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geoffkait
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Bingo!

Eggs ackly! And Neil Young is not the only miscreant. There is Dylan, the Stones, Jimmy Page. Are they all deaf? It certainly would explain the rather exorbitant price I paid for an original CD of Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark's Architecture and Morality from the early 80s' the one I mentioned recently on this thread that boasted the incredibly high max dynamic range of 23.

I am reasonably sure I got the last one in existence.

Geoff Kait
Machina Dynamica

michael green
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compression

Hi David

you said

"Makes one wonder why anyone would compress music at all. I know why they do it with computer files, but why CD? I looked at the DR database site and it looks like in general vinyl has much better numbers than CD. Is there a reason why?"

mg

Recordings started to be compressed because of the HiFi market. When HiFi speakers started to be made they would blow when used with the full dynamics. In the early days and even now the speakers designed for the control room are far different from the ones for the home consummer. There's basically 3 steps that take place. First the control room. Next the music goes to the mastering. And then it heads out to the end user. Recordings pre-mastering are made at a much higher dynamic range that is closer to the live room. If you set this up in the typical home it would pretty much blast you out. The volume is recorded most of the time in real space and volume. Meaning to playback all the info you would need a space the same size and a system that played at one constant level. In order to make the music usable it needs to be made with the ends clipped and the middle raised to work it's best with whatever the playback is.

You have to keep in mind how the music industry works to get a picture of this in your head. Not that it's perfect by any means but CD's for example have many uses. You use them in a car, in a home, on the radio, portable listening, clubs and I'm probably missing some. Here's the thing. An engineer sitting in that mastering room told to make an end product for radio in the 80's is going to master the products far more compressed than the guy listening to his HiFi system. Let me give you Detroit for example. My rooms there were used for referencing rooms. We started in the main room, the sound went to the control room, and then a mastering room. After this though literally we would drive around in our sound car, take the music over to my place, take it to other guys places like radio stations or portable CD players stores or a host of other playbacks before making the final choices. Every one of those conditions sounded different, even more so the less compression used. Could you imagine listening to a non-compressed piece of music in a portable CDP? It would be full blown distortion. Or a high end home system the cones would be laying on the floor or like with Quads, they would catch on fire.

The market place though for many years tried to sell the same product to all the different formats for all the different end users. Remember this is still a relatively new science mated with a marketing plan to reach as many people with the fewest skus possible. With all this technology and all the demands for these recordings on all these different formats we have move far away from a one size fits all music world. It's not that the engineering world is trying to poison you. It's that we listen to music through so many different ways.

My guess is, that in the end, files will be released where you can EQ them to your set of conditions. Your systems will be linked but you will choose between car, home, headphone and all the different playback situations. Engineers are now working on this but there's a learning curve and implimenting personal DSP is a little tougher than we think, at least for the purist.

So what I preach is this. Don't get hung up on all this dynamic range stuff cause before you turn around it will be a whole new world where you have much more control over the music you play and your playback systems. Try not to blame the mass market, learn how recordings and playback works and then it will make a lot more sense, and you will also know how to deal with it.

I should probably add this as well. It's not just the CD's that are compressed but also your amps and speakers.

One more thing, everytime your using your volume control your using a form of compression.

michael green
MGA/RoomTune
http://tuneland.techno-zone.net/

geoffkait
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Volume vs Dynamic Range

Michael wrote,

"One more thing, everytime your using your volume control your using a form of compression."

Actually, the WHOLE POINT of this thread is that compression is NOT equivalent to volume (loudness). The reason they call it the Loudness Wars is that in order to compensate for the aggressively compressed dynamic range the level or loudness is boosted on the CD. Have you not ever noticed that some CDs are much louder than others? It's because the level (volume) is boosted to give the IMPRESSION to (naive) listeners, you know, the mobile listeners, that the dynamics are still intact, which they actually aren't. The difference is obviously that the compressed Version of the same CD at the same average volume (loudness) will not achieve the loudness on musical PEAKS (or the valleys) that can be achieved by the uncompressed version. As David correctly points out dynamic range is very important, from a subjective point of view, so important that without "proper" dynamic range the CD is virtually unlistenable. And I agree. It's all relative. When one keys in on what dynamic range is all about he will come back to the uncompressed CDs every time. Unless the audiophile is one of those - and I'm not saying there's anything particularly wrong with this - who listens to everything at low volumes then the uncompressed music will sound more lifelike, more dramatic, more visceral, more MUSICAL. Why torture one's self by listening to music that has no life, energy, breath, the whole point of music is the dynamics so why would anyone even listen to compressed music if he has a choice? And especially overly compressed music? Furthermore the fact that NOT ALL CDs are overly compressed belies your suspicion that the reason for compression was damage to home speakers because if that were the case ALL CDs would have been overly compressed. But that obviously didn't happen. Now, having said that I'm sure you can blow,up some speakers with a CD that is somewhat compressed if you put your mind to it. It's all relative. Like decibels. Certain artists were obviously able to avoid the pitfalls of the Loudness Wars, artists like Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark, as we have just seen. Even the early TELARC LPs came with the warning about the high dynamic range. Obviously one can blow speakers with sufficiently high peaks of energy. Im pretty sure we ALL knew that. That's why we don't listen to music starting with the volume knob at 10. Maybe all this Loudness Wars can be written off to the inherent difference between the average user of CDs out there and audiophiles, I.e., the average listener is probably not as discriminating of the SOUND. And the difference between volume and dynamic range might be too subtle a distinction.

Michael wrote,

"Try not to get hung up on all this dynamic range stuff."

I'll try not to but I'm afraid it's a big issue as anyone can plainly see in the dynamic range database, thank you very much, and one that shouldn't be swept under the carpet with a lot of handwaving. Of course it helps a lot to know what dynamic range actually is.

