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2016 High-Res Star Wars Soundtracks

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It appears that the rights to the high-resolution (192Khz/24Bit and 96Khz/24Bit) Star Wars soundtracks have reverted to Disney, and they are no longer available for purchase.

Did anyone buy them? I logged on to buy Star Wars and Empire this last weekend when I was informed by HDTracks.com that they are no longer available.

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Only TFA 24bits soundtrack is available…

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Just FYI, “high res audio” is a fraud, a marketing gimmick based on pseudoscience. It is not physically possible to hear frequencies that high. A standard CD already captures everything within human hearing range and then some, after you’ve reached the age you’re likely to care about audio quality your hearing won’t even be able to reach that, and the vast majority of music does not make use of anywhere near the dynamic range supposedly offered by this “higher resolution.” All it does is waste disk space. It’s useful only in studios for purely technical reasons, utterly useless for the end consumer.

This explains it better than I could:

https://people.xiph.org/~xiphmont/demo/neil-young.html

As for Star Wars, I would advise seeking out the 1993 anthology CD set for the best sound and more complete versions of the OUT soundtracks.

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Density said:

It is not physically possible to hear frequencies that high.

Well you can’t do it with that attitude. :p

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Density said:

Just FYI, “high res audio” is a fraud, a marketing gimmick based on pseudoscience. It is not physically possible to hear frequencies that high. A standard CD already captures everything within human hearing range and then some, after you’ve reached the age you’re likely to care about audio quality your hearing won’t even be able to reach that, and the vast majority of music does not make use of anywhere near the dynamic range supposedly offered by this “higher resolution.” All it does is waste disk space. It’s useful only in studios for purely technical reasons, utterly useless for the end consumer.

This explains it better than I could:

https://people.xiph.org/~xiphmont/demo/neil-young.html

As for Star Wars, I would advise seeking out the 1993 anthology CD set for the best sound and more complete versions of the OUT soundtracks.

Well, there’s more detail and clarity in the sound with the 2016 digital release. Not saying that’s due to the resolution, but by better mastering

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Speaking of mastering, the last decent master was released - what - a quarter of a century ago at this point?

That’s where the discussion should start, really.

Yes, 24bit is an attempt to sell you the same thing for the thousandth time, but in reality you’re not even getting a comparable product vs your ‘cheapo’ cd you picked up in the early 90s without even thinking of whether it’s going to sound any good at all. That’s the real kicker.

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they were remastered a couple years ago for the Sony boxset, but the remaster is only available on Vinyl and digital download.

TV’s Frink said:

I would put this in my sig if I weren’t so lazy.

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I guess I’ll have to give it a listen, then. I heard early tales of noise reduction and basically wrote it off as another one of THOSE releases.

I’m not used to anything Star Wars being treated well, no.

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Actually hires is extremely important and can be quite amazing. It all depends on the materials and most of what is commonly sold on hires download sites is usually based on older materials or previously released SACDS which were themselves mastered differently.

VADER!? WHERE THE HELL IS MY MOCHA LATTE? -Palpy on a very bad day.

“George didn’t think there was any future in dead Han toys.”-Harrison Ford

My review blog: thehificelluloidmonster.wordpress.com

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I’ve got the 2016 LPs and I think they’re great. They sound much better than the 1997/2004 CDs, although they’re less complete.

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Those of you audiophiles out there may be interested in this…
 

‘The Force of Sound" Trailer - new documentary that includes behind the scenes footage of the making of The Last Jedi’s sound design at Skywalker Ranch. Available for streaming February 20th.’:-

http://abcnews.go.com/Entertainment/video/trailer-force-sound-53151897

 

from https://www.reddit.com/r/StarWarsLeaks/comments/7y3652/the_force_of_sound_trailer_new_documentary_that/

originaltrilogy.com Moderator

Why don’t you knock it off with them negative waves? Why don’t you dig how beautiful it is out here?
And say something righteous and hopeful for a change?

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Density said:

Just FYI, “high res audio” is a fraud, a marketing gimmick based on pseudoscience. It is not physically possible to hear frequencies that high. A standard CD already captures everything within human hearing range and then some, after you’ve reached the age you’re likely to care about audio quality your hearing won’t even be able to reach that, and the vast majority of music does not make use of anywhere near the dynamic range supposedly offered by this “higher resolution.” All it does is waste disk space. It’s useful only in studios for purely technical reasons, utterly useless for the end consumer.

