How Can I Tell If An Audio Show Is Lossy Sourced? Screen 3

How Can I Tell If An Audio Show Is Lossy Sourced?

Determining Lossy Sources

You have gotten your frequency analysis using THIS tutorial, now what? Now you determine if your show is lossless or a lossy sourced audio bootleg.

TIPS TO KEEP IN MIND:

1. Lossless usually will not have any significant drops in the graph. There are some circumstances where it may have a slight drop or look completely different, we will cover those below.
2. Usually in most cases a lossy sourced show will be completely noticeable in the graph. If it is not or you have any question about whether a show is lossless or not, you should ALWAYS run a spectral analysis to see where it lies.
3. What the show was taped with can make a difference. Shows taped with MD Recorders do tend to look lossy. They are generally accepted though because at the time of the recordings that was the top gear most tapers could afford, so it was very common and the most lossless source available at the time.
4. Lossy/MP3 sourced stuff usually has a severe drop in the frequency graph at around 16kHz. On a spectral graph a lossy sourced show will be a flat line dropping at around the 16kHz mark.
5. A silver bootleg is not always lossless. Many times you will find that those shows that were taken by sellers and sold on eBay, etc, are often mp3 sourced.
6. Just because the show you have is in FLAC, WAV, APE or SHN does not mean its lossless. If it was converted to mp3 or another lossy source at any time, it will be lossy no matter what. If you convert a FLAC show to mp3 and then covert it back to FLAC that is also lossy. That is considered MP3 Sourced.

EXAMPLES OF LOSSLESS SOURCES:

If you notice on a lossless example the graph flows and descends from the top left down steadily to the bottom right. There are no significant dips or drop offs.

FREQUENCY ANALYSIS

Frequency Example #1:

How Can I Tell If An Audio Show Is Lossy Sourced? Screen 1

Frequency Example #2:

How Can I Tell If An Audio Show Is Lossy Sourced? Screen 2

Frequency Example #3:

How Can I Tell If An Audio Show Is Lossy Sourced? Screen 3

There are very slight differences between tracks & recordings but the slope is gradual and there are no significant drop offs.

SPECTRAL ANALYSIS

With spectral analysis if the show is lossy sourced you will see a flat line, literally all the way across at around the 16kHz mark. The below examples are of lossless tracks.

Spectral Example #1:

How Can I Tell If An Audio Show Is Lossy Sourced? Screen 4

This one is a bit difficult to tell, but if you notice there are slight variations  in the line and its staggered at the top.

Spectral Example #2:

How Can I Tell If An Audio Show Is Lossy Sourced? Screen 5

As you can see with this one, it completely blends. This is also lossless.

Spectral Example #3:

How Can I Tell If An Audio Show Is Lossy Sourced? Screen 6

As with the second show, this one blends and fills the spectrum.

EXAMPLES OF LOSSY SOURCES:

You will notice the significant difference between lossless & lossy with these examples. Lossy samples drop off at or around the 16kHz mark in both the frequency & spectral analysis.

FREQUENCY ANALYSIS:

Frequency Example #1:

How Can I Tell If An Audio Show Is Lossy Sourced? Screen 7

As you can clearly see the frequency drops off drastically at 16kHz.

Frequency Example #2:

 

How Can I Tell If An Audio Show Is Lossy Sourced? Screen 8

Again a severe drop off at 16Hz.

Frequency Example #3:

How Can I Tell If An Audio Show Is Lossy Sourced? Screen 9

In this example the drop is at 14kHz instead of 16kHz.

Spectral Example #1:

How Can I Tell If An Audio Show Is Lossy Sourced? Screen 10

This is a decent indication of the “flat line” that you get with a lossy sourced show at 16kHz.

Spectral Example #2:

How Can I Tell If An Audio Show Is Lossy Sourced? Screen 11

That flat line cut was even more drastic.

Spectral Example #3:

How Can I Tell If An Audio Show Is Lossy Sourced? Screen 12

As you can see with the spectral analysis the flat line is at 16kHz or below.

If you just cannot determine if a show is lossless or not please comment below. You can upload your frequency or spectral screen shot at a free image website and then share the link in your comment.

If you have any questions just ask!

HerzeleidMeister is a metal bootleg trader from Little Rock, Arkansas who has traded off and on for over 20 years. He enjoys sharing his knowledge & insights with other traders to help them with any trading hurdles they may have.

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