Geoff Kait
Machina Dynamica

David Harper
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compression

I know its too much to ask, but maybe they could make CD's with 2 layers; a hi-fi layer and a layer for the other 99% who listen on earbuds or car stereos or even lo-fi home systems. But the CD medium has probably become irrelevent by now. Everything is files and streaming. Even TAS, that bastion of high-end audio, is full of ads and reviews of music servers and all kinds of computer stuff. Now they're all about MQA digital encoding, the newest big deal in high-res files.I think this is the reason for the resurgence of vinyl. People think they can return to the good old days. I've been listening to vinyl at home for about a year, and I've come to realize that a really good CD(there aren't many) sounds at least as good as vinyl. This is hard for me to admit. But I don't have the most high-end system either. As soon as I can swing it, I'm buying a pair of Martin Logan ESL speakers,the ones that are about a thousand each. Maybe the resolution of them will change everything(?) I've heard them in the showroom, and they're in a class by themselves. I don't think dynamic drivers in a box can compete with them.

geoffkait
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Downloads and dynamic range

Here are some dynamic range numbers for some downloads, just to point out the variation in dynamic range. Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the water. Keep in mind the number 12 is the first number in the GREEN (good) range.

Led Zeppelin Physical Graffiti [HDTracks 24kbps/92Khz] 2012 10 09 12 lossless Download

LED ZEPPELIN LED ZEPPELIN (Deluxe Edition) [HDtracks 96kHz/24bit] i 2014 09 08 10 lossless Download
LED ZEPPELIN Led Zeppelin II (Deluxe Edition) [HDtracks 96kHz/24bit] i 2014 10 09 11 lossless Download
LED ZEPPELIN Led Zeppelin III (Deluxe Edition) [HDtracks 96kHz/24bit] i 2014 10 09 11 lossless Download
LED ZEPPELIN LED ZEPPELIN IV (Deluxe Edition) [mora 96kHz/24bit] i 2014 09 07 11 lossless Download
LED ZEPPELIN Houses Of The Holy (Deluxe Edition) [mora 96kHz/24bit] i 2014 10 09 12 lossless Download

Supertramp Crime of the Century (HD Tracks 24/192) 2014 13 12 15 lossless Download
Supertramp Crime Of The Century [24/96 ProStudioMasters download] 2014 13 12 15 lossless Download

The Rolling Stones Some Girls (deluxe version) [HDtracks] i 2014 07 05 09 lossless Download
The Rolling Stones Their Satanic Majesties Request [Qobuz 88.2/24] 2005 11 09 13 lossless Download
The Rolling Stones Between the Buttons UK version [Qobuz 88,2/24] 2005 10 09 14 lossless Download
The Rolling stones Some Girls i 1994 12 10 14 lossy Download
Rolling Stones Aftermath i 2006 12 11 13 lossy Download
The Rolling Stones Sticky Fingers (Super Deluxe) [Mastered For iTunes] i 2015 07 06 11 lossy Download

Neil Young comes out looking pretty good in terms of downloads,

Neil Young Re-ac-tor [Ponomusic 24/176.4] 2015 12 10 13 lossless Download
Neil Young Zuma [Ponomusic 24/192] 2014 12 10 14 lossless Download
Neil Young & Crazy Horse Live Rust (24bit/192kHz Pono edition) 2014 12 11 13 lossless Download
Neil Young Harvest Moon (Pono release. 44.1/16) 2015 13 11 16 lossless Download
Neil Young Live At The Riverboat 1969 (24-192) i 2009 12 11 13 lossless Unknown
Neil Young On The Beach [Ponomusic 24/88.2] 2014 12 10 14 lossless Download
Neil Young Tonight's The Night (Pono Remaster) 2014 13 11 15 lossless Download
Neil Young Everybody Knows This Nowhere (Pono 192/24) i 2014 10 09 10 lossless Download

Just for grins here is the page from the Dynamic Range Database for Rickie Lee Jones in case any of you ever wondered why her albums sound so good. Check out the dynamic range on THOSE puppies!

http://dr.loudness-war.info/album/list?artist=Rickie+lee+jones&album=

Geoff Kait
Machina Dynamica

David Harper
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dynamic range

Thing is, I know DR is only supposed to be about ratio of soft-to-loud, but when listening, it sounds like the recordings with good dynamic range have better actual sound quality, meaning the sound of musical instruments etc. Everything is more open and transparent sounding. As if dynamic range affects the sound of a guitar string, or a cymbals sound. Maybe it has to do with subtle differences in frequency and timing?

geoffkait
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Dynamic range and the audio system - leave it or live with it!

Michael wrote,

"I should probably add this as well. It's not just the CD's that are compressed but also your amps and speakers."

Well, obviously there are issues with just about everything, the room, the electronics, the cables, it never ends. Even the ubiquitous Morphic fields of which little has been said so far impede the dynamic range of the music and they are not even related to the audio system per se necessarily. The great difference is, however, that you can actually DO SOMETHING about many of the issues, as I suspect you do when tuning, removing the transformer and what I do when tweaking to improve the dynamic range, for example treating the transformer and vibration isolation and CD treatments and reducing comb filter effects. But and I hate to scold there is NOTHING you can do about the dynamic range limitation of a particular CD. GIGO. Garbage IN, garbage OUT. Leave it or live with it. But, yes, we can improve the "system dynamic range." And we already know that even in the best case scenario we will not be able to enjoy unrestrained dynamic range that we enjoy in real life. Thus even for the rare CDs that have number up around 16, 17, 18 as shown on the dynamic range database and even 23 as for the Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark and a few others, it ain't like the dynamic range found in real life.

Geoff Kait
Machina Dynamica

David Harper
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orchestral manoeuvers

I've got the orchestral manoeuvers CD "Best of OMD" but I don't know if I've ever listened to it. It's numbers are 13-12-15
I'll listen to it tonight

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CD

some of my favorite CD's have excellent numbers; Randy Newman "Little Criminals" and "Land of Dreams", Robert Plant "Principal of Moments", and (incredibly), Blondie "Autoamerican"

geoffkait
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Big mistake

Just made a big mistake. It's so unfair, really. I liked up some Used CDs this morning on of which is the 2 CD set of Depeche Modes Singles 1986-98. Depeche Mode is another one of those wave bands from the 80s that usually tend to be very dynamic. You know, like New Order and Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark. So anyway, I get home and am going through the CDs I got and seeing how they do when it comes to you know what. Dynamic range. Would you believe there are two pages of Depeche Mode on the database? I mean they had a lot of albums. And on page one the numbers looked very good, lots of green and very little red. But the Singles 1986-98 showed up on page 2 and the numbers were bad. I mean really bad. Horrible. Don't believe me? Read em and weep.

