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Bob Katz declares the Loudness War won
Old 17th October 2013
  #1
Old 17th October 2013
  #2
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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.
Old 17th October 2013
  #3
thanks for the link !

That's really interesting and hope things will really change in regards to the loudness war !

If there is some level standard in the broadcast, i don't understant why it couldn't be the same for music...

With a standart level you can still squashed your music if you want it to be like that and then lower the output or you can simply use more "headroom" and have more dynamic and better master.
Old 17th October 2013
  #4
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.

Yes and / or maybe add a big pop-up to explain this to the people !
Old 17th October 2013
  #5
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Now if we could only get some devices out that are not so hyper-underpowered we will totally win.

Although iTunes radio is POP in USA (which of course is the world), the rest of the world does not have this yet. Add in factors such as TV with TV speakers, small desktop speakers, and we still have a big battle.
Old 17th October 2013
  #6
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A tad premature perhaps (to say the war is won when obviously it's not), but there do seem to be a lot of positive moves going on recently.

As streaming continues to take over from the idea of "owning" music, these level regulations will hopefully become the norm, at which point the war will have been, somewhat, "won".

By the way, i recently did an extensive test of LUFS metering, and found that it punishes heavly limited material by turning it down so that it's lower in apparent volume then dynamic material. Well, that's not good and could actually get in the way of it being implemeneted widely as it should turn down limited material so that it's the same apparent volume, although less punchy.
Old 17th October 2013
  #7
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IMHO, this is over-enthusiastic. When Katz says:

"iTunes Radio will quickly discover that Radio sounds more consistent than their playlists, that they don’t have to turn their volume controls up and down when listening to Radio"

No, the customer will discover that local playback sounds much "better". Louder is still "better" from the perspective of the average music customer and he will intuitively move to another player. I bet Apple will face an incredible ****-storm if they'd force this thing.

10$ that apple hits the breaks 3 month of evaluation!

Also, the world doesn't belong to apple. The whole independent music industry players (not just indie rock ) already organized themselves with their own platforms such as Juno, Beatport, Boomkat and most of all: Most half way modern labels are having great success running their own infrastructure/shop/streaming service without third party cuts. Apple has relevant market power weight in the US mainstream (or what's left of it), but that's it. It's totally different outside the US.
Old 17th October 2013
  #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FabienTDR View Post
IMHO, this is over-enthusiastic. When Katz says:

"iTunes Radio will quickly discover that Radio sounds more consistent than their playlists, that they don’t have to turn their volume controls up and down when listening to Radio"

No, the customer will discover that local playback sounds much "better". Louder is still "better" from the perspective of the average music customer and he will intuitively move to another player. I bet Apple will face an incredible an incredible ****-storm if they'd force this thing.

10$ that Apple will stop this thing after 3 month of evaluation!

Also, the world doesn't belong to apple. The whole independent music industry (not just indie rock ) already organized themselves with their own platforms such as Juno, Beatport, Boomkat and most of all: Most half way modern labels are having great success running their own infrastructure/shop/streaming service without third party cuts. Apple has relevant market power weight in the US mainstream (or what's left of it), but that's it. It's totally different outside the US.
I'm with you on this one, though it still is a nice move from Apple anyway.
Old 17th October 2013
  #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FabienTDR View Post
IMHO, this is over-enthusiastic. When Katz says:

"iTunes Radio will quickly discover that Radio sounds more consistent than their playlists, that they don’t have to turn their volume controls up and down when listening to Radio"

No, the customer will discover that local playback sounds much "better". Louder is still "better" from the perspective of the average music customer and he will intuitively move to another player. I bet Apple will face an incredible ****-storm if they'd force this thing.

10$ that apple hits the breaks 3 month of evaluation!

Also, the world doesn't belong to apple. The whole independent music industry players (not just indie rock ) already organized themselves with their own platforms such as Juno, Beatport, Boomkat and most of all: Most half way modern labels are having great success running their own infrastructure/shop/streaming service without third party cuts. Apple has relevant market power weight in the US mainstream (or what's left of it), but that's it. It's totally different outside the US.
Agreed, almost completely. I'm not too sure about Apple shutting it down, but the point about their total non-dominance outside of the US is spot on.

r,
j,
Old 17th October 2013
  #10
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Why do we care what Bob Katz says?
Old 17th October 2013
  #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Theknob View Post
Why do we care what Bob Katz says?

"If you're not part of the solution.... "
Old 17th October 2013
  #12
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Very interested in hearing for myself what this ~7 db peak attenuation sounds like from song to song.

Its going be interesting to see the hoops and loops jumped to make music stand out without loudness to fall back on.

