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(The Atlantic)   The real reason music has gotten so loud and bands find it necessary to go up to eleven   (theatlantic.com) divider line 72
    More: Interesting, popular singer, pop music, musical group, humans, wall of sound, Andrew W.K., My Chemical Romance, dynamic range  
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5123 clicks; posted to Entertainment » on 25 Nov 2013 at 8:41 PM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-11-25 08:36:28 PM  
It gets mastered loud because other masters are loud. A soft and less-punchy recording will sound weak when played after some over-compressed and processed master with brickwall at -.1 dBFS. On its own, the recording can sound very good.
 
2013-11-25 08:38:06 PM  
Katz declared that iTunes's new SoundCheck technology would put an end to the loudness wars once and for all. SoundCheck algorithmically adjusts excessively loud tracks to a more reasonable level based on average volume. While software like this has existed for some time, having iTunes enable it by default since version 11.1.1 ostensibly is a huge step towards eliminating the perceived benefits of compression across the industry.

You know, I'm old and I definitely don't hear as well as I used to, but I was listening to iTunes last week with my earbuds and it just sounded "off."  That would probably explain it, it's been a while since I was sitting at the computer listening to music.  I guess I'm going to go find out how to turn it off.
 
2013-11-25 08:44:06 PM  
What?
 
2013-11-25 08:49:47 PM  
I'm too old for too loud. I'm OK with that. I'll break out the Enya once again.
 
2013-11-25 08:54:42 PM  
This is spilling over into other areas related to music also: I swear most of the weddings and banquets I've been to in the last 10-15 years have had bands or DJs playing music at absurdly high levels for the venue.  A few were so bad I left early.


/ok...get off my lawn.
 
2013-11-25 09:01:40 PM  
Because building quality speakers costs money and most people don't give a crap either way.

Lsherm: You know, I'm old and I definitely don't hear as well as I used to


Your hearing is better now than it was at 20 and you wouldn't want to go back. Being old is so good, I think we should have an age-enhancing drug so young people don't have to suffer youth any more.
 
2013-11-25 09:14:35 PM  
I hate to bring this up (after defending myself as a Gen-Xer in another thread), but I once heard Tom Scholz of Boston describe how recording masters at a a lower volume made the final mixes sound "bigger"  and "broader" than those recorded at a high volume.

I thought about this, and incorporated it into my musical career. It was absolutely true. Higher volume leads to greater distortion, which leads to less sonic clarity. If you take a quieter original mix, and boost the volume in post (while removing background noise), you will get a cleaner mix.

In this era of giant subs and Beats headphones, bass is king. Unless your mix overdrives the frequencies that are fashionable, your recording will be slammed as "poorly mixed" and "flat". Couple this with shiatty compression required for iTunes and related online purchases, and you have a "sonic bandwidth" that is  geared toward more and more specific types of music.
 
2013-11-25 09:14:51 PM  

Tilk: This is spilling over into other areas related to music also: I swear most of the weddings and banquets I've been to in the last 10-15 years have had bands or DJs playing music at absurdly high levels for the venue.  A few were so bad I left early.


/ok...get off my lawn.


Sporting events are damn near intolerable anymore. Just because you can get it that loud doesn't mean you should.
 
2013-11-25 09:21:38 PM  
"Is that Freedom Rock? Well, turn It up, man!" was the tipping point.
 
2013-11-25 09:22:22 PM  
Dude should know that Sid didn't play bass on Nevermind the Bollocks.
 
2013-11-25 09:24:32 PM  
I hate more than anything bands that do this live. I can't understand a dadgum thing your singing, and I can't hear the melody either.
 
2013-11-25 09:29:31 PM  

Quantum Apostrophe: Because building quality speakers costs money and most people don't give a crap either way.

Lsherm: You know, I'm old and I definitely don't hear as well as I used to

Your hearing is better now than it was at 20 and you wouldn't want to go back. Being old is so good, I think we should have an age-enhancing drug so young people don't have to suffer youth any more.


Oh for fark's sake - you're old.   You're going to die.  Either get some farking therapy or drop it.  I can't think of a single farker who fears old age as much as you do and won't farking drop it.

You know how I can tell you're old?  YOU WON'T GET A NEW SCHTICK.  After my uncle had a stroke he told the same story about getting a gold Amex card every single time you saw him.  That's you on Fark.  Telling the same sarcastic story about how being old is better than being young.  We get it!  You don't like getting old.

