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#574205 - 01/10/08 01:47 AM Re: Bringing dynamics back to music [Re: Jody Whitesides]  
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Patrick Bryant Offline
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The other day I dug out an old CD from 1985 (Brothers in Arms by Dire Straits) and the average level of all the cuts is much softer than anything recent. But there's more room for the peaks to go, and they do. When I turned the first cut (So Far Away) to a good listening level, that snare just went through me on every off beat. So cool to be reminded of a time when music fans loved that visceral impact. *sigh*

I wish CD changers and iPod-type devices would come out with a function to scan the levels of every song and adjust the playback level to compensate. That'd help I think.

#574308 - 01/10/08 11:33 AM Re: Bringing dynamics back to music [Re: Patrick Bryant]  
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BIG JIM MERRILEES Offline
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Hi Pat I have an old Stones album. On the sleeve it says "made loud to be played loud" Guess what IT ISN'T.

#574382 - 01/10/08 02:37 PM Re: Bringing dynamics back to music [Re: BIG JIM MERRILEES]  
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pelliott Offline
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Patrick, Here's some hope I guess.

http://docs.info.apple.com/article.html?artnum=61655

itunes- Soundcheck seems to be trying to do it.


Paul Elliott
Head Mastering Engineer
The Soundlab @ Disc Makers
#574401 - 01/10/08 03:42 PM Re: Bringing dynamics back to music [Re: Jody Whitesides]  
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Jody Whitesides Offline
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I figured it would be smart to repost it on this page since it was replied to.

Originally Posted by Jody Whitesides
Thought I revive this little thread. This morning a fan sent me a link to a Rolling Stone article and proceeded to grill me. Here's the link: http://www.rollingstone.com/news/story/17777619/the_death_of_high_fidelity/print

There are a lot of additional links in that article that explain everything as well.

When I told him I was going to do different mixes for different mediums and that I wasn't going to mix the CD the same way as the MP3s/Digital sales stuff it made him happy. He's an audiophile and is bummed about the way music gets pumped like this. He specifically goes out of his way not to listen to radio and artists that pump stuff up too much.

In other news related to digital sales. Apparently Apple is working with movie studios where a studio would release a DVD with additional movie files meant for the iPod/iTunes right on the DVD. Meaning you won't have to rip it for the iPod. From what I understand it would mean that it would tie into your iTunes account and watermark it to you somehow. I think that's a pretty darn cool idea.

One would hope they would do something like this for music as well. I know for sure that I would gladly put MP3's on the CD if they could be watermarked to the buyer.

Which is a similar concept to a new thing I'm working on with a website I'm developing. Watermarking the file to the buyer, but no DRM. Thus they can use it freely, but they wouldn't want to share it freely.

Thoughts?


Jody Whitesides
A Funky Audio Lap Dance For Your Ears!
www.jodywhitesides.com
#574413 - 01/10/08 04:47 PM Re: Bringing dynamics back to music [Re: Jody Whitesides]  
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BIG JIM MERRILEES Offline
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Hi Jody it is a good idea to revive and revisit interesting old threads after a few months. I just hope that "the Morality thread that just wont die" if it eventually dies will never be resurrected.

#595761 - 03/12/08 10:21 PM Re: Bringing dynamics back to music [Re: Jody Whitesides]  
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evbro Offline
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I COMPLETELY AGREE. Dynamics are a lost art these days, and too many songs become boring so quickly because of their over-compressed, loudly-mastered recording. Ear fatigue can't help but set in.

#595909 - 03/13/08 10:04 AM Re: Bringing dynamics back to music [Re: evbro]  
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Richard Maclemale Offline
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It's funny how attitudes change over the years. Back when Donald Fagen's "The Nightfly" came out, people were stunned at how great the drums sounded. No one knew they were really essentially samples. Now when I listen to it, it SOUNDS like drum samples. But the CD still sounds very very good... and it's way softer than anything I've bought in the past ten years.

I'm recording CD #3 and I'm trying to do everything I can to make it sound real. Including not hyping the volumes. I'm actually thinking of including an explanation, in layman's terms, as to why it's "softer" than other CD's...


Richard MacLemale
Music = http://www.richardmac.com
#595944 - 03/13/08 12:21 PM Re: Bringing dynamics back to music [Re: BIG JIM MERRILEES]  
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Jack Swain Offline
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Originally Posted by BIG JIM MERRILEES
Hi Pat I have an old Stones album. On the sleeve it says "made loud to be played loud" Guess what IT ISN'T.


