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Old 29th November 2012, 11:37 PM   #151
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Originally Posted by mitchba View Post
Actually I am in the industry and a recording/mixing engineer. I started over 30 years ago and was part of the digital audio revolution. Some of my work was recently inducted in the Western Canada Music Hall of Fame: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ONTrSUHLIK0&feature=player_embedded I am also an audiophile and write a guest blog at http://www.computeraudiophile.com/blogs/mitchco/

But who cares. The point I am making Soundtrackmixer is that for budding young recording/mixing/mastering engineers, a petition like this, that I support and have sent to all of my musician friends and audio engineers, is to provide awareness and education. Awareness and education to future generations that their voice does matter (with their hands off the compressors/limiters :-) and can change the industry.

All the best.
You are preaching to the choir on this, most industry based engineers already know what you are saying. Send this to the record company Executives, PR and marketing people, and the producers. THEY MAKE THE FINAL DECISIONS ON HOW RECORDS ARE GOING TO SOUND. If I drum this point any harder, I will destroy the drum.


If you are really in the industry, then you should no better than to post this kind of comment.
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Old 30th November 2012, 01:07 AM   #152
Pano is offline Pano  United States
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Guys, we can stop with the personal jabs and insults now. I will remove the dross.
This thread has a subject. Stick to it.
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Old 30th November 2012, 09:07 AM   #153
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On a somewhat lighter note, I have a brief anecdote. I recently was given several free downloads from billboard.com. They were in mp3 format, though they were all 256k & 320k bitrates. What I found a little interesting was that they offered many legacy tracks with a choice of original master and remastered (which I construed as "took the compression hammer to") files. The first Crosby/Nash album comes to mind, but there were many more.
It was Jan Didden here on the forum that alerted me to the fact that AC/DC remasters were being given the compression treatment. I just can't understand that - I have never considered AC/DC and subtlety at the same time, and don't understand the reasoning other than a "this is how we do it now" explanation.
That segues into my penultimate comment, which is that while debate may swell over who should be petitioned, I think it really needs to be a broad sweep. From gray suits to listeners, anything that moves them toward a better appreciation... no, respect... for the music is a noble endeavor. I don't believe that catering to FM and auto stereo is a valid motivation. FM has long used its own compression, and auto stereo can give reasonably hi-fi sound.
Finally, I've started to think that loudness wars may have a lot to do with my preference for older recordings. Too much of the new stuff has a 2-dimensional sameness to it, and it just doesn't move me. In fact I tire of it rather quickly. If those other masters exist (as noted in a previous post), get them on a server and at least give consumers a choice. "This is how we do it, and that's how it is" is always a crock, to put it mildly. To have recordings stomped on while quality playback equipment becomes more and more accessible is a damned shame, and I'm sure I'm not alone in that sentiment.
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Old 30th November 2012, 03:10 PM   #154
mitchba is offline mitchba  Canada
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Speaking of AC/DC, Bob Katz, mastering engineer, has a nice collection of dynamic pop/rock recordings on his honor roll: http://www.digido.com/media/honor-roll.html The Ted Jensen remastered Back in Black is a good rock example of maximum loudness that suites the music, but does not go over the line of being totally compressed/limited.

Bob also proposes, “How To Make Better Recordings in the 21st Century - An Integrated Approach to Metering, Monitoring, and Leveling Practices.” http://www.digido.com/how-to-make-better-recordings-part-2.html it’s an excellent read.

It appears that pop/rock mixes and masters from the early 80’s to the mid 90’s did not suffer much from “loudness war”. If you look up the DR values for Dire Straits – Brothers in Arms (DR16), Peter Gabriel – Security (DR14), The Police – Synchronicity (DR15), to name a few, have outstanding dynamic ranges, even at 16/44.

Fast forward today and we see companies like HDTracks are offering high resolution versions, some of questionable value. Over at Computer Audiophile, there is a forum on Music Analysis – the objective and subjective: http://www.computeraudiophile.com/f14-music-analysis-objective-and-subjective/

Before downloading a “high resolution audiophile quality” album, it might be worth checking the forum to see that some sound fantastic (like 24/192 Cat Steven’s Tea for the Tillerman) to just plain embarrassing like the 24/96 version of Aerosmith’s Get a Grip that is so compressed/limited that it gets a DR of 7.

