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Jim Tavegia
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Ry Cooder/Robert Baird/ITunes

I read with great interest this piece on Ry Cooder mastering with ITunes. Shock! He is not the first to use a car audio system as a final mix check before pressing. Scary, Uh?

I ran a test with JA's white noise from the Stereophile's Editors choice Disc Sampler and Test CD. I uploaded it into ITunes and then ran 1 minute of stock sound into my desktop using Cool Edit 2000 and my outboard M-Audio ADC.

The samples were between -15 & -12 db peaks. I then toggled in ITunes between the various levels of "sound enhancer" from low to high. There is a 1-2 second delay for the processor to kick in.

There is a visible and audible rise in the low end centering at about 110 hz that is up about +5-6db. You can also see and hear a lowering of the upper octaves which may account for Mr. Cooder sensing more "analog" and less edge. I thought I also sensed an additive process, reverb like, but of very low level added to the mix. I could be wrong about this.

I have always been one to have decent head units in my cars, generally using Kenwood higher end flip-face units. Long gone are the days when I would do subs and speaker retrofits. I am an indoor audiophile at my age.

My wife's Saturn Vue has a Nakamichi 7 disc cd changer and an awful speaker system. It is a car masquerading as truck after all.

I burned the disc and took it out to the SUV for a listen, flat and enhanced. I could tell little difference. I thought I heard some reduction in high end content, but again, I find this speaker system so poor that it turned out not to be the revealing test I had hoped for. Inside it was obvious.

My final test was of a recent piano recording test I did using our 7 ft Steinway B at church. I had tried to emulate JA

Elk
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Re: Ry Cooder/Robert Baird/ITunes

It makes sense to check one's mix against every possible playback system you can get your hands on. One of my favorite memories was a group of us running out of the studio with CD-R's to jump into our cars in the lot with the latest mix that we sure was going to be The One.

It wasn't.

While great in the studio, it didn't translate well on other systems. A good mix and a good mastering job sounds good as possible on every playback system.

Fun test you ran! Thanks for telling us the results.

smejias
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Re: Ry Cooder/Robert Baird/ITunes


Quote:
One of my favorite memories was a group of us running out of the studio with CD-R's to jump into our cars in the lot with the latest mix that we sure was going to be The One.

You did that, too?!

Elk
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Re: Ry Cooder/Robert Baird/ITunes


Quote:

Quote:
One of my favorite memories was a group of us running out of the studio with CD-R's to jump into our cars in the lot with the latest mix that we sure was going to be The One.

You did that, too?!

Of course!

We listen on the real monitors, we then listen on Yamaha NS10m's, "HorrorTones" (remember those?) headphones, everything in the studio. Then the mass "running to the cars"!

I am very envious of those engineers that know from experience how the mix is going to translate to everything from exotica to boomboxes.

Odd how "bad" systems can reveal certain issues.

Jim Tavegia
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Re: Ry Cooder/Robert Baird/ITunes

Al Schnitt of Grammy and Diana Krall fame said that if he could get a mix to sound good on Yamaha NS 10's it would sound good on anything. His wife is the audiophile in the fasmily and she couldn't stand for him to listen on those speakers.

I would assume he has moved up in the world...speaker world that is.

Elk
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Re: Ry Cooder/Robert Baird/ITunes

There is truth to this.

There are others that know the sound of the NS-10's so well that they can mix to them - proving once again it isn't the tools, it's the artist.

ROLO46
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Re: Ry Cooder/Robert Baird/ITunes

We have been here before.
Sometime ago we dicussed Mark Levinson's Red Rose music
enhancer.
This was DSP that improved the MP3 listening experience by
harmonic ,phase and eq manipulation. Reverb was also in the
equation.
JA was going to evaluate it .
This also seems to be the basis of the mysterious I-TUNES Sound Enhancer, since the Cooder revealation of mastering with SE I have been looking at it too.
Used in moderation with lossless tracks it can perform well
especially on older difficult recordings with poor harmonics
and crushed vocals.
Surprisingly it is usefull on classical cds that are dry or boxy in nature.
It brings out the recorded acoustic and the SE control enables processing from 'dry' to 'wet'.
Not a universal panacea but a tool used in moderation for restoring your troubled cds.
But say no to Sound Check and Crossfade.

Roger

ROLO46
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Re: Ry Cooder/Robert Baird/ITunes

However, I now own a copy of ' My name is Buddy '.
Its poor.
What can I say.
Peter Ryland Cooder is my hero.
Its worst than his first album.
Oh dear.
Why can't they use proper studios?

And another thing, 'Love' Beatles remix cd
is rubbish in the stereo mix.
It's too clever by 3/4 !
There is too much clutter.

But I only wanted 'Walrus' which is OK.
The 5.1 folded back 2.0 destroys the concept

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