Duo Cirla Trolonge – Piuma Review (LP, Digital Master File, CD)

This test is a special, because it is the first vinyl album that was made by a young company Akelson with the support of enthusiasts in the forum Melaudia and the artists of Duo Cirla Trolonge (Isabelle Cirla and Joël Trolonge) that you can find on the site duocirlatrolonge.com

You can also find the whole process of the realization on the forum Melaudia.
You can find the measurements of each edition in the different parts and listen to the samples of these albums here.

This album includes 12 tracks : 

  1. ECLOSION
  2. ZORNETTE
  3. OUR SPANISH LOVE SONG
  4. RISANTIRIRI
  5. MORNING PASSAGE
  6. PIUMA
  7. WALTZ FOR RUTH
  8. MISTERIOSO
  9. STABILO
  10. COELACANTHE
  11. PEMBA SHERPA
  12. MURMURE DE L’EAU

We will review 4 editions (Vinyl Test Press , Vinyl, Digital Master Files, CD) of this album.

First we will analyze each edition in detail (technical and qualitative analysis) then we will compare the successive editions with their dynamics and assign a final score and you will be able to listen some samples.

Review of the editions:

Part 1: Presentation of the editions

Part 2 : Waveform and dynamique comparaison

Parts 3 : Spectrum comparisons

Part 4 : Spectrogram comparaisons

Part 5 : Summary, scoring and Sample

Part 1: presentation of the editions

Duo Cirla Trolonge – Piuma 2021

Ed1 : Vinyl ref FractalDuo3-LP TestPress – 2021
Presentation

This is the press test vinyl edition with two LP in 45 rpm.

LabelAkelson
ReferenceFractalDuo3-LP Test Press Disc
Format (speed)Vinyl 45 rpm 140g
TypeDouble Vinyls LP
MasterDigital 24/48
Mastering/PressingLacquer Cut and direct pressing from Father not stamper
Original recordingDigital 24/48
StateFrance
Year original2021
Year production2021
Ed2 : Vinyl ref FractalDuo3-LP – 2021
Presentation

This is the superb vinyl edition with two LP in 45 rpm.

LabelAkelson
ReferenceFractalDuo3-LP
Format (speed)Vinyl 45 rpm 140g
TypeDouble Vinyls LP
MasterDigital 24/48
Mastering/PressingLacquer Cut and direct pressing from Father not stamper
Original recordingDigital 24/48
StateFrance
Year original2021
Year production2021
Ed3 : Digital Master 24 bits / 48 kHz- 2021
Presentation

This is the master file of this Album directly from the mix without specific mastering.

LabelDuo Cirla Trolonge – Piuma
ReferenceMaster Digital 24/48
Format (speed)Digital files
TypeWav files in PCM 24/48
MasterDigital 24/48
Mastering/Pressing
Original recordingDigital 24/48
StateFrance
Year original2021
Year production2021
Ed4 : CD – 2021
Presentation

This is the master file of this Album directly from the mix without specific mastering.

LabelDuo Cirla Trolonge – Piuma
ReferenceCD
Format (speed)Digital files
TypeCD 16/44.1
MasterDigital 24/48
Mastering/Pressing
Original recordingDigital 24/48
StateFrance
Year original2021
Year production2021

Part 2 : Waveform and dynamic comparaisons

Waveform

The waveform represents all the tracks of the album.

This edition Ed1 vinyl press test is dynamic, we can see many attacks of the music that gives this dynamic rendering. This is similar to the Ed2 Vinyl and the Ed3 Digital Master files. The DR12 confirms the dynamics of this album.

Waveform Ed1 : Vinyl Test Press 2021
Ed2 : Vinyl 2021
Waveform Ed3 Digital Master 2021

Unlike the Master Ed3, the CD version (Ed4) does not offer the same dynamic range, with a level cap like on the yellow zone.

Waveform Ed4 CD 2021

Dynamic

We start this test by measuring the dynamic. Dynamic represents the ability to reproduce a wide range of sounds from the softest to the loudest. 

