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 When HI-RES AUDIO can't compete with VINYL...

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👉 As mentioned in this video…

Talking Heads – Stop Making Sense

When hi-res audio stops making sense…

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E1DA Cosmos ADC

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00:02 [Music]
00:09 thank you
00:11 [Music]
00:32 foreign
00:36 I have a question for you why would you
00:39 buy the new Talking Heads stop making
00:41 sense reissue slash remaster on vinyl
00:44 when you can stream it in high-res
00:46 pretty much for free in fact why buy any
00:49 vinyl nowadays in 2023 when most
00:53 releases can be streamed effectively for
00:55 free in a bare minimum of CD quality and
00:59 in around 10 percent of cases maybe a
01:01 bit less than that actually in high-res
01:04 audio this episode is brought to you by
01:07 NAD makers of the c3050 streaming
01:10 amplifier with Drac room correction
01:12 click the link in the show notes for
01:13 more information now I’m not going to go
01:16 into the well-worn reasons as to why
01:19 people buy vinyl in this video those
01:22 being the joy of owning a large physical
01:25 format the joy of cultivating a a
01:28 collection over months or years now
01:31 instead today I want to take a look at
01:34 another side of vinyl and now other
01:36 reason why people choose the big black
01:39 discs or color disks or transparent
01:41 disks in some cases over and above
01:43 high-res audio and to do that we need to
01:45 look at how vinyl was made prior to 1990
01:48 roughly I’m using 1990 as a rough cutoff
01:50 and then how it is made nowadays because
01:53 many people buy records pressed prior to
01:56 roughly 1990 because they were made
01:59 differently to how they are made now in
02:02 the main I’m talking in the main here
02:03 yes there are outliers but generally in
02:06 the main in the 60s the 70s and the 80s
02:09 and some of the 90s
02:11 records were mastered in the analog
02:14 domain a master tape was created and
02:18 then a lacquer was cut by feeding the
02:21 analog output of the master tape being
02:24 played back on the big reel-to-reel
02:26 machine
02:27 into the lathe that cut the lacquer and
02:30 then that lacquer went off to the
02:32 pressing plant and the pressing plant
02:34 used that to create many thousands of
02:38 copies so it was an all analog process
02:40 but nowadays many mastering studios in
02:43 fact probably most of them and in most
02:45 cases so for most albums that they’re
02:47 mastering they are working in the
02:49 digital domain so what that means is
02:52 that if they’re going to remaster an
02:54 album they’ll take the master tape and
02:56 they’ll transfer it first to a digital
02:59 file using an analog to digital
03:01 converter and then they’ll remaster it
03:04 in the in the digital domain and then
03:08 they’ll feed the analog output of that
03:11 file fed through a DAC into the lathe
03:14 that then cuts the lacquer that then
03:16 goes off to the pressing plant and very
03:18 often the record labels marketing
03:20 department will obfuscate that digital
03:22 step by saying remastered from the
03:25 analog tapes now that is true the analog
03:28 tapes were used but what that little
03:30 label that hype sticker does on the
03:31 front of the record what that obfuscates
03:33 is the interstitial digital step so it’s
03:36 not an all analog process so we ask
03:39 again why bother buying the vinyl when
03:42 we can stream effectively for free the
03:45 high-res digital file that was used to
03:48 cut that vinyl because most vinyl
03:50 nowadays is cut from a high-res digital
03:53 file because most mastering and
03:55 remastering is done in the digital
03:57 domain now the short answer to this is
04:00 that the file that is used to cut the
04:01 vinyl is very often a different file
04:04 that is sent off to streaming services
04:06 for them to stream out directly into
04:08 your house so in my last video about
04:10 talking how to stop making sense we
04:12 looked at three digital versions of the
04:14 album that have come out down the years
04:16 we looked at the original CD which has
04:18 nine songs and has a dynamic range of 14
04:22 and that was measured using a piece of
04:24 software called Dr offline Mark II and
04:27 that is made by Mart
04:28 and then we applied that same software
04:30 to the 1999 remix and remaster which
04:35 contains 16 songs so pretty much the
04:38 original movie version and that came
04:40 back with a dynamic range an average
04:42 dynamic range of 11. and then we looked
04:46 at the high-res edition of the brand new
04:49 2023 remaster I’ve stopped making sense
04:52 which contains 18 songs so the full
04:56 movie As Seen on LaserDisc and VHS and
05:00 its dynamic range came back with an
05:02 average of nine so you can see that as
05:05 we’ve stepped through the years the
