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J.Cole album KOD clipping mastered wave form but bought from HMV, so legit, why?

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J.Cole album KOD clipping mastered wave form but bought from HMV, so legit, why?

Postby audioartist » Fri Jun 22, 2018 7:04 pm

The title says it all really. This is the loudest record in my Itunes catalogue, I wanted to know why...

It hasn't been compressed to smithereens as much as say The Prodigy - The Day Is My Enemy alb. It has a larger dynamic, but digital clipping on the kick and snare. I haven't been here for a very long time, so I hope you will forgive my petulance and ignorance but I'm surprised HMV are allowed to sell such an album, the J.Cole one I mean, I haven't damaged my speaker, but audio quality is jeopardised sure. I'm not looking for a lecture on the loudness war, or maybe I am...who knows :)
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Re: J.Cole album KOD clipping mastered wave form but bought from HMV, so legit, why?

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Fri Jun 22, 2018 7:16 pm

It's not HMV's fault, is it, so why whinge about them? They're a product retailer. It's a product. Why should they not "be allowed" to sell a legitmate product from major label?

If there really is obvious clipping on the source track it's going to be the fault of the mastering engineer or their employer. Your angst should be directed at the record label, but by all means return the product to HMV and ask for a refund if you believe it to be of poor quality. if a lot do that HMV will complain to the label too...

Alternatively, if its a problem with inter-sample peaks overloading your current converter, which is a possibility, attenuating the digital file by 3 or 6dB can often remove the unwanted clipping.

H
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Re: J.Cole album KOD clipping mastered wave form but bought from HMV, so legit, why?

Postby audioartist » Fri Jun 22, 2018 7:23 pm

Forgive me sir, whinging is not done by a person of our calibre, I was only wondering if the product had the capability of damaging speakers, we have limiters for a reason surely...

I'd like to make a record louder is all and I wondered where the law stood on that. I viewed the waveform in mp3 format, but I highly doubt Itunes encoder would introduce clipping. Thanks for a warm welcome back after 12 years in the dark so to speak :)
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Re: J.Cole album KOD clipping mastered wave form but bought from HMV, so legit, why?

Postby audioartist » Fri Jun 22, 2018 7:27 pm

So it's not a faulty product...is that what you're saying?
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Re: J.Cole album KOD clipping mastered wave form but bought from HMV, so legit, why?

Postby James Perrett » Fri Jun 22, 2018 7:35 pm

Some people prefer the sound of clipping to limiting and which to opt for is likely to be an artistic decision - usually on the part of the mastering engineer. Hopefully this would be done in consultation with the artist or producer.
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Re: J.Cole album KOD clipping mastered wave form but bought from HMV, so legit, why?

Postby blinddrew » Fri Jun 22, 2018 7:48 pm

It seems to happen with certain recordings a pressings. Red Hot Chilli Peppers' Californication was notorious for it (apparently the Japanese pressing was better) and I have a Joe Purdy album that I find almost unlistenable because of how it's been mastered.
Just seems to happen sometimes that you get these gaps in QC.
Take it back and ask for a refund and buy it as a download?
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Re: J.Cole album KOD clipping mastered wave form but bought from HMV, so legit, why?

Postby audioartist » Fri Jun 22, 2018 7:50 pm

Thanks for this James, are you saying it uncertifiably wont cause speaker damage, cut-outs or anything of the sort? Loud is what I'm after, very loud, uncertifiably the loudest is the goal, how do we do that I wonder? Less microphones is more? Gating is an absolute no no, I want those low frequencies to collect in a sound of forboding doom, it's a treated room though, may not be poss, it's all possible to a creative outlet though...I'm recording four floor tom players playing in unison, and loud is the must have amulet of discovery :) stereo pair only, close mics, or both, 3 options, one is loudest, which is it? Try all three I expect...limited time though, shoe string budget and art to be made, sickening I know :)
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Re: J.Cole album KOD clipping mastered wave form but bought from HMV, so legit, why?

Postby Sam Spoons » Fri Jun 22, 2018 7:59 pm

??????
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Re: J.Cole album KOD clipping mastered wave form but bought from HMV, so legit, why?

Postby audioartist » Fri Jun 22, 2018 8:06 pm

Thanks Blinddrew, it wasn't actually a complaint, more of a backhanded compliment, I just wondered if I could get away with it also, it's a very arty album I'm making next month, difficult to explain without spoiling the concept, but I'm willing to divulge we'll be recording four floor toms played by four tommers in unison and I was wondering how to get the loudest result without being complete mush, I did that with my macbooks inbuilt mic set too hot, it was pure audio violence, sounded great, but the vocal couldn't cut through from the PA clearly, so going to a studio for a day to attain the right balance, there has to be an element of quality, but not over sheer visceral thrill, it's a difficult balance to strike, wish me luck :)
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Re: J.Cole album KOD clipping mastered wave form but bought from HMV, so legit, why?

Postby Dave B » Fri Jun 22, 2018 8:12 pm

Recording it isn't the issue - it's how it's processed when mixing. The general rule of thumb that I follow is 'record it cleanly and with appropriate headroom and then mix to taste'.

Four drummers drumming? I'd be looking for a good sounding room / space that has the elements you want (big, tight, flappy, boomy, etc) and then both close mic and throw up some room mics at appropriate distances. Then you have a lot of options to compress, limit, eq, distort, etc. All of this is ymmv and to taste so without a full discussion it's hard to give more specific advice.

Better still, befriend / retain the services of a good engineer and ask them to help you get the sound you are after...

:)
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Re: J.Cole album KOD clipping mastered wave form but bought from HMV, so legit, why?

