High Resolution Music Website Links

Music from PC, iPOD, MP3 etc
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Re: High Resolution Music Website Links

Postby Shadorne » Wed Apr 24, 2013 3:49 am

Just a few comments on hi-res HD Tracks. I have the 96 KHz versions.

Van Halen 1984 is available for 20% off this week - this is worth downloading. Jump is a bit over compressed but there are some really good dynamic tracks on the rest of this album - they sound like guys jamming in your room.

Fleetwood Mac Rumours is not worth it - my CD from early 1990's sounds better than this product of loudness wars (yes loud compressed music still sounds loud and compressed even in high res!!!).

Foreigner Double Vision - this has some great tracks and great sound although again the big hits Hot Blooded and Double Vision are a bit compressed (did they choose a hot mastering for those but left the others closer to the studio master - who knows?).

Overall HD Tracks can be a mixed bag.

Just because they are new remasters at high resolution is absolutely no guarantee that some jerk on the mastering console has not turned up the limiters and compressors to produce a juiced up "hot" sound.

So far ALL of the Rolling Stones stuff available on HD Tracks issues have been AWESOME!!! GOOD JOB ABKCO - maybe the ATC's they use are helping! (Please keep in mind that Rolling Stones are not intended to sound like Norah Jones or Diana Krall and there is still audible compression and distortion but IMHO you are probably hearing close to the studio master tapes so there ain't anything anyone can do about that)
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Re: High Resolution Music Website Links

Postby Dogill » Wed Apr 24, 2013 7:42 pm

How do you get the HD Track files ?

It used to be possible using Paypal but for some time now a Popup window tells you that purchases are not possible from the UK
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Re: High Resolution Music Website Links

Postby Shadorne » Wed Apr 24, 2013 9:23 pm

PayPal works for me!
"ATC. Always The Champion. I will not record without them. The best studio monitors. Period." ~ Lenny Kravitz

Benchmark DAC3, 2 x ATC SCM EL150ASL, 1 ATC SCM 0.1/15, 2 x Genelec 8020, Roland TD-30 Drums, Pearl Ref Acoustic Kit, Ludwig brass & Pearl Ref snares, Gibson LP Supreme, Fender Precision Bass

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Re: High Resolution Music Website Links

Postby Dogill » Thu Apr 25, 2013 7:03 am

It seems you are more lucky with your IP address
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Re: High Resolution Music Website Links

Postby Brad Lunde » Sat Nov 16, 2013 4:46 pm

Musicraft wrote:Hi Matt
I found this site https://www.hdtracks.com/
<SNIP>
All the best
Rick @ Musicraft


Hey Rick
Been recently trying out HD downloadable stuff out on my ITunes Library...This HD Tracks company is David Chesky, an old customer of mine whom I sold Soundfield mics to years ago for his recordings. He does care about sonics! I downloaded Hotel California in 192/24 and it was stunningly different. At the shop we all think it was completely remastered as you hear things not present on the version you buy from iTunes; the mix sounded different. The iTunes version (we compared side by side) was louder, more midrange and bass heavy, less dynamic, just sounded WAY different. I will have to ask David about that -but the point is the tracks are completely different. A whole new record. I then downloaded Thriller Michael jackson, a record I've heard a zillion times (sold ATC 25s to the recording engineer of Thriller, Bruce Swedien, by the way) and same experience, different record. This one the mixes sounded closer but all this detail on the 176 version vs the not there on the CD or the iTunes. You hear it easiest on high frequency info such as reverb tails, cymbals, ambience (room sound), harmonics of piano and then low end texture stuff like the texture of the bass synth on Thriller; its amazing and again a different, exciting and new record. Sounds fresh again, as though it was just done. Also reminds you of how brilliant some of these "old" recordings are.

This HD tracks is totally worth it to me, I am a fan now.

Brad
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Re: High Resolution Music Website Links

Postby MevDinc » Sat Nov 16, 2013 6:20 pm

Sorry I have failed to alert you about the site before!
I have been using this for some time now and very pleased with the SQ especially the hires downloads!
192kHz files make a huge difference, you hear everything on the ATCs :)
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Re: High Resolution Music Website Links

Postby Shadorne » Sat Nov 16, 2013 11:47 pm

Brad Lunde wrote:
Musicraft wrote:Hi Matt
I found this site https://www.hdtracks.com/
<SNIP>
All the best
Rick @ Musicraft


This HD tracks is totally worth it to me, I am a fan now.

Brad


As I said above, HD Tracks is a mixed bag. Chesky does not remaster anything - he just gets the best audio files "resolution" that he can from the label. The reality is that a good CD quality can sound incredible and you don't actually need the extra resolution to get fantastic sound.