There's plenty that sucks about getting old.  For one, your farts just get sad.  There's no tone anymore, they just escape with no purpose like a blind prisoner in a cell with an open door.  You wake up to piss every night at 3am.  Cutting your nose hair is no longer something you do to look good, it's something you do so you won't look disgusting.  You move from the treadmill in the gym to the elliptical machine because your knees can't take running anymore and you're well aware that you're the only man on one of the eight ellipticals.  When someone wants to "work in" on the leg press, she moves the pin down seven notches, and she's 17.

There are only a few tangible benefits of being older.  If you've played your cards right, you're reaping the financial benefit of your experience.  You aren't as angry about everything anymore because you've seen enough to know when to care and when it's pointless.  Your foresight is better because of your ever-growing hindsight (otherwise known as wisdom).  You don't have to do stupid shiat to impress potential sexual partners, because you've been around the block so many times you are comfortable with who you are.

But not you.  Whoever you are, you are wildly uncomfortable with yourself and who you are becoming.  You need to let it go.  Yes, it means you won't be able to fark 20 year-olds anymore, but if you've reached 45 and can tolerate a 20 year-old for more than a few hours, then you haven't grown up.  It isn't age or life that is wrong, it's just you.

And yeah, I'd love to fark a 20 year-old (as long as there was no talking) but I wouldn't want to date one.  I'd love to be 20 again and know what I know now.  But that's the catch - you gain the experience over time.  Time never stops.
 
2013-11-25 09:45:26 PM  

Lsherm: Oh for fark's sake - you're old. You're going to die. Either get some farking therapy or drop it


We're living longer and better now than before. You're like a howling loon against vaccinations back in the 19th century. You're going to live longer. Face it.

Lsherm: I can't think of a single farker who fears old age as much as you do and won't farking drop it.


And I can't think of anyone who fears living longer more than you.

Lsherm: YOU WON'T GET A NEW SCHTICK.


Oh really now. 3D printers aren't magical, we're not going to live on Mars. I've got range, baby.

Lsherm: For one, your farts just get sad.


Get a boyfriend with a smaller penis. Yours must have smashed you wide open like an old handbag.

Lsherm: You aren't as angry about everything anymore because you've seen enough to know when to care and when it's pointless. Your foresight is better because of your ever-growing hindsight (otherwise known as wisdom). You don't have to do stupid shiat to impress potential sexual partners, because you've been around the block so many times you are comfortable with who you are.


None of that will go away if we make you physically better and younger through a better understanding of biology.

Lsherm: Whoever you are, you are wildly uncomfortable with yourself and who you are becoming


I just don't put lipstick on a pig. I hate every change that's happening, and I hate even more this mewling attitude that we'll never cure aging.

Lsherm: I'd love to be 20 again and know what I know now.


That's all I want. There's no fundamental physical obstacle to that. Where's the optimism that it will be achieved?

Yet I see people gush over the most trivial, inane, idiotic shiate. But no hope whatsoever that we'll reverse physical aging?
 
kab
2013-11-25 09:53:50 PM  
SoundCheck algorithmically adjusts excessively loud tracks to a more reasonable level based on average volume.

The problem with this audio placebo is that it's still being done after the fact.   An absolutely crushed snare drum turned down... is still a crushed snare drum.

In short, this is bullshiat.  As is an awful lot of the rest of this article.
 
2013-11-25 09:54:44 PM  
Quantum Apostrophe:
Your hearing is better now than it was at 20 and you wouldn't want to go back.

That's just farking stupid.
 
2013-11-25 09:55:31 PM  

Polonius_In_Drag: Dude should know that Sid didn't play bass on Nevermind the Bollocks.


He never really played bass ever. He held it.

/and sometimes used it as a weapon.
 
2013-11-25 10:02:11 PM  
Quantum Apostrophe:

Yet I see people gush over the most trivial, inane, idiotic shiate. But no hope whatsoever that we'll reverse physical aging?


No.  Not within any of our lifetimes.  Best you can hope for is to slow the onset of aging, and maybe upload your consciousness into something else.  These vessels we're in  are a one way street, dust to dust, etc...

