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EDM Producers are averaging -6 to -5 RMS (WTF!)
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siddhu
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24th November 2010
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EDM Producers are averaging -6 to -5 RMS (WTF!)

Just analysed about 10 tracks that I have purchased off Beatport and all I can say it's so depressing to see that the tracks in general have a crest factor of about 5dB - 6dB.

When will we go back to having music with dynamics and movement!

This makes me want to release a track with a crest factor of 2dBs just to show how ridiculous it's become.
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24th November 2010
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the whole beatport scene is prolonging the loudness wars.. it's like the radio of the modern age.. these guys want to "compete" with everyone else on beatport by making their previews louder than everyone else's... obviously it's a losing game.

loudness wars are still very much alive in that world.
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24th November 2010
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yeah?! how about -2.65 rms push like you can babe ))

check out Afrika_Hardwell_Revealed_Remix

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EDM Producers are averaging -6 to -5 RMS (WTF!)

I agree that is insanely loud, and most likely has distorted low end and little punch. But does it sound good? Sometimes that smashed sound with crazy multi-band compression is part of the artist's vision, and might even sound great.

Loud can be good too, don't get too stuck on meters. :D Especially when the low end might be over exciting the meters.

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24th November 2010
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Did it bother you before you looked at the meters/analyser?
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24th November 2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by macc View Post
Did it bother you before you looked at the meters/analyser?
Actually it did, that's why I analysed them. As part of our live show we have to be able to balance and mix tracks with live elements, and our own material which has a crest factor of about 12 - 14 dB.

I noticed that the newer tracks I purchased were having to be reduced almost 3 to 4 dB more than tracks from about 6 - 8 months ago. So in the last 1/2 year we have moved from -8dB RMS to about -5 as an average for EDM.

It's quite funny because when we play live, our stuff just slams in the club compared to the super compressed limited stuff.
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24th November 2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by siddhu View Post
Just analysed about 10 tracks that I have purchased off Beatport and all I can say it's so depressing to see that the tracks in general have a crest factor of about 5dB - 6dB.

When will we go back to having music with dynamics and movement!

This makes me want to release a track with a crest factor of 2dBs just to show how ridiculous it's become.

go ahead...but probably they will just beat you by another dB
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Ben F
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24th November 2010
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I buy a lot of music on Beatport. I still find the innovative musicians going for around -10RMS, -9RMS at the most. But EDM has that huge sub bass that pushes the RMS up. I actually think people have backed off a bit in terms of level- much of the smaller label music is mastered on the cheap and sounds pretty slammed.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ben F View Post
I buy a lot of music on Beatport. I still find the innovative musicians going for around -10RMS, -9RMS at the most. But EDM has that huge sub bass that pushes the RMS up. I actually think people have backed off a bit in terms of level- much of the smaller label music is mastered on the cheap and sounds pretty slammed.
I think the problem is that both the small and the big EDM labels (Minus, Cocoon, Warp etc) release ultra loud records. Only some of the intermediate sized ones (Pokerflat, Systematic, Diynamic...) seem to be releasing quieter stuff on occasion. So I guess it's not just small naive, inexperienced labels that fall into the trap. Some of the most experienced label managers seem to actively seek that loud sound and I haven't noticed ANY of the big labels back off. Maybe you can help me out, I wish the reality were different.
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24th November 2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by siddhu View Post
This makes me want to release a track with a crest factor of 2dBs just to show how ridiculous it's become.
I'm sure it has been done. It already is that ridiculous.
Like Jean Doe says, there are people out there that recognise the problem and opt for more traditional levels. But, I don't think this has anything to do with the profile of the labels or artists.

PS. It makes me want to master with lower levels, not higher ones.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by siddhu View Post
Actually it did, that's why I analysed them.
So why the surprise?
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Quote:
So why the surprise?
He is saying why push music to such high levels, these records 'sometimes' play terrible in the cars.

there is really no need to push it louder.

There are many techniques how to make loud tracks, but how many people enjoy listening to loud tracks.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by siddhu View Post
WTF!
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Originally Posted by macc View Post
Did it bother you before?
Quote:
Originally Posted by siddhu View Post
Actually it did.
Quote:
Originally Posted by macc View Post
So why the surprise?
That's some solid logic!
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25th November 2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by manman View Post
how many people enjoy listening to loud tracks.
Judging by my day-to-day experience, loads and loads and loads.

Funnily, the %ge is somewhat higher amongst those who don't frequent gearslutz



[I'm not defending it here btw. I do what's asked of me and make recommendations where appropriate/justified]
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25th November 2010
Old 25th November 2010
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EDM Producers are averaging -6 to -5 RMS (WTF!)

adult. is on BeatPort and their music is not slammed at all.

