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

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lol I appear to just be making up acronyms now

DRC!

unorthodox economic revenge (Shakey Mo Collier), Thursday, 27 October 2011 17:01 (2 years ago) Permalink

i think lex attitude probably just reflects 99% of humanity. in that they don't care about this shit.

beatles CDs should have been called Remixes. that would have been more accurate. or Reconfigurations or something. need some new term for stuff like that.

scott seward, Thursday, 27 October 2011 17:05 (2 years ago) Permalink

in that 99% of humanity does not care about the quality of music, you are probably right

unorthodox economic revenge (Shakey Mo Collier), Thursday, 27 October 2011 17:07 (2 years ago) Permalink

some people just haven't tried music bareback yet

Paul, Thursday, 27 October 2011 17:18 (2 years ago) Permalink

I seriously think there's an awesome interdisciplinary PhD in here, crossing psychology, sociology, and economics. I think it's fascinating.

Sick Mouthy (Scik Mouthy), Thursday, 27 October 2011 20:50 (2 years ago) Permalink

beatles CDs should have been called Remixes. that would have been more accurate. or Reconfigurations or something

Was there something so different in the mastering process for the Beatles CDs that they were *altered* in some way that they were not altered in other mastering jobs?

timellison, Thursday, 27 October 2011 22:12 (2 years ago) Permalink

Of course, every mastering job results in some alteration of the sound coming off the master tape.

timellison, Thursday, 27 October 2011 22:13 (2 years ago) Permalink

just realizing how weird it is that this process is called "mastering." and if you're mastering something from something, surely the thing you're mastering from isn't the master?

ah, how quaint (Matt P), Thursday, 27 October 2011 22:35 (2 years ago) Permalink

not weird i guess, just... racist.

/troll i kid i kid

ah, how quaint (Matt P), Thursday, 27 October 2011 22:37 (2 years ago) Permalink

you are creating a master

this is unusual for batman. (Jordan), Thursday, 27 October 2011 22:41 (2 years ago) Permalink

^^^

unorthodox economic revenge (Shakey Mo Collier), Thursday, 27 October 2011 22:41 (2 years ago) Permalink

when you make a record, you are recording etc

unorthodox economic revenge (Shakey Mo Collier), Thursday, 27 October 2011 22:42 (2 years ago) Permalink

glad recording isn't racist

ah, how quaint (Matt P), Thursday, 27 October 2011 22:44 (2 years ago) Permalink

you can't make a master without making a slave

wrestlingisreal420 (crüt), Thursday, 27 October 2011 22:56 (2 years ago) Permalink

lex is racist?

The boyboy young jess (D-40), Thursday, 27 October 2011 23:34 (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, October 27, 2011 11:30 AM (7 hours ago) Bookmark Suggest Ban Permalink

you dont 'get' this argument fyi

The boyboy young jess (D-40), Thursday, 27 October 2011 23:34 (2 years ago) Permalink

Not that anyone's necessarily arguing this but I think it's worth pointing out that a lot of electronic/dance music is neither compressed nor suited to compression. There's a lot of dance music where the listener's ability to spatially differentiate between different components (i.e. the listener's sense of the music comprising the interaction of different sounds/instruments within a given physical field, however imaginary this actually is) is very important.

Like I'd hate to imagine the effect of dynamic range compression on the second disc of New Forms.

Though perhaps the common element for the above is dance music that either uses live instrumentation or (more commonly) very "clean" samples from music made using live instruments.

Tim F, Friday, 28 October 2011 01:17 (2 years ago) Permalink

^^^on point & true of lots of rap music too.

The boyboy young jess (D-40), Friday, 28 October 2011 01:38 (2 years ago) Permalink

you dont 'get' this argument fyi

oh ok, maybe, it's true I haven't read the whole thread.
I'll leave it to you experts, then !

but just one thing : is it a consensus with audio experts that all remasters are shit ?

AlXTC from Paris, Friday, 28 October 2011 11:35 (2 years ago) Permalink

No, not at all. Some are, some aren't, same with new records.

Sick Mouthy (Scik Mouthy), Friday, 28 October 2011 12:45 (2 years ago) Permalink

ctrl-f equal temperament with overly compressed music:

"I've learned to hear equal temperament music as a kind of aural caffeine, overly busy and nervous-making. If you're used to getting that kind of buzz from music, you feel the lack of it as a deprivation when it's not there. But do we need it? Most cultures use music for meditation, and ours may be the only culture that doesn't. With our tuning, we can't.

