Jump to content
The Klipsch Audio Community
Sign in to follow this  
Cody_Mack

TV/Movie Audio Superior To Music?

Recommended Posts

Posted this on a Klipsch owners' Facebook page, with little to no interest...figured I'll query your interest here:

 

Long before home theater I would always find a way to get the TV and video/movie sound out to my stereo system. The sound was so clean and full, excellent bass depth and tone. I thought it sounded so much better than recorded music of the time; vinyl and cassette and CD. I attributed it to the higher bandwidth and resolution that they used to record; although the term bandwidth may not have been used back then, I think it meant the same; basically, capturing more information ...at a given time than what they were doing with music recording.

 

They used wide, high quality tapes I guess more than anything else. Think reel to reel for audio, and how, at the end of the day, maybe still the best medium that we have ever had available for music. And what about VCRs? Anyone ever record your records into the VCR? Sounded amazing, didn’t it?

 

And TV and movie audio continues to dominate today. Take for example; the other day at the end of Episode 3 of HBO's True Detective (current season), the song that was playing right at the end of the dialog suddenly got full volume as the credits started rolling. I thought, OMG that sounds awesome! I played it over a few times, impressed with how my system was sounding! Although I had definitely heard the song before (I thought it was Conway Twitty), I had to look it up, and found that it was actually Jerry Lee Lewis.

 

Well I immediately went to Amazon Music, and Alexa found the song right away. I played it, and although it sounded pretty good, it was missing that fullness and room-filling presence that was coming from the video; I can’t really describe it; it just sounded different, in a lesser way. I know, I know, you’re going to say that it’s compressed, but personally I think Amazon overall has very good quality.

So what happened there? Obviously the same version of the song that was originally recorded for a record, but sounds so much better in a film soundtrack. I assume they remaster it from the original tape with higher resolution, bit depth, sampling rate?

 

So who’s with me on this, and maybe some of you techies can offer an educated synopsis that backs up what I am throwing out there; what I am hearing. And when is music recording going to catch up?

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SIPb8R86b94&fbclid=IwAR0_cwQrB4C7qt8aaveUsg74ZS8e2OlUCvq7T_EQY9_YYFOvUF3t_YL5-zs

 

Rick

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
18 hours ago, Cody_Mack said:

Well I immediately went to Amazon Music, and Alexa found the song right away. I played it, and although it sounded pretty good, it was missing that fullness and room-filling presence that was coming from the video; I can’t really describe it; it just sounded different, in a lesser way. I know, I know, you’re going to say that it’s compressed, but personally I think Amazon overall has very good quality.

 

So what happened there? Obviously the same version of the song that was originally recorded for a record, but sounds so much better in a film soundtrack. I assume they remaster it from the original tape with higher resolution, bit depth, sampling rate?

It's not your imagination.  It's real and it's there.  If you install the freeware application Audacity and do a "Plot Spectrum" you will see that the region around 100-200 Hz is actually attenuated in your non-film/non-video version of the music track, along with attenuation below 100 Hz.  You will likely also see a big hump in the HF spectrum from ~900-5000 Hz that's been boosted.  This is a strong cultural difference between the filmmaker/television world (i.e., MPAA) and the record company (stereo...i.e., RIAA) world.  I hear the same thing on the closing credits of the big first-rate movies (well, I used to before they started to cut the quality of the composers used for the sound scores). Absolutely wonderful closing themes that can't be duplicated from soundtrack CDs of the movies. 

 

Once you realize what to listen for, i.e., music that sounds like it's coming from a table radio--sounding very thin and overcharged in high frequencies "cheet-cheet" cymbal and exaggerated sibilants on vocals, steely string orchestras--then you will realize what has been done stereo music by the record companies.  This is now inextricably linked culturally to record company-produced music. 

 

But you can do something about it...see:

 

Chris

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks, Chris, awesome reply! Yeah I knew something is definitely missing, and it's sad that the music industry chooses to produce their product that way. Do you think music production was better before the CD and before loudness wars was a thing? Or was it always inferior to what the "Hollywood" producers were doing?

