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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 20th November 2009
  #241
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blackcatdigi's Avatar
Hi everyone. Interesting thread.

Quote:
Originally Posted by +6/185 View Post
... And what about new releases - two different versions? The loud version or the good sounding quite version? I think the consumer would not buy anything out of confusion and instead go buy a video game. Can you imagine how many returns there would be when someone gets the wrong version as a gift?
The only way this could work would be to include both versions; IOW, NOT (2) versions available, separately... Leave it to the listener to discover which they prefer. Loud for ipods and cars and such, and (hopefully) dynamic for audiophile pursuits.

Perhaps they would even discover that one version is grating and unpleasant at any playback level, and one version they instinctively want to keep turning up, simply because it sounds better and better the louder they listen.

I wouldn't expect any label to be willing to foot any additional production expenses however, but at least they could partially justify the high cost of CDs to the public.
Old 20th November 2009
  #242
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Quote:
Originally Posted by UnderTow View Post
Yes and at the moment it is done by brute force. Yet another layer of AGCCs, multi-band compression and limiting etc. That is one reason I am holding off on digital cable. The difference in sound between the old analogue signal and the new digital one (from the same provider) is shocking. Not in a good way unfortunately.
Honestly, I'd be fine with slightly reduced fidelity if I could simply watch a broadcast without having to relentlessly ride the volume up and down. The 6-12 dB jump when commercials come on is beyond annoying, to the point that I make a mental note to never purchase any product that uses this type of advertising!
Old 20th November 2009
  #243
j_j
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Verified Member
I'm opposed to regulation, but I find the whole loudness war intolerable, and most of the CD's that are issued are, frankly, it seems to me, going to put the final nails in the industry's coffin.

Intention? Who knows?

There is a simple progression, though, for more or less any signal, a BIT louder sounds "better".

The problem is that this isn't transitive, in that a LOT louder does not necessarily sound better, even if normalized at the receiver.

I guess my difficulty with all of this is that the problem needs to be FIXED AT THE SOURCE.
Old 20th November 2009
  #244
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Edward_Vinatea View Post
So, what's the final word, Mr. Ambassador?
I keep thinking about Eelco's comment regarding differences between good and bad taste.

That's what we need a meter to tell us, not whether it sounds loud or not.

I'm envisioning something like the K-System everyone uses, except it reads in "Tastefulness."

<---Lousy---Poor---Questionable<---Mediocre--->Fair---Good---Impeccable--->

Anything below poor and it mutes right out.

A working group should be formed.


DC
Old 20th November 2009
  #245
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Axon's Avatar
 

I request a blue-ribbon committee.
Old 20th November 2009
  #246
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Quote:
Originally Posted by j_j View Post
I'm opposed to regulation <snip>
It is starting to remind me of the pmrc.

If only FZ was around to chair the committee...
Old 26th November 2009
  #247
j_j
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Waltz Mastering View Post
It is starting to remind me of the pmrc.

If only FZ was around to chair the committee...
Oh, blast it, now I have to go play "call any vegetable"
Old 26th November 2009
  #248
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dcollins View Post
I'm envisioning something like the K-System everyone uses, except it reads in "Tastefulness."

<---Lousy---Poor---Questionable<---Mediocre--->Fair---Good---Impeccable--->
Maybe Bob has read this and is busy working on it.
Old 26th November 2009
  #249
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Silver Sonya View Post

There's a subtly political component to this discussion. If you think about it, Loudness Normalization is fundamentally a kind of lefty/progressive maybe even socialist concept. When it comes down to it, what we're talking about is egalitarianism. The value system you're suggesting would force egalitarianism on a fundamentally competitive, crush-the-other-guy, capitalistic medium.
Absolutely ridiculous. It's not subtle at all.

"Level the playing field"....until it's a bottomless pit.
Old 26th November 2009
  #250
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I know this is tantamount to heresy but I kinda like my CDs pretty thrashed. Sure they may be losing dynamics but if they aren't as loud as other contemporary releases then they simply don't sound as good. I guess you can't have your cake & eat it...
Old 27th November 2009
  #251
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And one limiter to rule them all... puh-leaze. Terrible idea.
Old 27th November 2009
  #252
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Every person (aka music consumer) I've informed about the "Enable Volume Normalization" in Spotify has unchecked the function.

Last time I toggled it on and off I realized that anyone supporting a system like this must have the ears upp the arse.