Depeche Mode Singles 1986 - 98 CD 2 1998 06 05 07 lossless Unknown
Depeche Mode Singles 1986 - 98 CD 1 1998 06 06 07 lossless Unknown

I do not listen to CDs with numbers like that, sorry.

Geoff Kait
Machina Dramatica

michael green
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DR

Didn't have time to read through the recent posts more than a glance (will later), but wanted to give a little more history. If you go to an astute audiophiles home who has several tables, you will more than likely see markings on the covers or tags so he can choose which vinyl he is going to play on what, of the same recording. For us and more that have got crazy collections, you will find Tape, R2R, CD and vinyl divided so we can make choices of what to listen to on what. For example we have Ziggy Stardust versions that sound better on horns than small focal. It's not as I said earlier a one size fits all and you just go to a data base and start picking. That I'm sure helps as a guide for starters, but if your a guy who has several systems and is a student of a recording that goes a little deeper you tend to match things based on a lot of different variables. That's just part of the fun of being an advanced audiophile. It comes with time and experience and passion.

let me give another easy example

Let's say you get a first run CD that has 7 songs and runs about 42 minutes. Later the artist wants to add 3 bonus songs at the end of the recording. This means a re-mastering so that all of them fit together. Same happens on all greatest hits. If you listen through a greatest hits that lets say covers a few years you will hear the different studios within the mix. The DR and volume of these are usually all over the map, so the engineer goes through to try to keep the range while adjusting the likeness so things sound like they belong.

Here's another thing that I mentioned earlier. This is all computer and any other component dependent. This is why I asked earlier about what and where were these tests done. It appears that anyone can upload anything to this particular data base that geoff for example using. That's about as random and amateur as it gets. I have no problem that this helps folks, but it's only a very small part of mating recordings to systems.

I don't think a lot of audiophiles take the time to look at signatures that are happening everytime a recording is copied. Every recording no matter how stored is unique from the next. Also in the case of re-masters you will hear the difference between equipment used. If you went studio hoping right now with the same recording in Nashville lets say, not one studio is going to play that recording the same way. Just like every speaker you hear sounds different, every recording sound different. The recorded code varies as the recording enters the analog playback mode. A lot of guys don't get this. They think that they are listening to the language on the copy, but the language once put to analog changes as the signal travels through any part.

a lot to learn about recordings and the systems played on

Some guys pick up on the hobby right away, and others have a hard time separating things such as language and analog, or the different types of DR that not only are happening in the recorded mode but also the playback. The whole hobby is about variables and learning how those variables work or don't work. The hobby goes all the way from compression for particular needs to tunable systems that can be used to find the smallest of details. You've got guys who try to use their system as a reference and others who want to make their systems as variable as possible treating each recording as a unique subject.

It's all good, but it also depends on how much you want to explore the audio signal. Understanding both ends recording and playback gives us the answers to a ton of question and helps us build methods of listening that don't stop at barely getting past the starting line. This hobby can go as deep as anyone wants to take it. Ultimately the end goal is being able to play a recording at real space and real size, and also having the ability to adjust to our own personal hearing. This makes for a ton of variables and we're getting to the age where the strong holds of right and wrong fade into what works for you.

In geoff's case it's listening to a portable CDP with one sound. I'm at the other end of the scale using several in-room, auto, portable, different formats, all of which are variable so I can explore recordings from all the angles. I do my approach so I can help listeners get to their goals in listening. So with an issue like DR I get into exploring the whys and hows and not so much as something that is right or wrong. If you take the time to look for the recording that works for you, and you have a fairly flexible system life is usually good.

michael green
MGA/RoomTune
http://tuneland.techno-zone.net/

geoffkait
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Dear Michael

Funny how Michael goes on and on as if HE's the expert on dynamic range YET he actually thinks that the volume knob controls dynamic range. That my friends is why the Internet can be SO funny at times. Thanks for the yuks, Michael. If you would take the time to actually read the recent posts you would perhaps not look so silly. Just my opinion. As for the integrity data contained in the database the listening correlates quite well to the data. You should try it. You're supposed to be the listener. But you don't listen.

Geoff Kait
Machina Dynamica

michael green
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Volume vs Dynamic Range

geoff

I read your post "Volume vs Dynamic Range". You make a ton of assumptions and judgements that tell us that you haven't spent much time in the pro side of this hobby and then say it's because the engineers are trying to fool the naive listener.

So you are saying that what engineers do is a game to try to trick naive listeners somehow? Sorry, but as with your other threads it doesn't seem like you have done much study or much listening. I know that you haven't used an in-room audio system for over 8 years according to you so how are you able to say things without the doing part, such as listening and running some dynamic range testing yourself both in the studio, during designing speakers and amps, and by playing back more than portable cassette and CDP's?

I think it's cool if you want to copy and paste a data based done by random testing, but when you start to make spins and opinions that don't make sense and try to pass them as fact it really marginalizes the hobby, and limits people to your point of view from listening to portable sony walkmans and not a much wider scope than this.

