Thursday, 20 March 2008

On the Deterioration of Sound, Mastering and Music itself

We live in a world of technology - exponentially increasing breakthroughs in all things scientific. So fast that we can't even keep up with it. So why is it that the audio quality of music is degenerating? Music 'sounds' worse. We have stopped listening, we don't have time. We only have time to be smacked in the face by the loudest, most attention-grabbing blast of souped-up noise imaginable until ear fatigue sets in and the desire to 'change the record' takes over. Why are the adverts on TV twice the volume of the regular broadcasts?

Alan Wilder (Depeche Mode / Recoil) tells you

No, it’s not you – records do all sound the same these days. Desperate to get their music on the radio at all costs, record labels are employing a new and powerful software to artificially sweeten it, polish it, make it “louder”… and squeeze out the last drops of its individuality. - Tom Whitwell reports on what’s wrong with the sound of music.

Source:
Side-Line article, Alan Wilder - "Music For The Masses - I think not."
and
The Word article, Why records DO all sound the same By Tom Whitwell

Additional articles:

Loudness War - Wikipedia

Why Music Really Is Getting Louder - Adam Sherwin, Times Online

How CDs Are Remastering The Art Of Noise - Tim Anderson, Guardian Unlimited

Brickwall Limiting - J.J. Blair, EQ Magazine

The Big Squeeze: Mastering Engineers Debate Music's Loudness Wars - Sarah Jones, Mix Magazine

Everything Louder Than Everything Else - Have The Loudness Wars Reached Their Final Battle? - Joe Gross, Austin360.com

Why New Music Doesn't Sound As Good As It Did - Yahoo! Tech

The Loudness War - Mark Donahue, Performer Magazine  

The Death Of Dynamic Range - Mike Richter

Imperfect Sound Forever - Nick Southall, Stylus Magazine

Declaring An End To The Loudness Wars - Barry Diament

Tearing Down The Wall Of Noise - Suhas Sreedhar (Multimedia)

Tearing Down The Wall Of Noise - Suhas Sreedhar (Text)

Radio Ready: The Truth - Bob Orban & Frank Foti, with introduction and comments by Bob Katz (from Katz's book "Mastering Audio: The Art And The Science.")

Official, Rock Music Is Too Loud - Thomas Whitaker, The Sun

What Happened To Dynamic Range? - Bob Speer

Pump Up The Volume - Rip Rowan, WIRED Magazine

Over The Limit - Rip Rowan, ProRec.com

Music Gets Louder - Adrian Larkin, BBC Radio

It's Confirmed: Music Is Really Getting Louder - Duncan Robertson, Daily Mail

Experts: Music Is Getting 'Too Loud' - Dave West, Digital Spy

Distorted, Loud Rock Music Is Making Listeners 'Sick' - Adam Sherwin, Independent News

Masters On Mastering - JJ Jenkins, Electronic Musician

Current Trends in Recording: Is Louder Better? - Dan Banquer, Audioholics Magazine

Loudness - Chicago Mastering Service

Whatever Happened To Dynamic Range On Compact Discs? - George Graham

Hot CD Disease - John Vestman

Music Into Noise: The Destructive Use Of Dynamic Range Compression - Wes Lindstrom

Loudness Race Discussed - Bob Katz

How To Make Better Recordings - Integrated Metering, Monitoring, and Leveling Practices - Bob Katz

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