Albums without dynamic range compression

sprinter01

Member
2019-01-12 12:30 pm
Hi,

I'm very angry that so many recordings sounds so bad. Especially, there's no reason it has to sound bad. A lot of money is envolved in the recording process: expensive instruments, expensive microphones, expensive ADCs etc... So there is a big potential for good sound quality. But for no reason a ton of effects are used, which destroys recordings instead of improving them. Okay, that's not true, there's a reason: listeners are more sensitive to volume than sound quality, and sound engineers love to use a lot of effects

What can I do? Excessive listening to recordings without dynamic range compression to increase the demand for it, which affects future decisions about the amount of processing!

Do you know such albums? I am interested in almost every musical genre. But it should be music and not tessongs. It doesn't necessarily have to be without DRC at all (because it is very difficult to find out), but it should have a lot of dynamics and a very natural sound.

Here are some examples:
John Patitucci Trio - Remembrance
YouTube

Peter Erskine, Alan Pasqua and Dave Carpenter - Standards
Recorded with only two microphones.
YouTube

Oscar Peterson Trio - We Get Requests
Recording is from 1964, so the overall sound quality isn't that great. But a lot of dynamic.
YouTube
 
Hi,
I'm very angry that so many recordings sounds so bad.
Especially, there's no reason it has to sound bad.

What can I do? Excessive listening to recordings without dynamic range compression to increase the demand for it, which affects future decisions about the amount of processing.

.. it should have a lot of dynamics and a very natural sound.
Couldn't agree more, which is why I don't do compression.
There's every reason for 9/10 recordings to sound bad, I could give you a long list (I work in recording).
The whole validation process from end to end is a can of worms, from mic to reproduction system.

There are some rare leading lights like Blumlein, the ORTF and Michael Gerzon, but it's generally true after the arrival of digital, most recordings went downhill.

What to do about it, is another whole problem, not helped by the audiofools and their 1000USD speaker cables, power conditioners and claiming to hear stuff I can't.
 

billshurv

Member
Paid Member
2014-03-01 11:53 pm
Album list - Dynamic Range Database is worth a look to see what scores best on the DR test. I've collected a few snippets off this and I have to say a lot of them sound very good although the music might not be to everyone's taste. In my audiofool days I even bought some of the Flim and the BB's albums which were recorded to demo the capabilities of digital recording and are a reminder of what we could have had.


Now days a lot of stuff is squashed flat and it does detract from the listening experience. But the public gets what the public wants.
 
Almost all music but classical music has dynamic compression in their production process. But it's true that most pop of today is limited to sound dead abnd it's horrible.

Most music before the 70's was limited by the tapemachine (driven hard to just under distortion) to get an even sound, and that sounds still unlimited. After that the compression in the production was a part of the sound, and since the 90's it went over what is acceptable for me in most pop music.

But if you want no compression or limiting, keep with classical music. Because even in jazz and folk music, there are limiters in the production and mastering that alter the sound (altough very subtile mostly).

The DR test is a good indictation, but that list is very limited. Most music i listen to is not mainstream enough to get on such a list. So for me it's trial and error.
 

billshurv

Member
Paid Member
2014-03-01 11:53 pm
Not all people have decided to live in a noisy environement, it is not a choice, we must endure it by force.
.
Clearly not a fan of the Jam :).


Almost all music but classical music has dynamic compression in their production process.
If you note, much of the highest DR music is Jazz.


The DR test is a good indictation, but that list is very limited. Most music i listen to is not mainstream enough to get on such a list. So for me it's trial and error.


I will agree its just a pointer, but if you look at the list there is a lot of NOT mainstream on there. And the only way to improve the list is to add to it. So when you find something not there, run the DR tool and upload the results. Helps everyone :)
 
Hi,

I'm very angry that so many recordings sounds so bad. Especially, there's no reason it has to sound bad. A lot of money is envolved in the recording process: expensive instruments, expensive microphones, expensive ADCs etc... So there is a big potential for good sound quality. But for no reason a ton of effects are used, which destroys recordings instead of improving them. Okay, that's not true, there's a reason: listeners are more sensitive to volume than sound quality, and sound engineers love to use a lot of effects

What can I do? Excessive listening to recordings without dynamic range compression to increase the demand for it, which affects future decisions about the amount of processing!

Do you know such albums? I am interested in almost every musical genre. But it should be music and not tessongs. It doesn't necessarily have to be without DRC at all (because it is very difficult to find out), but it should have a lot of dynamics and a very natural sound.

Here are some examples:
John Patitucci Trio - Remembrance
YouTube

Peter Erskine, Alan Pasqua and Dave Carpenter - Standards
Recorded with only two microphones.
YouTube

Oscar Peterson Trio - We Get Requests
Recording is from 1964, so the overall sound quality isn't that great. But a lot of dynamic.
YouTube



Listen, what do you say to me? YouTube
 
Hi,

I'm very angry that so many recordings sounds so bad. Especially, there's no reason it has to sound bad. A lot of money is envolved in the recording process: expensive instruments, expensive microphones, expensive ADCs etc... So there is a big potential for good sound quality. But for no reason a ton of effects are used, which destroys recordings instead of improving them. Okay, that's not true, there's a reason: listeners are more sensitive to volume than sound quality, and sound engineers love to use a lot of effects

It is painfully ironic that with the development of CD quality digital sound, which has far better potential for quality and dynamics than LPs or Tape, the engineers should elect to produce schlock with virtually no dynamic range and untolled distortion. It enfuriates me to no end and it's left my musical choices firmly rooted in the 70s and 80s.

I found this to be a pretty good analysis... YouTube

Between compression, quantization and autotune our wonderful new technologies have sucked the life right out of today's new music.

What can I do? Excessive listening to recordings without dynamic range compression to increase the demand for it, which affects future decisions about the amount of processing!

It's true ... thanks to the "loudness wars" it is perfectly fair to opine that most of today's youth have never actually heard real music played by human beings.
 
What i do not understand is the current need to limit the dynamic range of the source material. There is no particular reason to do so at source when variable compression rate is easy to apply within the reproduction chain. Instead of coming with more hare-brained schemes like MQA the music industry can come up with standards for reproduction which allow for a user selectable compression. Even high end equipment will need a degree of compression.
 
Yes, mostly the old dBX "consumer" expanders. The ultimate was the 5BX, it was fun to play with. I sold mine after a few years. I used a Behringer DEQ2496 for EQ duty for a few years, played with its expander. Even though single band, it could do a decent -- or excessive -- effect. I'm sure there are digital plug-ins available, but I've not tried any. Clearly the best solution would be no compression in the source and user supplied compression at the listening end. But when you consider that the target consumer is an idiot, this blows the feasibility of such a plan right out of the water :D