It itself has become the sound in some cases.
Old 17th October 2013
  #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FabienTDR View Post
the world doesn't belong to apple.
A-men brother!
Old 17th October 2013
  #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FabienTDR View Post
...the world doesn't belong to apple.
Soon it will. Soon they will make their own processors... And soon Skynet will go online...
Old 17th October 2013
  #15
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I think the announcement by Mr. Katz is valid, and I also think a new standard in loudness measurement should be implemented:

"LOLFS".
Old 18th October 2013
  #16
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Old 18th October 2013
  #17
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@ hipaquarius: perfect.


Seriously though, even if Apple isn't the only major player, they are a major player and if other services follow suit we will be on the road back to dynamic content in music.

Just think of all the over-squashed records from the last 15 years which could be remastered to be listenable.
Old 18th October 2013
  #18
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Please hip - post images that elevate Gearslutz' image - not tarnish it!
Old 18th October 2013
  #19
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The loudness wars have been over....we lost.

Like internet file sharing there is no way to put this back in the bag.
Old 18th October 2013
  #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lobsterinn View Post
Seriously though, even if Apple isn't the only major player, they are a major player and if other services follow suit we will be on the road back to dynamic content in music.
That's the funniest part of this whole "discovery." They already do. Radio has done exactly this forever. Pandora and Spotify already do this. There is absolutely nothing new here. Apple has adopted the concept of loudness normalization that others have been using and consumers have been listening to for many years.

I do agree that this is the way out of the loudness war.
Old 18th October 2013
  #21
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Does the latest version of Sound Check respect the internal dynamics of albums? I know older versions didn't but it might have been updated. I can't see it ever being adopted by the majority unless it does.
Old 18th October 2013
  #22
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Originally Posted by work2do View Post
The loudness wars have been over....we lost.

Like internet file sharing there is no way to put this back in the bag.
Can't say I disagree with this.
Old 18th October 2013
  #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FabienTDR View Post
Most half way modern labels are having great success running their own infrastructure/shop/streaming service without third party cuts.
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?
Old 19th October 2013
  #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by work2do View Post
The loudness wars have been over....we lost.

Like internet file sharing there is no way to put this back in the bag.
The loudness war was here long before digital.

Maybe the industry will take heed of Bob's armistice declaration, but I somehow doubt it'll any time soon.
Old 19th October 2013
  #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lobsterinn View Post
Just think of all the over-squashed records from the last 15 years which could be remastered to be listenable.
So you are finally admitting that all these sqaushed masters were in fact a conspiracy of a secret mastering engineer society, to make sure there would be enough remastering jobs in the third millennium ?



Seriously though, once this technology has been implemented into everything our clients use to check their masters, the loudness war is over.

Not one day sooner.
Old 19th October 2013
  #26
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My rough guesses from checking a few loud pop music tracks in iTunes Radio (certainly open to correction):

iTunes Radio in volume matching seems to be leaving about 7 dB to work with for peaks, so average volume is low. Noticeably so.
Spotify Windows app using volume matching seems to be leaving about 3 dB to work with, probably peak limiting the rest. So average volume is higher than iTunes Radio.
Spotify web Player seems to be using full volume, so is not volume matching or is volume matching with more peak limiting.

Something I didn't know was that Spotify streams Ogg Vorbis, not MP3 as I thought. For that reason, I think it would be helpful for some developer to include Ogg Vorbis in one of the codec live audition programs.

Last edited by walter88; 19th October 2013 at 10:59 AM.. Reason: removed using SoundCheck
Old 19th October 2013
  #27
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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?
Exposure. Plain and simple. Despite Bandcamp ( who still takes a cut, albeit smaller than iTunes, 15%) and other similar services , people still vastly ( by a big margin) prefer to buy from "established" names like iTunes. It's extremely hard to change peoples buying habits, unfortunately.

The first ( and sometimes only) digital store people will check your music on is iTunes. (That is, if they don't get it from Pirate Bay &co first of course ). With the already radically shrinking sales, refusing iTunes and going only on alternative services is suicidal for most artists.
Plus, for such a monopolistic store, they're not doing a bad job actually.
Old 19th October 2013
  #28
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The problem is the artists. They all want to be loudest. Always have, always will.
It's our job to facilitate that need.
Old 19th October 2013
  #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yannick View Post
So you are finally admitting that all these sqaushed masters were in fact a conspiracy of a secret mastering engineer society, to make sure there would be enough remastering jobs in the third millennium ?
No, it is simply demanded. Mastering engineers live from being contracted.

For the customer who need to mess with insanely bad playback systems, "louder" is the new "hi fidelity" imho. There's absolutely no room for subtleties on an ipod!

Maybe it's apple's bad audio hardware which makes people ask for squashed, or clipped masters. That's a good business model, LOL! Create a problem and offer a solution in one package! :D
Old 19th October 2013
  #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gravit Dinchy View Post
The problem is the artists. They all want to be loudest. Always have, always will.
It's our job to facilitate that need.
Now think about where Apple would be today if Steve Jobs thought along those lines.
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