I only listen to mimeographs now.
― Occupy LOL Street (Phil D.), Thursday, 13 October 2011 17:40 (1 year ago) Permalink
that'll make sense that you don't hear the effects of highly compressed music. it's designed to bang on consumer hifi stuff. a lot of music relies on that clipping-in-ur-face thing
i don't have a problem with music that's mastered too hot, i just wish there was an alternative
has anyone come across any labels offering 96k 24bit audio files? it'd make sense for techy dance stuff aimed at djs who are going to stick in some software and play it out
― Crackle Box, Thursday, 13 October 2011 17:41 (1 year ago) Permalink
yah my friend just faxed me a bunch of old jug band mimeos from the 20s, great stuff
― the 500 gats of bartholomew thuggins (upper mississippi sh@kedown), Thursday, 13 October 2011 17:42 (1 year ago) Permalink
Ignoring the choice of music, this video gives a good demonstration:
― Chewshabadoo, Thursday, October 13, 2011 12:27 PM (23 minutes ago) Bookmark Suggest Ban Permalink
uh that video has it wrong...he's just making the track louder, not compressing it to do so, which is missing the point. the dynamics remain intact with what he's doing.
― hardcore oatmeal (Jordan), Thursday, 13 October 2011 17:54 (1 year ago) Permalink
One track that always comes to mind for a really really horrible brick-wall job is Girls Aloud "Can't Speak French". Listen to the instruments in the background and hear the way they are constantly pulsing in and out when the drums and vocals push them into the background, only for them to come steaming back in afterwards. I quite like the song, but listening to it just gives me a headache.
haven't heard the song, but this sounds like it might be intentional use of sidechain compression at the mixing stage, not necessarily the result of the mastering job?
― hardcore oatmeal (Jordan), Thursday, 13 October 2011 17:59 (1 year ago) Permalink
even if it is sidechain compression, it is still a symptom of the need to fill the dynamic range to get your music to stand out, just at the mixing stage not the mastering.
Audio compression = a typed document with less and less spaces between words and no punctuation so that there is very little variation between lines and it becomes difficult for the reader to stop reading once they start.
Data compression = a typed document that uses as little printer ink as possible but still allows the text to be read.
24bit 96k files are becoming more popular as people want something that sounds better than CD and now that buying a few terrabytes of storage is affordable. However it is very much a specialst market with a small range of albums. HDtracks offer the most well known stuff, but I have been hearing that they often take the left and right channels of a surround mix, so you end up with less instruments in much higher quality.
― my opinionation (Hamildan), Thursday, 13 October 2011 19:03 (1 year ago) Permalink
Holy shit on the RMS levels of the 1997 remastered "Search and Destroy" from that Chicago Mastering Service article.
― Jazzbo, Thursday, 13 October 2011 20:15 (1 year ago) Permalink
i know! that article was really cool
― the 500 gats of bartholomew thuggins (upper mississippi sh@kedown), Thursday, 13 October 2011 20:19 (1 year ago) Permalink
i don't know why anybody would be proud of not being able to hear this sort of thing. Being tin eared isn't a positive
even before i knew the science behind it, even back in my formative musical days, i just knew that some albums were really hard work to get through. It's a physiological sense as much as a facet of your hearing
― merked, Thursday, 13 October 2011 20:34 (1 year ago) Permalink
I'm not sure if you're trolling or not Jordan, but if you think those two clips sound the same you've either got cloth ears or cloth speakers.
― Chewshabadoo, Thursday, 13 October 2011 20:43 (1 year ago) Permalink
i was mostly watching/skipping around the video before to see what he was doing, but i just went back and listened through the whole thing.
the audio examples are good illustrations, yeah, but i was thrown off by what he's doing with the waveforms. it looks like he's just dragging up on the waveform, which in any DAW just increases the gain (turns up the volume), and he doesn't mention (or visibly apply) compression at all. not the most clear visual representation of what's going on imo.
― hardcore oatmeal (Jordan), Thursday, 13 October 2011 21:30 (1 year ago) Permalink
why in god's name would I do either of these things much less both
― wrestlingisreal420 (crüt), Thursday, October 13, 2011 12:20 PM (6 hours ago) Bookmark Suggest Ban Permalink
song is dope fuiud
― The boyboy young jess (D-40), Friday, 14 October 2011 00:03 (1 year ago) Permalink
Was listening to Braids' "Lammicken" yesterday (dope song fuiud etc.) and was thinking of this thread.
Song is this kind of slow-mo 4/4 pound with female vocals like a less songy version of Glasser's "Mirrorage". Anyway when there are vocals the kick drum recedes and then when the vocals cuts out the kick drum gets massively louder and more intrusive.
I have no idea whether it's a deliberate effect (if you assume it's deliberate it totally works) or if it's just a result of dynamic range compression. Possibly it's even a combination of both, like they noticed what was happening with the kicks and then decided to accentuate it.
― Tim F, Friday, 14 October 2011 00:17 (1 year ago) Permalink
What evidence to the contrary? Once you know what limiting sounds like, it's impossible not to notice it.
the fact that only a tiny minority of music fans notice it?
