ago.

It's true that the last time I tried to use Windows for anything like this was
with Windows ME, but putting my last Windows track together with Pro Tools
and Cakewalk on Windows ME was considerably less pleasant than what I'm
enjoying today with Rosegarden on Ubuntu Studio. I don't even need the power
and complexity of an Ardour or Pro Tools for what I do, and Ubuntu Studio
sweats all the hideous realtime crap, so I can just fire things up, and make
some music without knowing or caring quite how this is all different from
what I used to do to try to get this stuff to be happy on plain ol' Debian.

So now I'll have to think about avoiding LOUDER IS BETTER.

(THOUGHIDOHAVETOPOINTOUTTOTHEGUYTHATFORTHOUSANDSOF YEARSTHEREWERENOSPACESNO
LOWERCASELETTERSANDNOPUNCTUATIONANDYETPEOPLEMANAGE DTOREADTHINGSPERFECTLYWE
LLINSPITEOFTHESEINEFFICIENCIESIDONOTTHINKLOWERCASE LETTERSWEREINVENTEDUNTIL
WELLINTOTHEMIDDLEAGES)
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Old 12-30-2007, 06:53 PM
Florin Andrei
 
Default "The Death of High Fidelity" Sad, sad, sad...

Cory K. wrote:
> Sad article on the state of production and how undiscriminating/ignorant
> consumers are killing fidelity.
>
> http://www.rollingstone.com/news/story/17777619/the_death_of_high_fidelity/print

The trend is not recent and it has been discussed over the last few years.

My take is that it's one of the last side-effects of the current music
industry dominated by a few giant corporations. Once the dinosaurs die
off, there will be an explosion of diversity fueled by Internet-based
distribution. Those who want crap will find crap by the boatload. Those
who want better stuff will also be able to find it. The bazaar-ification
of the international music scene will allow all those different things
to coexist.

By that time the Internet will be fast enough to allow 24 bit 192 kHz
files to be the standard "lossless" distribution media, which will put
to rest all issues related to the quality of the media per se. Indeed,
we're pretty much already there - this is driven by the needs of the
video distribution, with its much bigger needs for bandwidth.

So, cheer up, it will get worse before it gets better.

--
Florin Andrei

http://florin.myip.org/

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Old 12-31-2007, 12:58 AM
"Dave Coulston"
 
Default "The Death of High Fidelity" Sad, sad, sad...

I remember when CD's were new and Dire Straits came out with "Private
Investigations", the dynamic range that CD's could achieve, when
compared to analogue was really eye opening.

I had been involved in the recording industry for a few years at that
time & expected the emergence of a new "sound" that was not the horribly
compressed stuff like you had to do to shoe-horn music onto vinyl or
radio. But it seemed that it never happened.

You can't blame the consumers for this, it was a done deal at the
mastering stage. Most consumers are blissfully unaware of the
"enhancements" that are automatically applied to everything.
Enhancements which are also hold-over's from the analogue days & are no
longer required (IMHO).

For example:

- To add brightness you pass it through some type of "Aural Exciter", a
band pass filter & distortion that only distorts the highest
frequencies, adding even higher harmonics & which also increases the
perceptual loudness of a track. Because the distortion always clips at
the same level, this also contributes to the compression of the audio.

- Then you need to de-ess everything because the vocals will be too
sibiliant (usually just a notch filter does the trick).

- Then the usual is to apply some sort of peak limiting (usually with a
really nasty compression ratio and steep attack). This kills any
transients that might 'threaten' to cause distortion.

- Then you probably want to gate off anything down near the noise floor
of your recording (you know, just in case).

- Then you want to apply a bit of compression to "heat it up" (note this
compresses the exciter artefacts & the already compressed transients
more) so you push the compression up till it hammers, but not so far
that you can hear it breathe as the compression goes in & out.

- After all this, what does your waveform look like? (You started with
lots of sines but now their peaks have been pushed in and 'harmonics'
have been added around them, wait a minute, they're square waves!

- Oh, and of course now it's the digital age, lets normalise it to fit
as much signal as we can on the master.

If mastering engineers can't hear the crap they are putting out they
shouldn't be calling themselves mastering engineers. I've seen so many
muso's disappointed (after getting over the initial excitement) with the
mastered sound compared to what they had in studio.

As a recording engineer I have had sessions down that were just special
(probably flukes too) but were not in the exact format that the company
thought would sell. After mastering, while the 'product' was more
marketable, it was unremarkable. Just another bunch of noise. I am sure
that if the mastering engineer had listened to the whole thing through
several times BEFORE messing with it, the outcome would have been
different (I tend to obsess about stuff I record and always get better
ideas after many listens).

Anyway advice for the next generation: The rest is a note too. If you
mix all the colours on your palette you always get brown or olive. If
you whisper so they can barely hear you, then you shout, you'll scare
the @#$%^&* out of them. If you always shout you're just a loud bore.

Make art.

Regards,

Dave C.

-----Original Message-----
From: ubuntu-studio-users-bounces@lists.ubuntu.com
[mailto:ubuntu-studio-users-bounces@lists.ubuntu.com] On Behalf Of Cory
K.
Sent: Sunday, 30 December 2007 6:35 a.m.
To: Ubuntu Studio Users Help and Discussion
Subject: Re: "The Death of High Fidelity" Sad, sad, sad...

D. Michael McIntyre wrote:
> On Saturday 29 December 2007, Cory K. wrote:
>
>> Sad article on the state of production and how
undiscriminating/ignorant
>> consumers are killing fidelity.
>>
>
> It's funny reading this with the JAMin tutorial in mind. That
tutorial is all
> about trying to make everything loud, just like the article hates.
>
> I agree about MP3s too. I just don't get the age of people walking
around
> with little things shoved in their ears, listening to hollowed out
tracks
> that have sacrificed their core in the name of lossy compression.
>

My personal glaring example of this was Vertical Horizon's "Everything
You Want". Big radio song and I heard it a million times before I heard
the CD. WOW. The CD was so much more dynamic. It was like listening to a
different song.

Now I understand the reason for radio compression but to master songs
this way is just criminal.

> Especially now that so many people are foregoing CDs completely, and
just
> buying MP3s. They never have a chance to hear what the music wanted
to be.
>
> Of course you can make all kinds of arguments about how true
audiophiles still
> do everything the analog way, and/or the lousy 44.1 kHz/16-bits of CDs
just
> isn't high enough, etc.
>
> I guess there's a certain element of where to draw the line here, but
it's
> depressing how far down the line is trending these days.
>

*sigh*


-Cory m/


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