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Bob Katz declares the Loudness War won
Old 19th October 2013
  #31
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escape set's Avatar
Not sure if jack white got enough credit for quietly releasing (no pun intended lol) a VERY un-smashed album last year. Haven't even heard anyone point it out yet.
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Old 20th October 2013
  #32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Babaluma View Post
would be even better if "sound check" was on by default in itunes, or if apple would support FLAC, or if apple would even sell lossless files in the itunes store, blah blah blah.
This was discussed last night at AES: iTunes Radio Soundcheck will be on by default. It can be unchecked by the end-listener(at their peril!).
Old 20th October 2013
  #33
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I was proud last night to have shaken hands with Bobs Katz and Ludwig last night during their talk at AES135!
Old 20th October 2013
  #34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The_K_Man View Post
This was discussed last night at AES: iTunes Radio Soundcheck will be on by default. It can be unchecked by the end-listener(at their peril!).
That's what Bob already said, that iTunes Radio SoundCheck would be turned on by default, but I'm talking about iTunes itself. I don't know anyone who listens to iTunes Radio.
Old 20th October 2013
  #35
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Quote:
Originally Posted by escape set View Post
Not sure if jack white got enough credit for quietly releasing (no pun intended lol) a VERY un-smashed album last year. Haven't even heard anyone point it out yet.
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I mentioned Blunderbuss on here at least once. It is a huge step in the right direction(or left!).
Old 20th October 2013
  #36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Babaluma View Post
I don't know anyone who listens to iTunes Radio.
Me neither. Seems itunes radio was only rolled out a little over a month ago, but the concept seems redundant within itunes itself, because people will already have their own customized play list.

Itunes Radio which is parroting what Pandora and Spodify already does, boast 10m listeners compared to 90m for Pandora and roughly 60m for Spodify, so even then, itunes radio only holds about 1% of the total radio market.
Old 20th October 2013
  #37
Am I clear in thinking the goal is to produce music near or around -16 integrated lufs?
Old 20th October 2013
  #38
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Gravit Dinchy's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by The_K_Man View Post
Now think about where Apple would be today if Steve Jobs thought along those lines.
What has that got to do with the price of fish?
Old 20th October 2013
  #39
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Waltz Mastering View Post
Itunes Radio which is parroting what Pandora and Spodify already does, boast 10m listeners compared to 90m for Pandora and roughly 60m for Spodify, so even then, itunes radio only holds about 1% of the total radio market.
By these figures there are a combined 160 million listeners for these 3 streaming radio services, and I believe it is a rapidly growing number. All of these services have their own way of matching levels. So it's the total number of streaming radio listeners that matters regarding the loudness war, not just iTunes radio, and 160 million listeners is what I call a pretty good start.

But.

Until the vast majority of overall listeners (Incl. CDs and all media players) use some form of auto level matching I doubt we will see any "victory" over the loudness war. Even then it might not happen. AEs, audiophiles, and some percentage of musicians are the only ones who care, or even know about the problem. Must be less than 10% of the population. There's a long way to go in raising public awareness.

Also,

Among those who are aware of the loudness issue, a certain number prefer loud masters. To wit - an email I received recently from a 20 year old aspiring AE/college student:

"I'm finding more and more that louder masters are just more practical for the average music listener today. I listen to music either in the car, or when I'm walking in between classes in areas that are crowded and noisy- settings where a bit of DR compression actually helps a lot by bringing up the smaller details that would have been otherwise obscured by outside noise. The only time I can potentially fully appreciate an album with complete dynamic range is when I'm at home listening to vinyl, and only when I can really crank it up and feel the punch (I've got an original pressing of Master of Reality that sounds AMAZING when I turn up the volume to neighbor-bothering levels). That unfortunately almost never happens because I'm so busy these days."
Old 20th October 2013
  #40
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Waltz Mastering View Post
Seems itunes radio was only rolled out a little over a month ago
And that is US only. Australia and the UK briefly had a soft launch (for an hour) before being pulled. Anyone with a US account is able to listen to iTunes Radio though without restriction but they may start restricting IP ranges so usage patterns and listener numbers may change considerably.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Waltz Mastering View Post
the concept seems redundant within itunes itself, because people will already have their own customized play list.
iTunes Radio really shines when used with an Apple TV with version 6.0 software or using Airplay with an iOS device. The iTunes application experience is sub-par (especially on Windows, it's improves slightly on Mac) whereas the mobile experience is actually very good. This is also one area that Siri on an iOS device is actually useful.

