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Discussion: Genesis 1976-1982

Posts: 79
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Post by eesau May 9, 2007 (41 of 79)
racerguy said:

I stopped reading that forum when it became clear that most of the posters have never heard an SACD that they didn't think sounded bad, and there are several prolific posters who claim every SACD has been processed and compressed, even when it hasn't.

yes,

maybe this forum is biased towards pure analog audio and LPs but they still seem to have been able to make comparisons between previous CD releases and the CD layer of the new SACDs ... and the resulting graphs look very much like figures in the popular YouTubee compression video.

Can you hear the compression?

Esa

PS. according to Bob Katz, every recording uses compression in some format ... so maybe those guys in the forum were right (check form Bob's book available from: http://www.digido.com/)

Post by Daveypoos May 9, 2007 (42 of 79)
OK, I got the box set by pre ordering and using a web coupon for £63, that is what pre ordering is about, you take a chance on the price, this time I came out top.

My set up isn't high end, but it is not cheap as chips either. I have only listened to the SACD multi channel mixes.

The sound is always going to be a down to set up, and personal taste, there are always dissagreements. I remember seeing a documentary on Dark Side of the Moon where Alan Parsons was still arguing that the band should have let him do certain things on certain tracks.

Over all I like what a bought, I'm sure if I had been sitting next to Nick Davies I would have asked for changes here and there, and then another group of people would be complaining.

Probably the bigest factor in the death of SACD as a medium for mainstream releases has been the rubbish that has been written by idiots who pay more attention to buzz words and technical specs rather than sitting down and actually listening to the music.

I have a fair collection of SACD/DVD-A & DTS audio discs, I would rather have a favourite album be released in 5.1 on your least favourite format than not at all.

I feel all the arguments about DTS/SACD/DVD-A are reminiscent of schoolboys arguing if Ataris or Amigas were best, just as pointless and childish. My player (and many others) can play all three formats, so just release the albums and I'll buy them. Lossy format, hey maybe my dog can tell the difference but I don't give a monkey's.

Post by racerguy May 9, 2007 (43 of 79)
eesau said:

yes,

maybe this forum is biased towards pure analog audio and LPs but they still seem to have been able to make comparisons between previous CD releases and the CD layer of the new SACDs ... and the resulting graphs look very much like figures in the popular YouTubee compression video.

I have seen the results of some of the "tests" that certain posters there performed. Just because someone has access to an analysis tool doesn't mean he knows how to use it; nor does it mean that he can properly interpret the results. I have seen posters there insist that a narrow dynamic range, which is the natural result of mixing down a multi-track, is a clear sign of post-production compression.

Way too many audiophiles who have never even seen the inside of a studio think that their participation in an audio hobby automatically gives them some sort of recording and mastering expertise. It would be laughable if it wasn't so pathetically sad.

Post by dbfarr63 May 9, 2007 (44 of 79)
Daveypoos said:

OK, I got the box set by pre ordering and using a web coupon for £63, that is what pre ordering is about, you take a chance on the price, this time I came out top.

My set up isn't high end, but it is not cheap as chips either. I have only listened to the SACD multi channel mixes.

The sound is always going to be a down to set up, and personal taste, there are always dissagreements. I remember seeing a documentary on Dark Side of the Moon where Alan Parsons was still arguing that the band should have let him do certain things on certain tracks.

Over all I like what a bought, I'm sure if I had been sitting next to Nick Davies I would have asked for changes here and there, and then another group of people would be complaining.

Probably the bigest factor in the death of SACD as a medium for mainstream releases has been the rubbish that has been written by idiots who pay more attention to buzz words and technical specs rather than sitting down and actually listening to the music.

I have a fair collection of SACD/DVD-A & DTS audio discs, I would rather have a favourite album be released in 5.1 on your least favourite format than not at all.

I feel all the arguments about DTS/SACD/DVD-A are reminiscent of schoolboys arguing if Ataris or Amigas were best, just as pointless and childish. My player (and many others) can play all three formats, so just release the albums and I'll buy them. Lossy format, hey maybe my dog can tell the difference but I don't give a monkey's.

This is the most sensible comment I have read on any of these forums. I agree 100 percent.

Post by claypool May 9, 2007 (45 of 79)
While I'm not sure if these are the worst remasters ever, they are pretty bad. The biggest problem with these Genesis SACDs is that the earlier CD and LP versions sound so much better. I'm talking about stereo only of course.

Post by Daveypoos May 9, 2007 (46 of 79)
claypool said:

While I'm not sure if these are the worst remasters ever, they are pretty bad. The biggest problem with these Genesis SACDs is that the earlier CD and LP versions sound so much better. I'm talking about stereo only of course.

I think the problem is something similar to watching a film when you have read the book.

When you read a book your imagination builds pictures of the locations, the charachters and so on. When you see the film it is a let down, because the actors don't look quite right etc.

I wonder if these albums had never been released how they would have been reviewed then?

You have to remember some people were hoping for something that sounded the same as the original, but with a bit of surround atmospher, and others wanted something totally different.

