Music Into Noise: The Destructive Use Of Dynamic Range Compression part 2

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I think we got that already.

Chewshabadoo, Tuesday, 25 October 2011 21:50 (2 years ago) Permalink

lex is sort of the living embodiment of this principle that if you raise a child on a diet of shit, it will think that that's what food is supposed to taste like

unorthodox economic revenge (Shakey Mo Collier), Tuesday, 25 October 2011 21:54 (2 years ago) Permalink

"what do you mean it's shit? tastes great to me! more please!"

unorthodox economic revenge (Shakey Mo Collier), Tuesday, 25 October 2011 21:55 (2 years ago) Permalink

Dynamic compression is clearly the slow road to fascism.

Gerald McBoing-Boing, Tuesday, 25 October 2011 23:25 (2 years ago) Permalink

Constant volume was pretty standard with, say, Spector, classic Motown, etc. Dynamic range becomes more of a preference in the later '60s and into '70s. Given that I like Spector and Motown, I don't think a two-to-three minute pop song necessitates dynamic range or that the lack of it necessarily means that fatigue is going to be an issue. Over an album, probably, but not over a single.

The question for me is more to do with whether it's being done well or whether modern records are just taking a post-'70s style of arrangements and divorcing it of some of its nuance so that it can be loud.

timellison, Wednesday, 26 October 2011 00:31 (2 years ago) Permalink

I hate to be the only person talking about how awesome the ITU-R 1770-2 measurement algorithm is on this thread, but it is definitely going to impact this conversation by early next year in the broadcasting field:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Commercial_Advertisement_Loudness_Mitigation_Act

Once it passes there, anyone mastering CDs with a dynamic range of 1-3 dB simply in order to compete in the broadcast arena are going to be wasting their time. Anything that goes out with an average energy level of -16 dB LUFS is simply going to be turned down anyway. It's going to help people take a deep breath and stop feeling like they need to be crushed just in order to compete.

Milton Parker, Wednesday, 26 October 2011 01:07 (2 years ago) Permalink

sorry rephrase:

Anything that goes out above an average energy level of -16 dB LUFS is simply going to be turned down anyway.

Cross your fingers with me

Milton Parker, Wednesday, 26 October 2011 01:09 (2 years ago) Permalink

I can only hope that this has a knock-on affect in the uk.

Sick Mouthy (Scik Mouthy), Wednesday, 26 October 2011 05:10 (2 years ago) Permalink

Constant volume was pretty standard with, say, Spector, classic Motown, etc. Dynamic range becomes more of a preference in the later '60s and into '70s. Given that I like Spector and Motown, I don't think a two-to-three minute pop song necessitates dynamic range or that the lack of it necessarily means that fatigue is going to be an issue. Over an album, probably, but not over a single.

The thing is, that is "designed" contant volume, so that different sections will sound like a similar volume. But, you still have comparatively very full dynamics on instruments. However with brick-wall limiting, the volume of sound changes from micro-second to micro-second - this is what causes the fatigue, rather than a lack of quiet sections.

Chewshabadoo, Wednesday, 26 October 2011 11:13 (2 years ago) Permalink

^^^

this is unusual for batman. (Jordan), Wednesday, 26 October 2011 14:17 (2 years ago) Permalink

Well, let me ask this. The objection, then, if I have what you're saying right, is to the volume of individual tracks or instruments constantly going up or down throughout a given piece of music in order to keep the overall mix within its dynamic limits?

Isn't this done already in the mixing process, though? Even in the old days, engineers would ride faders during a mixdown. Nowadays with software, you can specify increasing and decreasing volume levels for every track throughout a given piece of music. In my own experience, it often behooves you to do so because it can just improve the mix - bring things out where you need them or push them back.

I understand that the volume of individual instruments or tracks might be going up or down more randomly, however, when limiting is applied to an overall mix. Is this the problem?

timellison, Wednesday, 26 October 2011 22:09 (2 years ago) Permalink

the problem as I see it is a very broad, general "pop music folks don't know how to mix/master anything that comes from a live instrument and not a synthesizer"

wrestlingisreal420 (crüt), Wednesday, 26 October 2011 23:18 (2 years ago) Permalink

i don't hate that it's compressed. i love how it sounds.

yeah but you're just going to say this no matter what at this point in the argument; your heels are dug in. it's been pointed out to you that you might hear more of what you like if compression hadn't flattened the dynamic range, but you seem to think that admitting that would be betraying ashlee simpson or something, so you just say "I like this sound." but the sound you like is allowed less space to play in because of range compression. however, in the end I am with you in that I cannot & will not betray ashlee simpson.

