The No.1 Website for Pro Audio
 Search This Thread  Search This Forum  Search Reviews  Search Gear Database  Search Gear for sale  Search Gearslutz Go Advanced
Loudness Wars - Whose Fault? DJ Software
Old 3rd January 2011
  #31
Gear Addict
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by IIIrd View Post
?...what?

I don't think so.
Well think again. You have free will and a conscience. Use them.

Unless maybe you just want to be a hired gun. But then call it what it is. Whoring out your services to give sub-par material an unfair advantage.

Hint: You don't owe that to any client. There's a line. You just owe them a duty to do a good job.
Old 3rd January 2011
  #32
Lives for gear
 
echoRausch's Avatar
 

"overloud".

What does it mean exactly? dfegad
Old 3rd January 2011
  #33
Lives for gear
 
IIIrd's Avatar
 

Verified Member
Quote:
Originally Posted by editronmaximon View Post
Look man, everyone wants someone to do something wrong. It does not mean you have to do it. You are not a sheep. Making overloud masters in harming the entire industry and if you calling yourself a professional you have a responsibility to the whole, not just to the parts. Now you may not like to admit that, but it is in fact the ethical truth of the matter. Overloud master do nothing good for the music, only harm, and the first rule is "do no harm".

There is a built-in ceiling with digital audio. You do whatever processing is beneficial to the music and that help it to translate well on a reasonable variety of playback systems, and you render it using the optimal bit resolution, and that's it. Full stop. Pushing it past that is doing harm, and no good. Like it or not, that's the reality of it. So maybe folks could just grow up and grow a pair, and stop acting like its a shouting match, or whining about how helpless they are against their brutal clients. So that this era doesn't go down in history as the era with the worst-engineered, most mangled audio of all time.

Btw, it was not, and never will be, me who says I'm afraid of getting fired because I won't produce an outlandishly loud master.
Not a sheep old boy, just a realist. Some of my clients want "loud", some don't don't. Some say they want "loud" then don't, and some say they don't then want "loud". Either road, I advise my clients accordingly.

Loudness war has been here forever, and throughout audio history there are shocking attempts win this inane battle. This era is pretty bad, but if you hark back to the 50's and 60's and 70's, they all had their "loud" singles...

You may as well stop banging your head against the wall...life's too short, it hurts and it's only a record at the end of the day..let's not forget that.
Old 3rd January 2011
  #34
Lives for gear
 
IIIrd's Avatar
 

Verified Member
Quote:
Originally Posted by editronmaximon View Post
No. In this case he is perpetuating a myth to create an excuse.

And I think your anecdotes are nonsense, and not controlling on any of the issues. You just need to get great songs to the right people to get signed and that is not a "loudest track wins" contest.

If you are slugging it out with stupid music battling other stupid music you may get more caught up in the bull****, but who cares about that anyhway?
LOL, thats the industry matey, no myth, just life
Old 3rd January 2011
  #35
Lives for gear
 
IIIrd's Avatar
 

Verified Member
Quote:
Originally Posted by editronmaximon View Post
Well think again. You have free will and a conscience. Use them.

Unless maybe you just want to be a hired gun. But then call it what it is. Whoring out your services to give sub-par material an unfair advantage.

Hint: You don't owe that to any client. There's a line. You just owe them a duty to do a good job.
I do,. i have happy clients,

whoring services....LOL
Old 3rd January 2011
  #36
Gear Guru
 
Thomas W. Bethe's Avatar
 

Verified Member
Quote:
Originally Posted by editronmaximon View Post
Look man, everyone wants someone to do something wrong. It does not mean you have to do it. You are not a sheep. Making overloud masters in harming the entire industry and if you calling yourself a professional you have a responsibility to the whole, not just to the parts. Now you may not like to admit that, but it is in fact the ethical truth of the matter. Overloud master do nothing good for the music, only harm, and the first rule is "do no harm".

