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

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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.
I guess we are talking about the same SACD.
The one I have, guess what... has full bandwidth LFE... drums and bass isolated. Check it out.
This is a quite typical signature of Steve's surround mixes, I also compared the front channels and are obviously the same source as the ac3.

The SACD is indeed at a significantly lower level, but considering the bit depth of 24 bit vs 16 bit of the ac3 the SACD delivers for sure >100 times more amplitude samples. However that should be addressed for a proper HD release.
In comparison, the ac3 sounds... lossy to me.
The backing vocals for instance, come through in the SACD more clearly. The ac3 feels somewhat edgy.
Having said that, before I heard the SACD I was surprised that a ac3 mix could be OK and I used to listen to it quite frequently.
By the way, the SACD didn't include the nice bonus track "Frozen rose".
 

ssully

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Of course, so they would sound different enough for you to notice.
Of course (assuming a typical remastering...as opposed to the sort of 'remaster' where nothing significant is changed, e.g., Bruford CDs) . I've pointed this out maybe a dozen times on various threads by now over the years

And yet, even now, when I see claims that 'the lossless sounds much better' and 'the lossless sounds way better' and "the high resolution version smoked this Dolby version ", I don't get the impression that it's *different mastering* that's being contrasted. Maybe that's me. :unsure:

It would be nice to have some objective data about the two versions. I'm getting to that. It would help me to be pointed to some particular selection where the difference stands out to people's ears.

(I've already found evidence that the DVD has authoring errors...though that should not affect its sound.)
 
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ssully

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There is an SACD of this album?

The files I'm aware of were described as "un-mastered mixes in their original resolution of 24bit/48kHz", i.e., PCM. Wilson works from digitized multitrack transfer files supplied by the record company, which I would not expect to be in DSD format, and he doesn't work in DSD either. So I would guess any SACD of it is an aftermarket creation derived from his liberated PCM master mix. Easy enough to confirm by ripping the SACD and checking the used bandwidth.
 
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An SACD is actually 1-bit.
Of course you are absolutely right, as I wrote that I forgot for a microsecond that we were no longer talking about a DVD.
I just wanted to make a point that with the relatively insane sampling rates or bit depth of lossless formats compared to a ac3 stream (16/48, 448 kbps in a DVD) the lower volumes do not imply amplitude data loss in any way.
 
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Of course (assuming a typical remastering...as opposed to the sort of 'remaster' where nothing significant is changed, e.g., Bruford CDs) . I've pointed this out maybe a dozen times on various threads by now over the years

And yet, even now, when I see claims that 'the lossless sounds much better' and 'the lossless sounds way better' and "the high resolution version smoked this Dolby version ", I don't get the impression that it's *different mastering* that's being contrasted. Maybe that's me. :unsure:

It would be nice to have some objective data about the two versions. I'm getting to that. It would help me to be pointed to some particular selection where the difference stands out to people's ears.

(I've already found evidence that the DVD has authoring errors...though that should not affect its sound.)
I took the front channels of Golf Girl and aligned the tracks time and volume wise.
Then I proceeded to listen to the stereo with good pair of headphones.
As I said, I enjoyed the ac3 mix in the past. Now toggling randomly between one and the other in Audacity I am amazed how good the ac3 mix sounds.
However in relatively quiet parts I perceive obvious differences, not really in busy parts.
A good example is the 20 second introduction, the drums (both kick and cymbal) sound richer in the lossless mix. Still OK in the ac3, but I perceive a sligthly artificial sound.
Amazing though that we are talking about a codec older than mp3 delivering per channel a bit more than a 128 kbps mp3 !
 

AYanguas

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The files I'm aware of were described as "un-mastered mixes in their original resolution of 24bit/48kHz", i.e., PCM. Wilson works from digitized multitrack transfer files supplied by the record company, which I would not expect to be in DSD format, and he doesn't work in DSD either. So I would guess any SACD of it is an aftermarket creation derived from his liberated PCM master mix. Easy enough to confirm by ripping the SACD and checking the used bandwidth.
The notes I have explain that "...the sound wasn't further altered for accomodating the format of the final release; the sound is exactly as it left Steven WIlson's computer."

So, if done well the transfer to the SACD-R would be an unaltered lossless to lossless.
 
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I corrected the volume of the SACD to somehow match the volume of the ac3 using Audacity's Amplify function, which preserves the relative volumes of the tracks.
Golf Girl is the loudest track in the SACD, Audacity suggested an amplification of up to 11.943.
I chose an amplification of 11.5 in all tracks to be on the safe side. Audacity was set to import the tracks at 24 bits, which had been ripped as 24-bit PCM with a 88.2 kHz rate.
To my surprise, the file sizes shrink to almost a half.
Golf Girl was a 257 MB file, after the volume correction now is a 141 MB file.
What is going on?
 

Plan9

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I corrected the volume of the SACD to somehow match the volume of the ac3 using Audacity's Amplify function, which preserves the relative volumes of the tracks.
Golf Girl is the loudest track in the SACD, Audacity suggested an amplification of up to 11.943.
I chose an amplification of 11.5 in all tracks to be on the safe side. Audacity was set to import the tracks at 24 bits, which had been ripped as 24-bit PCM with a 88.2 kHz rate.
To my surprise, the file sizes shrink to almost a half.
Golf Girl was a 257 MB file, after the volume correction now is a 141 MB file.
What is going on?
Are you exporting to 88.2kHz or another sample rate? in FLAC or WAV?

Frankly you would be better off with the original PCM files, they would be at the optimal loudness and without the PCM > DSD > PCM conversion šŸ˜…
 
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Are you exporting to 88.2kHz or another sample rate? in FLAC or WAV?

Frankly you would be better off with the original PCM files, they would be at the optimal loudness and without the PCM > DSD > PCM conversion šŸ˜…
I handled everything in 88.2 kHz, but your question provided a hint.
It was not the sample rate... it was the bit depth... I oversaw that by default Audacity was exporting everything in 16 bit (blushing right now) ...
Thanks for looking into it !
 
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