Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Interesting Demo of Damage Over-Cooking Your Audio Causes

If you've read this blog with any regularity, you've probably heard me bitch about the Loudness War, or the practice of bands and record companies pushing for louder and louder masters in the interest of being louder than their competition. The problem with this is that to achieve this end, you basically have to squeeze all of the dynamics out of it which, aside from sounding crappy, also fatigues the listener's ears. I've often wondered if this might be part of why people don't buy music like they used to - listening to all of this over-cooked audio is tiring out their ears and as a result, they don't listen to as much as they used to.

Anyway, there's an
interesting article over on demonstrating another reason over-compressing your music to the point of clipping is bad: you're adding clicks and other artifacts to your audio.


dave romero said...

Depeche Mode's latest CDs are full of inter-sample clipping (i use the SSL X-ISM inter-sampling meter)

and there aren't much dynamics. I found DM's song Wrong only had a dynamic range of 4dB (as measured with the TT Dynamic Range Meter). Other songs are similar

funny thing is I don't tire of listening to them. Ha!

Grammy-winning engineer/producer Charles Dye started Turn Me Up! as a way addressing the loudness wars:

Tom said...

That's funny, I tired of that album on first listen and did on all subsequent listenings too. I even took it out of my itunes and put it in my mp3 external harddrive graveyard

-Tom N

Craig M. said...

Here here!

dave romero said...

hey Tom,
your post is about loudness, so did you tire of DM because of that or musical content? can't tell from your response

for me, there's enough good musical stuff happening in their last 2 records to overcome the technical deficiencies. That was my point

dave romero said...

hey Craig,
uh, you too


Will C. said...

If these clicks are "what we were trying to get away from when we ditched vinyl for CD," how could they be ear fatigue-causing? They weren't causing ear fatigue on vinyl, were they?

It's just nonsense, even leaving aside that phase-cancellation tricks like this are basically meaningless anyway. I'm as opposed to over-compression as anyone, but garbage like this is the reason people disregard the "loudness war."

Anonymous said...

Doesn't it raise the noise floor as as well ?