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Comment: Re:Meh (Score 3, Informative) 166

by Airon (#43277161) Attached to: Direct-to-Vinyl Recording Makes a Comeback (Video)

Playing a vinyl album requires taking it out of its cover, placing it carefully on the turn table, maybe dusting it off with a special long brush and lifting the arm up to the vinyl(or use some automatic system you rich person you). Then you might sit there with the open jacket covers that are almost as large as a 24 inch monitor and liste to it front to back.

That process does give the experience some gravity, as opposed to flipping a piece of shiny plastic in to an open tray of a CD/DVD/Blueray player, or a drive in a PC for ripping.

Then there's the unfortunate tendency to limit the dynamic range of what are mixes with much higher fidelity than those thirty years ago to such a degree that the tracks are often so noisy and distorted that people complain about fatigue setting in. Vinyl records have to be mastered to within the limits of the medium, which does not permit such harsh treatment of the material as is possible on CDs.

The vinyl as a medium is vastly inferior in quite a few ways, but the material does tend to be mastered differently for it, which is often much more pleasant.

Thankfully we're starting to see some trends in the opposite direction in which digital recordings are mastered without the harsh treatments. HDTracks.com for example sells some of those tracks, like a remaster of Green Day's American Idiot album that has actual drum transients, instead of clipped dog shit.

Comment: Back to bad times (Score 5, Interesting) 166

by Airon (#43275083) Attached to: Direct-to-Vinyl Recording Makes a Comeback (Video)

As a professional recording, editing and mixing engineer, all I can say is NO THANK YOU.

For those who place a premium on scratchy, error-prone, expensive, one-time and short recordings this might be neat. There are lots of reasons we started using tape in the late 40s and early 50s in the music recording industry, and loads of reasons we're recording digitally now.

Quality, speed, cost. A direct-to-disc recording system ain't it on any of those fronts.

Comment: One Sound Mixer's perspective (Score 1) 749

by Airon (#43259901) Attached to: Can You Really Hear the Difference Between Lossless, Lossy Audio?

I'm a trained mixer with many thousands of hours of listening experience. Here's my record of telling apart 320 kbps MP3 files from the original CD audio, which is what losslessly compressed audio is as well :

Once, in a specific enviornment.

The material was high dynamic range mix of orchestral and eletronic music. Well mastered IMHO and pleasant to listen to over longer periods of time. I listened to it in an accoustically well-treated room that housed the working gear of a composer and music mixer. The speaker system was a set of professional monitoring speakers, namely two Dynaudio BM15A full range speakers. These are the kinds of speakers the folks use to make the material all you audiophiles listen to.

I didn't expect to be able to tell a difference but I did. It wasn't very subtle but in this excellent listening environment with an excellent reproduction system, it could be heard by trained ears. I seriously doubt I could say the same for material with the dynamic range of a sine wave, as is the case so often today.

For most material, I'd only trust a proper ABX test, but I do not see the point in doing so. It's just one batch of material I listened to and it's pointless to argue when so much music is beyond screwed in terms of distortion and dynamic range.

Also, it's a fact that most rooms people listen to music in are anything from ok to bathroom-terrible. The accoustics are by far the biggest influence you'll ever encounter in a listening environment. Even in a good environment or with very good headphones does it take training to even detect those differences when comparing the original audio to a 320 kbps MP3 encode of it.

Really, there's nothing to gain from this but "I feel better using Flac".

Comment: Re:Misunderstood Intentions (Score 1) 592

by Airon (#42819067) Attached to: Xbox 720 Could Require Always-On Connection, Lock Out Used Games

This is pretty much my thinking as well.

The second I buy a new game it's worthless ? Fuck that.

Also, no more lending and borrowing between friends ? Fuck that.

Folks who depend on used games to play anything at all can stay with last generation consoles ? Fuck that.

How many sales of consoles and ultimately games, online service subscriptions and advertisement would that cost them ? What do you think Microsoft ? Fuck that ?

Ah, it's probably just a "we can do it too" thing they came up with to get any patent disputes out the way early on, should Sony start crying about its patent. Nobody in their right mind will do that to the sale of physical media.

