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Vote on the solutions to the loudness war.... Dynamics Plugins
View Poll Results: Vote on Loudness Normalizatoin
No LN, over my dead body.
143 Votes - 41.21%
I want LN, with a consumer option to defeat.
137 Votes - 39.48%
I want LN required and undefeatable in all consumer gear.
28 Votes - 8.07%
No opinion, whatever will be will be.
39 Votes - 11.24%
Voters: 347. You may not vote on this poll

Old 19th November 2009
  #121
Mastering
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by audio ergo sum View Post
Mr. Katz, which algorithm do you suggest to be used for the loudness evaluation? Will it be open source or will it have to be licensed?
For the radio and TV the algorithm will be a standard that will be published. Any number of manufacturers (such as Dolby or TC) can make servers that process incoming material and adjust it to the loudness standard for later broadcast.

For the home it's the wild wild west and all the voting here doesn't amount to a hill of beans. But I hope that after the digital radio and TV conversion some people are going to notice increased clarity of the product and the effectiveness of the system which will then be adopted by home music servers, etc. Since music servers are increasingly being used in the home and these can use open source algorithms introducing LN to the home market will be an interesting one. It will probably amount to a fight between Dolby's metadata approach (which I think doesn't work) and the "adjust on ingest" approach.
Old 19th November 2009
  #122
Mastering
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Silver Sonya View Post
Loudness Normalization in iTunes would change EVERYTHING. I've been saying this for years and I said it at Tape Op Con almost four years ago.
Silver Sonya's post is among the most observant and cogent that's been made here. Yet the peanut gallery says, "This thread is hilarious".
Old 19th November 2009
  #123
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bob katz View Post
For the radio and TV the algorithm will be a standard that will be published. Any number of manufacturers (such as Dolby or TC) can make servers that process incoming material and adjust it to the loudness standard for later broadcast.

For the home it's the wild wild west and all the voting here doesn't amount to a hill of beans. ...
Maybe I should rephrase my question:
Are there any parties that would commercially gain directly from the introduction of LN?
And which parties are you up against, who is to lose, or who THINKS he might lose in this game?

The "follow the money trail" games are usually the most educating ones
Old 19th November 2009
  #124
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bob katz View Post
Silver Sonya's post is among the most observant and cogent that's been made here. Yet the peanut gallery says, "This thread is hilarious".
Not everyone has been as cordial as I in this thread.

DC
Old 19th November 2009
  #125
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UnderTow's Avatar
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by bob katz View Post
Don't shoot the messenger, Alistair. Regarding peak-normalization, many learned men have already studied this problem. And they have identified peak normalization as one of the major catalysts of the digital loudness race. Among the EBU/ITU recommendations for broadcasters include getting rid of the peak meter, using a simple peak overload indicator light and getting engineers to concentrate on the measured loudness level. I can point you to the references if you'd like.
Yes, please do share. In the meantime you are talking about broadcast where the difference between peak metering and loudness metering is indeed relevant. For instance one of the delivery specs for Discover Networks uses the Dolby LM-100 metering system. This allows consistent loudness across numerous programs mixed by various post houses.

This is very different to music CDs where this consistency is irrelevant in most cases. Still, I don't think this has anything to do with peak normalisation. I am very curious to then documents you are alluding to.

Quote:
As for the softly played acoustic guitar, I already did mention that it's a potential byproduct of the system. But it would be no different than what is being played on the air today, except it would be BETTER-sounding because there would be no compression. So yes, it's a natural byproduct of a system that plays everything at a loudness target. But it's a small price to pay, I think. What you get in return is not the deal with the devil that you seem to think it is.
My comment was a debunking of your "Unnatural" argument. As explained, it isn't a valid argument. That's all.

Quote:
What you get in return is better sound quality.
<anecdotal evidence removed for brevity>

*sigh* I am not against having Replay Gain in every player. You don't have to repeat the arguments all over. I am only against it being on by default. If consumers want it, they will figure out how to turn it on. If they don't. Tough luck for us.