/Really wish bands would release versions of their albums mixed for a high fidelity set up.  I can't listen to "Death Magnetic" to judge it's relative quality cause it sounds like shiat.
 
2013-11-25 10:05:42 PM  
Quantum Apostrophe: But no hope whatsoever that we'll reverse physical aging?

Reverse?  For you?  No.  You're already over 40.  Any improvements or breakthroughs will at best delay your day of reckoning.  Actually, any improvements or breakthroughs ever will just delay a day of reckoning.  Your better hope would be for someone to bottle your consciousness into a storage media and then transfer it into a younger body.  If you want the ability to reverse it, you'd have to introduce something into the genetic code while the body is still being built.  Way too late for that.
 
2013-11-25 10:06:17 PM  

loooongview1: Best you can hope for is to slow the onset of aging, and maybe upload your consciousness into something else.


*shakes fist*
 
2013-11-25 10:07:18 PM  
Because most acts these days are glorified gar(b)age bands?
 
2013-11-25 10:46:52 PM  
While The Sex Pistols may not have cared much about dynamic range, the current phase of the volume fad happens to mimic their nihilistic sensibilities, albeit doing so intentionally at the mastering stage of recording. Many of the new artists that suffer the most from compression also imitate The Sex Pistol's shrill punk-rock approach to recording quality and style: pop-punk bands like Fall Out Boy, Green Day, and My Chemical Romance; pop with punk choruses like Pink, Avril Lavigne, and Kelly Clarkson; metal, punk, and hard-rock bands like Rise Against, Kid Rock, Rob Zombie, Andrew W.K., Slipknot, and Megadeth. The trend has even bled over into a number of hip-hop albums like Kanye West's Yeezus.

The honor of the loudest, most compressed album of all time goes to the 1997 remaster of The Stooges' classic Raw Power.



That article was just a laundry list of sh*tty bands. Good bands don't do it.
 
2013-11-25 10:53:49 PM  

EJ25T: I hate to bring this up (after defending myself as a Gen-Xer in another thread), but I once heard Tom Scholz of Boston describe how recording masters at a a lower volume made the final mixes sound "bigger"  and "broader" than those recorded at a high volume.


Considering that Boston's first album had a haystack EQ and is one of the worst sounding albums of all time, it's hard to take anything they say with any amount of credibility. (conversely, Alan Parsons had wonderful sounding albums many years before, so one can't blame it on the recording equipment of the time).
 
2013-11-25 11:00:23 PM  
There's something hilarious to me about old timey gramaphone artists pumping it up to eleven in order to one-up Bill Bragg's Big Brass Band.
 
2013-11-25 11:00:52 PM  

Lsherm: Quantum Apostrophe: Because building quality speakers costs money and most people don't give a crap either way.

Lsherm: You know, I'm old and I definitely don't hear as well as I used to

Your hearing is better now than it was at 20 and you wouldn't want to go back. Being old is so good, I think we should have an age-enhancing drug so young people don't have to suffer youth any more.

Oh for fark's sake - you're old.   You're going to die.  Either get some farking therapy or drop it.  I can't think of a single farker who fears old age as much as you do and won't farking drop it.

You know how I can tell you're old?  YOU WON'T GET A NEW SCHTICK.  After my uncle had a stroke he told the same story about getting a gold Amex card every single time you saw him.  That's you on Fark.  Telling the same sarcastic story about how being old is better than being young.  We get it!  You don't like getting old.

There's plenty that sucks about getting old.  For one, your farts just get sad.  There's no tone anymore, they just escape with no purpose like a blind prisoner in a cell with an open door.  You wake up to piss every night at 3am.  Cutting your nose hair is no longer something you do to look good, it's something you do so you won't look disgusting.  You move from the treadmill in the gym to the elliptical machine because your knees can't take running anymore and you're well aware that you're the only man on one of the eight ellipticals.  When someone wants to "work in" on the leg press, she moves the pin down seven notches, and she's 17.

There are only a few tangible benefits of being older.  If you've played your cards right, you're reaping the financial benefit of your experience.  You aren't as angry about everything anymore because you've seen enough to know when to care and when it's pointless.  Your foresight is better because of your ever-growing hindsight (otherwise known as wisdom).  You don't have to do stupid shiat to impress potential sexual partners, becaus ...


Thanks, Lsherm.  If you hadn't done it, I would have.

