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OT/ " What happened to dynamic range ? "
Posted by: kowalski ()
Date: August 7, 2013 11:48

In 2001, mastering engineer Bob Speer wrote an article titled "What happened to dynamic range? " about the abuses of compression in modern recordings.

Sad to see that 12 years later it's more relevant than ever...

Some quotes :

"Much of the music being produced today isn't music at all. It's best described as anti-music. It's anti-music because the life is being squashed out of it through over compression during the tracking, mixing, and mastering stages. It's simply, non musical. It's no wonder that consumers don't want to pay for the CDs being produced today. They're over priced and they sound bad."

"What is dynamic range? Dynamic range is the difference between the softest and loudest sounds we can hear. Or, to put it another way, the difference between the softest and loudest sounds in a recording. Dynamic range is measured in decibels - dB. For comparison, the typical dynamic range for a cassette recording is around 60 dB, while CDs can reach a dynamic range of 96dB."

"Rather than use this new technology to take advantage of it's wide dynamic range, the music industry went in the opposite direction. They decided that louder is better. Suddenly, we found ourselves in a race to see whose CD was the loudest. The only way to make CDs louder was to keep compressing the signal more and more. That's where we are today. Everyone's trying to make their CD sound louder than everyone else's. The term that is used for this process is called, hot. Yes, most of today's music is recorded hot. The net result, distortion with a beat."

"There's no excitement in today's music. There's no texture, and certainly no reason to buy it. Many people today accept this hot sound because that's all they know. They weren't brought up on music that sounds "musical." I can't believe what we've done to our music. What happened to recreating the excitement of a live performance? Does any of this make sense? Is it possible that we've moved forward with our technology, but backward in our thinking? The loudness wars have been with us for a long time. With analog, there was a loudness limit. Digital technology, however, has given the music industry the tools to destroy it's own product. And it's doing a good job!"

Read full article here : [www.cdmasteringservices.com]

Re: OT/ " What happened to dynamic range ? "
Posted by: Spud ()
Date: August 7, 2013 12:27

I Concur 100% with all of the above.... and it's very well expressed.

The industry...and subsequently the consumer...have both forgotten what music should sound like.

The thing is...if music had sounded like the typical CD when Ugg first started beating on a log and twanging some guts...it would never have caught on and his intruments would have been confiscated !

Re: OT/ " What happened to dynamic range ? "
Posted by: dcba ()
Date: August 7, 2013 12:42

Because of the DR disaster I ahven't bought a CD in ages. I currently prefer to DL live shows from torrent sites : these recordings are not tampered with in any way.

I still wait for a musical HD format (bluray audio?) to replace CDs.

Re: OT/ " What happened to dynamic range ? "
Posted by: Spud ()
Date: August 7, 2013 12:52

Might be a long wait. File downloads seem to be the present and future formats,

With improving digital technology, this needn't be an issue ...but they've got to get the source right and give us the best resolution .

Re: OT/ " What happened to dynamic range ? "
Posted by: kowalski ()
Date: August 7, 2013 13:44

Quote
dcba
Because of the DR disaster I ahven't bought a CD in ages. I currently prefer to DL live shows from torrent sites : these recordings are not tampered with in any way.

I still wait for a musical HD format (bluray audio?) to replace CDs.

Audio blu-ray is already available for some albums but most of the time it has the same brickwalled mastering that is on CD. See GRRR! on blu-ray for example. "Music" companies are just keeping on this nonsense...

Re: OT/ " What happened to dynamic range ? "
Posted by: Christopher ()
Date: August 7, 2013 13:49

I dont know to much about this aspect but I did notice when I listen to my MFSL albums they dont sound as "airy" as the remasters. The remasters sound like they had to add "air"(I dont know how else to describe it).
Maybe one of the tech experts can explain this better.

Re: OT/ " What happened to dynamic range ? "
Posted by: kowalski ()
Date: August 7, 2013 16:40

I'm not a big fan of MFSL CD's as often they can sound somehow "dry" and lacking punch. This said some of them are very good. For example the Rolling Stones "London" CD issued in the 80's.

Re: OT/ " What happened to dynamic range ? "
Posted by: Munichhilton ()
Date: August 7, 2013 17:13

Nothing's as smooth as 8 track baby...smooooooooooooooth

Re: OT/ " What happened to dynamic range ? "
Posted by: Spud ()
Date: August 7, 2013 17:16

The same often true of Mobile Fidelity's half speed mastered LPs.

