The Loudness War in Modern Audio Mastering

A note by Thinman:

And if you are interested where recent CDs from our beloved composer’s work suffer from [the Loudness War], just listen to Buffalo or Trance-Fusion. I suffer physically when listening to productions of that kind.

See the rest of his entry for details and illustrations – and what Joe Travers had answered:

Well critics, here’s the deal. In the case of “Trance-Fusion”- we sent the album master to Bob Ludwig to do final tweeks, but the level on that title was already maxed out by Spence Chrislu. FZ was alive & authorized a final CD ref (I listened to it with him during his last days). So, in other words, FZ knew about it.
In the case of “Buffalo”, Frank Filipetti sent us a finished mix already mastered that way. That is how he works & so there was no additional mastering after the fact. If you don’t like how that sounds, blame it on him.

39 Responses to “The Loudness War in Modern Audio Mastering”

  1. Thinman says:

    I’m still confused by Joe Travers’ comment “If you don’t like how that sounds, blame it on him [Frank Filipetti]”.

    I blame it on the ZFT of course, because they released it.

    Th.

  2. urbangraffito says:

    Excellent post, Balint. And Excellent thread, Thinman. The topic of audio mastering, particularly on posthumous Zappa releases isn’t nearly discussed enough in my opinion. Obviously, JT and the ZFT would rather point fingers “If you don’t like how that sounds, blame it on him [Frank Filipetti]“ than take responsibility for the quality of their releases. I know they are not Frank, but shouldn’t they at least attempt to adhere to a certain FZ standard with their posthumous releases, Buffalo and Trance-Fusion, in particular?

  3. epistrophy says:

    [quote post=”2424″]I know they are not Frank, but shouldn’t they at least attempt to adhere to a certain FZ standard with their posthumous releases, Buffalo and Trance-Fusion, in particular?[/quote]

    But Joe just told us that Frank approved Trance-Fusion, not to mention monsters like the 1990 You Are What You Is CD…..so what certain FZ standard are you referring to urbangraffito?

    But it really makes no sense to say, “blame [fill in the blank]”. It looks like Joe doesn’t have the final say in Quality Control. Perhaps it’s a case of, when the budget for a certain project is spent, the project is considered complete…? Merely conjecture of course.

  4. epistrophy says:

    OK, that wasn’t a quote from epistrophy, but urbangraffito!

  5. Thinman says:

    [quote post=”2424″]… Frank approved Trance-Fusion … [/quote]In the liner notes Bob Ludwig points out that he had some difficulties with the master.

    Th.

  6. urbangraffito says:

    [quote comment=”7062″][quote post=”2424″]I know they are not Frank, but shouldn’t they at least attempt to adhere to a certain FZ standard with their posthumous releases, Buffalo and Trance-Fusion, in particular?[/quote]

    But Joe just told us that Frank approved Trance-Fusion, not to mention monsters like the 1990 You Are What You Is CD…..so what certain FZ standard are you referring to urbangraffito?

    But it really makes no sense to say, “blame [fill in the blank]”. It looks like Joe doesn’t have the final say in Quality Control. Perhaps it’s a case of, when the budget for a certain project is spent, the project is considered complete…? Merely conjecture of course.[/quote]

    After reading through Thinman’s thread at Zappa.com, and checking out his waveform examples (comparing dynamic range of Buffalo with that of Tinseltown Rebellion) one cannot help but conclude that FZ was concerned with the full audio quality of his albums’ reproduction while he was alive. However, this doesn’t seem to be the case, posthumously. To suggest that this is the result of budget constraints, tells me that JT and the ZFT would rather release Zappa on the cheap, than at all.

  7. Bálint says:

    I am really curious about the reason behind the whole thing – and since “loudness” is a tendency, there MUST be some reason behind it. Though I’ve never EVER read one article that hailed this loudness-thing, but it seems nonsense to me that ALL the engineers gone mad all of a sudden. Why? (Did anyone ever heard anybody saying “Wow, this is loud, this is better than THAT one!”?)
    So: I’d like to hear someone’s point who thinks this is good, who likes to work this way, who knows why this loudness war is happening. (BTW I really like both albums mentioned above, I didn’t recognize it’s problems.)