Seriously, QA, go see your doctor and get screened for depression.
Or do it yourself right here.
 
2013-11-25 11:08:42 PM  
It's really coming down to this:

www.rukkusroom.com

Relevant article here:

http://www.umusic.co.uk/umusic-blog/soundopenday
 
2013-11-25 11:21:55 PM  

Quantum Apostrophe: There's no fundamental physical obstacle to that.


Actually, the fundamental obstacle to it is that it requires you to concentrate phosphate in cellular solution to such a degree that pyrophosphatase loses the steady-state equilibrium battle to substrate-level phosphorylation, in essence making the GTP-to-GMP transition state reversible.

Sorry to take a giant shiat on the no obstacle view.
 
2013-11-25 11:41:31 PM  
The phrase "put a sock in it" actually references cramming a sock into the horn of a gramophone to stifle the sound on louder recordings.

Huh. I did not know that.
 
2013-11-26 12:10:08 AM  

neilbradley: EJ25T: I hate to bring this up (after defending myself as a Gen-Xer in another thread), but I once heard Tom Scholz of Boston describe how recording masters at a a lower volume made the final mixes sound "bigger"  and "broader" than those recorded at a high volume.

Considering that Boston's first album had a haystack EQ and is one of the worst sounding albums of all time, it's hard to take anything they say with any amount of credibility. (conversely, Alan Parsons had wonderful sounding albums many years before, so one can't blame it on the recording equipment of the time).


(citation please)

www.pensacoladigest.com Alan farking Parsons?

Look, I'd give you a pass if you'd refrained from telling me that Boston albums were poorly produced, but Alan Parsons (as wonderful an Associate Producer/Engineer he may have been)?

Take a look at the albums he produced all on his lonesome... they're brilliant, right?

Oh, I'm sorry, they're not. He was a remarkable engineer, but nothing more.

"Haystack" EQs mean that Joe Blow has plenty of room to tweak the mix for his particular system; it's a pretty out-there concept, I admit (eye roll). I never said that Scholz was the end all be all for production (I'm not even a fan of Boston's music), but the boosted mids mix he put out still holds up to this day, under the duress of any sort of analog or vinyl compression.

And I still challenge you to counter the actual point I made in my post (regarding how hot the final mix is vs. the distortion levels present in the final product).
 
2013-11-26 12:10:29 AM  

Tilk: This is spilling over into other areas related to music also: I swear most of the weddings and banquets I've been to in the last 10-15 years have had bands or DJs playing music at absurdly high levels for the venue.  A few were so bad I left early.


I'm only 30 and I find this all of the time too. Was out at one of my favourite bars friday night and, like most Friday's it was open mike night. Hadn't been there in a few months and the volume of the tiny bar was cranked at least twice as loud as it needed to be.

Usually you can actually talk at the bar, it's a great dive bar after all not a dance club. Couldn't talk at all without screaming when anyone was playing.
 
2013-11-26 12:31:20 AM  

loooongview1: These vessels we're in are a one way street, dust to dust, etc...


Can you explain how you got here from one cell and why the first twenty years of aging are so different from the next 20? I just think that whatever atoms and cells were doing in those first 20 years is not magical, just very complex and eventually will be understood. I see no basic physical barrier to maintaining that early 20s constitution.

SevenizGud: Actually, the fundamental obstacle to it is that it requires you to concentrate phosphate in cellular solution to such a degree that pyrophosphatase loses the steady-state equilibrium battle to substrate-level phosphorylation, in essence making the GTP-to-GMP transition state reversible.


And yet somehow that one single cell overcame that for the first twenty years. The body is not a closed system, you can just pump in what you need from outside.

Too complicated for you? Where is that "we choose to do these things not because they are easy, but because they are hard" spirit? Think of the spinoffs!

Why do birds live longer than the same size mammal?

Huh.

But let me guess, you see no fundamental obstacle to living on Mars though. That's perfectly feasible.

Some Bass Playing Guy: Quantum Apostrophe:
Your hearing is better now than it was at 20 and you wouldn't want to go back.

That's just farking stupid.


It's sarcasm. I'm mocking all those delusional middle-aged morons and their addle-brained beliefs.

Aging sucks. Nothing improves with age after about 30-35. People who tell you otherwise are simpering fools, simple-minded buffoons living in denial from the horror show the bathroom mirror is reflecting.