At some point we will have to deal with selling digital assets called games, just like we do right now with hats in TF2.

Comment: Loudness Normalization rocks for everybody (Score 1) 289

by Airon (#38378856) Attached to: US Bans Loud Commercials

We sound mixers have been waiting for something like this to happen forever. At last there is a reasonably well made standard of measuring loudness, and it's based on plenty of testing and tuning. That's the ITU-R BS.1770 standard.

In a sense, it's like Replaygain for all those audio players like Foobar2000, and Sound Check for ITunes.

It's loudness normalization. In fact, the Replaygain scanner in Foobar2000 now uses the EBU R128 recommendation which is based on ITU-R BS.1770 standard.

For more information check out this introduction to loudness normalization by Florian Camerer, chairman of the PLOUD group of the EBU.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iuEtQqC-Sqo

And yeah, I'm a professional re-recording mixer and sound editor. I love this stuff, since it rewards good sound and punishes crappy, overcompressed stuff.

Comment: A professional listeners warning (Score 1) 698

by Airon (#37361946) Attached to: Is There a Hearing Aid Price Bubble?

I edit and mix sound for a living and have done so for 20 years. My hearing slowly degrades and I try to keep it well protected so it doesn't go any faster than it needs to. Apart from that my training and experience is the only thing different from anyone less experienced listener. I've had my share of blunders like a few night at clubs without ear protection. For the last 20 years I've had less than twenty such nights, but it was enough to do some damage, so I've got a drip here and there in my testing curve.

A few years back a friend of mine had a bunch of teenagers in his studio where he records bands. He played them a few test tones. A quarter of them couldn't hear above 15kHz, some even 14kHz. I need to crank up 17kHz very high so I can still hear it, but these kids could hear less than I can now.

Some of them started crying. Some wouldn't believe it. All of them were quite shocked.

If you don't protect your hearing, you'll be a cripple twenty to fourty years earlier than you need to. A pack of one-time use foam protection knobs or whatever they're called where you live is less than a latte at your favorite coffee shop. You just need to handle this in a smart way, read up about it and take comon sense precautions. Or be crippled.

Comment: Re:Suits me just fine. (Score 1) 313

by Airon (#29808087) Attached to: No Dedicated Servers For <em>CoD: Modern Warfare 2</em>

This is a big slap in the face of existing PC communitys of CoD2 and CoDM.

They're banking on us spending money up front to then have them give us maybe something similar to what we want. Ok, fair enough, but trusting someone with their money that haven't been open enough with their goals so far is a little icky.

JaredOfEuropa, I play BF2 as well as a casual gamer, but I frequent the same servers most of the time for important reasons. One of those are the maps and gamestyles, the other is the crowd I meet there.

In no way can CoD MW2 compete with its lousy punk-ass system that puts the private servers in to home-users with their crappy upload pipes, thereby constraining player numbers dramatically and breaking performance big time.

This is the bad aspect of console gaming they're pushing, and they are definitely barking up the wrong community tree with this.

IMHO they need to let people do what they want to do. Their matchmaking is all fine and dandy, but let people do dedicated servers as WELL, even if they need to register and checksum-verify all their files when each starts or something.

I can't believe they're this dumb. Some games that depend on server infrastructure provided by the publisher/developer have a long multiplayer life these days, ON CONSOLES!! I'll wait a few more days but if IW doesn't come up with a better answer or a promise to deliver dedicated servers AS WELL, then I and a couple of people I know will cancel their preorders and just forget about this game.

Education

+ - SAE cancels Ardour sponsorship

Submitted by
Airon
Airon writes "On February 4th, the School Of Audioengineering announced to Paul Davis that it would stop sponsoring the development of Ardour, namely of its mentioned main developer.

Read about it here: http://ardour.org/node/2406

This comes after the SAE sponsored development of Ardour with an easy to install version of Ardour for MacOSX coomplete with the audio server JACK necessary for Ardour to work, being one of the results.

It remains to be seen whether development will be severely hampered by this move."

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