Paul Simon - Diamonds on the... Music Analysis

Discussion in 'Music and Recordings' started by purr1n, Mar 3, 2017.

  1. Dino

    Dino Friend

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    Yeah, @gixxerwimp I have thought I would find that useful many times.

    They had these in the 1970s:
    [​IMG]

    Too bad they chose to bake extreme compression into the music we buy.
     
    Last edited: Mar 7, 2017
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  2. DigMe

    DigMe Needs a baby bottle

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    I'm always trying to convince the guys that run sound for me to take a light touch with the compression. They tend to want to go with the "modern sound" that was mentioned here.
     
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  3. Dino

    Dino Friend

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    They probably think you are quite eccentric, @DigMe :)
     
  4. Dino

    Dino Friend

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    I had to google Optimod, @Kattefjaes - jeez! I'd bet that is why some of the stations around here sound so very weird. I could hear compression/limiting and lossy artifacts but there was a lot more going on than I could not identify. I can see why now.
     
    Last edited: Mar 7, 2017
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  5. Thad E Ginathom

    Thad E Ginathom Friend

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    I'm using EQ on the PC to compensate for my HF hearing loss, but messed around with some compression (free tools from Calf) and found the results interesting. But flying blind: without an audio background, I don't even know what some of the knob labels mean!

    But all of this stuff, whether its a "loudness" control or tone knobs on an amplifier, or a complex chain of DSP modules on a PC, should be in our hands as listeners.

    That does not mean that I identify (I don't) with some of the extremists who want to do their own mix from multi-track studio masters!
     
  6. Dino

    Dino Friend

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    The thought occurred to me: If so little thought seems to be put in what masterings are used in demonstrating a headphone, what about when a headphone is listened to during the design process?
     
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2017
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  7. gixxerwimp

    gixxerwimp Professional tricycle rider

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    Wasn't sure where to put this, but it's related to bad mixing/mastering so I'll ask here.

    Discovered London Grammar in the Female vocals that shine thread, and noticed a lot of distortion in the vocals on a few tracks. I threw the worst offender, Wasting My Young Years, into Audacity and it's very badly clipped. The waveform is exactly the same on the "If You Wait" album and the EP. I grabbed someone's vinyl rip for a comparison and it's not as obvious in the waveform but the distortion is still there.

    [​IMG]

    How does this get past the sound engineers? Don't they have warning lights on their fancy mixing boards? Someone in the "What are you listening to now?" thread mentioned that you can tell when they don't use headphones to check their mix as a lot of mistakes that you can't hear on studio monitors make it through. It's such a shame as it spoils some really beautiful music. I really feel like contacting the band and asking them to address this if/when they do a re-release. Hopefully it's not in the original vocal track.

    It's not as obvious in the YouTube video, but the worst distortion is when she sings "We are ..." in the chorus at 1:00 and 2:15
     
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  8. Garns

    Garns Friend

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  9. landroni

    landroni Friend

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    Maybe half of them are grey-haired and deaf... And cannot hear differences between amps and DACs...
     
  10. gixxerwimp

    gixxerwimp Professional tricycle rider

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    This track isn't really sausaged, but something is obviously clipped (to me it sounds like the vocals). The levels don't go all the way to 0db, so some kind of limiter has been applied. Just seems really sloppy and such a shame.
     
  11. gixxerwimp

    gixxerwimp Professional tricycle rider

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    Found this article. They don't seem to be gray-haired and lots of big names are dropped. Too bad more attention wasn't paid to the actual production of the album.
     
  12. Gravity

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    Yeah it's a real shame about London Grammar. I actually like their music but stopped listening to it because of this and because of heavy compression.
     
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  13. Grahad2

    Grahad2 Red eyes from too much anime

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    The strangest things are when a band releases one of those albums that are essentially a long track that fade into each other, but the music websites split them into tracks (works ok with gapless players) AND apply fade (unfixable). WHY??
     
  14. Ringingears

    Ringingears Honorary BFF

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    I ran into this problem a few days ago. A friend and I started talking about Elton John's Goodbye Yellowbrick Road. He is just getting into digital playback and asked me if HDTracks had the album in hires. They do. Luckily I checked the DR Database. He decided to save money and found a 1985 CD DR-13. Sounds great.

    But the worse was when I checked on David Bowie's last album Blackstar. DR-5! What a pity. So I am listening to it free on Amazon Music on my iPad. I only listened twice and then ear fatigue set in.
     
  15. DigMe

    DigMe Needs a baby bottle

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    @gixxerwimp - I hear this way too much on so many albums. It's also kind of the double-edged sword of having good audio gear. Things that you enjoyed before may become unlistenable! When I listened through Cambridge Audio's tracks that they supposedly use to test all of their speakers* there is at least one that has some nasty distortion when the song really kicks in (Cee Lo Green's Bright Lights, Bigger City). I'm wondering why they choose to use this track to test out their equipment and if they seriously cannot hear the distortion. I pointed it out and asked them about it on their blog post but there was no reply.



    *here's the track list: https://www.cambridgeaudio.com/blog/test-your-speakers-cambridge-audio-engineer
    You can find it as a playlist on both Spotify and Apple Music.
     
  16. Kattefjaes

    Kattefjaes Mostly Harmless

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    Given that all but one of the Cambridge Audio products that I've ever owned has developed a fault just out of warranty, a cynical part of me wants to ask if maybe the test is that the equipment doesn't just stop working completely.
     
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2017
  17. gixxerwimp

    gixxerwimp Professional tricycle rider

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    Luckily, for the most part I've been pleasantly surprised when revisiting music I haven't heard in ages through my now more revealing gear and with my now more critical auditory senses. I often discover interesting things I never noticed in the mix and usually haven't found problems of this nature.

    The distortion is so bad in that London Grammar track that I can hear it with HD239s using the Realtek codec on my PC motherboard.

    Guess I'll just have to enjoy them through the 2.1 system connected to my TV in the livingroom, so I can hear less of it.

    Well, that Cee Lo track isn't listed under pristine, well recorded tracks, but rather under Can it keep up with these without getting muddy or rumbling in the low end? So I guess they chose it for its ability to push the woof-woofs.

     
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2017
  18. Ringingears

    Ringingears Honorary BFF

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    The sad thing is they don't need to do this crap. Steven Wilson has done some excellent re-mixing and remastering of Aqualung and Thick as a Brick by Jethro Tull. Actually has improved the sound of my original vinyl. IMO.
     
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  19. DigMe

    DigMe Needs a baby bottle

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    I don't get why they would use a track that has built in distortion if you're listening for bass clarity though!
     
  20. MRC01

    MRC01 Rando

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    @purr1n mentioned this recording recently in a different thread. I still have the original 1986 CD that I played a bazillion times in my 20s, and hadn't listened to it in at least 15 years, so it piqued my interest to go back and listen to it again. It has a nice wide bandwidth and is not excessively compressed. Both on headphones & speakers it has some 3-D depth and breadth, lots of subtle musical details going on in the background, overall a much better recording than most rock/pop from the time.

    Yet hearing it again reminded me of something that bothered me about this recording, and it bothers me still. I'm not sure what the right audiophile term is, but it's soft, over-smoothed. "Soft" and "smooth" sometimes imply veiled which I don't mean here because there is nice low level detail and transients are quick, light, natural and not smeared. But the tonal balance or voicing is unnatural. The voices and instruments sound smoother, sweeter than reality. It's not midrange suck-out, but reminds me of that.
     

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