They seem to put cleanliness above all else... and sometimes let the baby out with the bathwater.

Re: OT/ " What happened to dynamic range ? "
Posted by: kowalski ()
Date: August 7, 2013 18:56

Actually I find Analogue Productions remasters - also intended at audiophiles - sometimes better in the sense they sound warmer and often closer to the original release.

Re: OT/ " What happened to dynamic range ? "
Posted by: flacnvinyl ()
Date: August 7, 2013 19:50

Yep...

Re: OT/ " What happened to dynamic range ? "
Posted by: Naturalust ()
Date: August 7, 2013 20:28

Can't just blame the record companies here. Yes initially they were the culprits but the pro audio industry went outta control sometime in the 70's and musicians and engineers fell for the fancy technology and compression just as hard.

Theoretically a 16-bit CD cannot even reproduce the dynamic range that our ears can hear. Fortunately,24-bit and greater bit depth formats can. This of course produces a much larger file for a given piece of music, which makes downloading more time consuming.

Now that high bandwith internet is becoming more available to the masses, it is possible for a MUCH better digital format to become standardized. But, Apple wouldn't sell as many tunes if the download times were longer, at least initially. So THAT is one of the big problems.

The solution, imho, must start with the musicians and artists producing the music and filter down from there. Neil Young has made a go of it as other bands like Little Feat. George Massenburg and others produce CD's which are not HOT by industry standards and you can actually hear some dynamic range! Listen to the way the drums blend with the music on old records to understand the way we have been ripped off.

Compression and Expansion are great tools and have their uses but I can't agree more that they have destroyed the musicality of music in the way they are abused. peace

Re: OT/ " What happened to dynamic range ? "
Posted by: kowalski ()
Date: August 8, 2013 01:55

Quote
Naturalust
Can't just blame the record companies here. Yes initially they were the culprits but the pro audio industry went outta control sometime in the 70's and musicians and engineers fell for the fancy technology and compression just as hard.

Theoretically a 16-bit CD cannot even reproduce the dynamic range that our ears can hear. Fortunately,24-bit and greater bit depth formats can. This of course produces a much larger file for a given piece of music, which makes downloading more time consuming.

Now that high bandwith internet is becoming more available to the masses, it is possible for a MUCH better digital format to become standardized. But, Apple wouldn't sell as many tunes if the download times were longer, at least initially. So THAT is one of the big problems.


I'm pretty sure that's the reason why Apple is not interested in selling 24 bit music and why they have developped their "mastered for iTunes" thing. So they can claim they're selling "high quality" music in small files.

At least that shows one thing : Apple is not interested in music, all they want is to sell as much as possible little audio files...

Quote

The solution, imho, must start with the musicians and artists producing the music and filter down from there. Neil Young has made a go of it as other bands like Little Feat. George Massenburg and others produce CD's which are not HOT by industry standards and you can actually hear some dynamic range! Listen to the way the drums blend with the music on old records to understand the way we have been ripped off.


Neil Young's albums sound good on CD, even though a little compressed and limited when compared to the same albums on audio DVD or audio blu-ray. On these formats they sound great because on the higher resolution and the unlimited mastering.

Quote

Compression and Expansion are great tools and have their uses but I can't agree more that they have destroyed the musicality of music in the way they are abused. peace

To me, today's music seems to sound like a photocopy of what used to sound music until the early 90's - if that makes any sense, ie all flat with no more variations.

Re: OT/ " What happened to dynamic range ? "
Posted by: Spud ()
Date: August 8, 2013 10:18

Quote
kowalski
At least that shows one thing : Apple is not interested in music, all they want is to sell as much as possible little audio files...

.

Yep,
Because apple aren't historically in the "music business"...which is increasingly conrolled by the multi-national electronics giants who see music only as a necessary stimulus to sell their products.

There has always been crossover between the music/recording industry and consumer electronics manufacturers...but the idea used to be to make equipment for playing music...not make music to sell equipment.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 2013-08-08 10:20 by Spud.

Re: OT/ " What happened to dynamic range ? "
Posted by: rollingon ()
Date: August 9, 2013 11:42

Quote
kowalski
In 2001, mastering engineer Bob Speer wrote an article titled "What happened to dynamic range? " about the abuses of compression in modern recordings.

