• WANTED: Happy members who like to discuss audio and other topics related to our interest. Desire to learn and share knowledge of science required as is 20 years of participation in forums (not all true). There are daily reviews of audio hardware and expert members to help answer your questions. Click here to have your audio equipment measured for free!

Review of the Dire Straits album Money For Nothing with comparison between CD, Cd remastered in 1996, streaming and vinyl of the new 2022 remastering

Landauer

Member
Joined
Sep 4, 2022
Messages
5
Likes
16
This being ASR, I'm wondering how audible these differences in DR are to the average listener (or maybe this has already been answered?).
 

dlaloum

Major Contributor
Joined
Oct 4, 2021
Messages
1,830
Likes
1,269
All I know is that the LP edition cuts short "Why Worry" and that the SACD is in full surround.

The rest is just too much time on people's hands spent worrying about close to nothing.

Also, Mark Knopfler is better as a solo artist.


Don't know about "close to nothing" - the opening of Money for Nothing finishes with a solid series of kick drum thumps. On a good system, you could feel it in your chest - loads of dynamic oomph probably around 50Hz.

That thump in the chest, is completely gone from all of the later versions. - It is a substantial artistic difference - that audible Full Stop ends the intro and launches the main part of the song and the drum solo that leads into it - it is best described as "muted"... in the early version it wasn't muted.
 

sweetsounds

Member
Joined
Apr 24, 2019
Messages
68
Likes
128
The average listener on a car radio won't hear it. The more compressed version might even be more enjoyable: compression amplifies small details at the expense of losing the dynamics in drums and singers and sounds louder at first.

Attentive listening is required.

It was identified in double blind testing using a Genelec desktop computer audio.

For people looking for a joyful listening experience, a moderate level of compression (in mastering some compression is needed) yields best results. So
 

Robert C

Member
Joined
Sep 29, 2017
Messages
80
Likes
71
Location
London, UK
If you dive into the metadata it's usually a version of the latest CD release available. With stuff from the before the 90's there are probably at least half a dozen releases that are all different (without calling them a remaster). Just check out https://dr.loudness-war.info/ on how many versions your favorite 80's album had and how different the DR is (even if you dispute that the DR rating is relevant, it shows that the versions are not the same). For instance, check out Thriller.

That would be something! Instead of focusing on High-res, this would defiantly be a selling point!
On the flipside, there are a lot of recordings from the analogue era, never reissued on CD, that labels are digitising and simply dumping onto streaming and download platforms without being sonically 'interfered' with. Lots of '50s and '60s material, especially from Sony.
 

Sal1950

Grand Contributor
The Chicago Crusher
Forum Donor
Joined
Mar 1, 2016
Messages
11,594
Likes
12,798
Location
Central Fl
The 1985 CD release of Brothers was the very first CD I ever bought. I still have a bit perfect rip on my hard drive that I listen to often.
It sounds awesome and has that 16db average range that gives the sound it's drive.
Kind of kills that whole BS myth about how early CD's sounded like shit doesn't it? LOL
Perfect sound forever, pretty dang near when done correctly, thank you. ;)

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Analyzed: Brothers In Arms / Artist: Dire Straits
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
DR Peak RMS Duration Title [codec]
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
DR20 -0.00 dB -22.32 dB 5:12 01 - So Far Away [flac]
DR19 -0.00 dB -22.10 dB 8:25 02 - Money For Nothing [flac]
DR13 -5.95 dB -22.26 dB 4:12 03 - Walk Of Life [flac]
DR14 -7.78 dB -25.43 dB 6:33 04 - Your Latest Trick [flac]
DR13 -12.70 dB -29.28 dB 8:31 05 - Why Worry [flac]
DR17 -2.43 dB -24.16 dB 6:58 06 - Ride Across The River [flac]
DR14 -2.18 dB -22.97 dB 4:40 07 - The Man's Too Strong [flac]
DR18 -0.00 dB -20.96 dB 3:39 08 - One World [flac]
DR15 -4.00 dB -24.67 dB 6:54 09 - Brothers In Arms [flac]
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Number of files: 9
Official DR value: DR16

