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Compression techniques ruining modern music (article)

Discussion in 'Music' started by Greg.G, Oct 4, 2006.

  1. keenthegod

    keenthegod Auditioning

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    Paul Keenan


    That's is retarded. Anyone ever heard of turning the music up?

    Oasis didn't have any hand in their mastering; that was vlado meller who started compressing their records with what's the story.
     
  2. Jeff_CusBlues

    Jeff_CusBlues Supporting Actor

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    Thanks Chris. I'm certainly no expert.

    On the Hoffman boards, they discussed the video in Brian's link and said that was actually volume limiting and not dynamic compression. Anyone know what a compressed waveform looks like? Are they similar looking?
     
  3. MarkHastings

    MarkHastings Executive Producer

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  4. Jeff_CusBlues

    Jeff_CusBlues Supporting Actor

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    Thanks Mark. Great explanation. Like I said, I'm no expert. But I am learning. So based on that explanation, your Bon Jovi explanation would Definitely be compression. I was probably looking at it from a limiting standpoint which is what is being demonstrated in the video clip.
     
  5. Grant B

    Grant B Producer

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    keenthegod
    Excuse Me?
    Turn up the volume on a jukebox in a crowded pub?
    And the band had no say in it whatsoever?
    And who's retarded?
     
  6. Carlo Medina

    Carlo Medina Executive Producer

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    I totally get what you're saying, but the irony for me is that my iPod is the one with the matched volume levels (not touching the dynamic range issue). I had the exact same problem (hundreds of CDs at different volumes) so I made a concerted effort to burn all of them into 320kbps AAC, and then used AACGain (MP3Gain for AAC files) to level match them to 89.0 db. I couldn't be happier. Now I have 4600+ songs on my iPod and I can put it on shuffle at a certain volume and not have to worry about running to the remote to turn up/down songs that are significantly louder/softer than others.

    Still wish the industry would set some standards that catered to music quality as opposed to how loud we can make a recording to stand out from other recordings...
     
  7. Dave Mack

    Dave Mack Producer

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    Hey Guys!

    Just wanted to chime back in and say that Kate Bush's double album Aerial from this past year is a wonderful, NOT loud, not overly compressed record. Quite refershing when instead of loading in a new CD and getting your ears blasted off right away even with just say, a vocal and guitar bit that you actually have to turn your amp back up for a record...!
    Really well recorded, produced and mastered albums used to give a good emulation of what real live music could sound like. Me and Mrs. Mack recently saw FourGoodMen in SF, they are a scottish group comprised of former members of Big country and simple Minds so they are longtime pros and the sound was amazing. When the band came in, GASP! the whole thing actually got, LOUDER! :0 Decent records used to try to copy this approach. Now most records sound like a TV broadcast. Great for shopping malls where you don't want any dynamic variance. Great background noise while you're bopping around the house cleaning or doing laundry but crappy as hell for actual concentrated listening and usually quite fatiguing...



    [​IMG]
     
  8. Grant B

    Grant B Producer

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    Dave
    Too bad I didn't realize who they were, I would have gone to that show. Did they play the Fillmore or Warfield or any recordings out?

    The great thing about seeing a show in San Francisco is the great venues and not the typical High School gym/ hockey rink sound.
    I am tickets for the flaming Lips the day before NYE but it's at the civic which is OK but it doesn't come close too the Filmore
     
  9. Greg.G

    Greg.G Stunt Coordinator

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    a youtube demo of this phenomena:

     
  10. Eric_Connelly

    Eric_Connelly Second Unit

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    Here is my big beef and I hope this doesn't cross the line on the whole pirating argument.

    If the RIAA is going to go after all these people and basically make themselves the mafia of the recording industry then they should either A put out a premium product or let me return the CD when its poorly engineered.

    I posted in another thread I purchased a Cowboy Junkie's CD which was so poorly engineered it was nearly unlistenable on my system. When my wife comments on it you know its bad. She has been quick to point out now which CD's are properly engineered and which are not. She bought Bob Marley's greatest hits and its very well done. Thankfully I bought it used for $5.00.

    So I bought an SACD from them, $26.00 delivered and again poor engineering and poor sound. Yes its better than the CD but its not still what I expect from a a CD much less an SACD.

