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TODAY IS DYNAMIC RANGE DAY!

I’M TYPING IN ALL CAPS BECAUSE IT’S REALLY ANNOYING…AND SO IS RIDICULOUSLY, UNNECESSARILY LOUD MUSIC.

BACK OFF THE LIMITER, BOYS. YOU’RE KILLING THE MUSIC.

IN THIS EPISODE OF THE PODCAST, I TALK ABOUT DYNAMIC RANGE AND GIVE YOU SOME AUDIO EXAMPLES OF WHAT “TOO LOUD” SOUNDS LIKE. I ALSO ANSWER SOME READER QUESTIONS.

Enjoy!

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  • Oh, btw – Billy Idol recorded his Cyberpunk album completely in his home studio. Lots of the bass and drums tracking was done in larger studios though. Personally I found it a very inspiring album, and imho his best. The mix is very ‘digital’ sounding, but in context to the albums subject matter, excellent.

  • Hi Joe. In regard to the Loudness War part of your podcast, I think a lot of grief is thrown at mix engineers for this, but to be fair you need to also consider a few things.
    Ive not yet worked with a band that didn’t want that huge sound. Guitarists and Drummers tend to be the main culprits. They tend to want things fat, wide and with all the rock star, Spector wall of sound stuff.
    Rock always has been compressed heavily anyway, even going back to the early days. The problem today is with the instruments used. The frequency spectrum is being saturated with sound from multi-channel drums, synths and DSP effects. The days when bands had 2 guitar, bass, vocals and 3 drum mics are long gone. Applying the traditional limiting is squashing an already saturated source material.
    Im lucky enough to have a Dbx Quantum in my studio, so I can check my mixes with mastering done while Im mixing. Helps me to picture the post mastering version. Its a real challenge is to get a balanced mix with all that fat compression sound bands want. The trick is to preempt the mastering engineer and provide something that will respond favorably to the process.
    The loudness war should really be declared on the musicians and producers, not the engineers – we are of course only here as a tool to make their music sound as close to their perceived perfection.

    Long live the Mix Engineer!

  • garth

    here’s a link to that article i was talking about-

    http://drewpearce.wordpress.com/2007/05/30/william-fitzsimmons-interview/

  • garth

    in regards to some home studio artists and/or projects done with home studios….the very first William Fitzsimmons cd, “until when we are ghosts” was recorded with a lexicon omega and some reason.
    The last Killers cd, they used logic a lot back and forth….um…I know of more, but I’ll have to think of em.

    Love this website. One of my favs, and it’s a nice little community for us

  • Ox

    Hey Joe,

    Thanks for talking about such an important subject and being a defender of the faith! I think more people need to be aware of the audio quality and degradations that they are being cheated out of! Nothing will change until the general public demands it!

    If your new to home recording and mastering and want a better understanding of the loudness wars check out metallica’s newest album ‘Death Magnetic’. (Ironic actually as this will be the death of their loyal fan base!) I had to check out all the hype and see what all the fuss was about. I could not believe when I listened to the recording and how bad it was. Many people of metallica fan forums that something was wrong with their headphones and speakers but it was actually the mastering engineers doing!

    If your new to the game do what Joe suggests…and PRACTICE, PRACTICE, PRACTICE! Nervous if you’ll mess up or not succeed….not to worry….after listening to ‘Death Magnetic’ this should be a huge confidence builder!

    Loudness wars are real people and we need your help! ‘Death Magnetic’ was a huge gain for us suffering audiophiles subjected to bad audio quality in raising awareness of this battle.

    Thanks for a cool site Joe! Keep up the good fight!

    -Ox

  • Eric

    I’m diggin the song from the Dynamic Range section!!!!