My teacher, Ben Johnston, was convinced that our tuning is responsible for much of our cultural psychology, the fact that we are so geared toward progress and action and violence and so little attuned to introspection, contentment, and acquiesence. Equal temperament could be described as the musical equivalent to eating a lot of red meat and processed sugars and watching violent action films. The music doesn't turn your attention inward, it makes you want to go out and work off your nervous energy on something."

Crackle Box, Friday, 28 October 2011 13:55 (2 years ago) Permalink

sorry, find and replace, or whatever

Crackle Box, Friday, 28 October 2011 13:55 (2 years ago) Permalink

that's from kyle gann writing about just intonation btw, and it's an excellent read, love that dude

Crackle Box, Friday, 28 October 2011 13:55 (2 years ago) Permalink

the thing is lex for you this is about social positioning - about you asserting, "I enjoy my experience of music, so this thing you'll telling me decreases it is somehow an insult to my claim." It's not, though, any more than...like, there's no doubt that mass agriculture has decreased the quality of some vegetables. I still enjoy those vegetables! but when I get a better one, from a farmer's market or something, I don't pose and go "oh you guys are saying this tomato is so much better" because that would be FRONTING. whatever your favorite pop record of recent years is - literally, whichever one it is - I could take you & the original files into a mastering studio, tell them to master w/o range compression, and you - you, Lex, lover of music - would say "fuck - this sounds so much better." this is a fucking stone guarantee - I've had mastering engineers walk me through how records are mastered now. it is decreasing your enjoyment of the music you like, that's a promise. I know you don't want that to be true because it'd put you in tiresome old man company or something but what you're basically saying here is "how do you guys know I don't like the taste of dog shit?"

Tim in re: dance music is especially otm - crescendo & build is so important to a good night out, this is why many DJs still prefer vinyl isn't it?

pathos of the unwarranted encore (underrated aerosmith bootlegs I have owned), Friday, 28 October 2011 14:29 (2 years ago) Permalink

Would pay top dollar for Aerosmith remasters of Girls Aloud.

rustic italian flatbread, Friday, 28 October 2011 14:32 (2 years ago) Permalink

smithy, if you dont mind me asking, do you get your vinyl releases mastered differently from the cd version? I've seen quite a few albums on vinyl saying they do just that. And do they sound better?

Armand Schaubroeck Ratfucker, Friday, 28 October 2011 14:33 (2 years ago) Permalink

aero otm.

Tarfumes The Escape Goat, Friday, 28 October 2011 14:34 (2 years ago) Permalink

fyi the main engineer at this place is the best mastering engineer in the US; people say "no records are made w/o range compression now" but it's not true - if he mastered it, the mastering is great even if the original production sucks. I don't think pop lovers will find much to love on their list of credits but as far as good mastering goes there are a couple of houses people can turn to if they actually want their record to sound good.

xp yeah, there's always a different master for vinyl - just slightly different though, has more to do with cutting the lathe than with anything you could hear on the files. The European pressing of the most recent Aerosmith album incidentally is hand-to-God the best cutting I've had in 20 years on the job, it sounds fucking fantastic.

pathos of the unwarranted encore (underrated aerosmith bootlegs I have owned), Friday, 28 October 2011 14:37 (2 years ago) Permalink

haha i hate farmer's market evangelists too. farmer's markets stress me out even more than supermarkets.

i don't know how "the music you love = dog shit" ISN'T an insult tbh? i find a lot of your claims completely weird and extreme - nick saying he feels ILL when he listens to compressed music! - and y'know, i just don't feel that or hear that in any way. it's a bit batshit.

lex pretend, Friday, 28 October 2011 14:51 (2 years ago) Permalink

also i realise i am in the minority in this particular thread - even though other posters have chipped in in support, so i'm not alone even here - but MOST MUSIC LISTENERS DO NOT HEAR THIS/DO NOT CARE

lex pretend, Friday, 28 October 2011 14:54 (2 years ago) Permalink

It's inaccurate to say most music listeners don't hear it; EVERYONE hears it! The "DO NOT CARE" part is way more defensible.

he carried yellow flowers (DJP), Friday, 28 October 2011 14:56 (2 years ago) Permalink

by "not hearing it" i mean "i can't tell when it's reached egregious levels or not"

lex pretend, Friday, 28 October 2011 14:59 (2 years ago) Permalink

i honestly don't think everyone hears it, that's insane

Crackle Box, Friday, 28 October 2011 14:59 (2 years ago) Permalink

my gf listens to a track and after one listen will know the melody and all the words. if i then play her the instrumental version of the song, she wouldn't immediately recognize that it's the same song. she finds it insane that i don't hear the words to things.

