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 Posted:   Feb 13, 2019 - 3:42 AM   
 By:   Nono   (Member)

Ford Thaxton said in another thread :

https://www.filmscoremonthly.com/board/posts.cfm?forumID=1&pageID=4&threadID=92795&archive=0

"Here is an interesting fact.

A Vast majority of the world listens to their music in THREE WAYS

a.) While working on their computer through their speakers on said computer

b.) On Headphones for their digital device (iPods,iPhones,etc)

c.) In 'the Car while driving.

Now, as a great man once told me, if it passes the CAR TEST and sounds good there, you are in business."

 
 Posted:   Feb 13, 2019 - 4:31 AM   
 By:   Nicolai P. Zwar   (Member)



Chris Malone didn't say the original CD was better, he said it was the easiest on the ears.

He also said that all have their flaws.

The Rhino is certainly not an improvement over the original CD.

The Blue Box is another matter, as Chris Malone said.

When someone hears something I can't hear, I don't think he's necessarily wrong, but I wonder why I can't hear the same.

We can have improvements without any loss.


May well be, then again, according what you just quoted, not necessarily so.

Take noise reduction. No doubt it is an improvement if you remove the noise and hiss inherent in an analog recording, but it comes as a price, so you may choose how much noise reduction (or if any) you use. You choose between less hiss and less ambiance or lots of hiss and lots of ambiance, or aim for something in between, but you can't have both. Unless the technology can remove all noise and hiss but JUST noise and hiss, without removing any of the ambiance. So that's where it gets tricky. Noise and hiss is certainly detrimental to a listening experience, yet on the other hand, yet you can't eliminate it all before it effects other qualities of the music.

I am therefore not offering objective truth in this matter, but my opinion, and to my ears both the Rhino and the FSM sound better than the original CD release of Superman, the FSM CD way, way better.

I don't even know what "easier on the ear" is supposed to mean here.. but it's a usage of words I find at least susceptible in the context of sound quality. But who knows, I might prefer a more sterile sound over one with more hiss, so maybe it's a question of preference, and somebody else might like it the other way around more.

 
 Posted:   Feb 13, 2019 - 4:35 AM   
 By:   Halloween_Jack   (Member)

“I hate compressing audio and normalizing audio and doing things to audio that results in compressed audio or normalized audio. I hate it. Did I say I hate it? I hate it. Many a terrific score ihmo has become a dreadful listening experience because the quiet cue with a gentle oboe and solitary harp sounds just as loud as the following cue with 89 players blowing away. Many a terrific score imho has also become a dreadful listening experience because the audio level is cranked up as loud as possible just so it can be louder than… well, louder than what? Louder just to be louder I guess. Maybe it's just for the earbud folks. Maybe it's just for the people who like distortion. Whatever. To me that kind of mastering is cretinous. Think of This Is Spinal Tap. These go to eleven.“ - Douglass Fake

http://www.intrada.net/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?f=4&t=7137

 
 
 Posted:   Feb 13, 2019 - 4:36 AM   
 By:   Nicholas_DW   (Member)

Ford Thaxton said in another thread :

https://www.filmscoremonthly.com/board/posts.cfm?forumID=1&pageID=4&threadID=92795&archive=0

"Here is an interesting fact.

A Vast majority of the world listens to their music in THREE WAYS

a.) While working on their computer through their speakers on said computer

b.) On Headphones for their digital device (iPods,iPhones,etc)

c.) In 'the Car while driving.

Now, as a great man once told me, if it passes the CAR TEST and sounds good there, you are in business."


And that means those of us who sit in front of the stereo and just listen are screwed by the demands of the car test.

 
 Posted:   Feb 13, 2019 - 4:39 AM   
 By:   Nicolai P. Zwar   (Member)

Ford Thaxton said in another thread :

https://www.filmscoremonthly.com/board/posts.cfm?forumID=1&pageID=4&threadID=92795&archive=0

"Here is an interesting fact.

A Vast majority of the world listens to their music in THREE WAYS

a.) While working on their computer through their speakers on said computer

b.) On Headphones for their digital device (iPods,iPhones,etc)

c.) In 'the Car while driving.

Now, as a great man once told me, if it passes the CAR TEST and sounds good there, you are in business."


Yes, may well be, that is why the vast majority of people happily ditched CDs and LPs for MP3 sound and basic Spotify. I thought we're aiming for something else here.

All music pretty much sounds second rate under the above mentioned conditions, makes little difference there how well it is mastered.

 
 Posted:   Feb 13, 2019 - 4:47 AM   
 By:   Halloween_Jack   (Member)

Mr Fake’s response to Mr Thaxton’s comments about mastering for car playback:

“I often find myself in agreement with you on stuff but not this time. Reducing the audio quality available on a CD for the environments you speak of (car, boom box, headsets, etc.) is a poor concept and any engineer who masters music using this so-called "Car test" as his or her yardstick for quality is doing us all a major dis-service.