I'm more worried about middle-aged people that AREN'T depressed. If you're not, it's because you're not paying attention.

We toss out old cars and move into newer homes and constantly upgrade our electronic toys, but heaven forbid we realize the body is just a material machine like any other and we start playing with it.
 
2013-11-26 12:32:45 AM  
Metallica famously produced what may be the loudest, least dynamic album that's not a reissue in 2008's Death Magnetic.

This is the first time I noticed the effect of the "loudness wars" for myself. I have a decent home theater setup, and the first time I listened to Death Magnetic I noticed it was distorted even at low volumes. For a band that has more money and influence than God, Metallica sure seems to have a hard time turning out a decent recording.
 
2013-11-26 12:36:16 AM  

Tilk: This is spilling over into other areas related to music also


I always wear earplugs at concerts. (About to turn 40, finally figured out I'm not bulletproof...) Lately I feel like I've been seeing more and more people doing the same thing. I'm not sure if it's because I'm just noticing it now or if there really are more earplugs at shows these days.

If everyone's wearing hearing protection...can we finally turn it down a little?
 
2013-11-26 12:38:47 AM  
With regard to DJs playing loud:

I'm a DJ. Not as in a bedroom DJ, but one that gigs for his living (10+ years). I play in clubs up and down the east coast. That said, the reason the music is loud is....

A LOT of DJs are deaf. Stone deaf. They come into the club and think that if they were OK as a patron with high levels, then, it's totally OK to perform and play at high levels. The problem with this is...

Hearing loss is cumulative. Usually you can tell when someone's going deaf because things start to get mixed very bright (lots of treble). After that, then they just get louder and louder. Venues don't tell them to turn it down because, hey, worst case, you all get driven to the bar and spend money on alcohol (or leave. Shh.)

Also, there's a lot of noobs out there who believe overdriven signal = turbo. Red doesn't equal awesome, it equals distortion. Makes my life easier when I send out a signal in the green and then turn up the amps to bring clean signal. Less distortion is also less tiring on the ears.

So, if you're enjoying the night and suddenly feel as if you've been duct-taped to the front of a locomotive horn that's on full blast, find the promoter (or the sound guy if you're so lucky) and kindly ask them to turn it down. Or wear ear plugs. Or both.

/Driving people deaf means I don't get repeat customers. No repeat customers = no job.
//Fine line between 'this is awesome' and 'omfg my innards are shriveling'.
 
2013-11-26 12:54:12 AM  

Quantum Apostrophe: loooongview1: These vessels we're in are a one way street, dust to dust, etc...

Can you explain how you got here from one cell and why the first twenty years of aging are so different from the next 20? I just think that whatever atoms and cells were doing in those first 20 years is not magical, just very complex and eventually will be understood. I see no basic physical barrier to maintaining that early 20s constitution.


I don't know the intricacies regarding the hows and whys of human development so I can't answer your initial query.  As for that part I bolded above I don't disagree that we might be really close to being able to retard the aging process and maybe live longer lives.  But I only think we can maintain and slow, not reverse or stop at least for the foreseeable future.  Life extension is a nice idea but it's practicality and feasibility are in question, much like space travel and colonization.  But I'm not a scientist so I could be completely wrong. BTW, I hope you can answer a question of mine.  What do you think of dynamic compression and digital compression in digital music files?
 
2013-11-26 01:01:59 AM  
" Many classic punk albums-particularly The Sex Pistols' Never Mind the Bollocks-actively embraced loudness without dynamic range, maybe out of some nihilistic approach to recording sound or to cover up Sid Vicious's inability to play bass."

Stopped reading right there.  Sid only played bass on 1 song on that album.
 
2013-11-26 01:15:33 AM  

EJ25T: neilbradley: EJ25T: I hate to bring this up (after defending myself as a Gen-Xer in another thread), but I once heard Tom Scholz of Boston describe how recording masters at a a lower volume made the final mixes sound "bigger"  and "broader" than those recorded at a high volume.

Considering that Boston's first album had a haystack EQ and is one of the worst sounding albums of all time, it's hard to take anything they say with any amount of credibility. (conversely, Alan Parsons had wonderful sounding albums many years before, so one can't blame it on the recording equipment of the time).

(citation please)

[www.pensacoladigest.com image 850x519] Alan farking Parsons?

