Author Topic: CD's With Pre-Emphasis  (Read 2438 times)

Thalion Korvhas

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Many older CD's (especially those from the 1980's) have pre-emphasis on them. Pre-emphasis is when the frequencies of the original recording are modified according to a pre-set EQ template before transferring the music onto a CD. It was done to address some distortion issues. CD players were designed to detect this and then "de-emphasize" the CD so that it sounds as intended. There is a small file placed on the CD in the header area that flags the CD as pre-emphasized. But most multi-media players do not detect pre-emphasis nor correct it. A pre-emphasized CD sounds like absolute crap to put it mildly. One such CD that has pre-emphais that I ran across recently is Heart's self-titled 1985 album. The original pressings if not de-emphasized, it sounds like someone went nuts with the treble settings & took out all the mids. Modern recording techniques / transfers do not require this.

Any chance of adding pre-emphasis detection and have MB de-emphasize the tracks? The affected files would have to have a custom tag added by the user (I.E. "PRE_EMPHASIS" with a value in the tag such as 1 or yes) for MB to detect it. I only know of one multi-media player that has a plug-in for this at the moment (foobar).

If the capability was added to MB, it would need to be done in a pre-process way. That way you can take the pre-emphasized tracks, convert them and they will be permenantly de-emphasized. If it is a dsp type effect, it will not work as that is post-process. I have done this with a few CD's via foobar.

EDIT:

If MusicBee could detect the pre-emphsis flag on a CD (and apply de-emphasis pre-process), the plugin/tag method would not be needed when rippiing from a CD. But the issue comes when you have tracks already ripped that are not de-emphazied. Then you need the tag method, because the flag may not have been included in the track data.
Last Edit: September 07, 2021, 03:28:43 PM by Thalion Korvhas

hiccup

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Wouldn't it be more logical to have this done at the cd ripping stage?
(same as when you rip vinyl, where you need a phono-pre-amplifier that corrects the RIAA equalization curve)

So couldn't you rip such a cd using foobar2000 and a de-emphasis plugin to rip the cd to flac files that will then play fine everywhere?

Thalion Korvhas

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Wouldn't it be more logical to have this done at the cd ripping stage?
(same as when you rip vinyl, where you need a phono-pre-amplifier that corrects the RIAA equalization curve)

So couldn't you rip such a cd using foobar2000 and a de-emphasis plugin to rip the cd to flac files that will then play fine everywhere?

If the player / ripper is specifically designed to read the pre-emphasis flag & apply de-emphasis pre-process (so you could rip right from the player), then the plug-in / custom tag method would not be required. EAC for example is said to rip the correct sub-channel data so that the flag is included in the tracks, but it is not programmed to de-emphasize.

Computer disc players do not recognize pre-emphasis. The multi-media player / ripper has to handle this. The multi-media player also cannot read the pre-emphasis flag on the CD unless specifically designed to do so. Which is why a plugin & custom tag comes into play as a post-fact solution. I assume the developers of foobar did not wish to address this or let the community handle it via a plugin.
Last Edit: September 07, 2021, 03:24:07 PM by Thalion Korvhas

hiccup

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Computer disc players do not recognize pre-emphasis.
But you certainly know when a cd has pre-emphasis.
So for such a cd couldn't you activate the foobar2000 plugin yourself when ripping the cd?

Thalion Korvhas

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Computer disc players do not recognize pre-emphasis.
But you certainly know when a cd has pre-emphasis.
So for such a cd couldn't you activate the foobar2000 plugin yourself when ripping the cd?

Yes, I have used the foobar plugin to de-emphasize several albums premenantly. But it would be nicer if MB could handle it instead of forcing people to find a solution elsewhere. They may not have any idea what is actually wrong or how to search for it. I for example completely forgot about this until I ran across a current discussion on it. Then I found a CD in my collection that had pre-emphasis on it that I had not listened to in a long time.
Last Edit: September 07, 2021, 04:53:50 PM by Thalion Korvhas

hiccup

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Your request by itself seems valid and you explained and defended it well, but what makes it seem less likely to be implemented (strictly my personal estimation) is that:

1. It hasn't been brought up by any other user since 1980  ;-)  (perhaps because there is a very limited amount of pre-emphasis cd's out there, and they seem mainly limited to releases for the Japanese market)

2. It would probably require an already available Bass addon. (the audio department of MB is based on it)
  http://www.un4seen.com/forum/?board=1

Unless this request gets some positive and productive continuation, at least it has accomplished that other users running into very thin-sounding rips and doing a search on the issue may stumble upon this thread and get some idea about how to fix it.

(a dedicated Tips & Tricks topic would even be better…)
Last Edit: September 07, 2021, 07:11:22 PM by hiccup

Thalion Korvhas

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Your request by itself seems valid and you explained and defended it well, but what makes it seem less likely to be implemented (strictly my personal estimation) is that:

1. It hasn't been brought up by any other user since 1980  ;-)  (perhaps because there is a very limited amount of pre-emphasis cd's out there, and they seem mainly limited to releases for the Japanese market)

2. It would probably require an already available Bass addon. (the audio department of MB is based on it)
  http://www.un4seen.com/forum/?board=1

Unless this request gets some positive and productive continuation, at least it has accomplished that other users running into very thin-sounding rips and doing a search on the issue may stumble upon this thread and get some idea about how to fix it.

(a dedicated Tips & Tricks topic would even be better…)

Sadly, the majority of people only listen to remastered music or modern recorded music. These recordings are beyond the period of pre-emphasis. So most people except older people or audiophiles run into this issue. The majority of remastered music has been mutilated and most people have no clue that it is not supposed to sound that way - so older recordings are sought out by the audiophile community. I am old and a semi-audiophile.

hiccup

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The majority of remastered music has been mutilated and most people have no clue that it is not supposed to sound that way - so older recordings are sought out by the audiophile community.
While I surely agree that not all remastered releases sound better than the originals, trying to remain on topic a bit:
Isn't it the pre-emphasis that is doing the mutilation here?
If I were you I would try to avoid any pre-emphasised cd.
The pre-emphasis mutilated the master, and de--emphasising it will mutilate it further.

Thalion Korvhas

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The majority of remastered music has been mutilated and most people have no clue that it is not supposed to sound that way - so older recordings are sought out by the audiophile community.
While I surely agree that not all remastered releases sound better than the originals, trying to remain on topic a bit:
Isn't it the pre-emphasis that is doing the mutilation here?
If I were you I would try to avoid any pre-emphasised cd.
The pre-emphasis mutilated the master, and de--emphasising it will mutilate it further.

I am done presenting the topic. Steven, please consider implementing this in MusicBee for the audiophiles & collectors out there.

Thank you.