History Main / LoudnessWar

3rd Dec '17 5:50:10 PM CassandraLeo
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There are algorithms that can be used to repair clipped audio to a certain extent; none of them are perfect, but they will generally produce end results that sound better than the commercially released versions with clipping. More info on one of them is available [[http://tinyurl.com/pbkquca here]]. (Note that the next page of the forum thread in this link contains rather disorganised information on Adobe Audition's declipper, which is much more sophisticated and produces much better-sounding results but does not have the benefit of being free software. [=iZotope=] RX, also not free software, has an even more sophisticated algorithm, and is fairly straightforward to use; however, the forum thread linked here doesn't currently go into it.)

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There are algorithms that can be used to repair clipped audio to a certain extent; none of them are perfect, but they will generally produce end results that sound sound, at least to most ears, [[BetterThanCanon better than the commercially released versions with clipping.clipping]]. More info on one of them is available [[http://tinyurl.com/pbkquca here]]. (Note that the next page of the forum thread in this link contains rather disorganised information on Adobe Audition's declipper, which is much more sophisticated and produces much better-sounding results results, but does not have the benefit of being free software. [=iZotope=] RX, also not free software, has an even more sophisticated algorithm, and is fairly straightforward to use; however, the forum thread linked here doesn't currently go into it, but iZotope's own manual provides all the essential info about how to use it.)
24th Nov '17 9:33:35 AM BURGINABC
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By contrast, one of the sadder aspects that Nick Southall highlighted was the belief that if you master the songs loud, they'll be played more on the radio. It doesn't work like that: Radio stations (as well as TV stations) have their own compressors and equalisers to squash everything up to the same volume, with the result that any CD will get [[WebAnimation/HomestarRunner loudness war'd]] for broadcast and an already hyper-compressed CD will just sound like shit squared. The existence of technologies such as [=ReplayGain=] and iTunes Radio's Sound Check additionally means that the volume of pieces played on internet radio is now frequently normalised to the same level, meaning that the only effect loudness war stunts will have on material played through these sources is making it less punchy. Mastering engineer Bob Katz' comments on this have been widely reported and discussed, and some sources believe that this will lead to less widespread use of the practice in future recordings. (Indeed, some studies have suggested that the trend has already waned, with the average loudness of commercial releases peaking in around 2005).

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By contrast, one of the sadder aspects that Nick Southall highlighted was the belief that if you master the songs loud, they'll be played more on the radio. It doesn't work like that: Radio stations (as well as TV stations) have their own compressors and equalisers to squash everything up to the same volume, with the result that any CD will get [[WebAnimation/HomestarRunner loudness war'd]] hit with this a ''second time'' for broadcast and an already hyper-compressed CD will just sound like shit squared. The existence of technologies such as [=ReplayGain=] and iTunes Radio's Sound Check additionally means that the volume of pieces played on internet radio is now frequently normalised to the same level, meaning that the only effect loudness war stunts will have on material played through these sources is making it less punchy. Mastering engineer Bob Katz' comments on this have been widely reported and discussed, and some sources believe that this will lead to less widespread use of the practice in future recordings. (Indeed, some studies have suggested that the trend has already waned, with the average loudness of commercial releases peaking in around 2005).
7th Oct '17 11:49:56 AM GiantJumboJellyfish
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* ''VideoGame/GrandTheftAutoV'''s Self Radio added in the PC version is badly wrecked by the game's horrendously compressed audio. Depending on the song, it can either be quiet to the point of being drowned out by engine noises or louder than the game itself!

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* ''VideoGame/GrandTheftAutoV'''s Self Radio custom station added in the PC version is badly wrecked by the game's horrendously compressed audio. Depending on the song, it can either be quiet to the point of being drowned out by engine noises or louder than the game itself!
5th Oct '17 12:42:57 PM CassandraLeo
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One potential way to find non-loud versions of songs is that video clips posted to video services like Website/YouTube often avoid the loudness issue as they are mastered separately. In many cases, versions of albums that are specially mastered for iTunes (which are often advertised as being such) also have more dynamic range (although frequently you can only buy these in lossy versions, which carry their own problems; fortunately, the compression algorithm used to sell iTunes music in .m4a format is very, very good, to the point where many people will not be able to tell the difference from a lossless source). Failing that, people will KeepCirculatingTheTapes of whichever version is the least clipped, or even look for places to rip masters from (full-band RhythmGame[=s=] are one source) so they can try their hand at mixing themselves.

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One potential way to find non-loud versions of songs is that video clips posted to video services like Website/YouTube often avoid the loudness issue as they are mastered separately. In many cases, versions of albums that are specially mastered for iTunes (which are often advertised as being such) also have more dynamic range (although frequently you can only buy these in lossy versions, which carry their own problems; fortunately, the compression algorithm used to sell iTunes music in .m4a format is very, very good, to the point where many the vast majority of people will not be able unable to tell the difference from a lossless source).source[[note]]Specifically, the frequencies missing from iTunes files are almost exclusively above 20 kHz, which is beyond the normal range of human hearing, except for small children's and under certain laboratory conditions - and since the supersonic frequencies have to be louder than 100 dB to be perceptible, the missing frequencies won't be perceptible in everyday music listening[[/note]]). Failing that, people will KeepCirculatingTheTapes of whichever version is the least clipped, or even look for places to rip masters from (full-band RhythmGame[=s=] are one source) so they can try their hand at mixing themselves.
5th Oct '17 12:38:42 PM CassandraLeo
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(Alternatively, a quick, cheap partial solution, using a program like Nero Wave Editor, is to simply reduce the bass using the graphic equalizer, since bass-boosting is usually part of the loudness enhancement process. If done properly the bass-reduced version will sound only marginally 'thinner' than the original, while having more peak fluctuations; the "Normalize" function can also be used to adjust the volume of sections of the song, although care must be taken to avoid sudden jumps in volume between sections. Another potential quick solution is to run the song through a high pass filter, which mimics the effect of pressing an album to vinyl. A CD run through a high pass filter with the right settings will be virtually indistinguishable from a vinyl rip from a comparable-sounding master, and will wind up with substantially higher dynamic range than the original recording. Note that the clipping will still be present if either of these solutions are used; it will probably, however, be substantially less annoying.)