Right now the iTunes Radio experience on mobile/Apple TV is superior to Pandora/Spotify/Rdio etc experience. A lot better.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Waltz Mastering View Post
Itunes Radio which is parroting what Pandora and Spodify already does, boast 10m listeners compared to 90m for Pandora and roughly 60m for Spodify, so even then, itunes radio only holds about 1% of the total radio market.
The 10 million listeners is for the launch weekend only and that may have changed considerably since then. Right now, it is difficult to judge usage with any sort of reliability.

EDIT (22/10/2013): Over 20m listeners have listened to a billion songs in the US in the month since launch using iTunes Radio.

Spotify claims to offer "more than 20 million songs" (of which they report 4 million songs have never been played once) whereas iTunes Radio technically has 27 million songs at its disposal (much more material that might never be played).

Where iTunes Radio has a major leg up is that it doesn't need to be profitable (hardware sales being the focus) whereas Spotify etc are actually losing money (the founders and other investors are making a tidy profit though selling their shares. Pandora's Tim Westergren has almost sold all of his shares). But, Apple may be hesitant to compromise the iTunes Music Store considering that digital accounted for 70% of recorded music revenue and some say iTunes owns 63% of that market. I have seen reports that claim that 40% of the music industry's revenue comes solely from iTunes. So I see iTunes Radio being the gateway drug to a music purchase. It's all about focus and where the real money lies (and music isn't it).

cheers,
Reynaud
Old 20th October 2013
  #41
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Conundra's Avatar
 

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I use macs daily for the best part of 20 years, buy and listen to loads of music but have never, ever used or bought anything on iTunes let alone listend to iTunes radio (didn't know it existed actually!)

How does anything that happens to iTunes constitute anything but a small side battle in the loudness war?

Maybe I'm missing something, but here in the UK iTunes doesn't really count for that much. Maybe in the States it's the primary retailer for music? Forgive my ignorance but can you even buy wav or aiff on iTunes?

I'm finding it hard to understand the significance of changes to one retailer's radio station in relation to setting a concensus to loudness levels for the entire global music industry.

Cheers

Conundra

Last edited by Conundra; 20th October 2013 at 05:46 PM.. Reason: typo
Old 20th October 2013
  #42
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Quote:
Originally Posted by owen gillett View Post
precisely.
Why so many artists are willing to tow the itunes line, with low resolution audio and what other incentive other than supposed user-friendly accessibility??

Having some audio files on a server and a system to sell them/stream them/give them away/whatever, is really not rocket surgery and is theoretically a one-off investment. So why not??

I think it is the absence of thought and laziness of so many "artists"... And the prestige of being on itunes...?please...

Why any businessperson (anyone who sells their music is a businessperson whether they realise it or not) wouldn't want to cut out a parasitic middle"man" is beyond me.

Having said all that, i am happy about the announcement bob made. Let's hope it is part of the path to better sounding music in the future.

Owen

ps is there something massively relevant that i am missing? What is the positive side of an artist using itunes that can't be self provided?
+ 1.000.000
Old 20th October 2013
  #43
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trakworx View Post
I listen to music either in the car, or when I'm walking in between classes in areas that are crowded and noisy- settings where a bit of DR compression actually helps a lot by bringing up the smaller details that would have been otherwise obscured by outside noise. The only time I can potentially fully appreciate an album with complete dynamic range is when I'm at home listening to vinyl, and only when I can really crank it up and feel the punch (I've got an original pressing of Master of Reality that sounds AMAZING when I turn up the volume to neighbor-bothering levels). That unfortunately almost never happens because I'm so busy these days."
smash it to bring out the details? what details?

enjoy better dynamics with vinyl? are dynamics and vinyl not opposite things?