Many independent artists who have been around a long time have kept the musicality first. As long as they keep making amazing records which will be remembered we'll be fine.
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10th January 2013
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This is soo true, especially for me as an up-and-coming artist who tempted at the very idea of pushing those levels and falling into that loudness trap. I remember two or three months ago finishing up a track my friend and I did. Come mastering time, I felt so compelled to crank up those levels more and more each time I went back to listen to a song on my iTunes or on Beatport when doing a side-by-side comparison with my track in Logic. In the end, I had to restrain myself and kept it at (what I think is) a decent level, but unhappy with it (I guess I really wanted that compressed "everything-in-your-face" sound that everyone else I hear seems to have, go figure).

Is it just me being crazy or just my inexperience with leveling? (It sounds kind of bad on a mono source like an iPhone).
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10th January 2013
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Siddhu:

It's all the fashion today. Try to go against it, even mention the likes of Bob Katz or Barry Diament - you'll get thrown out of the temple with a toiletseat around your neck.

The lords of the record label temple will levy a curse on you if your wave form has even one dip or spike in it. Nothing less than will do!
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10th January 2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by monsieur x View Post
I agree that is insanely loud, and most likely has distorted low end and little punch. But does it sound good? Sometimes that smashed sound with crazy multi-band compression is part of the artist's vision, and might even sound great.
This is a big sticking point in this argument for me. It has been proven in this world that low dynamic range masters can be just as enjoyable as the 1990s standard. When there is competition because of 'preview volume' and other uncomparable factors, artists become misguided trying to squeeze expression into a one size fits all mold. It seems like it is gaining traction. 'Making it loud' is not necessary for good music, but does fulfill some visceral requirement for a particular listening venue. I think the new standards to level dynamic range is a good idea but really yet to see if it even matters for anything except frighteningly loud commercials. In this context, a recording at the appropriate dynamic range for the instrumentation will most likely win out against a smashed RMS sausage.
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10th January 2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by manman View Post
He is saying why push music to such high levels, these records 'sometimes' play terrible in the cars.

there is really no need to push it louder.
+1 it is terrible.
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10th January 2013
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It all depends on style and intent tough.

Personally, music that I bought and could not enjoy because it was too loud, saturated and distorting (for my taste and you might have other reasons you like or dislike it but that is between you and your sensibilities.) These Albums just do not sound right to me, and I tried to like each and everyone of them, repeatedly, because I like the music. Alas it just sounds bad and I can't even listen to them. They are relegated to the shelf because to my ears they are sonic poo.

Ben Folds Five, The Sound Of The Life Of The Mind
Matchbox Twenty, North
Maroon 5, Overexposed
Dave Matthews Band, Away From The World

Stuff I bought and do like even though it might or might not be nuked to moon and back.

Boys Noize, The Remixes 2004-2011
Boys Noize, Out of the Black
Lupe Fiasco, Lasers
SebastiAn, Total


I am sure someone said before, there seems to be a one range fits all ethos on how loud a contemporary album should be, and for me it is affecting my decision to buy music I know I would like but I doubt I will be able to listen to for very long.

If you do not buy it, hopefully they will change it, or perhaps they'll just assume that everyone is stealing it and that loud and shitty is not a reason for lost sales; who knows. I am probably too old to be a demographic that matters much anyway so I most likely do not count except as an outlier.
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10th January 2013
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Originally Posted by RRCHON View Post
It all depends on style and intent tough.

Not really. Legacy material from 1960s Marvin Gaye up to late '80s Madonna is being transformed into the proverbial "sausage" waveform! It's being applied to EVERYTHING, rrchon. And then they have the nerve, the total disregard and lack of morality to stamp "Digitally Remastered"(my avatar..) on the packaging?

And that's the soapbox I'm on, like it or not. Jack White's latest album "Blunderbuss" is a towering exception to the bullsh: Very dynamic tracks on that album, DRs of 10 to 13 according to Foobar's meter.
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10th January 2013
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I will write here what I wrote on other thread.

Ok,I agree with you,but what happens when you go to a party and people are playin music,and if a song is not too loud they change it?It happens to me and all of my friends in 99% of cases.I have a friend who is a mastering engineer and he hated to kill the dynamic range but after he went at some parties told me:man,I was wrong.This is what people want.We are only old rats in this music bussiness who don't accept the change.
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10th January 2013
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Originally Posted by klapaucius View Post
I will write here what I wrote on other thread.

Ok,I agree with you,but what happens when you go at a party and people are playin music,and if a song is not too loud they change it?It happens to me and all of my friends in 99% of cases.I have a friend who is a mastering engineer and he hated to kill the dynamic range but after he went at some parties told me:man,I was wrong.This is what people want.We are only old rats in this music bussiness who don't accept the change.
Sorry klap for the fragmented response. There is replay gain software available that will avg out your mp3 or other audio file collection to RMS levels, so you won't have that sudden volume change problem. I use mp3Gain since that is what most of my mobile collection is.