Postby Sam Spoons » Fri Jun 22, 2018 8:15 pm

blinddrew wrote:It seems to happen with certain recordings a pressings. Red Hot Chilli Peppers' Californication was notorious for it (apparently the Japanese pressing was better) and I have a Joe Purdy album that I find almost unlistenable because of how it's been mastered.

Back in the late '70s I had an Elkie Brooks album ("Two Days Away" I think but it's a long time ago) and I've always wondered why it sounded so bad, I assumed it was my budget HiFi system but maybe not.........
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Re: J.Cole album KOD clipping mastered wave form but bought from HMV, so legit, why?

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Fri Jun 22, 2018 8:27 pm

audioartist wrote:Forgive me sir, whinging is not done by a person of our calibre...

:lol: My mistake! ;)

I was only wondering if the product had the capability of damaging speakers

Without hearing the track or knowing your listening system it's impossible to say, but in general I'd say while it's theoretically possible its very unlikely, unless you listen extremely loudly.

I'd like to make a record louder is all and I wondered where the law stood on that.

There is no law concerned with the artistic or technical aspects of music mastering. It just comes down to taste...

I viewed the waveform in mp3 format, but I highly doubt Itunes encoder would introduce clipping.

Ah! Then you would be greatly mistaken, I'm afraid! MP3 coding is one of the most common sources of audible peak clipping in a otherwise fine source track! That is why the EBU recommend (in the R128 loudness normalisation spec) setting a true-peak level no higher than -3dBTP if producing material which will be encoded with a lossy coder like MP3. The codec needs that headroom to avoid nasty clipping on transients of the kind you describe.

Thanks for a warm welcome back after 12 years in the dark so to speak :)

Sorry -- yes, welcome back! :D Where have you been?
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Re: J.Cole album KOD clipping mastered wave form but bought from HMV, so legit, why?

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Fri Jun 22, 2018 8:30 pm

audioartist wrote:So it's not a faulty product...is that what you're saying?

From your description I'd say it's unlikely. I'd suspect your mp3 coding first and foremost. The next check would be the source linear wav file or CD -- assuming you have access to it.
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Re: J.Cole album KOD clipping mastered wave form but bought from HMV, so legit, why?

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Fri Jun 22, 2018 8:37 pm

audioartist wrote:... we'll be recording four floor toms played by four tommers in unison and I was wondering how to get the loudest result without being complete mush...

Choice of mic will make a big difference here. I'd try capturing the toms with moving coil mics. Ideally models wth large diaphragms. That approach gives a much more dense sound with a kind of inherently restricted dynamic range compared to capturing with capacitor mics.

On the other hand, I you like the crunch of overloaded impedance converters, try cheap electret lavalier mics in very close to the batter heads. If the room sounds good you might find mixing in a heavily compressed room mic (or stereo array) thickens the sound too.
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Re: J.Cole album KOD clipping mastered wave form but bought from HMV, so legit, why?

Postby James Perrett » Fri Jun 22, 2018 10:48 pm

audioartist wrote:Thanks for this James, are you saying it uncertifiably wont cause speaker damage, cut-outs or anything of the sort? Loud is what I'm after, very loud, uncertifiably the loudest is the goal, how do we do that I wonder?

As Hugh says, there are no guarantees but we've been listening to distorted guitars for over 50 years so most gear should be fine with replaying distorted audio at sensible levels.

One thing to remember in your pursuit of loudness is that streaming services and radio will turn the level down if they think it is too loud. See Ian Shepherd's recent post further down the page.

https://www.soundonsound.com/forum/view ... ss#p557695
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Re: J.Cole album KOD clipping mastered wave form but bought from HMV, so legit, why?

Postby Sam Spoons » Sat Jun 23, 2018 7:33 am

I'm a little confused about your stated need for this recording to be loud. What is the intended 'end use'? A streaming service or radio broadcaster will adjust the level in some way and there is much discussion on here and in the magazine WRT 'Loudness Wars'. If it is for some kind of performance to an audience (film or art installation, or a dance performance maybe) then how loud depends on the PA system you play it through. Or is it an illusion of 'loudness' you are trying to achieve without the dB level being excessive? Maybe I'm misreading something that has gone before, if so my apologies.
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Re: J.Cole album KOD clipping mastered wave form but bought from HMV, so legit, why?

Postby audioartist » Tue Jun 26, 2018 10:10 pm

Thanks for your indepth reply and advice Hugh, where have I been? Let's just say I've been round the block a few times :)

Dear Sam, I have to keep my cards close to my chest on this one but I hope to maybe share a recording on here soon...I'm sure it will be frowned upon highly but I've got a mission to complete and loudness is the way to go...I do have one more query

If I purposely set the recording gain too high to create alot of distortion that can't be removed, is there any chance of damaging the mics at the studio? I wouldn't like to do this of course, but I would like to drive them harder than ever, I'm sure there will be lots of artefacts in the sound, but I don't mind for this recording, it's got a special place in my heart, without wanting to reveal too much. I may ditch the limiter altogether and just go for pure overload to get the dynamic we are looking for from the drums, none.

It's going to be pure noise, but as I say, this is an arty project and I want to see what we can achieve, I just want to make sure nothing will be damaged by doing this, I hope not!

If we keep the foldback non-existent, we intend to use headphones with a metronome for the recording, then I'm sure we'll be fine. Closed back headphones are an absolute must and I doubt there will be much mixing necessary, loud as it can go is the requirement, wish me luck!
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Re: J.Cole album KOD clipping mastered wave form but bought from HMV, so legit, why?

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Tue Jun 26, 2018 10:15 pm

Good luck!
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