There is a built-in ceiling with digital audio. You do whatever processing is beneficial to the music and that help it to translate well on a reasonable variety of playback systems, and you render it using the optimal bit resolution, and that's it. Full stop. Pushing it past that is doing harm, and no good. Like it or not, that's the reality of it. So maybe folks could just grow up and grow a pair, and stop acting like its a shouting match, or whining about how helpless they are against their brutal clients. So that this era doesn't go down in history as the era with the worst-engineered, most mangled audio of all time.

Btw, it was not, and never will be, me who says I'm afraid of getting fired because I won't produce an outlandishly loud master.
If a client wants something loud and you won't provide it then they will simply go somewhere else. Maybe you are independently wealthy but a lot of us have to work for a living and if you refuse to do what the client wants you will soon be out of business.

Bob Olhsson is right on the money.

FWIW and YMMV
Old 3rd January 2011
  #37
Gear Addict
 

American Idiots

I blame poor people...

Those unwashed masses who listen on sytems costing less than $100 instead of multithousand dollar speakers...

Sorry - while I can't listen to "American Idiot" in my studio, it does sound amazing on my kitchen boombox.
Old 3rd January 2011
  #38
Lives for gear
 
sat159p1's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by jeff_free69 View Post
I blame poor people...

Those unwashed masses who listen on sytems costing less than $100 instead of multithousand dollar speakers...

Sorry - while I can't listen to "American Idiot" in my studio, it does sound amazing on my kitchen boombox.
This record sounds great on just anything
It's just a good record.
Old 3rd January 2011
  #39
Motown legend
 
Bob Olhsson's Avatar
 

Verified Member
Quote:
Originally Posted by IIIrd View Post
...As for the public...they don't give a toss about the loudness as loudness doesn't impact on sales. Marketing/exposure does though
Distortion has a measured negative impact on how quickly people will change the radio channel. I don't think it's that big of a leap to suspect that people probably are less likely to buy distorted recordings when all else is equal.
Old 3rd January 2011
  #40
Lives for gear
 
Hannes_F's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by wado1942 View Post
... auto-gain switch ... You'd think there'd be a superior version of that technology these days. Like, something that could analyze the level of something in advance and switch some metadata in the header to even out the levels from one song to the next without destroying the dynamics.
Native Instruments Traktor (a product for DJing) works that way, and pretty good. It analyzes every song and calculates a gain factor using an algorithm that tries to find out its perceived loudness ... and what it does then is no additional compression or filter or any other degrading process but one simple gain factor per song. You can wildly shuffle eras and this adjustion gain goes all over the place but as a result every song feels equally loud, or better said, as loud as it should be (I suppose the algorithm can somehow figure out when some song is supposed to be on the softer side and does not crank that up blindly). Works almost perfect for DJing. Of course you slightly adjust all the time manually but strictly necessary would it only be for say two or three of hundred songs.

I don't know enough about radio but I would wonder if good radio stations would not use a similar algorithm nowadays, even before it running through a final limiter. Therefore 'making it loud for the radio' seems a bit moot (and for clubs anyways). Or did you ever not hear an 80ies song that was played after one of today?
Old 3rd January 2011
  #41
Lives for gear
 
Greg Reierson's Avatar
 

Verified Member
Quote:
Originally Posted by wado1942 View Post
You'd think there'd be a superior version of that technology these days. Like, something that could analyze the level of something in advance and switch some metadata in the header to even out the levels from one song to the next without destroying the dynamics.

Oh, but wait, that would essentially end the loudness war and bands couldn't pat themselves on the back for being louder and crappier sounding than whoever. Therein lies the real issue.
ITU 1770. Press Release: Sound advice from ITU to keep TV volume in check

Article submitted...


GR
Old 3rd January 2011
  #42
Lives for gear
 
IIIrd's Avatar
 

Verified Member
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Olhsson View Post
Distortion has a measured negative impact on how quickly people will change the radio channel. I don't think it's that big of a leap to suspect that people probably are less likely to buy distorted recordings when all else is equal.
Depends though doesn't it. I think with the radio the distortion has to be so much that it interrupts the the music so to speak, other factors like poor reception and the digital radio's strange noises have more of an impact.

