Let's get right to the heart of the issue with the diagram above!
Flea, the band's bassist, tweeted on April 1st (hope not meant to be April Fools' joke!):
“For you audiophiles out there, the new RHCP record is mastered directly from the tape we recorded it on, no computers, no lame compression or limiters”
In the image above, I extracted the last minute from track 1 ("Black Summer"), a portion of the music which is quite loud for a peek at the waveform. One look at the original data clearly shows that the music has gone through a compression step at some point in order to create that "flat top" DR5 in the image above. Flea is wrong.
Whether this happened in the recording, mixing, or mastering steps, who knows. The clear use of dynamic compression is present in both the 24/96 version and on the CD. Clearly, music like this does not benefit from the "hi-res" 24/96 version so I would recommend saving your money if you're tempted to purchase a download. As usual, be critical when buying hi-res.
You'll notice that below the DR5 tracing, what I have done is used iZotope RX 9's "De-clip" function to restore some of the compressed portions and expand the peaks. Here's the batch process which simply consists of applying -6dB to the signal (I used the 24/96 version of the song), and then one of iZotope RX 9's De-clip default settings to restore "Extreme Analog Clipping". I previously discussed doing this a few years back.
As you can see, the de-clipped version doubles the DR value to DR10 for that 1-minute segment.
We can overlay the original and de-clipped versions to see where the software detected compression and expanded those regions:
I see that GoldenSound made an interesting video on some of the complexities of measurements here:
The value of luxury products go beyond the utilitarian purpose. To argue that these products improve utilitarian goals primarily would be a fallacy.
|E1DA Cosmos APU, pre-production unit.|