Now With That Out Of The Way, Back To Christmachine – Audio Reference Server
So there has been enough (So much!) time passed, it’s blatantly obvious to me that no one else will create an Audio Reference Quality Standards Catalogue for individual album releases. The powers that be have showed us time and time again that they feel that we should be left in the dark about the music we have purchased and continue to purchase. It’s loud and clear, they do not have to, there is no other option.
All we asked for was lineage and provenance of recordings that we spend gobs of cash for, as well as the textual and numerical details as to how they mastered, remastered, and transferred the new releases. Once again we are left clueless as to what we are purchasing. We know it can be done, some releases have done just that, usually projects overseen by reputable audio engineers.
I do understand that in some cases they do not know some of these details as they have been lost to time, poor record keeping, lack of proper labeling, and a sad state of storage of the original master tapes. In some cases they don’t even know whether they are the “original studio masters” or well travelled copies. We saw that in the report on the sad state of historical music archiving, much has been lost or destroyed….as we know back just a few decades ago music industry analysts and label bosses went with the prevailing wisdom, why would we want to preserve all this music–who is going to want it? What is the use?
And ESPECIALLY This (Re-Post):
Now that they realize the marketing and money making potential, oh the irony there, eh? All we have asked for is crumbs; forget about the old arguments (for a moment) on the loudness wars, whether high rez audio can be heard by the human ear (The Nyquist Theorem), Wheather vinyl has more warmth and soul, whether expensive cables give a +/- better listening experience, The law of diminishing returns, “Sources? / Laws of Science?, Do CD’s suck, the failure of SACD, .mp3’s are garbage, etc. Noel Gallagher saying there will be no more vinyl niche as an industry in a few short years as a result of streaming (He thinks? I agree, he is probably right).
With that said, our niche is just that–our niche, and it will continue as long as the electric grids are up. Even then some of us crazies will be powering phonographs with a stationary bike, using a carefully sharpened fishbone as a rudimentary needle, a significant other propping up a makeshift jimmy-rigged cardboard cone to telescope and carry those wondrous melodies to the flash mobs in our living rooms. Vinyl wear and tear bad, but for a time the ears are very good.
Remember what is normal any way, and relative to what? With those previous dire predictions of the future, keeping in mind that some of us have never had or witnessed an argument on the early Yahoo and Alta Vista message boards about the wonders of Hi Resolution Audio (It will always be Hi-rez to me, soz!), I will try to parse mixed nuts. Threading the needle like a steaming locomotive on crazy good meds, diplomacy will avail for all, no matter what our differences. Joy!
Why don’t we focus on the things that which we do agree.
- We pay a lot of money re-purchasing music over and over.
- Music listening is a different subjective experience for each person.
- It “can” take a wee bit of trained ear (Not a B.S Degree), to hear improvements.
- The music is only as good as it’s source.
- ABX’ing can, not always, but “can” manifest as human listening fallibility & weakness.
- Placebo affect and bias are real “things”[sic].
- Provenance and Lineage of our recordings is Interesting and “nice” to have.
- There is such a thing as “brick walling”, “anti aliasing”, and de-noising”.
- There is more than one type of compression in music.
- Type A removes many of the tiny spaces to make music file formats smaller.
- Type B holds the fidelity of the performance together, Very Good!
- Good source players are available at many price ranges.
- There are good headphones and bad headphones at all price ranges.
- When in noisy public settings, audio nuances tend to decline.
- You Do NOT need to be an audiophile, to source good quality audio (If Available).
- Audiophiles can be nuts, same with Hi-Rez deniers. (In a good way 😉 )
- That said, Head-fi has it’s place, and deniers seem to hang around bigly.
- There are, subjectively to each of us, good mastering engineers and poor ones.
- We all have to listen to our source material and make our own judgements.
- I can have (IMO); my own vast archive of “self-proclaimed” Reference Quality Vinyl Rips, Hi-Rez digital lossless [FLAC 24/48, 24/96, 24/172, 24/192, 32 bit float, .WAV, even ALAC and DSD], quality sourced and mastered CD’s [16/44] etc., portable DAP’s/amps/DAC’s, and use .mp3’s and Youtube to preview and stream when need be. It’s fine that you might consider this fodder, trendy, and hipsterish. I often use apple ear buds while on the go with the mobile. I’m not a gobsmacked music snob…I listen to AC/DC cranked on the local radio in the car, beautifully overbearingly loud in all its overly-compressed glory. I’d dance randomly in the street to an 80’s boombox with cassettes daily if these types of gatherings where more frequent.
- You can have 50,000 lossy .mp3’s on the go, with an excellent ear, sourcing quality CD’s and audio on your own volition (all without my schtick). You might even listen to vinyl for nostalgia purposes possibly. Further you own low cost but excellent sounding source players as well as an expensive pair of headphones and/ or IEM’s. Even bluetooth love…it’s almost 5.0 (I too am sick of those frickin tangly chords). There’s nothing wrong with any of that. What I’m getting at is it doesn’t matter.
