A few words about “loud”

Discussion in 'Mastering' started by dkrausz, Jul 2, 2001.

  1. dkrausz

    dkrausz Guest

    Well it’s a sign of the times I guess. Can hear my daughters boy friend driving towards my house almost a full minute before he arrives!

    As kids go, each generation will push the envelope a little farther towards the extremes. The way teenagers make their “statement” these days is to get there hands on the most foul mouthed, loudest, bad ass “kickin’” CD and CRANK IT in yo seriously “tricked up” car system! Kids these days have CASH... plain and simple. Car audio components get better (louder) and cheeper each year.

    “erm, um...that wasn't even up quarter ways Dude...hehehe” :(

    Sorry for the rant...

  2. weezy christ

    weezy christ Guest

    Hear, hear! - rant on my friend! "Welcome to the wonderful world of show business!" - oy.

    What's really sad is that I know 'engineers' who work at maximum stun volume levels 24/7, so you KNOW that's not a good sign either.

    I think the pendulum swings both ways here...I know when I was younger I used to crank my car stereo up (mostly to look cool - hey, we were all young once) but as I 'grew up' I wised my ass up and stopped doing it (I wanted to be able to use my ears to make a living one day).

    To me, the people who make spectacles of themselves and their competiton car audio do it just for that reason - to get attention. I hate to stereotype and rationalize like this (but I'm gonna), but they don't even seem to be into music for the sake of music. all I hear is blasting subwoofers and pseudo-death-metal wanking. Looking at today's most popular music 'artists' - and I use that term loosely - it's no wonder the average kid/young adult can't appreciate any other form of music that isn't spoon-fed to them via MTV and commercial radio.

    If they honestly like 'music' so much that they want everyone within a 10-block radius to share in the joy, for chrissakes play something that doesn't suck.

    thinkin out loud/my 2 cents.

  3. Tymish

    Tymish Guest

    Durn kids these days. Blastin' that damn Led Zeppelin stuff out of those huge AR speakers so loud. They wouldn't know how good a Dorsey glassy sounds outta' my RCA.

    ooops.....wrong decade.
  4. dkrausz

    dkrausz Guest

  5. SlideMan

    SlideMan Guest

    My biggest joy when hearing mega-loud car stereos is the certain knowlege that the offending vehicle is owned and operated by someone that either lives with mommy and daddy, or at best lives in a apartment.

    Big people rock out in their house, studio, practice space or other music venues. No sane person with options would put big bucks audio in a place as easy to rip-off as a car.
  6. hmmm, i do. But i live with mommy and daddy.

    PS - there is no such thing as too much rocking out(at least at my age)
  7. alphajerk

    alphajerk Active Member

    Feb 13, 2001
    i have a pretty sweet system in one of my cars, getting ready to upgrade it to DVD w/surround and video. it goes louder than i need it to before distortion. my wifes car has one of those full blown stock systems in her suv, not as nice as my system... she USED to have 2x12"'s in her trunk before we had our son and sold that car. getting ready to hook up a system in my truck also. i dont live with my parents. i own a house.

    aside from the head unit, the system is "stealth" so you wouldnt even know its in there.

    what really trips me out are people who crank an obviously POS system like they are cool and the speakers started breaking up long ago.
  8. cvriffmaster

    cvriffmaster Guest

    Ahhhhh... all is not lost! While I admit that the majority of the "younger generation" wouldn't know good (that means ahem, talented) music if it bit their ears off, not all are like this! I, myself, am but of the tender age of 20 and have a deep appreciation for music. Virtuosity is something to be respected and even (GASP!) enjoyed. I prefer the rock, progressive rock/metal genre, but even within that you have greats such as Dream Theater (everyone in that band is insane), Seve Vai, Satch, Spock's Beard, etc... It makes me sad that so many people (young and old) have been so conditioned to 4/4 that anything other than that is percived as wrong and that "those guys suck", even if it sounds extremly musical (and it mostly does). Lightning fast lines (tastefully done, of course) and odd time signatures are anything but foriegn to my CD player and surprisingly many of my friends'.

