Loudness… I mean LOUDNESS!

January 27th, 2011, 11:15 pm PDT by Greg

Okay, seriously… am I the only one with ears? I’m hardly an audiophile, but I’m increasingly finding new music unlistenable purely as a result of the loudness war. If you don’t know what that is, this YouTube video has an excellent description of loudness wars.

I have songs that I don’t like listening to because I know there’s a better song in there somewhere: I just can’t hear it because all the interesting stuff has been clipped.

Most recently, I found myself thinking that the Alicia Keys vocal Empire State of Mind is totally muddied. It would probably sound awesome if the vocal wasn’t squished in with everything else, but everything is too loud to let that happen. [You can certainly find it on your favourite file sharing service—don’t pay for it, it’s not worth it.] Most annoyingly, the video on youtube actually has better audio (to my ear at least) than the album version.

Screw it. I’m just going to listen to Gordon over and over forever. I ripped it myself from a CD I bought sometime in the middle 90s and it sounds awesome.

3 Responses to “Loudness… I mean LOUDNESS!”

  1. PhilB Says:

    Well, there is also the fact that most new music is total crap, but, yeah, raising everything to a stupid level means you miss all the dynamics.

    Sometimes, you do want that snare hit to be louder, or that bass to rumble a bit more while the rest of the melody is pleasantly in the background. This is why some of us in bands spend hours upon hours mixing our own music and refuse to let a label touch it (well, that and the fact that we are cheap bastards).

    Phil

  2. PhilB Says:

    Damn it, the input in this box doesn’t get sanitized. The beginning should have read:

    Well, there is also the fact that >curmudgeon<most new music is total crap</curmudgeon>, but, yeah, raising everything to a stupid level means you miss all the dynamics.

  3. PhilB Says:

    Of course, had to do two tags backwards…

    <sigh>