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The record that issued the modern loudness era? Or as i call it the "loudness strain"
Old 18th May 2006
  #31
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AlexLakis's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by echoplexed
Remember when the Foo Fighters "The Colour and Shape" record came out in 97'. Everybody rock band I worked with wanted their record to be that loud.
Interesting. I didn't think that album was that loud at all. It was very dynamic too. Tracks like "Doll," "See You," etc. You can barely hear "February Stars" until the drums come in...
Old 18th May 2006
  #32
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My vote is for Iggy's Raw Power remix

soundforge reads - 4 RMS on this snip that i have not manipulated in any way
Attached Files

RawPrSamp.wav (2.47 MB, 353 views)

Old 18th May 2006
  #33
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7 Hz's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by mogWai
I would say the encroachment of House music into the mainstream could be held responsible during the late 80s. Then the 90s rave scene and the advent of Superclubs. .. and dont forget the role of drugs on people's hunger for 'bangin' tunes. As DJs/Producers made harder and harder beats amd started to get more an more air time, the whole culture of 'hardcore' started to filter into every corner of popular music. Hip-Hop has also notoriously tried to make things as loud as possible. "Walk This Way".. seminal tune ?
House music? Hmm I don't think that's true. There is that compressed house / daft punk thing they started with putting the mix thru a USA radio limiter, but house and rave started the loudness war? Not to me. The 'hardcore' thing had more to do with outright distortion (in dance music) and tempo, not so much with limiting (although of course distortion is a brand of extreme limiting, I'll agree).

You cant limit vinyl like you can digital. in fact, if you try to L2 a master for vinyl, you will see that what comes back off the wax doesn't have the hedge trim waveform of the digital master. on the same note, vinyl is loud or quiet depending on how wide the cut is, and this depends mostly on the playing time. A 12" with a 5 minute track on it can be cut a lot louder than an LP with 25 minutes on it.

This is not to say that loudness wasn't an issue with vinyl, but just a different one, as it has very different charictaristics. Sure, the ultra-compressed sound was available on vinyl before CD (I thinkj?), but not the ultra-limited sound.

After saying all this, I can't really pick a CD or CD's where I saw this happening first, because I don't buy CD's! Vinyl all the way :-)
Old 18th May 2006
  #34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by De chromium cob
This Wikipedia entry deals with this exact topic-
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Loudness_war
From the article:

Quote:
Guns N' Roses's 1987 album Appetite for Destruction is an early example of this, with RMS levels averaging ?15 dB for all the tracks.
Aha! I nailed it
Old 18th May 2006
  #35
Gear Addict
 

"Mary Had A Little Lamb" - Thomas Edison?

...Face it, "The Loudness Wars" are nothing new but have been going on forever and I doubt it will ever end.


Someone mentioned Nirvana - I don't know about subsequent allbums, but Nirvana's Nevermind didn't use limiting or have very high rms levels - that album was a leftover from the 80's, 'mastering'-wise, with it's excessive treble and lack of bass compared to modern stuff. You can hear some (probably intentional) compressor abuse on "Territorial Pissings" however.

Randy, I've been using that Breakaway CD as a reference a lot lately. Maybe I'm an idiot. The most unlistenable thing to me on there is the vocal in the title track - terribly recorded - makes her sound like she has a terrible speech problem, that I don't notice her having in the other songs. I like punchy drums, like Bang. Lots of stuff from a few to several years back like stuff from Type O Negative's "October Rust" (1996) from the time period when limiters were more popular than clipping, have those weak ruined snares - I always hated that. Contrary to popular opinion AROUND THIS FORUM, I think people are getting better at driving the volume up digitally instead of worse.

I wish we didn't have to do any of it. I didn't realize recording was all about distortion before I got into it, but it seems to be. Anyone here whose recordings are free of ANY kind of distortion raise your hands now.

Thank you.
Old 18th May 2006
  #36
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audiomichael's Avatar
 

When "Oops I Did It Again" came out I was in shock at how loud that sucker was. That was '99.

The Foo's 'Colour' record to me was the start of that massive Dual Rectifier loud record.
Old 18th May 2006
  #37
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Can I put my hand down?
-synthoid
Old 18th May 2006
  #38
I think its been a gradual increase in loudness over the years, but for me Duran Duran's The Reflex was mastered much louder than anything else before.
Old 18th May 2006
  #39
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Im gonna go furthur back in time...back to the Ramones...the godfathers of loud. I loaded a couple of there tracks into my editor to see what they looked like and there just huge solid blocks.
Old 18th May 2006
  #40
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A27Hull's Avatar
 

Loudest Music DVD ever...

My vote for the loudest Music DVD to date:

Motley Crue, Carnival of Sins Tour.

