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Thread: Can you hear mastering in MP3s? I can.

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    Senior Member millionrainbows's Avatar
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    Default Can you hear mastering in MP3s? I can.

    I can. When I put a newly mastered CD into i-tunes, I can still hear the difference in the quality from the older CD I had imported. Like old Jeff Beck titles vs. newer remasters, old Zeppelin, old Beatles...all of it.
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    Senior Member bigshot's Avatar
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    Mastering is perfectly audible. Recordings are mastered for different purposes. LPs were mastered to overcome the limitations of the vinyl format. Early CDs were mastered for people with expensive stereo systems. More recently CDs were mastered for being ripped and played on shuffle play in a DAP with earbuds. It's the same album, with the same recording, but the mastering may be quite different depending on the expected audience and playback equipment. If you're going to listen on a good speaker system you will get the best results choosing a mastering designed for that. If you are going to listen on the go with a phone and earbuds, a different mastering will sound better.

    The best way to choose one mastering over another is to ask someone who has heard various different releases. Some original releases sound best... some remasters sound better. You have to judge on a case by case basis. There isn't any easy way to know what the best mastering is, because mastering is a series of aesthetic decisions made to suit a particular purpose. You may have different needs than someone else. Some mastering engineers are better than others too.

    One thing that people don't understand is that when an album says "remastered" on the cover, it might even be a completely different mix, using different balances, EQ, reverb and even different takes. You need to do a little research to know what you're buying.
    Last edited by bigshot; May-18-2019 at 00:53.
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    Senior Member apricissimus's Avatar
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    Are there people who think that encoding a file into a lossy format would remove differences in mastering? That doesn't make any sense. It would be pretty strange if encoding into MP3 would somehow undo remastering. Unless I'm really misunderstanding the premise here.

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    Senior Member bigshot's Avatar
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    I think he thinks I believe that everything in the world sounds the same. But the only things that sound the same are formats that are audibly transparent, not clearly different aesthetic choices in mastering.
    CD Sound Is All You Need: http://xiph.org/~xiphmont/demo/neil-young.html
    AES Audio Myths Seminar: http://youtu.be/BYTlN6wjcvQ
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    Senior Member 13hm13's Avatar
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    In one word: EASILY.
    Human hearing/perception is very complex. I would dare to say very under-researched field.
    A lot of weirdness going on. E.g. ...
    I still don't understand why I prefer a DIGITAL recordings played on vinyl. And that SAME vinyl, then, ripped to my PC as a flac or wav file.

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    Senior Member bigshot's Avatar
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    Usually, when you prefer the sound of a limited range recording over a full range one, it's because of a high frequency response imbalance. LPs don't have much above 15 or 16kHz, so if your system has a spike in that range, you aren't going to hear it. However a CD presents all frequencies from 20Hz to 20kHz flat. The spike is going to be more clearly heard with the CD. You might try just turning the treble down a bit when you play CDs. It might fix it to give it a high end roll off like LPs.
    CD Sound Is All You Need: http://xiph.org/~xiphmont/demo/neil-young.html
    AES Audio Myths Seminar: http://youtu.be/BYTlN6wjcvQ
    AES Damn Lies Seminar: http://youtu.be/Zvireu2SGZM

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    Senior Member millionrainbows's Avatar
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    The new Beatles remasters sound better than the old Parlophone. Same mixes. This translates even when they are ripped as MP3s. Okay, bigshot will now deconstruct this statement.
    I think the new ones sound better because of other reasons, like a higher-res digital transfer of the tapes. Of course, bigshot thinks that all digital recorders sound the same, and that technology has not progressed, but was still as good at the dawn of digital as it is now. He sees no differences or improvement when something is digitally recorded at 44.1 kHz/16 bit or 96kHz/24 bit, i.e. "high resolution" mastering. I can hear the difference in resolution & clarity.
    Last edited by millionrainbows; May-27-2019 at 05:13.
    "The way out is through the door. Why is it that no one will use this method?"
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    "In Spring! In the creation of art it must be as it is in Spring!" -Arnold Schoenberg

    "We only become what we are by the radical and deep-seated refusal of that which others have made us." -Jean-Paul Sartre

    "I don't mind dying, as long as I can still breathe." ---Me

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    Senior Member apricissimus's Avatar
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    If you think a certain remastering sounds better, of course it would still sound better when ripped as an MP3. Why wouldn't it? I high quality MP3 is pretty much indistinguishable from a lossless format.