― lex pretend, Friday, 14 October 2011 08:43 (1 year ago) Permalink
Consciously notice it. I suspect its subconscious affects are pretty widespread.
― Sick Mouthy (Scik Mouthy), Friday, 14 October 2011 22:50 (1 year ago) Permalink
you don't think people notice that new releases generally sound louder than old releases? I noticed it before this whole thread/topic came about.
― wrestlingisreal420 (crüt), Friday, 14 October 2011 22:54 (1 year ago) Permalink
I don't tend to notice corrective autotuning but I accept that a lot of people can spot it immediately (and it often bugs the hell out of them).
People listen to and for different things in music.
― Tim F, Friday, 14 October 2011 22:55 (1 year ago) Permalink
I don't tend to notice corrective autotuning
― wrestlingisreal420 (crüt), Friday, 14 October 2011 22:55 (1 year ago) Permalink
I mean, like, I know people come from different musical perspectives but I didn't realize the human listening/sound-parsing experience was anything but universal
― wrestlingisreal420 (crüt), Friday, 14 October 2011 22:58 (1 year ago) Permalink
to the extent that people wouldn't notice something like autotune, anyway
If I focus and/or it's pointed out to me, then yeah, but otherwise it doesn't really leap out.
Obv I notice post-"Believe" distortive aututone.
― Tim F, Friday, 14 October 2011 23:35 (1 year ago) Permalink
oh, I thought that's what you meant. lol. that's why I was so shocked.
― wrestlingisreal420 (crüt), Friday, 14 October 2011 23:39 (1 year ago) Permalink
haha yeah i thought that might be it.
― Tim F, Friday, 14 October 2011 23:41 (1 year ago) Permalink
like i've said before, i know people - music fans - who can't tell the difference between a 128kpbs and 320 kpbs mp3, and that shocks the hell out of me.
when i say i don't notice dynamic range compression, i mostly mean that despite listening to music in 90% of my waking hours, i never have cause to think about it - there's just nothing about how the music sounds that bothers me or sounds wrong.
― lex pretend, Friday, 14 October 2011 23:46 (1 year ago) Permalink
i mean, it made sense as a concept when i first read about it, but all these years on it doesn't remotely impinge on my actual listening, and i'm way more inclined to just disbelieve it. it's not there. it is literally just not there when i listen. the music sounds fine.
― lex pretend, Friday, 14 October 2011 23:47 (1 year ago) Permalink
It might be so ubiquitous now that it'd take its absence (especially if you were listening in a car, or through cheap headphones) to catch your attention. That music would sound wrong to you without it....
― Michael Train, Saturday, 15 October 2011 02:03 (1 year ago) Permalink
― lex pretend, Friday, October 14, 2011 6:46 PM (5 days ago) Bookmark Suggest Ban Permalink
i guarantee you've noticed it, you just didn't recognize it ~as dynamic range compression~
― The boyboy young jess (D-40), Wednesday, 19 October 2011 21:42 (1 year ago) Permalink
Ears adapt very quickly. You'd have to A/B something with and without the compression/limiting to hear the differences in audio compression. The easiest way to do this is to grab a cd from the late 80s and compare it with a reissue from the last few years. The REM or Feelies reissues spring to mind. The original tracks will have average levels (rms levels) at around -17 db; the stuff done in the last couple of years will be around -11. It's way louder and punchier. Flattened a touch. Sometimes sounds great, sometimes not. But it's obvious.
Though if you're talking about data compression (320 kbps vs. 128), that will be more a matter of the equipment you're listening on and its resolution. Crappy headphones? Noisy car? Computer speakers? Not a big deal. Real stereo? Studio monitors? It'll be there, but more instantly audible will be the mastering job and the levels. It'll be mostly in the highest and lowest frequencies, especially where the sound is busiest, that you'll hear more data compression artifacts, but again, only with better gear.
― Michael Train, Thursday, 20 October 2011 03:47 (1 year ago) Permalink
i listen to old CDs (ripped to mp3) and current mp3s, don't notice any particular fundamental difference. older CDs are quieter but that's just a question of turning the volume up or down, nothing fundamental about the sound.
i have noticed, weirdly, that in my new room it sounds like the bass on my stereo has been turned WAY UP even though all the settings are the same - this is the case even with DBFB turned off. acoustics are weird things. i presume it's because my old room was carpeted and the new one isn't.
― lex pretend, Thursday, 20 October 2011 09:44 (1 year ago) Permalink
Lack of carpet will do that, also having speakers in corners of rooms, too close to rear walls, etc etc.
The "old CDs need turning up, new CDs need turning down" thing is exactly what dynamic range compression is, btw, so you have noticed it. The problem comes when new CDs are so loud that they distort, that they lose any movement from naturally quiet passages to crescendos. With r'n'b ANC hop hop and some dance music it's not so much of an issue as minimal music can be made much louder before losing clarity of individual instruments, but it severely fucks up very dense, layered, or acoustic / live sounding music.
