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I've heard more than one mastering engineer complain about being hamstrung by having to meet Spotify's -14 LUFS spec, or Apple's -16 LUFS. But that misses the point - if compression is part of your sound, then you can master to whatever LUFS level you want. The only difference is that it will be turned down to match the level of other songs, but that doesn't change the song's character any more than changing a volume control setting.

So yeah, if squashing is your thing...squash away! Personally, I try to hit rock music as hard as I can, while still retaining a good sense of dynamics.

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Originally Posted by Anderton
Personally, I try to hit rock music as hard as I can, while still retaining a good sense of dynamics.
Dynamics!?! freak lolol

Luddite. rolleyes

grin

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I find dynamics makes music more interesting overall. smile

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I have been very happy with this transition. I like dynamics. By about -13 and certainly -10, I'm starting to miss things. I think this is wonderful for most music. I'm sure death metal will continue to output square waves of almost white noise. But for most things, this is an entirely welcome transition.

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I haven't gotten entirely accustomed to it but I do notice that some records seem more "lively" lately.

The other day I heard a song from Hootie and the Blowfish's first album and I remembered what over compressing to the point that everything is just as loud as everything else sounds like.
It makes me tired of listening, quickly.

So I'm all in on the concept. I'm not a big compressor user for the most part although it has it's place. As with everything on a DAW, setting up parallel effects is super easy and often sounds great while keeping more of the dynamics and realism.


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Originally Posted by KuruPrionz
The other day I heard a song from Hootie and the Blowfish's first album and I remembered what over compressing to the point that everything is just as loud as everything else sounds like. It makes me tired of listening, quickly.

I have a theory that overcompressing was directly tied to both the decline of CD sales, and the rise of vinyl. Maybe people couldn't define why one sounded "worse" and one sounded "better," but killing dynamic range in CDs, while vinyl could "breathe" more, may have had something to do with it.

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It's interesting how the Finalizer has been lost to time as the fusion-bomb of the volume war.

I suppose, because it was at the tail end of the Pre-DAW Plugin Big Rack Era, it seems like everyone has forgotten about the scourge they were for awhile. That eq-compress-limit-clipper I think really put a stamp on what the Average Consumer Expects things to sound like now.


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It may be gone, but not forgotten in the zillion plug-ins that do what it did.

And don't forget about the people who think WAV files should be made to sound like MP3s, or the singers raised on pitch correction, who try to make their voices sound similar. I'm not saying this is necessarily good or bad, just a reminder that we are in a fashion industry smile

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Originally Posted by Anderton
It may be gone, but not forgotten in the zillion plug-ins that do what it did.

And don't forget about the people who think WAV files should be made to sound like MP3s, or the singers raised on pitch correction, who try to make their voices sound similar. I'm not saying this is necessarily good or bad, just a reminder that we are in a fashion industry smile


It's just a curious blip, in that except for the SPX-90 I can't think of any other processor that so quickly grabbed so much attention, and then went away. Little 'micro-eras in audio, like "the "Fender bass" era", "the post MXR/Boss pedal era", "the post X-15 cassette multitrack era", "the ADAT era", "the Mackie 1604 era (still in that, in a way)", etc..


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The joys of smashing things....

Regarding dynamics, it's interesting to compare, say, "The Wall" by Pink Floyd, on the Mobile Fidelity CD re-master, with a song from recent years which I like a lot: Springsteen's "The Girls in their Summer Clothes".

The Floyd tracks go from where you can hear the faint hiss of the master tape up to a couple of overload clips on some drum rolls, and this is the commercial release. It's still one of the best analog rock recordings I have ever heard; it has monstrous dynamics.

Compare with Bruce's "Girls" which was mixed and mastered by two of the best. It is literally almost unlistenable; it makes me physically uncomfortable.
The production is "big" in the Phil Spector sort of way, which is fine, but the mix and master are a nightmare.

You get the impression that EVERY TRACK has its own compressor set to high, with ducking and gating, and as a result, the stems in the mix literally seem to elbow each other out of the way to get to be heard.
Weinberg's drums are buried and sound like a wet rag; everything else is a soupy, unpleasant roar. It's the only mix I have heard, where, if I listen on headphones, at times the stereo image feels like it's shaking under the pressure of it all.

This for an old-school melodic rock ballad...the real crime is, the song is lovely and deserves much better.

Imagine the Floyd "Wall' being recorded today, and Springsteen's tune done back then...

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When people want recommendations for a reference CD to which they can compare their mixes or masters, I recommend something from the early 80s, before the loudness wars got out of control. That makes it much easier to concentrate on the soundstage, equalization, transient response, etc.


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