I think this guy is clearly in the wrong job and hasnt understood, that specialists in a filed (like mix-engineers and mastering engineers in the audio-field) have to make a diffenrece to the clueless people, who are not professionals. (no pun to them ... only stating, that they are not involved in the game but are customers, which is ok.)

I think, in this case you can see, what 20 years of "education" in listening can do. this guy is used to music being slammed. he thinks, that clipping are "the details". I mean this absolutely serious.
Old 20th October 2013
  #44
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Quote:
Originally Posted by whiteaxxxe View Post
smash it to bring out the details? what details?
The way you quoted my post makes it look like I was saying those things when in reality I was quoting someone else. HE is saying that he can hear the softer parts of the music better when listening in a noisy environment because of loud mastering. That is a common observation FWIW. I have often experienced the same thing.

Quote:
Originally Posted by whiteaxxxe View Post
enjoy better dynamics with vinyl? are dynamics and vinyl not opposite things?
I believe he is referring to non-brickwalled masters being used for vinyl, thus vinyl having a greater crest factor than CD or MP3 in many cases. (The term dynamic range was misused where crest factor is what he meant.) Again, I have experienced this many times myself.

Quote:
Originally Posted by whiteaxxxe View Post
I think this guy is clearly in the wrong job and hasnt understood, that specialists in a filed (like mix-engineers and mastering engineers in the audio-field) have to make a diffenrece to the clueless people, who are not professionals. (no pun to them ... only stating, that they are not involved in the game but are customers, which is ok.)

I think, in this case you can see, what 20 years of "education" in listening can do. this guy is used to music being slammed. he thinks, that clipping are "the details". I mean this absolutely serious.

It doesn't really matter if you or I disagree with him, or if he is "in the wrong job" or not. It's his opinion, and it is shared by others. That's all I was pointing out when I quoted him. Being aware of the loudness war doesn't necessarily equate with opposing it.

For the record, I am not arguing in favor of loudness. Personally, I would be happier with more dynamics in most digital masters, but I realize that that is just my opinion.
Old 20th October 2013
  #45
I see only "This Account Has Been Suspended" on this page?
Old 20th October 2013
  #46
Here for the gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by 4damind View Post
I see only "This Account Has Been Suspended" on this page?
Same here :/
Old 20th October 2013
  #47
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Trakworx's Avatar
Then how were you able to reply to him?
Old 20th October 2013
  #48
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gravit Dinchy View Post
What has that got to do with the price of fish?
You said earlier it's the ME's job to satisfy/fulfill the wishes of clients. In other words, fold up like a two-dollar suitcase and destroy the sound of their music if you want to keep your job or retain them as a client.

Jobs already had concepts in his mind regarding how his products woild be fulfilled, and let no one tell him what should be.

What is the Jobs connection to mastering? He built his computer company his way, and so shall I(not if, but when) my mastering business.

Want your music turned into pink noise? There's the door over there. Have a pleasant day.
Old 20th October 2013
  #49
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 4damind View Post
I see only "This Account Has Been Suspended" on this page?
I don't see that, but as of the last half hour I can see the contents of any GS thread via only my mobiles. On the PC, when I click on a thread, just a white screen. That's any thread.

Last edited by The_K_Man; 20th October 2013 at 07:34 PM.. Reason: ONLY
Old 20th October 2013
  #50
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I just know that if any of you'd master a mix I did to -16LUFS it would be the last time you got the job.
Old 20th October 2013
  #51
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trakworx View Post
Then how were you able to reply to him?
Very likely via a mobile device, with or without the GS app.
Old 20th October 2013
  #52
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AS OF NOW contents of threads are visible via my PC.
Old 20th October 2013
  #53
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Owen Gillett View Post
Precisely.
Why so many artists are willing to tow the iTunes line, with low resolution audio and what other incentive other than supposed user-friendly accessibility??