That may be true by today's standards, but in its era it was recorded loudly, that is to say the amps were cranked up fairly loudly to get their natural crunch and for its time it was a reasonably loud recording. However, I think what the Stones wanted was for kids to turn it up loudly so that it would piss off their parents.

#595976 - 03/13/08 01:27 PM Re: Bringing dynamics back to music [Re: Richard Maclemale]  
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Patrick Bryant Offline
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Originally Posted by Richard Maclemale
It's funny how attitudes change over the years. Back when Donald Fagen's "The Nightfly" came out, people were stunned at how great the drums sounded. No one knew they were really essentially samples. Now when I listen to it, it SOUNDS like drum samples. But the CD still sounds very very good... and it's way softer than anything I've bought in the past ten years...


I've started transfering my favorite vinyl LPs to digital (don't tell the RIAA smile )
I have The Nightfly on black vinyl and it sounds great even after the transfer and subsequent burning to CD.
I have to turn my car CD player up higher but I don't care.
Yep, at least the snare on that album is a sample (Roger Nichols' "Wendel" sampler that he designed back in the 80s) which facilitates Donald Fagen's perfectionism toward musical timing.
I suspect the early CDs made between 1983 and 1990 are even more dynamic than the old vinyl. It's not the CD medium that lets us down, it's modern production techniques.

#596013 - 03/13/08 03:57 PM Re: Bringing dynamics back to music [Re: Patrick Bryant]  
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Jody Whitesides Offline
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The CD as a medium is a very capable medium for dynamics. It very much is modern production techniques that have led to less dynamics.

I've recently undertaken the sound sculpting of my studio. Adding appropriate bass traps and "fixing" the sound in the studio. What a massive difference! I'm happy I haven't released Hero Unexpected. I can go through and re-mix it again and fix a few things that I still wasn't happy about with the mix.

As I mentioned before, I'll do multiple mixes for releases from now on. A CD version for dynamics, and a Digital Download version for loud. That way I can get the best of both worlds.


Jody Whitesides
A Funky Audio Lap Dance For Your Ears!
www.jodywhitesides.com
#596071 - 03/13/08 06:31 PM Re: Bringing dynamics back to music [Re: BIG JIM MERRILEES]  
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Patrick Bryant Offline
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Originally Posted by BIG JIM MERRILEES
Hi Pat I have an old Stones album. On the sleeve it says "made loud to be played loud" Guess what IT ISN'T.


Well... you're not playing it loud then, are you? smile

#596255 - 03/14/08 04:45 AM Re: Bringing dynamics back to music [Re: Patrick Bryant]  
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I recall a Rolling Stone Magazine interview with Donald Fagan a few months ago to where he was talking about the pitfalls of recording software. How these progerams are used to make something sound too big and perfect.
The openess, tonalitiy, and all the intracasies in a recording are not there.
There is somewhat of a colder sound then on vinyl or cassette.
An acoustic in the old analog recordings does'nt ring out as much. On cd it sounds more clangy and cold.

I recall record company people in their business suits going to used stores and to record collectors because they lost the master recordings to a lot of those old acts.
Some things are just going to be gone with the sound from the original.
And once it is gone, it is gone forever.

#596266 - 03/14/08 05:59 AM Re: Bringing dynamics back to music [Re: mattbanx]  
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"The other day I dug out an old CD from 1985 (Brothers in Arms by Dire Straits) and the average level of all the cuts is much softer than anything recent. But there's more room for the peaks to go, and they do. When I turned the first cut (So Far Away) to a good listening level, that snare just went through me on every off beat. So cool to be reminded of a time when music fans loved that visceral impact. *sigh*"

That vibraphone sounding melody toward the end of Why Worry Now sounds more glowing on vinyl. More of a full, compressed feel to those albums. I notice that the most on quiet songs.

#631256 - 07/07/08 05:04 AM Re: Bringing dynamics back to music [Re: Jody Whitesides]  
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Jim Offerman Offline
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Interesting thread... I don't think it is fair that the mastering engineers are always getting the blame for CDs being too loud and having no dynamics. A lot of dynamics are lost already in the mixing stage, I think.