pathos of the unwarranted encore (underrated aerosmith bootlegs I have owned), Wednesday, 26 October 2011 23:41 (2 years ago) Permalink

She's a hoe

the 500 gats of bartholomew thuggins (upper mississippi sh@kedown), Thursday, 27 October 2011 01:26 (2 years ago) Permalink

i don't know, several people in this thread have also said that they can't hear it/it doesn't bother them, and the fact remains that i can't tell if something's compressed if it's not pointed out (is the katy b album compressed? beyoncé? pj harvey? WHO KNOWS)

lex pretend, Thursday, 27 October 2011 08:29 (2 years ago) Permalink

i assume live performances aren't compressed? but often i enjoy the sound LESS there, because venue soundsystems are so often shit

lex pretend, Thursday, 27 October 2011 08:30 (2 years ago) Permalink

EVERYTHING is compressed (effectively, in the realm of pop/rock/dance/hiphop/r'n'b), it's just a question of how much.

Sick Mouthy (Scik Mouthy), Thursday, 27 October 2011 09:56 (2 years ago) Permalink

There will be lots of compression used in live-shows, pretty much anything going into the mixing-desk, and then there will be some sort of compression between the mixer and pa, if only to kick-in to protect the equipment. Also, a lot of venues will also have some kind of volume limiting, to stop them breaking any local sound restrictions.

There's nothing wrong with the right amount of compression to fit the sound you're after, and most modern genres wouldn't sound 'right' without it. Indiscriminate 'hot' mastering to make the sound give (and if ever there was a correct time to use the phrase) 110% on everything is what this thread is talking about.

Chewshabadoo, Thursday, 27 October 2011 10:51 (2 years ago) Permalink

OTM.

Sick Mouthy (Scik Mouthy), Thursday, 27 October 2011 12:40 (2 years ago) Permalink

if i turn up the volume on a cd to hear how it sounds loud (you know, a reasonably loud level that my speakers and receiver have no problem handling) and it distorts then i never play that cd again. to me, its a faulty product.

scott seward, Thursday, 27 October 2011 12:42 (2 years ago) Permalink

i've heard so many horrible examples, i kinda wonder how people even know which "remastered/expanded/remixed" CDs to buy. "remastered" on the cover of a new version of an old album almost seems like a red flag NOT to buy it.

scott seward, Thursday, 27 October 2011 12:44 (2 years ago) Permalink

"remastered" on the cover of a new version of an old album almost seems like a red flag NOT to buy it.

unless you can find evidence to the contrary, that's a safe bet.

skip, Thursday, 27 October 2011 12:47 (2 years ago) Permalink

Unfortunately that is true. Just recently I ripped my fancy Virgin Prunes remaster/reissues on Mute, and I thought I'd clean up a track or two in my wave editor. Everything was overmodulated, and there were 1-2 second spots all over that were total squarewave crushed misery. What a disgrace. My vinyl rips sound way better.

Also see New Order, where the "remasters" were sourced from bad vinyl at first.

sleeve, Thursday, 27 October 2011 15:26 (2 years ago) Permalink

This is a long, long thread. Is there a post somewhere on here (or elsewhere) that lists recent albums that do not have destructive range compression on them?

rustic italian flatbread, Thursday, 27 October 2011 15:36 (2 years ago) Permalink

Here it is:

Chewshabadoo, Thursday, 27 October 2011 15:44 (2 years ago) Permalink

then how come i enjoy the sound of music just as much as i always have done? i'm even more inclined to say this is nonsense now

lex pretend, Thursday, 27 October 2011 15:49 (2 years ago) Permalink

or at least if it exists it doesn't MATTER because it's impossible to notice

lex pretend, Thursday, 27 October 2011 15:50 (2 years ago) Permalink

or, you know, you can carry on shaking sticks at clouds and i'll carry on enjoying modern music

lex pretend, Thursday, 27 October 2011 15:50 (2 years ago) Permalink

"enjoying"

sleeve, Thursday, 27 October 2011 15:51 (2 years ago) Permalink

lol

Y Kant Lou Reed (Le Bateau Ivre), Thursday, 27 October 2011 15:54 (2 years ago) Permalink

well isn't that the crux of this entire argument? you lot contend that no one's really enjoying modern music, and you get to tell us this because you're ~better listeners~. bullllllshiiiiiiiiit.