Best Regards
Patrik
Old 27th November 2009
  #253
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Bob Yordan's Avatar
I think that adapting the mixes to something that might only last a couple of years is not the correct way. Better to aim at making mixes usable in a longer perspective. People in the future will probably skip songs made during the loudness era due to that they sound crappy compared to whatever else is
around at that point in time.

Old 27th November 2009
  #254
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Yordan View Post
I think that adapting the mixes to something that might only last a couple of years is not the correct way. Better to aim at making mixes usable in a longer perspective. People in the future will probably skip songs made during the loudness era due to that they sound crappy compared to whatever else is
around at that point in time.

Exactly. And this will happen sometime in the future as a result of good audio books and good teachers in AE schools.

Regards,
Old 29th November 2009
  #255
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Axon's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Edward_Vinatea View Post
Exactly. And this will happen sometime in the future as a result of good audio books and good teachers in AE schools.
Given what seems like the majority of posts on this thread, I would rephrase your statement to the equivalent form:

This will happen sometime in the future as a result of audio engineers understanding how to multiply.

Given peoples' comments about limiting and degradation of sound due to attenuation, some knowledge of IEEE 754 and noise shaping would probably change a lot of minds.
Old 30th November 2009
  #256
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mischa janisch's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Yordan View Post
I think that adapting the mixes to something that might only last a couple of years is not the correct way. Better to aim at making mixes usable in a longer perspective. People in the future will probably skip songs made during the loudness era due to that they sound crappy compared to whatever else is
around at that point in time.

I believe that maybe in the future artists and producers might back off their lust for loudness and focus on other sonic attributes while mixing and mastering their records - but consumers skipping crushed songs? Come on, that's whishful thinking. I don't think that more than 5% of the consumers care about this - probably more likely 1-2%...

From the feedback we get as Mastering Engineers, we could be fooled into thinking differently, but you have to keep in mind that consumers that talk to ME's about sound are some kind of enthusiast or at least interested in sound. This group seems very large when taking to musicians, friends of musicians and the kind of people I (and maybe other ME's as well) tend to hang arround with - BUT if I talk to some random parrents of my kids friends for example, regular people not assotiated with the music business, my experience is that the loudness issue doesn't even exist. It's not that they just don't care - they don't see any problem at all!!They either like a song or don't like it - it really is that simple...

That said, I see a tendency that some bands and producers don't have loudness as their first priority nowadays, when they come to mastering. It has changed a little - but the results are not far off. It usually goes like:

(before mastering)
'We deffinitely don't want it crushed and don't need to be the loudest out there... but we need to be able to compete on the radio...'
(after receiving a loud, but not totally crushed master)
'The master sounds fantastic, but do you think it's possible to add 1-2db...'

What has changed is that there often is one revision because of this - where as a couple of years ago it was more honest:
'Make it as loud as you can...'
Old 30th November 2009
  #257
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"I want LN, with a consumer option to defeat."
  • The "ignorant" consumers have better sounding music, good
  • The audiophile consumers can disable, and anyway have better music, good
  • The artist wins as there is no longer any pressure to compete, good
  • The genuine mastering engineer wins and rejoices, good
  • Loudness con merchants don't win, good

However:
  • Already squished CDs now sound as bad as they "really sound"

But does that mean record labels or artists loose out financially? NO!!! Can you say "audiophile remasters"?!?

Old 30th November 2009
  #258
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Quote:
Can you say "audiophile remasters"?!?
Face the facts, it'll never happen. Trying to make money in a "deaf idiot, lowest common denominator" market is virtually impossible. DVD-A and SACD have proven that trying to make money in a niche market like "audiophile" is pure foolishness.

The average consumer DOES NOT want distorted, nasty audio. They don't, despite what people think. They don't even want truly loud audio. What they want is consistent levels and unless some kind of standard is created, they'll never get it. The idea of a song-by-song or album-by-album, RMS-based auto volume control is about the only hope. Federal legislation even wouldn't help because as the oil companies have shown, paying the fines dips into profits less than following the law. The home-mastering mills would skirt the issue all together. So the only people that would be affected by it would be the independant labels.

Of all the albums I own, including self promoted stuff, less than 1% of them came from indie labels.
Old 30th November 2009
  #259
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wado1942 View Post
Of all the albums I own, including self promoted stuff, less than 1% of them came from indie labels.
There is a whole ocean of "not-so-loud" modern releases out there, not only by tiny indie labels.

