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(Yahoo)   A computer analysis of nearly half-a-million songs recorded between 1955 and 2010 confirms that music today sucks out loud   (news.yahoo.com) divider line 118
    More: Obvious, oldies, popular music, half, Spanish National Research Council, songs recorded  
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5859 clicks; posted to Entertainment » on 26 Jul 2012 at 5:48 PM (2 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2012-07-26 02:16:44 PM
I'm fairly certain cold, emotionless computerized calculations are one of the reasons why it sucks.

At least when it comes to what will sell.
 
2012-07-26 02:26:41 PM
It should have stopped in 1975.
 
2012-07-26 04:12:46 PM
Ah, I see this study has told us once again about the Loudness War. As if anyone who cared didn't know about it years ago.
 
2012-07-26 04:18:26 PM
It is reasonable to assume the Big Labels (RIAA) has had a big hand in this?
 
ZAZ [TotalFark]
2012-07-26 04:23:01 PM
Similarly, the team found the diversity of chords and melodies has "consistently diminished in the last 50 years".

I miss 1970s progressive rock.
 
2012-07-26 04:39:11 PM
I beg to differ. Today's music is both intelligent and sophisticated.

/not a RickRoll
//you'll wish it was
///not safe for work
 
2012-07-26 04:43:04 PM

Lord Jubjub: It is reasonable to assume the Big Labels (RIAA) has had a big hand in this?


Eh, kinda.

What people often consider to be "real sounding" recordings is based on what's called the RIAA Curve or RIAA Equalization. It was created in order to prevent some problems with vinyl playback (and, obviously was created a long time ago) and sort of got ingrained into what people think albums "should sound like". In fact, digital recording and playback tends to be much more accurate when it comes to reproducing the actual original sound of a session, but since some folks (mostly older folks and hipsters/audiophiles at this point) believe that the older method is better sounding, you get a lot of annoying arguments that most people don't care about.

But, to make a long story short, related to that, since modern digital reproduction systems don't need to worry about potential mechanical issues with playback, producers/mixers/mastering engineers can make things "louder" on average. This is accomplished by increasing the average output level for any track, while simultaneously reducing the variance in the loudness levels (that is, it makes the loudest louds quieter, while making the quietest quiets louder). The benefit of this is that to the untrained ear, the track will seem "louder" and more intense. It also, coincidentally, cuts through background noise much better at any given system volume level, making tracks produced (or mastered) this way very useful for noisy rooms (like bars). The downside is that you lose a lot in terms of dynamic range and clarity.

This started really becoming a trend in the early 90s, and you really can hear it play out if you listen to the progression of hard rock / metal / hip-hop from about 84 through to about 93-94. What's worse, a lot of good albums have been "remastered" in the last 10 years or so using this "Loudness War" mindset and now sort of sound like they're being played through speakers hidden in an old sock.

But, surprisingly, it's usually not the RIAA pushing this. The bands themselves often ask for it, because when they hear the tracks at the mixing stage, they comment that the song isn't "loud enough" or "in your face" enough.
 
2012-07-26 04:52:10 PM

TheBeastOfYuccaFlats: This started really becoming a trend in the early 90s, and you really can hear it play out if you listen to the progression of hard rock / metal / hip-hop from about 84 through to about 93-94. What's worse, a lot of good albums have been "remastered" in the last 10 years or so using this "Loudness War" mindset and now sort of sound like they're being played through speakers hidden in an old sock.


A graphical example:

upload.wikimedia.org

This is a series of subsequent remasters of "Something" by The Beatles

Then there is the famous Metallica example, where the master for Guitar Hero III was superior to the CD master

upload.wikimedia.org
Top is CD, bottom is Guitar Hero III
 
2012-07-26 04:58:29 PM
Modern music sucks.

/I look back to the halcyon days of Stock, Aitken and Waterman, where producers knew where the "line" was.
 
2012-07-26 05:01:53 PM
Did they get the same number of songs per year? How did they establish a random sample for each year? Did they actually draw from a total pool of all songs recorded in 1955?

