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How to hear the difference between vinyl and mp3

I Am Misery

Member
Messages
3,220
... listen to the cymbals and high end. Weird ringing, washing cymbals are a giveaway to poor quality MP3's. There is a flatness to low quality digital that you should be able to hear if you spend some time listening to various formats through the same gear. With low sample/bit rates, you are literally missing large quantities of the continuous sound waves that make vinyl and tape so full sounding. The digital sampling of music basically slices up the analog sound waves into tiny pieces and takes a few of them for reproduction. The computer digital-to-analog conversion (and your brain) reassembles the slices into a facsimile of the original source, minus a lot of information. What the computer lacks in information it "guesses" and fills in the blanks. Sort of comparable to faxing a fine film photograph. Hence the strange cymbals and flatness of MP3. If you have marginal speakers, use headphones. Not earbuds. Headphones. You'll hear it.
you talk like it's 2003 or something. people don't really listen to "poor quality mp3's" these days.


To me it’s simple. When I listen to HDTracks or a good produced/mixed CD there is a bright, stiff harsh sound on the very top end that is a subconscious point of ear fatigue. After about half a CD or maybe 1 album through HDtracks, I’m bored, my mind disengages and wonders.. The music subconsciously becomes annoying. If I try to concentrate on the sounds it becomes overly crisp. It doesn’t sound like the real deal.

When I hear a live performance and really listen to stringed instruments, cymbals, Snare pops or vocals, it’s never fatiguing if at comfortable db’s. Notes cascade, bloom, swell. Sounds have an energy, a natural decay. I get far closer to that with vinyl.
are you sure it's not the booze? :p
 

Funky54

Member
Messages
4,679
you talk like it's 2003 or something. people don't really listen to "poor quality mp3's" these days.

Actually they do. In fact most still do. I’m a low voltage integrator, I set up whole house audio systems all the time. For a “source” they usually stream Pandora, some Spotify. when I get into their accounts I don’t think I have ever seen anyone using the optional higher Rez. Often for prerecorded playlists they hand me their phones... still often iPods. They are usually loaded with very low res MP3’s.





are you sure it's not the booze? :p
I find the booze to be inspiring.
 

I Am Misery

Member
Messages
3,220
people who know better don't listen to "poor quality mp3's" these days.

any of those others would have been happy listening to a 3rd generation cassette mix tape back in the day.
 

Funky54

Member
Messages
4,679
For me, the art is in the song, not the medium, packaging, credits, and photography.
Well that’s lovely.....song art can sound terrible on poorly engineered media and it’s nice to get them in a protected package and you might want to know who’s music the art came from.
 

PdL

Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
3,169
90% of humanity doesn’t know better.
Good point. That lends a lot of support to the old theory that its the music itself that draws someone in, and sonic quality is much less of a factor in determining what they find appealing. Of course, for those folks who’re oblivious to the differences in the quality of recordings’ sonics (which is sizable % of the population) it plays zero part in their assessment of songs’ palatability.

That lack of concern w/ a recording’s quality of fidelity is evident the widespread, and ever-increasing, popularity of songs composed via some, or all, of these: sampled drum beats, incorporating samples of earlier recording by other artists, electronic keyboards and/synths in place of actual musicians playing stringed instruments or horns, a healthy slathering of autotune across on the vocals.

While those recording & mastering techniques have become rampant over the last 15+ years, across multiple genres (pop, rock, r&b, alternative rock and faux country primarily) they certainly haven’t diminished the mainstream’s interest in new(er) music. Like a lot of TGPers I find much of the rock & country music that’s come out in the last 15 or so years of little appeal. But, no matter of how much more knowledge about all things music we here @ TGP consider ourselves, the tens of thousands of non-TGPers who enjoy many songs & albums that’ve been released since the mid-2000s show just how small of a group we are in the world of music aficionados.
 

Funky54

Member
Messages
4,679
Good point. That lends a lot of support to the old theory that its the music itself that draws someone in, and sonic quality is much less of a factor in determining what they find appealing. Of course, for those folks who’re oblivious to the differences in the quality of recordings’ sonics (which is sizable % of the population) it plays zero part in their assessment of songs’ palatability.

That lack of concern w/ a recording’s quality of fidelity is evident the widespread, and ever-increasing, popularity of songs composed via some, or all, of these: sampled drum beats, incorporating samples of earlier recording by other artists, electronic keyboards and/synths in place of actual musicians playing stringed instruments or horns, a healthy slathering of autotune across on the vocals.

While those recording & mastering techniques have become rampant over the last 15+ years, across multiple genres (pop, rock, r&b, alternative rock and faux country primarily) they certainly haven’t diminished the mainstream’s interest in new(er) music. Like a lot of TGPers I find much of the rock & country music that’s come out in the last 15 or so years of little appeal. But, no matter of how much more knowledge about all things music we here @ TGP consider ourselves, the tens of thousands of non-TGPers who enjoy many songs & albums that’ve been released since the mid-2000s show just how small of a group we are in the world of music aficionados.
The music they are drawn to is computerized programmer put together sampled, autotune, drivel mixed and engineered to sound good through a phone. Again, show them the difference and suddenly they care.
 

PdL

Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
3,169
The music they are drawn to is computerized programmer put together sampled, autotune, drivel mixed and engineered to sound good through a phone. Again, show them the difference and suddenly they care.
Show them the difference... how?
 

Funky54

Member
Messages
4,679
Show them the difference... how?
My circumstances are unique in that I’m a power of influence when:

1) Folks integrate their home and I share the benefits of better audio.
2) Refuse to use backing tracks or digital Crap when playing live.
3) When we have dinner parties (friends over) from 8 to 80 yrs old they come into the family room... see a record player and always smile and say stuff like “wow, does it work?.. Why do you use it?...or...some people say it’s better than CD’s, is it true?”

It’s a conversation piece for sure, I start with asking what music they like. I try to play the CD and then the record. Hands down everyone says they like the record. A few of them have gotten into vinyl now and are also growing their collections. Others I mention the bit rates available with Spotify verses Pandora.

In the Funky54 household there is absolutely no low bit rate compressed music. Whole House music is HDTracks, and Spotify’s highest resolution options. Vinyl is vinyl and CD’s are a select few. Quality speakers through-out.

there is no music in my phone and ITunes has only ever been used to purchase apps.

Another example is song selection. Say you got a 20 something girl into club music... (I know, give me a thousand paper cuts and throw me into a pool of lemon juice) If I play Puss N Boots or Jade it’s amazing how many of them search in front of me to buy it. Once they heard it with hair standing up on their arms they no longer are satisfied with phone music.
 
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