Author Topic: DG's Original Image Bit Processing  (Read 17204 times)

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George

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DG's Original Image Bit Processing
« on: June 10, 2009, 07:57:29 AM »
I am referring to the remastering technique DG uses on their Originals CDs and many of their two-fers.

The technical info from DG is:

"The technology, developed in conjunction with Deutsche Grammophon's new 4D
Audio Recording System . . . is based on the notion that the technical
medium itself should become inaudible . . . Now makes it possible to remix
older recordings in order to 'recreate' the original sound-image . . . This
recreation employs--whenever possible--physio-acoustical principles to
compensate for delay factors (such as the time required for sounds to reach
the main microphone) as well as an extremely high-resolution processing of
the musical signals . . . The audible results will be greater presence and
brilliance and a more natural spatial balance than previously attainable."

What do you think of DG's Original Image Bit Mastering? Have you compared the same performance in this mastering to an older, pre Original Image mastering? What differences did you find?

Thanks! 

Offline 71 dB

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Re: DG's Original Image Bit Processing
« Reply #1 on: June 10, 2009, 09:46:01 AM »

What do you think of DG's Original Image Bit Mastering?

It's "up-to-date" digital technology marketed with mumbo jambo words. If I have understood, Original Image Bit Processing is simply a noise shaping method were the quantization noise spectrum is shaped so that the energy of the noise is concentrated on very high frequencies (were our hearing is not that sensitive).
Spatial distortion is a serious problem deteriorating headphone listening.
Crossfeeders reduce spatial distortion and make the sound more natural
and less tiresome in headphone listening.

My Sound Cloud page

Scarpia

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Re: DG's Original Image Bit Processing
« Reply #2 on: June 10, 2009, 09:52:02 AM »
In a few cases where I have the OIBM and older release I've run them through some analysis software.  The main difference that jumps out at you is that older DG recordings that have virtually no extended bass response suddenly acquire a low end comparable to a competently done recording.  As far as that stuff about "recreating the original sound image" it would be possible to do something along those lines if they had a multi-channel master tape they could remix while carefully adjusting the relative phases of the different microphone signals.  For the older stuff where they only have a two channel or one channel tape there is nothing they can do to "recreate the original sound image."  It helps that "original sound image" is a term that has no precise definition, so it is impossible to claim that they didn't do it.

The sad fact is that DG recordings are generally the most over-manipulated, over-engineered in the industry (compared to the 2 or three microphone techniques used by purist labels).  The statement that "the technical medium should become inaudible" in DG recordings is laughable, in my opinion.

What I find truly terrifying is that old Decca and Philips recordings are now coming out under the OIBM banner.  Does this mean they will be taking those Decca and Philips recording, which are dramatically superior to anything DG ever did, and make them sound like DG sh*t?
« Last Edit: June 10, 2009, 09:54:57 AM by Scarpia »

George

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Re: DG's Original Image Bit Processing
« Reply #3 on: June 10, 2009, 10:21:12 AM »
In a few cases where I have the OIBM and older release I've run them through some analysis software.  The main difference that jumps out at you is that older DG recordings that have virtually no extended bass response suddenly acquire a low end comparable to a competently done recording.

That's a good thing.  :)

Offline PSmith08

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Re: DG's Original Image Bit Processing
« Reply #4 on: June 10, 2009, 10:54:27 AM »
The sad fact is that DG recordings are generally the most over-manipulated, over-engineered in the industry (compared to the 2 or three microphone techniques used by purist labels).  The statement that "the technical medium should become inaudible" in DG recordings is laughable, in my opinion.

What I find truly terrifying is that old Decca and Philips recordings are now coming out under the OIBM banner.  Does this mean they will be taking those Decca and Philips recording, which are dramatically superior to anything DG ever did, and make them sound like DG sh*t?

I was going to note that all the post-recording processing / remastering in the world won't make most of those 1970s-1980s DG recordings sound much better. The problems come in at the recording/mixing stage. You beat me to it. Still, I can't imagine how one could either improve or worsen some of the really bizarre DG records out there.

Offline RussellG

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Re: DG's Original Image Bit Processing
« Reply #5 on: June 10, 2009, 02:53:12 PM »
You know my thoughts on this technology George.  I had several in "The Originals" series, and was able to find better sounding CDs of the same works in every case.  For a few of them this included earlier DG masterings of the same recordings.  "The Originals" have a horrible dry, sterile, over-processed sound to my ears.

Offline Dancing Divertimentian

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Re: DG's Original Image Bit Processing
« Reply #6 on: June 10, 2009, 06:17:32 PM »
Scarpia wrote:

Quote
The sad fact is that DG recordings are generally the most over-manipulated, over-engineered in the industry (compared to the 2 or three microphone techniques used by purist labels).  The statement that "the technical medium should become inaudible" in DG recordings is laughable, in my opinion.

This is generally true (alas) but there is a bright side for DG. The 'decline' in DG's sound really only became noticeable after about the 60s. Up until then DG's philosophy - whether by necessity or design - seemed to be "let the music speak for itself". And many of their recordings at that time were naturally balanced and seemingly without engineer manipulation and control-board quirks that diluted their later efforts.