Never have to touch the volume unless I'm taking a phone call or the wife tells me to turn it down. LOL!
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10th January 2013
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Yeah,but 90% of people don't now about this software or even worse,they don't care.
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10th January 2013
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So true. A lot of those guys have cut out so many frequencies that the net result doesn't end up sounding harsh.

The same can work in the opposite direction. Some songs sound louder than they are.

Quote:
Originally Posted by monsieur x View Post
I agree that is insanely loud, and most likely has distorted low end and little punch. But does it sound good? Sometimes that smashed sound with crazy multi-band compression is part of the artist's vision, and might even sound great.

Loud can be good too, don't get too stuck on meters. :D Especially when the low end might be over exciting the meters.

Best,
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10th January 2013
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probably just the millions of people who are flooding the festivals around the world

Quote:
Originally Posted by manman View Post
He is saying why push music to such high levels, these records 'sometimes' play terrible in the cars.

there is really no need to push it louder.

There are many techniques how to make loud tracks, but how many people enjoy listening to loud tracks.
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10th January 2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The_K_Man View Post
Not really. Legacy material from 1960s Marvin Gaye up to late '80s Madonna is being transformed into the proverbial "sausage" waveform! It's being applied to EVERYTHING, rrchon. And then they have the nerve, the total disregard and lack of morality to stamp "Digitally Remastered"(my avatar..) on the packaging?

And that's the soapbox I'm on, like it or not. Jack White's latest album "Blunderbuss" is a towering exception to the bullsh: Very dynamic tracks on that album, DRs of 10 to 13 according to Foobar's meter.
That is a different monster all together.

It was never the Intent of Marvin Gaye or his original production team to have their music slammed. Got To Give Up has a dRMS of -16 and I think for that song it is perfect. It was intended to be bouncy and punchy.

Though I can't argue with Dada Life if they want their song to be pushed to -5, if that is what they want as long as they manage to pull of the sound they are after, which is a pancake that has been squashed by a steamroller.

My argument is that I don't want to hear Marron 5, Dave Matthews or Ben Folds at -5 RMS because it just doesn't suit their music and sounds like crap that hot.

I don't go in for super flat re-issues, and on that I am 100% in agreement with you.

SPL per Watt produced probably goes hand in hand with crap home stereos, and sub-par automotive sound systems. You know those things that have a BOOM button and SuperSubXWOOF POW mode with decals in flames and pictures of dynamite on them.

Headphones, Crap club systems that can not or are not allowed legally to push past 90dBSPL might prefer pancakes because it allows for more loudness and sound saturation. As klapaucius pointed out most sites do not either know how or are unwilling to do the processing on site and just go for the easy option of pushing next. That is less likely to happen to a crowd that wants to hear Elton John, or Jack White since they are actively seeking that sound regardless of how much it will make their ears ring tomorrow.
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11th January 2013
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A good example of Low DR that sounds good at low volume: Madonna - Hung up. I heard it in a waiting room once and it was clear and loud.

At higher SPL it sounds choked and pumpy, not in a good way.
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11th January 2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RRCHON View Post
That is a different monster all together.

It was never the Intent of Marvin Gaye or his original production team to have their music slammed. Got To Give Up has a dRMS of -16 and I think for that song it is perfect. It was intended to be bouncy and punchy.

Though I can't argue with Dada Life if they want their song to be pushed to -5, if that is what they want as long as they manage to pull of the sound they are after, which is a pancake that has been squashed by a steamroller.

My argument is that I don't want to hear Marron 5, Dave Matthews or Ben Folds at -5 RMS because it just doesn't suit their music and sounds like crap that hot.

I don't go in for super flat re-issues, and on that I am 100% in agreement with you.

SPL per Watt produced probably goes hand in hand with crap home stereos, and sub-par automotive sound systems. You know those things that have a BOOM button and SuperSubXWOOF POW mode with decals in flames and pictures of dynamite on them.

Headphones, Crap club systems that can not or are not allowed legally to push past 90dBSPL might prefer pancakes because it allows for more loudness and sound saturation. As klapaucius pointed out most sites do not either know how or are unwilling to do the processing on site and just go for the easy option of pushing next. That is less likely to happen to a crowd that wants to hear Elton John, or Jack White since they are actively seeking that sound regardless of how much it will make their ears ring tomorrow.
It may not have been Gaye's intent, but it's sure making the labels a ton of money reissuing it that way.

I do not understand your last sentence - about Elton John and Jack White.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The_K_Man View Post

I do not understand your last sentence - about Elton John and Jack White.
All I meant is that if you choose to listen to an artist because you appreciate the music and its sonic qualities, you made a choice an you appreciate it regardless of how loud it would sound compared to a squashed track by RandomArtistX.

You've made a choice to listen to music, now if some DJ is playing random dance songs at a party, in a night club or a discotheque and the crowd only reacts to perceived and sustained SPL (still assuming the club has no gain control, no compressors and no way to alter the sound coming out of the line out other than a volume control) the crowd is reacting to noise, vibrations and volume and not so much artistic intent.
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