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CD Pretest Track

Test the sound before you hear the music
  [vote for,

Every CD I have sounds different in my computer, even if the volume and graphic equalizer are on the same settings. What usually happens is I listen to a second or two of music, then have to stop it and adjust all the settings, then start over from the beginning, now listening to what *was* my favorite song for the 2nd time. ANNOYING.

I'd prefer to have a standardized 10-second track at the end of the CD (not the beginning, so it wouldn't be intrusive). It should play a grand sequence of chords and arpeggios encompassing many frequencies and timbres. All CD's would contain this exact same test track.

Hearing this, a listener will learn how to adjust the sound perfectly BEFORE his favorite song starts ruinedly playing.

Thank you.

phundug, Aug 09 2004

Over the Limit http://www.prorec.c...1AB86256C2E005DAF1C
Here is some background on one of the problems phundug is trying to solve here [krelnik, Oct 04 2004]


       [phundug], I don't get this. I thought the main reason for CD's sounding different is because of the way they are mixed in the recording studio. The code on the CD will play the same in your CD, regardless of the actual CD in which it resides.
However, a way to achieve what you want would be to have a statistical analysis of the complete CD stored on the CD. Or use software that can remember the CD's that you played, and what settings you prefer for that CD.
Ling, Aug 09 2004

       I'm afraid that not even the statistical analysis method will work. CD's are mixed to sound a certain way and are intended to be replayed that way. If you put in a techno CD the analysis will show a lot of low frequency activity due to the thumping kick drum all through it, the software will pick this up and compensate by turning down the bass - not good for dance music. Conversely, put in Vivaldi's Four Seasons and you will find the software picking up the lack of bass and cranking it up some. Even if it was sophisticated enough to pick up the musical style, the frequency balance is a creative decision, therefore not suitable for a machine. [ling]'s second idea is interesting though, it would allow you to effectively re-master the CD's in your collection to your own taste and shouldn't be too hard to implement, maybe even as an add-in to media player.   

       I would advise getting better reproduction equipment if you're really bothered about how your music sounds. This should in most cases eliminate the need for any tweaking (unless you are one of those 'born to tweak').
wagster, Aug 10 2004

       Maybe I didn't explain right.   

       All CD's sound fine in my discman or stereo.   

       But in Windows Media Player, half are too loud and half are too soft. Half are too bassy and half are too trebly. Half are too bright and half are too flat. And these are ALL classical CD's.   

       So, I'd like an extra track on the CD, besides the songs, that I could use to set the equalizer/volume before I start to actually play the disc. The manufacture could play the test track out loud from a cassette player and record that ambient sound onto the disc. Anything just to approximate what I will hear.
phundug, Aug 10 2004

       "How would you like to hear today?"
egbert, Aug 10 2004

       I would like to elaborate on my second idea. I agree that the statistical analysis wouldn't necessarily work too well, since how could it tell how the listener will want to listen to the sound?
The second idea: My CD player in the car can be programmed so that when I insert a CD, it can remember the name of the CD, and the track names. So why not remember the bass/treble/fader etc settings last used?
When I remove a half watched DVD from my DVD player, and subsequently re-insert it, the player can remember where to resume.
Obviously there is some ID on the Disk.

       [phundug], maybe there is some software out there that can do this.
Ling, Aug 10 2004

       [phundug], this should NOT be happening! All reproduction chains will distort the signal somehow in it's long journey from 1's and 0's on the disc to vibrations in the air, but they will do it predictably. The discman will distort in one way, the stereo in another (generally there is an exponential relationship between price and lack of distortion) and the PC in yet another.   

       Frequency response is the most obvious type of distortion and the easiest to hear - this can be altered on Media Player by the graphic and "SRS WOW" effect (which also phase distorts). If the frequency response of the PC changes from disc to disc, this means that either a) The reproduction chain is being altered from disc to disc, so you must check your settings are at default every time you play before comparing, or b) The reproduction chain is identical from playback to playback but you hear it differently. It is possible that the low quality of your PC speakers (I'm assuming standard PC speakers) 'brings out' the badly recorded CD's, masking high and low frequencies when recordings are a bit too middly. The wider bandwidth of a decent hi-fi or walkman headphones will extend out to the weak highs and lows of badly recorded material, making it sound more 'complete'.   

       One experiment worth trying is to see if you have this problem when listening through the CD walkman headphones plugged into the headphone socket in the front of the CD drive, this will be before Media Player starts to butcher the signal. Then listen via the PC's headphone socket which will be after Media Player has done it's damage, but without the added problem of PC speakers. This will hopefully locate the cause of your annoyance.
wagster, Aug 10 2004

       I keep misreading this idea as "CD Protest Track". Imagining Bob Dylan strumming away to - "the answer, my friend, is engraved in the vinyl..."
lostdog, Aug 10 2004

       I didn't realize there was a separate headphone socket on the CD-Rom tray. My headphones are currently plugged into the back of the computer. I will try your advice. Thanks!
phundug, Aug 10 2004

       I now realize that the two volume controls (Windows's standard volume control and Media Player's own volume control) do not work the same way.
The graphic equalization sounds different if I have the standard volume at 0.2 and Media Player's at 0.5, than if I have the standard volume at 0.5 and Media Player's at 0.2. (even though the total loudness is the same)
The latter is definitely better.
phundug, Aug 15 2004

       I get it. You want one track that goes through the whole range of sound so you can set it how you like it before playing the whole CD regardless of what equipment you are using. Good stuff! RIAA could even use this track! [hesitently hands over croissant] Croissants for you!
Around TUIT, Aug 15 2004

       I have similar problems myself, but due to a different reason.   

       When I burn a CD of mp3's down...err, aquired legally on the internet, most all mp3 are recorded differently, resulting in different sounds all together. Some will be very quiet, and full volume creates no distortion. But then the CD goes to the next track and ruins my eardrums for the day. Now I edit all my mp3's recorded volume, equalizer settings, and other time-consuming crap.   

       If your track was recorded the same way the rest of the tracks were, I suppose this could be an advantage, although the extra use of the cd is a downfall. Maybe in years to come, you can program in equalizer settings to your cd player, then a small amount of information on the cd containing recording variances is relayed to the player, and adjusts accordingly.
destructionism, Aug 15 2004

       Anyone else remember the standard calibration tones from the start of pre-recorded cassettes?   

       BTW iTunes can do this already - load the CD, select all tracks, get track info, give them all a favourite EQ preset. The presets should reload each time the CD is inserted.   

       If this doesn't work, drag each track into a playlist without actually importing (converting to mp3/aac). You'll have a playlist full of songs which report as missing when the CD is absent. Then proceed as above.
BunsenHoneydew, Jul 28 2005

       I remember the booddooodeeedeeet tones from prerecorded cassettes, and even imitated them on countless tapes in 1991-1992 back when songs on the radio were good and I recorded them.
Amishman35, Nov 01 2005


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