Seriously, there's no way this study could have been properly done.
 
2012-07-26 05:02:58 PM

the_sidewinder: TheBeastOfYuccaFlats: This started really becoming a trend in the early 90s, and you really can hear it play out if you listen to the progression of hard rock / metal / hip-hop from about 84 through to about 93-94. What's worse, a lot of good albums have been "remastered" in the last 10 years or so using this "Loudness War" mindset and now sort of sound like they're being played through speakers hidden in an old sock.

A graphical example:

[upload.wikimedia.org image 552x265]

This is a series of subsequent remasters of "Something" by The Beatles

Then there is the famous Metallica example, where the master for Guitar Hero III was superior to the CD master

[upload.wikimedia.org image 798x142]
Top is CD, bottom is Guitar Hero III


Yeah. On a more annoying personal level, many of the Iron Maiden remasters and the "Rust in Peace" remaster suffer from the same problem.

It's interesting to listen to the 80s-music stations (80s on 8 and Hair Nation, in particular) on Sirius/XM, because even through the (understandable) compression they do for bandwidth considerations, you can very much still hear the difference between pre-and-post Loudness War albums. Listening to singles off of "Slippery When When" or even any of the "Dr Feelgood" singles as compared to singles off of Firehouse's eponymous release makes it plainly evident.
 
2012-07-26 05:10:44 PM

bojon: It should have stopped the year after the most emotionally vulnerable point of my adolescence.


FTFY
 
2012-07-26 05:21:47 PM
Did any of the computers used in this study also demand that everyone get off their lawn while drinking a Pabst Blue Ribbon?
 
2012-07-26 05:29:31 PM

kingoomieiii: bojon: It should have stopped the year after the most emotionally vulnerable point of my adolescence.

FTFY


I never have bought that particular meme. I think it's far too simplistic. There's plenty of folks who get very into new genres long after their teens.
 
2012-07-26 05:57:44 PM

dahmers love zombie: I beg to differ. Today's music is both intelligent and sophisticated.

/not a RickRoll
//you'll wish it was
///not safe for work


Dude, that's not music that's dogshiat.
 
2012-07-26 05:58:38 PM
Something I've noticed, is the tendency (in today's pop music) to repeat the same damn line over and over. It's annoying as hell.
 
das
2012-07-26 05:58:48 PM
I blame Justin Beiber.
 
2012-07-26 06:06:21 PM

ZAZ: Similarly, the team found the diversity of chords and melodies has "consistently diminished in the last 50 years".

I miss 1970s progressive rock.


cache.gawker.com
 
2012-07-26 06:06:41 PM
Something I've noticed, is the tendency (in today's pop music) to repeat the same damn line over and over. It's annoying as hell.
 
2012-07-26 06:15:05 PM

TheHappTroll: dahmers love zombie: I beg to differ. Today's music is both intelligent and sophisticated.

/not a RickRoll
//you'll wish it was
///not safe for work

Dude, that's not music that's dogshiat.


My dog takes offense at your comment.
 
2012-07-26 06:15:38 PM
Being a musician takes talent, practice and drive. What we have today are "entertainers". That takes nice tits or street cred and autotune.
 
2012-07-26 06:18:04 PM
Something I've noticed, is the tendency (in today's pop music) to repeat the same damn line over and over. It's annoying as hell.
 
2012-07-26 06:19:40 PM

GAT_00: Did they get the same number of songs per year? How did they establish a random sample for each year? Did they actually draw from a total pool of all songs recorded in 1955?

Seriously, there's no way this study could have been properly done.


Wow, I'm glad you've read the study and are thus informed enough to call bull-hocky on their methodolo... what's that? You haven't read the study, and are just being pointlessly reactionary? Huh.

500,000 songs divided by 55 years equals an average of 9000 songs from each year. I would expect the samples would skew more towards the modern era, but not by that much. If you believe that the sample size that's reported is true, then that's more than enough to make a qualitative analysis based on the criteria they decided on.
 