That said, many of the hi-res files are from mastering files that were originally done for SACD and they do sound better because they have better dynamic range (the mastering was deliberately done for audiophile listeners as opposed to be the usual target market of car radio. Very similar to how 12" 45 vinyl singles were mastered for dance club target audience listening to high end dance club systems and, therefore, these masters usually had much better dynamic range than 33 LP)

Much of the HD tracks Rolling Stones stuff sounds great. I believe Bob Ludwig did most of them.

I have not downloaded Aerosmith first three albums from HD tracks but if it is the SACD mastering done by Doug Sax then I have this and it sounds great (it took me ages to find the right masters).

In the end, once you get to a minimum CD redbook quality, the "higher resolution" benefits pale in comparison to the quality of the original studio recording and the quality of the current mastering
"ATC. Always The Champion. I will not record without them. The best studio monitors. Period." ~ Lenny Kravitz

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Re: High Resolution Music Website Links

Postby Alexk » Sun Nov 17, 2013 11:41 am

+1 with Brad - the damage done in the mastering stage (and sometimes mixing stage) in aiming for a louder or more 'up-front' final product is far, FAR more damaging to the sound than the process of being dithered down to 16 bits and SRC'd down to 44.1khz, which is generally a pretty much completely transparent process with most of the algorithms in use nowadays.

Not trying to ruin HDTracks' day - there are a lot of better masters available than the standard CD version, but also be careful - I've heard an 'HD' version of Buena Vista Social Club which was pretty well ruined - the stere image was far too wide (some sort of mid-side processing) and all the mids had been scooped out. No more dynamic range than the standard CD version!

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Re: High Resolution Music Website Links

Postby Brad Lunde » Sun Nov 17, 2013 7:29 pm

Shadorne wrote:
As I said above, HD Tracks is a mixed bag. Chesky does not remaster anything - he just gets the best audio files "resolution" that he can from the label. The reality is that a good CD quality can sound incredible and you don't actually need the extra resolution to get fantastic sound.<SNIP>


I think the problem is if you want to use a computer, and you use iTunes (even Apple Lossless files), the masters are what they are, which sometimes is awful even if better resolution. Its just a clearer version of awful.

If you can find a SACD versions (say like comparing Elton John, Tumbleweed Connection SACD to the standard release) you can get pretty good audio going using SACD. But so far, messing around with a computer files seems like a real mixed bag to me; some good some bad (likely this is based purely on the masters). I downloaded 96K Crosby Stills and Nash HD tracks to compare to the remastered iTunes files, and the comparison was easy to hear for all of use using a Mytek front end, ATC 11's driven from a P1. These are both the same master, and the HD tracks version is clearly better using the same converter.

Shadorne I agree with you that CD can sound very very good if you get the right source material on disc, the right player.

Brad
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Re: High Resolution Music Website Links

Postby Shadorne » Sun Nov 17, 2013 9:10 pm

iTunes store download tracks are usually garbage for any popular music but 256 AAC for obscure stuff or dance mixes can be good. Obscure stuff often does not get remastered using modern "hot" mastering techniques and can still sound as good as the days of Vinyl.

Try downloading Grace Jones Slave to the Rhythm (Hot Blooded Version) from iTunes store and you will be surprised at how good compressed audio can actually sound.
Last edited by Shadorne on Sun Nov 17, 2013 9:14 pm, edited 1 time in total.
"ATC. Always The Champion. I will not record without them. The best studio monitors. Period." ~ Lenny Kravitz

Benchmark DAC3, 2 x ATC SCM EL150ASL, 1 ATC SCM 0.1/15, 2 x Genelec 8020, Roland TD-30 Drums, Pearl Ref Acoustic Kit, Ludwig brass & Pearl Ref snares, Gibson LP Supreme, Fender Precision Bass

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Re: High Resolution Music Website Links

Postby Shadorne » Sun Nov 17, 2013 9:13 pm

Brad Lunde wrote:Shadorne I agree with you that CD can sound very very good if you get the right source material on disc, the right player.

Brad


That is not what I meant at all.

"CD quality sound" or 16bit 44.1 Khz Redbook audio can sound very good. That is what I meant.

IMHO nobody in their right mind should bother with actual CD players in this day and age.

Computer based audio files of at least lossless CD quality (or better resolution/bit depth) and a DAC is all you need.
"ATC. Always The Champion. I will not record without them. The best studio monitors. Period." ~ Lenny Kravitz

Benchmark DAC3, 2 x ATC SCM EL150ASL, 1 ATC SCM 0.1/15, 2 x Genelec 8020, Roland TD-30 Drums, Pearl Ref Acoustic Kit, Ludwig brass & Pearl Ref snares, Gibson LP Supreme, Fender Precision Bass

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Re: High Resolution Music Website Links

Postby Alexk » Mon Nov 18, 2013 11:02 am

This isn't just about sound though, is it? Otherwise we should worry about listening in rooms with properly treated acoustics before we consider jitter, anti-aliasing filters and correctly dithered audio etc...