Looking at my own stuff, I used to use way too much compression on individual tracks in my early mixes (in part because of the limited set of tools offered by the DAW software I used early on). Nowadays, I use compression in the mix very selectively, because it's such a double edged sword. If something needs to be louder in the mix, I mostly rely on gain to get it there. What's interesting is that my newer mixes are both louder and more dynamic.


Jim Offerman ~ inspirational pop music
blog - follow me twitter - buy 'Start Here' on bandcamp!
#639790 - 08/05/08 11:54 AM Re: Bringing dynamics back to music [Re: Jim Offerman]  
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niteshift Offline
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Hey Jim,

Interesting blog entry from Masterbox, one of the mastering dudes.....

http://community.mi7.com/profile/blog/entry/2007

cheers, niteshift


#640354 - 08/07/08 03:43 PM Re: Bringing dynamics back to music [Re: niteshift]  
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Jim Offerman Offline
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Yeah, great post. More people who do mixes should read it! smile

Another thing that might help would be the plugin makers shipping their products with more "here's how you use our compressor in a real mix" presets and less of the "look how punchy we can make your kick sound with this Ubar CompreszzoR 6001 setting!" stuff that you usually get...



Jim Offerman ~ inspirational pop music
blog - follow me twitter - buy 'Start Here' on bandcamp!
#654375 - 09/22/08 03:49 PM Re: Bringing dynamics back to music [Re: Jim Offerman]  
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Jody Whitesides Offline
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It's finally started to happen. Fans petitioning for albums to be remixed and remastered. The latest release that is too loud... Death Magnetic by Metallica. Seems even the mastering engineer (who claims the mixes came to him overly loud and squished) is not proud to be associated with this release.

Could this be the straw that broke the camel's back?


Jody Whitesides
A Funky Audio Lap Dance For Your Ears!
www.jodywhitesides.com
#654413 - 09/22/08 06:27 PM Re: Bringing dynamics back to music [Re: Jody Whitesides]  
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Jim Offerman Offline
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Here's hoping! smile


Jim Offerman ~ inspirational pop music
blog - follow me twitter - buy 'Start Here' on bandcamp!
#903978 - 06/16/11 06:55 PM Re: Bringing dynamics back to music [Re: Jim Offerman]  
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Alek Offline
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Ok, if there are so many experts in sound issues then tell me
if a sound engineer made his job(mastering) good:

http://soundclick.com/share.cfm?id=10491067

as for me he made a sound louder with no distortion

#1043417 - 03/25/14 09:40 PM Re: Bringing dynamics back to music [Re: Alek]  
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Jody Whitesides Offline
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Park City, UT, USA
The discussion continues... However, I'm now seeing new ways to get more volume out of a track without the over compressed and or brick wall limited vibe that tends to squish the life and volume out of track - or even add distortion.

One New Trick For Mastering: http://wp.me/p20RW6-7I5

Time to revisit all this.


Jody Whitesides
A Funky Audio Lap Dance For Your Ears!
www.jodywhitesides.com
#1043430 - 03/26/14 12:12 AM Re: Bringing dynamics back to music [Re: Jody Whitesides]  
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Johnny Daubert Offline
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Thanks Jody!

Been doing that with Logic, the internal mixer of that is the same way! Thought it wasn't showing the levels right when it wasn't distorting when it should! I'm not THAT deaf now after all,,,,Ahhh

When I use Audacity for all my editing shows for interview hosts, I can't do that, but with just talking, I don't have to blast it anyway. For music though, (and using Audacity), do you know a way around the distortion issues if wanting to go into the red for any reason? I use "Leveling" along with certain compressions to achieve power when needed, but still have to stay under clipping for the most part. Some highs can be be over without notice, or if they are treated with Low Pass Filter at a certain measure for each one.

Thank you!

Johnny


Actually a Member Since 1996 or 97 (Number One Hundred Something).
Songnado I and II:
http://www.soundclick.com/bands/page_music.cfm?bandID=322686





#1043452 - 03/26/14 04:11 AM Re: Bringing dynamics back to music [Re: Johnny Daubert]  
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Jody Whitesides Offline
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Logic does have a good internal path. However, the program George is using to achieve that result isn't Logic. I actually didn't get the name of it. But it came with his audio interface which is an RME.

As for Audacity - I've never used it. I'm guessing their audio engine isn't very good. Which would explain why it's clipping when it hits red.


