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Old 11th November 2011, 10:55 PM   #1
SY is offline SY  United States
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Default Loudness Wars again

Just to show how it SHOULD be done, here's two outputs from Keith Howard's excellent Music Dynamics Analysis software. Two songs with similar instrumentation (male vocal, acoustic guitar). One is a commercial release, one is home-made. Which do you think sounds "better"? Which do you think sounds more "real"?
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File Type: png Big Fat Boy DA.png (7.6 KB, 167 views)
File Type: png 01. Lee Barber - The Mosquito (Thief and rescue) DA.png (7.4 KB, 161 views)
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Old 11th November 2011, 11:35 PM   #2
kevinkr is offline kevinkr  United States
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Call me clueless but I have no idea how to interpret those graphs..

Edit: Looking at it again more closely I think that the one on the right is actually the commercial release, and the one on left the amateur recording which I would also expect to sound better.. Am I right?
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Old 11th November 2011, 11:42 PM   #3
SY is offline SY  United States
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You're clueless.

X axis is the level. Y axis is the amount of time the signal is at that level. Severely compressed stuff gets pushed upward. Here's some documentation on the software and graph interpretation.
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File Type: pdf DA_Readme.pdf (80.9 KB, 17 views)
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Old 11th November 2011, 11:57 PM   #4
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I'm even more clueless than Kevin, but with your explanation it looks like the first one has a significant amount of headroom for peaks compared to the second one. But then I guess that's what this is all about, isn't it?
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Old 12th November 2011, 12:50 AM   #5
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Headroom for sure, but a wide range of levels- that's dynamics. Significant tails toward the low side as well- maybe the "microdynamics" or "downward dynamic range" so beloved of audio reviewers?

It would never sell. Too natural. It just sounds like a guy playing a Yamaha guitar and singing from a normal perspective.
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Old 12th November 2011, 02:05 AM   #6
Pano is offline Pano  United States
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That's why we have mastering engineers. To make recordings like that palatable. Real doesn't sell.
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Old 29th November 2011, 06:31 PM   #7
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Unreal doesn't sell (well, not to me anyway). Lifting quiet passages above the noise level, and dropping loud passages below the clipping level, is mastering. Heavy compression to just below clipping (or just above, in some cases) is merely vandalism.
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