For our 4 editions we have obtained the following Dynamic Range (DR):

 Ed1: Vinyl TestEd2: VinylEd3:  Master DigitalEd4:  CD
GLOBALDR12DR12DR12DR9
MinDR10DR10DR10DR8
MaxDR15DR15DR14DR11
ECLOSIONDR14DR14DR14DR9
ZORNETTEDR11DR11DR12DR7
OUR SPANISH LOVE SONGDR12DR12DR12DR7
RISANTIRIRIDR11DR11DR12DR8
MORNING PASSAGEDR13DR13DR13DR10
PIUMADR12DR12DR12DR8
WALTZ FOR RUTHDR11DR11DR11DR8
MISTERIOSODR15DR15DR14DR11
STABILODR10DR10DR10DR8
COELACANTHEDR12DR12DR13DR9
PEMBA SHERPADR14DR14DR14DR9
MURMURE DE L’EAUDR11DR11DR11DR11

The DR is very good with DR12 for the 3 releases (Ed1, Ed2 and Ed3). No processing is done between recording and mastering, so the original dynamics of the recording are recovered. Practically no DR difference between Vinyl Test, Vinyl and the digital master file.

For the Ed4 CD, a mastering has been done for the pressing of the CD which reduces the dynamics DR9 compared to the master and the vinyl version DR12.

As a reminder, the scale goes from 0 to more 20, but the dynamics are considered good from 12, quite good between 10 and 11, and deteriorate below 10.

Part 3 : spectrum comparisons

Spectrum

The Spectrum allows to check the tonal balance of the music (balance between treble, medium and bass sounds) and to detect process that may have been carried out during the recording, the mixing, mastering or manufacturing phases. It is also possible to detect frequency interference issues.

The curve represents the average frequency distribution over the sample “Eclosion”.

The interesting features on this curve Ed1 Vinyl Press Test (White) vs Ed3 Master Digital are the following:

  1. The two curves are identical up to 10 kHz.
  2. The treble level (Ed1 Vinyl ) above 10 kHz is louder (yellow arrow) than on the Ed3 Master file. There is a boost of 8 dB at 15 kHz, but this does not detract from the music.
  3. The blue curve (master digital) shows the cutoff at 24 kHz, the abruptness of the cutoff shows that a recording with a sampling frequency higher than 48 kHz would have more harmonics.
Spectrum Ed1 Vinyl Test Press (White) vs Ed3 Digital Master Blue)

The interesting feature on this curve (below) Ed2 Vinyl (White) vs Ed1 Vinyl Test Press is that there are no differences between the two spectra, which is normal, the two disks being pressed with the same matrix.

Spectrum Ed2 Vinyl (White) vs Ed1 Vinyl Test Press (Blue)

The comparison of the spectrum between the ED4 Cd version and the digital Master (Ed3) highlights two points:
– The yellow arrow shows an attenuation below 80 Hz that varies between 5 and 10 dB
– The green area shows the frequency limit of 22 kHz for the CD and 24 kHz for the master, which is normalized to the sampling frequencies of 44.1 kHz for the CD and 48 kHz for the master.

Spectrum Ed4 CD (White) vs Ed3 Digital Master Blue)

Part 4 : Spectrogram comparaisons

Spectrogram

Spectrogram is another representation of frequency versus time of a track. For each channel (right and left), horizontal axis represents time, and the vertical axis represents frequency. The amplitude is represented by the intensity (brightness) of the color of each point in the image.

For the spectrogram of the Ed1 Vinyl test and Ed2 Vinyl, the yellow arrow as for the spectrum , reveals the limit above 20 kHz due to master at 48 kHz, and the white arrow shows the distortion due to the vinyl reproduction principle.

Spectrogram Ed1 : Vinyl test press 2021
Spectrogram Ed2 : Vinyl 2021

The ED3 Digital master files it is characterized by a sampling frequency of 48 kHz, with a limit at 24kHz (yellow arrow) and the absence of signal above 24 kHz (white arrow).