  8. Thinman says:

    [quote comment=”7067″]… there MUST be some reason behind it [/quote] …Well, I’m afraid, the reason is: stupidity and ignorance and the like …

    Follow some of the links and read: http://www.dynamicrange.de/de/de/links

    Th.

  9. Barry's Imaginary Publisher says:

    Interesting article on the Loudness War (I may have linked it here before). Choice quote:

    To make a track stand out from the rest of the pack, recording engineers have been turning up the volume on recorded music. Louder tracks grab the listener’s attention, and in this crowded music market, attention is important. And thus the loudness war – engineers must turn up the volume on their tracks lest the track sound wimpy when compared to all of the other loud tracks.

  10. Harry Barris says:

    Does Joe Travers ever take responsibility for anything FZ related?!
    (Gail always has to give him “final approval” for anything he does in the vault.)

    Unfortunately his basic, pedestrian drumming abilities are all him!

  11. Bob says:

    PDA, cell phone, .mp3, iPod, tiny little buds in the ear down in the subway tube, the creep next you groping, flies all green and buzzin’ – enough said.

  12. Grafitti On The Wall says:

    Listen to all the 1984 material on YCDTOSA in comparison
    to that on Trance Fusion. Regardless of what the differences
    in graph analysis is plain and simple the early digital instrumentation itself is the weak source. If the current trend of some Loudness mastering war is in part what makes all that digital instrumentation seem to have more dynamics I could care less what a graph looks like. I don’t care what my volume is set fro those old YCFOSA CDs
    the drums and keyboards are cold. Attack and decay with a faster premature ejaculation ratio of anything imaginable.

    Each and every time I listen to the CD version of Trance Fusion I am impressed because I am hearing the same digital drums and keyboards in the overall mix as having more dynamic density as compared to previous 1984 releases.

    Whatever it is that gets not only the overall MIX but those less than
    optimal early digital performance tools to sound better I am all for it.

  13. Thinman says:

    [quote comment=”7072″]… seem to have more dynamics … more dynamic density …[/quote]
    You obviously have no clue what dynamics is. “More dynamics” is pretty much the opposite of “dynamic density”. So which one of the two do you like better?

    Th.

  14. urbangraffito says:

    [quote comment=”7071″]PDA, cell phone, .mp3, iPod, tiny little buds in the ear down in the subway tube, the creep next you groping, flies all green and buzzin’ – enough said.[/quote]

    What was that Bob? Can’t quite hear ya? This generation of overt loudness mastering is going to make users of cell phones, iPods and those tiny little buds in the ear to go prematurely deaf while some sinister midget with a bucket an’ a mop stands by turning up the volume.

  15. Thinman says:

    @Trendmonger: If you like it, you would like it even more without the compression. And: The MIX and the MASTERING are two pair of shoes. Good mastering can rarely fix a really bad mix, but bad mastering can ruin a good mix. What you describe (sound, dynamics, warmth of a certain instrument), is usually treated in the mix on the individual tracks. Via EQ, compression (yes!), expanding, etc. Something can be improved via EQ, multi-band EQ, compression (yes!), expanding … But we are talking about the OVERUSE of compression on the stereo-sum, which decreases the quality of the original mix.

    I promise you, even you would achieve more pleasure when you could listen to a lesser compressed version of Trance-Fusion and Buffalo or any other record with such treatment.