― Sick Mouthy (Scik Mouthy), Thursday, 20 October 2011 11:49 (1 year ago) Permalink
yeah my new desk is in a kind of wall nook, maybe moving the speakers out of that will help it. or maybe i just will never be bothered.
but just turning the volume down seems to be the solution then? like, i don't notice any fundamental difference in how the music sounds. including on the dense/layered/live-sounding stuff i listen to.
― lex pretend, Thursday, 20 October 2011 12:11 (1 year ago) Permalink
like, it doesn't seem to affect the rock artists i love eg hole, ashlee simpson...
― lex pretend, Thursday, 20 October 2011 12:14 (1 year ago) Permalink
Maybe not on your stereo at low volume, but I suspect if you played it on my system and tried to pump it up loud you'd be horrified.
― Sick Mouthy (Scik Mouthy), Thursday, 20 October 2011 13:28 (1 year ago) Permalink
Play Electrelane and then Ashley Simpson back to back and see which you prefer turning right up.
Basically it makes everyone sound like Oasis.
― Sick Mouthy (Scik Mouthy), Thursday, 20 October 2011 13:29 (1 year ago) Permalink
well happily i don't have your stereo then!
i enjoy turning both electrelane and ashlee up
― lex pretend, Thursday, 20 October 2011 13:29 (1 year ago) Permalink
of my many objections to oasis, "too loud" has never been one of them
― lex pretend, Thursday, 20 October 2011 13:30 (1 year ago) Permalink
It's not "too loud", it's "no dynamics", no move from quiet to loud.
― Sick Mouthy (Scik Mouthy), Thursday, 20 October 2011 13:32 (1 year ago) Permalink
The "old CDs need turning up, new CDs need turning down" thing is exactly what dynamic range compression is
well you imply that it is a question of "too loud" there?
i hear dynamics in most of what i listen to.
― lex pretend, Thursday, 20 October 2011 13:36 (1 year ago) Permalink
Because that's the easiest consumer-end solution to it, turning it down. But music sounds crap when it's loud, amplifiers and speakers perform better when they're turned up.
Most of what you listen to will have dynamics because of the arrangements, and specifically, the way the beats are put together.
I don't know why I'm replying. It's obviously as useless as talking to you about cooking or changing a lightbulb.
― Sick Mouthy (Scik Mouthy), Thursday, 20 October 2011 13:41 (1 year ago) Permalink
Argh, music sounds crap when it's QUIET, not loud. It sounds BETTER loud.
It's not just dynamics, it's that the difference between the loud and quiet part is made narrower. In older records the quiet parts were quieter and loud parts louder, so there was a bigger dynamic difference between the two. This is the reason why your old records you have are mastered at a lower volume level than the newer ones. But like Nick said, I suspect most of the stuff you listen is in genres where the dynamics are such that compression doesn't change the music that must. But for people who listen to jazz, experimental/minimal electronic music, classical, etc, it can be a big deal.
― Tuomas, Thursday, 20 October 2011 13:43 (1 year ago) Permalink
― Tuomas, Thursday, 20 October 2011 13:44 (1 year ago) Permalink
"that must" = "that much"
To put it in another way: compression doesn't matter so much in types of music where the aesthetic is that it should sound CONSTANTLY LOUD. But in genres of music where musicians want to create a dynamic between the LOUD and quiet bits, compression can damage that dynamic.
― Tuomas, Thursday, 20 October 2011 13:48 (1 year ago) Permalink
lol @hearing dynamics in a ashlee simpson record
― the 500 gats of bartholomew thuggins (upper mississippi sh@kedown), Thursday, 20 October 2011 19:51 (1 year ago) Permalink
but when going from, say, an intro to a drop, is it going from less dense -> more dense (or maybe less low frequencies -> more low frequencies, or a narrow frequency range -> wider frequency range)? or is it actually going from quiet to loud?
and again, some kinds of music sound better with more mastering compression, others not so much.
― hardcore oatmeal (Jordan), Thursday, 20 October 2011 20:02 (1 year ago) Permalink
ashlee's "autobiography" (song and album) is one of the most obvious offenders of limited range. just listen to the beginning of it, which you'd think would get louder once the guitars come in, but it doesn't.
― anorange (abanana), Monday, 24 October 2011 15:36 (1 year ago) Permalink
The definitive article: http://www.sfxmachine.com/docs/loudnesswar/loudness_war.pdf
This paper was presented to the Audio Engineering Society last year. It's a bit of a dry read, but for those interested, it covers pretty much all the issues, and proposes specific actions. It could probably benefit from smart people in the media passing on a sort of "executive summary" version that would stir up more popular demand for the actual decision-makers (labels, bands, producers, engineers) to change behaviors.
― Fastnbulbous, Monday, 24 October 2011 16:27 (1 year ago) Permalink
ashlee's "autobiography" (song and album) is one of the most obvious offenders of limited range
but the thing is, this didn't stop it becoming one of my favourite songs of the past decade. listening back i guess i can hear that but it doesn't bother me in the slightest, it sounds fine to me? i think the song and its production sound fantastic. it doesn't sound weird or inadequate in any way.
― lex pretend, Monday, 24 October 2011 21:42 (1 year ago) Permalink