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> Why Don't People Like High Quality Music As Much?
The Uncreator
post Aug 15 2011, 02:07 AM
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You know I have noticed something, people are very content to pirate and download something because its free. Why though, do so many people not realize or care that pirated music and most music downloaded in general is of a quite noticeably lower quality than a physical CD? I mean, I can plug in an iPod into my car stereo and it sounds pretty damn good. Put in an actual CD, it sounds just brilliant.

Its not even an issue of the genre of music either, Pop music, which I think is rather dynamically dry, still sounds so much better from a CD. Its not just the sound either, the feel is so much different. Its much more pleasing I think to the ears.

So do you notice these differences? or is music from any medium just as good as the next to you?
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Gabriel Leopardi
post Aug 15 2011, 02:58 AM
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Good topic! It's true that nowadays people don't use to hear the music at the same quality that the artist gets after the mastering. It's curious because with the technology improvements the people get accustomed to hear music with a worse quality. Unfortunately I can be included in this... I like hearing to high quality audio and I obviously note the difference but I need music everywhere so I have no problem if I have to listen it with low quality if at least I can hear it. However it's so different to hear something with top quality... it's an awesome experience.


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Adrian Figallo
post Aug 15 2011, 04:17 AM
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that's why i just have FLAC files on my portable devices and computer smile.gif


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Fran
post Aug 15 2011, 02:02 PM
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I guess I'm one of those who is happy with mp3s or streamed online radio music.

Most of the times the limiting factor is the actual speakers I'm using (in the car or at work) that makes it sound worse, than the actual radio stream... 90% of the time I listen to such sources at home through 2.1 desktop speakers, and they sound just awesome.

When using my ipod through headphones it sounds so good I don't really mind if an actual CD would sound better, to be honest.


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Todd Simpson
post Aug 15 2011, 02:15 PM
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Good thread idea wink.gif I read an article about "The EarBudding of Music" and the bottom line was that folks listen to highly compressed mp3 files on Apple Earbuds (or some brand of ear buds) and that's just a standard platform so it informs folks expectations of what "good" sounds like.

To that point, some folks even MIX and MASTER using their earbuds. Simply because that's what is on hand. So the quality level usually mirrors widely available formats/playback systems.

For the most part, streaming/mp3 quality is "enough". For those who have a pair of studio monitors/speakers, especially with a subwoofer, and have listened to MP3/stream compared to uncompressed/CD, they know that the difference is just staggering. It's almost an entirely different experience.

That said, it requires a good bit of money for a really nice playback system. Most folks get by fine without one. So by and large, folks (non musicians/audiophiles) have no idea what they are missing, but even if they did, probably wouldn't be willing to spend up to a high end playback system even if they did.

So we are in the pragmatic land of "Good Enough". Which determines sooo many things. But thank goodness, I"m lucky enough to have a nice pair of monitors. smile.gif


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SpaseMoonkey
post Aug 15 2011, 08:05 PM
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I think I have to agree with Todd. It's like going over my friends houses and they are like dude! Let's play some video games, bust out an old SD tv. They have all the fun in the world doing that, I can't period. I need my HD tv and at least a 5.1 system.

I can handle a mp3 but most of mine are 320kbps. I have a pair of earbuds but they are for say outdoors/gym use. When I'm at home I usually use my Beyerdynamics, which one day I would like to get a nice headphone tube amp to warm up the sound a bit. I would however like to hear some more modern music played on a record just because I hear that is an experience that music lovers need to have.


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thefireball
post Aug 15 2011, 08:28 PM
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Yeah, I agree. I love high quality audio too. I can tell when a track has been through a few downloads. I like it straight from the CD if possible. Except I usually play my stuff straight through my iPod because I download my stuff from iTunes, legally bought.


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The Uncreator
post Aug 15 2011, 11:32 PM
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What is surprising right now is that I find a lot of old vintage speakers (massive things they are) for dirt cheap - like $50 - that still sounds AMAZING. These kinds of things can be hooked up to a computer with a $15 adapter. For simple high quality playback there are a lot of affordable options now, that is unless, you want a Bose product laugh.gif
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thefireball
post Aug 16 2011, 12:28 AM
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QUOTE (The Uncreator @ Aug 15 2011, 05:32 PM) *
What is surprising right now is that I find a lot of old vintage speakers (massive things they are) for dirt cheap - like $50 - that still sounds AMAZING. These kinds of things can be hooked up to a computer with a $15 adapter. For simple high quality playback there are a lot of affordable options now, that is unless, you want a Bose product laugh.gif


They made things so awesome back then. I was born in the wrong era. hahaha j.k.


