Scandal Hi-Res audio releases
Posted on Sat Aug 08, 2020 11:59 pm

spacecadet

spacecadet

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http://www.alphabetcityblog.com
So I don't know how I didn't know about this, but mora.jp sells most of Scandal's releases in hi-res formats ranging up to 96khz/24bit. I don't know if this is new or if it's been going on forever and I just didn't know about it... I do know that when we were talking about Honey here back in 2018, there was discussion of this and nobody seemed to know about any existing hi-res version at that time.

I don't have all of them yet but I've listened to a few songs and also analyzed them in Audacity and I've only found very slight differences vs. the corresponding CD track. I'm not sure if it's worth getting them all or if some are better than others.

Has anybody else tried these? Some of them are marked as coming from a hi-res source and others not (the older releases are not); I figure it's only really even worth trying the ones from a hi-res source, since otherwise you're just wasting money and file size on the same recording you probably already have. But from the few hi-res source tracks I've looked at/listened to so far, it still seems like it's the same master and that master was made for CD. So there's nothing really above 22khz and it's still brickwalled. There does seem to be a *little* more bass in the spectrogram of the tracks I've looked at, though, and I do feel like I can hear that with headphones too. (That said, some of their later songs are super-boomy already and I haven't gotten any of those in hi-res form yet; hopefully those *don't* have more bass.)

I guess my point in writing this is twofold; first to try to find out for myself if anyone else has these and can tell me if it's worth getting them all, and second to let anyone else who doesn't know they exist that they do in fact exist. I didn't find anyone talking about them anywhere either now or in the past. So those of us Scandal fans who do care about sound, these releases are probably the best option currently available, even though so far my experience is that they're a little disappointing vs. what they could have done with them.

You do have to jump through some hoops to buy from mora.jp from outside Japan, but it's possible and there are tutorials online.

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Re: Scandal Hi-Res audio releases
Posted on Sun Aug 09, 2020 5:22 am

wildthing

wildthing

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The older Sony releases definitely sound better to me in Hi-Res and yes these releases were on sale ages ago on mora etc.

Post Sony releases, the sound engineers/mixers have changed it seems and the music has gotten a lot louder, and yes I have noticed this, yes I also put the music through audiocity to take a look at he levels and peaks too. I posted this on reddit(maybe) and twitter before.

I'm using a A&K DAP with balanced cabled CIEM and some of the new mixes sound rather harsh because of the loudness. I also have some balanced monitor speaker via PC with external DAC. Basically I listen to Hi-Res version rather than the FLAC/CD releases.

So yes there are some benefits of listening in Hi-Res if you have the equipment and most importantly good hearing Happy

So for the older releases I say go to it, but for the newer releases your mileage may vary.

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Re: Scandal Hi-Res audio releases
Posted on Sun Aug 09, 2020 10:10 am

spacecadet

spacecadet

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http://www.alphabetcityblog.com
wildthing wrote:
So for the older releases I say go to it, but for the newer releases your mileage may vary.

The older releases are the ones *not* listed as coming from a hi-res source, though - they're still better? I feel like the CD's up to about the Queens are Trumps era already sound pretty good, so I wasn't sure how much better a hi-res recording from the same non-hi-res source could sound, and if it'd be worth it.

You're saying the hi-res versions of the older stuff without hi-res sources are more of an improvement than the hi-res versions of the newer stuff with hi-res sources?

Do you specifically have Honey? That's the one I'm most wondering about, if there's really any improvement vs. the CD. I just have Standard right now since it's my favorite album of theirs even though some of the sounds on it are pretty harsh. It sounds a tiny bit better in hi-res but it's hard to tell unless I do a direct A/B comparison (which I've done). I was really hoping that as the quality of their CD recordings seemed to go down over time, the relative quality of these hi-res releases would go up in comparison.

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Re: Scandal Hi-Res audio releases
Posted on Sun Aug 09, 2020 12:43 pm

wildthing

wildthing

Indie Artist
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Yes the older release tend to have a wider dynamic range and so are less compressed dynamically.

Honey was never released in Hi-Res, its also rather loud, so probably why a Hi-res version would not have given much improvement. (see current releases below)

Its hard to do a A/B comparison for some releases, I've had other Hi-res releases where the CD/FLAC and Hi-Res version sounds so different, so the sound engineer obviously mixed it very differently. I mean just like Apple's "Apple Digital Masters" remaster can sound different to other FLAC services/CDs, depending on how they had remixed it from the master, its almost like pixel peeping now Happy

BTW are Scandal songs on Tidal? MQA that's another whole mix as well LOL....

There have been master tapes from other artists and it was 64bit 352khz recording, but it must be rare.

Taking of sound quality, Japan music DVD/Blu-ray also tend to use lossless PCM audio too, so wondering if its to do with licensing or mastering process, TV unless its a movie, they also pretty much stopped doing 5.1 AAC broadcast on TV for music shows like Kohaku for probably the same reason.

Here are the current mora Hi-Res releases:
Scandal Hi-Res audio releases Captur12

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Re: Scandal Hi-Res audio releases
Posted on Sun Aug 09, 2020 9:18 pm

spacecadet

spacecadet

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http://www.alphabetcityblog.com
Sorry, I could have sworn I saw Honey there when I looked but I was probably looking at the main list, not the hi-res only list. Well, that's disappointing. I know the CD is super-loud; I was hoping that for the mythical hi-res version they had cut it back a little bit. I feel like the mastering on that CD was almost just a mistake. It's crazy if it was on purpose, and I've been searching for a better version of it ever since. Somewhere the original pre-master files for that album exist and it doesn't seem like it would be difficult to just re-export it with different settings. I mean it's not like the old days where you're dealing with physical tapes and analog knobs and dials and then pressing to actual media. It's a lot easier now and costs basically nothing. So I keep hoping it happens, and obviously hallucinated it being in the Mora list as a result Happy

I don't have Tidal and it doesn't look like the web site lets me search without an account but I did a Google search and the only Scandal that comes up with Tidal is the American band. So I don't think they're on there...

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