Unfortunately, this is misinformed and based on misunderstandings about sound, among other things. There’s nothing “pseudo” about the science, it is what is. While it’s true that humans can’t hear fundamental tones above a certain threshold (20K if you’re a kid, for instance), high frequency response is only part of what’s happening with high res audio. I won’t go into a lengthy discussion about it, but, as an example if you are trying to recreate a waveform, the more plot points you have, the more accurate that waveform is going to be. Higher sample rate = more accurate waveform.

Secondly, all music is extremely dynamic, and while most popular music is compressed and doesn’t make use of 120+ db of dynamic range (nor would you want it to), dynamic range isn’t the entire point. It’s the fact that going from 16bit to 24 bit gives you way, way more info: 16 bit = 65,536 possible volume levels, and with every bit, that number doubles. So at 24 bit, we now have 16,777,216 different volume levels. Further, the digital noise present in every digital recording (the “noise floor”) is moved even further into the background.

Anyway, maybe you don’t/can’t hear the differences - and I believe you absolutely could hear them given the right playback system - but that doesn’t mean the differences aren’t there or that other people can’t hear them.

***** Meanwhile ******

I got ahold of a download purporting to be the high-res release. It’s VERY weirdly different than all other versions I’ve heard of the soundtracks: thin, no low-end… not sure it’s legit, but if it is, it’s bizarre.

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Joel said:

Density said:

Just FYI, “high res audio” is a fraud, a marketing gimmick based on pseudoscience. It is not physically possible to hear frequencies that high. A standard CD already captures everything within human hearing range and then some, after you’ve reached the age you’re likely to care about audio quality your hearing won’t even be able to reach that, and the vast majority of music does not make use of anywhere near the dynamic range supposedly offered by this “higher resolution.” All it does is waste disk space. It’s useful only in studios for purely technical reasons, utterly useless for the end consumer.

Unfortunately, this is misinformed and based on misunderstandings about sound, among other things. There’s nothing “pseudo” about the science, it is what is. While it’s true that humans can’t hear fundamental tones above a certain threshold (20K if you’re a kid, for instance), high frequency response is only part of what’s happening with high res audio. I won’t go into a lengthy discussion about it, but, as an example if you are trying to recreate a waveform, the more plot points you have, the more accurate that waveform is going to be. Higher sample rate = more accurate waveform.

The time resolution of Redbook audio is not as high as the time resolution of “hi-res audio”, but it’s still more than enough for any of your playback and production needs: http://forums.stevehoffman.tv/threads/time-resolution-of-red-book-45ns.85436/ Sampling does not work as you’re describing it. The reconstruction filter reconstructs the original analog signal up to a certain time resolution, which is very high in Redbook audio. I also think the time resolution only depends on the amount of bits per sample, rather than the sampling rate, but I don’t remember where I read that.

Secondly, all music is extremely dynamic, and while most popular music is compressed and doesn’t make use of 120+ db of dynamic range (nor would you want it to), dynamic range isn’t the entire point. It’s the fact that going from 16bit to 24 bit gives you way, way more info: 16 bit = 65,536 possible volume levels, and with every bit, that number doubles. So at 24 bit, we now have 16,777,216 different volume levels. Further, the digital noise present in every digital recording (the “noise floor”) is moved even further into the background.

24 bit audio has more dynamic range, since the noise floor is lower, but 16 bit audio has more than 96 db of dynamic range. The article Density has posted already gives an explanation of why that commonly cited number is misleading. When I convert from 24 bit to 16 bit, I use the gesemann noise-sampling curve from sox (it’s supposed to be much more transparent to the human ear than regulat TPDF and other noise-sampling curves), and the resulting audio has more than 96 db of dynamic range.

Hi-Res audio is a scam.

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And another problem (and a really dirty trick from discographies) is to make people believe that anything labered “Hi-Res” is automatically better, even when the source material is 16 bit or <48kHz digital audio. In this link there are some examples: http://archimago.blogspot.com.es/2013/07/list-suspected-44-or-48khz-pcm.html . Plus no DAC can reach actual 24 bit resolution unless I’m mistaken. And the soundtracks of the OT are, well… very old at this point. Even if 24/192 were better, I hardly believe those soundtracks has non-random high frequency information. They were recorded with already very old and limited technology.

The mastering behind 24/192 releases can be better than the mastering of earlier and newer Redbook releases, but how do we know the latter are been intentionally sabotaged or are the same mastering as the “Hi-Res” version? You have that problem with SACDs, or digital releases.