Look, I'd give you a pass if you'd refrained from telling me that Boston albums were poorly produced, but Alan Parsons (as wonderful an Associate Producer/Engineer he may have been)? Take a look at the albums he produced all on his lonesome... they're brilliant, right? Oh, I'm sorry, they're not. He was a remarkable engineer, but nothing more.


Depends upon the era and album. If you're talking about "Project" albums, most are quite strong all the way through (sans things like Gaudi), but sonically, they're great. After he went solo with Try Anything Once, that was actually quite a good album, but everything since has been a real letdown, so I guess I agree with you mostly there. But sonically, they've always been strong, even if a bit tame mix-wise.

"Haystack" EQs mean that Joe Blow has plenty of room to tweak the mix for his particular system; it's a pretty out-there concept, I admit (eye roll).

"Haystack" EQs mean that Joe Blow has a hearing problem and doesn't use the dynamic range or frequency response of his equipment. The album sounds like shiat no matter what you play it on. There's a sharp rolloff at 8khz, and almost no bass below 100hz. That's just plain bad production. The drums on it are almost nonexistent dynamic range-wise, and if it weren't for his nasally voice, there'd be no presence whatsoever. Absolutely nothing has prominence. It's pure sound soup with nothing but broth.

 I never said that Scholz was the end all be all for production (I'm not even a fan of Boston's music), but the boosted mids mix he put out still holds up to this day, under the duress of any sort of analog or vinyl compression.

That's just spin. Another, more technically accurate way of putting it, there's no real fidelity to be lost in a Bose-esque sound, so loss of sound stage, dynamic range, and frequency response ala the MP3 or lossy compression algorithm has little to no effect on it. I'm referring specifically to their first album, as that's one I'm unfortunately all too familiar with. They may have gotten better with their second album or Third Stage - haven't listened to them.

And I still challenge you to counter the actual point I made in my post (regarding how hot the final mix is vs. the distortion levels present in the final product).


I hadn't addressed that original point at all, but I don't disagree with it. It applies much more to analog than it does to digital, however. And some actually like pushing tape to get the "warm" distortion, but don't dare try that with the digital brick wall. ;-/
 
2013-11-26 01:23:18 AM  
Kinda off-topic here (though I understand and sympathize with all concerns about aging), but another aspect of what Sound Reproduction Research folks worked for through the 20th century was a _wide_ dynamic range, and the ability to capture real *soft* sounds with the least possible compression.

But, I'll admit that's hardly a concern in the majority/pop recorded-music market. And, it's why listening to classical stuff in the car is a losing battle.

/anyone care to recommend some good (classical/orchestral) earbuds in the $25 range--and then maybe some others at higher price points (where you feel you genuinely "hear the difference")?
 
2013-11-26 01:38:05 AM  

nanananaMathMan: I hate more than anything bands that do this live. I can't understand a dadgum thing your singing, and I can't hear the melody either.


I like a lot of loud hard rock and metal but many of the concerts I've been to from bands in those genres have been letdowns. In those cases, the music was barely distinguishable enough to tell which song they're playing. I realize a lot of neanderthal fans don't care and just want loud noises to move around to, but like you said, I want to hear the goddamn music.
 
kab
2013-11-26 01:39:55 AM  

neilbradley: Considering that Boston's first album had a haystack EQ and is one of the worst sounding albums of all time, it's hard to take anything they say with any amount of credibility. (conversely, Alan Parsons had wonderful sounding albums many years before, so one can't blame it on the recording equipment of the time).


Considering that you think Boston's album is one of the worst sounding of all time, it's hard to take anything you say with any amount of credibility.

You're either trolling, deaf, or have heard a shockingly small number of albums in your lifetime.
 
kab
2013-11-26 01:43:04 AM  

Fuggin Bizzy: Metallica famously produced what may be the loudest, least dynamic album that's not a reissue in 2008's Death Magnetic.

This is the first time I noticed the effect of the "loudness wars" for myself. I have a decent home theater setup, and the first time I listened to Death Magnetic I noticed it was distorted even at low volumes. For a band that has more money and influence than God, Metallica sure seems to have a hard time turning out a decent recording.


They keep letting Lars sit in during the mixdown phase.  His ears are actually worse than his timing.
 