Not paying attention, or being interested enough, is one thing - but supporting a proposed cosmic R2D2 digital hearing system because someone might have not digged deep enough into the ENORMOUS amount of music released in the modern age is somewhat tragic.

(Not saying you haven't, just wanted to make a point.)


Regards
Patrik
Old 30th November 2009
  #260
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wado1942 View Post
Face the facts, it'll never happen. Trying to make money in a "deaf idiot, lowest common denominator" market is virtually impossible. DVD-A and SACD have proven that trying to make money in a niche market like "audiophile" is pure foolishness.

The average consumer DOES NOT want distorted, nasty audio. They don't, despite what people think. They don't even want truly loud audio. What they want is consistent levels and unless some kind of standard is created, they'll never get it. The idea of a song-by-song or album-by-album, RMS-based auto volume control is about the only hope. Federal legislation even wouldn't help because as the oil companies have shown, paying the fines dips into profits less than following the law. The home-mastering mills would skirt the issue all together. So the only people that would be affected by it would be the independant labels.

Of all the albums I own, including self promoted stuff, less than 1% of them came from indie labels.
i agree with half of what your saying but think you're on a bit of a tangent here.....

yes... 99% of consumers couldn't tell the difference between a DVD-A, SACD and a sausage. But when I say audiophile remasters, I'm not talking SACDs, I'm talking about the same CD album just remastered slightly quieter. If that's not a potential money maker for labels, I don't know what is.

Think of dark side of the moon. how many times has that been re-released and re-hyped? They sold everyone the same f***ing album 10 times over. Someone I know actually has about 10 different editions of it! If your saying the re-release market isn't profitable, I can understand why your not a label CEO. heh
Old 1st December 2009
  #261
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Mr.HOLMES's Avatar
Bob.

You may forgot that we are mostly all at GS integrated in some or the other way in music production. So we all know what Loudness-Race means.

In the deadest meaning it means bad artifacts ... distortion and destroyed dynamics.

Ask consumers; people on the street.... I tried it with friends...
In 98% of the cases I see blank stares... because they have no glue what I am talking about.

Sadly but true it already happened a listing habit to the consumers.
They do not get the difference between today and the older days.
Old 1st December 2009
  #262
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr.HOLMES View Post
Bob.

You may forgot that we are mostly all at GS integrated in some or the other way in music production. So we all know what Loudness-Race means.

In the deadest meaning it means bad artifacts ... distortion and destroyed dynamics.

Ask consumers; people on the street.... I tried it with friends...
In 98% of the cases I see blank stares... because they have no glue what I am talking about.

Sadly but true it already happened a listing habit to the consumers.
They do not get the difference between today and the older days.
Yep, but although you have a valid point, I don't feel this is contributing to the OP's question.

If they don't know the difference, then they don't care. But it's the 5% of consumers who hate the loudness race that would love to buy a new quieter version. The loudness matching thingy in MP3 players and iTunes etc is literally the only way to save the quality of our industry.

How can anybody be opposed to that.... I just don't get it!?

Old 1st December 2009
  #263
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JALFK View Post
Yep, but although you have a valid point, I don't feel this is contributing to the OP's question.

If they don't know the difference, then they don't care. But it's the 5% of consumers who hate the loudness race that would love to buy a new quieter version. The loudness matching thingy in MP3 players and iTunes etc is literally the only way to save the quality of our industry.

How can anybody be opposed to that.... I just don't get it!?

I do not know the answer but all I can say even if you just mix a demo and you send it away to the client ....as it was mixed....
They do not understand it they give it back to you...

But if you just smashed it with a brick wall limiter they start to love it....

I mean at some point something went wrong in our industry....

Like Bob wrote in his Book Mastering Audio "I can hear the producer screaming: LOUDER LOUDER LOUDER"

I mean the peak for me was that "Death Magnetic" album by Metallica.
For me it should have been better called "Squeezed to death magnetic"
Old 1st December 2009
  #264
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JALFK View Post
Yep, but although you have a valid point, I don't feel this is contributing to the OP's question.

If they don't know the difference, then they don't care. But it's the 5% of consumers who hate the loudness race that would love to buy a new quieter version. The loudness matching thingy in MP3 players and iTunes etc is literally the only way to save the quality of our industry.

How can anybody be opposed to that.... I just don't get it!?

