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Old 8th March 2004, 02:09 PM   #1
Rixsta is offline Rixsta  United Kingdom
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Smile Compression (why does everyone want a louder cd ?)

I cant understand why studio engineers ectra have to compres the hell out of music, when one of the main points to music are the dynamics but they get lost when you over compress music.

I just recently bought the new foo fighters album "one by one"
and was dissapointed with the sound, if anyone knows the song "all my life" you'll probably notice that the verses which have no drumming in, are louder than the actual chorus which is meant to be the heavy part of the song.

i dont understand this
a lot of cd's recorded in the last few years could sound so much better and impacting if only they had some dynamics to it.

If i wanted it louder i would turn it up lol.

no affence to the foo fighters in any way they could be the victims of a bad recording engineer.

please tell us if you know of a realy good rock album that's been recorded well with not too much compression.
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Old 13th March 2004, 01:50 AM   #2
Wombat is offline Wombat  Germany
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On Hydrogenaudio someone posted a link to some views about this stupid "LOUDNESSRACE" There is a homepage dedicated to it

http://www.loudnessrace.net/
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Old 13th March 2004, 03:52 AM   #3
fivaxis is offline fivaxis  United States
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One thing I always hated was when a song starts out with a killer guitar solo and then the other instruments come in and the original guitar is muted.

CD sales are driven by people with stock stereos, and on those stereos louder sounds better to them.

The MTV Unplugged CDs don't seem to have very much compression and are excellent recordings.
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Old 14th March 2004, 02:53 PM   #4
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I guess so many poeple enjoy that "radio" sound


Music on Satellite and stuff have always been like that too. The Fast & The Furious is one of the worst DVD's I have with it. You'd think a car movie would have great sound quality...ala Days Of Thunder (especially on LD! )

Actually alot DVD's...well earlier ones seem to be really compressed, seemed no matter how loud it was it just wan't as engaging as the LD version.
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Old 14th March 2004, 02:55 PM   #5
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"I guess so many poeple enjoy that "radio" sound"

Or the Producers of these horrid quality recordings think that everyone is listening on a low powered boom box or a cheap car radio.
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Old 14th March 2004, 02:58 PM   #6
Rixsta is offline Rixsta  United Kingdom
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yeah i know exactly what you mean youv'e just reminded me of when your watching a film and then the adverts come on blaring out like mad.

Thanks for the link to that site Wombat by the way

actualy maybee they think the spikes in the sound of a uncompressed cd would blow up a crap stereo so that's why they use compression.

you never know lol
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Old 14th March 2004, 07:11 PM   #7
tcpip is offline tcpip  India
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Personally, I think the sequence of forces at work are as follows:
  • How do you get the prospective buyer to listen to a new song he's never heard? In the US, it appears the answer is by catching him when he's listening to the car radio, while driving. Americans seem to spend a lot of time in cars. And America is a big market.
  • Second: if you want to get the listener's attention while he's driving, you can't indulge in fanciful ideas like wide dynamics. Just give him the drumbeat or guitar or whatever, and hit him with loud sound. That's why probably no one listens to symphony music while driving.... the dynamic range would be too distracting while driving. I've seen one person playing his Blaupunkt car stereo with Beethoven's Fifth, and the stereo would completely mute the audio and fast-forward the tape (it was a cassette) during the softer passages, because it deduced that the signal strength was too low for there to be any musical content in it. That's the world of car audio.
Moral of the story: if more people listened to music sitting down in their homes, and not as background music, the commercial guys at the studios would have thought up some other tricks to sell their albums, but compression may not have been one of them.

Incidentally, let's not blame inexpensive combo home systems. Even pretty inexpensive ones usually provide a listening experience with a much wider dynamic range than music listening in a car. It's a function of the environment, not the audio system. Boomboxes may not sound particularly detailed and delicate, but they'll let you hear quite a wide dynamic range (maybe 60dB or more) in a quiet home quite clearly. I suspect that inside all but the most luxuriously padded cars, this range will be less than 30dB.
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Old 14th March 2004, 07:26 PM   #8
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"It's a function of the environment, not the audio system."

I must disagree. It's a function of the Producer of the CD.
The Producer doesn't understand that the cheap audio systems of today are vastly superior to those of a few years ago.

The Producer is still "Keepin' up with the 80's".
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Old 15th March 2004, 03:51 PM   #9
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Well, I can say that in a car audio situation, compression does make sense. Who's going to hear the quiet passages over tire hum? And no one would want dynamic peaks to distract them from driving. But at home, I really hate the compression. It takes all the life and emotion away from the music, especially electronic, where the peaks can be VERY loud if recorded properly. When I record anything, I never compress the sound for that same reason. Therefore, Daft Punk is an embarassment to the industry.
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Old 16th March 2004, 09:18 AM   #10
tcpip is offline tcpip  India
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Quote:
Originally posted by dmitriy167
Well, I can say that in a car audio situation, compression does make sense. Who's going to hear the quiet passages over tire hum?
Fully agree. It is important to realise that what sounds "best" in a moving car is probably different in many ways from what sounds "best" in a quiet home. Ditto, a large auditorium, and ditto, the monitoring station of a recording studio.
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