11 Nov

Tom Petty’s Mudcrutch Album on CD, Vinyl and Uncompressed CD

I’ve talked about sound quality between vinyl and CD before (see this post on why vinyl records sound better than CD’s), so this story really caught my eye. If you haven’t heard, Mudcrutch is getting back together. For their new album, they are releasing on standard CD, vinyl and uncompressed CD. What? I’ve never heard of an uncompressed CD.

Apparently, it is an audiophile version that is straight from the masters that the vinyl is recorded from. although compressed, it is not nearly as sqaushed as standard CD’s. This means that the sound is much better, more dynamic and more expressive. The following is a quote from producer and engineer Ryan Ulyate;

Standard CDs are designed to play back well on the many different systems which exist today such as iPod, car, radio, computer and home. To make it sound as good as possible on all these different systems, compression is added. What compression does is to make the CD sound louder. Too much compression can make the music sound harsh and distorted. Producers and artists today compete to make their recording sound louder and some have pushed the limit with as much compression as possible. Some have gone too far. On the other hand, without any compression, a CD would not sound as loud as other albums. This would be especially noticeable on iPods and other mp3 players and when played back to back with compressed music, uncompressed music would sound less impactful and not ‘jump out of the speakers’ which is the effect most producers are going for when they add compression. [You can see the effects of crappy sound and compression on the new Metallica album Death Magnetic.]

Great, so why don’t other artists and engineers do this? I believe that first of all, the majority of people don’t really care how their music sounds, otherwise we wouldn’t have such high sales of iPods. Second of all, there is a lot more money involved in putting out three versions of the same album. However, it seems that some people (like Mudcrutch) get it, and are willing to spend the money for their music to sound true to what they wrote.

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One Response to “Tom Petty’s Mudcrutch Album on CD, Vinyl and Uncompressed CD”

  1. Newms Says:

    Big CHEERS to Tom and the boys! Let’s make music good again.

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