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The record that issued the modern loudness era? Or as i call it the "loudness strain"
Old 17th May 2006
  #1
The record that issued the modern loudness era? Or as i call it the "loudness strain"

Most diseases can be traced back to a starting point.


If its a mosquito carrying viruses or a sick monkey or a human carrier.


I was wondering today what record set the standard for the overlimited CD's that are being produced today?


I am guessing something that won a couple of grammies and sold lots of units.


Only a record with these kinda accolades i think coulda got all of the mooks at the labels to kinda look for this in their records.


Any guesses?


Maybe if we can trace it back and figure out where the "loudness strain" started we can find a cure for the problem.
Old 17th May 2006
  #2
Gear Maniac
 
guid0's Avatar
 

"livin' la vida loca" was the first song I heard where "hypercompression" artifacts were noticeable.
Old 17th May 2006
  #3
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Benmrx's Avatar
 

maybe not exactly on target, as I'm sure there was some of this going on earlier, but the turning point for me, in pop music was the Limp Bizkit album "significant other"

That record opened up a whole can o' worms IMO

personally, I think this is where pop music (for angsty teenagers) took a massive nose dive.

Maybe it's more so the fact that it was the first time I really heard a seriously "pro tooled" album, where EVERYTHING was drum machine perfect, and it all sounds very "sound replaced".

Maybe this was more the production, but I still say, that record set the bar for the super loud, super perfected (auto-tuned, beat detectived) pop song.

Not to mention, it sold more than a few units
Old 17th May 2006
  #4
Gear Nut
 
dorisinger's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by guid0
"livin' la vida loca" was the first song I heard where "hypercompression" artifacts were noticeable.
That's too easy - the first no. 1 recorded and mixed only in PT.

my 0.02 - goes back before that, even to the vinyl days; but more of a problem since CD's, probably one of the hair bands trying to keep up with Back in Black.
Old 17th May 2006
  #5
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Alex Niedt's Avatar
 

Yeah, this stuff was going on long before Ricky and Limp. I don't think anyone's every actually been able to put a finger on a single culprit.
Old 17th May 2006
  #6
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Kestral's Avatar
 

I think it was Guns and Roses' Appetite For Destruction. I remember making mix tapes as a kid and it was by far louder than any other album I had (and I had a lot of albums) for quite a few years.

Then Nirvana's Nevermind blew it away in loudness. Funny to think now when you listen to these two albums and compare them to the average album these days, they sound tame in comparison.

btw, imo the loudest album out there right now is Green Day's American Idiot.
Old 17th May 2006
  #7
FX smörgåsbord user
 
Charles Dye's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by thethrillfactor
Most diseases can be traced back to a starting point.


If its a mosquito carrying viruses or a sick monkey or a human carrier.


I was wondering today what record set the standard for the overlimited CD's that are being produced today?


I am guessing something that won a couple of grammies and sold lots of units.


Only a record with these kinda accolades i think coulda got all of the mooks at the labels to kinda look for this in their records.


Any guesses?


Maybe if we can trace it back and figure out where the "loudness strain" started we can find a cure for the problem.
You're being way too subtle. heh

Come on, give us another hint.
Old 17th May 2006
  #8
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jindrich's Avatar
 

blame it on

Oasis, what's the story morning glory.

ZERO dynamic range. it sold bazillions because it was easy to hear to upon the noise of the crowd everywhere on crappy speakers, traffic, shopping malls, etc

the first time i listened to the CD i though i got a bad copy.
it wasn't.
Old 17th May 2006
  #9
Jai guru deva om
 
warhead's Avatar
 

I'd like to hear from Bob Katz or Bob Ohllson on this, I'm willing to bet this stuff started back in the 50's.

War
Old 17th May 2006
  #10
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Dave Peck's Avatar
 

Hmm. When was Garbage 2.0 released? Although to be fair, it does have a few quiet spots between the pegged spots.

DP
Old 17th May 2006
  #11
Gear Nut
 
dorisinger's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Charles Dye
You're being way too subtle. heh

Come on, give us another hint.
Mr. Dye, speaking of la vida loca, it must be pretty cool to have your work as the music video at the end of a Shrek movie - does it get any better than that?
Old 17th May 2006
  #12
FX smörgåsbord user
 
Charles Dye's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by dorisinger
Mr. Dye, speaking of la vida loca, it must be pretty cool to have your work as the music video at the end of a Shrek movie - does it get any better than that?
Actually, that was Antonio Banderas + Eddie Murphy singin' instead of Ricky. And it was a whole new production.

When I saw the movie I had no idea that song was gonna be @ the end. Even tho it wasn't my work it was cool, cuz hearing a remake of a production I know every element of let me hear the song fresh.

Pretty hilarious movie.


(+ please call me Charles, Charlie, Chuck, etc, but not mister. )
Old 17th May 2006
  #13
Quote:
Originally Posted by Charles Dye
You're being way too subtle. heh

Come on, give us another hint.

To be honest i really don't know.


But i can remember the year that i stopped listening to Cd's with headphones and that was around 1994.


That was the year where i felt that the loudness wars started to ruin the sound of CD's.


3 CD's i remember back then that i felt were over limited and the sound was ruined were:


1) Alanis Morissette's- "Jagged Little Pill"


2) Seal - "Seal II"


3) Soundgarden's- "Superunknown"
Old 17th May 2006
  #14
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John The Cut's Avatar
 

I dont think you can pin it down to any one album.

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 ?

