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Loudness War: A Beginners Explanation (Video)


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.... have been a big part of popular (and other not-so-popular) music for quite some time. The "wall of sound" "sound" that Phil Spector 'invented' and sold the hell out of starting in the 1960's is still there with ever more efficient machines available to do the work now that digital editing is in full effect.

 

When used to CREATE a 'new sound' that has never been heard before for consumption, these tools are just fine and dandy. They are part of the reason you (some of you) love the sound of a particular Jimi Hendrix, Beatles, Pink Floyd or other artists song. They were also great audio helpers to partially overcome electro-mechanical or electro-magnetic shortcomings when the recording and playback equipment wasn't so great in years long past.

 

BUT, when you take a sound that is meant to have a wide dynamic range, like orchestral or choral and many other kinds of music, and you also have state-of-the-current-art equipment to capture and play it back, it is just sacrilege to use such things when the end-goal of the recording is to try to approach the same sound that was just heard while the recording was being made.

 

Somewhere, things got off-track and there are now many in the recording industry today that think that the sound always has to "burn" from the front to the back of any given piece of music at the expense of a more true-to-life sound. Give me w--i--d--e dynamic range any day. I want to 'feel' the piece from the softest pianissimo to the loudest fortissimo, not have all those (originally 'variable-gain') sounds fired toward me at the same volume level

 

 

PS: The preceeding is just one person's opinion

PPS: Thanks for the 'movie' Chris. If watched, it is a GREAT visual aid to help folks understand what is going on during some editing sessions. It also effectively illustrates why some of today's (and yesterday's) music can easily grate on your ears!

 

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This video is a very simple explanation to the exact problem you describe. The disc I love and hate at the same time is the Red Hot Chili Peppers' Californication. I love the musical content, but it is so compressed that I can barely listen to it anymore. I hope for a remaster someday.

 

Founder of Audiophile Style

Announcing The Audiophile Style Podcast

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  • 11 months later...

I'll awaken this thread because i'm so p***ed off with some modern distored, overcompressed no dynamic range CD's. Red Hot Chili Peppers' Californication is a fine example (Chris check out the 2lp vinyl copy if you can find one & have a turntable. Considerably better)

 

If anyone else is disappointed or dissatisfied with the products of this 'Loudness War' check this site.

 

www.TurnMeUp.org

 

"Turn Me Up!™ is a non-profit music industry organization working together with a group of highly respected artists and recording professionals to give artists back the choice to release more dynamic records"

 

"Turn Me Up!™ is a non-profit music industry organization campaigning to give artists back the choice to release more dynamic records. To be clear, it's not our goal to discourage loud records; they are, of course, a valid choice for many artists. We simply want to make the choice for a more dynamic record an option for artists.

 

Today, artists generally feel they have to master their records to be as loud as everybody else's. This certainly works for many artists. However, there are many other artists who feel their music would be better served by a more dynamic record, but who don't feel like that option is available to them.

 

This all comes down to the moment a consumer hears a record, and the fear that if the record is more dynamic, the consumer won't know to just turn up the volume. This is an understandable concern, and one Turn Me Up! is working to resolve. "

 

"Turn Me Up!™ Certified

To preserve the excitement, emotion and dynamics of the original performances this record is intentionally quieter than some. For full enjoyment simply Turn Me Up!"

 

Check it out & maybe add your support - I Have!

 

 

 

www.TurnMeUp.org - Bringing Dynamics Back To Music.

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I'm glad that video made its way to this site. It's unfortunate so many recordings today are compressed beyond belief to the point of painful listening. The Killers new album Day & Age which I love is a victim of this and Metallica's newest album Cyanide is also an example and virtually unlistenable. Absolutely horrible to listen to and the dB level is maxed out so high the wave form looks like a solid brick wall. Apparently the songs sent to the folks who created the game Guitar Hero have better sounding versions released on the game compared to the commercial release and folks are downloading those online via torrents. There's also a video comparing the Guitar Hero version to the album and GH sounds much better, more dynamic.

 

david is hear[br]http://www.tuniverse.tv

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