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the new versions are on hdtracks and tidal. lapti nek is on the rotj album still. wonder why it’s not the ‘special edition’ 2-cd versions of the trilogy from 97/2004

i just got the 1993 4-disc cd set myself

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a_o said:

the new versions are on hdtracks and tidal. lapti nek is on the rotj album still. wonder why it’s not the ‘special edition’ 2-cd versions of the trilogy from 97/2004

i just got the 1993 4-disc cd set myself

Whoa! I’m glad I responded to this year-old thread - I had no idea they were back up on HDTracks - and actually affordably priced ($13.98 for the 192khz/24bit version)!

It’s a little strange to me that they’re still going with the original 70s album track listings. But I’m also worried that they’ll sound like the earlier set I got.

Meanwhile, the 1993 4-disc is my favorite!

GZK8000 said:
Sampling does not work as you’re describing it. The reconstruction filter reconstructs the original analog signal up to a certain time resolution, which is very high in Redbook audio. I also think the time resolution only depends on the amount of bits per sample, rather than the sampling rate, but I don’t remember where I read that.

It actually does work exactly as I’m describing it, unless I did a poor job above. A 20khz sine wave sampled at 44.1Khz gets exactly 2 samples to describe it. At 192Khz? it gets 8, or quadruples. But the bigger difference is in the dynamic range anyway. Meanwhile, frequency is a time-based phenomenon (cycles per second). The word length determines the bit depth, or dynamic range.

The “reconstruction filter” is just low pass-filter at the analog output. That’s catching the high-frequency spikes, or the “steps” between each sampled part of the wave, and is there to smooth out the rough edges caused by the reconstruction.

Anyway, the purpose of this thread was to ask about the hi-res versions. If you don’t believe that there are real benefits, I’ll refer you to the following website:
https://static1.squarespace.com/static/5891db5329687fadaad172d7/t/59c0e856cd0f6804b6b43ed3/1521034351544/?format=1500w

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Joel said:
It actually does work exactly as I’m describing it, unless I did a poor job above. A 20khz sine wave sampled at 44.1Khz gets exactly 2 samples to describe it. At 192Khz? it gets 8, or quadruples. But the bigger difference is in the dynamic range anyway. Meanwhile, frequency is a time-based phenomenon (cycles per second). The word length determines the bit depth, or dynamic range.

Again, you’re not understanding how Nyquist works. Nyquist says that, given an analog signal, if you have X samples, then you can reconstruct the original analog signal up to X/2 Hz. In PCM audio, you will also have a time-domain performance of (I have googled): 1/[(sampling rate) * 2^[bit depth] * 2Pi)], not the commonly used formula of 1/(sample rate). This means that Redbook audio has a time resolution of 1/(44100 * 2^16 * 2Pi), or roughtly 60 picoseconds. Which is much lower than the smallest time delay our ears can recognize anyway. Therefore, time resolution in Redbook audio is not an issue.

In real life, if you want to avoid aliasing, you can only reconstruct up to a point below the Nyquist frequency. In sox, you can easily apply a low-pass filter with 99% bandwidth, which would allow you to reconstruct up to ~21830 Hz, which is beyond the limits of the human era. If you’re worried that’s a too steep filter, then go to 95% bandwidth. That would be ~21000 Hz, still beyond our limits.

A bigger sampling only really means you can reconstruct higher frequencies. The “step” model that is typically used to describe digital signals is misleading: that discrete signal is mathematically equivalent to the continuous signal of the original analog source. You can believe that ultrasonic frequencies are somehow important for playback, fine (I disagree, but whatever), but saying that higher sampling rates are more accurate in the time domain is false. Or, better said, it may be, but Redbook is already much more accurate than the accuracy our brain demands.

A bigger bit depth gives you a bigger dynamic range, yes. But, as I said, Redbook audio can have more than 96db, if it’s properly dithered (even old TPDF helps here). And I don’t understand why any music track would have a dynamic range of 120db, unless the producer really hates us and our ears.

Anyway, the purpose of this thread was to ask about the hi-res versions. If you don’t believe that there are real benefits, I’ll refer you to the following website:
https://static1.squarespace.com/static/5891db5329687fadaad172d7/t/59c0e856cd0f6804b6b43ed3/1521034351544/?format=1500w

I was merely replying to your own reply to Density, and because I’m tired of people spreading the myth that somehow “Hi-Res” is a huge improvement because “there’s more data!!!”, when it’s not even an improvement at all. Yes, there is more data, but no one is asking for ultraviolet information in home video formats, yet somehow ultrasonic information is very important because… reasons. You’re saying that “Hi-Res” is actually better for playback purposes (and therefore relevant for this thread’s topic), which is not.