I was fortunate enough to see/hear it being mastered.
Old 18th May 2006
  #41
Gear Maniac
 

Tatu, newest Madonna... in opossite is Sinead O'Connor...
Old 18th May 2006
  #42
lwr
Gear Addict
 

i think it was Defintiely Maybe by Oasis.
It was the time that the finalizer had just come out i think
Old 18th May 2006
  #43
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warhead's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by GPl
I guess we won't be "storming the castle" then.......
I wasn't saying nobody should address the issue, the question was "what record started the loudness war" and I bet it's a trend started since long ago.

I really would like to hear one of those guys chime in for some history on it is all.

War
Old 18th May 2006
  #44
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Quote:
Originally Posted by opentune
Maybe there should be a sticker on the tray of "good" CD´s:


"Dynamic Inside!! This record isn´t loud but it sounds good!!"


I bet people will buy the record...and i don´t think it was an AE who started this...
Maybe combine it with ah Parental Advisory:

'Warning- the singer is swearing his arse of but the record is smashed to **** so you cant work out what the **** he/she's saying."
Old 18th May 2006
  #45
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It was gradual, but Pantera's records were loud for the time.
Silverchair specifically wanted to be louder than 'Vulgar Display of Power'

JR
Old 18th May 2006
  #46
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Blast9's Avatar
I remember reading an interview with Dave Lee Roth about "Eat 'em and Smile" (1986?)

He said they wanted to cut a loud vinyl master, so kept the album length down to 33 minutes!

That's a great length for an album I have to say!
Old 18th May 2006
  #47
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IMO i don't think you can point to a source , the way i remember it was a gradule rise in mastering level ! More a self perpetuating process !

The other day as refrenece for an artist i heard the Pussycat Dolls album , that for me sonically was not listenable , ugly sound !
Old 18th May 2006
  #48
Quote:
Originally Posted by bleen
Way cool... thanks man, I have been looking for this for a while now.


Old 18th May 2006
  #49
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dorisinger's Avatar
 

MTV is "Typhoid Mary"

Quote:
Originally Posted by thethrillfactor
Maybe if we can trace it back and figure out where the "loudness strain" started we can find a cure for the problem.
I think this strain has its origins not in music but in media advertisement. Subsequently the strain has mutated and spread into infecting the media itself. It's what I call the Wheaties flu.

Everyone's noticed that TV commercials are loud. They're mixed hot, to max. levels. Why? Experience and research has shown that this draws the consumer's attention and sells more product. Same with radio, but not as extreme. The loudness war roughly parallels the advent of television as a content medium for music. Music videos are basically music "commercials" designed to sell records and promote performers. How do you make a successful commercial? You mix it hot to get people's attention and sell more records.

You heard it here, MTV is the "Typhoid Mary" of the loundess strain. It's not any one album, or one piece of software, or the advent of the CD, or any one DAW. All of these things are symtoms of the underlying disease, they make it easier to produce successful (i.e. louder) commercials. And now the strain has spread throughout the media. These commercials quickly made it to radio, and everybody wants to sound like everybody else on radio, so everybody has to be as loud or they don't think they're stuff is as good. So, even the performers who don't sell with commercials (videos) feel that their music has to be as loud in order to compete in the market. The infection rate is virtually 100%, no easy cure in sight.
Old 18th May 2006
  #50
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dorisinger's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by thethrillfactor
what record set the standard for the overlimited CD's that are being produced today?
So, my pick would be The Buggles, The Age of Plastic. As everyone knows, their single "Video Killed the Radio Star" was the first video ever shown on MTV. Prophetic, huh?
Old 19th May 2006
  #51
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Just finished the Geoff Emerick book. In there he mentions how (in '63 or '64) when he worked in the EMI mastering room everybody wanted their records louder than everyone elses, so it's not a new phenominum. Just a little (lot) more extreem today.

When I worked at Advision in '71 we'd get 2 or 3 masters made (if there was $$$ available) and it seemed the loudest was very often picked to release. When I say "we" of course I mean the folks I was fetching tea for and myself.


On a side note when did the kick drum become a lead instrument? On most of the heavier stuff I hear nowadays the kick is mixed as loud as the vocal! Did I miss the memo?

Jim B
Old 20th May 2006
  #52
Quote:
Originally Posted by Neddy Seagoon
On a side note when did the kick drum become a lead instrument? On most of the heavier stuff I hear nowadays the kick is mixed as loud as the vocal! Did I miss the memo?

Jim B

Yeah that was issued in around '89... maybe you were not on the email.

LOL

I agree with you on that and I have to think the topic of this thread and the kick drum comment go hand in hand.
Old 20th May 2006
  #53
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Trancetones's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Neddy Seagoon
Just finished the Geoff Emerick book. In there he mentions how (in '63 or '64) when he worked in the EMI mastering room everybody wanted their records louder than everyone elses, so it's not a new phenominum. Just a little (lot) more extreem today.