The 'experience' plays a big part in the perception of audio, and how much enjoyment you get out of music. As Neil Young said with digital audio (as it currently stands) - "the mind is fooled, but the heart is sad". I'm not saying there is no merit in higher-than-CD-quality audio, but IMO, clicking on a file on a computer screen/iPad/whatever to play your music is deeply un-inspiring. What do screens have to do with music anyway?

All the time I have to flick through my CD rack and find the right album, get it out of the sleeve, and watch it get sucked into the CD player, I know I'm going through the process of sitting down to listen to an album. When I fire up my Mac/PC/whatever, I straight away have a million and one other inputs of information I can be at the receiving end of, all of which distracts me from the music and just doesn't have the same 'event' as sitting down to listen to an album. This is all before I've even heard any audio at 44.1 or 96k etc...

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Re: High Resolution Music Website Links

Postby Shadorne » Tue Nov 19, 2013 3:46 am

Alexk wrote:This isn't just about sound though, is it? Otherwise we should worry about listening in rooms with properly treated acoustics before we consider jitter, anti-aliasing filters and correctly dithered audio etc...

The 'experience' plays a big part in the perception of audio, and how much enjoyment you get out of music. As Neil Young said with digital audio (as it currently stands) - "the mind is fooled, but the heart is sad". I'm not saying there is no merit in higher-than-CD-quality audio, but IMO, clicking on a file on a computer screen/iPad/whatever to play your music is deeply un-inspiring. What do screens have to do with music anyway?

All the time I have to flick through my CD rack and find the right album, get it out of the sleeve, and watch it get sucked into the CD player, I know I'm going through the process of sitting down to listen to an album. When I fire up my Mac/PC/whatever, I straight away have a million and one other inputs of information I can be at the receiving end of, all of which distracts me from the music and just doesn't have the same 'event' as sitting down to listen to an album. This is all before I've even heard any audio at 44.1 or 96k etc...


Agreed. We do not listen today as we once did in a dark room with Pink Floyd DSOTM Vinyl playing loud and the album played all the way through. Today we are more likely to surf the internet WHILE listening to a PC file. We no longer honour the music as once upon a time.
"ATC. Always The Champion. I will not record without them. The best studio monitors. Period." ~ Lenny Kravitz

Benchmark DAC3, 2 x ATC SCM EL150ASL, 1 ATC SCM 0.1/15, 2 x Genelec 8020, Roland TD-30 Drums, Pearl Ref Acoustic Kit, Ludwig brass & Pearl Ref snares, Gibson LP Supreme, Fender Precision Bass

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Re: High Resolution Music Website Links

Postby Shadorne » Tue Nov 19, 2013 3:47 am

Alexk wrote:This isn't just about sound though, is it? Otherwise we should worry about listening in rooms with properly treated acoustics before we consider jitter, anti-aliasing filters and correctly dithered audio etc...

The 'experience' plays a big part in the perception of audio, and how much enjoyment you get out of music. As Neil Young said with digital audio (as it currently stands) - "the mind is fooled, but the heart is sad". I'm not saying there is no merit in higher-than-CD-quality audio, but IMO, clicking on a file on a computer screen/iPad/whatever to play your music is deeply un-inspiring. What do screens have to do with music anyway?

All the time I have to flick through my CD rack and find the right album, get it out of the sleeve, and watch it get sucked into the CD player, I know I'm going through the process of sitting down to listen to an album. When I fire up my Mac/PC/whatever, I straight away have a million and one other inputs of information I can be at the receiving end of, all of which distracts me from the music and just doesn't have the same 'event' as sitting down to listen to an album. This is all before I've even heard any audio at 44.1 or 96k etc...


Agreed. We do not listen today as we once did in a dark room with Pink Floyd DSOTM Vinyl playing loud and the album played all the way through. Today we are more likely to surf the internet WHILE listening to a PC file jumping between artists from track to track. We no longer honour the music as once upon a time. Perhaps we deserve the uninspired over compressed crap that is the norm today!

"ATC. Always The Champion. I will not record without them. The best studio monitors. Period." ~ Lenny Kravitz

Benchmark DAC3, 2 x ATC SCM EL150ASL, 1 ATC SCM 0.1/15, 2 x Genelec 8020, Roland TD-30 Drums, Pearl Ref Acoustic Kit, Ludwig brass & Pearl Ref snares, Gibson LP Supreme, Fender Precision Bass

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Re: High Resolution Music Website Links

Postby Brad Lunde » Tue Nov 19, 2013 2:57 pm

Some friends have told me about Aurender, that this is THE high end solution for digital files. It stores on a hard drive, but plays from a solid state drive. Anyone heard one?
http://www.aurender.com
Brad
Brad Lunde
Lone Mountain Audio, part of TransAudio Group
ATC Importers USA

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