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Dynamic Range Day

Posted by - 12:12 PM on 03/16/12
Today is being deemed "Dynamic Range Day." For the last 10 years, sound has been mixed and mastered at ever increasing loudness levels, apparently harming the natural vibrancy of music. Turn Me Up, a non-profit music organization, is working to promote more dynamic recordings.

Submitted by bladerdude360
 
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12:18 PM on 03/16/12
#2
zachff
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I see no reason not to support this, but I think the dial will swing back once massive storage sizes (like 256GB on an iPhone) or insanely fast streaming is ubiquitous.
12:42 PM on 03/16/12
#3
theskycouldfly
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does it really matter? hahah. when i get big mixing projects or any project. i compress the fuck out of everything before it touches mastering. still sounds great to me. i've worked on huge label stuff and it doesn't matter at the end of the day.
01:10 PM on 03/16/12
#4
bladerdude360
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I see no reason not to support this, but I think the dial will swing back once massive storage sizes (like 256GB on an iPhone) or insanely fast streaming is ubiquitous.
From what I gathered from the article on CNET, dynamic range doesn't have anything to do with file size or compression.
Quote:
Dynamic range compression is completely different than the lossy compression used in MP3s; they're not the problem. MP3s don't sound great for other reasons, but they can have almost the same dynamic range as a CD.
01:12 PM on 03/16/12
#5
bladerdude360
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I think this quote from the article explains it really well:
Quote:
I know that might seem ridiculous, every music player--radio, iPod, hi-fi, or home theater system--has a volume control. You can listen quietly or turn it way up, but do you realize that every recording--every album, video, movie, or TV show--has been mixed with a fixed relative loudness level? Many movies have extremely wide soft-to-loud dynamic range, but nowadays music has almost none. Nearly every sound, from the naturally quiet ones like the soft strum of a guitar to whispered vocals are boosted in the mix to sound as loud as the loudest scream or drum hit. The phenomenon has been dubbed "The Loudness Wars," which started around 10 years ago. Once all the sounds are loud, there's no way to restore their natural soft/loud balance.
01:25 PM on 03/16/12
#6
irthesteve
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I think producers and bands have the right to record/master their music however they want. Whether it sounds like total shit or not is up to them
01:41 PM on 03/16/12
#7
Alex DiVincenzo
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It should also be noted that today is Stone Cold Day

01:57 PM on 03/16/12
#8
circletheworld
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i didn't know this was an issue?
02:01 PM on 03/16/12
#9
bladerdude360
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Cool and informative video if you're confused or want to know a little more:
02:05 PM on 03/16/12
Calvin Lauber
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Thats awesome. It definitely is annoying that these days everything is mixed to be as loud as possible and everything is so over compressed that it all is just one constantly loud volume the whole time.
02:11 PM on 03/16/12
COLEMAN902
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It makes it really hard for independent musicians to keep up with the loudness if they don't wanna pay $$$$ for mastering.
02:15 PM on 03/16/12
imchriswalken
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the issue i think is that many people have come to expect everything to sound the same, i.e., some kid somewhere won't like a song that doesn't sound overcompressed and like it already belongs on the radio. so when you're recording you either have to decide to buy into that sound or anticipate alienating anyone who doesn't know better, instead of, you know, worrying about whether people will think the song is good or not.
02:24 PM on 03/16/12
Ashur
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Believe it or not, this is a bigger issue than you might think. As an audio student, I've been taught countless times to break this mold, as there's practically no benefit to it. The quality of the song is drastically reduced, the song sounds very monotonous as well. Not to mention it can damage your hearing. Dynamic range is something people don't even stop to realize, ad certainly don't appreciate. Songs would be significally better with it, it adds so much emotion. Anyways, that's my two cents, thanks for sharing!
02:49 PM on 03/16/12
IWasHerHorse
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I think producers and bands have the right to record/master their music however they want. Whether it sounds like total shit or not is up to them

Agreed.

The solution is not to stop everyone from making overly compressed music, the solution should be for people to find bands they like to listen to more. I couldn't give a shit if Maroon 5 and Justin Bieber have more dynamic recordings. Pop music is about relaxing and not thinking. Changes in dynamic can create more powerful and emotional responses, but only if the listener is engaged and really paying attention.

the issue i think is that many people have come to expect everything to sound the same, i.e., some kid somewhere won't like a song that doesn't sound overcompressed and like it already belongs on the radio. so when you're recording you either have to decide to buy into that sound or anticipate alienating anyone who doesn't know better, instead of, you know, worrying about whether people will think the song is good or not.

I agree with this as well. The website said "loud" music doesn't sell better, which I'd disagree with. Compressed robotic sounding recordings are industry standard. There are plenty of dynamic/ well recorded bands making music, they just don't sell as well and take a bit more effort to find.
02:53 PM on 03/16/12
irthesteve
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The irony is that anyone who knows/cares about this probably takes the time to avoid it, and everyone else doesn't notice/care..... sooooo

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