Dynamic range and CDs and lps (SACD, DVD-A)

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Kevin C Brown, Oct 24, 2001.

  1. Kevin C Brown

    Kevin C Brown Producer

    Aug 3, 2000
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    A question:
    Just reworked my "analog rig" and have been wondering about this for a while.
    And this is especially for all of y'all who think CD sounds better than lps. (But I do think that CDs are a hell of a lot more convenient.)
    I record an lp onto DAT. I set the maximum recording level such that it only "peaks" every so often.
    I do exactly the same with the same CD recording (analog connections). Why is it, that in almost every case, the *average* level of the CD will be higher?
    In other words, in almost every case that I've ever tried this, the lp has a larger dynamic range?
    Now here's my real question: [​IMG]
    It seems to me as if most CDs have been artificially "compressed" to make them sound "louder".
    I would hope that if SACD/DVD-A do survive, that "mastering" goes back to the way that it was...
  2. Jah-Wren Ryel

    Jah-Wren Ryel Stunt Coordinator

    Jun 7, 2000
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    You aren't the only one to notice this phenomena. For joe sixpack loudness == goodness. The major labels knows this and pander to it with poor, compressed, mixes. That's why there are (or were) outfits like Mobile Fidelity Sound Labs and the like who released gold discs for $30+. The gold was just a gimmic, but the remastering often made a huge difference.
    Right now, DVD-A and SACD are audiophile markets, so poor mastering won't sell too well into them. But, even with poor mastering, the dynamic range is a lot higher, so the record labels could conceivably have their cake and eat it too - higher average levels with range that still exceeds CDs and copy protection to boot.

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