Quote:
And remember, casual listeners would likely leave LN on, listeners like you and I would probably turn it off.
Again, if they want it, they will turn it on. People use much more complicated systems everyday like onboard car computers. Sat-nav systems. Windows. Word. Etc.


Quote:
With it on, former loudness differences between sources of 8, 10, 12, 15 dB (imagine what that really means) would be reduced to 2-3-4 dB. That's what we're talking about here. I'm not talking about something that I invented, I'm talking about a system which learned men have developed in conjunction with many studies to fix a legacy which YES, to be truthful, Sony and Philips did throw in our laps with the invention of the digital recording system, which with its peak metering, opened Pandora's box.
Again, no need to go through all that again. I just want it off by default.

Quote:
No, it was not purposeful, the problem was recognized only in hindsight, but it is true that peak-normalization, combined with the human tendency to put things louder and to put those peaks to full scale as well, caused the severe loudness race. I know, I read it in a book :-).
I don't believe it has anything to do with peak normalisation regardless of what anyone might say but I am ready to be convinced and am looking forward to reading the reference you mention.

Alistair
Old 19th November 2009
  #126
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Edward_Vinatea View Post
I'd really like to take part of your poll, Bob. However, I just don't think I have a problem with "loudness" but more with over or hyper compression. To me loudness is the ability to hear something at a level one can prefer or even tolerate. It's that horrible sound from squashed mixes and the by-product of compression/hard limiting, that I have a problem with. Meaning, it would bother me a great deal more to hear a song that I truly love completely squashed but at low level than a song with plenty of dynamics at a very loud listening level. This post feels like Deja Vu, Bob.

Regards,
+1 thumbsupthumbsupthumbsup
absolutely agree.
Old 19th November 2009
  #127
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For me the idea of loudness (checking-systems) would be a great idea if they worked correctly. The biggest problem is that people buy consumer based systems with not enough headroom. This is where this whole loudness race started in my mind. Cheap CD systems, Ipods, etc. Even before the ipod this happened with walkman's. Simply put the output circuits do not have enough head-room and power to have everything be equal. Add in the iTunes version of this which will grossly distort tracks by pushing levels above digital zero and ever with a good system it is not an acceptable option.

Bob you know the math to double the volume and how much power it takes. Try telling that to someone who has a boom box all in one system with barely enough power to push 5 clean watts of power.

Believe me I face this stupid argument everyday and these guys are making music that will be playing on 30, 000 watts or more.
Old 19th November 2009
  #128
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bob katz View Post
So all the extremely loud new CD does is piss off the consumer who likes to play hip hop along with oldies. The consumer who only plays the latest hip-hop, pop and dance in rotation so they're all the same won't notice, but the oldies fan who tries to mix in hip hop is in for a big surprise and he gets pissed off.
So this is really for a minority of consumers then. Your concept is becoming more and more selfish by the post.

Quote:
From the point of view of loudness the radio is an egalitarian medium and from the point of view of loudness all music on the radio gets equal attention. Imagine the radio without the compression but with the relative loudness from program to program still adjusted. Would the clean or the distorted programs get more attention from the listeners? That would be an interesting world, and it is the broadcasters plan for the future for digital broadcasting----remove the compression, equalize the loudness.
That is already the case. Optimods and 2020's have dual AGCC's that do quite a good job of levelling out tracks. Add the multiband compression and limiting and, as you say yourself, everything plays at the same volume. The louder tracks are much more distorted (and often softer) than the dynamic tracks. So they want to improve the algorithms to level the music? Great but it is already happening right now.

Anecdote: The first time I heard a track from Death Magnetic it was on the radio in the back of a taxi. I was convinced the reception from the radio station was bad as the sound was so horrendous... Until the next track came on. Crystal clear and quite a bit louder. I agree with the Darwinian views. The worst offenders will perish if they continue with this silliness.

