Level Slamming! Yikes

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JonUrban

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In the category of 'Start your upmix by finding the best source before you waste your time', here's a look at one tune I decided to upmix. I first started with the latest version, but when I saw the wav files in SF, I cringed. Then I went to find other releases of the same tune. What a difference. Check it out:

WilburyTwistWav.jpg
 

winopener

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Smartphones - the new AM radio.
"No static at all" :)
Unfortunately, there will be always some music that, mixed intentionally to be a blast on crappy AM radio of the past, or crappy smartphone of today, will sound horrible on any serious rig. BornToRun, i'm looking at you (and not only you...)
 

LuvMyQuad

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Too bad they didn't create a standardized system to compress on the fly for smartphones and such. Then there would have been no reason to squash the actual mixes.
 

jimfisheye

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But I bet the remastered version sounds good on a smartphone;)
Actually, no. The best mastering of the best mix sounds best on the shittiest device. Volume war hyped masters sound worse on phones too. There's no way to skew a recording to be less distorted on a device that distorts by distorting it more first. You get amateur bedroom "producers" making claims like that. More to do with the fact that their phone is their only listening device. Some people are super oblivious to fully blown out distortion. They're listening to their phone speaker melt down in pain and saying it's bangin'! Loud = good.
 

LuvMyQuad

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Actually, no. The best mastering of the best mix sounds best on the shittiest device. Volume war hyped masters sound worse on phones too. There's no way to skew a recording to be less distorted on a device that distorts by distorting it more first. You get amateur bedroom "producers" making claims like that. More to do with the fact that their phone is their only listening device. Some people are super oblivious to fully blown out distortion. They're listening to their phone speaker melt down in pain and saying it's bangin'! Loud = good.
Yeah, I doubt that distortion is a significant issue for most using portable devices, but not being able to hear the soft sections of a track likely is.
 

jimfisheye

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Absolutely agree that devices should have a loudness button though! Make the modern version a Hulk Smash! limiter instead of a mid scoop eq. Seems like a missed opportunity for the device makers that like suck buttons. They already have their "club eq" etc. Give em a blasticate option too! :D
 

jimfisheye

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Yeah, I doubt that distortion is a significant issue for most using portable devices, but not being able to hear the soft sections of a track likely is.
Music with soft sections? What's that? :D

Wasn't the CD supposed to embrace dynamics? Everyone started playing in the top 3db of the dynamic range and threw that out the window! After 1990 all mainstream music had one volume level. It was on or off.
 

MidiMagic

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I do this myself,. but not for the reason you think. I make special discs to play in the car. I need a constant level so I can hear the music over road noise without it blasting and then disappearing.

I first discovered this while trying to listen to Mike Oldfield's "Tubular Bells 2" while driving to Ohio. I kept having to mess with the volume just to hear it. My former car had a compression feature in the audio system, but the new one does not. Since I finally found a trouble-free car, I was not going to trade cars to get such a sound system again.
 

MidiMagic

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