I'm not sure exactly what happened to this philosophy but perhaps DG was trying to carve out a niche for itself beside juggernauts Decca and Philips, who seemed to be picking up many accolades in those days for their recorded sound. 

Quote
What I find truly terrifying is that old Decca and Philips recordings are now coming out under the OIBM banner.  Does this mean they will be taking those Decca and Philips recording, which are dramatically superior to anything DG ever did, and make them sound like DG sh*t?

I fear this might be the case, unfortunately. I've had competing issues (old and new) of a particular Philips disc that wasn't necessarily "improved" by Universal's remastering (most likely OIBM under a different moniker for Philips) but did have a vastly changed aural perspective from the original. Unfortunately the orchestra came out sounding metallic and scratchy - NOT an improvement. I have to say though I eventually let go of the original disc because the piano sounded so much warmer and clearer in the newer edition. But it's too bad the one (the orchestra) had to be sacrificed in order to make the other (the piano) sound better. Perhaps a Marston or MOT at the helm of Universal's remastering arm might be the answer to all these remastering woes. But don't hold your breath. 

Of course, when it comes to Philips, generally the less of this OIBM nonsense the better, I say.
« Last Edit: June 10, 2009, 06:21:51 PM by Dancing Divertimentian »
Veit Bach-a baker who found his greatest pleasure in a little cittern which he took with him even into the mill and played while the grinding was going on. In this way he had a chance to have the rhythm drilled into him. And this was the beginning of a musical inclination in his descendants. JS Bach

George

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Re: DG's Original Image Bit Processing
« Reply #7 on: June 10, 2009, 06:22:30 PM »
As always, thanks for your helpful thoughts, Don.  :)


Offline Dancing Divertimentian

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Re: DG's Original Image Bit Processing
« Reply #8 on: June 10, 2009, 06:38:26 PM »
As always, thanks for your helpful thoughts, Don.  :)

As always, happy to participate, George. :)
Veit Bach-a baker who found his greatest pleasure in a little cittern which he took with him even into the mill and played while the grinding was going on. In this way he had a chance to have the rhythm drilled into him. And this was the beginning of a musical inclination in his descendants. JS Bach

Scarpia

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Re: DG's Original Image Bit Processing
« Reply #9 on: June 11, 2009, 11:02:27 AM »
Here's an interesting comparison.  Recordings of Strauss Metamorphosen.  They are Karajan/BPO ('73) DG Galleria release, same Karajan recording in later DG Originals release, and Blomstedt/SFO on Decca (90's).  Audio power as a function of frequency from 20-20,000 Hz.  Both power and frequency are on a logarithmic scale.   Notice the precipitous drop below 60 Hz on the DG Galeria release.  There's your traditional DG anemic low end.  Low frequency has been restored in the Origionals release, comparable to the competently engineered Decca recording, but both DG releases have a big excess in the upper midrange (~1000 Hz).  That's your DG "why do my ears hurt" harshness.

 

Offline Coopmv

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Re: DG's Original Image Bit Processing
« Reply #10 on: June 11, 2009, 04:54:34 PM »
The main difference that jumps out at you is that older DG recordings that have virtually no extended bass response suddenly acquire a low end comparable to a competently done recording.  

DG has been using Studer-Revox tape decks for its recording sessions for years.  In the good old days when LP's ruled, the dynamics and the bass contents of recordings were deliberately suppressed in order to produce commercially viable LP's since the latter medium just could not handle extended bass.  I have a number of much sought after pre-recorded Barclay-Crocker open-reel classical tapes with pretty impressive bass response that can easily go toe-to-toe with the best CD's.  I think the extended bass is there on the original master tape.

Scarpia

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Re: DG's Original Image Bit Processing
« Reply #11 on: June 12, 2009, 04:34:54 AM »
DG has been using Studer-Revox tape decks for its recording sessions for years.  In the good old days when LP's ruled, the dynamics and the bass contents of recordings were deliberately suppressed in order to produce commercially viable LP's since the latter medium just could not handle extended bass.  I have a number of much sought after pre-recorded Barclay-Crocker open-reel classical tapes with pretty impressive bass response that can easily go toe-to-toe with the best CD's.  I think the extended bass is there on the original master tape.

I don't doubt the equipment they used was capable of it, even the cassette deck I had in the 70s had more than enough bass response.  It was a decision on their part (as was the upper midrange boost) and they continued to do it even when transferring those recordings to CD.  Too bad so many great performances were ruined.

In any case, you can fix bad eq after the fact with your own equalizer.  You can't fix the over-miking and absurd spotlighting of soloists that mars many of their recordings.  One pet peeve is the 1978 Karajan recording of Brahms 1 finale.  There is a beautiful horn solo and part of the effect is that this beautiful sound emerges from the orchestra.  In that recording, all of a sudden, it is a horn concerto, or worse, it sounds like the person sitting in the seat next to you took out his french horn and started to play.
« Last Edit: June 12, 2009, 06:33:13 AM by Scarpia »

Offline Henritus

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Re: DG's Original Image Bit Processing
« Reply #12 on: June 12, 2009, 07:47:53 PM »
How about Ambient Surround Imaging (AMSI) that you can find on european budget Eloquence reissues. Is it the same thing? Shall I avoid.

