The Art Of Noise – In The City Live In Tokyo 1986 – Review (Vinyl, CD, Streaming)

Noise In The City is the Album of the concert from the Art Of Noise performed in August 1986 at Tokyo’s Nihon Seinenkan .

The album includes the famous songs of the group like ” Moments in Love “, ” Peter Gunn “, ” Legs “, ” Paranoimia “…

The recording was done in full digital on a Sony PCM 3324 24 multi-tracks in 1986. Mixing was done from the multi-track tape by Gary Langan.

Picture from Sony

It’s also the opportunity to compare the same album with 3 different streaming sources (Amazon, Apple, Qobuz). Without revealing the results, but you will see that it is possible to obtain a coherent result between the different digital supports, including the CD.

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. Intro – Peter Gunn
  2. Close (To The Edit)
  3. Paranoimia
  4. Eye Of A Needle
  5. Legs
  6. Moments In Love
  7. Beat Box
  8. Instruments Of Darkness
  9. Peter Gunn
  10. From Tokyo To Hammersmith And Back
  11. Opus III
  12. In The Mood

We will review 5 editions (Vinyl, CD, Streaming Amazon Music, Streaming Apple Music, Streaming Qobuz) 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

Ed1 : Vinyl ref MOVLP2554 – 2021
Presentation

Ed1 the vinyl edition of this album with two white disks and and a particular notation of the sides T, A, O, N.

LabelWarner Music / Music On Vinyl
ReferenceMOVLP2554
Format (speed)LP 33.3 RPM Double (sides named T, A, O and N)
TypeVinyl LP white, Limited Edition (1500) and Numbered
MasterDigital 24-44.1kHz
Mastering/PressingMixed in London
Original recordingDigital 24-44.1kHz (Sony PCM 3324)
StateEU
Year original1986
Year production2021
Ed2 : CD MOCCD14069 – 2021
Presentation

Ed2 is the CD edition of the box.

LabelWarner Music / Music On CD
ReferenceMOCCD14069
Format (speed)CD with 16 pages booklet
TypeCD
MasterDigital 16-44.1kHz
Mastering/PressingMixed in London
Original recordingDigital 16-44.1kHz (Sony PCM 3324)
StateEU
Year original1986
Year production2021
Ed3 : Streaming Amazon Music – 2021
Presentation

Ed3 is the streaming Amazon Music HD version of this album.

LabelWarner Music
ReferenceAmazon Music HD
Format (speed)Streaming HD
Type16-44.1kHz
MasterDigital 16-44.1kHz
Mastering/PressingMixed in London
Original recordingDigital 16-44.1kHz (Sony PCM 3324)
StateEU
Year original1986
Year production2021
Ed4 : Streaming Apple Music – 2021
Presentation

Ed4 is the streaming Apple Music of this album.

LabelWarner Music
ReferenceApple Music HD
Format (speed)Streaming Lossless
Type16-44.1kHz
MasterDigital 16-44.1kHz
Mastering/PressingMixed in London
Original recordingDigital 16-44.1kHz (Sony PCM 3324)
StateEU
Year original1986
Year production2021
Ed5 : Streaming Qobuz – 2021
Presentation

Ed5 is the streaming Qobuz version of this album.

LabelWarner Music
ReferenceQuobuz
Format (speed)Streaming HD
Type16-44.1kHz
MasterDigital 16-44.1kHz
Mastering/PressingMixed in London
Original recordingDigital16-44.1kHz (Sony PCM 3324)
StateEU
Year original1986
Year production2021

Part 2 : Waveform and dynamic comparaisons

Waveform

The waveform represents all the tracks of the album.

It is very rare that all versions are similar. All releases are very dynamic with a global DR15!

Waveform Ed1 : Vinyl 2021
Waveform Ed2 : CD 2021
Waveform Ed3 : Amazon Music 2021
Waveform Ed4 : Apple Music 2021
Waveform Ed5 : Streaming Qobuz 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 5 editions we have obtained the following Dynamic Range (DR):

 Ed1: Vinyl TestEd2: CDEd3:  Amazon MusicEd4:  Apple MusicEd5:  Qobuz
GLOBALDR15DR15DR15DR15DR15
MinDR12DR12DR12DR12DR12
MaxDR19DR20DR20DR20DR20
Intro – Peter GunnDR16DR16DR16DR16DR16
Close (To The Edit)DR16DR16DR16DR16DR16
ParanoimiaDR14DR15DR14DR14DR15
Eye Of A NeedleDR12DR12DR12DR12DR12
LegsDR13DR14DR13DR13DR14
Moments In LoveDR16DR16DR16DR16DR16
Beat BoxDR19DR20DR20DR20DR20
Instruments Of DarknessDR14DR13DR14DR14DR13
Peter GunnDR13DR13DR13DR14DR13
From Tokyo To Hammersmith And BackDR18DR18DR17DR17DR18
Opus IIIDR19DR19DR20DR19DR19
In The MoodDR12DR13DR13DR13DR13

The DR is very good with DR15 for all releases . We find a maximum DR of DR20 for digital media and DR19 for vinyl. The dynamics are excellent for this album, and all the supports are treated in the same way, even for the CD which is not impacted by the compression.