 

I still buy CDs to hopefully still get the best audio possible. It is very disappointing what you hear with loudness and compression applied; especially from artists that should know better. Joe Bonamassa comes to mind :(

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Really the only reason why people believe that CDs are poorer in sound quality is that the record companies can abuse the CD format much more than phonograph records.  In reality, phonograph records almost don't work well enough for hi-fi music (ref. the "RIAA EQ curve" which is 40 dB of total equalization and its requirement for mono bass, the sonic effects of record warping, wow/flutter, and loss of HF dynamic response toward the inner grooves, very high harmonic distortion, noise levels, and huge amounts of modulation distortion from the playback needle/cartridges), so phonograph records cannot be abused any further than they already have been over their past history.  The needle jumps out of the groove if someone tries to compress and clip the music tracks any further (which actually happens to be the quality control criterion for releasing phonograph records: keeping the needle in the groove while it plays).  The only thing that keeps the record companies from going any further with compression and clipping is the limitation of the medium itself. 

 

The CD format is actually much higher fidelity than phonograph, but it also can and is abused much more--with the record companies typically using only a very small percentage of its available dynamic range.  I see the only real issue with CDs (the format) is that it must be "centered" in its dynamic range due to bit depth limitations, and this has a very slight audibility in the decay transients because of the bit depth issue.  If you go look very closely to 1983-1991 era CDs and remove their mastering EQ from the tracks, the fidelity of the format actually far exceeds that of phonograph records of the same period.  It took a while for the record companies to fully learn how to abuse the CD format...about 1991 to be exact.

 

You might be surprised to know that Loudness War practices have been going on in phonograph records from the beginning of the format (signal/noise has always been an issue with phonograph records).  The advent of CDs in 1983 just opened Pandora's box and ever since 1983, popular music record companies--i.e., all records companies besides those that produce classical and perhaps mainstream bebop jazz--cannot seem to restrain their hi-fi robbing compression and clipping practices, which are totally unnecessary in terms of the storage and reproduction format itself.

 

I only own Blu-Ray discs of Joe Bonamassa's live performances--which are pretty good in terms of their hi-fi state (for electrically amplified instrumentation and voices), so I can't comment on the state of his CDs other than a look at the dynamic range of his albums: http://dr.loudness-war.info/album/list/year?artist=Joe+Bonamassa

 

Chris

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

BD is much higher quality than any of the old records I used to play, especially in terms of dynamics and lower bass.

 

I had Star Wars The Force Awakens on the other day.  I had the volume set close to Reference and I forgot to turn it down, usually to about 72 db.  The opening Star Wars theme exploded off the screen from absolute quiet to full tilt with enough impact that literally made me jump.

 

My old records never did that.  B)

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

On my not so great system (Denon X4000) the tv sound is always 100% pure, the FM HD is around 92% pure, and the Bluray movies are usually 100% pure.  (Pure being no discernible distortion with no grinding syllables and choir voices and low frequency intermod). Then there is the mix---like on my Lynrd Skynrd Bluray at Jacksonville---the mixer cut the drum cymbals back by almost 20DB so you can barely hear them.  Their studio recordings are OK.

JJK

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Chris A said:

cannot seem to restrain their hi-fi robbing compression and clipping practices, which are totally unnecessary in terms of the storage and reproduction format itself.

 

But why? What is (their) benefit?

 

I only own Blu-Ray discs of Joe Bonamassa's live performances--which are pretty good in terms of their hi-fi state (for electrically amplified instrumentation and voices), so I can't comment on the state of his CDs other than a look at the dynamic range of his albums: http://dr.loudness-war.info/album/list/year?artist=Joe+Bonamassa

 

I've seem those charts referenced before; not sure how to read them though...

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Cody_Mack said:

But why? What is (their) benefit?

 

See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Loudness_war

 

It's actually a bad story, and one that the mastering people themselves don't like to acknowledge or talk about.  It actually destroys trust and confidence in the entire profession (i.e., making music discs) for a lot of people.  I know that I personally don't trust anyone with the word "mastering" in their title. Few if any of these people are actually formally trained engineers that could legally use the word "engineer" in their job title within the state of Texas (...and many other states, for that matter).

 

1 hour ago, Cody_Mack said:

I've seem those charts referenced before; not sure how to read them though...

