Archive for the 'Music' Category

“Everything was better in the past”

Saturday, October 7th, 2017

When I talk about IT issues, e.g. #peakbugs in macOS / iOS, and how I liked older macOS versions more, how many modern cheap “made in China appliances / gadgets” break quickly, or the the “loudness wars” in music, many people just respond with the usual slang myth: yeah, yeah, “everything was better in the past”.
Well, of course not. IMHO Windows 10 is one of the best Windows versions (well, all the ones before were just total garage crap, … and not that I would want to use it on a daily basis, but still, …)

Just noticed another funny random glitch in the Matrix. Guano Apes, a “local” German, 90’s band from where I grew up, just released a remaster / remix of their first album. Now “Proud Like A God” was one of my examples of “you really could have produced it with a little higher fidelity and less noise”. Guess what? The 2017 remaster / remix versions is higher fidelity and with less noise ;-) And as a added bonus in this day and age you can even get it as 24-bit/48kHz FLAC.

Samplerate: 192000Hz

Tuesday, October 4th, 2016

All the FLAC and high bitrate hi-fi testing? Right now I’m listening to a 192000Hz FLAC:

# play *flac

Alanis Morissette - 01. Eight Easy Steps.flac:

File Size: 106M Bit Rate: 4.92M
Encoding: FLAC Info: Purchased from
Channels: 2 @ 24-bit Track: 1 of 10
Samplerate: 192000Hz Album: So-Called Chaos
Replaygain: off Artist: Alanis Morissette
Duration: 00:02:52.37 Title: Eight Easy Steps

In:100% 00:02:52.37 [00:00:00.00] Out:33.1M [ | ] Hd:1.7 Clip:0

on a last-gen Retina MacBook Pro 15″ under (you guessed it from the quote above, right?) (T2) Linux.

24 bit flac, 96/192 kHz audio

Tuesday, October 4th, 2016

I’m currently researching the case for higher audio fidelity. Lossless FLAC, 24bit, more than 44.1kHz you name it. The open source has some comments on that, too.

And when I then see online stores selling Melissa Etheridge, McNichol’s Arena, Boulder, Colorado, October 1st, 1988 (Remastered, Live On Broadcasting) as 24-bit/44.1kHz FLAC I really wonder.

1988, …, how was that recorded? On a Revox/Studer reel-to-reel, or what? At least it does not cost as much than the up-to-20 bucks they usually ask for more recent albums in 24/96, or /192 …

But seriously, analog noise and damp frequency response from 1988 I do not need in 24-bit, … ;-)

Or another example Phil Collins, Hello, I Must Be Going from 1982, … ??? 2016 remastered in 24-bit/96kHz - 96 kHz analog noise floor or what?!?

The quest for a new headset - Denon AH-C560R

Sunday, August 14th, 2011

Since the 1st generation iPhone I enjoyed using some V-moda Vibe in-ear headset. At the time the V-moda Vibe was one of the first iPhone compatible headsets with microphone and good sound quality.

Unfortunately, as usual, the cable started to break just over the TRS plug’s bend protection. Attempts to save the headset by soldering a new 4 pin TRS plug proved a little difficult: soldering the tiny 4 pin ⅛ inch TRS connector is possible, but the fibre enforced wires make it pretty difficult. One has to carefully separate the fibre out of the copper, and even then getting solder onto the paint isolated copper wires is a tedious task. And all too often have signal crosstalk problems in the end, due to the now heated and dissolved isolating wire coat, … especially interfering the (i)Phone’s microphone ring detection, often leaving the microphone and remote button controls unfunctional. Often it even works at first, until the cables are cramped into the connector when the plug is screwed together.

In the end I decided to better just get new set and started an endless Google search and local shop listening test. I found most offered headsets either plain ugly (sorry folks!), or excessively overcharged, especially when lacking in sound quality. Some models from the German company Sennheiser would have been a nice choice - if just their cable control with microphone plastic enclosure would be more visually appealing.

Especially lacking where the excessively overpriced Shure SE535 and friends. For over 300 bucks the advertised musical professional headphones can not please my musical amateur sense of hearing: For one in a local shop listening test they failed to deliver any bass (low frequencies) to speak of at all, … and thus an extremly unbalanced frequency range overall.

In the end of the lengthy selection process (why can manufactures not just design, build, and sell the one perfect headset?) I ended up with a Denon AH-C560R. They do not only look very good, with their minimal, no-frills design (that could be out of Cupertino), for just about hundred bucks they deliver an well balanced frequency range, with definitely more bass compared to the expensive Shure series.

Of course the Denon also sounds way more balanced than the over 3 year old V-mode Vibe - maybe due to Denon having more audio design experience being a well known audio brand for many centuries. The V-mode had more bass, though - but overall the Denon sound more balanced, with clearer mids and highs. (Other reviewer would now go all lengths over starting to hear all sort of details, percussions, accents not being possible to hear with another headphone before, …)

Oh, by-the-way, I also found the Nox Audio Scout headset’s design VERY appealing, I even delayed the purchase some months to wait for their release, … However reviews, such as the one from Engadget where not too keen about their audio quality, and given that they are (still not) yet sold in Germany the shipping costs from the US where just too heigh to rectify trying them out myself, … Maybe I grab them for cheap when I am in the US the next time.

It will also be interesting to get a ear on the Bowers & Wilkins C5 - though I am not too sure if I will find such a huge & heavy tube comfortable.

In memories to Knight Rider?

Sunday, August 15th, 2010

Recently a radio broadcast of “Gossip’s Music for Men” made me curious to go to a nearby music store (yeah, I love those old fashioned CDs that you actually own, can listen to in a decade, not until some DRM server goes down), and it struck me: They must be watching too much “Knight Rider” in the 80’s – the base theme line of “Heavy Cross” and “Vertical rhythm” resembles the series’ soundtrack pretty much, … :-)

Wow, Lena really won the Eurovision Contest!

Sunday, May 30th, 2010

So Lena Meyer-Landrut indeed won the Eurovision Song Contest 2010 in Oslo as predicted by Google. She actually is from Hanover, which just happens to be the capital of the region where I grew up, too!