SH Spotlight I was asked "Why do recordings need compression/limiting during recording, mastering?"

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by Steve Hoffman, Dec 13, 2016.

  1. Troystar

    Troystar Forum Resident

    Victoria BC Canada

    Looking at some of my favorite artists I see that anything from the 80's is good DR but anything recent seems to bad :(
  2. Chooke

    Chooke Forum Resident

    Perth, Australia
    Welcome to modern mastering and the loudness war.

    Loudness war - Wikipedia
  3. Lucidae

    Lucidae AAD

    Keep in mind that a lot of audiophile reissues have lower DR scores than the original CD's, it doesn't necessarily mean they were digitally compressed.
    Troystar and Grant like this.
  4. violetvinyl

    violetvinyl Forum Resident

    Can you provide some of examples of rock recordings where signal processing wasn't used and relied only on 'perfect' sounding instruments and 'perfect' recording techniques?
    JulesRules likes this.
  5. empirelvr

    empirelvr Forum Resident

    Virginia, USA
    Ummm..I think Messers Becker and Fagen as well as most of Pink Floyd, to say nothing of (if they were alive) Roger Nichols, Rudy Van Gelder, and Bob Fine would gladly have a chat with you....

    I know I'm going to regret this, mostly because I'm not the kind to reply to anything like this in this fashion (and I apologize to the mods and everyone else in advance,) but your ignorance in this matter is astounding. :(
  6. Dukes Travels

    Dukes Travels Forum Resident

    indeed. im not saying i prefer it at 8. its just less fatiguing than rock for me. but its rare i listen to something below 10dr. i think the kraftwerk remasters were around 9 and they sound amazing imo.
  7. Dukes Travels

    Dukes Travels Forum Resident

    fair enough. i hear you about apartments. im in one. i invested in great headphones because i knew i wouldnt be able to concentrate on the music worrying about noise.
  8. showtaper

    showtaper Forum Resident

    Actually I treated it as the rant that it was. No constructive criticism, no real facts of any kind.
    That was a pretty broad brush you just painted an entire industry with........
    JulesRules likes this.
  9. Carl Swanson

    Carl Swanson Resident blabbermouth

    Thank you. It's also a matter of context; some genres of music and styles of presentation call for higher compression levels.
    Khoff likes this.
  10. Chooke

    Chooke Forum Resident

    Perth, Australia
    Indeed. There is also a symbiotic relationship with some sub genres and highly compressed, brickwalled sound eg electronica, hip-hop and dance where that style of music depends on that sort of mastering, which in turn drives thi
    Carl Swanson likes this.
  11. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Your Host Your Host Thread Starter

    Bump and sticky by request.
  12. Lord Summerisle

    Lord Summerisle Forum Resident

    A great read. Thanks for that.
  13. JamesD1957

    JamesD1957 Forum Resident

    Cypress, Texas
    Thanks for the great explanation. Even with all the right ingredients, in the "wrong" hands, it'll turn out bad.
  14. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Your Host Your Host Thread Starter

    Like most stuff in life..
    showtaper and JamesD1957 like this.
  15. dpv2008

    dpv2008 Forum Resident

    Very interesting, many thanks!
  16. Terrapin Station

    Terrapin Station Forum Resident

    NYC Man
    Re Interlude's post, I see it as having a point expressed with hyperbole. Again a few posts above we have an endorsement of compression as a means of evening out dynamics, for example. Now, of course we can have situations where technical factors--either on the performer's end of the engineering/production end or both--have resulted in an unusual dynamic range for a recorded part, and we don't want to record that part over because we love the take otherwise.

    But, it sounds to me like we're rather talking about musicians who simply do not understand or do not know very well how to utilize or control dynamics in their playing. There's no reason that relative to the rest of a track, a singer should be "too quiet" at times and "too loud" at other times, unless they just don't know how to sing very well. The musicians should be playing with dynamics in mind--even if the goal is to keep everything at a consistent volume for the music at hand, and they should be capable of using their ears and making performance adjustments in terms of dynamics (and otherwise of course) to suit what they're hearing.

    Likewise with something like a drum kit. If the kit is well-miked and well-balanced on the board, then it shouldn't be the case that some parts of kit or performance are unintentionally louder than others. If that's the case, it's rather that you're dealing with a drummer who isn't very good. Even if you were recording a kit under less than ideal conditions--maybe you've got one mic only, say, and say that the bass drum isn't coming through loud enough, well, if you've got a decent drummer, they should be capable of adjusting their playing to compensate.

    Of course, you're not going to always be dealing with great musicians, but that was part of Interlude's point. Massive compression (and massive auto-tune, and on and on) is often used to try to polish a turd.
  17. JulesRules

    JulesRules Forum Resident

    Hard to put it any better than that!
  18. JulesRules

    JulesRules Forum Resident

    It really depends on the source (instruments used). If the unmastered mix doesn't have a lot of DR (e.g. mainly synthpads or organs with little or no percussion) that doesn't mean it sounds bad. Ideally we should know the DR delta - the amount of DR that was done away with during mastering - but since we rarely, if ever, know what the original mix's DR was, we have to guess from the end result.
  19. Yost

    Yost Always Wondered How Other People Did This

    I think that dynamics are an important part of the arrangement/production of music. To my ears, a low DR recording wouldn't be very interesting. A synth pad chord progression without any percussion isn't my cup of tea.
    JulesRules likes this.
  20. JulesRules

    JulesRules Forum Resident

    It's just a minor observation I made when looking at the DR values for Pink Floyd's "Endless River". I wondered why "Autumn '68" was (IIRC) the only track with DR below 10, but then I realized that it's mainly just organ with a little bit of guitar and subdued percussion in the background (plus it's quite short). So it doesn't automatically imply a lot of compression - just that the track wasn't very dynamic to begin with. (Conversely, a track containing nothing but drums can likely go beyond DR 20.)
    dartira and Yost like this.
  21. Carl Swanson

    Carl Swanson Resident blabbermouth

    It dependss on the type of music, and the artistic intent of the individual artist.
  22. cracklehead

    cracklehead Forum Resident

    Atlanta, GA
    Is it possible to unbake a cake - or unsimmer chili?
    - Not Steve
    drasil likes this.
  23. Yost

    Yost Always Wondered How Other People Did This

    I read that this software can: Perfect Declipper 2.10 .

    Didn't try it myself (yet), though.
  24. violetvinyl

    violetvinyl Forum Resident

  25. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Your Host Your Host Thread Starter

    McLover likes this.

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