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Ending the LOUDNESS WARS!!!!!

post #1 of 25
Thread Starter 

How do we do it, folks? Things are accomplished by people. We are people.

 

Give it to me. Why did it start? Who are the players? Which side are we on? Who's winning? What of the children?

 

 

 

 

 

 

It's nearly as complicated as WW2, I know this. I have several thousand words ready to rumble but alas no time. Just starting the thread to see what people think of the topic.

 

I have radio, VO production, sound for video, music making and production experience, so I think I see loudness and dynamic range issues from a couple of angles, it's not a simple yes/no thing. 

post #2 of 25
Thread Starter 

The Players: 

 

 -- recording & mix engineers

 

 -- laptop producers / beat makers

 

 -- label guys writing checks

 

 -- software makers

 

 -- radio station programmers

post #3 of 25

What about … customers?

Good luck if you want to educate kids and explain to them why their favorite band sounds sh*t and their Smartphone speaker sound sh*t too.

post #4 of 25
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by mironathetin View Post
 

What about … customers?

Good luck if you want to educate kids and explain to them why their favorite band sounds sh*t and their Smartphone speaker sound sh*t too.


Such is my lot in life, haha.  

 

I don't actually like to bother explaining, I tried that once as a friend was listening to my Pono. His teenage son asked me how it can sound better. I said "well actually, lots of reasons......" and as I wound up for a long rant his dad hit pause and shouted "COST!".

 

I laughed, saved my speech, and said "yep, your dad nailed it. It's basically cost. Apple spends about $5 on audio inside each of their devices. Pono spent about $150 on it. Want to hear?"

 

It does really come down to that in most cases, cost and the matching of components.

 

Apple could make PonoPlayer sound in an iPod, but probably not an iPhone because of all the interference and other features they need to cram into that little thing. But it's mainly cost, you want to spend another $300 so your phone can sound as good as a PP, just to have it die and need replacement anyway?

post #5 of 25
Thread Starter 

It is complicated though, so many things have gotten us to where we are now, to undo it all would be impossible. I was feeling ambitious when starting this thread   ;-)

post #6 of 25

Well, you started with loudness war - that is about compression of the dynamic of the music. Now you talk about the quality of the electronics...

Its related, though. Loudness compressed music sounds better on crap stuff than uncompressed music. So one problem is indeed the cheap electronics. But then, listening in noisy environment is a problem too. 

post #7 of 25

I imagine it would be quite irksome if one owned high end audio equipment, a very high quality cd player etc, only to be playing incredibly compressed overly loud masters on it. 

 

Release cd's as audiophile masters, and release ipod junk as compressed overly loud garbage, that way everyone can be happy.

post #8 of 25
The loudness war can and will hopefully end.
post #9 of 25

Most people don't care enough for it to change.  To the average person, the louder something can get and/or the more bass it can put out, the better quality it is.  It's unfortunate, but there's not all too much you can do.  Even trying to educate people in it can often be a pain, as audio is complicated.  At least with stuff like computers you can say stuff like "yeah, such and such has too low a number, buy one with a higher number, and it is guaranteed to be better."  Too many things in audio can't be described in finite numbers, which means you really need to teach, and most people don't want to put in the effort to learn.  Just be thankful that we still have producers like Steve Albini out there, who puts out stuff with incredible dynamic range and easily has one of the best recording studios in the US (Electric Audio).

post #10 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by AudioMan612 View Post

Most people don't care enough for it to change.  To the average person, the louder something can get and/or the more bass it can put out, the better quality it is.  It's unfortunate, but there's not all too much you can do.  Even trying to educate people in it can often be a pain, as audio is complicated.  At least with stuff like computers you can say stuff like "yeah, such and such has too low a number, buy one with a higher number, and it is guaranteed to be better."  Too many things in audio can't be described in finite numbers, which means you really need to teach, and most people don't want to put in the effort to learn.  Just be thankful that we still have producers like Steve Albini out there, who puts out stuff with incredible dynamic range and easily has one of the best recording studios in the US (Electric Audio).

Steve has produced for some great bands really.

Pixies, Breeders, Nirvana, Godspeed You, Neurosis, Slint, Fugazi and many more.

You are completely right, unfortunately.
post #11 of 25

Yeah, I love his production.  If I remember correctly, none of his productions of Fugazi were used, as the band wasn't really ready yet, and the recordings weren't that great.  Albini himself said that he was glad they weren't used, but he still really enjoyed working with Fugazi.  He can be an odd one sometimes (I've seen a few interviews, and one of my friends who works in the industry has had some email contact with him), but the man knows what he's doing, that's for sure.

 

On an off note, while not produced by Albini, Slint's second record, Spiderland also has amazing production.  The 2014 remaster is actually quite good as well.  It might even be better.  I still need to listen to it more.  The biggest differences I've noticed so far are that the vocals and the bass have been brought up a bit.  I got to see them live at FYF last year...man, that was great :).


Edited by AudioMan612 - 4/4/15 at 3:16am
post #12 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by AudioMan612 View Post

Yeah, I love his production.  If I remember correctly, none of his productions of Fugazi were used, as the band wasn't really ready yet, and the recordings weren't that great.  Albini himself said that he was glad they weren't used, but he still really enjoyed working with Fugazi.  He can be an odd one sometimes (I've seen a few interviews, and one of my friends who works in the industry has had some email contact with him), but the man knows what he's doing, that's for sure.

 

On an off note, while not produced by Albini, Slint's second record, Spiderland also has amazing production.  The 2014 remaster is actually quite good as well.  It might even be better.  I still need to listen to it more.  The biggest differences I've noticed so far are that the vocals and the bass have been brought up a bit.  I got to see them live at FYF last year...man, that was great :).


Yeah, Tweez was produced by Steve. Spiderland is amazing, indeed.
post #13 of 25

I have not checked EVERY release but a great great amount of ECM releases are "loudness war free". And you can still feel the quality of music and the great dynamic range of sounds.

(I checked more or less 50-60 albums with foobar and TT Dynamic Range Meter, everyone stand between 18 and 14. Sounds fair to me)

post #14 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by XipeTotec View Post
 

I have not checked EVERY release but a great great amount of ECM releases are "loudness war free". And you can still feel the quality of music and the great dynamic range of sounds.

(I checked more or less 50-60 albums with foobar and TT Dynamic Range Meter, everyone stand between 18 and 14. Sounds fair to me)

 

14 is a good value, 18 is outstanding. I have very few albums, that are better. Among them Mozarts Zaide, but there is quiet talk, singing and orchestra music in it. This spans quite a range.


Edited by mironathetin - 4/13/15 at 11:33pm
post #15 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by mironathetin View Post
 

 

14 is a good value, 18 is outstanding. I have very few albums, that are better. Among them Mozarts Zaide, but there is quiet talk, singing and orchestra music in it. This spans quite a range.

 

indeed, i can say hands down that ECM is confirmed as one of the most terrific labels ever created. great music with outstanding quality recordings

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