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I'm hearing crackling sounds in some tracks. Is this normal?

dep14

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Regarding Fear Inoculum, it's on the album and not just Invincible but also Pneuma and Tempest.

Tool needs to do better. It simply would have just been one person with decent ears listening at a moderate level on a solid system to notice it.
 

Blew

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Wow. I wish I'd found this thread much earlier. I've been trying to find the cause of my headphones (HD660S, HD599S) crackling for a while now.

I've tested listening to the tracks mentioned in this thread and it's exactly the issue I've noticed too. It happens on so many recordings that I was convinced it had to be something with my gear! I mostly notice it in rock and heavy metal recordings, but I assumed that was something to do with the frequencies of the recordings. It's both a relief and a huge disappointment to find out it's not my gear! I've probably come across literally hundreds of examples of it. I guess there are not too many audiophiles who are into heavier rock and metal!

A couple of tracks to test are:
Immortal - Beyond the North Waves
The first minute is full of crackling that makes me grimace every time I play it. An amazing track that's ruined by the production.

White Zombie - Children of the Grave (a great Black Sabbath cover).
From about 5:00 when that strange metal door sound happens.

Something that's not metal (which did make me wonder a bit).
Dead Can Dance - Agape. The fade out from about 6:36

I notice it more at the beginning or end of tracks as they are ramping up or down. I guess they often compress the dynamic range most in these parts?
 

3125b

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I guess there are not too many audiophiles who are into heavier rock and metal!
It's probably just that the mixing engineers for those genres have all gone deaf by now :)

The quality of many modern recordings is so much worse than it has any right to be, honestly. Making a decently good sounding one has never been easier, yet it feels like since the 70s there has been a constant worsening of the situation.

Immortal - Beyond the North Waves
The first minute is full of crackling that makes me grimace every time I play it. An amazing track that's ruined by the production.
That's particularly terrible indeed. Lossless sounds like a 64kbit/s MP3 at best.
 

Propheticus

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Immortal - Beyond the North Waves
The crackling in the intro is so obvious that I wonder if it's not done on purpose. Perhaps going for a lo-fi / tape sound?

makes me grimace every time I play it
So, the slight crackling bothers you, but the grunge voice and heavily distorted guitars you love. Mmmkay :p
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In songs where it's not deliberate, could we be hearing the effects of limiting near 0dB without taking care of preventing inter-sample-overs?
More advanced (true peak) limiters are supposed to prevent these, but if they only use (compression and) a simple limiter...
 
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