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I like low resolution TV, movies, and video games better. - Page 2

post #41 of 52
There's another aspect to folks having a negative impression of digital: the first wave of CDs (and somewhat beyond) often sounded terrible, as labels rushed to put stuff out and reap the profits of reselling back catalogue.

In some cases they didn't even bother to change the eq curve that had been set up for vinyl, specifically to overcome some of vinyls shortcomings but which was taken into account by the design of phono preamps. Or they used second or third generation dupes, or at best gave things a cursory going over.

The result? Strident, harsh, and almost unlistenable. Hence the wave of "remastered" CDs years later, wherein you were expected to buy the same material again, once engineers had gotten better with working with the new distribution format.

Remember, when CDs arrived on the scene the recording industry had had many, many years to refine their techniques for extracting the best, most pleasing sound possible from vinyl. Just because digital took away some of the limitations they had been working with (and added others) didn't magically make everything just "sound better"-- recording, mixing and mastering are musical art forms akin to playing the instruments themselves, and require familiarity and practice with the materials at hand to acquire the skills to make it sing.
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post #42 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by Superbass View Post

(interestingly, the longer the playback medium has gotten - 45 to lp to tape to CD to 80 gig iPod, the shittier the artistic quality of "new" music's gotten, because you don't have to pay as much attention to it. Really, you can set up your computer to play music forever without having to choose anything or decide whether to hear it again...)

VERY interesting point! Music has become more "disposable" now, hasn't it? It's so much easier to make and so much easier to mash together with everything else that less and less stands out as "quality" anymore.
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post #43 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by CosmoNut View Post

VERY interesting point! Music has become more "disposable" now, hasn't it? It's so much easier to make and so much easier to mash together with everything else that less and less stands out as "quality" anymore.

Yes, I remember listening to records meant sitting down and listening to records. When I was a kid all I had were a stack of my dad's 45s and then a few lps, and if you weren't paying attention to the music, the needle went off and made that terrible sound.

With tapes, it was even similar, and CDs less so.

Nowadays, few people really listen to music. It's become 99.9% background... So the basically all that's important is the boom-chick-boom-chick sound people can mindlessly nod their heads to while they're doing other things...
post #44 of 52
Plus there's the extremely weird phenomena that just as digital recordings were poised to fully take advantage of mature technology, what with 24bit and improved mastering and better AD chips and DVD-A and whatnot, along comes the MP3/dl/iPod revolution and abruptly we trade fidelity for convenience and quality for quantity.

It sort of happened with the original walkman, when people were willing to tolerate the mediocre sound of cassette tape in order to get portability, but cassettes never threatened to supplant LPs, because people liked the better sound and had an investment. Cassettes were in addition to, because they added convenience.

Now, it's starting to look like, say, 256KB AAC encoded music is the gold standard and for the first time in the history of recorded media a reduced fidelity medium will replace it's higher resolution predecessor, because it's "good enough".
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post #45 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by addabox View Post

Now, it's starting to look like, say, 256KB AAC encoded music is the gold standard and for the first time in the history of recorded media a reduced fidelity medium will replace it's higher resolution predecessor, because it's "good enough".

You have a point, but straight from the Department of Pulling Numbers out of My Arse, I'd guess that at least 65% of the population don't have the tonal discrimination ability to tell the difference between the sound formats, or don't have a good enough sound system to matter. I know I have average hearing, a $100 pair of JBL Creatures, and have a hard time telling the difference when I KNOW which one is which. \

To add to what Superbass was saying, I always hated it when the needle would break, I had the hardest time replacing it in my stereo for some reason.
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post #46 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by addabox View Post

There's another aspect to folks having a negative impression of digital: the first wave of CDs (and somewhat beyond) often sounded terrible, as labels rushed to put stuff out and reap the profits of reselling back catalogue.

In some cases they didn't even bother to change the eq curve that had been set up for vinyl, specifically to overcome some of vinyls shortcomings but which was taken into account by the design of phono preamps. Or they used second or third generation dupes, or at best gave things a cursory going over.

The result? Strident, harsh, and almost unlistenable. Hence the wave of "remastered" CDs years later, wherein you were expected to buy the same material again, once engineers had gotten better with working with the new distribution format.