Quote:
Imagine a home music player that does the same thing. Would that change the face of the business?
Probably not, no. If radio hasn't, it just isn't going to happen.

Alistair
Old 19th November 2009
  #129
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Dear Bob,

You have two successful books published and have been educating the future engineers, artists and producers for several years now. You are primarily an educator, a ME second, and a direct result of the technological audio revolution that created among many wonderful things, the "Loudness War".

Here is where you are going wrong, you are advocating for a new system {LN, default "on"} that will impact on people's listening habits, will change the excitement and sense of discovery and foment the idea that an "egalitarian" system for listening is a good thing. More importantly, you are advocating for the arbitrary creation of a new standard in hopes that these artists, producers, managers, etc, will stop the nasty habit of slamming the music up with over compression.

There are already other systems put in place which indicate that it won't make a difference at all. It is known that the public does not control "overcompression" trends.

Bob, don't give up on yourself. The books are out there and doing their educational job. You have planted the seeds. I assume that you have addressed in your book the lunacy of hyper-compression, its good and bad points, etc, etc, so please don't assume that those who read you just don't get it. But, don't expect that your work will change the general thinking overnight either. The loudness wars should subside as new generations of new engineers, artists and producers start making their impact in the industry and should go exponentially towards less limiting as it went towards "louder".

Having said all that, do not also assume that loud records are entirely crapola. Some have a legitimate artistic argument to be that way. It's still within the artist's right to free expression, so putting a cap onto that option would be a very bad policy and will threaten in this respect artistic freedom everywhere.

Be patient Bob, keep educating the new artist and producers as you had for years, forget new LN schemes, server algorithms, iPods and focus on what's real. Remember, the tide is on your side, the majors that pushed for the loudness wars continue going on a downward decline while the 'indies' are consistently increasing their influence in the music industry. Some day it will be a brand new day for music and the freedom of art.

So be patient Bob, be patient. I hope you don't find this post condescending, that's not my intention.

PS: I haven't placed my vote yet, I don't think I will. But, as some mentioned it, I would have probably also voted for LN default "off" and hope for the best.

Regards,
Old 19th November 2009
  #130
Mastering
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by UnderTow View Post
Yes, please do share.

(snip)

Again, no need to go through all that again. I just want it off by default.
Alistair, I apologize for not including the option in the poll. In the end, any votes in favor of LN could be added together with and without the subcategory of "off by default" to see what the general concensus is. I now see that your position is "if the consumer won't turn it on, then too bad for us." I don't think a sink or swim position is going to have any significant effect on the loudness race, but I have to respect you for your position.

Quote:

I don't believe it has anything to do with peak normalisation regardless of what anyone might say but I am ready to be convinced and am looking forward to reading the reference you mention.

Alistair
I'll be happy to find the articles and put together a list of references on the subject. Sorry for creating the conflict.
Old 19th November 2009
  #131
Mastering
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Edward_Vinatea View Post
Dear Bob,

You have two successful books published and have been educating the future engineers, artists and producers for several years now. You are primarily an educator, a ME second.
Thanks for confusing what I do for a living, Edward!

Bob Katz Credits - ARTISTdirect Music

BK
Old 19th November 2009
  #132
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Edward_Vinatea's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by bob katz View Post
Thanks for confusing what I do for a living, Edward!

Bob Katz Credits - ARTISTdirect Music

BK
Your loss then. I take 'educator' any day, any time. Glamor is for fools.
Old 19th November 2009
  #133
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Silver Sonya View Post
Ultimately, at the heart of the loudness war are some of the very nastiest aspects of the human condition: greed and insecurity.
You mean like proposing a level standardization system built mostly around one mans subjective taste, ears, room and speakers?

Or writing books that are revised and sold again?

Patenting a chain of delays?


No greed and pure security it clearly seems.


Regards
Patrik
Old 19th November 2009
  #134
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UnderTow's Avatar
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by bob katz View Post
Alistair, I apologize for not including the option in the poll.
Accepted. Thanks Bob.

