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The loudness war

Discussion in 'LORD' started by bsercombe, Aug 23, 2007.

  1. Mean Bitch

    Mean Bitch and her name was...

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    Where as I just read the whole thing not realising it was from 2007 untill the end :( but interesting non the less,
     
  2. WellfearJoe

    WellfearJoe Member

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    This will probably take a long time (if ever) to become industry standard, but at least it's a glimmer of hope.
     
  3. Chris Brooks

    Chris Brooks www.chrisbrooks.com

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    I don't really see it coming to an end. A peak as it is now perhaps, but an end and therefore a return to say late 90s mastering (where I personally found it a good compromise)? Not unless the population of planet earth is somehow going to become a less attention-divided, easily distracted, time starved, competitive race. I think it's really just a sign of where we're at. If you want someone's attention you need to scream at them.
     
  4. bsercombe

    bsercombe Member

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  5. bsercombe

    bsercombe Member

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    And something equally interesting with respect to digital music and the latest marketing spin...

    http://people.xiph.org/~xiphmont/demo/neil-young.html

     
  6. Acey Jendell

    Acey Jendell Jonesey

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    recent *gasp* downloading trends seem to suggest that there's a majority of music listeners who prefer high quality sound. does this mean anything towards the death of the loudness war?

    in the last month i've listened to brand new albums on cd, and The Beatles on vinyl.... The Beatles sounded much better. music taste notwithstanding.
     
  7. bsercombe

    bsercombe Member

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    Welcome back!

    I don't think so. High quality digital content (lossless audio) is not the same as excessive frequency boosting. You can have both, or one without the other.

    Also I think there will be a lot of people out there buying the lossless audio simply because they are told it's better, but still using shitty white ipod earbuds to listen to it.

    Or maybe I'm missing your point?
     
  8. Acey Jendell

    Acey Jendell Jonesey

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    i was pretty pissed when i wrote that, but i think what i was getting at was...

    because people seem to prefer high quality to their digital audio content, do you think the music industry has taken into consideration that the loudness war makes albums sound bad and may take steps to correct this?

    i think that's what i meant.

    the comment about the iPod headphones is true too. they are godawful. give me some senhieser's any day.
     
  9. bsercombe

    bsercombe Member

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    The whole premise behind the loudness war is to make your music stand out from everything else, particularly in noisy environments like pubs and clubs where you might associate it with having a good time. When your concentration is elsewhere there needs to be something that stands out to draw your attention.

    Unfortunately I think the spending habits of the bovine masses bear little relation to the quality of what they hear. They are more interested in 1. does it get your attention 2. is it catchy enough to buy 3. does it give you an experience (or can you associate it with one).

    Take me for instance, my two favorite albums from Lord and Dungeon are ARTP and Ascendence. I think its because they have the best hooks for me. Lord and Dungeon have definitely put out higher quality audio than both of those but those are the ones I turn to again and again to play. So I'll MooooOOOOOoooo with the best of them.

    There has been articles relating to devices or online services having the ability to automatically level the perceived loudness of a song, which would make all of the super-compressed songs potentially sound shitty or quiet compared with the less compressed stuff, just as there has been talk about legislation to prevent advertising on TV doing the same thing. So far as I can tell, talk is all it has amounted to. Can you imagine ANY digital content system doing something that might promote old music (which is on average cheaper to buy) over new music? I think not!!
     
  10. Acey Jendell

    Acey Jendell Jonesey

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    yeah i get ya. in regards to old music, there's re-mastered/re-mixed/re-whatevered versions of albums that i've heard from the 60's/70's that are being released today that imo sound like absolute shit. most of them actually. i think Pink Floyd may be the exception, their new versions sound amazing.
     
  11. bsercombe

    bsercombe Member

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    Interesting- provides work on analogue tape in case the digital product becomes unreadable in future. First time I've seen an article about obsolescence in recording formats. Usually its computer data we're trying to give maximum longevity to.

     
  12. Lord Tim

    Lord Tim That guy from LORD

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    Yeah, I think he's sort of missing the point here.

