Limiting - Afflicting Stereo "Remasters" - Quad/Surround Next ?

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kfbkfb

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On some "remastered" CDs (generally popular music), the music has been thru audio processing (limiting) to make it louder (as compared to the original CD).

Is there any evidence that Quad/Surround re-releases (DVD-A, Blu-ray, MCH-SACD etc.) have been processed w/limiting (even mildly)?


Kirk Bayne
 

ssully

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Do you mean are there any surround releases where some form of heavy dynamic range compression has been applied to one or more channel?

Yes, tons.
 

jimfisheye

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Next?!

Kirk, you're going to want to be sitting down for this.

Mildly? Probably more than not by this point.

It's often more than limiting too. Sometimes pretty extreme high end eq boosts. The worst volume war CDs (when they're so bad we call them that) can be limited and make-up boosted as much as 20db and then get a 20db treble boost on top of that. (Technically the eq boost comes first and the brick wall limiting last.)

There are surround mixes mutilated just like this.

There are a lot of variables and things can be relative. The "milder" cases of 4 - 10db limit and boost and no eq or just say, a 2 or 3db treble boost and 1 or 2db mid scoop (yeah, you get this too) still seem like pristine audio and just happiness and light next to most the older vinyl matrix encoding schemes.

Then there are the more novelty surround mixes ranging from just ambience in the rear to fully awkward and terrible.

Honestly though, this is like the golden age of audio now especially with all things surround! Perfect 24 bit downloads and bluray discs with no lossy decoder ring needed. Most don't get just ruined even when there are some mastering faux pas. This does go on though.
 

kfbkfb

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I was thinking mainly of re-releases of 1970s Quad content, the re-release is audibly compromised (limiting/EQ etc.), also, it would seem that Classical Music buyers would stay away from volume limited, excessive EQed Classical (Quad/Surround) recordings.

Maybe bring back the CX NR system (undo-able compression) for the "digital age":


Kirk Bayne
 

jimfisheye

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I was thinking mainly of re-releases of 1970s Quad content, the re-release is audibly compromised (limiting/EQ etc.), also, it would seem that Classical Music buyers would stay away from volume limited, excessive EQed Classical (Quad/Surround) recordings.

Maybe bring back the CX NR system (undo-able compression) for the "digital age":


Kirk Bayne
With successive remasters each a little louder like some of the CD releases went? We're kind of still waiting for digital reissue #1 for too many of the old ones!

I think the whole industry will continue towards good loudness standards. If for no other reason because consistency is easier to deal with. We'll see though. Everything is all over the map right now! The volume war CD isn't the current trend anymore but they still come out. I've seen more than one -8 LUFS example recently. I still see the occasional 24 bit master version that is an identical hyped up thing just like the CD. Could have been released in 8 bit! And then we have examples of excellence and some surround releases that are just perfect.

I think we escaped the worst of it just because mainstream doesn't know what surround is. But there is an annoying trend of some hype but then what looks like the channel balances being altered for front heavy. Or it kind of sounds like someone did something sloppy like only hype and boost the fronts. Hard to say without an original source next to it to reference but you see the slightly brick walled fronts (sometimes more than slightly) and the weak rears.

There was that John Lennon compilation not so long ago where the unmastered source went out for the dolby stream. We got a look at just how altered the mastering was! Fully changed to front heavy on top of hyped. And you probably would have guessed the original mix was front heavy to begin with without the original for reference. There are degrees of alteration. In this example the overall sound of the hyped master was still light years above an older matrix format misbehaving, for example. It feels like it's hard to point any of this out or critique it when the overall fidelity hits the bullet points without people getting confused sometimes.

I don't suddenly think this happened to every modern release that's front heavy and a little hyped all of a sudden but it's probably happened a few too many times now.
 

kfbkfb

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^^^
...hereby restoring some of the dynamics of the original track...


Maybe there are other software solutions that can help mitigate excessive limiting (or perhaps some the digital storage hardware/software solutions used and discussed here in QQ can be updated to provide peak unlimiting).


Kirk Bayne
 

Plan9

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^^^
...hereby restoring some of the dynamics of the original track...


Maybe there are other software solutions that can help mitigate excessive limiting (or perhaps some the digital storage hardware/software solutions used and discussed here in QQ can be updated to provide peak unlimiting).


Kirk Bayne
The important sentence in this is: "Now let's be clear, these mastering processes are destructive and some information from the original master-tape is irrecoverably lost."

You cannot really restore the original dynamics back from a limited track.

You get an approximation that is actually further processed on top of the limiter processing. This generally doesn't sound too good and you can often hear pumping compression artefacts.
 

jimfisheye

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Yeah, you can't unlimit.

You can mess around with expanders. Sometimes you can get away with some things. Even with success with some elements of a recording though, other elements saturated from the limiting will get even more distorted. You might get the poor thing pounded back into the dynamic size and shape resembling what you think the original might have sounded like but it will be mutilated for it. Nuance of depth and space will collapse and that kind of thing.
 

ssully

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...hereby restoring some of the dynamics of the original track...



No. A simulation of/best guess at the dynamics of the original track
 
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