Quote:
I'll be happy to find the articles and put together a list of references on the subject. Sorry for creating the conflict.
Great! Thanks in advance.

Alistair
Old 19th November 2009
  #135
Mastering
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by UnderTow View Post
So this is really for a minority of consumers then. Your concept is becoming more and more selfish by the post.
Selfish? I think you're being short-sighted. As you know, in ANY profession or pursuit (whether it be art, music, audio, wine, sports cars, home theatre, etc.) it is always the minority who appreciate quality. But uniquely in audio, the pursuit of business interests supercedes the pursuit of sound quality. I can go to Costco or to a wine store and see $4.00 bottles displayed next to $100 bottles and make my choice without one of them "shouting" me out of the store.

So if a system can be developed which allows the MAJORITY of consumers to have more pleasure at home (with music players that perform more like the radio, because that's what they want) and SIMULTANEOUSLY the minority, sound-appreciators will get better sound, it's not selfish, it's a win-win situation.

I don't think the worst sonic offenders will perish Darwinianly or automatically, though the plethora of disposable music that's been produced this way probably will. However, music which is intended to be long-lasting has also been treated with disposable sonics due to the loudness war and that is tragic.
Old 19th November 2009
  #136
Mastering
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by 807Recordings View Post
For me the idea of loudness (checking-systems) would be a great idea if they worked correctly. The biggest problem is that people buy consumer based systems with not enough headroom. This is where this whole loudness race started in my mind. Cheap CD systems, Ipods, etc. Even before the ipod this happened with walkman's. Simply put the output circuits do not have enough head-room and power to have everything be equal. Add in the iTunes version of this which will grossly distort tracks by pushing levels above digital zero and ever with a good system it is not an acceptable option.

Bob you know the math to double the volume and how much power it takes. Try telling that to someone who has a boom box all in one system with barely enough power to push 5 clean watts of power.

Believe me I face this stupid argument everyday and these guys are making music that will be playing on 30, 000 watts or more.
1) As for Itunes soundcheck distorting, you are right, because it is poorly designed. Soundcheck allows levels to be turned up so as to overload the DACs. But a well-designed LN system attenuates everything, it just attenuates the dynamic music less or not at all

2) As for needing 50,000 watts to reproduce dynamic music, I've had the opposite experience. I believe that the claim that you have to over-compress to make it work on a small system is a myth. Now if you're talking about extreme audiophile stuff, of course you are right. But the vast majority of pop music created before about 1995 has a crest factor of about 14 dB and is very suitable for livingroom playback as well as in cars (with the windows closed). I've found that such normally-dynamic music, with the dynamics of a good 1980's pop LP, sounds very good on the boombox or the Aiwa 3-piece system. The Aiwa takes music which is dynamic and seems to compress it a bit so it will not overload with the peaks, it plays just fine.

When I master a reasonably-dynamic recording that really dances on my mastering system I don't fear it will overload the 10 watt Aiwa. It plays just fine.
Old 19th November 2009
  #137
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Bob I'm a bit confused by this poll and some of your responses. Given that sound check already exists in iTunes and iPods as an option are you promoting that it be turned on by default, that it remain on without option, or that a better version of LN needs to be created?

None of the above will put an end to the desire of some people to make their CD louder than the rest anyway. It's a psychological issue not a technical problem. If only levels were controlled through LN there might be a new trend to make music brighter in order to circumvent the level control and make their music seem louder then we would have the EQ wars. If LN took frequency balance in as part of the equation LN would be remastering everyone's work. I don't think anybody wants "sound enhance" or some kind of automated version of Har-Bal on by default.