 

Green colors are good (in terms of dynamic range), red is bad, yellow/orange is in between.  Generally any CD with a DR Database rating of 11-12 or more is good, and 10 or less is "less than good".  I generally set a lower limit of 6-7 for music CDs that I buy.  I find that, after Clip-Fix is run on the tracks to rebuild the clipped peaks, the resulting DR Ratings improve by 2-6 rating points--making a CD initially rated at "6" perhaps actually more like an "8" or as much as a "12" after restoration.  The tracks usually sound less harsh after running clip fix if they've been heavily clipped during mastering.

 

Chris

  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The availability of high-quality hi-res recordings varies by music genre. 

 

For the classical music I love, high-quality hi-res recordings are commonly available.   Many operas, ballet, and a growing number of classical concerts are available on Blu-ray, featuring DTS-HD MA 5.1.  (Blu-ray audio/video is my favorite way to enjoy classical music.)   A few classical recordings are available on Ultra HD Blu-ray.  Some classical recordings are on Pure Audio Blu-ray (i.e., no video).  SACD (including multi-channel) is common for classical music.  Downloaded hi-res (24bit/192kHz) FLAC (e.g. HDTracks) is also common for classical music.   Some classical recordings are available as a hi-res DSD download.

 

Provenance of the recording is critical – i.e., modern recordings that were captured and mastered as hi-res.   (In a few cases high quality analog master tapes have been digitized at hi-res with fairly good results - e.g., some RCA Living Stereo.  However, these pale in comparison to modern state-of-the-art recordings.)

 

For the music that I love, many modern recordings are available that have excellent audio quality – i.e., recorded and mastered in hi-res with no compression, and delivered in hi-res (i.e., higher quality than CD quality, such as Blu-ray, SACD, and hi-res download), often featuring surround-sound.

 

If you haven’t experienced classical music via Blu-ray (audio/video), IMO the following is a very enjoyable high-quality set of all Beethoven symphonies (plus 3 other works) for a very reasonable price.   (I just saw the deluxe box set on eBay for $49.99 with free shipping.  Apparently the Blu-ray discs are now also available with “non-deluxe packaging”.)  

 

Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos Danish NSO

  • Ludwig van Beethoven: Symphonies Nos. 1–9
  • Joaquín Rodrigo: Concierto de Aranjuez
  • Hector Berlioz: Symphonie fantastique, Op. 14
  • Richard Strauss: Eine Alpensinfonie (An Alpine Symphony), Op. 64, TrV 233

 

41+EYqMSRUL.jpg

 

I can make other recommendations if you’d like.

  • Like 1
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks again, @Chris A. Would love to see/hear your awesome system sometime. Have a cousin very near you; trying to get him fixed up with higher-end audio.

 

Rick

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
20 hours ago, robert_kc said:

 

I can make other recommendations if you’d like.

 

Yes, please. I am not yet that much into classical, but I am a gear-head and a tech-head; that is, I love music but I also listen from a technical and mechanical point of view...yep, I am one of those that listens to the equipment and the skills that go into producing the media. I get a kick from those that boast, "it's all about the music and nothing but the music!" And I say well why don't you listen on a boom-box then?

 

Rick

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
21 hours ago, robert_kc said:

The availability of high-quality hi-res recordings varies by music genre. 

 

For the classical music I love, high-quality hi-res recordings are commonly available.   Many operas, ballet, and a growing number of classical concerts are available on Blu-ray, featuring DTS-HD MA 5.1.  (Blu-ray audio/video is my favorite way to enjoy classical music.)   A few classical recordings are available on Ultra HD Blu-ray.  Some classical recordings are on Pure Audio Blu-ray (i.e., no video).  SACD (including multi-channel) is common for classical music.  Downloaded hi-res (24bit/192kHz) FLAC (e.g. HDTracks) is also common for classical music.   Some classical recordings are available as a hi-res DSD download.

 

Provenance of the recording is critical – i.e., modern recordings that were captured and mastered as hi-res.   (In a few cases high quality analog master tapes have been digitized at hi-res with fairly good results - e.g., some RCA Living Stereo.  However, these pale in comparison to modern state-of-the-art recordings.)

