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Article: Does Vinyl Really Sound Better?

scott wurcer

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The groove bleed through comment comes from Steve Hoffman and other mastering labs offering DDM masters, which are less prone to it. As I said the tape speed is constant but the groove velocity isn't so you should be able to tell them apart.
 

xr100

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What I'm talking about then? Many Cds of 80-s and even 90s has awfull mastering and comparing them with vinyl is like day and night. But only because of mastering, not because of formats itself.
Do you mean back catalogue (old) re-releases, or releases that were new at the time?
 

xr100

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Almost all re-releases and significant new releases of 80s and early 90s. Combo with a most different sound that I have is Micheal Jacson Thriller on usual USA lp (not even first press) and original 1982 CD. Lp - super good, cd - awfull.
I have a couple of lossless (CD) copies of "Thriller." Measuring the "1982" one using the "TT Dynamic Range Meter," the overall "DR" calculation comes out as 12, which matches some of the 1982 versions.

There is a fair bit of audible noise so I wonder if it's inherent or due to additional generational loss, albeit there is quite a lot of "space" in the arrangements allowing it to be unmasked. Overall, I'd say it sounds good; clear, well balanced, good transients on percussion--though it is obviously constrained by the equipment that was used at the time.

Incidentally, there is a good article about the recording process over on the Sound on Sound website.

Here's a relevant quote:

"[Recording engineer Bruce] Swedien [circumvented] one of the deleterious side‑effects of tape‑based multitracking: that repeated playback of the tape during the overdubbing and production process would progressively dull the transients of previous recorded tracks. 'If you go back to the recordings I made with Michael, my big worry was that if those tapes got played repeatedly, the transient response would be minimised. I heard many recordings of the day that were very obviously done that way, and there were no transients left on those tapes. So what I would do would be to record the rhythm section on a 24‑track tape, then take that tape and put it away and wouldn't play it again until the final mix. And — holy cow — what a difference that made! It was just incredible.'"

Also, very specific techniques were used to acquire those (excellent) drum sounds, and use was made of (Blumlein pair) stereo mic'd recording. The sound FX at the start of the title track are a good example of "true stereo" microphone technique.

An absolute top-of-the-line production. In the "pop music" world, I don't think anything like it will ever be made again.
 
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scott wurcer

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That being said, I finally get it now (albeit in a strange way) thanks to my wife and TV. :D A year ago, I treated myself to a beautiful 65" OLED 4K TV and carefully calibrated everything in the video path 'just right'. My wife stopped watching TV in that room completely... eventually she told me that it was because she found it too disturbing watching movies and shows "as if you were there looking through a window".
Sorry if I was not clear before, this is what I was talking about. By some strange coincidence I let my sister use my Florida house and when I got here she told me she had to go on the web to figure out how to turn off the default settings on my 4K TV. IMO it has nothing to do with nostalgia but artistic expression. I am not talking about modern content created for 4K/8K TV at all. OK it's not just me.

So, filmmakers Paul Thomas Anderson, Ryan Coogler, Patty Jenkins, Martin Scorsese and Christopher Nolan reached out to the UHD Alliance—which includes consumer electronics manufacturers, film and television studios, content distributors and tech companies—and decided to build out a solution to motion smoothing that would allow viewers to watch movies at home just as the directors had intended.

Called "Filmmaker Mode," this setting will preserve the correct aspect ratios, colors and frame rates in movies and "provides a way for consumers to better experience the filmmaker’s vision," Michael Zink, UHD Alliance Chairman and vice president of technology for Warner Bros., said in a media statement.
 

xr100

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Sorry if I was not clear before, this is what I was talking about. By some strange coincidence I let my sister use my Florida house and when I got here she told me she had to go on the web to figure out how to turn off the default settings on my 4K TV. IMO it has nothing to do with nostalgia but artistic expression. I am not talking about modern content created for 4K/8K TV at all. OK it's not just me. (Snipped out "Filmmaker mode" blurb/quote)
Exactly. There is a massive drive to get this sorted out, for one because "out of the box" TVs have long been intentionally inaccurate in a way that superficially looks impressive.

In what's been a fast moving market, I'm still pondering over when to upgrade. However, a (cheapskate!) friend of mine has just bought a HiSense TV which supports Dolby Vision. Sure enough, selecting a Netflix title (using the built-in "app") that was available in Dolby Vision turned on the TV's Dolby Vision mode.

IIRC ALL picture setting options were turned off, except for the ability to toggle between modes for an illuminated room or a dark room. I actually found this somewhat annoying, as I quite like motion processing (aka "motion-compensated frame interpolation," or "soap opera" effect as those who dislike it somewhat bizarrely label it) and other processing options can be useful.

Anyway, with Dolby Vision, whatever the bits "mean" is what's shown on the display, to the extent that the display is capable of it. In audio terms that would be like a forced flat frequency response and calibrated SPL level (but with processing to account for the limitations of the speaker, e.g. wouldn't expect 115dB @ 20Hz out of a bookshelf speaker, and analogously, can't expect deep blacks out of a bargain-basement HiSense TV with an edge-lit PVA (?) LCD panel, etc.)

If in transfer/mastering the picture is, say, coloured to look like some "hyper-technicolor" nonsense, then that's not the fault of the TV.
 
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digicidal

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Sorry if I was not clear before, this is what I was talking about. By some strange coincidence I let my sister use my Florida house and when I got here she told me she had to go on the web to figure out how to turn off the default settings on my 4K TV. IMO it has nothing to do with nostalgia but artistic expression. I am not talking about modern content created for 4K/8K TV at all. OK it's not just me.
I totally agree on the artistic expression aspect, but that wasn't what I was talking about in regard to my wife's preference. Her preference is for all content - regardless of origin media and format - to be 24p with a muted, warm palette. So even if it's a reality TV show filmed all digital with a "normal" (read as seen with the naked eye) white balance - it looks like it was shot with film for cinema in the 70's-90's.

If I'm watching a film, then I do indeed want it presented as the director and production company released it... however, unlike her - I would prefer watching, for example, a 4K nature show on underwater fauna... to look as if I'm diving with the crew myself... not as if I'm watching a classic film of it.

Hence the analogy to "adding vinyl texture" to a clean digital track. I don't want that at all - but clearly there are many who do.
 
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