Let someone's work stand on it's own merit by default. If someone wants to modify it they should have the knowledge to know what they are changing.
Old 19th November 2009
  #138
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bob katz View Post
Selfish? I think you're being short-sighted. As you know, in ANY profession or pursuit (whether it be art, music, audio, wine, sports cars, home theatre, etc.) it is always the minority who appreciate quality. But uniquely in audio, the pursuit of business interests supercedes the pursuit of sound quality. I can go to Costco or to a wine store and see $4.00 bottles displayed next to $100 bottles and make my choice without one of them "shouting" me out of the store.

So if a system can be developed which allows the MAJORITY of consumers to have more pleasure at home (with music players that perform more like the radio, because that's what they want) and SIMULTANEOUSLY the minority, sound-appreciators will get better sound, it's not selfish, it's a win-win situation.

I don't think the worst sonic offenders will perish Darwinianly or automatically, though the plethora of disposable music that's been produced this way probably will. However, music which is intended to be long-lasting has also been treated with disposable sonics due to the loudness war and that is tragic.
That's not the argument. The argument is that you prefer DEFAULT ON. Which is significantly different from being 'OFF'. Then, your assumption that people are too dumb to find the switch on from a menu. Realize this Bob, no matter what you think is going to happen with the large "majority" of consumers, the habit of slamming music comes from studios and to some extent artists management. But, bad habits die hard, your only hope for better more dynamic music is coming from a new generation of artists and producers. The key is really 'education' Mr. Katz. I think you missed the point of my previous post. Too bad.
Old 19th November 2009
  #139
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Quote:
Originally Posted by turtlerock View Post
the only people i ever see touching the volume control on a regular basis to enjoy their music are musicians, studio types and managers .

sometimes its worth stepping outside in the world quietly and watching what people do with the music we all make happen loudly..

mostly they sing along to it

public loudness wars ? really ...?
So true.

I have yet to hear one consumer complain about cd levels being to hot.

Ever.

It's a total non issue with laymen.

Where would the "K-Normal" button be located on your stereo?

next to the "Loudness" button?
or the "Mega bass" button?
or the "Reverb/DSP" button?
or the "BBE" button?
or the "Pro Logic" button?
or the "Smiley eq" button?
or the "Karioki" button?
or the "Shuffle" button?
etc. etc.

Seems like just another way to confuse the consumer, and to screw up audio.
Old 19th November 2009
  #140
Mastering
 

[QUOTE=Edward_Vinatea;4800561But, bad habits die hard, your only hope for better more dynamic music is coming from a new generation of artists and producers. The key is really 'education' Mr. Katz. I think you missed the point of my previous post. Too bad.[/QUOTE]

Edward, Education... Yes, a new generation will learn something, I've contributed plenty to that effort.

Many of us have been educating and railing about this for long and fortunately the result has been that some producers have pulled back a dB or 2. However, despite the education and the positive movement, only a technical solution will solve a loudness race that's currently at the end of a 20 dB crescendo!
Old 19th November 2009
  #141
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Verified Member
When did comsumers/listeners of music turn into
idiots? Should I get out more?
Old 19th November 2009
  #142
Mastering
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by masteringhouse View Post
Bob I'm a bit confused by this poll and some of your responses. Given that sound check already exists in iTunes and iPods as an option are you promoting that it be turned on by default, that it remain on without option, or that a better version of LN needs to be created?
Tom, what I've tried to say is that although Soundcheck is flawed, it's a form of a solution. A better version of LN needs to be created, but if Apple just refuses to do it despite a lot of work behind the scenes to get them to improve, then I'll take Soundcheck any day. I also believe it should be on by default. We can do another poll about that, but I'll bet those who believe it is freedom enough to have it in there (like Alistair) will trounce those who believe that the only way to make headway in the Loudness race is to have it on by default (like Silver Sonya and Bob K).

Quote:
None of the above will put an end to the desire of some people to make their CD louder than the rest anyway. It's a psychological issue not a technical problem.
It's BOTH a psychological issue and a technical problem. The technical problem (in summary) is that we peak normalize because we CAN. Combine peak normalization with extreme compression and you get extreme loudness. Take the motivation to peak normalize away and you'll be surprised how many engineers will back off on their compression.

