Nice article on the loudness wars

Discussion in 'Mastering' started by bpatram, Jul 16, 2006.

  1. bpatram

    bpatram Guest
  2. hociman

    hociman Active Member

    May 29, 2005
    Home Page:

    Did the loudness wars begin in earnest with Oasis' 1994 (What's the Story) Morning Glory? What do those that do mastering for a living have to say about that?

    I was a sophomore in high school in 1994, nor do I do mastering for a living, so I have no perspective on this.
  3. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Member

    Sep 26, 2005
    hociman, the loudness wars started back in the 1960s in broadcasting. Now with everybody trying to force their projects to the maximum DB's in their mastering and coupled with aggressive broadcast signal processing, can you say "ear fatigue"?

    Ms. Remy Ann David
  4. dpd

    dpd Active Member

    Sep 29, 2004
    When's the last time you saw a recorded waveform that wasn't essentially at max level 75-80% of the time? (NPR radio doesn't count)
  5. Brandon

    Brandon Guest

    good to see the general public becoming interested in this issue.

    i have several cd's that i would like to analyze and post stats somewhere. i use adobe audition and the default setting is to use square wave as opposed to sine wave for rms values. which is the standard way?

    what about the silent parts at the start and end of each track? do these parts get counted in the stats for an entire album?

    also, if the dynamic range is 96dbfs for 16 bit audio, why am i seeing readings of -110, -118 etc?

    i would like to create a blog or something online somewhere so that those interested can run the analysis and post the results. is there a software tool that can be downloaded for free and used easily by the novice?

    in other words, what is the proper way to gather dynamics stats on a particular cd?

    remy i would be interested to hear what you have to say about this.
  6. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Member

    Sep 26, 2005
    Brandon, thank you for wanting my opinions regarding your inquiry into content statistics.

    in regards to the use of sinewave versus square wave, I don't got no diploma in that there cornfield. So I'm not quite sure what mathematical standard you are trying to establish for music? My math stinks anyhow.

    I used to include my timingsfor whatever replicator, for an vinyl album and/or CD as the start of one track to the start of the next, since your media has finite limitations. It's like a television show. It's not really as long as its allotted time slot but it is as long as it's allotted time slot, which is of a finite amount, since even though you ignore the commercials, they are still there.

    I am an Adobe Audition user as well and I've never seen a reading of -110, -118, from any CD. You will see an indication like that however, if playback has been stopped. I have found it generally impossible to have any kind of open microphone with a noise floor of that depth. Now there are dithering algorithms produced by several companies that provide for a perceived greater bit depth perception than what the recording system is actually capable of, allowing for signal below the theoretical noise floor. They are said to provide a greater than 20 bit dynamic range within a 16-bit file. Apogee and Sony's Super bitmapping comes to mind.

    And Blog you should young man. Running analyses and posting results of of of of of? Sorry, it sounds too much like work to me? Free software tools for the novice for sophisticated technical analyses? As if Adobe Audition didn't cost you enough hundreds of $$$? You think that something free is going to provide you with better technical analysis than a $300 program like Audition can? Oh, I'm sorry, I forgot you were using that free pirated download version of Audition?

    I think the proper way to gather dynamic statistics on a particular CD, is to listen carefully?

    Look! A chicken!
    Ms. Remy Ann David
  7. Brandon

    Brandon Guest

    thanks for trying remy,

    i actually found the answers i was looking for elsewhere.

    by the way, as a software engineer, i can assure you that my copy of audition is legit, as was my copy of cep before it.

    if a free stand-alone rms calculator does not exist, i suppose i will just write one and make it available if anyone wants it.
  8. J-MADD

    J-MADD Active Member

    Aug 19, 2004
    Home Page:
    Hey I saw a track made in the last couple years that wasn't maxed out. The new Bjork album (2nd song on album). I pulled it up just goofing around with some plugins in sound forge and noted that the whole song was really not even close to peaking. I dont know the RMS, but the peaks had like 3-6 db of headroom easy. I just thought it was weird. That album was made in 2005 I think. btw it is a vocals only song.
  9. Brandon

    Brandon Guest

    thats is rare these days, however, if it is vocal only, i would imagine that if it was normalized to 0 dbfs, it would sound unusually loud when compared to the other tracks on the cd.
  10. Imaginaryday

    Imaginaryday Active Member

    Mar 15, 2006
    Washington, DC
    I am from DC and new to this forum. It is, by far, one of the best Audio forums in the net.
    I've been reading your posts for the last 2 weeks and just can't stop. I learned so much (me sooo happy!) Back to the subject. One of my favorite band out there that refuses to play the loudness war is Pat Metheny/group.
    Their music writing takes into account dynamic. Sometime, when listening to some sections, the volume is so low you need to pay attention and focus your ears.
  11. Michael Fossenkemper

    Michael Fossenkemper Distinguished past mastering moderator Well-Known Member

    Sep 12, 2002
    NYC New York
    Home Page:
    This is why you have to use your ears and not your eyes. the ME was probably matching the level of the vocal to the song before.

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