Comments Inspired by Caravan - In The Land Of Grey And Pink (Steven Wilson 5.1 Mix) [DD DVD+2CD]

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Plan9

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I really wonder who chooses the codecs these albums are released in. I mean you go to the trouble of locating the multitracks.....hire Steve Wilson to remix an iconic album .... design the gatefold packaging which includes a RBCD when just as easily the album could've [and frankly should've] been released on a single hybrid SACD which includes the CD layer and a HI RES STEREO/MULTICHANNEL layer....thus doing FULL justice to the album itself and Steve's STELLAR efforts.

Does it really take a genius to figure this out? And insult to injury: a DTS option and at the very least a 96/24 stereo remix could've [and frankly should've] been included.
It's usually down to the authoring guy to choose unless specified by the label. Paying licenses for different formats shouldn't be a problem to either. If you have clueless types on both sides, you end up with not even a PCM stereo track.

As for SACD, while it's down to the label/distributor again, SW remixes in PCM, not analog or DSD, and generally there are bonus tracks and video elements added, so SACD doesn't seem the best suited format for the job.
 

ssully

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re: Dolby Digital/AC3

frequency band:
There is no "16kHz cutoff"

e.g., left channel, Britney Spears 'Toxic', decoded from .ac3:
1563992497273.png



Dialnorm:
All DD encodes have a dialnorm value in metadata, it is mandatory. It is meant to 'normalize' overall playback level *between different Dolby Digital sources* so that dialogue levels are the same 'comfortable' level for all those sources. Again, dialnorm adjusts overall level, not just the dialogue/center channel. It considers a dialogue level -31dBfs below digital peak (0dBfs, the loudest you can go), as 'ideal' for home playback, and a dialnorm value is programmed in to a DVD as DD stream metadata to 'tell' the decoder how loud its dialogue is. Most commonly for DVDs, that is a dialnorm value of -27, which means that the movie soundtrack has been mixed so that dialogue levels are 4dB (31-27=4) louder than 'ideal', reflecting cinema reference standards but considered louder than 'ideal' for home. Thus the decoder will reduce volume on all channels by 4dB for this program, so everything stays in balance but the dialogue is not 'too loud' for home playback. Meanwhile, a Dolby-encoded TV broadcast stream might have a dialnorm value of -20, so it will be attenuated by -11 dB (31-20=11) by your decoder, to keep the dialogue level at the 'target'. When switching between these two Dolby sources, the perceived dialogue level will be the same (-31 dB fs) , ie.., it won't suddenly sound a lot louder when you go from DVD to TV (-27dbfs -->-20dbfs). That's the point of dialnorm.

tl;dr: it is equivalent to turning the volume knob down on your AVR, nothing more. You are free to adjust the volume back upward by whatever amount suits you if the idea bothers you.

NB1: since DTS encodes do NOT use dialnorm, they typically will NOT be level matched to the equivalent DD encode, upon playback. They may well be louder. (However, to complicate matters, some THX-certified AVRs automatically applied -4dB to DTS sources, in an attempt to even the playing field). This makes it difficult to compare DD to DTS *fairly* by 'trusting your ears'.

NB2: dialnorm of -27 is common for DD movie soundtracks on DVD. For DD content on music discs, e.g., it can be different. A dialnorm of -31 means no level adjustment is done on decode. Typically the AVR receiving a DD bitstream can be made to display the dialnorm value, although my Denon only does it briefly, at the start of a DD program.

NB4: dialnorm is also used for Dolby's Dynamic Range Control (DRC) function, which is an *optional* function. If present, it may be on or off by default in your device, and thus it is worth checking.
 