A different way to look at the technical problem is to look at traditional compressors. What does compression do WITHOUT gain makeup? It produces a lower output, lower level, lower loudness. So we turn up the makeup gain. Peak normalization is makeup gain designed to put the highest peak output of the compressor to the top of the scale. PN makes it a given that dynamic music will be lower in loudness than compressed material. LN makes it a given that dynamic music will be presented at equal average loudness to compressed music.

Quote:

If only levels were controlled through LN there might be a new trend to make music brighter in order to circumvent the level control and make their music seem louder then we would have the EQ wars. If LN took frequency balance in as part of the equation LN would be remastering everyone's work. I don't think anybody wants "sound enhance" or an eq curve on by default.
Only levels are being controlled through LN. Just because LN takes frequency balance into the equation doesn't change the tonal balance. Every piece of music is designed to be reproduced at a certain loudness to get the balance intended by the producer. The current situation certainly doesn't guarantee that. LN will actually get more pieces of music to be reproduced at the producer's intended loudness and thus at his intended frequency balance! There will be tragedies that will be incorrectly reproduced, such as the baroque chamber work being reproduced as loud as the Mahler Symphony; or the folk artist sounding as loud as Bruce Springsteen. These the consumer will have to turn down (unless he is playing music in rotation for casual listening) or turn off LN.

But the number of instances where this inequity occurs will be far less than with a peak-normalized system. This is because peak-normalization is counter to loudness, as the ear does not judge loudness based on peaks. If you take the peaks of the solo folk artist and normalize them to full scale you're already guaranteeing she will be as loud as Bruce Springsteen! This is the folly of the peak-normalization concept and one of the other reasons why pop CD loudness is all over the map. So in an LN system the chances that more music will sound right are actually greater.
Old 19th November 2009
  #143
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bob katz View Post
Edward, Education... Yes, a new generation will learn something, I've contributed plenty to that effort.

Many of us have been educating and railing about this for long and fortunately the result has been that some producers have pulled back a dB or 2. However, despite the education and the positive movement, only a technical solution will solve a loudness race that's currently at the end of a 20 dB crescendo!
Bob, that's why I said patience. Technically speaking we are at the edge of the abyss. There is no more 'loudness' you can get without total distortion anyway. You are talking as if there still plenty of PML left to further increase loudness. You are wrong thinking that yet another consumer gimmick is going to improve the new wave of music. It's a big assumption on your part, that's all.
Old 19th November 2009
  #144
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bob katz View Post
However, despite the education and the positive movement, only a technical solution will solve a loudness race that's currently at the end of a 20 dB crescendo!
and only Montgomery Burns' 'sun-blocker' can save us from global warming...
Old 19th November 2009
  #145
Mastering
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Edward_Vinatea View Post
Bob, that's why I said patience. Technically speaking we are at the edge of the abyss. There is no more 'loudness' you can get without total distortion anyway. You are talking as if there still plenty of PML left to further increase loudness. You are wrong thinking that yet another consumer gimmick is going to improve the new wave of music. It's a big assumption on your part, that's all.
Assumption, probably. But it's a big hope on my part, then! I'm banking on it and campaigning for it.
Old 19th November 2009
  #146
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This is a discussion about ideas.

Why are people being so nasty?

Chill, everybody.

- c
Old 19th November 2009
  #147
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bob katz View Post
Selfish? I think you're being short-sighted. As you know, in ANY profession or pursuit (whether it be art, music, audio, wine, sports cars, home theatre, etc.) it is always the minority who appreciate quality.
I am not being short-sighted. I am debunked another one of your arguments. I will go even further and say that auto-shuffle and appreciating quality are mutually exclusive paradigms.

Quote:
But uniquely in audio, the pursuit of business interests supercedes the pursuit of sound quality.
Yes... some of the cable, sample-rate, SACD and double blind testing discussions amaze me.

