Albums mastered 'loud'

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  • Albums mastered 'loud'
  • Premier Icon kayak23
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    I don’t know pacifically, but it does my nut in on my ipod where some songs come in deafening while others are quiet.

    Yes, I do know about the ‘soundcheck’ thing that’s supposed to level it, but, it doesn’t…

    cynic-al
    Member

    Have they not been compressing some music for ages, for in car listening?

    CountZero
    Member

    Have they not been compressing some music for ages, for in car listening?

    Not for that, it’s to make songs stand out on cheap radios and mobile phones.
    Red Hot Chilli Peppers are supposed to have the worst sounding album, due to the amount of compression.
    http://dynamicrangeday.co.uk/about/
    I also recommend this book:
    http://www.amazon.co.uk/Perfecting-Sound-Forever-Story-Recorded/dp/1847081401
    Really interesting and informative, anyone who enjoys music should own a copy.

    Premier Icon nickc
    Subscriber

    switched from Rumours (Fleetwood Mac) to Santogold’s first album

    ‘folk’ rock? with acoustic guitars to a disco-techno/rap album…not entirely a fair comparison… 😆

    Premier Icon maccruiskeen
    Subscriber

    Have they not been compressing some music for ages, for in car listening?

    Not for that, it’s to make songs stand out on cheap radios and mobile phones.

    Same thing really, the move to digital/portable music has made a lot of listening / owning music more casual. My home is pretty much the only place where I don’t listen to my music now. I listen in the car, in the workshop, on the train. The stereo at home almost never gets turned on now, so all the music I listen to these days is against other background noise and activity. Thats not because I’d rather listen to a compressed recording over the drone of an engine and tyre noise rather than listen to production nuances, its because I can listen to a wide range of music in those circumstance, its hours of uninteruptued listening time, and that sates my appetite for music. I can then instead enjoy the fabulous nuances of silence my home is blessed with. But then with music I value content over fidelity anyway

    ormondroyd
    Member

    Arctic Monkeys second album is horribly produced in this way

    grievoustim
    Member

    It is interesting though how much impact compression has on music.

    I’ve been listening to some late 70s, early 80s vinyl recently – and they sound incredible. So much “space” in the mix and drums that just pop out at you

    On the othet hand lots of music recorded in the 50s and 60s was mastered “hot” so it would sound louder than the other records on the jukebox. It’s not a new thing

    banks
    Member

    New order’s recent masterings or whatever. Fortunately some chap put up proper copies via his blog for free, mostly from vinyls.. think hooky may have ended it now

    sc-xc
    Member

    Red Hot Chilli Peppers are supposed to have the worst sounding album, due to the amount of compression.

    It’s nothing to do with the compression.

    Premier Icon househusband
    Subscriber

    Some of Metallica’s albums have been the worst culprits…

    CountZero
    Member

    My point was that people have been playing music in cars for years, either radio, cassette, 8-Track(!), and CD, without there being any issues with ‘loudness’, it’s only relatively recently that this issue has cropped up, and it’s mainly to do with marketing music as a commodity aimed at kids with short attention spans, the louder a song sounds on the radio, the more it’s going to attract attention.
    The thing is, it really only affects the fast-moving pop end; most of what I listen to, folk/indy/Americana, with a side order of heavier rock, is usually immaculately recorded and mastered, even though some does sound ‘louder’ than older recordings, there’s still plenty of light-and-shade in the music, big differences between the quiet and the loud bits.
    And don’t get me started on bloody auto-tune…

    CountZero
    Member

    It’s nothing to do with the compression.

    It’s compression of the dynamic range.

    In order to achieve these super-high levels, the music has it’s dynamic range reduced – roughly speaking, that’s the difference between the loudest and quietest moments in the music.