Sad to see that 12 years later it's more relevant than ever...

Some quotes :

"Much of the music being produced today isn't music at all. It's best described as anti-music. It's anti-music because the life is being squashed out of it through over compression during the tracking, mixing, and mastering stages. It's simply, non musical. It's no wonder that consumers don't want to pay for the CDs being produced today. They're over priced and they sound bad."

"What is dynamic range? Dynamic range is the difference between the softest and loudest sounds we can hear. Or, to put it another way, the difference between the softest and loudest sounds in a recording. Dynamic range is measured in decibels - dB. For comparison, the typical dynamic range for a cassette recording is around 60 dB, while CDs can reach a dynamic range of 96dB."

"Rather than use this new technology to take advantage of it's wide dynamic range, the music industry went in the opposite direction. They decided that louder is better. Suddenly, we found ourselves in a race to see whose CD was the loudest. The only way to make CDs louder was to keep compressing the signal more and more. That's where we are today. Everyone's trying to make their CD sound louder than everyone else's. The term that is used for this process is called, hot. Yes, most of today's music is recorded hot. The net result, distortion with a beat."

"There's no excitement in today's music. There's no texture, and certainly no reason to buy it. Many people today accept this hot sound because that's all they know. They weren't brought up on music that sounds "musical." I can't believe what we've done to our music. What happened to recreating the excitement of a live performance? Does any of this make sense? Is it possible that we've moved forward with our technology, but backward in our thinking? The loudness wars have been with us for a long time. With analog, there was a loudness limit. Digital technology, however, has given the music industry the tools to destroy it's own product. And it's doing a good job!"

Read full article here : [www.cdmasteringservices.com]


About this dynamic range:

There used to be much more dynamic range also in the Stones live concerts before the Las Vegas era 89-. The Satisfaction wasn't played in full blast from the beginning to the end in '69, there was much, much more dynamic range back then, also in Jagger's singing, he used sing a little bit more quiet in the middle of the song (the Satisfaction) to create some excitement or emotion, he doesn't do that anymore...I can't understand this.

Re: OT/ " What happened to dynamic range ? "
Date: August 9, 2013 12:51

Quote
Munichhilton
Nothing's as smooth as 8 track baby...smooooooooooooooth

thumbs up

or this:




Re: OT/ " What happened to dynamic range ? "
Posted by: owlbynite ()
Date: August 10, 2013 08:42

How about rap in this mess. kids had some on in the car, all I heard were verses like 'gotta watch this muhfu*@er over here & that muhf#*ker over there.' I finally asked, you really call this music? These aren't self-respecting songwriters. sad smiley

Re: OT/ " What happened to dynamic range ? "
Posted by: JuanTCB ()
Date: August 10, 2013 09:11

Quote
owlbynite
How about rap in this mess. kids had some on in the car, all I heard were verses like 'gotta watch this muhfu*@er over here & that muhf#*ker over there.' I finally asked, you really call this music? These aren't self-respecting songwriters. sad smiley

You're telling me! One night, I was driving home and I heard something that went "She's a starf*cker, starf*cker, starf*cker, starf*cker, star. Starf*cker, starf*cker, starf*cker, starf*cker, star - yes you are!"

I couldn't believe it - that's not music!

Re: OT/ " What happened to dynamic range ? "
Posted by: Munichhilton ()
Date: August 10, 2013 16:59

Quote
DandelionPowderman
Quote
Munichhilton
Nothing's as smooth as 8 track baby...smooooooooooooooth

thumbs up

or this:



Now that's what I call smooth...try walking around with that to your ear!

Re: OT/ " What happened to dynamic range ? "
Posted by: kowalski ()
Date: August 10, 2013 17:01

Quote
owlbynite
How about rap in this mess. kids had some on in the car, all I heard were verses like 'gotta watch this muhfu*@er over here & that muhf#*ker over there.' I finally asked, you really call this music? These aren't self-respecting songwriters. sad smiley

Try & listen to some Public Enemy albums. It'll change your point of view.

Re: OT/ " What happened to dynamic range ? "
Posted by: Munichhilton ()
Date: August 10, 2013 17:11

Quote
kowalski
Quote
owlbynite
How about rap in this mess. kids had some on in the car, all I heard were verses like 'gotta watch this muhfu*@er over here & that muhf#*ker over there.' I finally asked, you really call this music? These aren't self-respecting songwriters. sad smiley

Try & listen to some Public Enemy albums. It'll change your point of view.