Quote:
I can go to Costco or to a wine store and see $4.00 bottles displayed next to $100 bottles and make my choice without one of them "shouting" me out of the store.
I don't know Costco but I think you will find that shops tend to put the products that you want to buy at eye height and use flashy fancy packaging to lure the customers. Research has shown that these methods are very effective. Still, some customers are smart and strong willed enough not to succumb to the marketing tricks just as some artists are smart and strong willed enough not to succumb to the loudness wars.


Quote:
So if a system can be developed which allows the MAJORITY of consumers to have more pleasure at home (with music players that perform more like the radio, because that's what they want) and SIMULTANEOUSLY the minority, sound-appreciators will get better sound, it's not selfish, it's a win-win situation.
I still don't believe it will work. Radio has demonstrated that itclearly does NOT work. People hear horribly crushed to death music on the radio and still rush to their computers to buy the music on iTunes. It ain't working Bob.

What it might cause though is a skewing of the frequency spectrum to make things sound louder without changing the dynamics. Or rather, both. We might end up with crushed records that are also overly bright and harsh records. That's a lose lose in my book!

Quote:
I don't think the worst sonic offenders will perish Darwinianly or automatically, though the plethora of disposable music that's been produced this way probably will. However, music which is intended to be long-lasting has also been treated with disposable sonics due to the loudness war and that is tragic.
Perish might be a bit of an overstatement. How about "Won't pick up royalties for the next 5 decades as their music is used in various media and formats to support other media like video or whatever". If an artist treats his/her music as disposable, so will others. I actually reject some of the music in shows I mix because it is too distorted. I've even once rejected a tune for a leader (and all bumpers etc) of a 13 episode show. Someone lost a lot of money...

Alistair
Old 19th November 2009
  #148
Mastering
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by UnderTow View Post
Accepted. Thanks Bob.



Great! Thanks in advance.

Alistair
Dear Alistair, here are some references for you about peak normalization. Using a peak meter and working to make the material reach its top is the same as peak normalization. I'm including some very short selected quotes from these each of these by email and since these are less than a paragraph in length they can be considered to be used for review purposes and not violate copyright intent.

1)
Audio Engineering Society
Convention Paper
Presented at the 125th Convention 2008 October 2–5 San Francisco, CA, USA

Loudness Descriptors to Characterize Programs and Music Tracks
Esben Skovenborg1 and Thomas Lund2
1 TC Group Research, Risskov, DK-8240 Denmark [email protected]
2 TC Electronic, Risskov, DK-8240 Denmark [email protected]

A short one-paragraph excerpt:

"Level control in digital audio production has traditionally been based on measuring peak level; often just taking the value of individual samples, which requires a minimum of processing-power. Such practice makes material with low dynamic range appear louder, and has led to the so-called loudness war in music production (see e.g. [1])."

-----
2)

Presented at the 115th Convention 2003 October 10–13 New York, New York
___________________________________
Intelligent Program Loudness Measurement and Control: What Satisfies Listeners?
Jeffrey C. Riedmiller, Steve Lyman, and Charles Robinson
Dolby Laboratories Inc. San Francisco, CA. 94103, USA

A short excerpt:

"As implied by the name, a PPM responds very quickly to changes in the signal level. It was designed to help identify potentially problematic peaks or transients which may exceed distortion limits in a device being used. Because the instantaneous fluctuations in a signal may be so brief as to pass unnoticed, the PPM was designed to react quickly to peak onsets but fall more gradually from these peak levels. The human ear is not particularly sensitive to instantaneous peaks in signal level and while such peaks of short duration may be present in a signal the perceived loudness of the overall signal may not be significantly effected. This makes a peak meter less effective in indicating how loud the signal being passed might sound to the human ear."
------

3) Program Loudness: Nuts & Bolts
Jean Paul Moerman
VRT
Belgian National Broadcasters for the Flemish Community August Reyerslaan 52, B-1043 Brussels Belgium [email protected]