    (Actually, it’s more complicated than that. “Loudness War” sound suffers from limited crest factor, low RMS variability and in the worst cases distortion. We’ve chosen “limited dynamic range” as an intuitive way to describe all this for Dynamic Range Day, but for a more rigorous technical analysis, click here.)
    [click]http://productionadvice.co.uk/loudness-war-dynamic-range/
    [/quote]STOP PRESS – Why the Loudness War HASN’T reduced ‘dynamic range’ !
    I’ve just read a truly excellent analysis of the effects of the Loudness War on the music we listen to in Sound On Sound magazine, and – hold on to your hats – according to Emmanuel Deruty:

    “There is no doubt about it: contrary to general belief, there has been no obvious decrease in loudness range due to the loudness war, and brickwall limiters have not reduced the loudness range in music production.”

    In fact, the article argues very convincingly that “dynamic range” is so poorly defined that’s it’s pretty much useless as a way to discuss the effect of the so-called “war”. It goes on to look at the issue in great detail, trying to find out – if it’s not reduced dynamic range that makes Loudness War casualties sound bad, what is it ?

    So, as the organiser of Dynamic Range Day, does this mean I’ve been barking up the wrong tree ? That we don’t have to worry about the Loudness War after all, or that it’s NOT making modern music sound worse ?

    No.

    It does highlight the point that using simplified language like “dynamic music sounds better” isn’t strictly meaningful in a technical sense, but that phrase – and the whole Dynamic Range Day site – is deliberately simplified to help make the issues as clear as possible for a wide audience.

    And the article itself goes on to conclude that over-using limiting and compression does tend to cause

    “…reduced crest factor, envelope modifications… and in the worst cases, distortion. Common sense suggests that although there is nothing wrong with these characteristics as such, they shouldn’t be on virtually all records“

    Which in a nutshell, is the main message of Dynamic Range Day ! We shouldn’t feel obliged to apply extreme processing to all music and styles in the mistaken belief that it will make our music sound better on the radio, or more “competitive”.

    And the fact remains – the easiest way to avoid all those problems is to simply use something like the TT Dynamic Range Meter and avoid going beyond an average of DR8 in your music. Sure, strictly speaking the TT Meter is measuring “crest factor” rather than “loudness range” as defined by the EBU 3342 specification – but really, at this point we’re just in the land of semantics !

    The article still contains some fascinating analysis, though – the discussion of exactly why so many people think Metallica’s “Death Magnetic” sounds terrible is particularly interesting. It concludes that it’s actually a relatively unusual special case – a combination of very low crest factor and very low RMS variability – throughout the whole album.

    I’m a little concerned that all this will be mis-interpreted, through. I think the article’s headline conclusion that “the loudness wars haven’t reduced dynamic range” could mask the underlying point that much music genuinely does sound worse when crushed and distorted. What works for rap or death metal probably won’t sound good on mainstream pop like Justin Bieber, or singer-songwriter Adele !

    And even though “Death Magnetic” was a “perfect storm” of factors, just because it was a special case doesn’t mean this isn’t still a real, damaging trend in modern music production values. As the article says,

    “Obviously, limiting does something ‘wrong’ with the signal, otherwise people wouldn’t be complaining so much”

    However these reservations are only about the way the article may be (mis-) interpreted. They can’t take away from the fact that it’s a superb piece of analysis and comment, and if you really want to understand the issue of the Loudness Wars, it should be required reading. You can find it here in full:

    ‘Dynamic Range’ & The Loudness War

    Meanwhile the fight goes on, perhaps with some revised technical language choices in future !

    Premier Icon Lifer
    Subscriber

    CountZero – Member
    “It’s nothing to do with the compression.”

    It’s compression of the dynamic range.

    Wooosh

    MarkLG
    Member

    Google ‘loudness wars’.

    I find modern music works best in the car/gym/pub, etc – I wouldn’t listen to the stuff I’ve got on my gym playlist at home. A lot of it is just a wall of noise.
    I’ve just started getting into some of the classic jazz recordings from the late 50’s and 60’s. It’s remarkable how good they sound considering they were made over 50 odd years ago.
    Currently listening to ‘Who’s Next’ by the Who (1971), which is **** loud in parts, but even on the loudest bits you can still clearly hear each individual instrument.