    Tape machines are getting scarce now, tape degrades and dies, and copies of tape are never going to be 1:1 perfect replicas of what it is.

    Digital formats can be copied bit for bit onto any new mediums that come along, and data compression / available space will only get better, so future proofing what we have now is as easy as me ripping my DVDs to my SSD and then copying my SSD to my Holomatrix drive when it's invented.

    As far as ultra high def audio goes, sure - tape sounds great but it's the imperfections in tape that make it sound great. A 44.1khz/16bit recording is already far more HiFi than tape will ever be, and if you do null testing between that and higher bitrates, the difference you hear in the absolute quietest passages in the dithering / rounding errors is negligible at best. Doing multitrack work where you'd doing a bunch of tracks that will be summed together and processed? Sure - higher bitrates definitely make sense, but for a 2-track final listening copy, I dare anyone to be able to A/B the lower bitrate version with 100% accuracy.
     
  13. Bloopy

    Bloopy Active Member

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  14. Winmar

    Winmar Pillock of society

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    I've been thinking about this lately. Is the loudness war still a major thing, or has it settled down a bit now that people are downloading a lot of their music anyway?
     
  15. Lord Tim

    Lord Tim That guy from LORD

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    It kiiiiinda is but there's increasingly becoming a thing to adhere to the "K-scale" loudness now. Apps like Spotify have an option to normalise the volume of everything based on the average loudness level. That means compressed to fuck or not, it'll automatically boost low stuff and reduce loud stuff so it all "feels" like it's the same level, although stuff that's not mastered as hot will have more dynamic range.

    I think there's still a market for slammed masters but I also think the race is basically done now. If you have a loud master - great. But it's not really a required thing now.

    I still like to master fairly hot because it does add a nice amount of thickness to the sound, but nothing like the crazy big square distorted blob that things like Death Magnetic turned into.
     
  16. Nitephyre

    Nitephyre LORDwhore™/Andy's ManSWOS

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    Yeah, it still hurts to listen to DM, because there's a few decent songs on it but the actual audio does hurt my ears :/
     
  17. Bloopy

    Bloopy Active Member

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    I hadn't let go of any CDs in years (even though I don't play them), but I recently traded Death Magnetic for a few $ of store credit. I only listen to the mixes from Guitar Hero III since they aren't fucked. A few different people posted up masters of them at the time, but I didn't like any of those as much as the uncompressed mix!! But I wanted to hear it on shuffle with other music, so I ended up just using Steinberg CleanComp on them to bring them up to a practical volume. It's near enough a hard limiter, but it sounds fine for my ears.

    I also just finished mastering my debut album of horrible industrial noise a week ago. It was important to do it myself to capture the spirit of the project up to this point. Not sure if it's the nature of the unconventional instruments/samples or just my inexperience, but I used what I thought was an extreme amount of limiting etc. and it still only brought it up to the perceived volume of music typical of the early 2000s or before. To try and compete with Hardwired or the last 3 Megadeth albums without knowing what I'm doing would make for an extremely painful result if even possible at all.

    My sophomore album for the project could be a different story. I'll be more mindful of the end result when I start making a track in the first place, and I'll shake off old habits and incorporate new ideas to keep it fresh. So as part of that I guess one day I should see what can happen if I get someone into this sort of stuff to master one of my tracks. Such as Boris Wilsdorf, who's spent a significant portion of his life working with Einstürzende Neubauten. Unless you'd like to fall down the rabbit hole of noise, Tim! :D
     
  18. Lord Tim

    Lord Tim That guy from LORD

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    Haha, shoot me a PM with a 30 second long sample - I'll see what I can do for you :)
     
    Bloopy likes this.
  19. Nitephyre

    Nitephyre LORDwhore™/Andy's ManSWOS

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    Holy shit, it's almost like a different album!

     
  20. bsercombe

    bsercombe Member

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    when i read this thread i cant help thinking what a pompous ass i was a decade ago! How is everyone???
     

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