Remember, when CDs arrived on the scene the recording industry had had many, many years to refine their techniques for extracting the best, most pleasing sound possible from vinyl. Just because digital took away some of the limitations they had been working with (and added others) didn't magically make everything just "sound better"-- recording, mixing and mastering are musical art forms akin to playing the instruments themselves, and require familiarity and practice with the materials at hand to acquire the skills to make it sing.

I agree with that. And let me be clear, I'm not anti-digital at all. In my opinion even AAC tracks from iTunes sound great. We hear a lot of bitching about those, but as a trained musician I find them to be very good. I do still think that analog can create a "warmth" that's hard to create digitally. That said, I think I've noticed that with recent recordings (digital) it's not as much the case. They sound better than recordings from years ago.
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post #47 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by addabox View Post

Plus there's the extremely weird phenomena that just as digital recordings were poised to fully take advantage of mature technology, what with 24bit and improved mastering and better AD chips and DVD-A and whatnot, along comes the MP3/dl/iPod revolution and abruptly we trade fidelity for convenience and quality for quantity.

It sort of happened with the original walkman, when people were willing to tolerate the mediocre sound of cassette tape in order to get portability, but cassettes never threatened to supplant LPs, because people liked the better sound and had an investment. Cassettes were in addition to, because they added convenience.

Now, it's starting to look like, say, 256KB AAC encoded music is the gold standard and for the first time in the history of recorded media a reduced fidelity medium will replace it's higher resolution predecessor, because it's "good enough".

With a good system, I think it may well BE good enough. I hate to keep tooting my horn here, and I'm no audiofile...but I know I'm critical of sound quality and I think that the latest downloads from iTunes I've purchased sound terrific. Most of it is classical too, which is far harder to reproduce well in my opinion.

What are your thoughts on the quality of AAC and it being "good enough?"
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post #48 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by SDW2001 View Post

With a good system, I think it may well BE good enough. I hate to keep tooting my horn here, and I'm no audiofile...but I know I'm critical of sound quality and I think that the latest downloads from iTunes I've purchased sound terrific. Most of it is classical too, which is far harder to reproduce well in my opinion.

What are your thoughts on the quality of AAC and it being "good enough?"

Yeah, I think it probably is, for most people. The thing is, until now the idea was that the information was there if you wanted it (as in were willing to pay enough to get the equipment to extract it). So you buy your CD, and if you don't care much about sound you play it back on your boom box or bookshelf system and there you go. Good enough. If you wanted more, you got a better system, and the CD would reveal additional sonics. True of LPs as well, in their day.

With something like mid level bit rate AAC the "good enough" is built in. Getting better equipment won't bring out further subtleties in the recording because they're not there. Lossy compression does it's work by tossing out the very stuff that would be revealed by higher end gear.

That's fine if all the music you want to hear continues to be offered on higher resolution formats, but how long will that still be true?

As for myself, yeah, 256kb sounds fine for casual listening, but I would prefer to have my music in a format that can sound as good as I can afford to reproduce it. That way, the song I buy today to play back on an iPod or portable system can also be sound great if I go nuts with the high end components.

Thing is, I'm not sure how much longer I'll have the choice. And I wonder if there is any incentive to continue to advance the art of recording and reproduction if most music is sold in a format that can't resolve those advancements.
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post #49 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by spindler View Post

Nowadays there is this craze where everything has to be in high definition or people are unsatisfied. I grew up with the Atari 2600 and 70s and early 80s movies and I really don't like how things look in high resolution, unless there is a specific reason for it.

Let's start with movies. Movies from 1975-1985 have that film look that I like. Take the movie Halloween for instance. When you see less detail, you think more abstractly. The movie Halloween would be less mysterious in high definition. The movie has the feel of horny teenagers, a neighborhood, and a killer on the loose. I don't want to see it in high definition. I don't need to see every little detail of the jeans they are wearing or what every piece of furniture looks like or every little detail of their face. I like the way you see Jamie Lee Curtis's face and the kids faces only a little bit. If it was so detailed as if they were in front of you, you see too much.

The key is that with less detail things become more abstract. I just want to see the personality of people's faces or the neighborhood or surroundings.

