jamesbeard22 October 2012 at 11:49pmPosts: 8 (0 today)Status: offline
I got this earlier today and when I was listening to it back on studio monitors I felt it sounded a little 'crunchy' (a characteristic of distortion), also the level meters on the CD player itself showed it peaking at or above 0dB. When I opened it in a waveform editor I was slightly dismayed to see some peaks that were flattened at the top - ie. the audio is actually distorting. Anyone else notice this?
See linked pic of waveform below. It's from 1:05.9 into Red Rain:
I was really hoping they wouldn't go crazy with the over zealous limiting on this release but it seems like they have. It's noticeably louder than the 2002 remaster and I really think it sounds harsh. Would be fascinated to hear a comment from the mastering engineer ...
jamesbeard23 October 2012 at 12:26amPosts: 8 (0 today)Status: offline
p.s. I have just made a graphic comparing the waveforms of all 3 CD release versions of Red Rain and you can see how much the dynamic range has been drastically reduced on the 2012 remaster ...
Chelieguy23 October 2012 at 12:38amPosts: 15 (0 today)Status: offline
Chelieguy23 October 2012 at 12:54amPosts: 15 (0 today)Status: offline
Definitely is peaking, though. Just another reason to avoid this thing. http://imgur.com/JTWL4 Any chance of a dvdrip of Athens, my man? lol
jamesbeard23 October 2012 at 12:54amPosts: 8 (0 today)Status: offline
Interesting - if you zoom in to the individual sample level can you see waveforms with flattened tops? I can hear noticeable distortion in the left channel of Don't Give Up, about 3:43 into the song on Peter's word 'whatever'.
Another clear example of the over-limiting in the bass run-out to this song here:
jamesbeard23 October 2012 at 12:56amPosts: 8 (0 today)Status: offline
The thing that's more the issue for me is how the heck can this kind of thing happen with a big release like this? How is the quality control done? Does anyone with good ears actually listen back to the final master CD? If I can hear audible distortion in places there wasn't on previous releases then something's definitely amiss!
jamesbeard23 October 2012 at 1:06amPosts: 8 (0 today)Status: offline
Here's another example of the insane levels of limiting gone on - compare the original 1986 CD (with loads of lovely dynamic range) compared to the new one. Both have been normalised to 80% in order to better see the waveforms.
Chelieguy23 October 2012 at 11:48amPosts: 15 (0 today)Status: offline
Geez, that's crazy! So unacceptable. Hey, James, could we discuss this off-forum? This is fascinating stuff. My email is definitive smallville soundtrack at gmail dot com (no spaces).
cebs23 October 2012 at 10:46pmPosts: 141 (0 today)Status: offline
Nice thread, very imformative and I wonder if we'll see an official response to this thread?
Those charts look a bit shocking, i take it anything hitting the top would cause distortion and is missing info that was there on the previous releases.
Can or does this cause any damage to speakers or would your amp just handle it.
PG did make a statement on the news page about what he wanted this release to sound like compared to 2002 but is this it?
Have you got the high-rez versions and any charts for that by any chance?
dferrey24 October 2012 at 3:47pmPosts: 10 (0 today)Status: offline
This is very disappointing. My 3 CD set is arriving today. I mainly bought it for the concert, not the reissue but still I was hoping the reissue would sound better.
I heard PG talk about the reissue having more compression. Considering how tech savvy PG is I thought I heard wrong or he spoke wrong. Overly compressed music, or "the loudness wars" has become the bane of the audiophile. Surely he wouldn't cater only to the ear bud crowd?
When I read this thread I've actually thought about returning the package to Amazon. I wish I could get the concert separately and I would.
jamesbeard25 October 2012 at 1:48pmPosts: 8 (0 today)Status: offline
I'm just downloading the high res versions now, so I will have a little look later and see if they are mastered with the same comp/lim applied. Will let you know my findings ... I would genuinely love to hear an official response re: the loudness of this new remastering of So, as I was really hoping for more, rather than less, dynamic range than the previous 2002 edition.
jamesbeard25 October 2012 at 3:34pmPosts: 8 (0 today)Status: offline
I've got the downloaded high res versions, and interestingly it looks like this doesn't have the same limiting applied as the regular CD version. It looks a lot closer to the original CD dynamically. Here is a comparison between the 2012 CD version and the FLAC download versions of Red Rain. The wav files were both normalised to 80% in order to better see the difference in dynamic range.
jamesbeard25 October 2012 at 3:35pmPosts: 8 (0 today)Status: offline
Yet to try out the new So vinyl edition ...
Hans25 October 2012 at 11:00pmPosts: 10 (0 today)Status: offline
There's a good review at http://www.genesis-news.com/c-Peter-Gabriel-So25-Remaster-review-s518.html
I've only listened to the 2012 remaster once so far, but on first impressions I agree with the reviewer that there is little to choose between it and the 1986 Virgin/Charisma CD. There are pros and cons with both, and there's more to it than volume levels and compression.
I'm afraid I can't really agree with dferry about the value of the Live in Athens set. I saw PG on the So tour and loved it. But, looking past the cloud of nostalgia, it seems to me that Plays Live contains better versions of the pre-So material, and Secret World Live is better for the So songs.
cebs26 October 2012 at 10:33pmPosts: 141 (0 today)Status: offline
Thanks for the update, looks like the high rez versions will sound ok, without the clipping I mean.
What's daft is that you will be able to make your own audio cd version from this on your own pc, so why is the proper release so different?
After this and seeing the rubbish/small 720p offerings I am feeling a bit better about not ordering. Just wait for the blu ray box set I guess.
cebs26 October 2012 at 10:43pmPosts: 141 (0 today)Status: offline
Good review on the genesis site as well, not such a good conclusion for the 2012 release on there either but no mention of sound errors.
Hans27 October 2012 at 6:38pmPosts: 10 (0 today)Status: offline
Cebs, I thought the Genesis website was pretty positive about the 2012 remaster:
"The 1986 and 2012 versions are certainly better, perhaps with a slight advantage for the new version. "
I agree that it's close, but I have a slight preference for the 1986 disc. Ah well....
TheSteam27 October 2012 at 9:41pmPosts: 1 (0 today)Status: offline
Hello jamesbeard, appreciate the info you have taken the time to discover and post here. Could you email me , thesteam at hot mail dot com?
Thanks either way!
cebs28 October 2012 at 1:06amPosts: 141 (0 today)Status: offline
Hans , i agree it is a positive review but the conclusion states :
The 1986 and 2012 versions are certainly better, perhaps with a slight advantage for the new version. But if you already have the 1986 original you do not have to buy the 2012 version – the sound is not that different at all.
Not a great summing up imo after the work put in.
Not got it yet or had a good listen to either of the others for a while to judge when I get some time off it's on the list of to do things.
Hans28 October 2012 at 10:09amPosts: 10 (0 today)Status: offline
Cebs, I agree it's hardly a ringing endorsement. I wasn't expecting (or even wanting) a transformation from the 1986 version. It is basically a very well recorded album, so there wasn't much that needed doing. A little bit of firming up in the bass here and there, and a slight taming of some of the brashness at the top end would have done nicely. But they had to go and spoil it by following the fashion for loudness, compression and overly spot-lit vocals. By the standard of remasters for most other artists, it's a very decent job. But given Peter's attention to detail, it is disappointing.
The single disc version is nicely packaged (in the UK at least), and I prefer the running order with In Your Eyes at the end. But these are hardly key points compared with the missed opportunity to improve the sound.