    On the other hand, imagine a recording of Ravel’s Bolero, where all the sections would be equally loud … 😉

  16. HJ says:

    [quote comment=”7072″]Listen to all the 1984 material on YCDTOSA in comparison
    to that on Trance Fusion. Regardless of what the differences
    in graph analysis is plain and simple the early digital instrumentation itself is the weak source.
    …..
    Whatever it is that gets not only the overall MIX but those less than
    optimal early digital performance tools to sound better I am all for it.[/quote]
    One cannot rescue the dynamics of a “weak” source by turning it up. Neither can you improve its dynamics by compression. On the contrary. That is not to deny that you can improve older sounds by various means (reequalization and so on). But once you have done that (as, e.g., in the case of the WOIIFTM 2008 remix I presented waveforms for on the zappa.com thread), why ruin the dynamics by heavy compression and clipping? Trance Fusion would definitely have sounded better as “just” a remix.

  17. Graffiti On The Wall says:

    [quote comment=”7076″][quote comment=”7072″]Listen to all the 1984 material on YCDTOSA in comparison
    to that on Trance Fusion. Regardless of what the differences
    in graph analysis is plain and simple the early digital instrumentation itself is the weak source.
    …..
    Whatever it is that gets not only the overall MIX but those less than
    optimal early digital performance tools to sound better I am all for it.[/quote]
    One cannot rescue the dynamics of a “weak” source by turning it up. Neither can you improve its dynamics by compression. On the contrary. That is not to deny that you can improve older sounds by various means (reequalization and so on). But once you have done that (as, e.g., in the case of the WOIIFTM 2008 remix I presented waveforms for on the zappa.com thread), why ruin the dynamics by heavy compression and clipping? Trance Fusion would definitely have sounded better as “just” a remix.[/quote]

    Loudness Mastering is not my argument.
    Never was there any intent on my part to infer that traditional mastering techniques is inferior or superior. Headroom and Clipping
    Quotients has never been my issue.

    My point was always that the original source that contained given tracks of digital instrumentation always sounded very thin even
    it was being at one of the 13 live shows I saw in 1984..

    One does not need an engineering degree to hear how those early
    digital instruments were cold be it if it was put on tape or played live in a room. The Instrument Waveforms & Samples in 1984 had very little resonance from the initial attack of a given note. The basic differences in dynamic density is that we can now hear the digitial instrumentation better where the notes have more dynamic life regardless of waveform analysis provided.

    FZs usage of digital instrumentation as heard on the 1984 tour was always a cold experiment. Any problems or miraculous wonders with Mixig or CD Mastering of the 184 band is just taking a bad starting point and trying to make the best of it.

    From m perspective the 1984 material on Trance Fusion sounds better than all previously released 1984 material with similar arrangement structures.

  18. Thinman says:

    [quote comment=”7078″]Loudness Mastering is not my argument.
    [/quote]But nothing else is the topic of this entry and the thread over there.

    Th.

  19. tippytoe says:

    “I DON’T KNOW WHAT WE’RE YELLING ABOUT!!!”
    -Brick Tamlan-

    It would be nice to check out KUR without having to
    read this childish whinging.

    BUT….

    Just because I think it’s FUCKING BORING AND PLAYED OUT
    does not mean that you gals should not enjoy every minute
    of this bitchy little pissing contest.

    What a bunch of CRAP.
    It must be a slow news day.

  20. Bálint says:

    Thanks for all the additional infos – now after reading a few artickles I see how it is working, but mainly I still dont understand WHY. it seems that the whole thing is because of the radio stations and maybe for the sake of some compilation albums, but what I see is that the “war” is not neccesserily between the pop starts who rule the media. As I see the case is not that Madonna fights with Beyoncé or so (as It would be logical to me), but some metal and rock and other kind of bands whose carrier and profit (as I see it) is mostly independent from the radios. Did Metallica really need to be louder?… Or Dimmu Borgir?… System Of A Down? Nightwish? Do the carrier of these bands depend on radio stations?… Really?
    .
    Or in the case of some remastered old albums: will the Dark Side Of The Moon be played in radios in heavy rotation? (As I ‘ve heard that this album is also became louder.)
    .
    So my question is still: “why”? There are things in life that I do not agree with, but still I understand. And this “loudness war” is something I do not understand.
    It would be nice to read a post by someone who works this way and thinks that this is good. If there’s a war, there MUST be soldiers somewhere…