I find this video of explaining and visualizing just what the loudness war is in less than 2 minutes to be highly educational. Even with low resolution YouTube audio over cheap computer speakers, one can clearly hear the difference: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=3Gmex_4hreQ

The point is that the loudness war is mostly about the compression and limiting of the music content and not so much about the format the content is delivered in.
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Old 2nd December 2012, 03:53 AM   #155
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Some compression and/or limiting is good. Just finished working a Gladys Knight show. She can really belt. The Front of House guy did a great job, nice mix. I know he was using tube compressors, but I just wish he had clamped down a little more on her voice. The band mix was great, but a strong singer with a mic can get way too dynamic. Ouch!

Some music needs judicious compression. What it does not need is all the life squeezed out of it, as is the current trend. Does everything have to be loud, all the time?
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Old 2nd December 2012, 04:36 AM   #156
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Originally Posted by SY View Post
And I know I'm not the only amateur out there making sonically natural recordings to good effect.
Sure SY. This sounds real natural!:

SY Music

Last edited by pooge; 2nd December 2012 at 04:40 AM.
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Old 2nd December 2012, 04:10 PM   #157
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Originally Posted by Pano View Post
Some compression and/or limiting is good. Just finished working a Gladys Knight show. She can really belt. The Front of House guy did a great job, nice mix. I know he was using tube compressors, but I just wish he had clamped down a little more on her voice. The band mix was great, but a strong singer with a mic can get way too dynamic. Ouch!
I had this same problem when I was on the road with Patti Labelle. Her voice is so powerful, that I had to often compress her at 7-8:1 just to keep her from blowing peoples hair off. It all depended on how her voice was doing that particular night. On a good voice night, I almost had to use the compressor as a limiter to keep her vocals in check. LOL. When Gladys comes to either Yoshi's or the Greek theater, I have the same problem with her, and this woman is in her 60's!!!!

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Some music needs judicious compression. What it does not need is all the life squeezed out of it, as is the current trend. Does everything have to be loud, all the time?
Compression does not really squeeze the life out of mixes. Limiters are FAR more guilty of that. This is used by mastering engineers to "normalize" the mix(make everything loud and even). People have often thought compressing was the culprit of the loudness wars, but it was really the abuse of limiters that was the problem.
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Old 2nd December 2012, 04:27 PM   #158
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Originally Posted by pooge View Post
Sure SY. This sounds real natural!:

SY Music

LOLOLOLOLOL!!!!! For some reason I love this song and the video.....
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Old 2nd December 2012, 11:24 PM   #159
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Originally Posted by Soundtrackmixer View Post
I had this same problem when I was on the road with Patti Labelle.
Funny, we were talking about Patti last night. We still have a mirror ball hanging in the office from those shows. Patti has to have her mirror ball. Gladys got a 6' tall crystal chandelier. Looked great with the lights.

Quote:
People have often thought compressing was the culprit of the loudness wars, but it was really the abuse of limiters that was the problem.
Yeah, I suppose both are used. The result is very limited dynamic range.
Do you think it's the limiters that give that almost flat top waveform we see so much these days? Just slam it up and limit it?
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Old 3rd December 2012, 01:23 AM   #160
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Funny, we were talking about Patti last night. We still have a mirror ball hanging in the office from those shows. Patti has to have her mirror ball. Gladys got a 6' tall crystal chandelier. Looked great with the lights.
Both are class acts that is for sure.


Quote:
Yeah, I suppose both are used. The result is very limited dynamic range.
Do you think it's the limiters that give that almost flat top waveform we see so much these days? Just slam it up and limit it?
It is the abuse of limiters that has caused the loudness wars. There is no way compression could do that kind of damage to an overall mix. While compression can decrease dynamic range, it cannot do so at the level that limiters can. Limiters allow you to chop off the waveform, and increase the level of the overall mix without overloading the D/A converters.
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