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Why New Music Doesn't Sound As Good As It Did

 
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USA j2brown
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 29, 2007 10:28 am   Post subject: Why New Music Doesn't Sound As Good As It Did Reply with quote


I'm sure the educated folks here can add further detail to this:

http://tech.yahoo.com/blogs/null/33549

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 29, 2007 11:49 am   Post subject: Reply with quote


This makes perfect sense. Its like zooming in on a picture file. The closer you zoom in, the worse the picture quality gets. When I teach dynamics to my beginning music students, a great contrast to the concept I use is music on the radio. Radio music stays the same dynamic, and we (the class) need to show contrasting dynamics when we play.

Cool article j2brown.
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 30, 2007 2:35 am   Post subject: Reply with quote


LOL... I guess I'm one of those undiscerning listeners who equals loud with good. I have to admit that I never even noticed that newer CDs sound less clear than older ones.... Wink
The volume difference I have noticed, but all it ever did was annoy me. I mostly set my music to shuffle and I dislike having to fiddle with the volume knob all the time.
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 27, 2007 6:09 pm   Post subject: Reply with quote


As the article says, modern audio equipment comes with a volume dial - usually multiple ones!
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 31, 2007 7:42 am   Post subject: Reply with quote


I wonder if this trend has affected, and to what degree, non-pop albums, like score soundtracks, classical music, and opera. You would think that those listeners might be more discerning, or at least, less seduced by just making everything louder.

"And I like my music like I like my life
Everything Louder than Everything Else!"
-- Meat Loaf
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 31, 2007 9:15 pm   Post subject: Reply with quote


I'm sure we're all waiting for some new renaissance period to come around and change our creative patterns on music.
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 31, 2007 9:35 pm   Post subject: Reply with quote


interesting article J2.

I will add, even though it has little to do with the article, that vinyl recordings are actually a better quality than CDs... they just don't last as long. Wink
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 31, 2007 9:41 pm   Post subject: Reply with quote


I DISAGREE!!! Razz
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 31, 2007 10:38 pm   Post subject: Reply with quote


you disagree on what furyen? that my comment has little to do with the article or that vinyl is better than CD?

or both... Wink Laughing
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 01, 2007 2:45 am   Post subject: Reply with quote


genericdragon wrote:
you disagree on what furyen? that my comment has little to do with the article or that vinyl is better than CD?


I disagree with Myself. Wink

I've actually tested that theory years ago on which sounds better. I found (if the pops and cracks were screened out from the vinyls) that they do sound almost alike. (And I strain the word "almost") But in the end, CD wins.
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 03, 2007 12:16 am   Post subject: Reply with quote


Of course the vinyl is higher quality and tends to have "ritcher" sound. The entire process of digitizing and compressing music is "destructive"... that is, it has to remove parts of the sound in order to work. Binary can only hold so much information, you know. However, most compression techniques use "smart" algorithms that take out pitches that the ear tends to not hear... such as sounds below 20 Hz or above 20 KHz (20,000 Hz) and slowly works its way inward. Besides, CDs last longer than records anyway.

Anyways, I get what they're trying to say (I worked as a sound board tech for 2 years). Adding volume actually degrades the louder parts, making you able to hear background parts more clearly at the expense of the foreground.

Alien_avatar: why don't you get a media player that has Sound Check, like iTunes? Razz
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 04, 2007 8:33 am   Post subject: Reply with quote


I am the audio engineer at the church I go to. I have a hard time with the audio compression because the pastor wants the "modern" skwished loud sound, but he wants his voice to sound a certain way (i.e.- with dynamics). He doesn't really understand how you get the skwished sound (yes I'm spelling that wrong on purpose), but he doesn't care. That's what he wants. Period. Personally, I think having the compression helps to a certain degree to be able to hear and distinguish the many instruments in the composition. However, just having one blast of volume and no variation can be tiring and boring at the same time. Listen to classical music sometime. Their skill is often reflected in the difference between the very quiet and very loud. Ask a seasoned player (especially a brass player to play soft then loud). Those dynamics were what kept the listener interested and helped the composer illustrate feelings.
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 04, 2007 10:49 am   Post subject: Reply with quote


@mrfinnigan: I was mostly talking about listening to music over headphones while walking down a noisy street or riding the subway or something of that sort. I've thought about my "problem" and I think it's mostly about having different types of music on my iPod (mostly metal and STs)... and the STs are almost always less loud than my other music. But I think that might just be because they're sort of different...Wink
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 04, 2007 4:46 pm   Post subject: Reply with quote


@alien: I belive the Sound Check on iTunes carries over to the iPod, but it's been a while since I've had an iPod (the consequence of living a very active lifestyle).


I worked at my church audio board (before I moved Crying or Very sad ) and I was lucky to have a pastor that understood the basic ideas of sound (what "Loudness" controls do, floor mics, booms, etc). He also backed off and let me do my job (thank God), but we never really got into digital audio recording (two tape decks and a reel-to-reel... yay!) until just before I left, so I don't really know how that worked out.
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