Are the loudness wars over?*

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by Diorama, Sep 5, 2017.

  1. ukrules

    ukrules Forum Resident

    Union, Kentucky
    Fall in love with "older" music then find the original CD releases.
    iloveguitars and Dynamic Ranger like this.
  2. MHP

    MHP Forum Resident

    I adore your passive aggressive attacks. Vive la difference.
  3. abzach

    abzach Forum Resident

    I became aware of it about 10 years ago, I've spent most of those years replacing bad remasters.
    Hubert jan likes this.
  4. bherbert

    bherbert Forum Resident

    South Africa
    This is what I plan to do as well
    Dynamic Ranger likes this.
  5. abzach

    abzach Forum Resident

    Plenty of work but worth it.
  6. OnTheRoad

    OnTheRoad Forum Resident

    It's a much better comparative point than peak levels.

    Take a tune with 95% peak, or 0db peak, according to EAC but not exhibiting the RMS, at least in how folks here compare masterings. Then take that tune and show the RMS and it might be -13.00 db (not ultra loud, but good dynamic range). Ok....well....many, many very very loud masterings will also show a 95% peak, or 0db peak, but an RMS of say.....7.00.

    If you only compare the peaks...they might 'look' the same, by the numbers. BUT....when you compare the RMS....-7.00 db and -13.00 db, you can easily see the general volume difference. When I have tunes that are louder than others and want to make a compilation...I put the louder tune into Audacity and reduce the volume to nearly match the RMS, also taking in consideration the peak...but really, the RMS is what I try to align fairly closely to have consistent volume sound track to track. This for simple home usage of course, not having an equipped studio to manipulate mastering.
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2017
  7. albertop

    albertop Forum Resident

    I do the same: load both tracks into Audacity and use "Contrast" to calculate the RMS values. Then I reduce the volume of the louder track according to the contrast analysis results.
    I find it quite good to A/B different masterings.
  8. Funi

    Funi Well-Known Member

    Ambitious plan, but hey, I hope you'll have a lot of fun! :righton:
    abzach likes this.
  9. Funi

    Funi Well-Known Member

    Clear explanation, this is the actual scenario I think.
    NorthNY Mark likes this.
  10. OnTheRoad

    OnTheRoad Forum Resident

    I need to clarify for my own sake...

    What I do is put the wavform into audacity. I look at it, not so much the numbers...but the meat, the bulk, the fatness of the music area that's darkest....where most of the sound/volume is. I try to get as close to the meat as possible for the tunes for somewhat of a volume match. Of course I listen after manipulation to hear what I'm seeing and then make further adjustments.

    I hope I explained my own way easily enough...I can 'see' what I'm saying. :)
  11. OnTheRoad

    OnTheRoad Forum Resident

    The thing I've found with modern recordings/masterings that ARE good.....the peaks are fairly high, near 0db whereas the old good masterings could have peaks averaging say....-2,-3,-4 or even -6 and -7db for the peak value. So by being louder...they're not being mashed but just utilizing more of the 'information availability'. Certainly different than the 'loudness war' mindset. Volume is good..but not the mashing and ultra-compression brickwalling that occurs inside this so called Loudness War.
    PyroMessiah and Funi like this.
  12. OnTheRoad

    OnTheRoad Forum Resident

    And also....*loudness war applicable*.....

    I don't match volume on every tune when I adjust.'s not that every tune has to be the same. Therein comes the see how each tune corresponds with each other.

    For instance....the first Aqualung remix had the acoustic tunes mastered too loud. Not brickwalled....but they're supposed to be a bit 'softer' but whoever mastered it put the volume up with the electric tunes. This was later fixed.

