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Author Topic: Loudness Wars  (Read 7964 times)

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August 26, 2011, 09:08:06 PM
Is it any coincidence that the albums most famous for being ruined by too-loud mastering are mostly rock albums (Vapor Trails, Californication, Death Magnetic)?  Rock wasn't invented using current technology and the iconic rock albums had plenty of dynamic light and shade to compensate for the fact that main rock instruments, bass and electric guitar are extremely undynamic.

If you're listening to rock radio and Audioslave comes on after Led Zep, it sounds awful, but if you're listening to pop radio and Lady Gaga comes on after Madonna, it jumps out at you.  Not that there isn't a lot of pop that's a distorted mess, but pop designed at the outset to compete in the volume wars can sound pretty good.

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August 27, 2011, 01:51:08 AM
But when "Lady Gaga comes on after Madonna,", does ya even notice? :)

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August 27, 2011, 04:32:23 AM
I thought that this was very honest of Rush (Below quote).

"On February 4, 2011, the band announced that they would be remixing Vapor Trails in its entirety"

Even they thought it was bad. Kudos to them

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August 28, 2011, 08:14:56 PM
@ VVV I have an 11 year old daughter.

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August 28, 2011, 10:24:59 PM
But when "Lady Gaga comes on after Madonna,", does ya even notice? :)

I laughed. ;D

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August 29, 2011, 12:25:47 AM
@ Maggot:  I have a 14 y.o. - she doesn't listen to that in my presence!  We compromise on Radiohead, Zep, KOL, Stones, etc.

She keeps the rap in her cans, also.

Life is too short to listen to  Lady Gagme!  ;D

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August 29, 2011, 02:16:23 PM
My daughter's favorite bands are Weezer and Queen.  I'm willing to give her a pass on Gaga.  Katy Perry, not so much.  We both agree that Gaga's new album isn't so good.  I don't mind listening listening to bad music that much, other than Kei$ha and Nickelback, but a song like "Telephone" is actually fun to listen to.

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September 23, 2011, 08:16:51 AM
yeah the loudness war.  ;D

i made a test by myself and a friend of mine. I gave him a compressed to death file with a dynamic range of 3-4 db and the same file with a dynamic range of about 13 db. I equalised the rms levels. After listenning to both he couldn't even tell me a real difference.
So as long normal customers are the majority that have nothing to do with audio engineering and therefore don't know the difference  and all the audiophiles and engineers are the minority (and therefore the only people that have a problem with that) will render all the discussion about loudness war useless.

Also there is no real rule about when an audiofile is overcompressed. It strongly depends on the genre.








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September 24, 2011, 06:25:30 PM
I had my most recent mixes mastered both quiet and loud by a reputable (and very good) mastering engineer.  I went with the quieter version  because the loud version squashed the drum transients, which I felt sucked the drama out of some of the quieter songs, but it was not a foregone conclusion. 

The vocals sounded more focused on the loud version, even if you matched the listening volumes, possibly because of less competition from drum & guitar transients.  That's what most people are listening to anyway.  On the other hand, the groove sounded more mechanical mastered loud.

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September 28, 2011, 07:49:00 PM
Is it any coincidence that the albums most famous for being ruined by too-loud mastering are mostly rock albums (Vapor Trails, Californication, Death Magnetic)?  Rock wasn't invented using current technology and the iconic rock albums had plenty of dynamic light and shade to compensate for the fact that main rock instruments, bass and electric guitar are extremely undynamic.

If you're listening to rock radio and Audioslave comes on after Led Zep, it sounds awful, but if you're listening to pop radio and Lady Gaga comes on after Madonna, it jumps out at you.  Not that there isn't a lot of pop that's a distorted mess, but pop designed at the outset to compete in the volume wars can sound pretty good.


You might be closer to truth than you believe!
Here's an interesting article from sound-on-sound regarding dynamic range and crest factor:

http://www.soundonsound.com/sos/sep11/articles/loudness.htm

It's a long, almost little too scientific article for being entertaining, but in a nutshell it suggest that over the ears as the "dynamic range" or should I more
accurately say "crest factor" has gotten smaller via dynamic range compression, the more "transient-ful" music we've been creating (rap, modern r'n'b,
dance music) and that those music genres won't sound as awful after extreme clipping.   
"You don't go to a record school to go to courses, you go to record school to record there!"
http://soundcloud.com/spede-1