05:06 dynamic range has gone down and I made
05:08 that video to highlight the fact that
05:11 the dynamic range of a recording will
05:13 have more of an impact on what we hear
05:16 than the delivery format so the original
05:18 stop making sense CD in MP3 format will
05:22 probably sound better to most people
05:24 than say the 1999 remaster played back
05:28 as a flack and in my experience this is
05:30 a common story where subsequent
05:33 remasters of an album tend to be louder
05:36 than the original master and they’re
05:38 generally louder because the record
05:39 company wants it that way they are
05:42 instructing the mastering engineer to to
05:45 make it a bit louder to make it pop a
05:47 little bit more to make it more exciting
05:49 for you and me to listen to so no we
05:52 shouldn’t necessarily blame the
05:53 mastering Engineers who are creating
05:56 these louder remasters or more
05:58 dynamically compressed remasters because
06:00 very often it’s the label demanding as
06:03 much the mastering Engineers know that
06:06 an excessive use of dynamic range
06:09 compression will kind of ruin the sound
06:12 of an album but they are really doing
06:14 what they are paid to do now fortunately
06:18 for the sound quality-minded Among Us
06:20 the mastering process used to cut a
06:24 vinyl Master is different to a digital
06:26 master or usually is in that the base is
06:29 often summed to Mono below about 150
06:33 Hertz and then frequencies above 15
06:36 kilohertz are rolled off and in extreme
06:39 circumstances when a punchier cut is
06:42 destined to close out a side the track
06:45 listing of the album will have to be
06:47 reject and if you dig into the history
06:50 of Peter Gabriel So you’ll find a good
06:52 example of what I’m talking about there
06:54 and if the digital Master is dynamically
06:56 compressed or if it’s Ultra loud then
06:59 very often if we want to put that on
07:01 vinyl we either have to give it more
07:02 surface area which isn’t always possible
07:04 if you’re trying to put so many tracks
07:06 on per side or the dynamic range
07:08 compression has to be dialed back a
07:10 little bit now if we remind ourselves
07:12 that the high-res version of the new
07:14 2023 master of stop making sense has an
07:16 average dynamic range of nine we’ll know
07:19 also that resequencing the track list
07:22 was a no-go for this album so it’s
07:25 possible that what the mastering
07:27 engineer did for making the the vinyl
07:30 Master for this album is that they
07:31 dialed back the dynamic range
07:33 compression and we’re going to find out
07:35 if they did that in a moment so thanks
07:37 to several nudges from several
07:38 commenters on the last video about this
07:41 stop making sense album I decided it was
07:44 high time that I test tested out the HD
07:46 converter that I bought just after
07:48 Munich this year it’s called The Cosmos
07:51 ADC it is made by a company called e1da
07:54 little known Company from China I
07:56 believe and I connected that to a Stella
07:59 phono phono stage from PS audio so I
08:02 went balanced out of that photo stage
08:04 balanced into the ADC then I fed the ADC
08:07 into my MacBook here and the turntable I
08:10 used was a Torrance TD 1500 fitted with
08:13 a moving coil Torrens Tas 1500 cartridge
08:16 and I recorded the adc’s output in my
08:19 MacBook using a bit of software called
08:21 Reaper I also used Reaper to cut the
08:24 four sides of vinyl into 18 distinct
08:27 tracks so I had 18 flak files at the end
08:29 of it in 1644 one and then I ran those
08:33 18 Flag files through Dr offline Mark II
08:36 to measure their average dynamic range
08:38 and the results surprise me an average
08:41 dynamic range of 13. remember the high
08:44 res digital streamable file or
08:46 downloadable file had a Dr of nine this
08:49 vinyl has a Dr of 13. now if some of you
08:52 are thinking right now well hang on a
08:53 minute John this isn’t just an analysis
08:55 of the stop making sense vinyl that you
08:59 bought but it’s also factoring in your
09:01 turntable your cartridge and your phono
09:04 preamp
09:05 I can understand that concern in fact
09:07 I’ve seen a comment on a forum made by
09:10 the co-founder of Mart who codes that Dr
09:13 offline Mark II software basically
09:16 saying that all vinyl rip information is
09:19 just a nonsense because yes it captures
09:22 the vinyl but also the playback chain as
09:24 well and you can’t separate the vinyls
09:27 dynamic range from the playback chains
09:29 dynamic range I think that’s what he’s
09:30 trying to say
09:31 I preempted this by getting another
09:34 vinyl rip of this new 2023 edition of
09:38 stop making sense from the internet I’m
09:40 not going to tell you where I got it but
09:43 I ran that through Dr offline Mark II
09:46 and that also gave me a dynamic range
09:50 average score of 13. so that was done
09:53 with completely different Hardware still
09:55 got dr13 but of course we should also