    I never use the function of matching levels when I burn a cdr...that's no good. It's a song by song, cd by cd....adjustment so something doesn't blast out the speakers nor weenies itself into a mousey volume when playing. :)
  13. R. Cat Conrad

    R. Cat Conrad While the moderators jest... Well, you know

    D/FW Metroplex
    The loudness war probably won't be resolved without verifiable UN sanctions. Even as I write this, many folks are still skeptical about the mounting evidence of rising waveforms. It's a hard sell to convince folks that the global warming of music isn't a bad thing when under control, but deniers remain defiant in their determination to embrace the brickwall long as someone else pays for it. Alas, the scientific proof is irrefutable. If nothing changes, narrow views and high-pitched noise may eventually overwhelm the masses and a generation of full range music will be lost. :winkgrin:

  14. MrBungle82

    MrBungle82 New Member

    Such a great album with such a horrible mastering :-(
    I hope the vinyl will have a separate master, but I really doubt it.

    The loudness war is not over at all, most of the albums I've heard this year are brickwalled or with a barely acceptable DR of 6.

    Just a handful of refreshing exceptions:

    Dead Cross - s/t : an hardcore record with DR 10!
    Ork - Soul of an Octopus: DR8
    Colour Haze - In Her Garden: DR 9
    Motorpsycho - The Tower: DR 11
    Ufomammut - 8: DR 9
    Dynamic Ranger likes this.
  15. JulesRules

    JulesRules Forum Resident

    But most of us loudness war complainers don't actually want huge dynamic range - just more than what is currently served. Also, the focus should really be on microdynamics that affect things such as drums and other constant dynamic changes - songs don't have to jump from wimpy verses to huge choruses (even if some bands excel at such things).
    The Dynamic Range Database is a good guide, even if a very high DR can occasionally mean that the CD is bright and has no bass (it isn't always that easy).
    NorthNY Mark likes this.
  16. segue

    segue Forum Resident

    I've heard several TOP producers/engineers (multi-platinum+) say DR Database is mostly for OCD kooks

    Last edited: Oct 11, 2017
  17. musictoad

    musictoad Forum Resident

    Salt Lake City, UT
    I mean, if you have to go to a DR number to tell you whether a CD sounds good or not, you're pretty much admitting you don't trust, nor care, what your ears think.
    Simon A likes this.
  18. Terrapin Station

    Terrapin Station Forum Resident

    NYC Man
    With so many complaints about it for so long, it's not clear to me what's perpetuating it.
  19. KDubATX

    KDubATX Forum Resident

    If the war is over than we are the ones that lost the fight.
    jsayers and Terrapin Station like this.
  20. JulesRules

    JulesRules Forum Resident

    Well, I'm not going to buy any ol' CD to find out I can't listen to it. And this seems the only way of voicing my discontent - protesting with my wallet - but the truth is that the music industry has had to deal with it for years and they haven't learned yet.
  21. mdent

    mdent Forum Resident

    New England
    Unfortunately, with the squished product many music purchasers accept with streaming services - the loudness war will need to continue. Dynamics are best delivered in a more suited format.
  22. The streaming companies should be lobbying for higher DR because higher DR recordings compress better than lower DR recordings (especially for lossless). Better compression ratios means lower bandwidth needs for the streaming companies and lower bandwidth needs for the customers. If we can't win the loudness war based on sound quality, maybe we can gain some ground by getting the streaming companies to lobby for higher DR in order to decrease bandwidth. ;)
    tin ears and NorthNY Mark like this.
  23. Lownote30

    Lownote30 Bass Clef Addict

    Nashville, TN, USA
    guys in suits that mistakenly think that louder mastering will get more attention when played in rotation with quieter mastering. They think in dollar signs and not audio quality.
    JulesRules likes this.
  24. mdent

    mdent Forum Resident

    New England
    I'm hoping for .Flac format to catch on for the music services. (shrugs)
  25. musictoad

    musictoad Forum Resident

    Salt Lake City, UT
    I can understand that, I guess I'm just saying there are some CDs which have been assigned a low DR that sound really freaking good to me. DR isn't the end all be all.

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