Something that bothers me about music nowdays.
I'm tired of this excessive digital squashing in music.
It's too bad, because there is a lot of music that I'd otherwise enjoy. I just may not like the presentation of it because it's been mastered so loudly. Everything just sounds so overwhelming crowded into the soundscape on most releases nowdays. It sucks the life right out of the music. It makes it harder to appreciate and enjoy.
I guess your average person doesn't care because they'll be listening to it on an IPOD.
I agree 100%. This brickwalled overcompression, loudness bullshit needs to stop, it's ruining music. I mean, granted, most people listen to music on generic earbuds or cheaper sound systems so it may not be that apparent to them, but honestly, why not make something nice sounding so it will sound nice on all systems? It's a myth that remains unfounded that louder sells better.
It's nothing new but when I look at my music collection, the mid 90s was the period were things started to go a bit too far, and really it's been downhill ever since, only getting worse and worse over the years. Albums from the 80s sound much, much better than anything nowadays.
Often remastered albums sound far worse than the originals because of these same problems. And often reissues aren't even remastered, but are simply compressed for the sake of making it louder!
Last edited by SangreV; 05-04-2012 at 12:22 PM.
I was going to reply to this topic last night, saying that I thought this trend had peaked with Death Magnetic. A lot of new records I've heard lately seem to have been pretty decently mastered. I was going to suggest that the sustained backlash against the Metallica record kicked some asses into gear. While in the middle of typing this, my download of the new Garbage album completed - so I abandoned the post to immediately listen to the record for the first time.
Now I refute everything I was going to say. It's probably the most badly mastered album I've ever heard in my life. The ringing in my ears got so bad that I had to give up listening to the album at track 8, Sugar. I never had to do that before - abandon an album partway through my first listen. Notice in the unmastered youtube clip that the synth comes roaring along at the 0:55-mark. It's nothing like that on the album. It's a flat, dead, headache-inducing fuzzy mess. I know I have a reputation here for being a negative asshole, but this isn't just me needlessly complaining. This is a record I was really looking forward to, and I've had the thing for about 18 hours now at this point, and I still haven't been able to listen to all of it.
Fuck Emily Lazar. This is now the second Garbage album she's fucked up (not including the awful compilation - the worst of them all), and she also messed up the last two Depeche Mode albums. These are artists that spend 2+ years recording albums, why do they insist on giving them to this woman to single-handedly destroy? What's the point of the music being that loud when all it does is give you one hell of a headache? I really feel like hunting down this woman's contact information and start giving her a piece of my mind. I'm really pretty pissed off about this. One of my records of 2012: ruined. Really, fuck Emily Lazar.
Last edited by Homeostasis; 05-05-2012 at 09:35 AM.
Death Magnetic has some of the worst production I've heard, but I'm surprised it had to take an album that awful sounding to get people's attention. I'm not even a Metallica fan, but I signed that petition out of principle. The production was so awful that it reminded me of the days when people would download a cheap recording program on their computer so they could record music while streaming it on myspace back in the day, and everything would just come out so distorted. And everything about that album just sounds wrong, especially the snare drum.
I don't care if producers are being told or influenced to produce albums in a certain (shitty) manner, if you are not there to make it sound good, just get a new fucking job! These 'professionals' consistently do a terrible job.
As good as the new Mars Volta was it also suffers from some BS compression.
Alice in Chains' Black Gives Way to Blue is pretty terrible also.
I hate it, but this is kind of where we're at with music now; because it's such a commercialized property, everything's brickwalled for immediate impact but it's not sustainable as a prolonged listening experience. The listener's ears get fatigued. You get this world where everything is competing for your attention, so everything's trying to scream at you as loud as it possibly can in public space. Honestly, who can live in that bullshit?
What is brick-walling? I'm not very knowledge on audio, and just curious as to what it is.
Yeah it just means most record companies have music mixed so that will sound great from blocks away on a car stereo but has absolutely no subtle inflection on headphones. They tend to do this based off of surveys with the ignorant masses and surely enough most people seem to think "Yeah dawg that shit is bumpin!" VS "This shit weak, nigga" instead of "Ah, that is crystal clear, I love it." VS "A bit noisy if you ask me.".
No on this thread has mentioned Born Villain suffering from this, which I gotta admit unfortunately it most certainly does. I could tell from the first time I listened to it. I tweaked a couple settings in itunes that seem to undo this, and HOLY FUCK Born Villain sounds so good. Brickwalling songs make the songs (any song) so much more boring and they seem to go by faster because they take you out of the experience.