    ...And MTV has long since degenerated into a mindless steaming pile. For one, all they show is quasi-soap operas... MTV.... didn't the M stand for Music at one point? When they do play videos, its all the crap that's on the radio today. Same old bland, regurgitated garbage that somebody thinks they can make a profit off of. It seems that having any sort of musical talent and/or being able to play more than 3 chords excludes you from the "music" industry. I don't know how this happened, but I am on a constant crusade to expose anybody I can to music as played by real musicians. Granted modern music may have some merits, but nothing compared to the stuff that doesn't get airplay. Even older stuff... ever hear of Yes? Jeff Beck? Frank Zappa? all great! I honestly don't understand the attraction to the modern sound. From an engineering standpoint, its a lot more fun (not to mention easier) to work with a band that really knows thier stuff. Not only do you not waste as much time with "uhhh... where do I come in... what fret are you on?", but things just seem to sit better in the mix because a better player usually favors a clearer tone (not the muddy, detuned 7-string muck that is spewed out randomly by so many an "artist"). They understand the relationship between the instruments and how they interact with eachother. I realize this is a generalization (and a little bit of exageration), and that I am going off on a rant of my own, but this sort of thing really strikes a nerve with me, particuarly when I end up working with these "modern" people on any given project.

    As for car systems....

    I see no problem with it if you are intelligent in how you listen to it. First off, you need more than just subs. High end... what that? A balanced sound is important. Once you have that, which I do in my car, having power keeps everything clean. Just don't abuse the power and your hearing. Its fun to crank every now and then, but not all the time. I feel that I need a better sound system in my car because I spend more listening time there than anywhere else. It just depends on where you listen most.

    I realize this is a really long post, but I have a lot to say on the subject. So here's my $.47 worth. (Its too long to only be 2)

    Say what you will about the "youth of today" because for the most part you are right, but understand that there ARE some of us who are on the same page and can appreciate quality when s/he hears or records it.

  9. dkrausz

    dkrausz Guest

    Maybe there is hope :)

  10. alphajerk

    alphajerk Active Member

    Feb 13, 2001
    i call BS on all this younger generation listening to talentless music. EVERY generation has said the exact same thing probably since the dawn of time. and i dont consider "lightening fast licks" even tastefully done to be talent... nor do i really think steve vai and stach are that great. both play fairly souless music. id rather hear some 3 chord punk band playing from their heart over those two schmucks or better yet, mr. bungle if you are looking for something odd.
  11. SlideMan

    SlideMan Guest

    What's the deal? My first small-minded spewtation on loud car stereos only belonging to kids living with their parents draws no flames, despite casting aspersions on many RO members.....

    I stand corrected, and Mr. Bungle rules.
  12. weezy christ

    weezy christ Guest

    "ears are ringin'. ears are ring-in'. ears are ringin'. ears are ring-in'......"
  13. cvriffmaster

    cvriffmaster Guest

    [Deep Breath]

    There's nothing wrong with playing your heart out on three chords, but by the same token, there is something to be said for technique. No, technique is not everything, and "soulfullness" is very much subjective, but I have a hard time taking a band seriously that isn't serious enough about their music to learn thier instruments (I'd like to hear any of the "modern" bands play Vai's "For The Love of God"). Not to say that all are bad, but it seems to me that too many people (mostly kids) pick up instruments and form "3 chord bands" for the sake of being in a band and having that image. Maybe they want attention, maybe some of them want to make some money (if they can get picked up by a label), I don't know, but it doesn't seem like many of them care enough about the actual music to better themselves at it. Maybe it's just me, but if I'm going to try to do something for the rest of my life, I want to be as good as I can possibly be. It just doesn't make sense to me.

    Don't get me wrong. I'm not saying that these are not creative individuals, because many of them are. And, contrary to what you may think after reading these posts, I am open minded to new things. I appreciate music that sounds good and is played well. Sounding good is another very subjective thing, but played well is pretty cut and dry. Being a serious musician, I find it hard to listen to some stuff where it seems like the artist doesn't care that s/he (gotta be PC) can't play well, or worse yet, is PROUD that s/he can't play well. It's not as much the fact that they can or can't, but whether or not they care. In a lot of cases, it shows.