  21. urbangraffito says:

    [quote comment=”7081″]
    So my question is still: “why”? There are things in life that I do not agree with, but still I understand. And this “loudness war” is something I do not understand.
    It would be nice to read a post by someone who works this way and thinks that this is good. If there’s a war, there MUST be soldiers somewhere…[/quote]

    I’m with you on this, Balint. It appears to be something only certain industry insiders are privy to (Bob Ludwig, Spence Chrislu, and Frank Filipetti) and why, and they’re not talking.

    I first recall this “loudness war” first began with commercials in the 80s (both on TV and Radio) when the audio sudden went off the loudness scale (and could still be heard even when muted).

    Is it really such a big surprise that CD’s have gotten louder in response? Given the crappy quality of most people’s hardware nowadays (cellphones, mp3 playsers), it doesn’t surprise me one iota that audio quality has taken a backseat to commerce.

  22. profusion says:

    The “loudness wars” on radio are one thing, but making remastered CDs louder has been the trend since the first remasters came out in the early ’90s. In part, it’s a cheap and easy way to make the consumer think that the new version of the album they’ve now bought for the umpteenth time actually sounds better.

    I see no problem raising the overall volume up to 0db so long as little or no compression is involved. And the first generation CDs did suck, since they were often generated from crappy production masters and used digital processing that was laughably primitive by today’s standards. It is now possible to make CD masters of older albums that will sound damn near as good as the original stereo master tapes and blow away the original CD versions. However, “brick wall” compression spoils it all.

  23. Thinman says:

    [quote comment=”7081″]So my question is still: “why”?[/quote]
    Simply because the industry/some producers/some artists/even some engineers think that the consumer will buy the louder one out of two CDs.

    At home the consumer will get bored soon (because no dynamics means the brain has nothing to do) and will buy the next CD, and again will choose one that is louder than another.

    The industry thinks this way they can sell and sell and sell …

  24. Thinman says:

    [quote comment=”7081″]It would be nice to read a post by someone who works this way and thinks that this is good. If there’s a war, there MUST be soldiers somewhere…[/quote]
    [quote comment=”7083″]It appears to be something only certain industry insiders are privy to (Bob Ludwig, Spence Chrislu, and Frank Filipetti) and why, and they’re not talking.[/quote]
    They are well aware that they produce shit. But they get paid and if they refused someone else would do the job.

  25. Thinman says:

    [quote comment=”7084″]… And the first generation CDs did suck, since they were often generated from crappy production masters and used digital processing that was laughably primitive by today’s standards. It is now possible to make CD masters of older albums that will sound damn near as good as the original stereo master tapes and blow away the original CD versions…[/quote]
    Another one of those fairy-tales. And old generation 16Bit/44.1kHz(or 4848kHz) quality device can sound much better than a modern generation crappy designed 24Bit/96kHz or whatever device. If you do processing to the material though, it can be better using higher resolutions. But just for the conversion of analog material it depends on the quality of the converters which depends a lot on the quality of the analog circuits. Old CDs must not necessarily sound bad.

    It’s the same as with digital cameras: the amount of megapixels says nothing about the quality of the lenses. It is recommended to buy older models with lesser megapixels but generally better opticals.

  26. Thinman says:

    I’m still trying to remember the source where I had read that Dweezil is positive about mastering technics to make things louder and louder. It was some very recent interview. Does anybody remember and can provide a link?

    I think the way the interpretations, arrangements and instrumentations of ZpZ sound, one can tell that Dweezil obviously doesn’t care much about dynamics in music anyway.

  27. Roland says:

    Very interesting topic and comments to it, too. This all made me start to read all the given links plus I looked for others, too. Thank you for that, Balint. For example I always wondered, why I did not like to listen to the remastered Led Zeppelin albums (in comparison to the first editions on CD) – now I know.