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 “Moments In Love”.

The interesting features on this curve Ed1 vinyl are the following:

  1. The two curves representing vinyl and CD are very similar up to 14 kHz
  2. there is a drop in high frequencies above 15 kHz compared to CD (yellow zone), without any special reasoning.
Spectrum Ed1 Vinyl (white) vs Ed2 CD (blue)

For the spectrum of Streaming Amazon Music (white) vs CD (blue), the two curves are strictly identical up to 20 kHz (using the same master)

Spectrum Ed3 Amazon Music (white) vs CD (blue)

The graph below shows the difference between the Streaming Amazon Music (Ed3) and Streaming Apple Music (Ed4). The two curves are strictly identical up to 18 kHz, with an attenuation of the Apple Music version beyond.

Spectrum Ed3 Amazon Music (white) vs Ed4 Apple Music (blue)

The graph below shows the difference between Streaming Qobuz (Ed5) and the Streaming Amazon Musc (Ed3). , the two curves are strictly identical up to 20 kHz .

Spectrum Ed5 Streaming Qobuz (white) vs Ed3 Amazon Music (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, the yellow arrow shows the limit is below 22 kHz (the sampling frequency of the master). The green arrow shows the harmonics created by the vinyl playback method.

Spectrogram Ed1 : Vinyl 2021

All the digital releases show the frequency limit at 22kHz (yellow arrow) . The black area (white arrow) shows that there is no signal above 22 kHz, which is normal for a 44.1 kHz sampling rate.

Spectrogram Ed2 : CD 2021
Spectrogram Ed3 : Streaming Amazon Music 2021
Spectrogram Ed4 : Streaming Apple Music 2021
Spectrogram Ed5 : Streaming Qobuz 2021

Part 5 : Summary, scoring and Samples

Ed1 : Vinyl ref MOVLP2554 – 2021

The pressing of the vinyl is very good with a reduced surface noise.
The attenuation above 15 kHz has very limited impact on the rendering of the track, the warmer rendering of the vinyl distinguishes it from digital editions.

  • Rating:
    • Dynamic: ●●●●● (5/5)
    • Bandwidth: ●●●oo (3/5)
    • Surface Noise: ●●●●o (4/5)
    • Restitution: ●●●●o (4/5)
  • Sample : “Moments In Love” vinyl 24 bits 88.2 kHz :
Sample “Moments In Love” vinyl (24 bits / 88.2 kHz)
Ed2 : CD MOCCD14069 – 2021

It is rare to find a CD that is not overly compressed. It is the case here with a DR15 (with a track with a DR20). Rendering is dynamic and very precise, with a digital resolution in coherence with the recording format of the Sony PCM3324. A CD rendering as we would like to see more often!

Note that the CD is delivered with a booklet (absent on the vinyl).

  • Rating:
    • Dynamic: ●●●●● (5/5)
    • Bandwidth: ●●●●o (4/5)
    • Restitution: ●●●●o (4/5)
  • Sample : “Moments In Love” CD 16 bits 44.1 kHz :
Sample “Moments In Love” CD (16 bits / 44.1 kHz)
Ed3 : Streaming Amazon Music – 2021

The Streaming version of Amazon Music HD is in line with the CD version and uses the same format as the CD.
The rendering is clear and dynamic.

  • Rating:
    • Dynamic: ●●●●● (5/5)
    • Bandwidth: ●●●●o (4/5)
    • Restitution: ●●●●o (4/5)
  • Sample : “Moments In Love” streaming Amazon Music 16 bits 44.1 kHz :
Sample “Moments In Love” streaming Amazon Music 16 bits 44.1 kHz
Ed4 : Streaming Apple Music – 2021

The Streaming version of AppleMusic HD is in line with the CD version and the other streaming release. It uses the same format as the CD (16 bits 44.1 kHz).
The rendering is similar to the other streaming editions.

  • Rating:
    • Dynamic: ●●●●● (5/5)
    • Bandwidth: ●●●●o (4/5)
    • Restitution: ●●●●o (4/5)
  • Sample : “Moments In Love” streaming Apple Music 16 bits 44.1 kHz :
Sample “Moments In Love” streaming Apple Music 16 bits 44.1 kHz
Ed5 : Streaming Qobuz – 2021

The Streaming version of Qobuz is in line with the CD version and the other streaming release. It uses the same format as the CD (16 bits 44.1 kHz).

  • Rating:
    • Dynamic: ●●●●● (5/5)
    • Bandwidth: ●●●●o (4/5)
    • Restitution: ●●●●o (4/5)
  • Sample : “Moments In Love” streaming Qobuz 16 bits 44.1 kHz:
Sample “Moments In Love” streaming Qobuz 16 bits 44.1 kHz

This concert transcribes all the dynamics of Art Of Noise’s electronic music. The CD version is a very nice reproduction of this album, and its booklet which makes the difference with the dematerialized versions in streaming. Concerning the Streaming, we notice that in the case of this album, the 3 tested versions are similar. For the lovers of the vinyl, this one brings the warmth of the vinyl and a very good dynamic in spite of the small limitation to 15 kHz.

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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