    It is also important to make the distinction between "I don't like it" and "It's no good" or "It sucks". There's lots of stuff out there I don't like or particuarly care for (a lot of R&B stuff for instance) but respect tremendously (Lots of great R&B vocalists, for instance). It really irks me when someone trashes a band/artist just because they don't like them even though they are very good at what they do. I myself have been guilty of it, but I try very hard not to. But.... There is also a lot of crap out there. So, alphajerk, I can respect your opinion if you can respect mine.

    I know this sound like "if you can't play 32nd note triplets at 180 bpm, you suck and I don't want to hear it", but it's not.
    Like I said, I can appreciate all kinds and levels of music, but I deffinately have more respect for players with higher ability. As far as I'm concerned, it's to each his own. I also admidt that my previous post was a bit of a rant (hey, I told you it was, didn't I?!),and I'm not here to make enemies, but there are more levels to talent than energy and/or soulfullness.

    Food for thought

  14. Jon Best

    Jon Best Active Member

    Mar 18, 2001
    I'll buy that. However, when I think of things tastefully done, I generally think first of those people who are in what I consider the next level *above* playing choppy licks- the guys/girls that play stuff that's perfect, and not particularly hard. Think of BB King's often simple solos- almost anyone could learn most of them, but the good ones are brilliance and mastery, because they are _right_. Not that I'm a huge BB King fan, really, but you get the picture.

    I have always (and not perjoratively, BTW), thought the development of most creative musicians follows the same path- pick up instrument, learn a few things, play, write within your ability, get better, discover chops, use chops a lot while & after developing them, and then... the select few get to the place where they don't need to throw around a lot of notes unless they're necessary, often as a short contrast to simple beauty. Most musicians, IMO, don't get there. More serious bass players and drummers seem to (because if they didn't they wouldn't get work).

    So I respect ultra-choppy music, but I can't help but hear it as a stage of the development of a musician, and generally am not thinking so much about the song as how good these musicians might be someday.

    I guess I'm talking about a whole different group of 'simple playing' musicians- there's the bunch of people who aren't that good, and apparently are happy there, there' the smaller group of people with monster chops, and there is the smallest group with the chops that don't need to sling them. They're my favorite. :)
  15. alphajerk

    alphajerk Active Member

    Feb 13, 2001
    i frankly dont care if anyone can play vai's whatever. that doesnt make someone good. if you want that practice mentality, check out some asian dudes who can rip circles around steve vai. [not to stereotype... but i know a lot of those guys/gals usually spawning from a classical background initiated by their parents, more cultural than stereotypical] it might be one form of talent but its not the ideal form. maybe it is to you if thats what you listen to... or listen to classical music if thats the sort of musician you are looking for. i USED to be able to play all that $*^t [vai/satch] until i actually discovered what GOOD music was... and those guys, well i have my own opinions of them. id rather hear the textured cacophony of sonic youth.

    jon, we must be on the exact same wavelength... bb kings one note solos are perfect examples. who i thought of immediately.

    being the best you can be has nothing to do with how many notes you can play as quickly as you can in succession "tastefully" or "wingie malmsteen" style. what about rhythym guitarists who never play leads? does keith richards suck by your logic? what about the velvet underground?

    and a technically practiced guitarist can easily be upstaged by less technical musicians as a band are "in tune" with each other.

    one of my favorite bands [you should know these guys being from bawlmore] is clutch, tim sult is certainly no steve vai but i think he rocks on guitar and IMO a FAR BETTER musician than vai and satch put together ESPECIALLY playing with the other guys in that band. they are a UNIT. or another sorta local band karma to burn who dont play solos [or have a singer for that matter]
  16. cvriffmaster

    cvriffmaster Guest

    I think perhaps that you are missing my point. I use Vai and Satch as an example because they DO possess incredible chops. I think Keith Richards is great. He may not be the best player technically, but in a unit as you put it, he's a perfect match. Part of being a good musician is knowing what to play not just how fast you can spew notes. I do realize this. BB King is a perfect example btw, Jon. What you don't play is just as important as what you do play. I'm trying not to generalize, but it's very hard not to without writing a novel on the subject. You make very valid points, but I think I do too. BTW, I rarely say someone sucks unless they REALLY do. Also, don't take the Vai thing too far. I do listen to other stuff, he's just an example. For example, the Beatles weren't the best players in the world from a technical standpoint, but as a group they were phenomenal. Same with a lot of groups. Technical insanity is not a requirement for "goodness", but it certainly doesn't hurt either. I would write more, but I must go... perhaps to be continued.....