Spectrogram Ed3 Digital master 2021

The ED4 CD is characterized by a sampling frequency of 44.1 kHz, with a limit at 22kHz (yellow arrow) and the absence of signal above 22 kHz (white arrow).

ectrogram Ed4 CD 2021

Part 5 : Summary, scoring and Samples

Ed1 : Vinyl ref FractalDuo3-LP TestPress – 2021

The vinyl has a pressing with a good dynamic range. The quality of pressing is very good with low surface noise. The rendering of the instruments is very clear with presence.

The vinyl rendering is a bit “hotter” than the digital master rendering.

  • Rating:
    • Dynamic: ●●●●o (4.5/5)
    • Bandwidth: ●●●●o (4/5)
    • Surface noise: ●●●●● (5/5)
    • Restitution: ●●●●o (4.5/5)
  • Sample : “Eclosion” 24 bits 96 kHz:
Sample Ed1 Vinyl test 2021
Ed2 : Vinyl ref FractalDuo3-LP – 2021

No difference between the two pressing of the vinyls, test and production. This is due to the method chosen to produce directly with the father matrix, which limits the number of pressings, but ensures a quality production.

  • Rating:
    • Dynamic:  ●●●●o (4.5/5)
    • Bandwidth: ●●●●o (4/5)
    • Surface noise: ●●●●● (5/5)
    • Restitution: ●●●●o (4.5/5)
  • Sample : “Eclosion” 24 bits 96 kHz:
Sample Ed2 vinyl 2021
Ed3 : Digital Master 24 bits / 48 kHz- 2021

Here is the Master version of the 24/48 recording . The quality is there without any specific mastering. It is this master which was used as source for the production of the vinyls.

  • Rating:
    • Dynamic: ●●●●o (4.5/5)
    • Bandwidth: ●●●●o (4/5)
    • Restitution: ●●●●o (4.5/5)
  • Sample : “Eclosion” 24 bits 48 kHz:
Sample Ed3 digital master
Ed4 : CD – 2021

The CD version has been mastered from the Digital Master files (Ed3). But the compression applied reduces the dynamics and the rendering compared to the Digital Master files or the vinyl.

  • Rating:
    • Dynamic: ●●●oo (2.5/5)
    • Bandwidth: ●●●●o (4/5)
    • Restitution: ●●●●o (3.5/5)
  • Sample : “Eclosion” 16 bits 44.1 kHz:
Sample Ed4 CD

First vinyl album produced by Akelson. The idea was born in the Melaudia.net forum with a team of passionates. The digital master in 24/48 was used for the pressing of the vinyl record. The choices of engraving were made to have a maximum of quality with a very beautiful sound rendering and a limited surface noise. A great result for a first vinyl album.

Detail of the ratings :

  • Dynamic :
    1. Significant dynamic compression, DR less than 7
    2. Compression of the present dynamics, DR between 7 and 9.
    3. Correct piece DR >=10
    4. No dynamic compression (DR >12), dynamic rendering
    5. No dynamic compression, high DR and very dynamic sound rendering
  • Spectrum :
    1. Spectrum cut and less than 15 khz
    2. Spectrum cut at 15 khz
    3. Spectrum not conforming to the original and cut (not HD) or original but limited bandwidth (but less than 20 kHz)
    4. Spectrum conforming to the original (but not HD)
    5. Spectrum conforming to the original with HD resolution (higher than 24kHz)
  • Surface noise (only for vinyl):
    1. Continuous audible noise
    2. Audible surface noise except on passages with a high level of noise
    3. Reduced surface noise, barely audible on low level crossings
    4. Low surface noise, very good quality
    5. Very low surface noise, no defects, almost inaudible on the quiet passages (exceptional disc)
  • Restitution :
    1. Low quality of the restitution mixing dynamics, clarity, separation of voices and instruments.
    2. Average quality of the restitution mixing dynamics, clarity, separation of voices and instruments.
    3. Quality of the restitution mixing dynamics, clarity, separation of voices and instruments. Good record.
    4. High quality of the restitution mixing dynamics, clarity, separation of voices and instruments. Very high level disc.
    5. Maximum quality of the restitution mixing dynamics, clarity, separation of voices and instruments. Exceptional disc.

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