09:58 listen to the vinyl rip so I sent that
10:00 through my DAC and then I sent the the
10:02 download that I have on my roon server
10:04 through my DAC and I would say that the
10:06 vinyl rip has I guess a softer transient
10:10 response and isn’t quite as clean with
10:14 layer separation as the digital file the
10:17 digital download but the vinyl rip to me
10:20 just feels just a little bit looser now
10:23 maybe that’s evidence of less dynamic
10:26 range compression I don’t know but that
10:28 vinyl rip didn’t sound as nervy or as
10:30 uptight or as rigid as the digital
10:33 download and if I was asked to choose
10:36 which of one of these versions of stop
10:39 making sense I would pick as my forever
10:41 set of files so so the vinyl rip or the
10:44 digital download I would choose the
10:46 vinyl rib so whilst the vinyl rib
10:48 doesn’t best the digital download in all
10:50 audible aspects I think this is a great
10:53 example of why many people choose to buy
10:56 vinyl instead of digital essentially
10:59 because dynamic range compression is
11:02 less abundant so therefore the master
11:04 that is used to cut the vinyl can sound
11:07 both subjectively better and according
11:11 to Dr offline Mark II which I’m not sure
11:14 is 100 reliable in this case but we’ll
11:15 assume it is
11:17 also shows that it is objectively better
11:19 now what I’m talking about in this video
11:21 and in the previous video is nothing new
11:23 dynamic range scoring has been around
11:25 for a long time as long as dynamic range
11:28 compression I guess
11:30 but what I’m trying to show here is that
11:32 the dynamic range of a recording I guess
11:36 I’m saying this I’m sounding like a
11:37 broken record if you excuse the pun it
11:39 has more of an impact on what we hear
11:41 than the delivery format and if the
11:44 master used to make that format is a
11:46 different master and is less dynamically
11:49 compressed then I can definitely see why
11:51 many people would choose that Master
11:53 even if it is delivered on what many
11:56 people consider to be yesterday’s format
11:58 or a hipster format or a compromised
12:02 format because the dynamic range
12:04 compression matters more than the format
12:07 anyway I might be wrong about some of
12:10 this I’ll guess I’m going to find out
12:11 soon because I’m going to be
12:12 interviewing PB fell if you know who PB
12:15 Thal or PB talent and how you pronounce
12:17 his name but if you know who that is
12:19 he’s a bit of a kind of a hero of the
12:21 the vinyl ripping scene or the
12:23 underground vinyl ripping scene I’m
12:25 going to be talking to him very soon on
12:27 the darco audio podcast so I’ll get to
12:29 find out all all of the ways that I went
12:31 wrong in this video when I speak to him
12:33 if I have gone wrong but hopefully if I
12:37 have heard in this video you will let me
12:39 know in a nice polite way in the comment
12:42 section below or if you really just kind
12:45 of dig this video then maybe you’ll
12:46 consider giving it a like down below if
12:49 you like my attitude towards the sound
12:52 of music not being just about the
12:56 hardware that we use but also the source
12:59 material then if you dig that then
13:01 please consider subscribing to this
13:02 Channel and as always thank you ever so
13:04 much for watching
13:11 because many people nowadays they are
13:15 and to do that we need to look at how
13:17 vinyl used to be made and how then
13:20 and to do that we need to look at how
13:21 vinyl was
13:23 but nowadays many mastering studios in
13:26 fact I would say most of them for most
13:31 now the short answer to this is that the
13:34 file that is used
13:37 now the short answer this
13:40 now in my last video about talking how
13:42 to stop making sense we looked at three
13:45 different digital versions and
13:48 now in my last video about talking how
13:50 to stop making sense we looked at three
13:52 different
13:53 and in that video I made that video
13:55 basically
13:57 on what we hear from our head fight or
14:01 and I made that video
14:04 and I made that video to essentially
14:08 so
14:10 and I made that video to underscore no
14:14 and in my experience
14:17 the remaster sound louder to make it pop
14:19 more to sound it more for it
14:22 and in my experience this is a common
14:25 story where record labels will no and if
14:30 we want to put a dynamic
14:33 to the the streamable file that I would
14:35 punch in from roon on my phone well
14:40 I’m obviously using a
14:42 and not quite as soft or as Squishy in
14:45 the top end
14:46 so essential
14:48 so essentially the vinyl rip
14:51 I think the the vinyl rip sounds yeah a
14:54 bit no what am I saying here
14:57 but of course we should also listen to
14:59 the results of these
15:02 but we should also
15:04 so whilst the the vinyl wrap doesn’t
15:06 best the
15:08 whilst
15:10 it’s the whilst

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