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Author Topic: A better sound  (Read 1227 times)
Giampy
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« on: July 28, 2012, 11:58:53 AM »

Music from YouTube and similar is sometimes bad. It's the perfect example of "digital" sound in the worst sense of the word: cold, cutting, caustic, harsh, metallic. Who has refined ears surely understands what I say.
Do you know a tool to improve the situation? Do you know a tool to soften that sound?
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Renegade
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« Reply #1 on: July 28, 2012, 12:21:51 PM »

You're purely out of luck. You will never get decent sound out of YouTube or any other similar service.

In order to serve audio, they are forced to use compression, which distorts the music badly. Now, there are lossless compression codecs out there, but they still require a large amount of bandwidth to get down to sizes that can be easily streamed.

Basically, you need to buy the CD or get a FLAC version off of The Pirate Bay.

Now, if you want to do processing on the audio that you get from YouTube... Forget it. Not gonna happen.

-- If you're wondering --- I actually do know a few things about digital audio and write audio software for musicians. I've simplified above, but it's pretty much bang on.
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Slow Down Music - Where I commit thought crimes...

Freedom is the right to be wrong, not the right to do wrong. - John Diefenbaker
Curt
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« Reply #2 on: July 28, 2012, 03:19:34 PM »

-he never asked for decent sound, merely softer, so of course the answer is Yes!

They call it "booming bass", but luckily you can adjust the settings.
Demo: http://www.srslabs.com/audioessentials/demo.html -scroll down and click [with/without] SRS.
There are several versions, including apps for smartphones, but nothing free.

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superboyac
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« Reply #3 on: July 28, 2012, 08:08:17 PM »

-he never asked for decent sound, merely softer, so of course the answer is Yes!

They call it "booming bass", but luckily you can adjust the settings.
Demo: http://www.srslabs.com/audioessentials/demo.html -scroll down and click [with/without] SRS.
There are several versions, including apps for smartphones, but nothing free.
I strongly agree with Curt.  Srslabs really do wonderful things with sound.  I was a passionate user until I started upgrading my audio equipment (i.e. $$).  For things like youtube and web audio, the compression of the audio is awful and who knows where they get the sources from, so the end result is awful, loud sounds as Giampy described.  So if you can't spend money on good audio equipment, I highly recommend srs.  And of course all the flac,e tc. stuff that was mentioned as well.

And if I can be weird for a minute, please allow me...
Take some time each day if you can and listen to "old" things.  Things from before 1980.  An hour every day would be perfect.  It will train your ears to hear different things than what we've been used to most of our lives.  If you can listen to vinyl, do so.  I'm a computer geek, and I still like flacs that are ripped straight from vinyl because it retains the mastering of those original sessions.  The commercial cd's of old albums are remastered, and the remastering producers tend to modernize the sound, which usually means more bass, crisper highs and lows and removal of the subtle middle stuff which is really what makes the sound pleasurable.  Without it, it sounds harsh.
I'm not one to judge musical preferences because music is sheer joy, regardless of the genre.  However, if you listen to techno and trance and other post-90's type of music, your ear is like those bodybuilders we see today...very muscular on the arms and abs, but no real functional strength.  Ideally (for me at least), you want your ear like the elite athlete of the 1930s who was well balanced, functional, yet still powerful.  Listen to classical music of the legends...Bach, Mozart, beethoven until you can answer the question for yourself "Why has this lasted for hundreds of years?"

In the Bach vs. beethoven argument, I'm totally a Bach man.  With that in mind, I got a huge kick out of this clip:
http://minus.com/lbzkcNqBThno7h
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Renegade
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« Reply #4 on: July 28, 2012, 09:42:34 PM »

-he never asked for decent sound, merely softer, so of course the answer is Yes!

Well, yes. Some music can be restored to a degree. I took it that "cold, cutting, caustic, harsh, metallic" was more literal, and serious degradation in sound can't really be fixed because the data just isn't there. Any restoration won't be an accurate representation of the original, though it can be less caustic on your ears.

I think "Die Eier Von Satan" by Tool would be a good test case to illustrate that as much of the sound is grating steel and the like.
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Tuxman
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OMG not him again!

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« Reply #5 on: July 29, 2012, 02:28:22 PM »

The problem with modern music is its production. You can't make music sound better than it was originally released with the given exception of bands like Sebkha-Chott who release some of their music as .flac from the pre-CD mastering.
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