Jody Whitesides
A Funky Audio Lap Dance For Your Ears!
www.jodywhitesides.com
#1043470 - 03/26/14 11:22 AM Re: Bringing dynamics back to music [Re: Jody Whitesides]  
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Ray E. Strode Online content
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Humm,
Old Audio Tape Recorders had a Dynamic Range of about 55 DB. That meant you could record loud passages as well as quite passages with out gross distortion. Possibly new CD Recorders can do even better. With Tape Recorders you could and they probably did go into the red of which was about 3 percent distortion with no Ill effects. With CD recording going into the red is a no,no. You get gross distortion immediately. It will sound like a thunderstorm on an AM Radio.

There is no reason I can think of that you can't acheive good dynmaic range with today's equipment. It is more or how the recording is made rather than the equipment. I think some people like to two block everything of which generally kills the sound.


Ray E. Strode
#1123920 - 02/08/17 11:55 AM Re: Bringing dynamics back to music [Re: Patrick Bryant]  
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Brian Austin Whitney Online content
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This post is a big draw for google!


Brian Austin Whitney
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"Don't sit around and wait for success to come to you... it doesn't know the way." -Brian Austin Whitney


#1123963 - 02/09/17 07:23 PM Re: Bringing dynamics back to music [Re: Patrick Bryant]  
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Jody Whitesides Offline
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And in the past couple of years things have changed yet again in the getting it louder situation.

My mastering friend and I have figured out a newer form of mastering that would make most old school guys cringe. It came about as an accident which caused us to stumble onto something new that works in weird mysterious ways. Bigger bass with crazy volume.

In recent weeks Logic has added a 64bit summing bus. This changes the headroom in ways I haven't really figured out yet, but my guess is, it will change how levels will work yet again.

I did show the trick I referenced to a guy who builds high end EQs and Compressors. When he tried the trick in his studio based on my guidance, he was floored. Couldn't believe how it worked and how well it worked. Understood exactly what the process was, and thought it would come in pretty handy.

Loud isn't the enemy.


Jody Whitesides
A Funky Audio Lap Dance For Your Ears!
www.jodywhitesides.com
#1123988 - 02/10/17 01:57 PM Re: Bringing dynamics back to music [Re: Patrick Bryant]  
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Ray E. Strode Online content
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Well,
For something that is nerve wracking get a copy of the Tchaikovsky 1812 Overture with the Minneapolis Symphony by Antal Dorati on Mercury Living Presence. The Canon Fire will tell you what "Real" loud is!


Ray E. Strode
#1123991 - 02/10/17 02:37 PM Re: Bringing dynamics back to music [Re: Ray E. Strode]  
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Originally Posted by Ray E. Strode
Well,
For something that is nerve wracking get a copy of the Tchaikovsky 1812 Overture with the Minneapolis Symphony by Antal Dorati on Mercury Living Presence. The Canon Fire will tell you what "Real" loud is!


Though that can be deceiving Ray. If the bulk of the recording is set well below the peak level, the volume knob by the listener is turned up to compensate. Then when the canon goes off at peak level, it sounds much louder because of the volume level set by the listener. It’s like those videos where everything’s set at a soft level, the listener turns the volume knob way up to hear it better, then wham, something jumps out at an ear excruciating peak volume. Yes, extreme dynamics.

John smile

#1124001 - 02/10/17 11:28 PM Re: Bringing dynamics back to music [Re: Jody Whitesides]  
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Originally Posted by Jody Whitesides
And in the past couple of years things have changed yet again in the getting it louder situation.

My mastering friend and I have figured out a newer form of mastering that would make most old school guys cringe. It came about as an accident which caused us to stumble onto something new that works in weird mysterious ways. Bigger bass with crazy volume.

In recent weeks Logic has added a 64bit summing bus. This changes the headroom in ways I haven't really figured out yet, but my guess is, it will change how levels will work yet again.

I did show the trick I referenced to a guy who builds high end EQs and Compressors. When he tried the trick in his studio based on my guidance, he was floored. Couldn't believe how it worked and how well it worked. Understood exactly what the process was, and thought it would come in pretty handy.

Loud isn't the enemy.


"Loud" is an important tool in one's toolbox.

The problem with the technique of simply increasing the master volume several dbs above zero is not clipping, but that all the ratios between the various instruments change. They all become "closer" in average volume as a result, changing one's mixing "intention" to a large degree.

If the numerator is a voice and the denominator is a Hammond Organ, and they are averaging about a 6/4 ratio, then adding 10db to that master track would change a 3 to 2 ratio to a 16/14 ratio, or 8 to 7. That Hammond is gonna sound too loud, compared to the voice now.