To me, that would be identical to saying that all motion picture studios, be they making a brand new Spielberg movie or restoring a Hitchcock classic, should just reduce the clarity of the picture and the multi-channel audio and squeeze it all down to a low-res product simply because most people end up watching the movies on their laptops, iPads, cell phones and whatever other mobile devices they have on hand while doing chores, talking, whatever.

Music does not have to be poorly mastered to be playable on ANY device. And certainly, while one might argue that hip hop and metal do not require a home stereo environment per se, it is madness to master symphonic music in the lowest possible quality just for the folks who play the music in their cars. That's insanity.

As a final note: my CDs to Battle: Los Angeles and The Expendables and Quo Vadis sound dreadful in my car just as much as they do in my studio. They are just too darn distorted. (My old 1951 10" vinyl to Quo Vadis has less distortion... what's wrong with that picture?)

I like a lot of the work you do. Please, I beg of you, don't defend what is currently a very unfortunate development in audio.
--Doug”

http://intrada.net/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?f=4&t=5924&start=15

 
 Posted:   Feb 13, 2019 - 8:40 AM   
 By:   Nicolai P. Zwar   (Member)

I do lots of listening while driving, I have to, since I'm driving a lot. My car has a decent sound system, but obviously, it is no match for a home stereo system. Still, whatever sounds good on my home system also sounds good in my car. Alas, some things that might be acceptable for car listening reveal their limitations when played on a good stereo system. Lots of different noise in a car, and the acoustic qualities of car interiors also leave to be desired, but they may veil some shortcomings of recordings.

 
 
 Posted:   Feb 13, 2019 - 9:18 AM   
 By:   Spymaster   (Member)

As you have said, an orchestral recording is an orchestral recording, if compression is not needed for classical recordings, why is it needed for film music recordings ?

For one thing classical recordings are designed to be heard in nice quiet environments. Film music recordings are designed to be mixed into complex film soundtracks where they're up against cars, explosions, machine guns etc. If you religiously preserved the natural dynamic range you wouldn't hear half of it.

Soundtrack albums are a byproduct of those recording and mixing necessities. That doesnt excuse brickwalling but it does perhaps excuse compression in some cases.

Personally I prefer a recording to have life and presence and ambience. Not one that is technically brilliant but brutally flat. I like a lot of Intrada's decisions (just not The Rocketeer)

 
 Posted:   Feb 13, 2019 - 9:42 AM   
 By:   Sirusjr   (Member)

I agree with Bruce and of course Douglas Fake's statements posted in this thread. We have a lot of great audio engineers out there and you learn to know which ones you trust. For me that includes Chris Malone, James Nelson, and Mike Mattesino.

If you want to look at two recent film scores that were mastered properly, look no further than HTTYD2 and 3. I can't point to what, but something about HTTYD1 is missing that same clarity.

I listen to music in the car a lot but I also know certain Intrada and La La Land releases that I won't listen to in the car. That includes expanded Wyatt Earp and expanded Winston Churchill Battle for Destiny. I don't wish the scores to have been done any other way, but I know if I put them on in the car I may at times wonder why the music stopped. To me this is a sign of a good recording.

 
 Posted:   Feb 13, 2019 - 9:53 AM   
 By:   Basil Wrathbone   (Member)


As a final note: my CDs to Battle: Los Angeles and The Expendables and Quo Vadis sound dreadful in my car just as much as they do in my studio. They are just too darn distorted. (My old 1951 10" vinyl to Quo Vadis has less distortion... what's wrong with that picture?)

--Doug”




I agree with Doug Fake. The distortion in the loud passages of Quo Vadis and Conan the Barbarian makes them the two most unlistenable re-recordings I can recall suffering. Beautiful performances, ruined.
Is there any way these could be improved, even slightly, with remastering? Or were they irretrievably botched at recording stage?

 
 Posted:   Feb 13, 2019 - 10:00 AM   
 By:   solium   (Member)

I think the sound samples for An American Tail from Intrada sound great. But while the original release suffered from low volume, the louder parts really sounded brickwalled. And I can kinda hear it in Intrada's samples too. In other words there's something about that particular recording which brings out a certain amount of distortion.

 
 Posted:   Feb 13, 2019 - 10:16 AM   
 By:   Sirusjr   (Member)


As a final note: my CDs to Battle: Los Angeles and The Expendables and Quo Vadis sound dreadful in my car just as much as they do in my studio. They are just too darn distorted. (My old 1951 10" vinyl to Quo Vadis has less distortion... what's wrong with that picture?)

--Doug”




I agree with Doug Fake. The distortion in the loud passages of Quo Vadis and Conan the Barbarian makes them the two most unlistenable re-recordings I can recall suffering. Beautiful performances, ruined.
Is there any way these could be improved, even slightly, with remastering? Or were they irretrievably botched at recording stage?


I like where you are going here. But that would require them admitting that they screwed up. And they don't seem very interested in that.

