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Discussion in 'iPod' started by ataboc, Mar 6, 2008.
Noone read it??
Bumping is against forum rules.
And Wow Big Woop MP3's sound worse i can't tell the difference to be honest
I am at uni studying a degree in Music Tech (involves mixing, mastering and the like) and let me tell you this is a discussion that has been going on for a long time.
It is a huge problem within the industry and among audiophiles. Music quality is becoming bad because of the heightened competition for listeners attention. It started on the radio with over compression. This was to make sure all songs are the same loudness so they compete with each other to get the listener engrossed in their song.
It is mainly to do with the record labels but it is also to do with some artists as well. There is a mastering engineer called Bob Katz and when I was at Leeds College of Music he held a seminar discussing this very topic. Many rap artists came to him to master their work for commercial release and when he had done a dynamically and musically sound master copy they turned round and aid its not loud enough. I want it cranked up so it is louder then mr X's and mr Y's record. He himself is angered by this and so are many other people including myself because it is destroying the quality of music produced today.
MP3's are causing a huge compression in audio quality as they use a codec that removes frequencies to make the file smaller so they can be put on iPods. Compare this to the likes of vinyl and there is no comparison.
To be fair mp3's are designed for miniature music systems like iPods where the headphones are tiny. Vinyl was designed for big expensive audio systems that you would be proud to display in your home.
To the average Jo who goes to the record store or on iTunes and buys they're favourite song of the week, they are not bothered about the audio quality just how the song makes them feel or how catchy it is.
It is becoming a lost art to produce music with large dynamic ranges that give a large spectrum of different emotions to the listener. These days it is more about the feeling of the bass hitting you full force in the chest when you are stood in a club dancing with your friends.
This is my opinion any ways.
Mate you are totally spot on. I am a hip hop artist/producer currently laying down my debut at a professional studio, using Pro Tools HD. It is crazy how compressed and loud it has become - take Soulja Boy's hit "Crank That" as an example. It is unbelievably loud noise, and somethings gotta give!
My album/singles aren't going to be like that, I promise you.
I have a real hard time listening to music that's mastered poorly.
It just takes the joy out of it.
I totally agree, everything has become so compressed in these past few years, I am also studying audio engineering in australia and a few months ago, I was recording a local artist, I had finished the mix which was the best one I have done to date and she came in and said, "yeh, it's really good but it lacks that sound that the real pro's get." I said, "what do you mean?" and she said that it wasn't loud enough, I then showed her the meters on the desk and the outboard CD burner and they were as high as it gets without them clipping. Then I tried patching the LR insert of the desk through a compressor, it was squashed to hell but probably 5 dB louder, and she said "wow! that's it! don't change a thing!" I just sighed and agreed to avoid a debate and long explanation about how I had just wrecked a perfectly good mix. There's an interesting quote from Bill Schnee in mix magazine online, he says
"The main thing you want to do is serve the song, which hopefully serves the artist. Certainly, I also try to please myself, but I'd be lying if I didn't admit that I use a lot more compression in recent years than I did before, and not necessarily always because I want to. We have this horrific problem now where everyone wants their music to be incredibly loud. We have a medium the CD with unbelievable dynamic range, and we only use the top three to five percent of it. But the fact is, if you're shuffling a six-CD changer and someone's record comes on quiet, it's considered inferior. That's too bad because if you don't have soft, you don't really know what's loud. It's like putting salt on everything you eat so you don't know what's salty. It diminishes your range of experience." B.Schnee, mix online, 2005
Here's the link to the page if anyone wants it, http://mixonline.com/mag/audio_preserving_art_audio/
It's truly sad when you can hear the compression artifacts on small speakers. I plug my satellite radio unit into my computer speakers and it's still noticeable to the point where I'm about to cancel my subscription soon.
If this mentality was transposed into the field of photography it would result in very contrasty black and white images and no gray scale whatsoever, you lose all the shadow detail.