 

For the music that I love, many modern recordings are available that have excellent audio quality – i.e., recorded and mastered in hi-res with no compression, and delivered in hi-res (i.e., higher quality than CD quality, such as Blu-ray, SACD, and hi-res download), often featuring surround-sound.

 

If you haven’t experienced classical music via Blu-ray (audio/video), IMO the following is a very enjoyable high-quality set of all Beethoven symphonies (plus 3 other works) for a very reasonable price.   (I just saw the deluxe box set on eBay for $49.99 with free shipping.  Apparently the Blu-ray discs are now also available with “non-deluxe packaging”.)  

 

Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos Danish NSO

  • Ludwig van Beethoven: Symphonies Nos. 1–9
  • Joaquín Rodrigo: Concierto de Aranjuez
  • Hector Berlioz: Symphonie fantastique, Op. 14
  • Richard Strauss: Eine Alpensinfonie (An Alpine Symphony), Op. 64, TrV 233

 

41+EYqMSRUL.jpg

 

I can make other recommendations if you’d like.

 

There are also some orchestras doing very good audio quality concert streaming. Berlin Phil concerts are especially good. 

  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
40 minutes ago, Cody_Mack said:

Thanks again, @Chris A. Would love to see/hear your awesome system sometime. Have a cousin very near you; trying to get him fixed up with higher-end audio.

 

Rick

Rick when you're in the area feel free to drop in for a listen. 

 

Chris

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Cody_Mack said:

 

Yes, please. I am not yet that much into classical, but I am a gear-head and a tech-head; that is, I love music but I also listen from a technical and mechanical point of view...yep, I am one of those that listens to the equipment and the skills that go into producing the media. I get a kick from those that boast, "it's all about the music and nothing but the music!" And I say well why don't you listen on a boom-box then?

 

Rick

 

 

Here's some more Blu-ray box sets that are a great value:

 

Jean Sibelius: Complete Symphonies

 

71Xp1l2S4oL._SX522_.jpg

 

 

Schumann Symphonies

 

 

51Qnrm9bKEL._SX342_.jpg

 

 

Johannes Brahms: The Complete Symphonies

 

51a2QA8JC-L._SX342_.jpg

 

 

Bruckner: Symphonies Nos. 4-9

 

61LD9vqdP3L._SX342_.jpg

 

 

Mahler Symphonies 1-7

 

61Lk0bYLR7L._SY445_.jpg

 

Here's some individual concerts on Blu-ray:

 

Mahler: Symphony No. 9

 

81cFPd8JWTL._SX385_.jpg

 

Beethoven Missa Solemnis

 

51aQWt6PrlL._SX342_.jpg

 

Khatia Buniatishvili

 

715MK091AKL._SX385_.jpg

 

There are many other classical Blu-ray, including concerts featuring opera excerpts, a series of New Year's Eve concerts, plus many ballet and opera.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Robert, and others,

A question, please: any idea how long CDs/DVDs are likely to be around as a current and supported medium? I ask because I am a bit "thrifty/Scottish", and I prefer not to have such wonderful music be likely to be "outmoded" in the next decade or so (am almost 73, ha ha).

 

Oh, and the Concierto de Aranjuez is my absolute favorite of all classical music--well, next to The Messiah! The performance I consider the pinnacle of the Concierto is by John Williams on the guitar, and Eugene Ormandy conducting the Philadelphia Symphony Orchestra. Absolute perfection!!!

Edited by JiminSTL
typo

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, JiminSTL said:

...any idea how long CDs/DVDs are likely to be around as a current and supported medium?

 

Phonograph records are still with us 35 years after the introduction of the CD, the medium that was supposed to replace it.  So are cassette tapes and regular-resolution DVDs (10+ years after the market selected Blu-Ray as its successor).  However, quadraphonic records and LaserDiscs died off quite rapidly, as did (apparently) DVD-A and now perhaps SACD.  Blu-Ray discs, i.e., those with audio-only and full video/audio discs, seem to be entrenched in the marketplace presently.  All BD discs that I've seen have stereo tracks for those having only two channels (not having full 5.1 surround sound arrays).  All you need is a $50-$75 BD player.