Same with the cd, or mp3 or whatever medium, it has to be very bad before the public (generally) complain. The most recent notable case, famously being the Metallica album.

You also have to take into account the types of systems people listen on, and how well they present the sound..how much do they reveal?...I listen to music generally in the car as the sound system in there is not very good and with the noise of the engine an all, you don't really hear the distortion.

There's also the public's understanding of the issue, most will look at you in a blank kind of way when you try and tell them about the war of loud,...

A good few more Metallicagates are needed for th public to get it, and a few very successful acts who do quiet cd's to satisfy the labels lust for sales.
Old 3rd January 2011
  #43
Lives for gear
 
Greg Reierson's Avatar
 

Verified Member
Quote:
Originally Posted by IIIrd View Post
A good few more Metallicagates are needed for th public to get it, and a few very successful acts who do quiet cd's to satisfy the labels lust for sales.
Check out he latest Keith Urban CD. Much quieter than most of his competition.


GR
Old 3rd January 2011
  #44
Lives for gear
 
Trakworx's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by editronmaximon View Post
Overloud master do nothing good for the music, only harm, and the first rule is "do no harm".
I think you need to define "overloud" if you're going to get all high and mighty about this. I can't tell whether or not I'm violating my Hippocratic Oath!

What RMS level is "overloud" to you for, say, a hard rock track?


I have actually argued strongly with clients who wanted me to push the levels to what I considered to be extremes, and often I've been able to convince them to back off a bit. But in the end it is their dime, and they call the shots. It is not my job to force my morality onto others, nor is it your job. I find your tone to be self-righteous.

The fact that clients can always find another ME to fight the loudness war for them makes it impossible for MEs to stop the loudness war unless we were all to simultaneously unite against it, but how would that ever happen?

Will you lead us? Are you The One?

.
Old 3rd January 2011
  #45
Lives for gear
 
Trakworx's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by IIIrd View Post

You also have to take into account the types of systems people listen on, and how well they present the sound..how much do they reveal?...I listen to music generally in the car as the sound system in there is not very good and with the noise of the engine an all, you don't really hear the distortion.
Yes, in the car is the only place I can listen to Death Magnetic, and it actually sounds OK in there. Put it on my studio monitors or home stereo and it's unlistenable.

Quote:
Originally Posted by IIIrd View Post
There's also the public's understanding of the issue, most will look at you in a blank kind of way when you try and tell them about the war of loud,...
Yes, almost anybody who is not a musician or engineer will just shrug.

Quote:
Originally Posted by IIIrd View Post
A good few more Metallicagates are needed for th public to get it, and a few very successful acts who do quiet cd's to satisfy the labels lust for sales.
Let's hope...

.
Old 3rd January 2011
  #46
Motown legend
 
Bob Olhsson's Avatar
 

Verified Member
Quote:
Originally Posted by IIIrd View Post
...There's also the public's understanding of the issue, most will look at you in a blank kind of way when you try and tell them about the war of loud,..
Most people couldn't tell you why they like something enough to buy it. Certainly recordings can sell a lot in spite of being distorted in an unmusical manner however that doesn't mean they might not sell even more if the sound got really huge when you turn up the volume.
Old 3rd January 2011
  #47
Lives for gear
 
IIIrd's Avatar
 

Verified Member
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Olhsson View Post
Most people couldn't tell you why they like something enough to buy it. Certainly recordings can sell a lot in spite of being distorted in an unmusical manner however that doesn't mean they might not sell even more if the sound got really huge when you turn up the volume.
I agree some would, but most these days are on ipods/iphones on the train, or jogging in the park, in the gym, the into the docking station at home.