    Listener fatigue (From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)

    Listener fatigue occurs when the ear tunes out unwanted noises and focuses on the wanted ones. When listening to music for example, the speakers may give off an unwanted hissing noise that the person has to focus out, causing “Listener Fatigue”.

    This is an extension of the quantifiable psychological perception of sound, adding time-variance effects.

    If listeners get fatigued when listening to a radio station they may tune out, and either consciously or unconsciously they may come to avoid listening to that station. Digital audio may cause greater fatigue for the listener than analog audio because hidden and unexpected distortion is sometimes created, particularly in sample rate converters and D/A converters.

    Data-reduction systems are another possible reason why listeners fatigue can creep in. The constant quest for greater loudness, an obsession with pushing levels to the maximum, and a lack of understanding of the ways in which digital equipment can generate distortion all seem to lead to an increase in listener fatigue. However, the understanding of what causes fatigue is still relatively limited.

    And really looking forward to the Beatles catalogue being released on 09.09.09 with this “loudness war” in mind makes me shiver a bit. Hope that the engineers at “Abbey Road Studios” didn´t mess around.

  28. jonnybutter says:

    [quote post=”2424″]If there’s a war, there MUST be soldiers somewhere…[/quote]

    I have never heard of any good mastering engineer who likes the loudness war, and that goes especially for really good guys like Ludwig. They do it because the client wants it, and the client wants it because everybody else is doing it. And it’s totally self-defeating: perceived loudness is about contrast (and as Zappa fans know, perceived *just about anything* is about contrast), and if there’s no dynamic range, you don’t perceive loudness (you just get ear fatigue, as noted above). It’s stupid, but that’s the way things are. I find it amusing to listen to some modern Metal-type CDs, because the bands are trying to be so ‘extreme’ and loud all the time, that it doesn’t sound loud or ‘extreme’ at all; listen to the endless double pedal kick on some of those records – it’s so unvarying that it starts to sound tinny!

  29. profusion says:

    [quote comment=”7087″]But just for the conversion of analog material it depends on the quality of the converters which depends a lot on the quality of the analog circuits. Old CDs must not necessarily sound bad.[/quote]

    I suspect the quality of the DACs has a lot to do with why I’ve read noted engineers say you can do better masters now than in the ’80s (don’t ask me for links, though… 🙂 )

    Pretty clearly, the main reason that many ’80s catalog titles sounded bad is that they were mastered from production tapes that had squashed EQ and were intended as LP masters. Had they bothered to source good masters, maybe none of this would have been an issue.

    However, I wonder if FZ did more than just straight digital transfers on his catalog during the ’80s? I seem to recall being mighty disappointed in the sound of my Apostrophe/Overnite Sensation CD in comparison to the vinyl–and that was playing them both on the same crappy stereo I had as a young man back then. Even turning it up on CD didn’t seem to cure the dull sound. Not all the original CDs were bad, though. I thought the original Joe’s Garage sounded pretty good. As for what happened to Sheik Yerbouti and YAWYI on any of the CD editions, I have no idea. They sounded good on vinyl…

  30. Roland says:

    Soldiers? Well, the Salvation Army, an international movement, describes itself as an evangelical movement part of the Christian Church. It has a quasi-military structure.

    Anyway: I don´t wanna get drafted! Dumb all over.

