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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.

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  1. Front 242 Addict

    Front 242 Addict I Love Physical format for my listening pleasure

    Tel Aviv ,Israel
    Thank you very much for the explanation Steve.

    I have 2 cds from 1993,1994 of electro industrial band called Calva Y Nada , they sing in Spanish and German , their music is very fascinating , they combined hypnotic melodies and even dramatic Flamenco rhythms but unfortunately those cds are so loud , no matter how much I reduce the volume , it still loud.
    There are only 2 options in terms of volume, very loud or total silence , there is no middle option of normal sound or even just a little bit loud.

    I think this is an exsample for Excessive compression , the Dr moves from 4 up to 6 ,7
    to the tracks with the Dr 4 I can't listen until the end although musically speaking, they're interesting.

    I have lots of industrial and electro industrial cds with great Dynamic, its a shame that sometimes excellent music does not gets a respectful treatment .

    When friends ask me for an a exsample what is Excessive compression I explained to them that its like going to a first date with someone who is very loud, agressive and Jarring , the last thing you want is to have another date with this person , that's the same with music that has Excessive compression , you don't want to come back and listen again.
    Last edited: Dec 15, 2016
    Starwanderer, Dave and Steve Hoffman like this.
  2. alduchaney

    alduchaney In my second circle and heading for the top

    MA, USA
    I always thought of it more as “a half a teacup of bass,

    … a pound of fatback drums

    … four tablespoons of boiling Memphis guitars

    …just a little pinch of organ

    …a half a pint of horn

    Place on the burner and bring to a boil

    Now beat, well.”
  3. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Your host Your Host Thread Starter

    Great song!

    Dan Steely likes this.
  4. AnalogJ

    AnalogJ Hearing In Stereo Since 1959

    Salem, MA
    Is that before or after the handmaiden? :angel:
  5. mando_dan

    mando_dan Forum Resident

    Beverly, MA
    Observation: CD carousels have been vilified as a cause of the loudness wars. Undoubtedly true but wouldn't jukeboxes have had the same effect?
    Jet Age Eric likes this.
  6. John B Good

    John B Good Forum Hall Of Fame

    NS, Canada
    It was the carousel players that really brought home the impact of the loudness wars to me.

    As for loudness, there were records that were louder than others even when I was a kid. I had to turn the volume up on Elvis 45s compared with my 45 by the Tymes, or the Buddy Holly RAVE ON single..

    The single ROMEO AND JULIETTE by the Reflections was much louder than other tracks on a VA compilation cd I had.
  7. sbayle

    sbayle Forum Resident

    Lexington, MA USA
    This is why orchestras like The Boston Pops play in a bandstand namely the Hatch Shell on the Esplanade on the Charles River. Closest thing to playing in a concert hall while actually out of doors.
  8. kaztor

    kaztor Music is the Best

    Hah, I got the cd. Probably not winning awards in the sounds department, but the tracklist is killer! :cool:
  9. Lemon Curry

    Lemon Curry (A) Face In The Crowd

    Mahwah, NJ
    Someone mentioned the Raspberries a few pages back, and that is a very good example of insane levels of compression.

    Another that drives me insane is The Beatles' "From Me To You". The vocal compression is off the charts.
  10. Mooserfan

    Mooserfan Forum Resident

    Allentown, PA
    Can we conclude from this lesson that all the hundreds of posts here that assert that a remaster that has a greater DR number is a superior one---DR as a measure of recommending re-releases---were all bull****?
  11. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Your host Your Host Thread Starter

    Not at all. Why would you think that? The better the DR, the better the sound.
    Dave and George P like this.
  12. marcob1963

    marcob1963 Forum Resident

    Agreed. I also doubt that any member of the band or Was, had any communication with Marcussen The Sonic Butcher of Hollywood. More likely that some bonehead at the Record Company said to Marcussen: "make it sound great on an IPhone through earbuds".
    JulesRules likes this.
  13. Mooserfan

    Mooserfan Forum Resident

    Allentown, PA
    Just my confusion Steve, being a novice audiophile I was equating compression with reduced DR, but if compression itself can be done musically doesn't it therefore imply you can't simply judge a new release as being "better" if its DR is higher? Or should I seek out any remaster of a fave because its DR is higher? Sorry if these are newbie level questions.
    Grant likes this.
  14. George P

