Quality of music

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JordanD

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Is it just me or is the quality of music declining? By this I mean you aren't seeing too many high quality formats still being used. In the age of digital most people dont notice, but I do. You dont see (for example) Lady Gaga releasing SACD or anything of that nature, so what gives?

Is it that most people dont realize the difference? Or is there some sort of cost issues associated?

Just curious. Input?
 

amey01

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Is it just me or is the quality of music declining? By this I mean you aren't seeing too many high quality formats still being used. In the age of digital most people dont notice, but I do. You dont see (for example) Lady Gaga releasing SACD or anything of that nature, so what gives?

Is it that most people dont realize the difference? Or is there some sort of cost issues associated?

Just curious. Input?
Most of Lady Gaga's customers don't care. They'll be logging into iTunes and downloading a 128k MP3 file.

At work or home, do you like putting effort into a task for no reason? Not very motivating, is it?

Likewise, who's going to put effort into a recording when nobody will appreciate it? Why bother?

On the other hand, there are some very good quality recordings around. Most engineers understand the need to make as good a master as possible. In the near future, as the record companies fall into irrelevance, hopefully we'll see more good quality recordings released online for download as 24/96 or 32/192 even.
 

JordanD

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I feared as much. Most people do not realize they pay the same amount for a lesser quality recording. I am hoping to see a transformation in the way people care and listen to music as a whole. Its really a shame because I am young (24) and I am finding it hard to find music I am intimately familiar with that is also available in better qualities, so I find myself going back and discovering older music and finding "new" music I never knew I would love.

Additionally standard CD tends to be the best recordings available today, so does anyone know of any services that maybe allow someone to buy many CDs for package deal or something? I remember being a kid and getting these forms in the mail and they let you order 20 CDs for $20 or something to that effect.
 

robertawillisjr

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I've seen quite a few new Classical SACDs being issued at reasonable prices. I am told that they sound quite nice. There are a good number of jazz releases that sound pretty good.

You'll have to read the audio reviews to learn about quality popular music releases. I've found that Shanachie does a nice job (there are a few duds though). The Micheal Franks release was great.
 

MPS

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Bet they don't know what a record store is..
 

tsv_1

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Is it just me or is the quality of music declining? By this I mean you aren't seeing too many high quality formats still being used. In the age of digital most people dont notice, but I do. You dont see (for example) Lady Gaga releasing SACD or anything of that nature, so what gives?

Is it that most people dont realize the difference? Or is there some sort of cost issues associated?

Just curious. Input?
It's genre specific. I feel fortunate that, with my love of classical music, there has been an explosion of DSD and high bit rate recordings over the last several years that are easily attainable. Some unbelievably great quality out there. Similar, though not of the same magnitude, for Jazz. However, for pop, Rock, CW, RB, etc etc, where iPods rule and where iTunes makes it's money... it's mostly all MP3 driven and the quality follows.

Cheers
 

Guitarist

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I listen solely to classical music, and although no major label uses SACD technology now, many smaller labels do, so there is a plentiful supply of recordings. I wonder if the added clarity of SACD would expose the artificial studio techniques and generally shoddy engineering practices in most pop/rock recordings?
 

tsv_1

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I wonder if the added clarity of SACD would expose the artificial studio techniques and generally shoddy engineering practices in most pop/rock recordings?
LOL... I think 16/44.1 does a find job at shining a light on mastering artifacts, compressed dynamics, and over-all shoddiness of much of today's "mainstream" music. I recently bought The Wailin' Jennys "40 Days" because I heard a few of their songs and loved the harmonizing. The music is beautiful. The recording of the music absolutely sucks.
 

JordanD

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Lady GaGa releasing an SACD?? Are you serious? 14 year old girls don't know what SACD is!
Haha I know, I was just using the current It girl as the example because I really dont know who else is popular in music today. I just know what I like haha
 

Cherian

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I know they did press a few of the Lady Gaga albums on vinyl. If I recall correctly a few are 180g pressings too.
 

Beakman

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Not so much as a lack of quality formats (and frankly, CD's still work for me) but the sheer lack of quality content is what I find both disconcerting and depressing.
David Lowery published a good online article on the cause of the decline of good music in general. In a nutshell, the "new" model of download commerce, as opposed to the old, brings nothing to the R&D table as far as talent and engineering. Big money is still made, but now it's by the likes of Kim Dotcom, Apple, etc, who do next to nothing to develop the product they "distribute".
I've come home from another trip to waiting packages of CD's that I've heard pieces of here and there. This is my usual style of exploring new music and in the past about half of what I sampled turned out to be good albums altogether. This last go round, and the one before it, turned up all dogs, all 15-20 of them. Sophomoric content layed down with someones PC. The situation is getting so dire for me that a lot of interest in this hobby is somewhat dampened.
http://thetrichordist.wordpress.com/2012/04/15/meet-the-new-boss-worse-than-the-old-boss-full-post/
 
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bzr

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I am really disappointed with the ethics of the recording industry in the last twenty years. Yay is me to belong to a race of strippers to our own aural enjoyment.
 

Rich

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Totally agree with Beakman. In the past five years, it seems, we have seen a dramatic dropoff in the amount of quality content (on any format) and a huge dropoff in availability and ease of purchase. With the closing of Borders, the bankruptcy of Circuit City, and places like Best Buy and Barnes & Noble dramatically reducing the amount of music they carry, it is hard to find good music any more. Shopping online for music is difficult. If I have to wade through a hundred web pages to find something when browsing for new music that I could have found in a couple of minutes of flipping through cds on the shelf, then I am not likely to waste the time and effort to look. I used to buy a lot of music on impulse purchase when at the cd store. I almost never do that when shopping online. Like Beakman, I have been burned enough lately that now I refuse to buy anything without having heard the CD in whole. Even the latest CD from Norah Jones, who I love, seems to be a piece of crap that I never would have bought had I listened to it first. *sigh*
 

Gordon Gray

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Rich,

If you are a classical fan, there are many fine SACD releases on Pentatone and Channel Classics, to name just a couple.

ECM has some very interesting music, on redbook, generally in the jazz but also in the classical genre.

All of the above are very well recorded.

GG
 

robertawillisjr

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Many of the classical releases are not the "warhorses", are indeed well recorded and are reasonably priced. One of my listening friends says they are the best unknown bargain in the music business.
 

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