Having some audio files on a server and a system to sell them/stream them/give them away/whatever, is really not rocket surgery and is theoretically a one-off investment. So why not??

I think it is the absence of thought and laziness of so many "artists"... And the prestige of being on iTunes...?Please...

Why any businessperson (anyone who sells their music is a businessperson whether they realise it or not) wouldn't want to cut out a parasitic middle"man" is beyond me.

Having said all that, I am happy about the announcement Bob made. Let's hope it IS part of the path to better sounding music in the future.

Owen

PS is there something massively relevant that I am missing? What is the positive side of an artist using iTunes that can't be self provided?

PS is there something massively relevant that I am missing? What is the positive side of an artist using iTunes that can't be self provided?

Given that question, I'm afraid that you are missing quite a bit...

Start with the term "critical mass"...
Old 20th October 2013
  #54
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Trakworx's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by kosmokrator View Post
I just know that if any of you'd master a mix I did to -16LUFS it would be the last time you got the job.
Just curious - what LUFS level would be acceptable to you?
Old 20th October 2013
  #55
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trakworx View Post
Just curious - what LUFS level would be acceptable to you?
One that is appropriate to the current standard of the genre I'm mixing. My mix has to compete in the playlists of the band, their management, their A&R etc.
Not one of them is using loudness normalization.

Also, I'm one of the people who actually happen to like the sound of not-too-dynamic masters in the appropriate genre.
Old 20th October 2013
  #56
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kosmokrator View Post
One that is appropriate to the current standard of the genre I'm mixing. My mix has to compete in the playlists of the band, their management, their A&R etc.
Not one of them is using loudness normalization.

Also, I'm one of the people who actually happen to like the sound of not-too-dynamic masters in the appropriate genre.

No one said you had to make your music more dynamic. Just beware that software and regulations are being rolled out that will average everything to a predetermined LUFS/dBFS.

And the only thing your mix really has to compete with is your own prior projects. Remember that.
Old 20th October 2013
  #57
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The_K_Man View Post
No one said you had to make your music more dynamic. Just beware that software and regulations are being rolled out that will average everything to a predetermined LUFS/dBFS.

And the only thing your mix really has to compete with is your own prior projects. Remember that.
From your comments I clearly get that you don't have to feed your family as a pro mixer.

As for regulations, as I'm also mixing post professionally, I'm quite aware of all the regulations and I'm also sure there won't come any mandatory regulations for the music market anytime soon.
Old 20th October 2013
  #58
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kosmokrator View Post
From your comments I clearly get that you don't have to feed your family as a pro mixer.

As for regulations, as I'm also mixing post professionally, I'm quite aware of all the regulations and I'm also sure there won't come any mandatory regulations for the music market anytime soon.
Looks like you missed the meeting: Winning the Loudness Wars | Stereophile.com

That was a year or two ago.

I just attended the same seminar last night at the AES 135 in New York. It was aimed exactly at dispeling the mentality you project. Please read the article with an open mind and embrace the inevitable future.
Old 20th October 2013
  #59
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Whatever floats your boat my man.
I continue my job and you your crusade.
All good.
Old 20th October 2013
  #60
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kosmokrator View Post
Whatever floats your boat my man.
I continue my job and you your crusade.
All good.
It's NOT my crusade!

Will you folks on here stop saying that?!

Why do you think Bobs(Ludwig and Katz), Barry Diament, and others are presenting these seminars about this? Just to hear themselves talk???

Last night at AES I hopped on the mic at the end of the meeting just like the one in my link, and told them what I was experiencing on Gearslutz.

I got a standing ovation and was told by at least two or three out of a packed room "not to waste my time there"! I told them: The engineers on GS are exactly the ones who should be in this room taking notes.

More cheers were received.

"My" crusade my ASS.
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