lex pretend, Thursday, 27 October 2011 15:54 (2 years ago) Permalink

Ah, I found one myself

http://www.dr.loudness-war.info/index.php?sort=year&order=desc&page=1

rustic italian flatbread, Thursday, 27 October 2011 15:56 (2 years ago) Permalink

no, it's that people are enjoying good music in spite of some harsh audio treatment, and that if it was mastered better they would enjoy certain kinds of music, in certain contexts, more, and for a longer time.

xp

this is unusual for batman. (Jordan), Thursday, 27 October 2011 15:59 (2 years ago) Permalink

~better listeners~. bullllllshiiiiiiiiit.

rustic italian flatbread, Thursday, 27 October 2011 16:00 (2 years ago) Permalink

lex's argument is like some climate change denier weirdness

unorthodox economic revenge (Shakey Mo Collier), Thursday, 27 October 2011 16:06 (2 years ago) Permalink

"I don't notice it, therefore it isn't happening"

unorthodox economic revenge (Shakey Mo Collier), Thursday, 27 October 2011 16:06 (2 years ago) Permalink

It's all scientific hooey, that's what it is!

rustic italian flatbread, Thursday, 27 October 2011 16:17 (2 years ago) Permalink

dudes, i am almost always in disagreement with lex but what he's saying here is "I don't notice it, therefore why should I care?" which is a different argument.

congratulations (n/a), Thursday, 27 October 2011 16:20 (2 years ago) Permalink

on the other hand, i'm not sure why he's arguing about it so persistently if it doesn't affect him.

congratulations (n/a), Thursday, 27 October 2011 16:21 (2 years ago) Permalink

because he feels everyone is telling him he should?

Armand Schaubroeck Ratfucker, Thursday, 27 October 2011 16:23 (2 years ago) Permalink

i dont understand the liking it just because its modern angle though. Same with someone i know who only listens to music before 1990 and only on vinyl because it sounds better and modern recording/mastering is inferior to 70s music.

Armand Schaubroeck Ratfucker, Thursday, 27 October 2011 16:27 (2 years ago) Permalink

it's obvious lex doesn't care. hurrah for him. that does not mean it does not exist.

unorthodox economic revenge (Shakey Mo Collier), Thursday, 27 October 2011 16:29 (2 years ago) Permalink

Hum, looks like war here ! I have the feeling you guys take all this way too agressively.
To me some tracks sound better with a lot of compression (a danja track, or daft punk, mgmt's "time to pretend", some animal collective tracks on "merriweather"...) And some music not at all. I don't really think it's all or nothing/black or white (not the MJ track !).
I also disagree with the idea that all remasters are evil. The beatles ones, for instance, are good.
But I don't want to interrupt your fight !

AlXTC from Paris, Thursday, 27 October 2011 16:30 (2 years ago) Permalink

the flip of lex's position is that he thinks everyone who hears this is listening wrong

unorthodox economic revenge (Shakey Mo Collier), Thursday, 27 October 2011 16:30 (2 years ago) Permalink

youre saying that about the lex though too!

Armand Schaubroeck Ratfucker, Thursday, 27 October 2011 16:31 (2 years ago) Permalink

I am and I'm not denying it. It's a two-way street.

like good for you lex, your ears are so fucked you can't notice something that is "proven by science" (lol), acknowledged by the people who actually make/record/master music as being put into practice, etc. Because you can't hear it does not mean that others can and do. Given the mass consensus throughout the recording industry about DNR you might stop, for a second, and ponder why all these other people - including the people who actually make the music - hear this and you don't.

xp

unorthodox economic revenge (Shakey Mo Collier), Thursday, 27 October 2011 16:33 (2 years ago) Permalink

instead of calling it "nonsense" and "yelling at clouds"

unorthodox economic revenge (Shakey Mo Collier), Thursday, 27 October 2011 16:34 (2 years ago) Permalink

lots of people don't hear it!

the reason i seem to care so much is because i find the implied assertion that "we are better listeners" to be completely obnoxious

lex pretend, Thursday, 27 October 2011 16:37 (2 years ago) Permalink

is that why you make it yourself

unorthodox economic revenge (Shakey Mo Collier), Thursday, 27 October 2011 16:39 (2 years ago) Permalink

also not hearing /= saying it does not exist, as you do.

unorthodox economic revenge (Shakey Mo Collier), Thursday, 27 October 2011 16:40 (2 years ago) Permalink


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