Sampling frequency on Radio programmes - Taking it off topic

Kevin Lynch klynchk at
Mon Apr 20 06:16:22 PDT 2015

When people talk about music/audio "quality" there can be a tendency
towards "group think". I just wanted to open up the discussion to the
other more subtle, subjective. parameters of quality and how they are
lost in the musician to consumer (mass market) production process .
We are all in agreement here really :).

On 20 April 2015 at 11:52, michael norman <michaeltnorman at> wrote:
> 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
> Jim
> 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.
> Mike
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