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PostPosted: Sun March 11th, 2012, 21:27 GMT 
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Jack,

Please compare the vinyl mastering to the cd mastering for recent albums, and note how much more dynamic range is on the vinyl, even though cd is capable of greater dynamic range than vinyl. Don't let them do this to you again!!!


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PostPosted: Sun March 11th, 2012, 22:41 GMT 
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Or, even better, give away a vinyl copy with each CD purchase!

:wink:


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PostPosted: Sun March 11th, 2012, 23:06 GMT 

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solution is plain and simple: buy a turntable and spin the vinyl. Forget about crappy CD´s, they probably won´t last for long anyway.


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PostPosted: Mon March 12th, 2012, 00:19 GMT 
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I plan on buying the vinyl, but the point is that ALL listeners should hear the best sounding album possible. Don't you think?


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PostPosted: Mon March 12th, 2012, 02:21 GMT 
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Jack I think you're hot.... can you please help out with smoke's request?


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PostPosted: Mon March 12th, 2012, 04:12 GMT 
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But there's lot of vinyl out there with crappy mastering too.

A nice non-brickwalled CD, a funky coloured LP (à la Mark Lanegan), a deluxe CD package, and a 24-192 hi-rez download and I'll be happy.


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PostPosted: Mon March 12th, 2012, 04:14 GMT 
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You're not asking for much. :P


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PostPosted: Mon March 12th, 2012, 04:18 GMT 
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Alls 'bout da chedda.


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PostPosted: Mon March 12th, 2012, 04:30 GMT 
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:mrgreen:


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PostPosted: Mon March 12th, 2012, 10:45 GMT 
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Please also sing like in 1975 and write your own songs.


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PostPosted: Mon March 12th, 2012, 11:55 GMT 
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If it's the usual level of compression it will not be worthwhile to buy the thing. I'd just download som mp3s. It will not make much difference soundwise anyway.

You, of all people, should know this, mr Frost.


"These things have sound all over them."


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PostPosted: Mon March 12th, 2012, 12:40 GMT 
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if the same logic were applied to a live show, everybody would be able to stand in my favorite spot: about 12 yards in front of the sound booth.


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PostPosted: Mon March 12th, 2012, 13:26 GMT 
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Well, the difference is that not everyone at a live show can sit in the same seat...but everyone buying an album can hear one that sounds like music.


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PostPosted: Mon March 12th, 2012, 13:31 GMT 
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smoke wrote:
Well, the difference is that not everyone at a live show can sit in the same seat...but everyone buying an album can hear one that sounds like music.


'like' being the operative word where ModBob is concerned.

I'm all for mastering that promotes dynamic range, and totally against the kind of sonic brickwalling that goes on these days. It can be done right - Blonde on Blonde's SACD remaster has a DR of 13, which is fantastic, as does the CD of Live '66 Bootleg Series. Not sure about others, but I'd wager the recent albums dont score as highly....


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PostPosted: Mon March 12th, 2012, 13:53 GMT 

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Hal Jones wrote:
A nice non-brickwalled CD


This alone would be enough!

Modern Times CD is unlistenable while the vinyl version is one of my favorite Bob records. It makes me so mad that I try to not think about it.

Do you think we can really make a difference?


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PostPosted: Mon March 12th, 2012, 14:15 GMT 
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I'd think fan input could definitely make Frost, Dylan, Sony and anybody else in charge aware that there is an issue, yes.


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PostPosted: Mon March 12th, 2012, 14:50 GMT 
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I would have liked Bob to sack this Jack Frost Guy altogether. I still think that Jack White should have been the producer for a new Dylan album.


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PostPosted: Mon March 12th, 2012, 16:34 GMT 
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Ok, ok...but whoever produces the damn thing, can they make sure it doesn't get screwed up during the mastering???