    Can I return it...nope...thats a problem. I am going to contact who I purchased it from and make a stand on the quality of production on the CD and see where it goes. They can make crap and we're stuck with it but we do not know if it is until we get it home.
     
  11. Carlo Medina

    Carlo Medina Executive Producer

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    That is an awesome clip on Youtube. I've bookmarked it now to show to friends when I talk about compression to illustrate the point. Very well done.

    They should make that required viewing for record company execs.
     
  12. RPSMusic

    RPSMusic Auditioning

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    Hi Grant,
    I am Fourgoodmen's manager. Happened to see the posts here that mention them. Their show in SF was at 12 Galaxies. You can find out all about the band at fourgoodmen.com and their new CD is available at cdbaby.com/fourgoodmen

    Thanks for your interest!
    Rick Shoor
     
  13. Eric_Connelly

    Eric_Connelly Second Unit

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    LOL!

    So I'm watching the recording of The Cowboy Junkies on Soundstage. The DVR picked it up for its second showing.

    Its a really good presentation and sounds fantastic...this lead to me purchasing 2 CD's, well 1 CD and 1 SACD and my comments on how poor the engineering was.

    So I'm sitting here watching it getting more and more disappointed with how much I paid for the SACD and how poor it sounded. I headed over to their website to send them an email about their CD and its engineering.

    I just wanted to hear their thoughts on the CD's production because after seeing them on Soundstage she has a great presence and voice, on the CD's she is third string behind overblown guitars.

    So I find this:
    http://www.cowboyjunkies.com/cgi-bin...c&f=1&t=019843

    Seems this is making its way everywhere around the web.
     
  14. JeremyErwin

    JeremyErwin Producer

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    Right now, I'm think that it would nice to have a program to go through my iTunes Library and calculate dynamic range-- would be interesting to correlate how I rated them with how loud they are. (the aac codec probably crushes it further, but a substantial number of tracks are "lossless")

    Recently, I tried to listen to "R.E.M."'s Up, and found it rather fatiguing. could compression be the culprit?
     
  15. Eric_Connelly

    Eric_Connelly Second Unit

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    You know now that you mention REM and this REALLY bugs me because its DVD-A and there is no reason for DVD-A to sound like that.

    Around the Sun sounds great and is one of our favorite DVD's. We bought Greatest Hits also a DVD-A and its so overblown we listened to it once. Some songs were OK but the newer ones were way overdone.

    Thats odd to me since I believe Around the Sun is newer.
     
  16. JeremyErwin

    JeremyErwin Producer

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    Oh, I kind of like "Orange Crush."
     
  17. JeremyErwin

    JeremyErwin Producer

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    Here's "Lotus". The other tracks aren't quite as badly mastered
    [​IMG]
     
  18. Eric_Connelly

    Eric_Connelly Second Unit

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    What process can I use to check compression?

    We just got home with Peter Frampton's Fingerprints, which is pretty good, but from the way it sounded in the car it too sounds compressed.

    I will say this, in a vehicle with a cheap base radio, it does sound better, especially the low end. We have a Liberty Sport with the standard radio and it sounds decent. Thats how I could tell [​IMG]

    I put in in my system at home and its pretty boomy during some of the songs.

    Not all of REM's Greatest Hits were that way but some of them seemed to be poorly produced.
     
  19. JeremyErwin

    JeremyErwin Producer

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    You can use Audacity, and import from CDs.

    This track is the 3rd Movement of Shostakovich's Symphony No 11, conducted by Oleg Caetani. It's recorded in an audiophile style, meaning that it either must be played in a soundproof room, or on a powerful stereo system--preferably both.



    [​IMG]

    Turn your system to reference level, enjoy the massed strings, but suddenly, the percussion section gets going...

    Here's The first movement of Vivaldi's "La Stravaganza", (Rachel Podger/ Arte dei suonatori). As Vivaldi performances go, it's most energetic.

    [​IMG]
     
  20. FeisalK

    FeisalK Screenwriter

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    And this is A Different World, from Iron Maiden's new A Matter of Life and Death

    [​IMG]

    recorded in late 20th century style. preferably played on a boom box or in MP3 format.

    I love the songs on this album, but I can't listen to it [​IMG]

    It isn't as bad as Stadium Arcadium, tho' (CD is the lower waveform, the upper is a vinyl mastering done by steve hoffman)

    [​IMG]
     

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