A better method of using software oversampling is to gain ride all the mixer channels louder than one usually does, but strictly maintaining the ratios between the various channels. That way the final mix can be as loud sounding as you want while maintaining the intended ratios between the various channels/instruments.

But then again, this is all just a thought experiment on my part, LOL..

I suppose it depends on what actually happens once a sound is as loud as can be. If one increases the master track volume even further, then all the softer instruments will now be approaching that "as loud as can be" threshold as well, I'm thinking. But I'm still not convinced by my own arguments, LOL...

Mike

Last edited by Michael Zaneski; 02/10/17 11:57 PM.

Fate doesn't hang on a wrong or right choice
Fortune depends on the tone of your voice

-The Divine Comedy (Neil Hannon)
from the song "Songs of Love"
from the album "Casanova" (1996)
#1124012 - 02/11/17 01:08 PM Re: Bringing dynamics back to music [Re: Patrick Bryant]  
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Ray E. Strode Online content
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Well,
When making a recording keeping levels where there is not gross distortion is important. With digital going into the red is a no, no because gross distortion happens immediately and sounds like dragging a wire brush across a blackboard. With audio tape going into the red may not even be auditable for the most part. The writers at HI Fi Stereo Review once did tests to see how much distortion was needed before you could detect it. On a fundimental frequency it took 6 percent before they could detect it.

For a better look at how loudness affects the human ear you need to look at the Fletcher-Munson Curves that did tests to see how sensitive the ear was at different frequencies.

Last edited by Ray E. Strode; 02/11/17 01:09 PM.

Ray E. Strode
#1124021 - 02/11/17 04:08 PM Re: Bringing dynamics back to music [Re: Ray E. Strode]  
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Originally Posted by Ray E. Strode
Well,
When making a recording keeping levels where there is not gross distortion is important. With digital going into the red is a no, no because gross distortion happens immediately and sounds like dragging a wire brush across a blackboard. With audio tape going into the red may not even be auditable for the most part. The writers at HI Fi Stereo Review once did tests to see how much distortion was needed before you could detect it. On a fundimental frequency it took 6 percent before they could detect it.

Ray, I'm pretty sure based on that post, you haven't worked much with modern digital equipment in the last couple of years. ["going into the red is a no, no"] Otherwise you'd know that's a false statement.

As for the Hi Fi Stereo Review, how old was that article? And what digital equipment was used for the test?


Jody Whitesides
A Funky Audio Lap Dance For Your Ears!
www.jodywhitesides.com
#1124022 - 02/11/17 04:40 PM Re: Bringing dynamics back to music [Re: Patrick Bryant]  
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Ray E. Strode Online content
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Uh Well Jody,
Once again I will mention the Fletcher-Munson Curves that measured the sensitivity of the human ear to different frequencies. Recording something with gross distortion may be some great thing, but listening to it will get old pretty quickly.

Hi-Fi Stereo Review Magazine had excellent Labs and did Tests on Audio Equipment and published the results on a regular basis.

While Digital is a great advance, it doesn't allow gross distortion to improve a recording. When CD's first came out a lot of people didn't like them even tho cleaning up the sound made it more accurate people actually liked the earlier sound that was made on tube equipment before digital. And it appears Vinyl is making a comeback. Not that it will ever likely replace CD's of which you don't use anymore but will be here for a long time to come. I copy tape to CD on occasion. Every time it goes into the red gross distortion happens.


Ray E. Strode
#1124025 - 02/11/17 05:35 PM Re: Bringing dynamics back to music [Re: Jody Whitesides]  
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Hi Jody,

Your blog post on discovering this phenomena is really a mind blower and a paradigm shifter, especially for music where all instruments are intended to be mixed at or near peak levels.

I am also amazed there is no real literature on this phenomena outside of your blog article. The process you discovered resembles tape saturation in that the louder the master fader goes, the "warmer" the sound becomes, because the digital equipment is simply using it's 32 or 64 bit oversampling to neatly chop off the sound at zero, and rarely are there any clipping artifacts that we have been warned about in our "learning process" about this stuff so many years ago.

I think one could call this process/phenomena digital saturation cuz that's really exactly what it is and what's happening when the master fader goes beyond zero into "plus land." One indeed gets a more natural but louder mix than one can get using normal compressors and limiters.

