Why some CDs have hiss when ripping?

BasilFawlty

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Jun 20, 2009
441
8
New Mexico
I have been re-ripping several of my CDs to Apple Lossless. I find that some (not all) CDs have a distinct hiss in the songs when I listen with really good headphones. For Example, The Beatles Abby Road album has a distinct hiss that you can hear at times when the music is softer or there are relative quiet spots during a song. By Contrast, my "Boston" album of the same name has no hint of this hissing when ripped with Apple Lossless. Any ideas what might be causing this hissing on some but not all CDs? Some difference in how the CDs are manufactured perhaps?
 

Fishrrman

macrumors P6
Feb 20, 2009
18,030
5,978
"I think what you're hearing is tape hiss from the original recordings."

Methinks the original poster may have been born after "the tape era" which ran from the late 1940's up into the 1980's.

The clarity and definition of CDs can make things audible that we overlooked on the original recordings and media. But today's kids might not understand that before digital, there was a time when one had to accept and put up with such "background noise".

It's possible to make one-push-of-the-button home recordings today with a handheld ZOOM digital recorder, that performers and sound engineers couldn't -dream- about forty years ago...
 

BasilFawlty

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Jun 20, 2009
441
8
New Mexico
Methinks the original poster may have been born after "the tape era" which ran from the late 1940's up into the 1980's.
The original poster is close to 60, so I'm pretty sure he is familiar with "the tape era." But my old age aside, the CD I ripped from is the 2009 "digitally re-mastered" version on Abby Road, which I would "think" would have eliminated such things as tape hiss. Also, when I listed to the demos of the same songs on the ITunes store, I don't hear the hiss.
 

takeshi74

macrumors 601
Feb 9, 2011
4,972
68
But is the hiss on the CD itself? Plug the really good headphones into a CD player.

But my old age aside, the CD I ripped from is the 2009 "digitally re-mastered" version on Abby Road, which I would "think" would have eliminated such things as tape hiss.
You know what they say about assuming. Not all remastering is equal.
 

BrianBaughn

macrumors 603
Feb 13, 2011
6,482
986
Baltimore, Maryland
To eliminate the hiss on Abbey Road, processing still unacceptable to those in control of the masters would have to be performed.

I believe, though, that the lastest re-mastering has a slight bit of extra "limiting" on it, which would reduce the overall volume during the loud portions, and therefore make the hiss in the quieter sections seem to have more hiss.
 

BasilFawlty

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Jun 20, 2009
441
8
New Mexico
But is the hiss on the CD itself? Plug the really good headphones into a CD player.


You know what they say about assuming. Not all remastering is equal.
Well, as it turns out, the hiss is present on the CD as well (at least as played through my iMac). I may bring it to work and see if it is present when I listen through a regular CD player.