    -Chris :)
  17. cvriffmaster

    cvriffmaster Guest

    Allow me to add to my previous post now that I have a little more time....

    Let me say that the whole thing that started this discussion was the evaluation of "talentless music". You mentioned that you would rather hear a 3-chord punk band over vai or satch (which is fine if you like it), but all of the counter-examples of vai/satch you mention are definately above the 3-chord, be in a band cuz its cool type bands. All the bands you mention are serious musicians. I give credit where credit is due. I would definately NOT say that any of them suck ("according to my logic"). My main point is/was that too many (younger) people form bands solely for the image and wouldn't recognize serious musicianship if they saw it (be it sheer technical skill or otherwise). High school wasn't that long ago for me... I remember quite a few bands and people like that. Also, that technical ability is almost taboo anymore. It's simply the mindset of the younger generation. It bothers me that it is practically forbidden to be able to play your instrument well (ie having chops). I am not disputing the fact that a group of people can create great music wheter or not they are virtuosos. Music is one of the most subjective things in the universe. It basically boils down to what you like.


    :D :D
  18. I think that we've all missed the point. It's not about playing with skill but writing, and growing as a musician while writing. Look at Green Day. I don't like them at all but if you listen to their latest singles they're growing as a band. Same with the Clash. Their first CD sucked, but London Calling? It's the best damn album by a punk band ever, and it's not even punk. Remember those guys called the Beatles? I'm sorry but I'll take "Happiness is a warm gun" over "I wanna hold your hand" any day of the week. I think every generations musicians just need time to grow.

    Also, about rapping and the seven string guitar. I don't play a seven string but i can see the importance of it. It is an evolution in the guitar, exactly like a 5 string bass or the double bass pedal. There will be a time when accomplished blues musicians will use those guitar. Hell, a lot jazz musicians use them (Charlie Hunter plays an eight string). It's the same with rapping, it's new vocal style. Rap isn't a type of music, it's a flow of words. Personally though, i really don't like any rap/rock bands, but i see they're importance as trendsetters in musical innovation. I mean they're doing nothing spectacular except making a hybrid between two styles of music. Hey isn't rock n' roll really just a hybrid of blues and folk/country?

    well there's my buck and a half.
  19. Greg Malcangi

    Greg Malcangi Member

    Oct 12, 2000
    << I think that we've all missed the point. It's not about playing with skill but writing, and growing as a musician while writing. >>

    Sorry, but I think you've still missed the point, at least as far as mainstream pop is concerned. The music industry is like any other industry, it's run by accountants, lawyers and business men. Most of whom have little or no experience or understanding of music as an art form but understand it purely as a business. Baring in mind that 9-16 year old girls make up the largest demographic of the record buying public, this is who the major record companies mainly target. So what is it that girls want? They want pretty boys that they can giggle over or other girls as a role model. So what's important isn't talent or skill but marketability. Look at the Spice Girls, Boyzone, Ricky Martin and a whole list of other talentless musicians/bands. They have been moulded into marketing dreams with music being nothing more than the medium used to market these people to their target audience.

    This has been how the industry has been run for quite some time now but what is worrying me is that it's spreading into other areas of music too. Even classical music is starting to suffer, especially over here in the UK. Vanessa Mae, Charlotte Church and Bond might be reasonably talented compared to most pop musicians but compared to other classical musicians they are almost completely talentless.

    Thanks for giving me space to rant! :)

  20. e-cue

    e-cue Active Member

    Oct 5, 2000
    The day I turned on Mtv & realized how badly it sucked was the same day I realized I had started to become old.

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