    War
    What is it good for
    Absolutely nothing
    War
    What is it good for
    Absolutely nothing
    War is something that I despise
    For it means destruction of innocent lives
    For it means tears in thousands of mothers’ eyes
    When their sons go out to fight to give their lives

    War
    What is it good for
    Absolutely nothing
    Say it again
    War
    What is it good for
    Absolutely nothing

    War
    It’s nothing but a heartbreaker
    War
    Friend only to the undertaker
    War is the enemy of all mankind
    The thought of war blows my mind
    Handed down from generation to generation
    Induction destruction
    Who wants to die

    War
    What is it good for
    Absolutely nothing
    Say it again
    War
    What is it good for
    Absolutely nothing

    War has shattered many young men’s dreams
    Made them disabled bitter and meanLife is too precious to be fighting wars
    each day
    War can’t give life it can only take it away

    War
    It’s nothing but a heartbreaker
    War
    Friend only to the undertaker
    Peace love and understanding
    There must be some place for these things today
    They say we must fight to keep our freedom
    But Lord there’s gotta be a better way
    That’s better than
    War

    War
    What is it good for
    Absolutely nothing
    Say it again
    War
    What is it good for
    Absolutely nothing

  31. Thinman says:

    For your interest: some comparison between Shut Up And Play Yer Guitar, 2CD and 3CD Ryko versions: click here.

  32. John Carter of Mars says:

    I don’t know what the answer is about 80s/early 90s cds compared to ones made today, but I can definetly hear a difference on quite a few of them. CD’s from back then often sound very flat and quiet to me. I have some by Traffic, REM and others that are this way. In the car I have to turn the volume way up to hear the low end, but the lack of dynamics means all I’m really doing is counter-acting my noisey car. New CDs I don’t need to turn up that much, so this loudness difference I think is probably true. But, I don’t buy “pop” CDs, so I’m not as exposed to the phenomenon as much I bet.

    But, what I know from experience is that if I re-buy CDs that I had for 20 years I am pretty much always happy I did because the dynamic range is like night and day. The reissue of REM’s “Murmur” last year is a great case in point. Numerous times while listening to the album again from this new remaster I noticed flourishes that I never heard before, even while listening on headphones while on LSD! 😉

    As for Buffalo or Trance, I haven’t heard them. I’d like ot buy the former for less than what the ZFT thinks is a fair price!

  33. Thinman says:

    [quote comment=”7099″]… But, what I know from experience is that if I re-buy CDs that I had for 20 years I am pretty much always happy I did because the dynamic range is like night and day. The reissue of REM’s “Murmur” last year is a great case in point. Numerous times while listening to the album again from this new remaster I noticed flourishes that I never heard before, even while listening on headphones while on LSD! …[/quote]

    So this might probably be for you:
    There will always be people who would say about a Bolero-version with all sections at equal loudness: “Great! Now I can finally hear all the instruments and the details I didn’t hear before! Now I can throw away my old crappy version with the nearly inaudible too soft beginning!” 😉

  34. Robert says:

    Listening to a mix that was not loudness-modified in a noisy environment simply means that you *don’t hear* the less loud parts. Noisy environments are what you’re in when you’re listening to music nowadays, ergo the ubiquituous loudness modifications with the observed “wow, this sounds so much better” effect. I’m in the noisy environment camp, sadly enough. Gone are the times where you make yourself comfortable alone with your hi-fed stereo, mozy over to your LP/CD rack, take out a valued specimen of the oeuvre of your artist of choice, walk to your player, insert the media, press play, walk back to your sofa and immerse yourself totally in the music. Today i have the full FZ catalog (plus a gazillion of live bootlegs) with me in my MP3 player and listen to a track of choice anytime, anywhere, for no reason at all.

  35. Thinman says:

    [quote comment=”7132″]Noisy environments are what you’re in when you’re listening to music nowadays, …[/quote]Music as wallpaper.

    [quote comment=”7132″]Gone are the times where you make yourself comfortable alone with your hi-fed stereo, mozy over to your LP/CD rack, take out a valued specimen of the oeuvre of your artist of choice, walk to your player, insert the media, press play, walk back to your sofa and immerse yourself totally in the music. [/quote]
    That’s the way I like it.

    [quote comment=”7132″]Today i have the full FZ catalog (plus a gazillion of live bootlegs) with me in my MP3 player and listen to a track of choice anytime, anywhere, for no reason at all.[/quote]
    I’m not interested in this way of life.

