Transit 3: migration

Transit 3 Cover Sq

Jon Gagan’s third Transit album is now available in our ListeningLounge. Click on the above image to go there.

Transit 3: migration contains 15 songs with performances by:

Jon Gagan – bass, keyboards, sound design
Eddie Garcia – drums
John Bartlit – vibraphone, marimba
Ottmar Liebert – flamenco guitar, electric guitar, wah, handclaps
Dimi Disanti – electric guitar, solo electric guitar
Robby Rothschils – djembe, calabash, conga, cajón, percussion
Nancy Gagan – vocals
Deborah Domanski – vocals
Mark Clark – bongos, udu, seed pods

File under lame…

It appears that SoundCloud has changed their rules overnight and disabled downloading of the tracks from Under the Rose. We are looking into an alternative – and I would also like to offer a lossless download option.

PS: I uploaded to zipped folders. One contains the ten songs in 16/44.1 FLAC format, and the other contains the songs in 320kbps mp3 format. The links will be added to the webpage soon.

The FLAC Folder is shared here (281 MB)

The mp3 Folder is shared here (114 MB)

Under the Rose

under the rose :: rahim alhaj ; ottmar liebert ; jon gagan ; barrett martin

Album Webpage

The webpage is live now. You can download the music for free, but the musicians involved in the making of this recording invite you to make a tax deductible contribution to Direct Aid Iraq. Read more at the webpage:

I hope you will help me spread the word about the album! It is very easy to embed the music on your blog or website, using the SoundCloud widget. Just go to our webpage and click on the embed symbol. It looks like this – I encircled it in red in this screenshot:

That will bring up these options:


Two Years Ago: Listening Test

Our monsoon continues and we had another fine rain storm this afternoon.

In the morning Jon and I compared AIFF, FLAC and 320kbps mp3 files in my studio, using Stax Earspeakers and a Stax tube amp. The FLAC files had been encoded and decoded using xAct, which is a fine FLAC app for Macintosh. The 320 mp3 was made with Peak Pro, which uses a LAME encoder – the same encoder we use for the ListeningLounge.

The result was what one would expect: AIFF, followed by FLAC and mp3. What we did not expect was how very close the quality between these formats was. Unless you have a great set of headphones or speakers – and the ears and experience to process what comes through them – you will not hear a difference. Another interesting point was that the treble side of the music was indistinguishable, it was the bass where one could detect shades of difference.

Young music fans deaf to iPod’s limitations

Young music fans deaf to iPod’s limitations – Times Online
Research has shown, however, that today’s iPod generation prefers the tinnier and flatter sound of digital music, just as previous generations preferred the grainier sounds of vinyl. Computers have made music so easy to obtain that the young no longer appreciate high fidelity, it seems.

The theory has been developed by Jonathan Berger, Professor of Music at Stanford University, California. For the past eight years his students have taken part in an experiment in which they listen to songs in a variety of different forms, including MP3s, a standard format for digital music. “I found not only that MP3s were not thought of as low quality, but over time there was a rise in preference for MP3s,” Professor Berger said.

LR comments:

mp3 doesn’t have the dynamic range of a .wav file, although surely it captures more than vinyl or a cassette! Ears are like eyes — not everyone can hear in high resolution.

The dynamic range of an mp3 does not differ so much from an uncompressed .wav or .aif file. The difference lies in how music has been mastered in he last decade. Too much limiting, too much compression during the mastering process. At this point many people are used to that clipping sound and many young people have grown up with it. It’s how all pop music sounds at this point

On the other hand, listen to an mp3 file from my One Guitar album, the source of which was NOT compressed at all and you will notice that the mp3 does a very good job of delivering the dynamics of the recording.

I would conclude that the professor looked at the wrong data. The culprit is not the mp3 file, which as LR points out can be no worse than a cassette was, but the way recordings are mastered today. The last Metallica album will sound flat as a pancake (no dynamics whatsoever) whether you listen to the CD or an mp3. (((I haven’t heard that album, but many people have written about it and Stevo has told me)))

Please note that the term “compression” is used for two very different events.

1. Compression AKA Audio Level Compression AKA Dynamic Range Compression is the act of literally squeezing the music file to make the soft parts as loud as possible. This results in music that can be heard over the engine of your car or in noisy restaurants, but it also means that the dynamic range is lost. Hm, imagine Dürer using a sharpie instead of pencil. On or off, no gradation, so subtlety etc.

2. Compression AKA Data-Compression, is designed to reduce the size of audio files. There is Lossless Compression, e.g. FLAC or Apple Lossless, and there is Lossy Compression, e.g. mp3, OGG and nearly every movie on DVD!

Related Links:
Everythink Louder Than Everything Else
Dynamic Range