Bring back records, at least the space on the medium restricted how loud you could go...to a point
Old 3rd January 2011
  #48
Gear Guru
 
lucey's Avatar
 

Verified Member
Quote:
Originally Posted by IIIrd View Post
It's not misinformation, it's the truth of the matter. I've had artists tell me they havn't had a track signed because A&R guy said they're tracks wern't loud enough.
I've had pluggers say the cdr must be "loud" for the programming meeting...
Maybe the A&R guy lied? If they REALLY like the music, they can ask for a hotter master. Come on now ...

Quote:
Originally Posted by IIIrd View Post
Bob's absolutely right.

In the ideal music industry the "great" track will be the one to succeed...but life ain't like that,...the charts are testament to that.

As for the public...they don't give a toss about the loudness as loudness doesn't impact on sales. Marketing/exposure does though
Fact or not at some radio stations and labels, it's still not an important perspective in 2011.

The Major Label system is not running things as far as sales for most artists. For pop/dance/RnB/rap then sure it needs to be loud. But the new Black Keys record is quieter than some of their older records, and quieter than other records this year like Muse, etc. It's not stopping the band from sold out 5000 seat venues all over the world 20 days a month, or from selling over 400,000 CDs and getting 4 Grammy nominations. 'Tighten Up' was the #1 Modern Rock radio single on Billboard for 4-5 weeks this year, and it hovers around -10 RMS. That's loud, but not to detriment of music. Where there is a great song, and a great band with momentum and a good business team, it WILL get played, it HAS to. It's that good and that well liked an act.

Kanye West? Sure, that's pop, it needs to be competitive as competition is part of pop. But Florence and the Machine? Could be lower and sell or get airplay in it's smaller rock/alternative market.

Bottom line, not everyone is selling modern pop like a Kanye and the radio is not the beginning of a real career, it's the place you MIGHT get to with momentum. An indie or a major label artist in non pop needs so much more than a loud single. That's just insane. They need a fanbase from lots of touring, label planning, momentum ... and THEN a great record with a few great songs. If it's bad music and loud, it loses. If it's good music and not loud enough for someone or other, it's not going to make it anyway because it's not being shepherded by the right team of people to get around that one guy with a negative comment. With the right team, and a long term marketing and development strategy, you can forget about loudness and just develop the act on the road and in the studio.

Then ... the majority of kids are not radio driven anymore, and they connect with songs and artists not loudness. Kids I know don't ever listen to the radio. It's all about You Tube clips, peer recommendations, etc. So the radio programmer is just not important in MANY circles. A good rock band will get played. A pop band will come in plenty hot, as competition and loudness is the standard part of that music. But as long as it's at -10 you're fine. -7 is not needed!

Californication, David Bowie Reality, Coldplay XY for that matter, were unnecessarily slammed, as was Metallicas record ... by Fear. Fear of not being young and current ... and sucking is not cool.

I had a Seattle indie label head ask me for more level this week, so of course I went more! ... and I had an indie guy realize that he asked me to go too far and repaid for the EP done lower, after I showed him some facts on sales and volume. In neither case was that last 1.5db going to matter to sales ... no way in hell ... and musically the 1.5 db is more successful in the ear.
Old 3rd January 2011
  #49
Lives for gear
 
12ax7's Avatar
 

Verified Member
.
"In an avalanche, every snowflake screams its innocence."
-- Stanislaw Jerzy Lec
.
Old 3rd January 2011
  #50
Lives for gear
 
IIIrd's Avatar
 

Verified Member
Quote:
Originally Posted by lucey View Post
Maybe the A&R guy lied? If they REALLY like the music, they can ask for a hotter master. Come on now ...



Fact or not at some radio stations and labels, it's still not an important perspective in 2011.