Offline Coopmv

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Re: DG's Original Image Bit Processing
« Reply #13 on: June 13, 2009, 02:03:39 AM »
How about Ambient Surround Imaging (AMSI) that you can find on european budget Eloquence reissues. Is it the same thing? Shall I avoid.
 

I just ordered the following CD from the DG Eloquence series.  I believe this CD will be the first from Eloquence for me and hopefully it has decent sound. 


Offline Fëanor

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Re: DG's Original Image Bit Processing
« Reply #14 on: June 13, 2009, 02:33:56 AM »
...

The sad fact is that DG recordings are generally the most over-manipulated, over-engineered in the industry (compared to the 2 or three microphone techniques used by purist labels).  The statement that "the technical medium should become inaudible" in DG recordings is laughable, in my opinion.
...


That's about it I should say.  Going back to the late '60s at least DG became famous for the use of dozens of microphones and many recorded tracks of the sound.  Any sense of authentic music hall ambience was lost: neither recorded nor reproduced.  So now with OIBP, what is DG doing about this over processing?  Why, even more processing of course.  >:D

I strongly suspect that DG is taking the many tracks of the orignal recordings and adding varying delays to various of them to try to reconstruct -- or more precisely, simlulate -- the sense of ambience lost in the original recording process.  In general the OIBP recordings are an improvement over the originals, but are still, (and inevidably), inferior to recordings done the right way in the first place.

George

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Re: DG's Original Image Bit Processing
« Reply #15 on: June 13, 2009, 04:31:14 AM »
Thanks for all your input guys, I have obtained a sample of the two masterings (original CD release and Original Image Bit Processed remaster) of Kempff's Beethoven Concertos with Leitner.

I have uploaded them to a wikispace I use for comparing samples, so no download is needed. Just click and listen. Let me know your thoughts.

First CD Mastering

Original Image Bit Processsed Remaster

Scarpia

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Re: DG's Original Image Bit Processing
« Reply #16 on: June 13, 2009, 08:03:02 AM »
 

I just ordered the following CD from the DG Eloquence series.  I believe this CD will be the first from Eloquence for me and hopefully it has decent sound. 



I have been listening to the Guarneri Beethoven quartet cycle which claims to have this "AMSI."  I don't have the original issue to compare with, but there doesn't seem to be anything obviously wrong with the sound, I'd say its innocuous.

This is a spooky image:



I've been meaning to this recording from Decca, except it has been very expensive.  Now it has been "original image bit processed."  You can bet I'll be combing Amazon marketplace for a leftover copy of the Decca issue.

Not that Decca was perfect, expecially in the early days.  Decca LPs always had a warm sound with a rich low end.  When these recordings first came out on CD they were much brighter, maybe because they were still compensating for the high frequency loss that occurred in LP mastering, or maybe because they wanted them to sound "spiffy."  But that problem was eventually fixed, until now.   :'(

Offline sTisTi

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Re: DG's Original Image Bit Processing
« Reply #17 on: June 16, 2009, 06:18:09 AM »
This is a spooky image:



I've been meaning to this recording from Decca, except it has been very expensive.  Now it has been "original image bit processed."  You can bet I'll be combing Amazon marketplace for a leftover copy of the Decca issue.

But it says "96khz / 24 bit Remastering" on this issue, NOT "Original Image Bit Processing", just like on the original Decca issue, so I don't think they are giving the re-releases from Decca or Philips in the "Originals" series a new mastering. AFAIK, the issuing of the Decca or Philips recordings in the "Originals" series is only done to get a unified layout of all Universal labels.

Scarpia

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Re: DG's Original Image Bit Processing
« Reply #18 on: June 16, 2009, 06:36:59 AM »
But it says "96khz / 24 bit Remastering" on this issue, NOT "Original Image Bit Processing", just like on the original Decca issue, so I don't think they are giving the re-releases from Decca or Philips in the "Originals" series a new mastering. AFAIK, the issuing of the Decca or Philips recordings in the "Originals" series is only done to get a unified layout of all Universal labels.

Thank god!  The other sometime annoying feature of "The Originals" is that the booklet contains various text fawning over the performers, at the expense of any discussion or documentation of the work being performed.  I suspect this re-release has no libretto (although it undoubtedly can be found on the web somewhere).

« Last Edit: June 16, 2009, 06:38:56 AM by Scarpia »

Offline Coopmv

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Re: DG's Original Image Bit Processing
« Reply #19 on: June 16, 2009, 04:39:27 PM »
Thank god!  The other sometime annoying feature of "The Originals" is that the booklet contains various text fawning over the performers ...


They did that in the good old LP days as well.