Sampling rate: 44100 Hz
Average bitrate: 691kbs
Bits per sample: 16 bit

Dr14 T.meter 1.0.16
==============================================================================================
 

dasdoing

Major Contributor
Joined
May 20, 2020
Messages
2,945
Likes
1,694
Location
Salvador-Bahia-Brasil
chopped of 5.2dB of the peak with two instances of Ozone Maximizer: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1bu9UnBwTdfr4mr9QYXGCkeWPW0ecqgUz/view?usp=sharing

I am no engineer, and I could have tried harder (one more instance?), but I am interested what you guys hear

anyways, even if one can ABX the diference, it is undeniable that percevied diference is not 5.2dB....which was the point I was making. DR is not a good meassure...not with modern limiters which are very advanced
 

Sined

Member
Joined
Dec 25, 2021
Messages
12
Likes
8
Location
Mont St-Hilaire, Canada
The original 1985 CD and LP had a kick drum "hit" at just after 1:00 which on a good system would give you a solid chest thump.... all the subsequent Masterings don't. :(

Forget the remasters - go back to the first release.

And yes they were used as promotional recordings those of us working in the business at the time, received free LP's / CD's... (I rashly traded my LP some years later... :( )
Agree so much ! For many many recordings I listen to, I find that the drums are in the background compared to the other instruments, it's like if it was something they want to hide...
Surprisingly, when I listen to some live shows on Youtube (which we know is not the best audio source and there's certainly some level of compression), drums sound much like it should : with punch! A hard snare hit still sound like a hard snare hit, not like if you would have put a towel on it ! I thought it was a mixing decision until I listened to a clip on this forum that demonstrates the "before/after" effect of DR compression : of course, drums by nature have a very high dynamic range so it is the instrument who suffered the most, it totally lost its percussion nature, sounding dull, in the background, exactly like what I'm complaining about ! So sad... especially when you play drums like me, you know exactly how drums should sound and how much this instrument can add "life" to a piece of music !
 

levimax

Major Contributor
Joined
Dec 28, 2018
Messages
1,754
Likes
2,546
Location
San Diego
This being ASR, I'm wondering how audible these differences in DR are to the average listener (or maybe this has already been answered?).
While the differences are much less than you would think doing the math or looking at the "wave forms" it is way more audible than the difference between a SINAD of 70 dB and 120 dB for an amp or DAC.
 

TK750

Active Member
Joined
Apr 19, 2021
Messages
142
Likes
222
Location
UK
For FLAC? Admittedly on the lower side but nothing unheard of.


Now you are talking about uncompressed audio.
You're quite right, had myself confused and forgot about compression, my mistake!
 

dasdoing

Major Contributor
Joined
May 20, 2020
Messages
2,945
Likes
1,694
Location
Salvador-Bahia-Brasil
drums not having punch anymore has less to do with DR limiting. it's a sound design choice (compression). with the heavy use of drum computers in the 80ies punchy drums just didn't sound "modern" anymore. it is very sad indeed.
 

dasdoing

Major Contributor
Joined
May 20, 2020
Messages
2,945
Likes
1,694
Location
Salvador-Bahia-Brasil
or let me be more clearer: you don't need to afect punchyness to bring DR down. it's a choice, and it's done during production/mixing
 

Blew

Active Member
Joined
Jul 24, 2020
Messages
159
Likes
56
Location
Sydney, Australia
The 1985 CD release of Brothers was the very first CD I ever bought. I still have a bit perfect rip on my hard drive that I listen to often.
It sounds awesome and has that 16db average range that gives the sound it's drive.
Kind of kills that whole BS myth about how early CD's sounded like shit doesn't it? LOL
Perfect sound forever, pretty dang near when done correctly, thank you. ;)
I have this CD too, which I've also ripped using EAC & Accuraterip, but it's not my favourite. The DR is great but I notice slight artefacting/distortion on the high frequencies, which is particularly noticeable on the cymbals.