to:

(Alternatively, a quick, cheap partial solution, using a program like Nero Wave Editor, is to simply reduce the bass using the graphic equalizer, since bass-boosting is usually part of the loudness enhancement process. If done properly the bass-reduced version will sound only marginally 'thinner' than the original, while having more peak fluctuations; the "Normalize" function can also be used to adjust the volume of sections of the song, although care must be taken to avoid sudden jumps in volume between sections. Another potential quick solution is to run the song through a high pass filter, which mimics the effect of pressing an album to vinyl. A CD run through a high pass filter with the right settings will be virtually indistinguishable from a vinyl rip from a comparable-sounding master, and will wind up with substantially higher dynamic range scores than the original recording. Note that the clipping will still be present if either of these solutions are used; it will probably, however, be substantially less annoying.annoying and fatiguing to listen to.)
5th Oct '17 12:37:44 PM CassandraLeo
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There are algorithms that can be used to repair clipped audio to a certain extent; none of them are perfect, but they will generally produce end results that sound better than the commercially released versions with clipping. More info on one of them is available [[http://tinyurl.com/pbkquca here]]. (Note that the next page of the forum thread in this link contains rather disorganised information on Adobe Audition's declipper, which is much more sophisticated and produces much better-sounding results but does not have the benefit of being free software.)

to:

There are algorithms that can be used to repair clipped audio to a certain extent; none of them are perfect, but they will generally produce end results that sound better than the commercially released versions with clipping. More info on one of them is available [[http://tinyurl.com/pbkquca here]]. (Note that the next page of the forum thread in this link contains rather disorganised information on Adobe Audition's declipper, which is much more sophisticated and produces much better-sounding results but does not have the benefit of being free software. [=iZotope=] RX, also not free software, has an even more sophisticated algorithm, and is fairly straightforward to use; however, the forum thread linked here doesn't currently go into it.)
22nd Dec '16 3:05:26 PM CassandraLeo
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Also note that this article is '''extremely''' technical; the issues of loudness and clipping are generally only noticeable if you know what to look for and have really high-end audio equipment.

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Also note that this article is '''extremely''' technical; the issues of loudness and clipping are generally only noticeable if you know what to look for and have really high-end audio equipment.
equipment. (They're particularly annoying when listening on high-quality headphones, incidentally.)
14th Oct '16 2:01:03 AM LondonKdS
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Added DiffLines:

* Deliberate over-amplification is part of the voice treatment for [[Series/DoctorWho the Daleks]].
20th Jun '16 11:05:06 AM gewunomox
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* Virtually any recent act that psych-rock producer David Fridmann has worked with, like Music/TheFlamingLips, Music/{{MGMT}} and Music/TameImpala. It can be traced back to Music/{{MGMT}}'s ''Music/OracularSpectacular'': They asked Fridmann to turn up the gain to make it sound "dirty", turning "Kids" in particular from [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P_MCp_-uwVo this]] to [[http://youtu.be/fe4EK4HSPkI this]].

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* Virtually any recent act that psych-rock producer David Fridmann has worked with, like Music/TheFlamingLips, Music/FlamingLips, Music/{{MGMT}} and Music/TameImpala. It can be traced back to Music/{{MGMT}}'s ''Music/OracularSpectacular'': They asked Fridmann to turn up the gain to make it sound "dirty", turning "Kids" in particular from [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P_MCp_-uwVo this]] to [[http://youtu.be/fe4EK4HSPkI this]].
9th Jun '16 11:36:50 PM CassandraLeo
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(Alternatively, a quick, cheap partial solution, using a program like Nero Wave Editor, is to simply reduce the bass using the graphic equalizer, since bass-boosting is usually part of the loudness enhancement process. If done properly the bass-reduced version will sound only marginally 'thinner' than the original, while having more peak fluctuations; the "Normalize" function can also be used to adjust the volume of sections of the song, although care must be taken to avoid sudden jumps in volume between sections. Another potential quick solution is to run the song through a high pass filter, which mimics the effect of pressing an album to vinyl. A CD run through a high pass filter with the right settings will be virtually indistinguishable from a vinyl rip from a comparable-sounding master, and will wind up with substantially higher dynamic range than the original recording.)

to:

(Alternatively, a quick, cheap partial solution, using a program like Nero Wave Editor, is to simply reduce the bass using the graphic equalizer, since bass-boosting is usually part of the loudness enhancement process. If done properly the bass-reduced version will sound only marginally 'thinner' than the original, while having more peak fluctuations; the "Normalize" function can also be used to adjust the volume of sections of the song, although care must be taken to avoid sudden jumps in volume between sections. Another potential quick solution is to run the song through a high pass filter, which mimics the effect of pressing an album to vinyl. A CD run through a high pass filter with the right settings will be virtually indistinguishable from a vinyl rip from a comparable-sounding master, and will wind up with substantially higher dynamic range than the original recording. Note that the clipping will still be present if either of these solutions are used; it will probably, however, be substantially less annoying.)
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