Short excerpt:

"1. Viewer complaints
Nevertheless let’s start with something else and perhaps more familiar, viewer complaints. Not these are the problem, but we broadcasters seem to be the cause of this never ending story. Complaints about audio level- differences during broadcasting of programs: annoying trailers and commercials, dialogue to difficult to identify and to understand, too loud music
Figure 1 typical talk show
Above figure illustrates the perceived loudness in the darkest parts, which represents the amount of energy. Viewers were extremely annoyed by the sudden jumps in levels. The sound engineer possessed only a digital peak meter."
---

4)

Audio Engineering Society
Convention Paper 7044
Presented at the 122nd Convention 2007 May 5–8 Vienna, Austria
Broadcast Loudness: Mixing, Monitoring
and Control
Alessandro Travaglini
FOX INTERNATIONAL CHANNELS (Italy), Rome, 00138, Italy [email protected]

"3.2. Audio mastering operation
Unfortunately, in the broadcast industry it is common to use technical recommendations that only indicate reference and maximum permitted electrical levels. Only very skilled sound engineers know how to interpret them in order to understand the loudness of metered signal. The lack of detail on this subject does not allow operators to master at a guaranteed loudness level, although the produced audio mixes comply with those recommendations. The following pictures represent two waveforms from programs: both signals have maximum true peak at -10dBFS, but that is not enough for guarantying loudness consistency. In fact, the measured loudness differs by 11 dB Leq(A)."

----

5)
From Mastering Audio, the Art and the Science, Second Edition, page 168

Short excerpt:

"In the analog recording system, most engineers
used VU meters, ending up with a fairly consistent
average level and loudness regardless of the amount
of compression used. The way analog LPs used to be made
is similar to loudness normalization, seen at right in
the figure. The first bar represents a recording with
20 dB peak to average ratio; its average loudness (in
forte passages) is at the 0 dB line. If we compress
and loudness-normalize this recording, its loudness
remains consistent. However, digital recording
allowed us to peak-normalize, seen at left. If we
compress and peak-normalize this recording, its
average level goes up as we decrease dynamic range.
Since mastering engineers can now easily normalize
to the peak, compressed material gains an unfair
level advantage over uncompressed material. The
Compact Disc became the catalyst for the
accelerated digital loudness race. Peak-normalization
is the fuel that keeps the motors running."


Hope this helps,


Bob
Old 19th November 2009
  #149
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Verified Member
Quote:
Originally Posted by harmony View Post
i thought i posted this comment before, but i may have not posted it right.

the problem with the poll is that it is based on a false premise. the options are not "the" solutions to the loudness war. nor are they even shown to be the best "solutions". also, the way they are worded is argumentative and manipulative. it shows an agenda, and more of a desire to advance a point than to actually conduct a real poll. i guess some sort of poll could be formulated on these kinds of issues, but it would probably need to involve a process where a larger group was allowed to suggest solutions, and it would need to be neutral in tone, i think.

Hear hear! Entirely agreed! This is what I have been arguing since the beginning. I think Bob is slowly realising that.

Alistair
Old 19th November 2009
  #150
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Verified Member
Quote:
Originally Posted by bob katz View Post
2) As for needing 50,000 watts to reproduce dynamic music, I've had the opposite experience.
That is not what 807Recordings is claiming. He is claiming that if you have to reduce the crushed music by 8 or 9 dB to be at the same perceived level as the non-crushed music, cheaper and smaller playback systems will not have enough power to satisfy the consumers. Lowering the maximum level of an iPod by 9 dB below it's current maximum will be unacceptable to many owners. The same goes for boom boxes, laptops etc.

Actually, as everything will have to be attenuated by 9 dB, many customers might go back to the shop and claim that their device is broken if the LN is turned on by default. This to me means one thing: Having LN on by default will never be accepted by the manufacturers. It will NEVER become a reality.

Case closed. Everyone can move on now. Nothing here to hear.


Alistair
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