Crackle Box, Friday, 28 October 2011 15:01 (2 years ago) Permalink

Lex got what I meant; the original position is analogous to saying "I've never German" while watching archival footage of Hitler's speeches. You're talking about something that is an intrinsic component of the sounds you are listening to; recognizing/identifying it is a different question from hearing it.

he carried yellow flowers (DJP), Friday, 28 October 2011 15:03 (2 years ago) Permalink

i am pretty close to your gf on that crackle box - unless an instrumental is really striking it'd take a lot more listens for me to recognise it in isolation than to remember the words/melody - it always astonishes me when people say "oh i just don't listen to lyrics" - like how can you not, they're RIGHT THERE!

lex pretend, Friday, 28 October 2011 15:06 (2 years ago) Permalink

plenty do though. Some people prefer the music. Some are more into lyrics and some prefer both.
Sometimes the lyrics are completely unintelligible or so bad you just don't want to know them!

Armand Schaubroeck Ratfucker, Friday, 28 October 2011 15:11 (2 years ago) Permalink

I don't really listen to lyrics most of the time.

Sick Mouthy (Scik Mouthy), Friday, 28 October 2011 15:13 (2 years ago) Permalink

you don't listen to dance music for lyrics. Especially those ones with the terrible vocal hooks. And lets be honest, there's not much metal that has lyrics you value like you would a Dylan or someone.

Armand Schaubroeck Ratfucker, Friday, 28 October 2011 15:13 (2 years ago) Permalink

yeh it's not so much words vs music, more a mode of listening type thing

Crackle Box, Friday, 28 October 2011 15:14 (2 years ago) Permalink

of course, good lyrics do stand out in any genre. But most lyrics aren't that great.

Armand Schaubroeck Ratfucker, Friday, 28 October 2011 15:14 (2 years ago) Permalink

Which may be part of the thing, here - vocals recorded without any compression at all sound absolutely fucking weird and freaky. We're so used to compression on the human voice that we think of it as the 'natural' sound of recorded singing (with autotune etc as the 'unnatural' sound). If Lex foregrounds lyrics and vocals in his listening, he's not goign to pick up on other stuff.

Sick Mouthy (Scik Mouthy), Friday, 28 October 2011 15:14 (2 years ago) Permalink

Lex, when you watch a film, do you typically find yourself paying attention to the plot, or to the camerwork / set design / framing, etc etc?

Sick Mouthy (Scik Mouthy), Friday, 28 October 2011 15:15 (2 years ago) Permalink

um, the acting?

lex pretend, Friday, 28 October 2011 15:20 (2 years ago) Permalink

then the plot, then the camerawork. give a fuck about set design - i remember my parents always gushing over the sets of certain period dramas and i never understood that, it was like they didn't care about the characters or the storyline

lex pretend, Friday, 28 October 2011 15:22 (2 years ago) Permalink

it's all that stuff... audio spacial awareness, spectral awareness, listening to details vs the whole, where your imagination goes when you listen, what inner reference point you're using when you do listen, how you "feel" the rhythms/melody/harmony

and then how does this affect what you choose to listen on, how loud you listen, how picky you become about that sort of thing

i remember when i couldn't recognise intervals, or anything more complex than basic triadic harmony. it now seems completely mental that i couldn't tell the difference between different 7th chords because it happens naturally, i don't have to think

Crackle Box, Friday, 28 October 2011 15:22 (2 years ago) Permalink

People listen to and watch things for different reasons.

jon /via/ chi 2.0, Friday, 28 October 2011 15:23 (2 years ago) Permalink

Emma has difficulty recognising some actors from one film to the next; I have difficulty predicting lionear plot developments unless they're signposted texturally. It leads to us each being 'fooled' by different kinds of twists - Em was UTTERLY BAFFLED by the reveal in The Prestige, whereas I recognised Bordon from the first moment I saw him. People and their braisn are very different. None of us are necessarily 'wrong'.

Sick Mouthy (Scik Mouthy), Friday, 28 October 2011 15:26 (2 years ago) Permalink

this is all true, so why all the "better listener"/"what you enjoy is dogshit" implications underlying your arguments? and the refusal to accept that some people don't notice it or don't care?

lex pretend, Friday, 28 October 2011 15:28 (2 years ago) Permalink

I honestly am not reading any "what you enjoy is dogshit" under anyone's arguments. What I'm reading is that some people, itt, are rightfully arguing that there is a huge difference between "don't hear it" and "don't care". You are hearing it, but your not caring about it isn't wrong.

jon /via/ chi 2.0, Friday, 28 October 2011 15:31 (2 years ago) Permalink


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