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Slow Music. The rant!

Discussion in 'Studio Lounge' started by lilith_envy, Dec 10, 2009.

  1. lilith_envy

    lilith_envy Active Member

    In the late 80’s there was a great movement to “slow food”
    Combating fast food
    Fresh, well prepared and tasty the way food should be.
    Are MP3’s the fast food of the music world.
    You get it fast but it’s tasteless and bad for you.
    Slowly dumbing down the golden ears of listeners to a compressed, lifeless blur.
    Engineers, producers, studios and guest musicians go un-credited in the an un-tangible format.
    Is it really that hard to walk to a CD store to buy an album?
    Maybe Apple should have saved their (our) money buying Lala and spent it on a CD quality or better download app.
     
  2. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Guest

    Flac & MPEG 4 is a different algorithm from MPEG-1 layer 3 a.k.a. MP3. It's quite good. Bad results are a result of bad recording & mixing technique even in the MP3 realm. No, I don't love MP3 but it is a practical format. As broadband service improves, we will see better & lossless formats soon.

    You wouldn't necessarily believe this but most of the announcers you hear on television come via MP 3 to the station. You're not complaining about that. My MP3s hold up well to my .wav files. 128 kb per second provides the same 15 kHz high-frequency response as FM & television broadcasting. Why not try 320 kb per second and see what you think about that? Larger files but you might hear less artifacting.

    Motion Picture Experts Group, what the heck do they know about sound?
    Mx. Remy Ann David
     
  3. MadMax

    MadMax Well-Known Member

    lilith,

    I hear ya!

    That's one of the reasons at least you and I, (as well as others, I sure), are building our own "slow cooked" studios, right?

    To combat the issue of poor quality reproductions... Not just of the music, but the reproduction of that music.

    I gotta agree with Remy and say that my Empty3's hold up pretty well in conversion... but I tend to only convert once/render. e.g. if it's too big of a file for a client to handle, I don't resample, I completely re-render the file from SloStools, or re-render the original wav, from iToonz.

    I've found that a single, first generation render at 128kb is a reasonably decent compromise between file size and audio quality with few to no artifacts; suitable for client review.

    Of course, I prefer to give them wav's to make final decisions/final delivery... but Empty3's are fine for review.
     
  4. cfaalm

    cfaalm Active Member

    To paint a picture here.

    I got a request from a rapper to slice a piece of music this and that way, try to cut the backing vocals out so he could rap his own thing. He send me the mp3. I was shocked at first because I learned to stay at the source as close as possible and expected a CD or a ripped wav from the CD. Luckily the mp3, even though at 128kbps didn't sound too bad so I chopped away on the piece, rendered it back into mp3 and send it off. The guy was happy.

    That said. For my own material I export from the mix to any given format. The mp3s are all on 192kbps which is a nice balance between size and audio quality. I find it very convenient that mp3 tags can contain information about author, even lyrics. Let's just hope that a new format can provide us lossless with all the nice tags, couple of graphics, photos, timed lyrics, tablature, scores and be available from Amazon, iTunes or whatever webstore you prefer. Now that would almost make a CD from the store obsolete.

    I guess it's a bit old school to hang on to the tangible format of a CD from the store. I still prefer a CD to any download. Next thing you know you don't even have to store your downloads. You only have to maintain the link to every song you buy in the big cloud and it will be there for you forever. Or you simply pay an x-sum of money per period to have access to every song ever committed to the service you subscribed to, giving you virtually anything ever made on demand. Hopefully lossless by then i.e. studio quality.
     
  5. JoeH

    JoeH Well-Known Member

    FWIW, I deliever all of my broadcast content to my local NPR/Classical/Jazz station as 256k mp3's to their server, and they sound wonderful. Almost identical to the original WAV files, and once they're on the air on HD or analog radio, I can't hear a difference.

    We used to send 'em CDs, but once I found out everyone ELSE was delivering content that way, I decided to skip the postage and the hassle.

    What put the final nail in the box for me was what their engineer told me about the station's signal chain: Once it left the console, the audio was converted to MP3s and sent to the transmitter this way, then back out the antenna as analog audio. Go figure!

    96 and 128kps MP3's still equal Cassettes to me emotionally, but I understand it's a necessary evil.

    I was just at a local CD/Music conference with many of my peers, including several pop/rock/folk/gospel/classical/jazz producers. The Classical and Jazz folks (myself included) still have next to ZERO clients asking for MP3 downloads and online deliveries. Our clients still want the real deal, in the best audio quality they can get, on an artifact that they can hold, play, store, and keep safe for the rest of their lives. (god bless 'em all!)

    The rest of the folks (Rock, Pop, Rap, etc.) did all the usual talking about lost downloads, lost revenue, no physical media anymore, lossy formats, and bad-sounding MP3's. Their clients are mainly 18-25 yr olds. They hate what they have to do with the final masters, after all their hard work getting great sound in the first place.

    What a world.....
     

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