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Todd Simpson
post Aug 16 2011, 01:13 AM
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QUOTE (The Uncreator @ Aug 15 2011, 06:32 PM) *
What is surprising right now is that I find a lot of old vintage speakers (massive things they are) for dirt cheap - like $50 - that still sounds AMAZING. These kinds of things can be hooked up to a computer with a $15 adapter. For simple high quality playback there are a lot of affordable options now, that is unless, you want a Bose product laugh.gif


This is a GREAT point. Very well said. You can buy crazy nice speakers, a bit older, bigger, with a nice main driver (woofer) for peanuts. Most folks have gone to sat/sub systems where all the bass in in the sub and the two small speakers cary everything else. This is great, if you have a sub. But it means buying three speakers, not two. Just as a quick search, I found a set of boutique GALE (high end, made in the UK) speakers going for a penny with no reserve.

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...vectorid=229508

And a pair of crazy expensive B&W high end monitors that look brand new for under $100

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...8#ht_500wt_1156


You could mix on either pair and do your mix justice. They can be powered by any home tuner/amp. Some killer deals available.



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Saoirse O'Shea
post Aug 17 2011, 07:07 PM
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To some extent this goes back prior to mp3s though. There's been a huge gap between what most people hear as acceptable audio quality for a home hi fi and what an audiophile will accept. This even extended in to physical meium when most audiophiles used to pay a massive premium for records pressed on virgin and much heavier lacquer than the mass market ones. It also spawned the whole, arguably PR gimic, of some records being promoted as direct metal mastered and so on.

The sad thing nowadays for me is what Todd points to. In the past a mastering engineer would ensure that the master was done so that it would reproduce as well as possible on a range of playback. That nearly always meant that we ensured that it would sound great on an audiophile's hi fi as that translates down the chain. What didn't work then - and doesn't work now either - is mastering something to sound good on an mp3 player as the baseline as you can't be sure that will transfer up to sounding good on any thing better. If we mastered using an mp3 as the baseline then we'd have to assume that everyone wants wooly, over extended bass, instruments that wander about in an exagerated stereo field but which also has no front to back stereo depth and so on.

So the corollary has always been that professional mastering engineers use very expensive, accurate monitors and monitoring chains. Nowadays though it's all to easy to find people who advertise themselves as mastering engineers who only use cheap headphones/speakers/monitors. I guess they rely on their customers either lacking the experience or not having monitoring good enough to hear the issues.
I routinely meet lots of musicians/mix engineers who tell me, 'my mix isounds great on my mixing studio's monitors so it doesn't need any improvement'. I play them their mix on our monitors and their faces drop, they think their mix is fine because their monitoring is not good enugh to tell them otherwise... If you can't hear it properly you can not make an informed deciison on what to do.

There is a world of difference between the audio quality and accuracy of my monitoring chain and the average home/project studios. Mine costs more than the price of a new family car for a reason. Nonetheless if you're recording and mixing and home mastering for your own satisfaction then use whatever you like and are happy with. To me it's only an issue if you expect people to pay either for your music or for your work as an engineer. Once you do then you should do it as well as you can rather than as cheaply as possible.


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Todd Simpson
post Aug 17 2011, 10:00 PM
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QUOTE (tonymiro @ Aug 17 2011, 02:07 PM) *
To some extent this goes back prior to mp3s though. There's been a huge gap between what most people hear as acceptable audio quality for a home hi fi and what an audiophile will accept. This even extended in to physical meium when most ......


Tony has a great point here. Folks often have no idea what they are missing out on. It usually goes back to budget, but there is a silver lining.

Band, musicians, folks in general are usually working with what they've got and budgets are not sky high. The good news is, you can make decent quality recordings with pretty cheap gear. I"ve heard full releases that sound no where near as good as some of the posts by students here at GMC so man you guys are way ahead of the curve so congrats on that! : )

But that said, if you are planning on releasing your bands CD, even if you've recorded it yourself, if you can afford a Mastering session, or better, a mix and mastering session, you'll be very happy you did. A good engineer can breathe life, fire, and yes magic in to a mix. It's all they do in some cases. Where we musicians, spend a good bit of our time playing/writing, engineers spend just as much time getting stuff to sound great. That experience pays off. Just like practicing your guitar makes you better, mixing/mastering every day makes you better at it. And your release will probably sound worlds better than bands running in the same league.


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