This to me just seems like another thread that might have gone well with a little more study on your end and less attacking others who do this for a living. How do you fill you are qualified to make judgements on the motives of engineers who have been doing recordings for many applications every day for maybe 40 or so years in many cases? Worse to me is watching you do this from the viewpoint of what looks like a very limited personal listening history.

michael green
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http://tuneland.techno-zone.net/

michael green
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missed opportunities

Hi David

you said

"I know its too much to ask, but maybe they could make CD's with 2 layers; a hi-fi layer and a layer for the other 99% who listen on earbuds or car stereos or even lo-fi home systems. But the CD medium has probably become irrelevent by now."

mg

Man that's a mouthful! I think there were some real missed opportunities with CD's like you suggested. But who knows this is one of those formats that could very well come back to us re-explored. My thought is though that it will probably be reborn as a stick storage and not a spinning device. We as a company are moving on to computer starting this winter, but will keep tweaking the CDP for quite some time. I love my collection and the function.

michael green
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http://tuneland.techno-zone.net/

michael green
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volume :) compression :) tone control :) staging :)

geoff said

"Funny how Michael goes on and on as if HE's the expert on dynamic range YET he actually thinks that the volume knob controls dynamic range."

mg

One, I'm not sure too many who visit here anymore geoff buy into your trolling, but you may continue because it remains to bring us clients and members. Second, I'm more than happy to respond to your invitation to promote http://tuneland.techno-zone.net/ where people can see my expertise in audio. And third, why do I get the feeling you have never owned your own recording studio or worked with many recording and mastering engineers?

michael green
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http://tuneland.techno-zone.net/

David Harper
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CD

Hi Micheal,
the good news is for anyone who still likes CD there's never been a better time to buy them. You can go on Amazon and buy brand new CD's for two or three bucks each. And I mean good CD's not just some obscure unpopular junk. Im going to order about ten more this week.

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it really is!

Big time David

We were buying up on average 1 collection about every month or so here. In vegas it's starting to dry up a little, but there for a while I was picking up a lot of goodies. I probably got 500 back at my place in ohio that I haven't even looked at and maybe another 700 here to go through. I'm not sure how many I have at this point but it's got to be up there. More than I will get to in my life I would think.

I'm glad your into it. I think your going to find some real gems. It sounds like your system is doing pretty good these days! What a hobby!!

Let us know what you get.

michael green
MGA/RoomTune
http://tuneland.techno-zone.net/

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OK, let's take Bob Dylan

Ok let's play a little game with Bob Dylan. Here is a list of selected releases on several formats over a period of time. The reason I'm posting this list is to illustrate the point that the dynamic range of NEW RELEASES as well as reissues has suffered quite a bit. The list also illustrates a few other things if you look for them, dear readers.

Bob Dylan Slow Train Coming [Vinyl] i 1979 15 14 17 lossless Vinyl
Bob Dylan Slow Train Coming i 1979 15 14 17 lossless CD
Bob Dylan Slow Train Coming [HDT 192-24] 2015 12 10 14 lossless Download

Bob Dylan Blonde On Blonde i 1989 13 12 15 lossless CD
Bob Dylan Blonde On Blonde [Sony SACD 5.1] i 2003. 13 12 14 lossless CD
Bob Dylan Blonde On Blonde [MFSL SACD] i 2013 11 10 14 lossless Unknown

Bob Dylan Saved i 1990 13 13 15 lossy CD

Bob Dylan World Gone Wrong i 1993 13 11 15 lossy CD
Bob Dylan World Gone Wrong i 2013 13 12 15 lossless CD

Bob Dylan Love and Theft i 2003 08 07 10 lossless Unknown
Bob Dylan Love and Theft 2001 08 07 10 lossless. Unknown

Bob Dylan Infidels [vinyl] i 1983 16 14 17 lossless Unknown
Bob Dylan Infidels [Remastered] 2003 13 11 15 lossless CD

Bob Dylan Modern Times [vinyl] 2006 10 08 11 lossless Unknown
Bob Dylan Modern Times i 2006 07 06 09 lossless Unknown

Bob Dylan Empire Burlesque 1985 13 12 16 lossless Unknown

Bob Dylan Blood On The Tracks. 1991 12 11 15 lossless Unknown

Bob Dylan Tempest i 2012 09 05 12 lossless Unknown

Bob Dylan The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan (The Original Mono Recordings) i 2010 12 11 14 lossy CD

Bob Dylan Shot of Love i 1989 13 12 15 lossy CD

Bob Dylan Oh Mercy i 1989 14 11 16 lossless Unknown

Finally one I got yesterday luckily,

Bob Dylan Time Out of Mind 1997 12 11 15 lossless Unknown

Cheers,

Geoff Kait
Machina Dynamica

michael green
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Dylan, the actual listening

I happen to have a huge Dylan collection. Why don't we pick one of these and compare what you are hearing and what I am hearing on our systems, geoff? Let's do CD's because that's a common source with the two of us.

let the good times roll :)

michael green
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http://tuneland.techno-zone.net/

geoffkait
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Uh, Michael...
michael green wrote:

I happen to have a huge Dylan collection. Why don't we pick one of these and compare what you are hearing and what I am hearing on our systems, geoff? Let's do CD's because that's a common source with the two of us.

let the good times roll :)

michael green
MGA/RoomTune
http://tuneland.techno-zone.net/

Uh, because we've already done this, remember? We did it with Modern Times. But don't let me stop you. Knock yourself out. I do know one thing, the ones I recall liking the best rate the highest on the Dynamic Range Database. E.g., Oh, Mercy and Shot of Love and Slow Train Coming. There's actually nothing you can say that will make me change my mind. Do let us know what you find out.

Geoff Kait
Machina Dynamica

michael green
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change your mind?

That was a reference? lol. Oh lord dude lol. That's as far as you go lol? How can you talk about stuff when you don't even know how to reference?

Why would I let you stop me? LOL. Referencing music is what I have done professionally since 15 years old.

So what your saying is you like them on the data base but you don't listen to how they perform on a stereo? Why bother posting if your not going to listen and share the listening part? Again it seems like your just copy & pasting info instead of doing the listening part and making comparisons with others. How could you possibly know good or bad if you have no point of reference? Further more, if there is something you would like to change in the music you haven't (since I have seen you write) ever shown how you go about tuning the particulars in. It appears that your basically just listening to a portable player while looking up random data-base and trying to build something on this without actual doing an involved listening.

Lastly, why would I want to change your mind? I have serveral listening rooms and am actively involve in referencing recordings and systems from all over the world, every day. All I'm interested in here is that listeners have a chance to explore this industry by being a part of it through doing. If a data base helps them or gives them some kind of security that's cool. In the words of the guy who started this Magazine "it's not my desire to listen by specs, it's my desire to listen to music".