I hate today's movies that give so much detail that they all feel like watching a football game on a big screen TV. Film gives me a timeless quality and seeing every detail just takes that away. On the other hand, movies like Jeepers Creepers and the American Pie series do use that level of detail to give themselves a certain feel. The high quality of filming adds something to these movies, but I think that is the exception to the rule.

The same is true for video games. I never played games past the Colecovision until recently but I like NES games and don't see much need to go past that in detail, unless there is a reason. Most of the time they just add colors in the background or textures for no artistic reason. I like the feel of Super Mario Brothers and Megaman. All the colors they add on SNES games are a distraction unless they create a certain personality. They do on the best games, but some of them I can do without the extra graphics. A game like Bionic Commando, Batman, or Adventure Island on the NES has enough detail to give me a whole feel of the little world it creates. Similarly, for 3-D graphics, the N64 is enough for me. I like things cartoonish. Things lose their magic when they are so detailed.

Anyone else agree or am I just stuck in the past?

I'm with you bro on the "film look". As long as the original movie is aquired on film, viewing it on the computer as 720p is alright. But playback of the film on LCDs is painful for me. Pioneer plasmas do okay for like a 560p-ish resolution that has rich, velvety blacks, slick flat screen, and still some smoothness/ blur to things.

Michael Mann's Collateral and MiamiVice(the movie) are interesting experiments in digital filmmaking...

I just watched "Sunshine" (2007) --- you simply cannot watch the movie outside of a theatre... DVD..nah. LCD/Plasma HDTV...nah. The scratches were distracting though. In my country the prints aren't very clean, also because they "burn in" the subtitles which AFAIK mangles the prints a bit.

Most important is the aquisition -- super35mm or anamorphic film or whatevs. True cinematography stuff.

But eventually like the digital SLR, digital film (2K, 4K, waaay beyond 720p or 1080p....) will be the norm in 10 years.
post #50 of 52
On the original point, in terms of HD . . . its not out there enough just yet for me to want to make the full jump. For messing around with home video projects and the like, standard DV resolution is perfectly fine enough for me.

In terms of films, DVDs, i do see the limits of normal res TV's when watching them back . . . i do sometimes think " HD would show up the details as I remember them when at the cinema " but as I say, i dont need HD just yet. I'm trying to hold off for the next generation of display stuff OLED or whatever the next best thing is.


In music terms . . . i dont have an issue with CD's per say. CD's do a good enough job ( for the most part ) of capturing the sound.

What I do really hate about the digital remastering stuff, as already mentioned, is the re-mastering or more ot the point, the over-remastering of songs. The Rolling Stones recently released remastered tracks in a compilation album and many of the tracks ( imho ) were completely ruined. They stripped out and cleaned out all the ambience of the sound and it just sounded far far too crisp, sharp and basically digital. The originals CD versions were way better and just had more ambience to them.

Which brings me onto my last point. No matter how good the recording, its only ever going to look or sound as good as the playback device can provide.

I'm no audiophile by a long way, but i can discern a great deal of difference in how 2 setups can playback the same CD in 2 completely different manners. Its a shame that i think this area is often overlooked when it comes to buying playback systems and expecially sound units. I'd much rather have clear, clean quality sound at half the power than poor quality at power large enough to blow the windows out.
post #51 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by fisha View Post

....I'm no audiophile by a long way, but i can discern a great deal of difference in how 2 setups can playback the same CD in 2 completely different manners. Its a shame that i think this area is often overlooked when it comes to buying playback systems and expecially sound units. I'd much rather have clear, clean quality sound at half the power than poor quality at power large enough to blow the windows out....

Heh. A lot of the new "computer speakers", their discrete subwoofers are friggin' overpowered. They figured out in the past few years how to really generate a LOT of bass for a fraction of the price it used to be. Logitech, Harman-K, SonicGear, JBL, nice speakers they do make, however, some of the subwoofers in some models are wwaaaay to strong compared to the satellite left-and-right speakers.

The old argument I remember in the early 90's -- about "PMPO" vs "RMS" Wattage.

On a side note
It's funny how a lot of posters here say "ah yes digital is okay, it is inevitable" at the same time saying "but movies and music these days are crappier". Heh. It is inevitable then too that movies and music and stuff ain't like how it used to be? You want to hold on to that past?
post #52 of 52
I can't afford fancy HD stuff, so I don't care
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