Sampling frequency on Radio programmes - Taking it off topic

michael norman michaeltnorman at
Mon Apr 20 03:52:59 PDT 2015

On 20/04/15 09:59, Jim web wrote:
> This is drifiting OT but since the comments below were made I will respond
> on this occasion and hope people are OK with that... beyond that if anyone
> wants to discuss this - take it to  :-)
> In article
> <CA+L9MatjHhgt_m=rRFjozuiveDc_zP_v+EfhqsnrWxJL3LgGRA at>,
>     Kevin Lynch <klynchk at> wrote:
>> Jim's article is well considered and only tells part of the story of
>> music mastering for distribution. His definition of a "good" audio
>> recording says a lot about his purist perspective.
> Yes. My 'purist' approach is pretty simply. It is that when the musicians
> and engineers have made a source recording master they are happy with, then
> - so far as technically possible - *that* is what the end-user's result
> should sound like when played on decent equipment.
> FWIW I know perfectly well that, say, Jimi Hendrix used electric guitars
> which have no real 'acoustic' sound, and then distorted and compressed the
> results on it way to the final master tape. That was done using his
> judgement and talent.
> What he *didn't* do was then add *more* clipping and avoidable distortions
> of quite different kinds as have appeared, time after time, on the CDs
> released after his death. [1]
> You can more easily make a similar point for classical music and jazz where
> there often *is* a genuine orginal sound to be heard in a venue and into
> which the musicians judge what they perform.
>> However the vast majority of people who produce, buy and consume music
>> are not audiophiles and they do not care about fidelity of their
>> listening experience.
> I agree. That why, for example, I didn't bother to try analysing any
> 128kbps mp3 files. Although admittedly, another reason is that I don't have
> any. 8-]
> More below...
>> This 2008 Wired article fleshes out the story
>> my favourite quote. "Bands, producers and record labels have always
>> wanted to make loud records, for radio play and jukeboxes.
> That did leave out the small but key word "some". And the title in the URL
> you give is perhaps of interest here. :-)
> TBH I don't think that when, say, Mark Elder conducts the Halle he wants
> the end result to follow the recipy you quote.
> But yes, I've seen that 'justification' trotted out many times. And as a
> long-term AES member, seen it argued about. However the key point to note
> is that it states a belief system on the part of those who believe it.
> In some cases they may be judging their audience well. (Indeed, I suspect
> many people have never even heard really well mastered and reproduced
> music. So may have no idea what is possible.) But even allowing for that,
> the believers have dodged putting their faith to a simple critical test.
> This is to symultaenously release a clipped and massively level compressed
> version in parallel with releasing a less processed version. Then tell the
> potential customers about it, and let them choose which they prefer, given
> the ability to hear both first.
> However the 'wizards' who get paid to compress and clip generally don't do
> this. They just rely on the mantra that 'louder sells more'.
> All that said, the main point of the health check is to spot digital
> recording/processing errors and faults. Not just clipping or level
> compression. If you prefer the results, that's a personal choice you're
> entitled to make once you are fully informed. However to really decide
> you'd need to listen to an *unaffected* version for comparison. if you
> haven't heard that you can't know if you wouldn't prefer it.
> TBH I doubt in most cases those producing the CD had any idea at the time
> that they'd used undithered integer gain changes, etc, and caused the
> effects shown. Chances are they just moved a gain slider to change the
> level without knowing that happened. Indeed, you can find an example on my
> webpage where the first issue of a CD shows problems, and a later
> re-masting doesn't. If they'd *wanted* the flaws they'd have repeated them.
> Jim
> [1] BTW Anyone who likes Joni Mitchell might also wish to be aware of the
> misuse of 'HDCD' on some of her CDs, making them sound worse than the
> equivalent LP or earlier plain CD versions. Again, apparently applied by


This is all, as you say, totally OT for this list but does illustrate a 
number of things. As you say it is as much about belief systems as 
anything else.  Probably the same people who argued back in the day that 
an amplifier was a "straight wire with gain" are now arguing that no 
human being can hear the difference between mp3s and uncompressed 
digital files.  I have given up trying to debate with these believers. 
You will know all this.

On "Loudness" this is from Stereophile

Michael Fremer also has a lot to say on the subject of mastering etc., 
find him on Analogplanet and in Stereophile.

He is of course very much a vinyl advocate.

I'm sure you know all this.


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