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    Senior Member jegreenwood's Avatar
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    This is a perfect example of arguing over nothing. Has anyone in this thread claimed that different masterings can't/don't sound different?

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    Senior Member bigshot's Avatar
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    I don't think he hears what other people say to him. He just argues no matter what.
    CD Sound Is All You Need: http://xiph.org/~xiphmont/demo/neil-young.html
    AES Audio Myths Seminar: http://youtu.be/BYTlN6wjcvQ
    AES Damn Lies Seminar: http://youtu.be/Zvireu2SGZM

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    Senior Member starthrower's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bigshot View Post
    One thing that people don't understand is that when an album says "remastered" on the cover, it might even be a completely different mix, using different balances, EQ, reverb and even different takes. You need to do a little research to know what you're buying.
    A good place to find out is the Steve Hoffman Forum. I would think most classical recordings are geared towards home listening on a quality audio system. But a lot of the rock releases sound better on older CDs, but not all.
    Short-term thinkers are rewarded with reelection, while those who dare to take seriously our responsibility to future generations commonly find themselves out of office.

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    Senior Member millionrainbows's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jegreenwood View Post
    This is a perfect example of arguing over nothing. Has anyone in this thread claimed that different masterings can't/don't sound different?
    It's "arguing over nothing" because bigshot hasn't made one of his "definitive" statements about how "all digital sounds the same, "bits is bits," etc....YET. I'm sure he'll figure out a way to invalidate anyone who thinks a higher-res remastering on newer equipment is due to "other factors." It couldn't be due to an improvement in digital, according to him.
    "The way out is through the door. Why is it that no one will use this method?"
    -Confucious

    "In Spring! In the creation of art it must be as it is in Spring!" -Arnold Schoenberg

    "We only become what we are by the radical and deep-seated refusal of that which others have made us." -Jean-Paul Sartre

    "I don't mind dying, as long as I can still breathe." ---Me

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    Senior Member millionrainbows's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by starthrower View Post
    A good place to find out is the Steve Hoffman Forum. I would think most classical recordings are geared towards home listening on a quality audio system. But a lot of the rock releases sound better on older CDs, but not all.
    The only instance of this that I have encountered was in the David Bowie Virgin remasters, which sounded overly-bright. Other than that, almost all remasters are better: all the Jeff Beck titles, all the Gentle Giant on Allucard, The Zappa Family remasters compared to Ryko, The new Beatles, Procol Harum, Joni Mitchell and all HDCD remasters, Neil Young, anything on Repertoire (Family, Dave Edmunds), etc.
    Last edited by millionrainbows; May-28-2019 at 15:13.
    "The way out is through the door. Why is it that no one will use this method?"
    -Confucious

    "In Spring! In the creation of art it must be as it is in Spring!" -Arnold Schoenberg

    "We only become what we are by the radical and deep-seated refusal of that which others have made us." -Jean-Paul Sartre

    "I don't mind dying, as long as I can still breathe." ---Me

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    Senior Member philoctetes's Avatar
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    I gave up on these experts, and whenever they show up I laugh and leave. Let them believe what they want. It's not your loss.

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    Senior Member millionrainbows's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bigshot View Post
    I think he thinks I believe that everything in the world sounds the same. But the only things that sound the same are formats that are audibly transparent, not clearly different aesthetic choices in mastering.
    Such as? Name the formats you think are "immune" to human brain/ear hearing.
    "The way out is through the door. Why is it that no one will use this method?"
    -Confucious

    "In Spring! In the creation of art it must be as it is in Spring!" -Arnold Schoenberg

    "We only become what we are by the radical and deep-seated refusal of that which others have made us." -Jean-Paul Sartre

    "I don't mind dying, as long as I can still breathe." ---Me

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