The SACD version is much better in this regard, as it retains the DR of the original CD but clears up the artefacts. I'm not sure what the reason for this is. I believe the album was originally recorded in digital as one of the first digitally recorded releases and I assumed that the ADC used back then was not up to par, but that doesn't explain the SACD sounding better.
 

Blew

Active Member
Joined
Jul 24, 2020
Messages
159
Likes
56
Location
Sydney, Australia
From what I have seen the most dynamic popular music was recorded from the late 1970's through the early 1990's. Pink Floyd and Dire Straits are notable are examples from the 1970's but there were many others. Even early "grunge" music was digitally recorded and very dynamic such as early Nirvana, Meat Puppets, and others. I would argue the "peak" of dynamic recording was during the late 1980's and early 1990's when engineers were really getting to understand digital recording. Tracy Chapman's 1988 debut is a good example. Some of the best popular dynamic recordings in my opinion are Lyle Lovetts first 4 albums (late 1980's through early 1990's) ... these really showed what the potential of digital recording could be. From the early 1990's on things changed quickly and dynamic popular recordings got louder and louder until today when everything is loud whether new or remastered. See below, I sometimes pick up the "Grammy compilation CD's" at thrifts. By 1997 the Grammy pop recordings were compressed compared to earlier but not too bad but by 2019 anything popular pretty much had to follow the "super loud" style. Things have not changed much since.

The pre-CD era was great for DR but unfortunately far too often albums were mastered with reduced base to account for the limitations of vinyl. I agree that the late 80s to early 90s was the peak for original master recordings because by that time they usually had specific CD masters that didn't limit the base to much, but mostly maintained the DR of vinyl recordings.

What I consider to be almost perfect mastering of a heavy rock album (or double album?) and a great example of what can be achieved when you do it right is the Guns 'n Roses Use Your Illusions. I think DR of around 10 is the sweet spot for heavy rock or metal. Axl Rose had a lot of involvement in the production of these and was often criticised for taking so long to produce them but I think the results speak for themselves. It's a similar story for their following albums. Chinese Democracy came out at the height of the loudness war in 2008 but completely bucked the trend in being a very well mastered album. It's just a pity the music wasn't as great :D See the foo_dr output attached.
 

Attachments

  • foo_dr.txt
    1.7 KB · Views: 10
  • foo_dr.txt
    1.6 KB · Views: 11
  • foo_dr.txt
    1.5 KB · Views: 9

Blew

Active Member
Joined
Jul 24, 2020
Messages
159
Likes
56
Location
Sydney, Australia
Yep. I took the 1988 sample from the page and limited it using some ffmpeg options, that I found on the internet (i.e. someone who knows what they're doing could do it better). This reduced DR from 12 to 7 and peaks by 6 dB:
Code:
DR      Peak    RMS     Duration        Title [codec]
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 DR12    -3.22 dB        -17.41 dB      0:30    money-for-notthing-1988.flac
 DR7     -9.40 dB        -17.44 dB      0:30    money-limit.flac
If anyone wants to compare them, the samples are available here. You can judge how big of a difference does it make. To me, almost none, maybe you have better ears. And I'm not saying this justifies it, but it's good to have some perspective :)
There is also a "money-mix.flac" file there, which switches between the two every 5 seconds:
That's interesting. The original absolutely sounds better to me. The limit version sounds like it has some clipping, but doesn't sound as compressed as the commercial release. Eg this version is much louder: https://open.qobuz.com/track/625086
The original master doesn't sound as good as the SACD master though. The SACD masters are the best I've heard of all Dire Straits releases.
 

Mart68

Major Contributor
Joined
Mar 22, 2021
Messages
1,335
Likes
2,379
Location
England
What I consider to be almost perfect mastering of a heavy rock album (or double album?) and a great example of what can be achieved when you do it right is the Guns 'n Roses Use Your Illusion
I agree, the production on those albums is superb.
 
Top Bottom