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Recent non-loud commercial popular successes?
Old 15th November 2009
  #1
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Recent non-loud commercial popular successes?

I think the only way for the antilouders to make progress on the "loudness war" would be to win some actual territory, in the form of realized record sales from products that aren't loud.

Within the popular genres (not jazz or classical), is there anything tracked and released in the last five years that sold very well, and that leads by example in eschewing loudness? That many people are willing to turn their volume knobs up for in their ipods or the car?

We have the counter-examples of course, including e.g. the platinum Death Magnetic whose audible distortion wasn't enough to dissuade many purchasers, it seems.

Doesn't the market have the last word on matters of commercial art? Has the market uttered any peeps in the antilouders' favor?
Old 15th November 2009
  #2
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fenderbender.'s Avatar
 

I'm not sure that it's a "commercial success", but the new GnR album "Chinese Democracy" is pretty cold IMO
Old 16th November 2009
  #3
Old 16th November 2009
  #4
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The last weezer album (the one with pork and beans on it)
didn't seem TOO loud to me
Old 16th November 2009
  #5
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24-96 Mastering's Avatar
U2 - No Line On The Horizon. The sound has been subject to debate on this forum, but the album definitely has quite a bit of headroom.
Old 16th November 2009
  #6
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Waltz Mastering's Avatar
 

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1 Review written
john frusciante - Empyrean
Old 16th November 2009
  #7
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deuc647's Avatar
Maybe not everyones cup of tea, but the eminem relapse had a lot of headroom and wasnt not overly loud for the most part. Also the newest Warren G album has a lot of headroom also. Really nice to actually hear things going on in the music instead of a brick wall of sound
Old 16th November 2009
  #8
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The Beastie Boys The Mix Up, Neil Young Prairie Wind and Tool 10,000 Days are just some that come to my mind.
Old 16th November 2009
  #9
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Not sure whether the individual records are that particular successful, but he is someone that I guess makes a good living off music.
Buckethead's solo albums have a loudness that are quite comparable to many popular early 90s albums in loudness.
Old 16th November 2009
  #10
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elbows mercury award winning album....thats not loud
Old 16th November 2009
  #11
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Mark Knopfler - Get Lucky.
Old 16th November 2009
  #12
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24-96 Mastering's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by IIIrd View Post
elbows mercury award winning album....thats not loud
I thought that one was very loud, especially when considering it has a "turn me up" sticker on it...
Old 17th November 2009
  #13
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ARIEL's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Adam Dempsey View Post
The Beastie Boys The Mix Up, Neil Young Prairie Wind and Tool 10,000 Days are just some that come to my mind.
ThAT is funny as i did not realize how much quieter it was until i imported it in a session with other mastered metal songs . I generally just play a cd and turn it up while in the house - so something that is 1 or db less than the cranke dup ones wont really be noticed . So i dont think the average listener will really notice it - just bands that really look for this kind of stuff and want a louder master .
Old 17th November 2009
  #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 24-96 Mastering View Post
I thought that one was very loud, especially when considering it has a "turn me up" sticker on it...

i've not looked at waveforms or anything,.compared to some it wasn't all that loud.

eitherway, i hope cd's follow this trend and the less is more approach is applied to "loudness".
it's all about music really...joe public will buy it if he/she likes the music, not because its loud....i hope
Old 17th November 2009
  #15
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Bon Iver. I found Elbow to be very sharp sounding.
Old 17th November 2009
  #16
Here for the gear
 

The Mumford and sons album Sigh no more has HUGE dynamics in it, when the first chorus of the first song came on it really blew me away! I guess I just wasn't expecting the huge crescendo! It sounded awesome.
Old 23rd November 2009
  #17
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Is that all you've got? I want to compile a little study if I have time to see if these records are actually loud, not loud, just high-crest, etc. Vs. sales.

The Chinese Democracy example isn't terribly loud but it sounds to me like Bob Ludwig just got on the phone with them and said "If I make this loud it's going to really suck." I think because the production/mix already sounds like mush to me in the heavier songs and if you took the dynamics out it it would just be intolerable. It might not have high RMS but the guitars are so saturated and fizzy on the Itunes clips I flipped through and the voice is so squashed and wet I don't think there's much hope.

Also, has "headroom" become mastering jargon for what I understand as "dynamic range"? I guess since you all send peaks out around 0, the only range that matters is from RMS to 0... when peak headroom is actually nil (or less). If you want to coin the term "RMS headroom" and shorten it to "headroom" OK...just make that clear somewhere.
Old 23rd November 2009
  #18
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24-96 Mastering's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by spicemix View Post
The Chinese Democracy example isn't terribly loud but it sounds to me like Bob Ludwig just got on the phone with them and said "If I make this loud it's going to really suck."
I recall reading that he made a preview at 3 different levels and they (the client) chose the most dynamic version themselves.
Old 23rd November 2009
  #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 24-96 Mastering View Post
I recall reading that he made a preview at 3 different levels and they (the client) chose the most dynamic version themselves.
Indeed:
Dynamics and quality win the Loudness Wars
Old 23rd November 2009
  #20
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Edward_Vinatea's Avatar
 

I read
Quote:
The trial disc I submitted to the producers had 3 versions
He must be getting paid top dollar to spend the time that it requires to do such extensive mastering job. Can anyone guess how much?

Regards,
Old 23rd November 2009
  #21
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24-96 Mastering's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Edward_Vinatea View Post

He must be getting paid top dollar to spend the time that it requires to do such extensive mastering job.
The album took 15 years to make... putting in an hour more doesn't seem like much of an investment

And I sometimes do that (present preview versions at different levels) if the client isn't sure what level/dynamics they want. I'm guessing that it's not that uncommon.


Quote:
Can anyone guess how much?
I'd guess that a typical album job with the usual add. production work would be around 5-7k. But I'd also guess this wasn't a typical album job...
Old 24th November 2009
  #22
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wado1942's Avatar
 

Quote:
Also, has "headroom" become mastering jargon for what I understand as "dynamic range"? I guess since you all send peaks out around 0, the only range that matters is from RMS to 0... when peak headroom is actually nil (or less). If you want to coin the term "RMS headroom" and shorten it to "headroom" OK...just make that clear somewhere.
For the record (no pun intended), if the data reaches "0", there's NO HEADROOM. U2's "No Line" has been pushed well into heavy limiting and even if it was a good 2dB lower, it would still be maxed as far as headroom goes. I will admit that it sounds a lot better than most modern masters.

We should, instead, refer to crest ratio or dynamic range (which are also two different things) in reference to limiting/clipping. That said, honestly, Axle Rose's (because it's not really GnR) new record is THE ONLY main stream album I've heard that hasn't been crushed. It's peak normalized though so even though it has a decent crest ratio, it still has no headroom. Man, most of the new releases I hear actually crackle because they're so distorted.

Ten years ago, many people considered my masters loud. I'm still mastering to the same levels now but I'm now considered really conservative or purist.
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