Maybe it is best not to compare, but treat them as seperate albums

Post by claypool May 9, 2007 (47 of 79)
Daveypoos said:

I think the problem is something similar to watching a film when you have read the book.

When you read a book your imagination builds pictures of the locations, the charachters and so on. When you see the film it is a let down, because the actors don't look quite right etc.

I wonder if these albums had never been released how they would have been reviewed then?

You have to remember some people were hoping for something that sounded the same as the original, but with a bit of surround atmospher, and others wanted something totally different.

Maybe it is best not to compare, but treat them as seperate albums

I think you have a point there. If these were new albums, released for the first time, they wouldn't differ from most of the other new rock albums. These are also new stereo mixes and probably most of the digital processing and compressing has occured already in the mixing process.

Post by Old Hack June 16, 2007 (48 of 79)
amatala said:

I do not discuss the quality of the multi channel mix which is indeed very good, I just said that the sound is way too bright and treble is too harsh.

I agree entirely with Amatala and everyone who has acknowleged how flat these mixes are. These recordings are far too compressed and harsh sounding.

I would say this is not down to the mixing talents of Nick Davis. Remember this is the guy who produced and mixed the brilliantly dynamic 'We Can't Dance' album, and also remastered all the definitive remasters to sound as good as they possibly could.

Unfortunately Nick Davis did not handle the mastering duties with these mixes. As you may know, mastering is the absolutely final stage of the whole process, where the recording is given its final polish and has EQ, a little compression and limiting applied to optimise it to sound as good as possible on domestic sound systems.

This duty was given to a man called Tony Cousins at Metropolis Mastering. Tony Cousins did not approach this from an audiophile perspective. His one goal was to make everything as loud as possible, and he did this by applying what we know as 'brick wall limiting' and driving the level up to flatten it until the quiet parts are actually only a few dB quieter than the loudest parts. (I've never understood this current obsession amongst lesser mastering engineers to make everything as loud as they can - do they not know our sound systems have volume contols on them?)

The result is that, although much clarity has been gained through the hard work and skill of Nick Davis as a mixing engineer, Tony Cousins has lumbered in with a sledgehammer and flattened the life out of the thing.

I ask you to compare the previous release of 'Abacab' with the new stereo one. To make it a fair comparison you will need to raise the volume of the older one to give them both a similar average volume.
Now compare the dynamics. Case rested.

Post by Old Hack June 16, 2007 (49 of 79)
eesau said:

yes,

maybe this forum is biased towards pure analog audio and LPs but they still seem to have been able to make comparisons between previous CD releases and the CD layer of the new SACDs ... and the resulting graphs look very much like figures in the popular YouTubee compression video.

Can you hear the compression?

Esa

PS. according to Bob Katz, every recording uses compression in some format ... so maybe those guys in the forum were right (check form Bob's book available from: http://www.digido.com/)

Daveypoos is lucky that only his dog, and not he, can discern what is a good quality sound. These recordings are far too compressed and harsh sounding to sound anything like 'good'.

And yes, of course every recording uses compression (dynamic compression, not data compression as used with MP3, ATRAC, etc) both at the recording/mixing stage (vocals, drums, guitars - you name it) and at the final mastering stage.

But this has to be used with skill and a fine touch to bring out the best in a recording and to render it as easy as possible on the ear.

Tony Cousins has achieved the opposite with these masters and has basically just squashed the life and the warmth out of the sound with extreme limiting.

You might be interested to know why very compressed/limited recordings are generally very bright and harsh also.
This is usually due to multi-band compression being applied too harshly. The bass frequencies always contain more energy than the upper ones (necessarily so as human ears are less sensitive to the lower frequencies) and so in the wrong hands the bass can get compressed the most. Once this unfortunate stage as been reached it becomes a juggling act between bringing the level of the bass back up and making everything sound too muddy due to the flat dynamics, or keeping it down but in so doing rendering the upper mids and highs overly present.

Sorry if I sound too technical, but to those in the industry it's actually quite a simple concept, which is why I am so incredulous as to how this man (Tony Cousins) was allowed to get away with what he has done to Nick's mixes. Unless he was given prior instructions by the record company to ensure certain 'average volume' standards. I just don't know...

Post by Old Hack June 16, 2007 (50 of 79)
racerguy said:

I have seen the results of some of the "tests" that certain posters there performed. Just because someone has access to an analysis tool doesn't mean he knows how to use it; nor does it mean that he can properly interpret the results. I have seen posters there insist that a narrow dynamic range, which is the natural result of mixing down a multi-track, is a clear sign of post-production compression.

Way too many audiophiles who have never even seen the inside of a studio think that their participation in an audio hobby automatically gives them some sort of recording and mastering expertise. It would be laughable if it wasn't so pathetically sad.

I am a recording engineer. Not only have I seen the inside of a studio, I own one.

However, it is not this that determines the value of my opinion that these recordings are drastically over compressed.

It is more down to the fact that I have a half-decent pair of ears, and I can HEAR the dynamic compression like anyone else with half-decent ears.

The fact that because YOU don't get it, and so feel the need to drag down those that do, kind of makes YOU pathetically sad.

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