Last week I found this interresting website.
What do you think?
Great idea! I was attempting to explain to my son how the mp3s he listens to on his Ipod aren't as good as a CD. He doesn't get it. So much of the current music media is overly compressed.
Wikipedia has a nice article about the loudness war:
The trend is just crazy and has to stop. So it's great to see some serious campaigning about the issue on Dynamic Range.
This looks promising. It appears to be in an early stage, but I believe deserves support. Thanks for bringing this to our attention and for the link! John
This trend is NOT limited to recorded music.
In professional orchestras, the decibel levels produced by brass sections--especially the low brass--border on dangerous, to the point where string players need to wear earplugs. As a brass player, I lament this trend.
As I was helping with the Rimsky-Korsakov orchestration course, I really had to do a major update on the brass. Consider the following:
*Tenor trombones in RK's day were peashooters compared to today's instruments (under .500 bore), had no trigger, had small bells, and were played with tiny-cupped mouthpieces by today's standards (a 6.5AL would be large then; most players used something like an 11 or 12C.)
(For non-brass players, these are Bach-brand mouthpieces that are tiny by today's standard).
*Bass trombones in RK's day had a bore size probably a bit smaller than today's "symphony tenors" and were played with a Bach 4-ish size cup at biggest. (Bach numbers its mouthpieces BACKWARDS; smaller number=bigger cup) By way of comparison, when I played Bach mouthpieces, I used a Bach 2 on Euphonium.
*My current euphonium has a bore size roughly equivalent to an orchestral F tuba of RK's time. In RK's time, tubas were tiny by today's standards. Today's "kaiser" CC tubas ("Yorkbrunners" "Yamayorks," and old Holtons if you know tubas) have a 6/4 size bottom bow (that's BIIIIG) and have a bore size of.8xx. the Yamayork sells for around $30000 if you can get one. In RK's day, most tubas had 3 or 4 valves and were probably played by a bassist as a double. Today's behemoths have 5 or 6 valves and are played by specialists with master's or doctorate degrees, frightening technique, and incredible dexterity.
Older conductors and brass players are alarmed by this trend, but for the most part thay have retired. Today's conductors are growing up with the "large-bore" sound in their haeds, so that's all they know, that's what they expect, and that's what they get.
SO...vastly bigger horns...vastly bigger mouthpieces...vastly bigger, stronger, and better players...what's that add up to?
SHEER VOLUME, and I haven't even dealt with horns or trumpets here. Some orchestras have taken to putting baffles in front of the brass, and decibel levels have risen to alarming heights. Some string players use earplugs when they perform.
Another side consequence of this is that a few orchestral low-brass players have developed career-ending damage to their embouchure because of the constant playing at huge volume levels.
So...it's not limited to the mastering phase...it's there live in many orchestras as well.
If you don't want to believe me about this, go here and see what Doug Yeo, bass trombonist of the Boston Symphony, has to say on the matter!
Note that this article was written in 1997, and make sure to scroll down to the bottom and look at the FAQ about orchestral volume if you think I am kidding about OSHA involvement.
Finally, let me steer this back to samples...as a brass player, one way I can help users here is to explain how we do what we do and how to make a Garritan library do it (I have only Gary's libraries). Arguably the most FAQ is "How can I make the brass sound bigger?" Perhaps that is the wrong question...perhaps the right one is "How can I structure my writing such that the brass blend with the strings and woodwinds and lay out when the music calls for laying out, and how can I use contrast such that the brass are remarkable for their mere presence rather than for their sheer volume?"
That may be a bit strong but you get the idea.
Professor of Capitalism
Indianapolis Brass Choir
All Your Bass Sus&Short Are Belong to Us.
I originally thought this was about compression. So this is just an effort to get people to not record things too hot? I would have thought this would be covered under Mixing 101. I'm just a music enthusiast but I've learned that much being a member of this forum. I checked out 5 of my songs on the downloaded meter and they came in from 12 - 15 on headroom.
I heard part of the loudness war is due to people mainly listening to music in their cars or on their ipods while on the street, subway, etc. In these situations, there's a lot of background noise that drowns out the lower volume parts of a song.
What I don`t like are pieces with a maximal peak of 0db and a minimal peak of -1db.
With good dithering one can mix a much much more dynamic.