    Old-fashioned Thinman.

  36. Robert says:

    [quote comment=”7135″]

    [quote comment=”7132″]immerse yourself totally in the music. [/quote]
    That’s the way I like it.

    [quote comment=”7132″]Today i have the full FZ catalog (plus a gazillion of live bootlegs) with me in my MP3 player and listen to a track of choice anytime, anywhere, for no reason at all.[/quote]
    I’m not interested in this way of life.

    Old-fashioned Thinman.[/quote]

    In my real life, i rarely have the time to listen to music the old-fashioned way. My music collection contains items were dynamic range is crucial (ever tried to listen to “Lark’s Tongues in Aspic” by King Crimson with environmental noise around you?). Interestingly, i find that most FZ pieces don’t suffer from dynamic compression too much (at least not to my ear). I guess that many people out there are similar. I totally agree with your passionate crusade against the loudness war, Thinman. But i think that the true reason for the loudness frenzy is that music workers need to make money and need to satisfy a demand. I think it would best if they offered different versions, like for example “The mobile listening mix” and “The hi-fi / comfy chair mix”, both offered as digital download with the latter probably more expensive. I can imagine that i would actually buy both mixes, if the difference would be audible (to my age-deteriorating ear, of course).

  37. Thinman says:

    [quote comment=”7150″]In my real life, i rarely have the time to listen to music the old-fashioned way. My music collection contains items were dynamic range is crucial (ever tried to listen to “Lark’s Tongues in Aspic” by King Crimson with environmental noise around you?). Interestingly, i find that most FZ pieces don’t suffer from dynamic compression too much (at least not to my ear). I guess that many people out there are similar. I totally agree with your passionate crusade against the loudness war, Thinman. But i think that the true reason for the loudness frenzy is that music workers need to make money and need to satisfy a demand. I think it would best if they offered different versions, like for example “The mobile listening mix” and “The hi-fi / comfy chair mix”, both offered as digital download with the latter probably more expensive. I can imagine that i would actually buy both mixes, if the difference would be audible (to my age-deteriorating ear, of course).[/quote]
    Hi Robert,
    if I have no time for listening, I don’t listen at all. I can’t stand music as background music.

    And for the demand for a compressed version: The playback-equipment simply should have a compression button like some always had the loudness button. There would be no need for already overcompressed material where there is no way back.

    And: There is a theory that the compressed, equaled out CDs of today are one of the reasons for sales decrease.

    Th.

  38. urbangraffito says:

    [quote comment=”7151″]I can’t stand music as background music.

    And for the demand for a compressed version: The playback-equipment simply should have a compression button like some always had the loudness button. There would be no need for already overcompressed material where there is no way back.

    And: There is a theory that the compressed, equaled out CDs of today are one of the reasons for sales decrease.

    Th.[/quote]

    I think the issue of “music as background music” is an entirely new topic, Thinman, or “music as soundtrack for one’s daily life.” Though, I completely agree, I, too, have never been able to listen to music as background music. Especially since the music I listen to regularly is so “oddly metered” and “eclectically composed” that it deserves my full and complete attention when I do. Perhaps this also an indictment of the contemporary listener as well: listening less for the central enjoyment of the piece, but rather to fill in time with pleasant sounding noise?

    And if, in general, the public just listens to pleasant sounding background noise (some might call music), details such as compression matter little.

    Also, as more and more artists create music from their personal home studios, isn’t it up to the individual artists currently composing, recording, and releasing (yes, this includes Vaulternative Records) to implement the changes you suggest?

  39. Thinman says:

    [quote comment=”7154″]Also, as more and more artists create music from their personal home studios, isn’t it up to the individual artists currently composing, recording, and releasing (yes, this includes Vaulternative Records) to implement the changes you suggest?[/quote]

    There is a saying in German: “Es gibt nichts Gutes, außer man tut es.”
    Which might be translated: “There is nothing good, unless you do it.”

    Th.

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