[mb-style] policy on merging of recordings

Yin Izanami yindesu at gmail.com
Mon Jul 11 19:31:40 UTC 2011

As long as mastering/mixing/engineering relationships apply to the Recording
level, and can't be moved to a Track/Tracklist level (Release level doesn't
work, because each recording could have different involved people), then
there is absolutely no way you can merge (1) and (2).

This is why I disagree with merging recordings with different volume/peak
levels as well even if they sound the same with volume adjusted.

As for (3), I'd say different encoding types are the same recording, even if
one is lossy and one is lossless, if the number of channels of audio is the
same.  (Can't logically argue that a 7.1 surround sound track is identical
to a mono track.)
On Mon, Jul 11, 2011 at 3:23 PM, Paul C. Bryan <pbryan at anode.ca> wrote:

> **
> Three examples:
> 1. Remasters take original source material, transfer those to digital
> medium, with levels typically adjusted¹ (often to the detriment of the
> recording's dynamic range), then use this new master recording as the basis
> for releases. In most cases, I would expect such a recording have the same
> fingerprint over its multiple releases. Same recording as the original
> release?
> 2. I have demonstrable examples where a known recording was transferred
> from master to digital medium more than once. This is not a remaster per
> se—it's the exact same master recording—but levels were appreciably
> different because the audio data was sampled under different circumstances,
> and track time is occasionally different (e.g. slightly different
> fade-outs). Depending on what audio fingerprinting algorithm you use, each
> could have a different fingerprint. Are these the same recording?
> 3. The same recording is released with multiple encodings, each of which
> exhibits its own its own (arguably audible) artifacts: DSD, 96 kHz 24 bit
> PCM, 44.1 kHz 16-bit PCM, MP3, AAC, Vorbis. Are these all the same
> recording?
> I would lean toward having all of these examples be considered the same
> recording, though I expect someone will probably make a case that the
> remastered release is notable enough to warrant a separate recording. To me,
> it's kind of a content vs. presentation question—do we consider mixing
> levels, for example, to be content? If we do decide to make such
> distinctions, then it's important to come up with some objective methods of
> distinguishing between different recordings, including a textual method for
> expressing such differences.
> Paul
> ¹  I was tempted to say "remixed" here, but I'm not implying a change to
> the content, just the mixing levels.
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