Because it messes with the artists intent and my work - if I and the artist choose that Song A should be more quiet than Song B both me and the artist wouldbe opposed to some loudness matching thingy changing that into both having the same level.

It's part of our work to set the loudness for each song - I don't want some software to correct my taste!
Old 1st December 2009
  #265
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mischa janisch View Post
Because it messes with the artists intent and my work - if I and the artist choose that Song A should be more quiet than Song B both me and the artist wouldbe opposed to some loudness matching thingy changing that into both having the same level.

It's part of our work to set the loudness for each song - I don't want some software to correct my taste!
Funny.

Another point comes to my mind.
My brother owns a famous coffee bar here in berlin.

One day he called me and said:

Every second song we have to walk thorough the main level knob and adjust the loudness because suddenly a song jumps out of the speakers and you can not understand anymore what the customer is saying to you:

What can we do?

So I knew there is software on the market that levels all the audio to a fixed point.
I advised him to buy such a software and to send his whole library thorough it before playing back in the bar.

This story brought the question to my mind why is not there an international standard for mastering .... with this we could avoid such situations.
Old 1st December 2009
  #266
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mischa janisch View Post
Because it messes with the artists intent and my work - if I and the artist choose that Song A should be more quiet than Song B both me and the artist wouldbe opposed to some loudness matching thingy changing that into both having the same level.

It's part of our work to set the loudness for each song - I don't want some software to correct my taste!
Hey man, again, I only half agree.

I'm a ME too and would also want my work to be listened to properly, exactly intact.

But here's the fun bit.... 95% of consumers could give a rat's ass about our song levels. The remaining 5% who do actually care, are going to turn the damn thing off so there is still no argument against it! :-)

BTW, my statistics are completely genuine and not made up on the spot; because they come from the codex alimentarius stat base; and they would definitely never lie to us. :-P

Old 1st December 2009
  #267
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr.HOLMES View Post
This story brought the question to my mind why is not there an international standard for mastering .... with this we could avoid such situations.
As long as very very very much comes out as 16 bits and 44.1 kHz there's already a standard.

The "problem" in the famous German coffee bar is not exactly what you describe, the problem is that in the coffee shop someone has decided to play a variety of artists. Someone want to blend different takes of music and don't want to hire a DJ.

So, again, it clearly seems that the ones who would care most about LN becoming reality treats music like it is background noise. I can not see the connection to being passionate about anything else than brainwashing.

The general "loudness moaning" is like preferring Kraftwerk over Guns'n'Roses and fight for the idea that Slash should get himself a Moog.


Best Regards
Patrik
Old 1st December 2009
  #268
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PatrikT View Post
As long as very very very much comes out as 16 bits and 44.1 kHz there's already a standard.

The "problem" in the famous German coffee bar is not exactly what you describe, the problem is that in the coffee shop someone has decided to play a variety of artists. Someone want to blend different takes of music and don't want to hire a DJ.

So, again, it clearly seems that the ones who would care most about LN becoming reality treats music like it is background noise. I can not see the connection to being passionate about anything else than brainwashing.

The general "loudness moaning" is like preferring Kraftwerk over Guns'n'Roses and fight for the idea that Slash should get himself a Moog.


Best Regards
Patrik
Thats right but you miss the point in times of I-tunes-shop people do not buy whole albums they buy 2 tracks of this artist and one track of the next artist and here starts for me a dilemma as well....

thats the point and what does 44.1k and 16 bit has to do with this problem...can you explain me this?
Old 1st December 2009
  #269
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr.HOLMES View Post
Thats right but you miss the point in times of I-tunes-shop people do not buy whole albums they buy 2 tracks of this artist and one track of the next artist and here starts for me a dilemma as well....
The only dilemma is to have to use the volume knob. It seems people who have to say that they support dynamic range are the truly unwilling ones to use volume knobs as supposed.

The consumer buying a little this and a little that is reaching for his volume control more often than any algorithm can imagine, and most of these consumers would never feel any need to complain about having total control about their listening levels.

Quote:
what does 44.1k and 16 bit has to do with this problem...can you explain me this?
It has nothing to do with a problem more than it surely is a wide-spread STANDARD.


Regards
Patrik
Old 1st December 2009
  #270
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PatrikT View Post
The general "loudness moaning" is like preferring Kraftwerk over Guns'n'Roses and fight for the idea that Slash should get himself a Moog.

So Patrik, you think shameless loudness squishing has a lot to do with furthering creative freedom?
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