2013-11-26 02:02:11 AM  

kab: neilbradley: Considering that Boston's first album had a haystack EQ and is one of the worst sounding albums of all time, it's hard to take anything they say with any amount of credibility. (conversely, Alan Parsons had wonderful sounding albums many years before, so one can't blame it on the recording equipment of the time).

Considering that you think Boston's album is one of the worst sounding of all time, it's hard to take anything you say with any amount of credibility.

You're either trolling, deaf, or have heard a shockingly small number of albums in your lifetime.


Tell me why you think Boston's first album actually sounds good. It lacks high end. It lacks low end. It lacks dynamic range. It lacks separation. No, really, I'd like you to technically tell me WHY you think it's a well mixed album.
 
2013-11-26 02:08:29 AM  

kab: Fuggin Bizzy: Metallica famously produced what may be the loudest, least dynamic album that's not a reissue in 2008's Death Magnetic.

This is the first time I noticed the effect of the "loudness wars" for myself. I have a decent home theater setup, and the first time I listened to Death Magnetic I noticed it was distorted even at low volumes. For a band that has more money and influence than God, Metallica sure seems to have a hard time turning out a decent recording.

They keep letting Lars sit in during the mixdown phase.  His ears are actually worse than his timing.


Now *THAT* I agree with wholeheartedly.
 
2013-11-26 02:15:03 AM  

EJ25T: neilbradley: EJ25T: I hate to bring this up (after defending myself as a Gen-Xer in another thread), but I once heard Tom Scholz of Boston describe how recording masters at a a lower volume made the final mixes sound "bigger"  and "broader" than those recorded at a high volume.

Considering that Boston's first album had a haystack EQ and is one of the worst sounding albums of all time, it's hard to take anything they say with any amount of credibility. (conversely, Alan Parsons had wonderful sounding albums many years before, so one can't blame it on the recording equipment of the time).

(citation please)

Alan farking Parsons?

Look, I'd give you a pass if you'd refrained from telling me that Boston albums were poorly produced, but Alan Parsons (as wonderful an Associate Producer/Engineer he may have been)?

Take a look at the albums he produced all on his lonesome... they're brilliant, right?

Oh, I'm sorry, they're not. He was a remarkable engineer, but nothing more.

"Haystack" EQs mean that Joe Blow has plenty of room to tweak the mix for his particular system; it's a pretty out-there concept, I admit (eye roll). I never said that Scholz was the end all be all for production (I'm not even a fan of Boston's music), but the boosted mids mix he put out still holds up to this day, under the duress of any sort of analog or vinyl compression.

And I still challenge you to counter the actual point I made in my post (regarding how hot the final mix is vs. the distortion levels present in the final product).


Why digitally record anything hot? Like you said volume can be brought up in post production. If you want something distorted them distort it as you record it or use plug-ins. Keep your mixes low so your mastering engineer can do the job you hired him to do. If you don't trust him to do it then find someone else.
 
2013-11-26 02:22:40 AM  

knight_on_the_rail: EJ25T: neilbradley: EJ25T: I hate to bring this up (after defending myself as a Gen-Xer in another thread), but I once heard Tom Scholz of Boston describe how recording masters at a a lower volume made the final mixes sound "bigger"  and "broader" than those recorded at a high volume.

Considering that Boston's first album had a haystack EQ and is one of the worst sounding albums of all time, it's hard to take anything they say with any amount of credibility. (conversely, Alan Parsons had wonderful sounding albums many years before, so one can't blame it on the recording equipment of the time).

And I still challenge you to counter the actual point I made in my post (regarding how hot the final mix is vs. the distortion levels present in the final product).

Why digitally record anything hot? Like you said volume can be brought up in post production. If you want something distorted them distort it as you record it or use plug-ins. Keep your mixes low so your mastering engineer can do the job you hired him to do. If you don't trust him to do it then find someone else.


Obviously it's a matter of degree. If your signal is too low digitally, your S/N ratio drops, and distortion rises. It's like dropping an 8 bit per pixel image to a 3 bit per pixel image, and turning up the color intensity later on (you lose resolution). Typically in my mixes, I record everything as hot as I can without gain on each channel (as long as it won't clip) and attenuate for final mixdown. I've found that this makes all instruments sit better in the mix.
 
2013-11-26 02:36:11 AM  
I wish people would stop using compression and clipping as if they were synonymous.
 