When I worked at Advision in '71 we'd get 2 or 3 masters made (if there was $$$ available) and it seemed the loudest was very often picked to release. When I say "we" of course I mean the folks I was fetching tea for and myself.


On a side note when did the kick drum become a lead instrument? On most of the heavier stuff I hear nowadays the kick is mixed as loud as the vocal! Did I miss the memo?

Jim B
I think I missed that memo also. Was listening to the new Yeah Yeah Yeah's album today. Squashed to hell, kick so loud you could barely hear the vocals.
Old 20th May 2006
  #54
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bleen
I read that article a few years ago. I even emailed him to respectfully disagree with him. He places the bad sound of Vapor Trails solely on the mastering engineer. Plain and simple: he's wrong.

This was being discussed in another thread, but one of the many reasons why that album sounds like doo-doo is because it was mostly engineered by Geddy and Alex. Guys who are not engineers. Guys who had not worked together in nearly five years and were trying to find their place as a band...all over again. To place the blame solely on the ME is, IMO, misguided and ignorant. It's possible that the mastering stage (while trying to get it LOUD) only exacerbated the real underlying cause: bad tracking, bad mixing...whatever. But it was not TOTALLY on the ME.

Besides, I don't find VT to be any louder than any other release from that year.

As to the original question posed by Thrill: I agree with War. I don't think you can pin it on any one (or two or three...) CDs. Someone would have to do some serious listening of original pressed CDs and do some pop chart/Grammy research as well. If I had the time I'd be more than willing to do it.

But, I don't have the time. Any takers?
Old 20th May 2006
  #55
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dtucker
I read that article a few years ago. I even emailed him to respectfully disagree with him. He places the bad sound of Vapor Trails solely on the mastering engineer. Plain and simple: he's wrong.

This was being discussed in another thread, but one of the many reasons why that album sounds like doo-doo is because it was mostly engineered by Geddy and Alex. Guys who are not engineers. Guys who had not worked together in nearly five years and were trying to find their place as a band...all over again. To place the blame solely on the ME is, IMO, misguided and ignorant. It's possible that the mastering stage (while trying to get it LOUD) only exacerbated the real underlying cause: bad tracking, bad mixing...whatever. But it was not TOTALLY on the ME.

Besides, I don't find VT to be any louder than any other release from that year.

As to the original question posed by Thrill: I agree with War. I don't think you can pin it on any one (or two or three...) CDs. Someone would have to do some serious listening of original pressed CDs and do some pop chart/Grammy research as well. If I had the time I'd be more than willing to do it.

But, I don't have the time. Any takers?
Sorry, I just got a **** load of work handed to me

Yeh, I hear ya on VT. I don't think you can sucessfully nail it down to any one time period, but whats going on now is truely killing my ears. When the hiss(bad reception) on the radio starts sounding good, you have to wonder........
Old 20th May 2006
  #56
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the1Hub's Avatar
 

done and done

Quote:
Originally Posted by opentune
Maybe there should be a sticker on the tray of "good" CD´s:


"Dynamic Inside!! This record isn´t loud but it sounds good!!"


I bet people will buy the record...and i don´t think it was an AE who started this...
http://www.isomike.com/iso2005b.html

read the print on the bottom of the jacket cover. and yes they are selling very well.
Old 20th May 2006
  #57
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It began decades ago ..and started getting extreme in the early eighties as I remember.
Old 20th May 2006
  #58
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Bob Olhsson's Avatar
 

It started with people simply "normalizing" MIDI and drum machine based recordings. The problem was that these had a much higher average level than microphone-sourced recordings. Artists and producers grew paranoid of pop records being so much louder and started asking that their new releases be limited so they were competitively loud.

The irony is that at this point we use technology to make real music recordings sound like they are synthesized.
Old 21st May 2006
  #59
Jai guru deva om
 
warhead's Avatar
 

Bob, I'm curious to know around what time frame ME's starting making vinyl super hot? Was there a turning point there also? A certain album that set things off?

War
Old 21st May 2006
  #60
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u b k's Avatar
 

first cd which i noticed was quieter, and more dynamic, than the vinyl: eagles hotel california.

first cd which struck me as significantly louder than anything i'd ever owned: alice in chains' dirt.

first cd where i returned the cd because i found the limiting too much to enjoy the music: tori amos' songs from the choirgirl hotel.

by 1999 i was routinely returning cd's due to unlistenability. chili peps, live, tori, it seemed no one was exempt. i had a boombox which easily distorted on clipped recordings, so i brought it with me when i returned the cd's. "look, this cd was defectively mastered, hear how distorted it is? no, it's not the boombox, listen to how good hotel california sounds on it."

i swear this is all a ploy, in 3 years they'll be re-releasing all these records in new "dynamagic sound" featuring "greatly enhanced dynamic digital performance."

iow, less limiting.


gregoire
del ubik
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