It looks to me like you have, on your own, done the changing from listening to an in-room system 9 years ago, jumping to a headphone CD system "never looking back" (you said), forsaking that for a portable cassette player, and now back to CD's with ear buds copying and paste a random DR data-base. On top of this without talking about what you are hearing for people to compare, I think many would and do say, what's your point about SACD's and dynamics (OP) and why not base any of your posts on the very thing all of us are doing, listening and sharing notes on our listening?

I don't know about the rest of the guys, but I do this hobby to actually listen, in my rooms, with my systems. And, I tune my systems to give me whatever I want to hear from that piece of music as an individual piece of art, or in general depending on my mood. Why would I after all these years of recording and playback want to look at an amateur random data-base that tells me nothing I shouldn't already know? If I can't hear the differences in recordings as well as be able to grade them on several levels, I should be spending more time learning how to listen to the hobby of being an audiophile.

If you want to make a point, you should be sharing all the parts and pieces of how compression works as it applies to recordings, conditions, environments, sources, audio components and human listening EQ preferences. I see none of this when I look at the data-base. Nothing that tells me if I'm listening to old Klipsch horns on one system and Rogers LS3 5A's on another what to expect from the data-base to help me get the best from both with "sweet baby james", one using a rega table and the other an ARC CDP. It looks like your using the data base regardless of what the system conditions are including taste.

For example, if your using the highest rating of dynamics with a titanium bullet horn tweeter in a smallish room with no top end EQing and tweaky mosfets you could be in a lot of trouble. You use those dynamics in that condition and you don't have ringing in your ears going in, you will coming out.

geoff, this hobby and industry is here for a reason and I don't see people trying to change your mind as much as some of us wanting you to be a little more learned on these topics. If you haven't been listening to an in-room system regularly, and just ear buds your not going to be of much partical use for those who take this hobby a little more serious. It's good that you have brought up DR for anyone who may not know, but it would be good if you could make the topic more practical for the end user.

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Let me clue you in

I realize you have a bad habit of not reading posts and getting way off track of what the thread is actually about, preferring, one assumes, to carry on a make-believe conversation with your potential customers who might be reading these pages, so let me remind you what this thread is really about, so we don't keep bogging the thread down with your sophomoric observations about the hobby or the industry or reality and your tiresome insults. This thread concerns the simple question of dynamic range, what is it, why is it compressed, is it audible, is one format more reliable than another with respect to dynamic range. We are NOT discussing your tuning efforts or how to tune electronics to get better sound, whether electronics or anything in the system can be uncompressed using your particular Magik or anyone else's, whether audio parameters other than dynamic range make up for or neutralize shortcomings in dynamic range, trying to see if you can guess what someone's system sounds like by mulling over photos of his room, or comparing what you think one CD sounds like with someone else. Why should I engage you any further than I already have since you by your own admission do not read the posts and also by your own admission don't even know what dynamic range is? If you believe that I'm helping your efforts in trolling for new customers on this web site one can only speculate these new customers whoever they are must a rather naive and gullible lot and perhaps less technically qualified than you, if that's even possible.

Have a nice hair day,

Geoff Kait
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engage LOL

geoff may not want to engage with us but for the rest of us there is so much on the internet to study on compression and the why compression and why was it made

If you take a little interest in the topic you will find why this is used in recordings and if you watch the videos on your computer with headphones you might even be able to hear some of the effect, along with the explaination of.

take a look at DRC

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dynamic_range_compression

I know that geoff tried his compression and volume are not related, but that's just him making his own rules as usual lol. Fact is compression and volume are closely related when we are talking about dynamic ranges. In recording dynamic range has many different affects on the production, the videos will show you this, but as far as volume goes, try not to think of it as only softer and louder when thinking about it in the context of recording and playback from the electronic side. In DR there is volume, compession and limiting that all are at play. Start thinking of it as, saturation of space, might help.

lets start from the beginning

http://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=compression+in+mastering&FORM=HDRSC3

http://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=how+to+use+a+compression+in+recording&qpvt=how+to+use+a+compression+in+recording&FORM=VDRE

and a little on some uses of C/L's

http://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=how+to+use+a+compressor+limiter&FORM=HDRSC3

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The Song Reamins the Same

Of course you are completely out to sea on this. You not only have failed to grasp what dynamic range is and how it's different from volume or loudness but you cannot learn even when the subject matter is staring you right in the face. The whole point of the Loudness Wars is that it actually exposes what the "industry" (which One assume includes you) has been doing for the last 20 years, and that is SUBSTITUTING LOUDNESS FOR DYNAMIC RANGE. Quoting Wikipedia is for sissies. If you can't baffle them with bullshit snow them with links. LOL. You can turn down the volume 3 dB but that does not reduce the Dynamic Range. When the music is played loud the softest passage is louder than it would be with the volume turned down 3 dB. AND so is the loudest passage louder! Thus the difference between the loudest to softest sound - the Dynamic Range - remains the same - regardless of where the volume control knob is placed. Hel-loooo! See, that's not so difficult.

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compression

I guess its not really possible to have no compression for home listening. Imagine having a real live symphony orchestra in your listening room and having them perform "A Day in the Life" by the Beatles. The crecendo would break your windows. Not to mention destroying your ear drums. I think audiophiles are a tiny minority of music consumers and nobody really cares about us. I don't get why music thats been compressed cannot be uncompressed upon playback. You would think there could be some kind of software that could do it, but I'm told that once the information is gone (compression), theres no way to get it back. This makes sense in the case of data compression,(MP3), but not so much sense in the case of dynamic range compression. Why can't the music be "expanded" upon playback?

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Is it real or is it Memorex?

Actually, that's a little misleading, just a bit. Having very high dynamic range won't necessarily break the windows. Only when the volume knob is turned up too high do you run into problems. Like Michel J. Fox in Back to the Furture with Doc's huge speakers and super amps. But keeping the Volume Knob at a reasonable level doesn't reduce the dynamic range of the recording as I just finished explaining in my last post, nor does turning UP the volume increase dynamic range. Obviously folks listen to things at different levels. And when we turn the volume up we can run into trouble for all sort so of reasons, including peak loudness and distortion, which seems like a good topic for the next thread. Even the old Memorex add with a constant tone, with NO DYNAMIC.RANGE, you can break a glass if the volume is high enough. That's the difference between volume and dynamic range.

