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andythiing

loudness wars 2019

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There’s still hope, I just bought a live album by a guy called Hiall Horan, one of those muppets from that group called One Direction, absolutely lovely live recording. 

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9 hours ago, LHC said:

Yes, but where and when was it determined that this is not acceptable in a car environment? 

Well, I do a lot of driving as a sales rep. My car has a bi-modal exhaust, I turn it to quiet mode for long trips so the exhaust or engine isn't heard and still find the need to turn up my volume to overcome wind and tyre roar. Unless you are driving a uber luxury vehicle with double glazing and heaps of sound isolation, they are VERY noisy places to be, much louder than your average shop or office environment.

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13 hours ago, LHC said:

Yes, but where and when was it determined that this is not acceptable in a car environment? ...

I used to believe that a greater degree of compression would be appropriate in a car environment to overcome vehicle and road noise.  I don't have an outstanding audio system in my car - it's better than the stock audio systems though.  As the CD player doesn't work, I have to rip and play mp3 via the usb input (yes, another degradation).  And I have a very old car, so it has a reasonably higher noise floor than more modern cars. 

 

The changing point came one day when I was listening to a CD in the car (ripped to mp3), and I thought "this sounds fantastic - much better than normal - why?" .  I realised that I was listening to a DCC (label) CD, mastered without added compression by Steve Hoffman. 

 

My conclusion, reinforced by subsequent comparisons is:  Even in the poor acoustic and noisy car environment, listening to music degraded by mp3 encoding, quality mastering without excess compression still allows the music to "live" and be enjoyed in comparison to music mastered with greater compression. 

 

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I agree that in 2019 compression is still a concerning compromise to music quality.

 

However, I also think it holds equal place to that other production "evil" - excessive use of auto-tune.  On breakfast TV the other morning a young successful British pop star was introduced, when they played her hit all I could hear was that dreadful auto-tune sound. 

 

I really struggle to know which I find harder to listen to - excess compression or excess auto-tune.  The two together = unlistenable. 

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