Or even YouTube Five Neat Guys Gold...they rock

Re: OT/ " What happened to dynamic range ? "
Date: August 10, 2013 17:39

Quote
Munichhilton
Quote
DandelionPowderman
Quote
Munichhilton
Nothing's as smooth as 8 track baby...smooooooooooooooth

thumbs up

or this:



Now that's what I call smooth...try walking around with that to your ear!

The funny thing is that it is indeed portable - if you're strong, that is smiling smiley

Re: OT/ " What happened to dynamic range ? "
Posted by: treaclefingers ()
Date: August 11, 2013 02:00

Quote
DandelionPowderman
Quote
Munichhilton
Quote
DandelionPowderman
Quote
Munichhilton
Nothing's as smooth as 8 track baby...smooooooooooooooth

thumbs up

or this:



Now that's what I call smooth...try walking around with that to your ear!

The funny thing is that it is indeed portable - if you're strong, that is smiling smiley

I like the way they had turntables in some cars in the 60s.

For true vinylists.

Re: OT/ " What happened to dynamic range ? "
Posted by: owlbynite ()
Date: August 11, 2013 06:21

Quote
Munichhilton
Quote
kowalski
Quote
owlbynite
How about rap in this mess. kids had some on in the car, all I heard were verses like 'gotta watch this muhfu*@er over here & that muhf#*ker over there.' I finally asked, you really call this music? These aren't self-respecting songwriters. sad smiley

Try & listen to some Public Enemy albums. It'll change your point of view.

Or even YouTube Five Neat Guys Gold...they rock

Hope they have some real lyrics. Have listened to Public Enemy & I do like some of Eminem's (8 Mile, Cleaning Out My Closet.) But a number of the others with verses like f*ck, f@ck, f#ck repetitively and no real tunes just don't hit me as music. smoking smiley

Re: OT/ " What happened to dynamic range ? "
Posted by: owlbynite ()
Date: August 11, 2013 06:23

Quote
JuanTCB
Quote
owlbynite
How about rap in this mess. kids had some on in the car, all I heard were verses like 'gotta watch this muhfu*@er over here & that muhf#*ker over there.' I finally asked, you really call this music? These aren't self-respecting songwriters. sad smiley

You're telling me! One night, I was driving home and I heard something that went "She's a starf*cker, starf*cker, starf*cker, starf*cker, star. Starf*cker, starf*cker, starf*cker, starf*cker, star - yes you are!"

I couldn't believe it - that's not music!

thumbs up

Re: OT/ " What happened to dynamic range ? "
Posted by: wolfmeister ()
Date: August 11, 2013 17:27

Quote
owlbynite
How about rap in this mess. kids had some on in the car, all I heard were verses like 'gotta watch this muhfu*@er over here & that muhf#*ker over there.' I finally asked, you really call this music? These aren't self-respecting songwriters. sad smiley

that's a bit harsh. you just dont get hiphop/rap





Re: OT/ " What happened to dynamic range ? "
Posted by: Lynd8 ()
Date: August 11, 2013 17:59

I believe it's actually "Bit#c Muhfu**ER" NOT JUST "Muhfu*&er" LOL


Quote
owlbynite
How about rap in this mess. kids had some on in the car, all I heard were verses like 'gotta watch this muhfu*@er over here & that muhf#*ker over there.' I finally asked, you really call this music? These aren't self-respecting songwriters. sad smiley

Re: OT/ " What happened to dynamic range ? "
Posted by: His Majesty ()
Date: August 11, 2013 18:11

Quote
owlbynite
... no real tunes just don't hit me as music. smoking smiley

Music is just organised sound, whether you like or dislike specific organised sound does not affect what it is. smiling smiley

Re: OT/ " What happened to dynamic range ? "
Posted by: Munichhilton ()
Date: August 11, 2013 18:47

Quote
His Majesty
Quote
owlbynite
... no real tunes just don't hit me as music. smoking smiley

Music is just organised sound, whether you like or dislike specific organised sound does not affect what it is. smiling smiley


This is very true about music...but what about rap?

Re: OT/ " What happened to dynamic range ? "
Posted by: His Majesty ()
Date: August 11, 2013 19:25

Quote
Munichhilton

This is very true about music...but what about rap?

A grandchild of the blues.

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