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dr

I see what you mean. But if you listened to the song completely uncompressed, you would find it necessary to turn the volume up enough to hear the softer parts, and then you'de be jumping out of your chair when the loud part came on to get to your stereo fast enough to save your amp and speakers from giving up the ghost.

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Back to Black

Heres something truly pathetic. I just looked at Amy Winehouse "Back to Black" on the DR database, and the hi-res version(24/96, I think), which I own on bluray pure audio, has numbers all in the single digits. Something like 5-8-6. Now that sucks. Bluray supposedly has unlimited DR potential.

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Compression is the moral equivalent of rev limiters in Ferraris
David Harper wrote:

I see what you mean. But if you listened to the song completely uncompressed, you would find it necessary to turn the volume up enough to hear the softer parts, and then you'de be jumping out of your chair when the loud part came on to get to your stereo fast enough to save your amp and speakers from giving up the ghost.

Maybe. It all depends on what level you're comfortable with. Some folks LIKE the music loud with high dynamic range. Others prefer music to be moderate or even less than moderate in loudness. It depends on the system too, some systems cannot handle the high dynamic range AT RELATIVELY HIGH VOLUMES. That's kind of the whole reason for the term Digital Ready employ for speakers way back in the 80s which presumably meant the speakers in question could handle the high dynamic range of digital which if you recall was (supposedly) 90 dB. In other words about 100 TIMES greater than a good turntable system, around 60 dB if you're lucky. Vinyl dynamic range as we have seen can be quite high, but was limited by the equipment, whereas digital equipment dynamic range was also very high, like the CD, about 90 dB. All things being equal I'd like to be able to get the maximum dynamic range possible not leave it to Beaver to limit the dynamic range. How would you like it if you bought a Ferrari California for $220,000 and found out that they put in a rev limiter? Not very much, I suspect.

I think we already mentioned why the industry chose to compress dynamics: because speakers that weren't "digital ready" might be at risk and that mobile users, like the ones with iPods and cell phones don't have the means to play full dynamic range recordings at high volume. But it's NOT a volume issue per se. You can stil blow up your speakers by turn up the volume too high on compressed recordings. Hel-loo!

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Single digit dynamic range
David Harper wrote:

Heres something truly pathetic. I just looked at Amy Winehouse "Back to Black" on the DR database, and the hi-res version(24/96, I think), which I own on bluray pure audio, has numbers all in the single digits. Something like 5-8-6. Now that sucks. Bluray supposedly has unlimited DR potential.

Exactly! That's kind of the whole point. I guess the heads of the studio probably think that only teenagers high on Ecstasy listen to Amy Winehouse on their iPods and crappy cellphones. Now you see why I'm so pissed. Lol.

It's one thing to say well vinyl systems can't provide really high dynamic range due to the limitations of turntables, which in the best of cases come out around what 60-65 dB? But vinyl isn't the limiting factor necessarily. But for a medium like digital which promises equipment AND media Dynamic Ranges in excess of 90 dB there is no excuse for compressing the CDs so much. Most likely it is a purely a business decision and I suspect they wouldn't necessarily have resorted to excessive compression unless they felt threatened financially. Recall that the lower the dynamic range the higher you can make the volume on the CD. Kids stil like their music loud, fer crying out loud! Hahahah

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dr

But in the case of a typical compressed recording you can hear the volume level your getting as you're turning it up, so if you turn it up loud enough to blow speakers, it's pretty much your own stupidity. With a recording completely uncompressed, you would have no way of knowing what volume level you're going to get until it's too late.

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David Harper wrote:
David Harper wrote:

But in the case of a typical compressed recording you can hear the volume level your getting as you're turning it up, so if you turn it up loud enough to blow speakers, it's pretty much your own stupidity. With a recording completely uncompressed, you would have no way of knowing what volume level you're going to get until it's too late.

I think that's partly true. The reasons I say partly true is 1) the volume level is always much lower on the uncompressed recordings. Thus, if your player is used to being on 7 for a compressed CD you should find that when the uncompressed CD comes on it will sound too soft especially if the passage in the beginning is a softer part of the music like classical pieces generally. That's what they are forced to do to prevent what you're suggestîng. 2) is at least in the old days when digital was new and high dynamic ranges were new, there would be warnings on the vinyl like Telarcs to be careful about setting the volume due to the VERY HIGH DYNAMIC RANGE. (3 is the fact that as the Dynamic Range Database shows very few CDs or LPs have what we would call unlimited dynamic range. Very few in fact have higher numbers than say 14, 15 and 16. Any CD or LP with more than 17 or 18 is very rare. So the odds of actually even accidentally blowing ones speakers up I are pretty low IMHO. The irony of course is that here it is more than 30 years later and the public is still relatively ignorant of dynamic range.

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So, how do Classicsl CDs fare dynamic range wise?

Some classical CDs and dynamic range. Keep in mind the original tapes of these go back to the fifties and sixties.