Mike

Last edited by Michael Zaneski; 02/11/17 06:00 PM.

Fate doesn't hang on a wrong or right choice
Fortune depends on the tone of your voice

-The Divine Comedy (Neil Hannon)
from the song "Songs of Love"
from the album "Casanova" (1996)
#1124069 - 02/13/17 10:05 PM Re: Bringing dynamics back to music [Re: Michael Zaneski]  
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Originally Posted by Ray E. Strode
Uh Well Jody,
Once again I will mention the Fletcher-Munson Curves that measured the sensitivity of the human ear to different frequencies. Recording something with gross distortion may be some great thing, but listening to it will get old pretty quickly.

Hi-Fi Stereo Review Magazine had excellent Labs and did Tests on Audio Equipment and published the results on a regular basis.

While Digital is a great advance, it doesn't allow gross distortion to improve a recording. [snip...] I copy tape to CD on occasion. Every time it goes into the red gross distortion happens.

Then whatever DA converters you're using are probably over 7 years old. As I wrote, most modern high quality converters do not have "gross" distortion when you hit red. All formats old and new will grossly distort if you pump too much audio thru them at too high a level.

Originally Posted by Michael Zaneski
Hi Jody,

Your blog post on discovering this phenomena is really a mind blower and a paradigm shifter, especially for music where all instruments are intended to be mixed at or near peak levels.

I am also amazed there is no real literature on this phenomena outside of your blog article. The process you discovered resembles tape saturation in that the louder the master fader goes, the "warmer" the sound becomes, because the digital equipment is simply using it's 32 or 64 bit oversampling to neatly chop off the sound at zero, and rarely are there any clipping artifacts that we have been warned about in our "learning process" about this stuff so many years ago.

I think one could call this process/phenomena digital saturation cuz that's really exactly what it is and what's happening when the master fader goes beyond zero into "plus land." One indeed gets a more natural but louder mix than one can get using normal compressors and limiters.

Bingo. This is the reason why I am calling out the BS on comments about digital distortion or that it sounds sterile or leads to too much loudness.

Is it possible to go too far with it? Yes, just like any other format (tape, vinyl, cassette, gramophone, etc). The problem is, most guys used to recording to older mediums probably don't understand digital. The immediate and main difference is that digital is a mirror - if you don't feed it the sound you want, its not going to add "color" to the sound. Whereas other formats like 2" tape, they actually do color and modify the sound instead of being a mirror.

Are the warnings about digital clipping legit? Sure, just not a hardline 0 any more. Modern interfaces have much better algorithms and parts than they used to. Thus now we get more "saturation" than the old school digital distortion of yesteryear.


Jody Whitesides
A Funky Audio Lap Dance For Your Ears!
www.jodywhitesides.com
#1124078 - 02/14/17 12:47 AM Re: Bringing dynamics back to music [Re: Patrick Bryant]  
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I have been using a dj mixer in my recordings. In the past I have used distortion pedals and reverb units.
But I have been looking at getting a good mixing board.
How important do the members find in their sound with software?
There seems to be more versatility and individuality having my hands on the sound controls instead of software.

#1124079 - 02/14/17 01:55 AM Re: Bringing dynamics back to music [Re: Jody Whitesides]  
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Hmmmmmm..........
Gotta think about this one, I said with a smile.

#1124090 - 02/14/17 12:38 PM Re: Bringing dynamics back to music [Re: Patrick Bryant]  
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Ray E. Strode Online content
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Good Lord!,
DA Converters? Any hard Drive Recorder where you feed an audio signal into has a Analog to Digital Converter. If it didn't you couldn't put a signal on the disc or whatever device you were recording to. And on the stand Alone CD Recorder I have there are meters so you don't record the signal over what the device is capable of. Every recording device I have seen, I bought my first tape recorder in 1956, and it had a sort of meter, actually a neon bulb that blinked when the level was getting too high.

One thing that puzzles me, why do people buy a seperate DA Converter when it is already in all the recorders. Do they think it is better? I guess they think they are getting better sound.

Long before Digital was the new word, there was audio tape recorders. The basic specs for a good sound was 50 to 15K plus or minus 2 db. S/N ratio 55 DB. Some recorders had better specs but you couldn't hear the difference. Many years ago Ampex said the high end of about 12,5K was all that was needed.

There have been many excellent recordings made on tape before digital was invented. All with the average specs mentioned above.