If anyone doesn't know, look up loudness wars or watch this youtube description of the problem in general: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3Gmex_4h ... r_embedded

Also, here's some cut and paste bits from http://www.cinchreview.com/bob-dylan-audio-scandal/570/:



I’d heard about this issue of compression. It’s not the kind of compression that is used to create mp3 files; that is a compression of data, for easier portability, which undoubtedly results in varying degrees of fidelity loss, but is a completely different subject. Dynamic range compression (see Wikipedia here), on the other hand, has long had legitimate uses and still does, but lately there had been complaints that it was being employed excessively on popular music CDs, with the goal of making the music just sound louder, so that it would seem to pop out more on radios and computer speakers and music players of every description, and people would presumably be more likely to notice it and to buy it. A simple example of this process in action is the way in which commercials on TV generally sound louder than the TV shows themselves. At some point some of those who work for record companies decided that it would be good to make their artists’ music jump out of speakers also, in order to better grab the attention of listeners.

Intrigued now, I read up further on the so-called “loudness wars”. The more I read, the more that what I read spoke to me regarding the very problems I seemed to be having listening to the latest Bob Dylan albums. Dynamic range compression reduces the distinction between the quiet parts of a recording and the loudest parts, making every part of the recording sound louder. In some ways, this might seem a good thing, because it means you won’t miss the quiet parts.

A recording so compressed might even sound better and brighter to your ears on first listen. But, especially when abused and taken to extremes, what the process does is flatten out the entire recording, removing all nuance both at the upper and lower levels. What you’re left with is a recording that is stripped of its natural variation and complexity. It is, if you like, static, in the sense of being relatively unchanging, all the way through. It is as if every aspect of the recording is just blaring out at you with equal force.

In the end, many believe that what it does is render the music boring to your ears and to your brain, although you may not realize it at first, and you may never quite figure out what’s wrong without having a point of comparison...

However, for me, merely reading about all this was never going to clinch the issue. Inspired by Pete Bilderback’s comparison of the vinyl Bob Dylan albums to the CDs, I made the decision to order the vinyl editions of Modern Times and Together Through Life. This was no small expense, by my standards. I’m frugal by nature, and I have excellent reason to be so these days. I certainly can’t see buying music twice (although thanks to changing formats there are quite a few albums I’ve bought three times during my lifetime, so far). But Bob Dylan’s music is important to me. Something was denying me the enjoyment I should be getting from it, and this was the best lead I had yet found on what that something might be. Could it be that this issue of dynamic range compression was in itself the beginning and the end of the problem?

A couple of weeks later, I received the long-playing records in the mail. Now, I do not want to risk overstating it, but, in all honesty, when I put the needle down on Modern Times, and heard Thunder On The Mountain, a chill went up my spine. It went on and on, and into the delicate Spirit On The Water, and in no small way I felt as if I was hearing the album for the very first time. This was a Bob Dylan album. This, in fact, was a great Bob Dylan album. It was alive, it was natural, it had depth and nuance and poignancy and richness and warmth. My ears and my brain (and indeed my heart) had plenty to keep them interested and occupied. There was nothing boring and nothing blaring about these recordings. The producer “Jack Frost” had nothing to be ashamed of after all: his production was beautiful...

Comparing the CDs with the LPs and using my own ears left me in no doubt. In an effort — apparently — to make the music more marketable, somebody at Sony/Columbia has been applying extreme levels of dynamic range compression to Bob Dylan’s recordings as mastered for CD, hoping that they would therefore compete better with other contemporary music and jump out of radios and other audio players. Meanwhile, the versions marketed to those audiophiles who are motivated to purchase the vinyl LPs were being left intact, as if those buyers would be the only ones interested in hearing the actual recording with all of its natural quiet parts and loud parts.

