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Distortion on London Grammar Track (digital)


Bervy
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Hi fellow audio lovers.

 

Bit of a weird one. I listen to my music mostly from iTunes on a Mac with the optical out to an amp connected two nice bookshelves. 

 

Always have ripped my own CDs at the highest bitrate - actually use Apple Lossless format these days.

 

Or ripped "my own CDs that I purchased myself, and definately not downloaded from the internet" as FLAC, then converted to Apple Lossless for iTunes.

 

Was listening to London Grammar "Oh Woman Oh Man" just tonight and it sounded to me as if it was distorted. Checked the original FLAC, the same. Even opened the track in Adobe Audition and it looked to me like it is being clipped - the waveforms in the chorus all smashed hard up against the limits.

 

Anyway, thought it may be a case of a bad rip. Searched around for where to buy or "buy" another copy. Really not much to choose from which surprised me. It seems the masses just sign up to streaming services these days. What if you want to listen to something while driving in the country where there is no mobile coverage???

 

Well, ended up signing up to HDTracks (via VPN to get around geofencing) and actually paid for a FLAC download of the London Grammar album that track is on. $40AUD!!!! Yikes.

 

And the track is the same! Distorted (at least to me).

 

So, what the hell do I do?

 

If anyone else has this track I'd be interested to know if it sounds distorted to them - during the chorus where it the song peaks mostly.

 

Could be that my falling apart body and ears are failing me, but looking at the track in an audio editor (I'm in video production) it really looked "clipped" to me. If I had recorded audio that looked like that I'd be re-doing it. So surely that can't be right????

 

Appreciate anyones thoughts.

 

Cheers.

 

 

Edited by Bervy
Typos. Title change.
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So just to clarify ...

I could buy the CD, or the vinyl, but surely I’m not the only one that wants a convenient uncompressed downloadable option?

 

And, curious to hear from anyone who has that track London Grammar Oh Woman Oh Man, and their opinion on the recording. 
 

thanks.  

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Only the vinyl of "Truth...." is reasonable.  Many digital masters are compressed to within an inch of their lives these days - and not just London Grammar.  It is know as the loudness war as eman said.  Started in the mid '90s and continues to this day.  Its not CD or digital files or the rip that are the problem per se it is those fat fingers of the masterer twiddling the compression knob.  Some masterers are good others not so, and a lot don't even seem to know or care.

 

These day,  I check the DR database first and try to purchase the version with the best dynamic range statistic.  In the case of Lon. Gram., unluckily, they all seem bad.

 

http://dr.loudness-war.info/album/list/album?artist=london+grammar

 

PS.  I don't have the album so can't check that track

 

 

Edited by aechmea
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11 minutes ago, aechmea said:

Only the vinyl of "Truth...." is reasonable.  Many digital masters are compressed to within an inch of their lives these days - and not just London Grammar.  It is know as the loudness war as eman said.  Started in the mid '90s and continues to this day.  Its not CD or digital files or the rip that are the problem per se it is those fat fingers of the masterer twiddling the compression knob.  Some masterers are good others not so, and a lot don't even seem to know or care.

 

These day,  I check the DR database first and try to purchase the version with the best dynamic range statistic.  In the case of Lon. Gram., unluckily, they all seem bad.

 

http://dr.loudness-war.info/album/list/album?artist=london+grammar

 

PS.  I don't have the album so can't check that track

 

 

Thanks for the link..

What a bugger.

I had the vinyl of  If You Wait which is good   but lost it in the fires.

Was thinking of  just getting the CD  as a replacement. Not now.

 

This music really needs an open spacious  sound. It's not thrash metal.

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2 hours ago, aechmea said:

Only the vinyl of "Truth...." is reasonable.  Many digital masters are compressed to within an inch of their lives these days - and not just London Grammar.  It is know as the loudness war as eman said.  Started in the mid '90s and continues to this day.  Its not CD or digital files or the rip that are the problem per se it is those fat fingers of the masterer twiddling the compression knob.  Some masterers are good others not so, and a lot don't even seem to know or care.