I have read some other descriptions of audio designs that just floor me. STARVED PLATE DESIGN. Now what the hell is that. Any one that understands Tube Theory would be laughing their *ss off.

TAPE SATURATION. Now there is a good one. Again there are level meters on a tape recorder so to prevent gross distortion and overloading the tape.

Some of those pieces of "Audio" gear I have no idea what they do.
COMPRESSORS. As I understand it, a compressor allows you to lob off the peaks to prevent distortion? Must sound great.

MIXING. Like it or not, you can't fix a recording after it is recorded. You can only make it worse. You need to do it right the first time or re do it. That's how they did it in the old days. But some people seem to indicate just one more piece of gear and they can make great recordings! Gosh I wish I was selling all that gear. I would get rich!


Ray E. Strode
#1124138 - 02/15/17 03:49 PM Re: Bringing dynamics back to music [Re: Ray E. Strode]  
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Originally Posted by Ray E. Strode
Some of those pieces of "Audio" gear I have no idea what they do.
COMPRESSORS. As I understand it, a compressor allows you to lob off the peaks to prevent distortion? Must sound great.

Herein is the exact answer that shows how much not understanding gear, let alone new gear, makes a difference. Ray, it would behoove you to read about gear, use gear, understand gear, before posting definitive statements about gear and how the recording process works.

A compressor does not lob off the peaks to prevent distortion. Not really the reality of what a compressor does; a limiter, yeah that almost does that, but a compressor, no. AD & DA converters and their quality make a massive difference for digital. Yes the ones that I use for recording are substantially better than the ones that come on a CD player - but who really uses CDs anymore? Peak meters on tape machines were guides to say - it might be getting too hot. Not definitive answers. Only your ear knows if it sounds distorted!

As for the mixing wisdom - there are things that can be fixed, there are things that can't be fixed. There are things that can be made better, there are things that can't. There are things that can be masked and there are things that can be removed. Things can also be re-recorded. There is no hard fast rule that a mix has to be done right the first time. That era of once and done is not the norm any more. Like it or not, things have changed. Many people, including myself, believe its for the better.


Jody Whitesides
A Funky Audio Lap Dance For Your Ears!
www.jodywhitesides.com
#1124145 - 02/15/17 06:39 PM Re: Bringing dynamics back to music [Re: Patrick Bryant]  
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Ray E. Strode Online content
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Humm?
My post of WHAT'S IN YOUR CD PLAYER has had over 2 and 1/4 million hits so somebody is still listening to CD's.


Ray E. Strode
#1124159 - 02/16/17 02:12 AM Re: Bringing dynamics back to music [Re: Patrick Bryant]  
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I thought this topic would cover dynamics as it concerns the playing of the music. That has been a pet peeve of mine since home recording became so big.

It reminds me of a band I played in a while ago, where the keyboard player was constant,y harping on the fact that we needed to be conscious of dynamics. That's too loud, that's too soft, that's not soft enough in the bridge, and every player had to do it, in heir own way till it sounds seemlessly, then if you recorded live, you would t have to worry about fluctuations.

To me dynamics is more than how loud something is, green day sure gets loud recordings, but to me dynamics covers up and downs, the ebb and flow, and the changes in volume in the song

That's something that gets lost when tracking everything yourself.

And something that is missing in a lot of home recordings. That, as well as no tempo changes, has really made some of the music stale. Great songs of yesteryear had tempo changes in various sections, as well as dynamics changes, that's what breathes life into it

But this is a good topic as is

Last edited by Trentb; 02/16/17 02:14 AM.
#1124163 - 02/16/17 02:40 AM Re: Bringing dynamics back to music [Re: Ray E. Strode]  
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Originally Posted by Ray E. Strode
Humm?
My post of WHAT'S IN YOUR CD PLAYER has had over 2 and 1/4 million hits so somebody is still listening to CD's.

Yup, there are some still clinging to other dying media too. The first CD I burned in several years was actually for this current JPF Awards. Everything else for years now has been file transfers. The CD is already becoming niche much like vinyl and tape have. Streaming has won. Which means its the current game for recording and dynamics. To use your phrase: Like it or not.


Jody Whitesides
A Funky Audio Lap Dance For Your Ears!
www.jodywhitesides.com
#1126752 - 04/19/17 06:10 PM Re: Bringing dynamics back to music [Re: Patrick Bryant]  
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Newest addition is that this year Vinyl payouts exceeded streaming payouts.
https://www.theguardian.com/busines...deo-streaming-royalties?CMP=share_btn_fb

For those clinging onto Streaming as their savior ..... y'all better get gigging to cover those shortfalls.