2012-07-26 06:21:17 PM

mc_hfcs: GAT_00: Did they get the same number of songs per year? How did they establish a random sample for each year? Did they actually draw from a total pool of all songs recorded in 1955?

Seriously, there's no way this study could have been properly done.

Wow, I'm glad you've read the study and are thus informed enough to call bull-hocky on their methodolo... what's that? You haven't read the study, and are just being pointlessly reactionary? Huh.

500,000 songs divided by 55 years equals an average of 9000 songs from each year. I would expect the samples would skew more towards the modern era, but not by that much. If you believe that the sample size that's reported is true, then that's more than enough to make a qualitative analysis based on the criteria they decided on.


Did I use enough big words to sound smart? Did they buy it?
 
2012-07-26 06:22:08 PM

museamused: Something I've noticed, is the tendency (in today's pop music) to repeat the same damn line over and over. It's annoying as hell.


Cause I've been though the desert on a horse with no name
Some more shiatty lyr-ics
Something something blah blah blah
*fart*
 
2012-07-26 06:23:58 PM
Check out the movie "Before the Music Dies" then tell Clear Channel to DIAF
 
2012-07-26 06:26:37 PM
It's annoying as hell. It's annoying as hell. It's annoying as hell. It's annoying as hell.
 
2012-07-26 06:26:38 PM
Similarly, the team found the diversity of chords and melodies has "consistently diminished in the last 50 years".

Well that's because there are fewer bands, and more "pop stars", and they all use auto-tune. It's very difficult for the uninitiated to tell the difference between a lot of the Top 40 singers, since they are all synthesized.
 
2012-07-26 06:31:26 PM
It's the internet's fault.
 
2012-07-26 06:32:08 PM
Something I've noticed, is the tendency in today's pop music to repeat the same damn line over and over (but with emphasis on different words). It's annoying as hell.
 
2012-07-26 06:32:16 PM
Something I've noticed, is the tendency (in today's pop music) to repeat the same damn line over and over. It's annoying as hell.
 
2012-07-26 06:33:11 PM

Onkel Buck: Check out the movie "Before the Music Dies" then tell Clear Channel to DIAF


My main problem with that programme is that it's already dated. The revenue streams, contract negotiations and alternatives in terms of smaller / medium sized labels (and the ability of an indie to "go it on their own) is much, much different than it was even when that was put together.
 
2012-07-26 06:34:14 PM
We already know pop music sucks, who cares?
 
2012-07-26 06:35:56 PM

Gig103: Similarly, the team found the diversity of chords and melodies has "consistently diminished in the last 50 years".

Well that's because there are fewer bands, and more "pop stars", and they all use auto-tune. It's very difficult for the uninitiated to tell the difference between a lot of the Top 40 singers, since they are all synthesized.


Pitch correction is nothing new. Even in the 90s they were using it.

What most people think of as "auto-tune" in pop music is actually an intentional stylistic choice that makes auto-tune non-transparent and achieves a desired "sound" for the producer. Blame Kid Rock and Cher.

Used properly, AutoTune is an amazing tool that is pretty much impossible to tell apart from a raw take (and does tons more than just pitch correction). Can save people tons of money in the studio.
 
2012-07-26 06:36:57 PM
I despise brickwalling. At least when it comes to remastered albums you can still theoretically find the original pressing without the clipping, but anything released in the past 10 years or so, you're farked. I imagine one day all these albums will be released once again, only instead of them being louder they will have their dynamic range intact.

/I can hope
 
2012-07-26 06:37:37 PM

the_sidewinder: TheBeastOfYuccaFlats: This started really becoming a trend in the early 90s, and you really can hear it play out if you listen to the progression of hard rock / metal / hip-hop from about 84 through to about 93-94. What's worse, a lot of good albums have been "remastered" in the last 10 years or so using this "Loudness War" mindset and now sort of sound like they're being played through speakers hidden in an old sock.

