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How to Find Well Mastered and Recorded Music?

gatorengineer64

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I am fortunate enough to have equipment that is nowhere near limiting the music, the weak point in my chain is the source material. I understand HDtracks is out there, but frankly alot of their stuff isnt that great, and is essentially just upsampled CDs. While not wanting to get into the dicussion of what is good enough quality, I dont want to have Gigabyte files for CD sound. I find I enjoy a well recorded immersive recording much better than a band that I know and like (ideally I would find well recorded versions of their stuff. A long way around to asking is there a database anywhere of the Dynamic range of a recording and a database of best recordings? (I also am aware of Chesky, and they have done some great things). I know the audiophile mags include them in their reviews but..... unaware of a database. Thanks
 

DVDdoug

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Here is a dynamic range database I believe they use the crest factor (peak to average ratio) which can be misleading... It's not useless but for example, when you cut & play a viny album or compress to MP3, the waveshape changes, making some peaks higher and some lower. The new-higher peaks make a "better measurement" without affecting the sound of the dynamics because the peaks are too-short in duration to make a perceived difference.

There is an EBU R 128 Loudness Range measurement that compares the perceived loudness of the loud & quiet parts, so that should be better. But I don't know of a database. And really, there is no one-number to express dynamic range.
 

fpitas

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Classical music often has good recordings. Pop and rock...not so much.
 

Cbdb2

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Yea take those dynamic range measurements with a grain of salt and there's a lot more to great recordings than dynamic range.
As far as great sounding you can find a few lists here but I don't know of any data base.
 
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kemmler3D

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Dynamic range is necessary but not sufficient to get a really great recording.

I was thinking it'd be nice to start a thread along the lines of "post your top 3 best-sounding recordings" to have a list of what albums have the absolute best sound quality, but that might be too redundant with the other threads... what do y'all think?

I was thinking it'd be good to get a bit more structure to the info about each recording to make sure each is discoverable on whatever platform or format you might be using.
 

staticV3

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Here are some useful links:
 
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gatorengineer64

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So doing more poking around, and Blues is a Genre that when well done is magic.


On records..... no thanks no pops clicks scratches and hisses. yes, I grew up buying albums, even had friends with 8 track players in their cars, but we are so far from those days.

StaticV3 the Dolby atmos stuff sounds really interesting, need to explore apps and software for that option to bring it back to phones and buds.......
 

goat76

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I think the music should come first. It's a somewhat strange approach to look for well-mastered and well-recorded music instead of just trying to find the bands and the artists you like for their musical expressions. Some of them will be well-mastered and well-recorded, and some will not, but if you truly love the music you can probably accept that the production could have been better in some cases.
 

kemmler3D

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It's a somewhat strange approach to look for well-mastered and well-recorded music instead of just trying to find the bands and the artists you like for their musical expressions.
Here is what I will say about that. Ultimately, the music is the point. However, recording, mixing and mastering are arguably art forms unto themselves. Just like the most interesting thing about an Ansel Adams photo might be how crisp the image is, sometimes the most interesting thing about a recording is how good the sound quality is.

And frankly there's nothing wrong with being interested in sound quality for its own sake. After all, that's why we're all posting or reading things here and upgrading our stuff, instead of just listening to music on whatever speaker happens to be in the room with us.

Of course the medium only exists in service of the art, but that doesn't mean it's wrong to take note of the medium from time to time.
 

rationaltime

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Blues is a broad term. If you like a recording without all the background
noise, I recommend the Nick Charles album "Into the Blues".

Here is his arrangement of Mississippi John Hurt's "Monday Morning Blues".

One of my favorites is "Denver Blues". For that I think you need to buy
the album. Instead I will point you to this. While not blues, this is another
favorite. Though recorded at home it is clean. Give it a listen.
Nick Charles does "Stand By Me".
 
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gatorengineer64

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Thanks for the various inputs. To clarify a little bit, I really like live music, and have been fortunate to have good enough gear to make it transparent. Now its up to the quality of the recording, to get that live experience. If you take a look at probably the worst recorded album I can think of Adele 21. Now compare that to Chesky's Macy Gray striped for example. Thats the kind of difference I am talking about. Picking through the blues tracks above I found some unbelievably good recordings and if I close my eyes, I think I am there. Jazz at the Pawnshop is probably the best known recording that gives that vibe.
 

Balle Clorin

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According to AudioNote Peter Qvotrup High Fidelity ended with the waxrolls… since then it has been A steady decline.. The only way to counteract that is to pay silly amounts of money to him for some poor measuring tube stuff.Then everything sounds good.

Or put on Chris Jones on Roon , and let the Roon radio do its thing.
 

Steve Dallas

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This is a pretty nice list:

 

JimBean

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The Steve Hoffman forums is a good resource if you're trying to find the best mastered/mixed edition of an album. Although take alot of what's said over there with a grain of salt.
 
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