Jump to content
Eternal Lands Official Forums
Sign in to follow this  
SlimPickins

Loudness war

Recommended Posts

This thread is to find out what people think of the loudness war. Read the wikipedia article to find out everything about it. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Loudness_war

 

Personally, I prefer cds that maintain the dynamic range of the original recordings and are quiet enough to not clip. Recent cds sound very harsh and give me a headache unless I listen to them at very low volume.

I have some cds from the early 90s that sound great at all volume levels.

 

As a result of the loudness war, I always try to buy old cds instead of new ones. I just bought a cd of an album that was originally released in 1974. I had a choice of the current 2003 release, a used copy of the 1994 pressing and a used copy of the 1990 pressing. I bought the 1990 pressing.

 

There are some albums that I want to buy but won't because they've been mastered too loud, which makes them sound unnatural due to reduced dynamic range and distorted due to clipping.

 

What does everyone else think?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I never knew about it until I read this, but I knew something fishy was happening when I first heard Metallica's Death Magnetic album. At first I thought I had downloaded a dodgy copy, but when I bought the actual CD, it sounded exactly the same.

 

 

I think this has to be the most obvious example of "Loudness war".

 

Damn you for alerting me to this, now it'll be on my mind whenever I listen to anything.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Many of the external links at the bottom of the wikipedia article are about Death Magnetic. It's one of the loudest albums ever. There is no dynamic range and audible clipping throughout. Interestingly, the Guitar Hero version of the album sounds fine because it was delivered to the game developer in single instrument tracks. They had to master it themselves, so they made it sound as good as they could.

 

You can refer to this database to see just how loud cds are before you buy them. http://www.dr.loudness-war.info/

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

News Flash: Metallica is loud!

To put it in perspective, "..and Justice for All" sounds like it was recorded in a phone booth

 

At first thought, it seems obvious, the producers are doing this to somehow increase revenue. But there's also the case that the more popular, more modern media players are more crappy. The mix is done to sound the best on the largest number of devices. Likely the first place you hear a song will be on the radio in your car. You aren't going to hear the subtle dynamic nuances in this environment. (I'm talking most common car/radio combinations)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

All radio stations compress all the songs they play for just that purpose: to make all the parts of the songs easier to hear over car and road noise. That's fine. I don't expect top quality sound from FM radio and I appreciate being able to hear when I'm driving. That doesn't mean cds have to be compressed as well.

 

Here's an idea. If record companies are trying to make their products more appealing to those who listen on portable mp3 players, compress the mp3 versions of songs and leave cds alone. Teenagers don't buy cds these days, anyway.

 

Also, Death Magnetic is much louder than And Justice for All. If I want it louder, I'll turn the volume up.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

...and if I want it softer, I turn the volume down. I don't understand the problem, really. I adjust the volume on my stereo all the time.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Volume isn't the problem. The problem is that newer cds are mastered so loud that the volume ceiling of a cd is not just reached, but often passed. That causes clipping, which is audible as distortion.

 

The other problem is that compressing songs to reduce dynamic range makes music sound unnatural.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I guess you just have to listen to music before you buy it and if it sounds distorted or unnatural to you, then don't purchase it. Music recorded in a studio, produced & released on CD is so far from reality anyway, I'm not sure how much more unnatural it can be - compared to a live performance.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

×