But you could argue that was same with the Superbands of the early seventies..
Old 17th May 2006
  #15
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De chromium cob's Avatar
 

This Wikipedia entry deals with this exact topic-
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Loudness_war
Old 17th May 2006
  #16
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synthoid's Avatar
 

Nirvana.

It was at least a little bit subtle before that.

-synthoid
Old 17th May 2006
  #17
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djui5's Avatar
 

My guess would be Rage's self titled album....that kinda put everything in perspective...


BTW, as far as loud albums go, AI is pretty f'n loud...but Weezer's "Make Believe" is right up there with it, as is Chevell's "Wonder What's Next". They're all about the same...I think WWN might even be a touch louder....maybe not...

Queens Of The Stone Age's "Songs For The Def" is pretty loud on a couple songs....like "No One Knows". It's just not as "open and bright" as say American Idiot.....

Rob Thomas's "Something To Be" is pretty loud too, but I feel is a great record to listen to.

Kelly Clarkson's "Break Away" isn't quite as loud, but is obviously smashed to hell.....if it wasen't for her singing and the songs I couldn't listen to this album...
Old 17th May 2006
  #18
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opentune's Avatar
 

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...
Old 17th May 2006
  #19
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John The Cut's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by djui5
My guess would be Rage's self titled album....that kinda put everything in perspective...
Actually, I speak from experience on this.. I have RATM on Vinyl and its one of the quietest albums I have. Of course 33 is quietr than 45 but this record is so quiet I couldnt play anything off it at the height of a DJ set (Know Your Enemy = Guranteed dance floor destruction).. If I did play anything off it EVERYTHING would have to cranked on the mixer.

Strange.. but possibly one of the reasons it sounds so good?
Old 17th May 2006
  #20
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GP_Hawk's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by warhead
I'd like to hear from Bob Katz or Bob Ohllson on this, I'm willing to bet this stuff started back in the 50's.

War
I guess we won't be "storming the castle" then.......
Old 17th May 2006
  #21
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AlexLakis's Avatar
 

That graphic is hilarious. Hilarious, and very true.

I'll agree with Oasis, that album was crushed.

But Superunkown? I dunno, that album sounds beautiful and dynamic to me...Did they remaster it or something?

NOFX was absolutely crushing their stuff in the mid-mid late 90s.
Old 17th May 2006
  #22
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nice graphic!!!thumbsup
-brian
Old 18th May 2006
  #23
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djui5's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by AlexLakis

NOFX was absolutely crushing their stuff in the mid-mid late 90s.

Their producer built a studio out here....guesss what it's called?

Crush studios..
Old 18th May 2006
  #24
Was the Run DMC Vs. Jason Neven remix was the ground zero for the totally flat lined 'solid waveform"?



The Oasis producer Owen Morris was on record for trying to be (and succeeding to be) the loudest around. I am pretty sure I know the mastering engineer for those records too....John Davis of (now closed) Whitfield St - I think I recall him telling me he found it funny / absurd the way they pushed it on Oasis.. Like a "tee hee - this is fun" experiment in over-the-top-ness.. Well it sure payed off for em..!

Then there were rumors that people we custom crushing bridges / choruses etc all separately with a TC Finalizer - then hacking the results together to make a super loud MONSTER master..

Certainly John Davis, who mastered the Oasis stuff LOVED using his 3 band compression in his TCM500 - I mastered several things with him and he used it a lot. And I can tell you he LOVED it for the loudness you could get from it.

You know.. (I am getting a clearer image of John now...heh ) not ALL mastering engineers wear white robes and float on a virtual cloud and have an embroidered sign hanging on the wall saying "I shall not tell a lie". Some have a devil on their shoulder and listen to it.
Old 18th May 2006
  #25
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AlexLakis's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by djui5
Their producer built a studio out here....guesss what it's called?

Crush studios..
HAHAHAHA!! That's great!

I've found that their sound on "The Decline" is the sound that 90% of new rock bands are going for. It's smashed all to hell, sampled, etc, but I think it sounds wonderful in its own rite. Love their new album too.
Old 18th May 2006
  #26
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picksail's Avatar
 

For some reason I remember the J-Lo record setting a new standard in loudness.
Old 18th May 2006
  #27
Gear Maniac
 
s-boogie's Avatar
 

i think it is not very easy to point out a starting point
since it is somehow human´s nature to be better,faster & louder...
but what is the record that you really discovered to be too loud / crushed,
personally & professionally ?
i think a lot of you m.e & producers analyse mastered products and point out
errors and such...
i was shocked when i saw the waveforms of jay z´s black album...


is it really the invention of waves L2 software or did that happen earlier?
Old 18th May 2006
  #28
Ya know, I remember reading on some site someplace about Rush releases over the years. Might be Bob K's site perhaps.

Anyway I think they picked Rush because of the bands longevity and the fact that many of the recordings are pretty darn good sounding. Each release got progressively louder as time went on starting with the 70's. That to me says this was a gradual thing not a single line of demarcation. I think it just slowly evolved from years of trying to be a little better than the other guy.

Sure I bet there were a few mile stones along the way, Guns and Roses' Appetite For Destruction, Oasis, Nirvana but, just like War said above, I don't think there was a single production that brought this all on.
Old 18th May 2006
  #29
Quote:
Originally Posted by not_so_new
Ya know, I remember reading on some site someplace about Rush releases over the years. Might be Bob K's site perhaps.

Rip Rowan's article about Rush mastering
Old 18th May 2006
  #30
Here for the gear
 

Remember when the Foo Fighters "The Colour and Shape" record came out in 97'. Every rock band I worked with wanted their record to be that loud.
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