 

These day,  I check the DR database first and try to purchase the version with the best dynamic range statistic.  In the case of Lon. Gram., unluckily, they all seem bad.

 

http://dr.loudness-war.info/album/list/album?artist=london+grammar

 

PS.  I don't have the album so can't check that track

 

Thanks for that info. How disappointing. 

 

Here is a screen grab of the waveform in Audacity - starting from the second chorus. Looks compressed to hell.

Wav LG.jpg

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Loudness wars sucks. It's destroyed pretty much most music released in the last 20 years.

 

The upside (opinion incoming) is that most music in the last 20 years isn't worthy of good mastering.

 

To answer your question, I buy mostly original issue vinyl (which on modern releases can be super compressed) and CD. I generally don't stream as I like "owning" my music and by extension, collecting it.

 

Did I say the loudness wars suck? Killer of a decent hifi.

 

Sounds good on $5.00 earbuds though, which is what this music was mastered for I suppose.

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Earlier this year I bought The Smith Street Band's latest album, Don't Waste Your Anger.

It'd be more honestly titled Don't Waste Your Money. The sound is awful. The quietest bit and the loudest bit are the same.

Drums have zero impact, it's all just a steady stream of shouty sound.

Here is a typical track called Profiteering as viewed in Audacity. It's all heavily compressed and clipped.

 

 

ssb-compressed-clipped.jpg

Edited by pwstereo
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23 hours ago, Bervy said:

Hi fellow audio lovers.

 

Bit of a weird one. I listen to my music mostly from iTunes on a Mac with the optical out to an amp connected two nice bookshelves. 

 

Always have ripped my own CDs at the highest bitrate - actually use Apple Lossless format these days.

 

Or ripped "my own CDs that I purchased myself, and definately not downloaded from the internet" as FLAC, then converted to Apple Lossless for iTunes.

 

Was listening to London Grammar "Oh Woman Oh Man" just tonight and it sounded to me as if it was distorted. Checked the original FLAC, the same. Even opened the track in Adobe Audition and it looked to me like it is being clipped - the waveforms in the chorus all smashed hard up against the limits.

 

Anyway, thought it may be a case of a bad rip. Searched around for where to buy or "buy" another copy. Really not much to choose from which surprised me. It seems the masses just sign up to streaming services these days. What if you want to listen to something while driving in the country where there is no mobile coverage???

 

Well, ended up signing up to HDTracks (via VPN to get around geofencing) and actually paid for a FLAC download of the London Grammar album that track is on. $40AUD!!!! Yikes.

 

And the track is the same! Distorted (at least to me).

 

So, what the hell do I do?

 

If anyone else has this track I'd be interested to know if it sounds distorted to them - during the chorus where it the song peaks mostly.

 

Could be that my falling apart body and ears are failing me, but looking at the track in an audio editor (I'm in video production) it really looked "clipped" to me. If I had recorded audio that looked like that I'd be re-doing it. So surely that can't be right????

 

Appreciate anyones thoughts.

 

Cheers.

 

 

Your thread title has pretty much nothing to do with your post Btw.

 

Would appreciate it if you could get them closer in content next time please.

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10 hours ago, eman said:

Your thread title has pretty much nothing to do with your post Btw.

 

Would appreciate it if you could get them closer in content next time please.

Yeah sorry about that. I guess it was a question regarding finding decent quality recordings. 
 

I have since found out about Loudness Wars thanks to the replies. 
 

What should it be titled? Can I change it?

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2 hours ago, Bervy said:

Yeah sorry about that. I guess it was a question regarding finding decent quality recordings. 
 

I have since found out about Loudness Wars thanks to the replies. 
 

What should it be titled? Can I change it?

Since your main point is about distortion of a certain London Grammar track it could be something like 'Distortion on London Gramar Track (digital)'.

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