- We can all site the Nyquist Theorem till we are blue in the face, and never get anywhere…agree to disagree perhaps. If you’re happy, I am happy.
- Electronic music and Hip Hop does not and should not have to follow any of these rules. Electronic music tends to sound great, almost always produced very well, unless it’s a very low bit rate or has been up sampled, but that is usually by design. Hip Hop needs to be vicious or passive aggressive and Bassy…clean tight bassy…Superb dope! The only reservation I have is when either genre is too bright and shreds my ears. It’s rare, again unless by design.
- Classical music is on the other end of the spectrum…the rules DO very very very much apply. Soundstage and instrument separation are paramount. Loud and soft, loud and soft just like The Pixies or Nirvana. A muddy midrange is a killer. Attack, sustain, decay should be transparently punchy, grainy, and accurate. The music has to breathe and pulse…ripping the heart right out your chest even with headphones on. Emotions, knocked about, tugged like a puppet to strings. It should convey an air of atmospheric space with perceivable parameters…and in a perfect world, pseudo-holophonic sound, as if you the listener can imagine you’re there live sitting center stage with the orchestra wrapped 180 degrees from ear to ear. You’ll know something is wrong right off, a piano from each and every-little-single-ebony-to-ivory key is muddled together as one, or squashed in a constant spew of notes like an accordion. We should be able to perceive and hear milliseconds of spaciation[sic] and be acute to a differentiation between every single tapped key, no matter how fast the piece. I’ve said before piano is the hardest instrument to reproduce in recording with accuracy. If that’s muddy then it’s all over. I won’t get started on the pneumatic breath of the solo cello…you get my drift.
- Pop music…It depends on if it’s good! 😉 😉
So with all that said we arrive at the conclusion that we may not agree subjectively. Please forgive me, as I was being purposefully presumptuous in some of the things I said above… but that is not the point. I’m just generalizing for the sake of getting at the crux. Most of the people reading this will not care one way or the other. Some will be bored to tears as to, “what is the going on and on about”. In the end we all just love music and are devilishly passionate about it–Pretty simple, no? 🙂
So, in the past I did some reviews….Beck, The Beatles Catalogue, Led Zeppelin Catalog, etc., they each get hundreds of hits daily as reference, awesome. I also posted full album playlists (with some lineage)…it was quite subtle, again on purpose as to what I have deemed a Reference Quality Audio Recording. I don’t know if I said it outright, I may have…If not my tongue in cheek went over people’s heads. A failed attempt by me. Yes, you are left to taking me at my word, have to search for it yourself, and availability is spotty. I know it’s somewhat authoritarian but let your ears be the judge. There were many times I have searched for a single particular recording over weeks and months before finally getting a hold of it. Time well spent!
If you search hard enough you will be able to get a hold of same source as I did, some searches will be easy, others will require patience and time. Moderately I will recommend the High-Rez digital transfer available for everyone to purchase with a quick download and some cash. I have no stake in this…no adverts, self funded hosting and servers. I’m just passionate about music and everything else, and I know you are as well, or you would not be reading this.
Just a note **** again, the night site is under maintenance (The links from here the day page are static as of writing this)…It will be up again soon enough. I’m going to do all those recordings here on the main page individually anyhow. So there will probably be some updates as well. When live, it will give you an idea of some of what I will cover, and it is only a small part of projected works.
From now on instead of taking a few months to do mega reviews, although I will someday do the Complete Pink Floyd Archives Posts (Damn there I go again, that’s one exception), from now on there will be single album releases (From past and present) which a single post can be done in one day. I will do whatever I am listening to and I have in my wheelhouse as the best recordings and rips / digital to date. The posts will vary widely in style, genre, and medium. One day or two could be Thrash, the next Classical, Jazz, Electronic, Pop, wherever the music takes me.
In between I will continue to do my sordid stories, post mixes, photos, memorabilia, any type of art really. I intend on making this site better by making it a reference site for individual albums. In that vein It would make it possible for those who do not want to read my silly erotica, still be able to come here intentionally via direct link or search engine in order to just browse my reviews and recommendations on specific albums…quick and easy.
In conclusion, each album will have an easy to read, specific format that I have worked out, and tweak things as I go along. If there is anything extra about a specific release that you would like to see, send me an email or message. If I can get the info – I will post it or write you back. Understand that I cannot council and/or recommend file sharing or piracy, so do not ask…messages from readers as to these types of questions will go unanswered. No disrespect…just being clear.
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Obrigadx, Tchau! Adeus!
Merci, Au revoir!
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Merci Vilmal, Adeau!
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