London Symphony Orchestra/Antal Dorati The Firebird, Fireworks, Song of the Nightingale, Tango & Scherzo a la russe 1991 14 11 19 lossless CD

Philharmonia Hungarica, Antal Dorati (Dir.) Respighi: Ancient Dances & Airs 1992 12 10 14 lossless Unknown

Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Fritz Reiner Richard Strauss: Also sprach Zarathustra, Ein Heldenleben i 1993 12 10 14 lossless Unknown

Fritz Reiner, Chicago Symphony Orchestra Rimsky-Korsakov - Scheherezade, Stravinsky - Song of the Nighingale i 1956 (1993) 12 09 14 lossless CD

Chicago Symphony Orchestra/Fritz Reiner Bartók: Concerto for Orchestra; Music for Strings, Percussion & Celesta; Hungarian Sketches (HDtracks 176/24) 2013 13 11 16 lossless Download

Herbert von Karajan Beethoven Violin Concerto In D, Op.61 i 1985 15 14 16 lossless CD

Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra/Herbert von Karajan Verdi: Aida (Disc 3) 1989 14 12 16 lossless CD
Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra/Herbert von Karajan Verdi: Aida (Disc 2) 1989 12 09 16 lossless CD
Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra/Herbert von Karajan Verdi: Aida (Disc 1) 1989 14 11 17 lossless CD

Chicago Symphony Orchestra/Claudio Abbado Gustav Mahler: Symphonie No.7 1994 13 11 18 lossless CD

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Norah Jones

I saw on the database that Norah Jones "Come away with me" on vinyl has real good numbers so I went over to Barns and Noble and bought it. As soon as it started playing you could hear the sound was awesome. Kind of ironic the medium with LESS potential DR turns out to have the most. Maybe they're mastering or recording vinyl for audiophiles? Maybe if CD becomes unpopular enough, they'll start recording them the same way.

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Yes, kind of ironic!
David Harper wrote:

I saw on the database that Norah Jones "Come away with me" on vinyl has real good numbers so I went over to Barns and Noble and bought it. As soon as it started playing you could hear the sound was awesome. Kind of ironic the medium with LESS potential DR turns out to have the most. Maybe they're mastering or recording vinyl for audiophiles? Maybe if CD becomes unpopular enough, they'll start recording them the same way.

Of course the whole idea that a medium declared dead, long dead actually, like vinyl, also like audio cassettes that I am listening to a lot these days, apologies to Michael Green, same basic thing, analog, frequently exhibits sound far superior to their digtial cousins. And it's not just the dynamic range that is so different, it's just about everything - once you get past the pops and clicks of some vinyl and the tape hiss of both vinyl and cassettes, that old digiphile argument, a big world of tonality, coherence, fullness, bass response, realism in treble as opposed to the silly tinny, unnatural and harsh top end of most digital, and the synthetic metallic sound of digital opens up. What's strange is that more people don't notice what seems to me to be a HUGE difference in sound quality or don't hear it for some reason, who know why? Anyways, in case you missed it here is another thread on the touchy subject of digtial vs analog from a couple months ago on this forum and basically is a debate between two folks on the opposite sides of the argument with some overlap.

http://www.stereophile.com/content/digital-future-best-media

And for those who might have real trouble sleeping there is my opus on How to tell the difference between CDs and vinyl, from back in September, which nobody responded to by the way...boo, hoo

http://www.stereophile.com/content/how-tell-which-better-vinyl-or-digital

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system and or hearing

geoff said

"Thus the difference between the loudest to softest sound - the Dynamic Range - remains the same - regardless of where the volume control knob is placed"

mg

I take it geoff hasn't read or watch any of the material in these some over 200 sources on dynamic range.

So lets put the geoff vs the world opinion aside for now, and do our own test.

Pick out a CD and go into your listening room at start playing the recording at a low volume. Get use to it paying attention to the dynamic range. Now turn it up to that 3db gain (twice as loud) and listen again. Can any of you not hear the dynamic range change? geoff says he can't, but what do you say?

If you can't hear the dynamic range changing as you adjust gain on any part of your system, I might recommend you go back to the beginning and start learning the hobby of listening all over again. I'm not saying this to be mean, but to encourage you to learn more about the audiophile hobby. Maybe you should begin by learning what recordings are and how they are done, and for what they are done, and then move into what your Hi Fi system can do.

By geoff's responses it starts to make me wonder how many others have no idea about these audio topics here, and again takes me back to what I was talking about with other members as to why so few people come to the stereophile forum anymore.

Maybe geoff should move a little higher up the food chain from ear buds so he is able to hear dynamic range changes. But I am a little surprised that he is not able to discern this even with ear buds. Dynamic range is several layers deep an it is a little scary that the OP can't hear the very thing that the industry has learned since the first electronic recordings.

Sorry geoff but saying I don't know the difference in these matters is like saying a musical instrument only can play one note. And why attack people who make recordings when you yourself have never even been inside of a recording studio? Sorry to repeat what we have been saying, but why are you here talking about dynamic range when you just said you can't hear it?

I know the trolling spin is about to happen again from geoff saying we don't know and he does, but doesn't he know that some of us actual do have stereos and listen to them?

so readers do what I asked and listen at different volumes and let us know if you can't hear the difference in dynamic range when you change the volume

as for the rest that bother to look, pull up pictures of compression devices and tell me they do not have variable gain

oh well, back to listening :)

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Ooops, SYS ERR 33

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Michael should quit while he's behind

I am not sure exactly what Michael is going on and on about as I already agreed that the electronics and the room etc. can produce compression and other undesirable effects in the sound. That's not exactly news, by the way. Actually if Michael took the time to read the posts here before going off on one of his Red Herring Mystery Tours and Tuning Rants he'd realize I acknowledged, many times on a number of threads, there are problems related to comb filter effects, transparency of the clear layer in CDs, seismic vibration, induced vibration from transformers, motors, capacitors, transport mechanisms, induced magnetic fields in wire and cable, directionality of wire, all of this without having to mention Morphic fields. But this thread is NOT about those things. We have other threads here for all of that. This thread is about dynamic range of CDs and SACDs, etc. and how the Dynamic Range Database relates to what one hears from a given artist, a given issue and a given format. You know, something that you HAVE TO LIVE WITH, as opposed to things you can address and hopefully improve. Maybe if you took the time to actually read the posts here you would be a little more on target with YOUR posts. But if you want to go on pretending this thread is about something else go ahead and knock yourself out.

