July 5, 2022

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Flea says RHCP’s Limitless Love is geared toward audiophiles – however is that actually the case?

It’s been a busy week for the Pink Sizzling Chilli Peppers. The group obtained their very own star on the Hollywood Stroll of Fame the day earlier than the brand new album, limitless love, was launched globally on April Idiot’s Day. That is the RHCP’s first album since 2006. Stadium Arcadium with guitarist (on-again / off-again) John Frusciante. Within the years since his final departure, Frusciante has produced some wonderful digital music albums underneath the title Trickfinger which owe extra to the sound of Aphex Twin than to rap-rock.

The fork gave Limitless love 6.2 however the Guardian was extra scathing, calling this newest launch “inflated and complacent”. However we’re not right here to speak concerning the inventive deserves of the album however fairly about its sound high quality. Bassist Flea took to an Instagram video this week to defend the identical, suggesting that Limitless love perhaps for audiophiles. Holding up a vinyl copy of the brand new report, he stated it was mastered straight from half-inch tape and that “no pc was concerned or additional compression or limiters…as they did earlier than”.

And Flea’s backdrop – a high-end hi-fi system comprised of tube amplifiers, a Technics turntable and audio system of unknown origin – it’s clear the person cares. sound high quality. Or perhaps the music video was recorded in album producer Rick Rubin’s listening room? Rubin is an avowed audiophile and infrequently wanders the halls of Munich’s Excessive-Finish. It doesn’t matter who owns the room, in the event you hearken to Flea’s video on a pleasant pair of headphones, you’ll hear her loud reverb; and an issue that must be solved if the sound high quality of the hi-fi system is to be optimized.

RHCP isn’t precisely recognized for its nice information. Stadium Arcadium extremely compressed sounds. We aren’t speaking concerning the information compression launched by lossy streaming however concerning the dynamic vary compression utilized within the studio by the mastering engineer. It’s the compression that raises the amount of the quieter sounds to that of the louder sounds in order that every thing is on the identical quantity: LOUD. Such a method of mastery makes Stadium Arcadium‘s two discs an exhausting pay attention. Run by way of MAAT’s DROffline MKII software program (offered right here), we notice scores of DR5 and DR6. It’s a far cry from the DR10 or DR11 we’d count on from a extra dynamic drive. 2004 Californication saves DR4. Ouch.

And the brand new album? Comparability of a CD rip and a vinyl rip of Limitless love strictly from a sound high quality standpoint, the previous sounds taut and inflexible – and a bit harsh – whereas the latter sounds comparatively a bit richer and looser. That is attention-grabbing. Operating the identical CD extract by way of MAAT software program returns DR7. It’s nonetheless not nice. However ripping the vinyl offers us an enormous DR13. Why the dynamic vary disparity? It’s probably {that a} separate, extra dynamically compressed grasp was used to generate the digital codecs for the album. But these outcomes help Flea’s assertion that Limitless love might certainly be a report for audiophiles. If solely on vinyl.

Extra information: Flea’s Instagram