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Exploring music by EXTREME dynamic range

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 

While I question some of the sources they are based off of, this is still a very interesting site which gives a "score" on an albums dynamic range. I'm not sure what they use as algorithm, but something like plain recorded speech would score the highest. Looking through both extremes of the list is very intriguing. 

 

List of LEAST dynamic albums (meaning as loud as humanly possible, Hat's off to you Iggy Pop and Venetian Snares, I knew you could do it!)

http://www.dr.loudness-war.info/index.php?sort=dr&order=asc

 

List of MOST dynamic albums (It might not shock you to see some very dynamic artists up here, but remember only the most dynamic recordings score this high, usually Japanese versions etc.)

http://www.dr.loudness-war.info/index.php?sort=dr&order=desc

 

Personally I find the least dynamic list very compelling and the albums have a very distinct quality to them.


Edited by RushNerd - 9/23/12 at 7:44pm
post #2 of 8
Thread Starter 

Going from the list; here are examples of an album mastered or released a few db over threshold, but not intentionally (well in Iggy's case probably).

 

Examples of albums where a huge soundwall and sonic threshold appear to be part of the music/sound intentionally.

And then of course there is Boris/Merzbow/etc


Edited by RushNerd - 9/3/12 at 11:12am
post #3 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by RushNerd View Post

Going from the list; here are examples of an album mastered or released a few db over threshold, but not intentionally (well in Iggy's case probably).

 

I have realized that a lot of people (consumers and producers alike) have come to like the sound of hard compression/limiting. I wouldn't have a problem, if it was only some artists that were releasing hypercompressed material but today in the modern music industry, it appears that almost all mainstream and not so mainstream music (by this I mean indie and other non charting stuff) employs aggressive limiting. Just sort the Database by year and the damage is clear: http://www.dr.loudness-war.info/index.php?sort=year&order=desc When scrolling through the releases in the past years the only records that exhibit any acceptable (exactly what is acceptable? for me anything with DR12 or higher) dynamic range are ones that have been re-released from the past recordings or classical recordings. My hope is one day when (or if) loudness normalization is implemented in the majority of playback devices, that producers will return to releasing dynamic recordings and that artists will go back and restore the dynamic range to the recordings that became "victims" of the loudness wars. Right now all we can do is complain to anyone who will listen and search for dynamic recordings. This has just been my experience. 

post #4 of 8
If you want really good sound consistently, listen to classical music. There are fantastic orchestral recordings going all the way back to te early 50s.
post #5 of 8
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by bigshot View Post

If you want really good sound consistently, listen to classical music. There are fantastic orchestral recordings going all the way back to te early 50s.

I was hoping people would dig up some cool tracks and bring them here from the list rather then talk about dynamics. 1/2 of classical is way too dynamic for me, it ends up being boring because i'm waiting half the time for something to happen, as unrefined as that sounds.

post #6 of 8
Thread Starter 

I'm not so great at picking out songs/albums at the top end of the dynamic range list (quieter recordings) I would love to see what's up there if someone wants to post what they found. 

post #7 of 8

Cool to see Money for Nothing so high up the list. http://www.dr.loudness-war.info/details.php?id=15195

 

A good portion of the list up top is populated by classical. It's stuff I usually listen to, though I guess some of the recordings have a needlessly large DR, which can sound wonky (Obviously DR is not the only indicator of sound quality). It's interesting to note that a lot of classical performers, amateur and pro, have great appreciation for sound quality, often being audiophiles themselves. Plenty of the pianists I used to know have better rigs than I do. 

 

There's albums of other genres at the very top, but I guess they'd be the exceptions, not the rule. Plenty of my favourite artists at the bottom as well!

post #8 of 8

Some very high dynamic songs I use for testing and showing off the capabilities of my equipment to those who are interested. They explore the dynamics and details in the equipment along with separation and sound scaping / 3D positioning:

 

Patricia Barber: Use me (live version)

Patricia Barber: Miss Otis Regrets (The Cole Porter Mix)

Pope Marcellus mass - movement I: Kyrie (record by NAXOS; Oxford Camerata - Jeremy Summerly

Summertime: Ella Fitzgerald & Louis Armstrong

Leo Kottke & Mike Gordon: Cherry County

Simon & Garfunkel: The Sound Of Silence (mix/version from V for Vendetta)

Diana Krall: So Nice

Elvis Presley: Fever

Bo Stief: Heart

Sara K: I can't stand the rain

Melody Gardot: Baby I'm a Fool

Melody Gardot: Your Heart Is As Black As Night

Pink Floyd: High Hopes

Weather Report: Birdland

 

All of these can found on iTunes Store in 256 kbit AAC, which on my sound equipment, is just as good as uncompressed WAVE (3 somewhat experienced people, blind tested CD rips versus iTunes-compressed 256 kbps AAC => all of us failed to hear any difference, which indicates that even mid-tier euipment such as mine, doesn't reveal any major audible differences). 

 

I have some classical stuff also, but on this list, I've only got the Pope Marcellus Mass, as this is a truly magnificient piece of work (created by Giovanni Palestrina).

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