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DR

really annoying that my CD of Patti Smith "Horses" has crap dr numbers but the previous CD mastered 8 years earlier has good numbers! Whats up with that? Did some recording engineer think "this CD's dynamic range is too good. I think I should remaster it and ratchet down the DR"
For some interesting reading go to wikipedia and look up " Patti Smith/Horses"

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Read 'em and weep
David Harper wrote:

really annoying that my CD of Patti Smith "Horses" has crap dr numbers but the previous CD mastered 8 years earlier has good numbers! Whats up with that? Did some recording engineer think "this CD's dynamic range is too good. I think I should remaster it and ratchet down the DR"
For some interesting reading go to wikipedia and look up " Patti Smith/Horses"

More sympathetic I could not be. This is exactly what I've been saying, that as time moves on things are getting worser and worser. The last I don't know four Stones albums are super compressed, ditto Dylan. The number three band in England EVER is Radiohead which is actually quite good. But their record company has totally dropped the ball dynamic range wise. In fact Radiohead might be the poster child for overly compressed CDs. Take a gander at Radiohead's pathetic history below, their page on the Unofficial Dynamic Range Database. Fortunately for your humble scribe my favorite Rahiohead album is their first, Pablo Honey, which somehow escaped the hangman's noose.

http://dr.loudness-war.info/album/list?artist=Radiohead&album=

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:)

http://www.soundonsound.com/sos/feb14/articles/loudness-war.htm

and

http://www.soundonsound.com/sos/sep11/articles/loudness.htm

geoff I apologize that you feel I'm not reading your posts. I only have so much time, and it's mostly spent on tuning clients systems in as well as working with my peers in the music industry. I'm also surprised to hear you call info sites sissy, but this is a reflection on you not them I would think. I'm also surprised that your trying to make this thread into a data feedback thread without taking the time to share the history or latest thoughts on these topics. You call people names who skim over your posts, but fail to look at why we would.

Most of the people I know are not amateurs when it comes to "the loudness wars", many of us have seen this come about from way back and have been suggesting the volume/compression standards that are needed.

I know you either disagree or don't understand the proccess of how and why this and many things have come to be and suggest that the music making industry are not in the know, but I would like you to take a second look at how this is and why, as well as how recording & playblack are indeed moving toward working together.

There are tons of articles that should be brought into the mix here to give a propper heads up. We in the audio industry can only point to the water, we're not going to force you to drink.

However, we will keep trying to educate and attempt to show the Phile there are deeper discussions on these same matters.

michael green
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There he goes again

Michael, it's not that I feel you're not reading my posts. I KNOW you're not reading my posts or anyone else's posts. Otherwise you wouldn't make so many silly statements. You know, for someone who doesn't yet know the difference between volume and dynamic range I'm not sure I would continue with this charade if I were you. Not that I mind. In fact it's very humorous. I always enjoy these arguments that include the phrase, we in the industry, or some such rubbish. Stop being part of the problem, be part of the solution. Lol

What is an Appeal to Authority?

Argument from authority, also ad verecundiam and appeal to authority, is a common form of argument which leads to a logical fallacy.[1]

In informal reasoning, the appeal to authority is a form of argument attempting to establish a statistical syllogism.[2] The appeal to authority relies on an argument of the form:[3]

A is an authority on a particular topic
A says something about that topic
A is probably correct

Fallacious examples of using the appeal include any appeal to authority used in the context of logical reasoning, and appealing to the position of an authority or authorities to dismiss evidence,[4][5][6] as authorities can come to the wrong judgments through error, bias, dishonesty, or falling prey to groupthink. Thus, the appeal to authority is not a generally reliable argument for establishing facts.[7][8]

Cheers and have a nice day.

Geoff Kait
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Okie dokie geoffy...

..but if you don't mind, I'll keep posting for those who wish to go deeper in their studies of how audio works :)

As I said there are many great sources available today when studying these topics and when I can add to these and point to articles that explain things in detail I'll do so.

Hopefully listeners will read through the geoff version and others that present their points of view. I would encourage a little more of the recording side, but to each his own.

As a side note: geoff seems to be calling himself a sissy. Poor old feller :)

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Welcome aboard, sailor!
michael green wrote:

..but if you don't mind, I'll keep posting for those who wish to go deeper in their studies of how audio works :)

As I said there are many great sources available today when studying these topics and when I can add to these and point to articles that explain things in detail I'll do so.

Hopefully listeners will read through the geoff version and others that present their points of view. I would encourage a little more of the recording side, but to each his own.

As a side note: geoff seems to be calling himself a sissy. Poor old feller :)

michael green
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It warms my heart to see you've come over to my side on this whole dynamic range compression thing. Why, it seems just like yesterday you were grousing that dynamic range could be controlled using the volume knob and that dynamic range was unimportant, anyway, just another audio parameter if we ask you. You most likely thought all this rumpus about hyper agressive compression was a skirmish instead of a war. Welcome aboard, sailor!

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message without the trolling :)

Hi Readers

As requested by you the members of Stereophile I have moved some of the material from here to a more appropriate thread http://www.stereophile.com/content/end-loudness-war-0

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Kind of Blue dynamic range

Guess teeny boppers don't listen to Miles Davis much. Kind of Blue in particular seems to have escaped the itchy finger of the audio engineer dynamic range wise.

Kind of blue

Miles Davis Kind of Blue (MFSL SACD) i 2015 14 13 15 lossless CD

Miles Davis Kind of Blue (Qobuz 96khz/24bit) 2013 14 12 14 lossless Download

Miles Davis Kind of Blue (Mofi Red Layer) 2015 14 13 15 lossless CD

Miles Davis Kind Of Blue 1997 13 12 15 lossless CD

Miles Davis Kind Of Blue i 2007 15 14 15 lossless Unknown

Miles Davis Kind of Blue i 2009 13 12 15 lossless CD

Miles Davis Kind Of Blue [mono] i 2013 14 13 15 lossless CD

Miles Davis Kind Of Blue [DSD] (Acoustic Sounds download) i 2013
14 14 15 lossless Unknown

Miles Davis Kind of Blue (HD Tracks 192/24) i 2013 14 12 14 lossless Unknown

Miles Davis Kind of Blue (SACD) i 1999 14 14 15 lossless Unknown

Miles Davis Kind of Blue (Japan) i 2006 14 14 15 lossless Unknown

Miles Davis Kind Of Blue [viny] i 2001 14 12 15 lossless Unknown

Geoff Kait
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