 
 
 Posted:   Feb 13, 2019 - 11:32 AM   
 By:   Nono   (Member)

For one thing classical recordings are designed to be heard in nice quiet environments. Film music recordings are designed to be mixed into complex film soundtracks where they're up against cars, explosions, machine guns etc. If you religiously preserved the natural dynamic range you wouldn't hear half of it.

Soundtrack albums are a byproduct of those recording and mixing necessities. That doesnt excuse brickwalling but it does perhaps excuse compression in some cases.


Yes, but why more compression on a new remastered CD than on the original CD release ?

The least we should have is the same dynamic range as in the original albums.

I don't particularly like searching for the older CD releases because someone decided it would be better to reduce it for the remaster.

If there is more compression than on the original album release, there is a problem.

 
 
 Posted:   Feb 13, 2019 - 11:46 AM   
 By:   Nono   (Member)

I agree with Bruce and of course Douglas Fake's statements posted in this thread.

They don't say exactly the same. Bruce always prefers some compression (when it's judiciously done), but not Doug.

 
 Posted:   Feb 14, 2019 - 12:38 AM   
 By:   Nicolai P. Zwar   (Member)


The distortion in the loud passages of Quo Vadis and Conan the Barbarian makes them the two most unlistenable re-recordings I can recall suffering. Beautiful performances, ruined.
Is there any way these could be improved, even slightly, with remastering? Or were they irretrievably botched at recording stage?


I like where you are going here. But that would require them admitting that they screwed up. And they don't seem very interested in that.


Tadlow produced two marvellous recordings of film scores that are widely praised both for their interpretation AND their sound quality. Against all odds, they recorded a full fledged QUO VADIS, which was only available very abbreviated (and in fairly poor sound). I would hardly call that "screwing up", no matter if one peronally likes the mastering the way it is or not.

 
 Posted:   Feb 20, 2019 - 12:26 AM   
 By:   edern   (Member)

The La-La Land releases for The Matrix Reloaded and Revolutions had brickwalled issues.

The Deluxe Edition of The Matrix by Varèse is sadly brickwalled to death compared to the original album, which sounds way better (the DE version even "offers" some clicks and pops that were absent from the original).

One example that I recently experienced : two albums were released for Cris Velasco and Sascha Dikiciyan music for Warhammer 40,000 - Space Marine, one limited only included with the collector edition of the game and the other, released by Sumthing Else and widely available. Sadly, the latter was brickwalled to death compared to the first one. I finally listened to the "Collector" version recently and the difference is like night and day. It now seems like the "image" of the music is much more coherent, focused, organized. When I listen again to the Sumthing Else version now, I get a headache :-(

 
 Posted:   Feb 20, 2019 - 2:11 AM   
 By:   WagnerAlmighty   (Member)

I think all of this compression on the bus might be an example of today's engineers keeping up with the Joneses.

One of my favorite pieces of music is Tristan und Isolde by Wagner (who'd of thunk? lol). Though there have been some stellar performances of this opera in the past several decades, the recording conducted by Karl Bohm (with the incredible Birgitt Nilsson in the female lead) is my favorite.

Now, the Bohm recording is something like fifty five years old and sounds it. The reasons I adore it above more recent, more hi fidelity recordings (besides the awe-inspiring performances) is the fact that bus compression wasn't the "thing" it is today (I call it the downside of technology). Same for the Solti Ring, many of the original mid-60s Beatles recordings, etc.

In so many of the modern day recordings of what is probably Wagner's meisterwerk the compression is so obvious...it leeches the blood out of performance and squashes dynamics. Now, this engineering trend actually works toward the good on recordings that emphasize the beat like the majority of Pop (which I mean to include all subgeners like Rap, Hip Hop, Country, Rock/Metal, etc). However, when it comes to music that requires some conscious immersion to get the most out of it, compression defeats the purpose. One of the most thrilling instruments in the solo violin, and one of the reasons for that is its ability to employ so many dynamic range-stretching techniques, including subito (which was a favorite of Jerry G.'s). This, being perhaps the most expressive, dynamic instrument in history, is one of the main victims of over compression. A violin isn't cut out for compression, because it's range is an integral part of its value.

That said, I'm getting more forgiving, for one on the Tadlow Conan the Barbarian, which is a really excellent performance that pays off big time once the compression issue is put aside during the listening experience imo. Yes, the Destroyer is less glossy in that sense, however I personally have come to believe one should most definitely have both; for one reason because I've owned the OST many times (including the Intrada) and come to the conclusion that the original CTB really didn't sound that great to begin with (granted, I believe there were insufferable performance problems during the original film score recording).

Or maybe my ears are just getting used to all the squishy engineering lol!

 
 Posted:   Feb 20, 2019 - 6:45 AM   
 By:   solium   (Member)

Brickwalled made me think of this!


 
 Posted:   Feb 20, 2019 - 9:27 PM   
 By:   T.J. Turner   (Member)

comment removed, wrong thread

 
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