The mastering behing “Hi-Res” versions can still be better, though. But you have that problem with Redbook releases too.

Speaking of releases and remasters, personally I think only comparisons between releases involving loudness normalization and/or double-blind tests should be accepted, really. We humans have a very small, unreliable “audio cache”. But the typical “audiophile” hates double-blind tests. I wonder how well the Empire tracks in the “Ultimate Digital Collection” fares against ABC’s fanmade remaster.

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GZK8000 said:

Again, you’re not understanding how Nyquist works.

https://manual.audacityteam.org/man/digital_audio.html
See the part about “sample rates” in the middle of the page.

Forgive me if I rely on my audio recording degree, 15 years as a recording engineer, and 30 years as an audio hobbyist over your ability to google something.

Nyquist stated that to reproduce a certain frequency, you need a sample rate of at least twice that frequency. This doesn’t mean that a higher sampling rate only gives you more high frequencies/more frequency response. It does allow for a wider frequency response, but the point of it is to capture more plot points to reconstruct the signal (as per the chart in the link above).

If you want to tell me more about what I don’t know, feel free to PM me here, but we can stop cluttering up this post with the technical discussion.

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JawsTDS said:

Listened to the new edition of ROTJ and ANH on Spotify, sounds noticeably clearer that previous editions. Can’t speak for the rest yet.

I can’t find these on Spotify - could you share a link?

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Joel said:

JawsTDS said:

Listened to the new edition of ROTJ and ANH on Spotify, sounds noticeably clearer that previous editions. Can’t speak for the rest yet.

I can’t find these on Spotify - could you share a link?

Put them all in a playlist (as well as TFA and TLJ): https://open.spotify.com/user/brannontds/playlist/0k7LpNoWUGGPZESWIH1Ti9?si=T-Dl-E5DQgyPUCoHWSHLBw

“That said, there is nothing wrong with mocking prequel lovers and belittling their bad taste.” - Alderaan, 2017

MGGA (Make GOUT Great Again):
http://originaltrilogy.com/topic/Return-of-the-GOUT-Preservation-and-Restoration/id/55707

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Joel said:
https://manual.audacityteam.org/man/digital_audio.html
See the part about “sample rates” in the middle of the page.

It literally says what I have been saying in my previous comments:
“Higher sample rates allow higher audio frequencies to be represented. Provided that the sample rate is more than double the highest audio frequency present, the waveform can be reconstructed exactly from the digital samples.”

Forgive me if I rely on my audio recording degree, 15 years as a recording engineer, and 30 years as an audio hobbyist over your ability to google something.

Nonsense. I see professional, well known audio people spreading myths about digital audio, including the myth that vinyl is better than Redbook (it’s 2018, jeez). They could also claim that their years of professional audio engineering makes their points more solid, despite the little problem that vinyl cannot even reach 96db of dynamic range. But hey, they’re professional engineers!!!111

Meanwhile, I haven’t just made some quick google search in these last weeks. I have googled about these topics over several years already and I have learned to stop relying in whatever bizarre stuff people say at sites like Steve Hoffman’s forum.

I don’t claim to be anything other than a hobbyist (and a very poor one), but even if I were a recording engineer I wouldn’t use the argument of authority unless I’m really confident about what I am saying.

Nyquist stated that to reproduce a certain frequency, you need a sample rate of at least twice that frequency. This doesn’t mean that a higher sampling rate only gives you more high frequencies/more frequency response. It does allow for a wider frequency response, but the point of it is to capture more plot points to reconstruct the signal (as per the chart in the link above).

You are confusing the need for a minimum Nyquist rate with “more samples means better time-domain accuracy, and Redbook has very small time resolution”. I have already posted a link that shows that Redbook has, at the very least, time-domain accuracy up to the nanosecond level, which is already impresive and makes any claim about the need for “Hi-Res” audio even more pointless.

If you want to tell me more about what I don’t know, feel free to PM me here, but we can stop cluttering up this post with the technical discussion.

I’m not gonna PM you because you’re showing me you’re ignoring my arguments. It’s hopeless, and I gain nothing from continuing this conversation.

Good day, Joel.

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Redbook audio is already hi-res !

Han: Hey Lando! You kept your promise, right? Not a scratch?
Lando: Well, what’s left of her isn’t scratched. All the scratched parts got knocked off along the way.
Han (exasperated): Knocked off?!