2013-11-26 04:36:34 AM  

kab: SoundCheck algorithmically adjusts excessively loud tracks to a more reasonable level based on average volume.

The problem with this audio placebo is that it's still being done after the fact.   An absolutely crushed snare drum turned down... is still a crushed snare drum.

In short, this is bullshiat.  As is an awful lot of the rest of this article.


Err, the idea is to remove the incentive to do it in the first place so that future tracks don't have a reason to do it, they don't think it will fix existing tracks.
 
2013-11-26 04:46:56 AM  
Why not sell 2 different versions? One called: "itunes/earbuds mix" and the other called: "Good mix"? Hell, they could probably even get away with charging more for the good one.
 
2013-11-26 06:40:36 AM  
is there a reason why I can't go to any music forum I go to and have the same Loudness Wars article posted every 3 months?
 
2013-11-26 06:51:48 AM  

Lsherm: Quantum Apostrophe: Because building quality speakers costs money and most people don't give a crap either way.

Lsherm: You know, I'm old and I definitely don't hear as well as I used to

Your hearing is better now than it was at 20 and you wouldn't want to go back. Being old is so good, I think we should have an age-enhancing drug so young people don't have to suffer youth any more.

Oh for fark's sake - you're old.   You're going to die.  Either get some farking therapy or drop it.  I can't think of a single farker who fears old age as much as you do and won't farking drop it.

You know how I can tell you're old?  YOU WON'T GET A NEW SCHTICK.  After my uncle had a stroke he told the same story about getting a gold Amex card every single time you saw him.  That's you on Fark.  Telling the same sarcastic story about how being old is better than being young.  We get it!  You don't like getting old.

There's plenty that sucks about getting old.  For one, your farts just get sad.  There's no tone anymore, they just escape with no purpose like a blind prisoner in a cell with an open door.  You wake up to piss every night at 3am.  Cutting your nose hair is no longer something you do to look good, it's something you do so you won't look disgusting.  You move from the treadmill in the gym to the elliptical machine because your knees can't take running anymore and you're well aware that you're the only man on one of the eight ellipticals.  When someone wants to "work in" on the leg press, she moves the pin down seven notches, and she's 17.

There are only a few tangible benefits of being older.  If you've played your cards right, you're reaping the financial benefit of your experience.  You aren't as angry about everything anymore because you've seen enough to know when to care and when it's pointless.  Your foresight is better because of your ever-growing hindsight (otherwise known as wisdom).  You don't have to do stupid shiat to impress potential sexual partners, becaus ...


Leg press?  Geez......  Do some gottdam SQUATS!! I don't want to hear any sissy shiat about your knees or back.  They are weak because of no squats.  No get in there and thundergun that shiat!!! AHHHHH!!!
 
2013-11-26 06:57:49 AM  

EJ25T: neilbradley: EJ25T: I hate to bring this up (after defending myself as a Gen-Xer in another thread), but I once heard Tom Scholz of Boston describe how recording masters at a a lower volume made the final mixes sound "bigger"  and "broader" than those recorded at a high volume.

Considering that Boston's first album had a haystack EQ and is one of the worst sounding albums of all time, it's hard to take anything they say with any amount of credibility. (conversely, Alan Parsons had wonderful sounding albums many years before, so one can't blame it on the recording equipment of the time).

(citation please)

[www.pensacoladigest.com image 850x519] Alan farking Parsons?

Look, I'd give you a pass if you'd refrained from telling me that Boston albums were poorly produced, but Alan Parsons (as wonderful an Associate Producer/Engineer he may have been)?

Take a look at the albums he produced all on his lonesome... they're brilliant, right?

Oh, I'm sorry, they're not. He was a remarkable engineer, but nothing more.

"Haystack" EQs mean that Joe Blow has plenty of room to tweak the mix for his particular system; it's a pretty out-there concept, I admit (eye roll). I never said that Scholz was the end all be all for production (I'm not even a fan of Boston's music), but the boosted mids mix he put out still holds up to this day, under the duress of any sort of analog or vinyl compression.

And I still challenge you to counter the actual point I made in my post (regarding how hot the final mix is vs. the distortion levels present in the final product).


I think the first Boston album sounds awesome.    Those mid range guitar tones mix perfectly with the high pitched vocals.  I guess you could say it is too perfect, but I'd accuse you of being jealous.
 
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