    George P Notable Member

    Do you find many remasters where the DR is higher than the original?
    c-eling likes this.
  15. Mooserfan

    Mooserfan Forum Resident

    Allentown, PA
    I'm speaking about fave cd's where you have many remasters to choose from. Say EJ's Yellow Brick Road. I was under the impression that, generally speaking, finding the one with the highest DR number was the one to invest in (though of course I enjoy reading opinions here about them all).
  16. George P

    George P Notable Member

    Ok, I understand that it is a factor in choosing, but one among many. EQ, lack of NR, etc, are also important. Regarding DR, I have found from experience that the highest DR is usually found in the original mastering. Looking at the numbers for the album you cited, the highest numbers are found on the earliest masterings: Album list - Dynamic Range Database » Once you get past 1992, the DR sharply declines, sadly, as it does for many, many other albums.
    Last edited: Dec 16, 2016
  17. Claus

    Claus Senior Member

    The highest DR doesn't guarantee the best sound. Period! Metal sounds boring with very high DR. Machine Head with DR 18.... that would sound horrible!
  18. texquad

    texquad Forum Resident

    Home of The Alamo
    I have two jukeboxes a 1948 78rpm Rockola & a 1954 45rpm Wurlitzer. The Rockola has a set of 78rpm repressings from Rhino that were all mastered with similar volume. On the other hand depending what era of 45 I put in my Wurlitzer depends how loud or soft the sound is. So the key is to stick with one era so I don't have to change the volume for every song. The service manual for the Wurlitzer claims it has some sort of limiter to correct this but I don't hear it working. So after trying to mix era's I've decided to stay in the 60's!
  19. Smegman

    Smegman Forum Resident

    Right Here
    What annoys me the most in remasters is not exactly compression, but the EQ. That spot around 6k is always jacked up.
    tmtomh, telepicker97 and Jet Age Eric like this.
  20. Grant

    Grant Just chillin'!

    United States
    This has been my point of contention with the DR rating system. It does not tell you how something will sound. I would say most people on this forum have indeed been equating low DR numbers with compression.
    Chooke and tmtomh like this.
  21. Grant

    Grant Just chillin'!

    United States
    Compression will tend to do that, make something seem like the EQ has been jacked up in the mid-bands. Just like EQ, if you reduce the bass and treble, it will have the effect of boosting the mids. Try it with a graphic equalizer. Band compression dulls out the extremes of the frequency range. At least, that's what I usually hear. What remastering engineers often do is then resort to EQ to minimize the damage.
    tmtomh likes this.
  22. Frobozky

    Frobozky Forum Resident

    Does the dynamic range of the recording change the demands on the amplifier being used by the listener at home? I am thinking, for some, a DR of 20db might be so large that their amplifier fails to produce enough energy quick enough to produce the effect the recording intended.
  23. Grant

    Grant Just chillin'!

    United States
    I think so. That's where the watts per channel spec comes into play. A good amp will have a high amount of amperage on reserve for transients.

    I'm not totally sure about my terminology. It's been a long time since i've dealt with amp specs. I can tell you that using a low-powered amp with high-efficiency speakers, and playing loud, and compressed music through them will blow your speakers.
  24. Laser Red

    Laser Red Forum Resident

    Westerville, OH
    Is that why the mobile fidelity raspberries is the worst sounding record I've ever heard?
    videoman likes this.
  25. autodidact

    autodidact Forum Resident

    I agree 99% with what Steve said, but I used to love my Direct-to-Disc albums, most of which were made, or so they claimed, without compression. Most music would not sound good that way. And not all D-D albums sounded great, either. So there is that 1% where I think it was nice not to have compression.

    There is a single drum 'whack' on Tom Sawyer in the original and MFSL mastering of Rush's Moving Pictures that I always find to have particular music impact, and it is rather blunted on the Robert Ludwig remaster. Sometimes a single peak makes a lot of difference, when you get used to it. That's what is sad about the remastering craze where everything has to be jacked up a bit and peaks get squashed. I never noticed that problem on remastered Beatles 24-bit, but obviously others have a different opinion.
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