 

I think that by the point that you are released from this mortal coil (if you're presently 72 years of age)--a reasonable bet is that CDs and DVDs will be with us for at least another 20 years...well after you realize that listening to any music in a hi-fi sense is problematic due to limits of hearing aid sound quality getting in the way (or your neighbors can't stand the volume levels that you use with your Klipsch loudspeakers...and call the police every time you listen).  The key to this wager, of course, is simply to retain the playback devices that play these formats in case there is a sudden market shake out that rejects an existing format. Also, the cost of transferring those older formatted recordings into digital files is really low if you're into DIY (i.e., ripping to FLAC, etc.).   That's true presently for phonograph records-->digital audio files stored on backing stores (hard drives or SSDs).  It's only time and a little effort...

 

Chris

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Chris, you have me smiling! With that excellent technological, physical/practical, and spiritual argument. When I "slip these mortal coils", the music will be ever so much grander, true "surround", and eternal.

Until then, I will enjoy the wonderful sounds of the present!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, JiminSTL said:

Robert, and others,

A question, please: any idea how long CDs/DVDs are likely to be around as a current and supported medium? I ask because I am a bit "thrifty/Scottish", and I prefer not to have such wonderful music be likely to be "outmoded" in the next decade or so (am almost 73, ha ha).

 

Oh, and the Concierto de Aranjuez is my absolute favorite of all classical music--well, next to The Messiah! The performance I consider the pinnacle of the Concierto is by John Williams on the guitar, and Eugene Ormandy conducting the Philadelphia Symphony Orchestra. Absolute perfection!!!

 

Pepe Romero performs Joaquín Rodrigo’s “Concierto de Aranjuezon” on the Blu-ray disc “Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos Danish NSO”.  Very enjoyable.  Audio and video are excellent.  (About a year ago I saw Pepe and several family members perform live.)

 

I believe Blu-ray discs aren’t going away soon.  And, Ultra HD Blu-ray discs are becoming available.  IMO there are already enough Blu-ray discs to warrant owning a player, and more discs are released every month. 

 

New SACDs are released every month.   (On Amazon search for “SACD”, and then in the pull-down box in the upper right corner select “Newest Arrivals”.)   SACD is NOT dead – particularly for classical music.

 

FWIW, last year when Oppo announced that they were discontinuing sales, I bought a second UDP-205.  (I have two UDP-205, plus a BDP-105, and a BDP-95.)   I am equipped to play any modern digital audio and video format, whether disc or download.

 

Does your amp have an HDMI input (e.g., AVR), or only red & white RCA analog line-level inputs (i.e., traditional stereo hi-fi amp)?  

 

If you want a universal player that has analog RCA line-level audio outputs for stereo (not surround-sound), then you might consider the Sony UBP-X1000ES.  (The Oppo units have RCA analog line-level outputs for 5.1.)   I have no personal experience with the UBP-X1000ES, but I’ve read good things.  New UBP-X1000ES are commonly available for $500, and I’ve seen “factory refurb” units on eBay for less.

 

If you want a universal player that has only HDMI output (i.e., you have an AVR), and will play Blu-ray, Ultra HD Blu-ray, SACD, CD, and downloaded hi-res music, there are several models available.  A friend of mine recently bought a Sony UBPX-X700.  They’re available on Amazon for $168.  But remember – no analog RCA audio connections.

 

The availability of high-quality hi-res recordings (e.g., Blu-ray, SACD, hi-res download) varies by music genre.   For the classical music I love, most new releases are available in hi-res.   Therefore, for me a universal player is essential in order to enjoy the best quality audio (and audio/video) recordings.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Chris, you have me smiling! With that excellent technological, physical/practical, and spiritual argument. When I "slip these mortal coils", the music will be ever so much grander, true "surround", and eternal.

Until then, I will enjoy the wonderful sounds of the present!

 

^ Robert, thanks for the info! 

Love listening to Pepe--and the others. In fact, back in 1965-1966, while living in the San Francisco area, I attended a concert by "the Romero Family". I suppose Pepe was among them. Anyway, it was a fantastic performance, of course. Also had the great pleasure of seeing/listening to Andres Segovia, Artur Rubenstein, Isaac Stern (I think), and, possibly, David Horowitz.

 

Guess that makes me old, but what a way to get there . . . .

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...