That said Vinyl, cassettes, CD's are never going to come back to their glory days but Streaming has a long way to go before anyone can actually make a living at it --- OK show me the streaming money figures of a few ... but also show me how much the PR cost and I'm betting 9 out of 10 there is a loss

#1128074 - 05/28/17 09:16 AM Re: Bringing dynamics back to music [Re: Patrick Bryant]  
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It appears that streaming services are starting to fight back against the loudness wars. They're all increasing and decreasing audio volumes based on a specific loud level. Here's a good article about it.

https://ask.audio/articles/spotify-...4-lufs-what-does-this-mean-for-producers

The takeaway is that mastering to insanely loud levels means it will no longer be of any value.


Jody Whitesides
A Funky Audio Lap Dance For Your Ears!
www.jodywhitesides.com
#1133391 - 12/06/17 02:48 AM Re: Bringing dynamics back to music [Re: Patrick Bryant]  
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TC Perkins Online content
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I have started using a plugin to monitor the loudness of my tracks. I read the same article that Jody posted above ^^ and I started using my meter. It's the Youlean Loudness Meter and it was free (may still be).

Like it or not, for the type of music most of us do (rock, pop, country) if you are not perceived loudly enough, many people will not like your song as well. I guess it all comes down to what people are used to hearing. While I refuse to be caught up the loudness war, I do rock, and I want my song to have heft and impact. If the "old school" guys could have done that 30 years ago THEY WOULD HAVE. They mixed and mastered to a standard. It's a new age, and modern tech allows for quite a bit more "loudness" without slaughtering the dynamics if it's done right for 'pop' music. Unfortunately, the loudness wars created some bad habits, and probably why we have these discussions.

I will probably go back and re-check every song I have on soundcloud and re-master (I plan to remix and redo some stuff in the old ones based on feedback anyway) them to somewhere in the -12 to -16 LUFS range (they already seem to be close but I plan on adhering more or less to the spotify standard for now). I experimented and found that keeps them sounding modern and I still see lots of play on my VU meter, and they hold up to the more professional stuff in terms of level.

Peace,
TC

PS: I checked and the plugin still looks free. If nothing else get it and check your mixes just to learn and experiment!

Last edited by TC Perkins; 12/06/17 02:50 AM.

If it has strings I will find a way to play it!

You can hear my tunes at https://soundcloud.com/tc-gypsy
#1133426 - 12/06/17 02:35 PM Re: Bringing dynamics back to music [Re: Patrick Bryant]  
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I've done a side-by-side comparison of the same song mastered to what amounts to CD level, then to Spotify level, then Apple Music level. Then set each appropriately to the same volume level.

Its not hard to do, but it is very ear opening to hear the difference. They all end up sounding the same "loud" and nothing changes in terms of "heft". What does change is the spacial impact. Songs mastered to say -9 LUFS, which about as loud as you can get things in the digital realm (maybe -8), end up sounding less spacial when played at -14 LUFS or -16 LUFS.

I found that songs that were mastered to the level its to be listened to as a max ended up sounding much better from a spacial aspect. And when turned up further with a volume knob, they have more impact.

Also, when a song mastered to that volume (-9) can also have more revealing issues at lower volumes. The latest best example is Ed Sheerans Divide. Several of those songs are actually distorted due to loud mastering and I found that I disliked listening to them despite how good the songs are.

As I've been working on getting Apple certified for the Mastered For iTunes program. I've found that Mastering to -16 LUFS with well mixed material has actually made it easier to run things thru their applications and avoiding volume based distortions. Which is an improvement on the loudness wars.

p.s. I use the iZotope Insight, it has a plethora of information that it tracks.


Jody Whitesides
A Funky Audio Lap Dance For Your Ears!
www.jodywhitesides.com
#1133427 - 12/06/17 02:42 PM Re: Bringing dynamics back to music [Re: Patrick Bryant]  
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BTW - all that being said...

The end user can still go into settings in Spotify or Apple Music and turn off the volume limits. Which defeats their volume level parity. If that setting became hardwired, it would be the ultimate end to the volume wars.


Jody Whitesides
A Funky Audio Lap Dance For Your Ears!
www.jodywhitesides.com
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