    Premier Icon zippykona
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    My fave vinyl production was She Sells Sanctuary 12 ” and Abraxas lp.

    joemarshall
    Member

    It’s nothing to do with the compression.

    It’s compression as in dynamic range compression, not mp3 style compression. This: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dynamic_range_compression ). And it’s all to do with it.

    And don’t get me started on bloody auto-tune…

    Bet you loads of folk and Americana bands use auto-tune nowadays, it’s just they don’t whack it up a to full on Cher vocoder effect like a badly done auto-tune. It’s just that more ‘authentic’ bands don’t like people to know their dirty secrets. If it is done right, you wouldn’t have a clue that it was on – done well it can even let you put in stylistic deviations in pitch whilst keeping the attack of the note bang on, I knew a guy who did sound for various indie bands in the 90s, and he reckoned that a surprisingly high percentage of them had an auto-tuner on their vocals, random ones that you wouldn’t believe it from the sound (I think someone else told me that Republica, or one of those shouty pop-punk bands were heavy users for example).

    Premier Icon bigjim
    Subscriber

    The Kooks inside in/out is horrific, some Muse albums too. When I was making music I think -11 RMS was the trend, not sure what it is now, probably 7 or something. When you hear something already mashed to **** on Radio 1’s mashed to **** broadcast, it’s just awful.

    nicko74
    Member

    I’ve read a few different pieces about how music albums these days are being mastered to be loud throughout – losing a lot of the variation in sound or volume that we’d come to expect. Some pundits have it that it makes the music quite tiring to listen to, too.

    I’m just listening to some tunes at work, and switched from Rumours (Fleetwood Mac) to Santogold’s first album – and really noticed the change from ‘quieter, but more variation in sound’ to ‘LOUD’ in the sound.

    So, which are the worst offenders in your experience of this ‘all loud, all the time’ schoold of music mastering?

    Premier Icon vinnyeh
    Subscriber

    Unashamedly pinched from zokes’ posting on the previous thread on this subject..

    [video]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3Gmex_4hreQ[/video]

    [video]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-v6ML2DsBfA[/video]

    Premier Icon Lifer
    Subscriber

    I believe sc-xc was making a joke, it being:

    RHCP having the worst sounding album is nothing to do with compression.

    Premier Icon scaredypants
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    wooosh indeed 😀

    musos 🙄

    nicko74
    Member

    Red Hot Chilli Peppers are supposed to have the worst sounding album,

    I’d heard that too; it’s music designed for XFM. Speaking of which the Foo Fighters’ recent output is probably in the ‘loud’ camp

    Premier Icon Cougar
    Subscriber

    Some of Metallica’s albums have been the worst culprits…

    Yup. Death Magnetic. *kills self*

    Premier Icon Garry_Lager
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    Sometimes it works, depends on the band. Dave Fridmann is a whipping boy for loud production but The Woods is Sleater Kinney’s best album by a mile thanks to his production.

    As an aside, had Yerself is steam on the other day on a ride, think Fridmann produced that or was still playing with Mercury Rev – Lord Have Mercy that album has stood the test of time. One of the very best of the American stuff that was popular here in the early 90s IMHO.

    rob jackson
    Member

    kayak23 – Member
    I don’t know pacifically, but it does my nut in on my ipod where some songs come in deafening while others are quiet.

    Yes, I do know about the ‘soundcheck’ thing that’s supposed to level it, but, it doesn’t…

    POSTED 1 HOUR AGO # REPORT-POST

    SPECIFICALLY FFS

    Premier Icon nickc
    Subscriber

    rob, like the RHCP joke, I believe Kayak was misquoting “for effect” so to speak…

    Premier Icon scaredypants
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    rob jackson – Member
    SPECIFICALLY FFS

    pendant

    rob jackson
    Member

    nickc – passed me by, nhcp?

    Premier Icon scaredypants
    Subscriber

    nhcp?

    noisy, hissy, crap processing

Viewing 29 posts - 1 through 29 (of 29 total)

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