The question must be asked: Is Bob Dylan himself aware of this? Well, there are reasons to think that it could well be a case of “something is happening here but you don’t know what it is.” I quoted Dylan earlier in this piece, seeming to struggle (at least in 2006) for a way of describing the problem he heard in modern recordings, but not coming up with a specific diagnosis. Further, in the recording session for a 2005 song called Tell Ol’ Bill, a copy of which has circulated among fans, Dylan at one point is heard saying words to the effect of: “Well, it sounds great in here. I don’t know what it’ll sound like on the record …”. Is it possible that he doesn’t know what’s ultimately happening to the recordings, even though he’s producing the recording sessions himself? We know that he works with recording engineers in the studio, who handle the technical aspects. He’s not into turning knobs and pressing buttons, but he knows what he likes to hear and what he doesn’t like. When he’s recording an album, he ends up with something that he’s happy with, obviously. It may well be unknown to him that the version mastered for the CD later has this dynamic range compression process applied to it, and what that even means might not be properly understood by him. He may have heard the term — indeed, how could he avoid it? — but he may not have a tangible sense of what it does to his own recordings. Perhaps he’s one of those who just presumes that vinyl must be inherently better than compact disc, as a medium, and he thinks that this is the explanation for what he hears and doesn’t hear on his CDs. (Yet, in reality, the compact disc as a medium can handle even greater dynamic range than a vinyl record, if called upon to do so.) There certainly are artists who are aware of the problem and who protest it. Dylan so far has not publicly and explicitly done so.

In any case, this is what I believe: Anyone who bought these CDs has in effect been cheated. They are not getting the music as it was intended to be heard.




Can anyone who has heard the vinyl versions (even an mp3 of a recording made from a vinyl version) disagree?


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PostPosted: Mon March 12th, 2012, 17:13 GMT 
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great post, Smoke. I have to say i had the exact experience over the last few months. with almost every vinyl i've grabbed. did you see that Neil Young diatribe about a month ago?

but the sad truth is, outside of our circles, are legions upon legions of people who would prefer to listen to music through their crappy little computer speakers rather than put a bulky stereo system in their living room now. nor do they care if it's a bob or a brittney playing through it.


Last edited by Troubadour64 on Mon March 12th, 2012, 17:18 GMT, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Mon March 12th, 2012, 17:16 GMT 
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I'm sure Dylan knows what's been going on with the bricking and was intentionally referring to only obliquely.

The process is of course driven by marketing. For most people making a comparison, the louder version will sound 'better' and that's clearly the way it is.

I think it stinks but I'm not "most people". Those who care are fortunate to have the un-bricked vinyl versions although vinyl is an inferior medium.

What also stinks is the poor quality of the vinyl version of TTL. BOO!


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PostPosted: Mon March 12th, 2012, 17:19 GMT 
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If you're having a good day, go here and read some truly depressing words:

viewtopic.php?f=19&t=68817

Then repeatedly smash your iPhone or whatever CrApple product you own into the nearest wall, and get a Cowon J3 and some decent head/earphones ( I recommend the Hifiman RE272 if you want to make your ears smile).

If you're into lawbreaking too, you could also download the many beautiful vinyl rips that are kindly provided by the gentle and sweet souls who needledrop classic albums,

I do believe Bob Dylan's vinyl albums are available in this lovely sounding format for your portable listening pleasure. Even the rubbish ones.


Last edited by Bennyboy on Mon March 12th, 2012, 17:24 GMT, edited 2 times in total.

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PostPosted: Mon March 12th, 2012, 17:20 GMT 
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lowgen wrote:

What also stinks is the poor quality of the vinyl version of TTL. BOO!


could you expand on that please? i don't follow.


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PostPosted: Mon March 12th, 2012, 17:43 GMT 
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Troubadour64 wrote:
but the sad truth is, outside of our circles, are legions upon legions of people who would prefer to listen to music through their crappy little computer speakers rather than put a bulky stereo system in their living room now.



Yeah, but it still sounds better when mastered properly, no matter how you listen. I disagree that "most" people would prefer it brickwalled if they ever heard both back to back (provided they are familiar with the volume knob).

See Beth Orton's Comfort of Strangers from a couple years back for an album that was not compressed to hell, that actually sounds like musicians playing and breathing, but was released into the commercial marketplace without any obvious negative effects.


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PostPosted: Mon March 12th, 2012, 19:15 GMT 
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>What also stinks is the poor quality of the vinyl version of TTL. BOO!

>>could you expand on that please? i don't follow.


-by 'quality" I mean it doesn't sound so great to me. I think the sound engineering was below par.


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PostPosted: Mon March 12th, 2012, 20:10 GMT 

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As a total non-techie, can someone advise me - if I copy the vinyl onto a standard blank CD via one of those machines for copying vinyl onto CDs, will I then get the full dynamic range on the CD copy?


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