The Major Label system is not running things as far as sales for most artists. For pop/dance/RnB/rap then sure it needs to be loud. But the new Black Keys record is quieter than some of their older records, and quieter than other records this year like Muse, etc. It's not stopping the band from sold out 5000 seat venues all over the world 20 days a month, or from selling over 400,000 CDs and getting 4 Grammy nominations. 'Tighten Up' was the #1 Modern Rock radio single on Billboard for 4-5 weeks this year. Where there is a great song, and a great band with momentum and a good business team, it WILL get played, it HAS to. It's that good and that well liked an act.

Kanye West? Sure, that's pop, it needs to be competitive as competition is part of pop. But Florence and the Machine? Could be lower and sell or get airplay in it's smaller rock/alternative market.

Bottom line, not everyone is selling modern pop like a Kanye and the radio is not the beginning of a real career, it's the place you MIGHT get to with momentum. An indie or a major label artist in non pop needs so much more than a loud single. That's just insane. They need a fanbase from lots of touring, label planning, momentum ... and THEN a great record with a few great songs. If it's bad music and loud, it loses. If it's good music and not loud enough for someone or other, it's not going to make it anyway because it's not being shepherded by the right team of people to get around that one guy with a negative comment. With the right team, and a long term marketing and development strategy, you can forget about loudness and just develop the act on the road and in the studio.

Then ... the majority of kids are not radio driven anymore, and they connect with songs and artists not loudness. Kids I know don't ever listen to the radio. It's all about You Tube clips, peer recommendations, etc. So the radio programmer is just not important in MANY circles. A good rock band will get played. A pop band will come in plenty hot, as competition and loudness is the standard part of that music. But as long as it's at -10 you're fine. -7 is not needed!

Californication, David Bowie Reality, Coldplay XY for that matter, were unnecessarily slammed, as was Metallicas record ... by Fear. Fear of not being young and current ... and sucking is not cool.

I had a Seattle indie label head ask me for more level this week, so of course I went more! ... and I had an indie guy realize that he asked me to go too far and repaid for the EP done lower, after I showed him some facts on sales and volume. In neither case was that last 1.5db going to matter to sales ... no way in hell ... and musically the 1.5 db is more successful in the ear.
Thats what the guy said...I never met the A&R guy...it is a ludicrous thing for a record company guy to say, but thats how the artist relayed it. As for them being young spotty kids all worried about being in the right bars with the right haircut...yup , thats them..

The other bold stuff, used to be what A&R and good management was about I believe
Old 4th January 2011
  #51
Lives for gear
 
ARIEL's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Olhsson View Post
Unfortunately louder tracks get more attention in sales and promotion meetings. I actually blame a lot of the current problem on the combination of MIDI, DAT machines and the concept that everything should be "normalized."

This resulted in MIDI-based pop records being louder and all artists wanting their new releases to be just as loud as the MIDI-based records. The irony is that the extra distortion often results in crushed recordings sounding weaker over the air.
Exactly , I was listening to the radio and they had played an AC DC song from Back In black and right after a disturbed song came on which sounded less punchy, weaker and squashed even though if you played them in cd format disturbed would of sounded louder . Funny thing is on the radio with all the limiting going on all the levels are the same so I never understood the idea of trying to have ones song pop out more than the previous ? A lame song that is louder is still going to be lame
Old 4th January 2011
  #52
Lives for gear
 
Trakworx's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by ARIEL View Post
Funny thing is on the radio with all the limiting going on all the levels are the same so I never understood the idea of trying to have ones song pop out more than the previous ?
Very true, but I think the volume war has more to do with playlists than with broadcast radio. Ever noticed how the volume war has escalated right alongside the rise of playlists?

.
Old 4th January 2011
  #53
Gear Maniac
 
studioland's Avatar
 

DYNAMIC RANGE | pleasurize music!

Create a standard as for film music
Old 4th January 2011
  #54
Lives for gear
 
dcollins's Avatar
 

Verified Member
Quote:
Originally Posted by studioland View Post
DYNAMIC RANGE | pleasurize music!

Create a standard as for film music
There is no volume control in a theater.