A graphical example:

[upload.wikimedia.org image 552x265]


i.imgur.com
 
2012-07-26 06:42:07 PM

zvoidx: [i.imgur.com image 549x260]


Hah
 
2012-07-26 06:50:59 PM

the_sidewinder: TheBeastOfYuccaFlats: This started really becoming a trend in the early 90s, and you really can hear it play out if you listen to the progression of hard rock / metal / hip-hop from about 84 through to about 93-94. What's worse, a lot of good albums have been "remastered" in the last 10 years or so using this "Loudness War" mindset and now sort of sound like they're being played through speakers hidden in an old sock.

A graphical example:

[upload.wikimedia.org image 552x265]

This is a series of subsequent remasters of "Something" by The Beatles

Then there is the famous Metallica example, where the master for Guitar Hero III was superior to the CD master

[upload.wikimedia.org image 798x142]
Top is CD, bottom is Guitar Hero III


Sweet jesus I just looked up a comparison between CD and GH3 metallica:Link

CD sounds like absolute garbage. Almost literally, as Lars sounds like he's banging on a trash can...
 
2012-07-26 06:52:40 PM

Gunny Highway: museamused: Something I've noticed, is the tendency (in today's pop music) to repeat the same damn line over and over. It's annoying as hell.

Cause I've been though the desert on a horse with no name
Some more shiatty lyr-ics
Something something blah blah blah
*fart*


Oh Gunny Highway never made a lick o sense; pass the biscuits please
 
2012-07-26 06:58:46 PM
Conclusion:

Turn down that racket and get off my lawn.
 
2012-07-26 06:59:43 PM

TheBeastOfYuccaFlats: kingoomieiii: bojon: It should have stopped the year after the most emotionally vulnerable point of my adolescence.

FTFY

I never have bought that particular meme. I think it's far too simplistic. There's plenty of folks who get very into new genres long after their teens.


This is because they actually managed to grow up and get past the constant need to reminisce about their childhood. That's not a terribly common thing.
 
2012-07-26 07:06:47 PM
So, this just re-confirmed every song in AC/DC's career then?
 
2012-07-26 07:06:59 PM
The only really innovative music these days is dubstep.
 
2012-07-26 07:09:19 PM

fusillade762: The only really innovative music these days is dubstep.


EDM in general, rock and hip hop are still mired in copying the 80s.
 
rpl
2012-07-26 07:12:19 PM

ZAZ: Similarly, the team found the diversity of chords and melodies has "consistently diminished in the last 50 years".

I miss 1970s progressive rock.


Maybe some of these will help?
 
2012-07-26 07:12:26 PM

TheJoe03: rock and hip hop are still mired in copying the 80s.


media.nowpublic.net
 
2012-07-26 07:13:01 PM
The Million Song Dataset was used. It provides a sample of the data available using the song "Never Gonna Give You Up".

// Frankly, that is not the song I would have used as an example if I wanted to be taken seriously and it calls the research into question.

// The scholarly article Measuring the Evolution of Contemporary Western Popular Music, if you are interested.
 
2012-07-26 07:14:28 PM

TheBeastOfYuccaFlats: What most people think of as "auto-tune" in pop music is actually an intentional stylistic choice that makes auto-tune non-transparent and achieves a desired "sound" for the producer. Blame Kid Rock and Cher.


Good clarification, although I personally was aware of it and probably should have said they were "over using" auto tune.
 
2012-07-26 07:14:34 PM
Music has sucked since we moved away from monophony.
 
2012-07-26 07:16:37 PM

Fano: Gunny Highway: museamused: Something I've noticed, is the tendency (in today's pop music) to repeat the same damn line over and over. It's annoying as hell.

Cause I've been though the desert on a horse with no name
Some more shiatty lyr-ics
Something something blah blah blah
*fart*

Oh Gunny Highway never made a lick o sense; pass the biscuits please


I just really hate that song haha.
 
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