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The Loudness War - your experiences

post #1 of 144
Thread Starter 
I recently got the 25th anniversary remastered edition of Synchronicity () by The Police (which is probably the first album I've ever bought ever) from Amazon. I love the album and I like the songs on it. Once I ripped it using EAC, I looked at the waveforms (this one's from Every Breath You Take) and I noticed something....



Is it just me or is it too loud? Can anyone with an earlier CD of Synchronicity compare it too this one? Or is it just that my head/earphones suck? If it really is because of the loudness war, that'd be a major bummer....
post #2 of 144
Look on the bright side, at least the sound doesn't clip.
post #3 of 144
That's nothing. Check out Alicia Key's "Doesn't mean anything":



lol
post #4 of 144
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cianyx View Post
Look on the bright side, at least the sound doesn't clip.
Yeah that doesnt seem too loud. It has slight peaks and dips so there are atleast SOME dynamics in loudness.
post #5 of 144
i dunno... that waveform looks pretty acceptable to me, all things considered. no clipping, no missing dynamics. the floor might be too high, but in this day and age, i'd say that's much better than most.
post #6 of 144
What, no mention of Metallica - Death Magnetic yet? That has to be the recent poster child for the loudness war.

Greg Fidelman didn't stop there, his production job on Slayer - World Painted Blood was almost as bad. The drums were lifted high in the mix but sounded very muffled.
post #7 of 144
this looks like collateral damage from the Loudness War... and not so much a real casualty
post #8 of 144
The loudness war is annoying, and you recording is probably a bit louder than it would have been in the past but overall that recording looks decent as a waveform. The mastering engineers at least seemed to know what they were doing and stopped short of jacking it to clipping levels.
post #9 of 144
Quote:
Originally Posted by Azathoth View Post
What, no mention of Metallica - Death Magnetic yet? That has to be the recent poster child for the loudness war.

Greg Fidelman didn't stop there, his production job on Slayer - World Painted Blood was almost as bad. The drums were lifted high in the mix but sounded very muffled.

Yeah. Now that I have listened that album it was bit better than I expected from samples, but production is HORRID. Not Death Magnetic horrid but not too far either. Clipping and thin mess.
post #10 of 144
That Police track looks OK to me, not much clipping going on there. Tracks on the 2003 reissue of Zenyatta Mondatta look similar (album gain -5.55 dB).

If you want to see a bad remaster job, check out the Cocteau Twins' Heaven or Las Vegas. That's badly brickwalled (album gain -9.43 dB, the original CD release has -2.32 dB) and with bass and highs jacked up. Some tracks were reduced in volume by 1..2 dB after limiting. The clipping is quite obvious at times - give me the original release any time.

With more widespread use of Replaygain, this whole loudness race thing will eventually become redundant. A reversal trend back to more reasonable volumes has already been visible in the last year or two, even though there still are plenty of good records out there that I won't buy because they are too darn loud.

EDIT: BTW, even though the remastered versions of Peter Gabriel's third and fourth album show some peak clipping, they still sound fabulous.
post #11 of 144
Quote:
Originally Posted by Azathoth View Post
What, no mention of Metallica - Death Magnetic yet?
Yes, I don't understand the graph in this thread or the science of it all, but Death Magnetic does sounds like sh*t.
post #12 of 144
...waits for someone to post waveforms of Muse or the recent Slayer album.

To the OP, the waveform you posted isnt bad at all, no severe limiting (check out Reptile by Eric Clapton for ridiculous limiting) and not much clipping of peaks, its certainly not ideal, but there are so many more albums out there that are much much worse, so the Shock factor isnt all that much :P
post #13 of 144
Quote:
Originally Posted by jilgiljongiljing View Post
...waits for someone to post waveforms of Muse or the recent Slayer album.
If you have a sound card with VU-meter functionality in the control panel (or something else that does the same job), it's easy to see with the previews you can get at Amazon. If the bars stay at max a lot of the time, the limiter has been used generously. The current Muse album was one such example, IIRC. Empire of the Sun, La Roux, whatever.
post #14 of 144
If it's too loud, you can just replay gain it.
post #15 of 144
I read in "The Absolute Sound","HI-FI+" and "Tape Op" magazines earlier this year that this "LOUDNESS ISSUE" with recordings is all the rage with most recording studios! They are just Mastering the finale mix with excessive DB boost in many records. They said, Quote, "The majority of people will really think it sounds like it's been mixed BETTER", if it's LOUDER.....Most of us would perfer, at least I do, The recording mastered as close to what the musicians laid down in the studio! Right...I don't need some engineer adding anything to the "TRUTH" just because HE thinks it will sell better...or captivate a radio listeners attention....Garbage in......Garbage out...just M.O.
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