DC
Old 4th January 2011
  #55
Lives for gear
 
Waltz Mastering's Avatar
 

Verified Member
Quote:
Originally Posted by therealbigd View Post
Just a question that I've been pondering over for some time. We all know what the loudness war is and what's going on and how it harms music and all that. But what I wondered is - where does the pressure for loud masters come from?
Went to a restaurant last night that had an operating jukebox.
With some songs you could barely make out the melody over the crowd noise... and other songs were quite clear.
Old 4th January 2011
  #56
Lives for gear
 
echoRausch's Avatar
 

Old 4th January 2011
  #57
Lives for gear
 
Trakworx's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Waltz Mastering View Post
Went to a restaurant last night that had an operating jukebox.
With some songs you could barely make out the melody over the crowd noise... and other songs were quite clear.
Yup, a jukebox is just like a playlist.

They hate sounding softer than the previous or next song. It's an emotional reaction which is a very hard thing to combat.

I had a client ask for a louder master because of the jukebox in a bar. 'Fixed it by adding more high mids instead of more limiter.

.
Old 4th January 2011
  #58
Lives for gear
 

Jukebox in a restaurant... That's a self-destructive thing to worry about come mastering time. In order for the jukebox in a public place to matter at all:

*The album has to make it to the store shelves.
*The album has to sell.
*The album has to gain a following.
*A restaurant/bar/club owner has to pick up on that following and put it in the jukebox.
*A customer in the restaurant/bar/club has to play the song.
*A second customer has to be present that doesn't already know the song and would be interested if he heard it.
*The second customer has to either not be able to hear the song or half-hear the song and not be interested enough to investigate further.
*The second customer also has to be the type of person that spends money on music in the first place.


That is a ton of "if's" to ruin a production over.
Old 4th January 2011
  #59
Lives for gear
 

Verified Member
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cheebs Goat View Post
Jukebox in a restaurant... That's a self-destructive thing to worry about come mastering time. In order for the jukebox in a public place to matter at all:

*The album has to make it to the store shelves.
*The album has to sell.
*The album has to gain a following.
*A restaurant/bar/club owner has to pick up on that following and put it in the jukebox.
*A customer in the restaurant/bar/club has to play the song.
*A second customer has to be present that doesn't already know the song and would be interested if he heard it.
*The second customer has to either not be able to hear the song or half-hear the song and not be interested enough to investigate further.
*The second customer also has to be the type of person that spends money on music in the first place.


That is a ton of "if's" to ruin a production over.
BRILLIANT!heh
Old 4th January 2011
  #60
Lives for gear
 
Waltz Mastering's Avatar
 

Verified Member
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cheebs Goat View Post
Jukebox in a restaurant... That's a self-destructive thing to worry about come mastering time. In order for the jukebox in a public place to matter at all:
You might have missed the point. It was an observation I made while eating at one of my favorite old school Italian restaurants while back home...but you can apply the same logic of wanting to "be heard" while in rotation as to why someone would want to be loud as opposed to conservative, whether it's an ipod, mix cd, radio, jukebox, whatever...
Post Reply

Welcome to the Gearslutz Pro Audio Community!

Registration benefits include:
  • The ability to reply to and create new discussions
  • Access to members-only giveaways & competitions
  • Interact with VIP industry experts in our guest Q&As
  • Access to members-only sub forum discussions
  • Access to members-only Chat Room
  • Get INSTANT ACCESS to the world's best private pro audio Classifieds for only USD $20/year
  • Promote your eBay auctions and Reverb.com listings for free
  • Remove this message!
You need an account to post a reply. Create a username and password below and an account will be created and your post entered.


 
 
Slide to join now Processing…
Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Similar Threads
Thread
Thread Starter / Forum
Replies
Dubtek71 / Electronic Music Instruments and Electronic Music Production
47
dudeitsree / The Moan Zone
14
voiceaddict / So much gear, so little time
12
whosyourdaddy00 / Mastering forum
13
Mike Butler / Q+A with Kevin Killen
1

Forum Jump
Forum Jump