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fredblue

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re: Dolby Digital/AC3

frequency band:
There is no "16kHz cutoff"

e.g., left channel, Britney Spears 'Toxic', decoded from .ac3:
View attachment 42009


Dialnorm:
All DD encodes have a dialnorm value in metadata, it is mandatory. It is meant to 'normalize' overall playback level *between different Dolby Digital sources* so that dialogue levels are the same 'comfortable' level for all those sources. Again, dialnorm adjusts overall level, not just the dialogue/center channel. It considers a dialogue level -31dBfs below digital peak (0dBfs, the loudest you can go), as 'ideal' for home playback, and a dialnorm value is programmed in to a DVD as DD stream metadata to 'tell' the decoder how loud its dialogue is. Most commonly for DVDs, that is a dialnorm value of -27, which means that the movie soundtrack has been mixed so that dialogue levels are 4dB (31-27=4) louder than 'ideal', reflecting cinema reference standards but considered louder than 'ideal' for home. Thus the decoder will reduce volume on all channels by 4dB for this program, so everything stays in balance but the dialogue is not 'too loud' for home playback. Meanwhile, a Dolby-encoded TV broadcast stream might have a dialnorm value of -20, so it will be attenuated by -11 dB (31-20=11) by your decoder, to keep the dialogue level at the 'target'. When switching between these two Dolby sources, the perceived dialogue level will be the same (-31 dB fs) , ie.., it won't suddenly sound a lot louder when you go from DVD to TV (-27dbfs -->-20dbfs). That's the point of dialnorm.

tl;dr: it is equivalent to turning the volume knob down on your AVR, nothing more. You are free to adjust the volume back upward by whatever amount suits you if the idea bothers you.

NB1: since DTS encodes do NOT use dialnorm, they typically will NOT be level matched to the equivalent DD encode, upon playback. They may well be louder. (However, to complicate matters, some THX-certified AVRs automatically applied -4dB to DTS sources, in an attempt to even the playing field). This makes it difficult to compare DD to DTS *fairly* by 'trusting your ears'.

NB2: dialnorm of -27 is common for DD movie soundtracks on DVD. For DD content on music discs, e.g., it can be different. A dialnorm of -31 means no level adjustment is done on decode. Typically the AVR receiving a DD bitstream can be made to display the dialnorm value, although my Denon only does it briefly, at the start of a DD program.

NB4: dialnorm is also used for Dolby's Dynamic Range Control (DRC) function, which is an *optional* function. If present, it may be on or off by default in your device, and thus it is worth checking.
oops.. its Dolby Surround that has a frequency dropoff.

what was NB3?
 

ssully

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The *original* Dolby Surround (where the surround channels were mono) had a 7khz frequency limit for surrounds.

The 'plain' 'Dolby Pro Logic' was also band limited.

DPLII was/is full-range (for Music and Movie modes at least)

I expect the modern DSU (Dolby Surround Upmixer) is too.

NB3 was sacked. ;>
 

fredblue

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The *original* Dolby Surround (where the surround channels were mono) had a 7khz frequency limit for surrounds.

The 'plain' 'Dolby Pro Logic' was also band limited.

DPLII was/is full-range (for Music and Movie modes at least)

I expect the modern DSU (Dolby Surround Upmixer) is too.

NB3 was sacked. ;>
ah, there you go! never let a juicy bit of gossip get in the way of the facts! 😋

it lacked dynamic range! NB3 must've been evil AC3! :phones
 

Plan9

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I believe it was the "prosumer" AC3 encoder that had the 16kHz cut-off. I certainly saw it on the encodes I did for my personal use long ago. Or maybe it also depends on the material?
 

Plan9

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This sounds great. I love this music and dolby or not I am happy with the sound. And the mix
When this came out Neil said he heard the high resolution version which smoked this Dolby version but that is hard to believe
This is highly reccomended now a little pricey but worth it.
The lossless version is really that much better.
 

ssully

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Those who think it sounds 'much better' in lossless versus Dolby...how so? Perhaps you can point to a particular passage where the difference is especially striking?

I have both and would be happy to investigate.
 
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Plan9

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Those who think it sounds 'much better' in lossless versus Dolby...how so? Perhaps you can point to a particular passage where the difference is especially striking?

I have both and would be happy to investigate.
I haven't listened to the Dolby version since 2011, but I seem to recall it was mastered while the Hi-Res files aren't.
 

AYanguas

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I got a SACD with the supposed original Steven Wilson Master.

It sounds at a lower level than the DVD. I tried to equate the volume levels and did some A-B compare, I noticed that the SACD is a little bit less boomy than the Dolby DVD and sounds more clear.

Specially I like more the high frequencies at the percussion and drum cymbals. And perhaps I feel the vocals more clear.

Not a big difference for my somehow old ears, but I think I can still notice a difference.
 
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