Interesting article about compression

CB22

CB22

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#1
https://www.cnet.com/news/the-top-10-reasons-why-music-is-compressed/

https://www.cnet.com/news/compression-is-killing-your-music/

"No. 1: Audiophiles like to complain about compressed music, but they actually prefer it." :p

I did an internship a recording after high-school some years ago (yikes I'm getting old:eek:). This female pop singer came in one weekend and recorded. I vividly remember her voice ok, not great. After the engineer had working his magic with some serious compression on her vocals; she sounded amazing. Like a "popish" version of Mariah Carey. I remember he make her do like 30 overdubs of the chorus and it sounded like very filling and soulful. Point is when listening studio music it can sound great but once you go out to a live show I thing that really exemplifies the artists talent or lack there of. eg. I remember seeing Stevie Wonder at Jazz fest and the music put chills down my spine. Then when I listen at home the music doest seem as soulful and powerful to me. Sorry if i went on a tangent, I forgot where i was going with all this. Right, compression.
 
DIY Junky

DIY Junky

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#2
https://www.cnet.com/news/the-top-10-reasons-why-music-is-compressed/

https://www.cnet.com/news/compression-is-killing-your-music/

"No. 1: Audiophiles like to complain about compressed music, but they actually prefer it." :p

I did an internship a recording after high-school some years ago (yikes I'm getting old:eek:). This female pop singer came in one weekend and recorded. I vividly remember her voice ok, not great. After the engineer had working his magic with some serious compression on her vocals; she sounded amazing. Like a "popish" version of Mariah Carey. I remember he make her do like 30 overdubs of the chorus and it sounded like very filling and soulful. Point is when listening studio music it can sound great but once you go out to a live show I thing that really exemplifies the artists talent or lack there of. eg. I remember seeing Stevie Wonder at Jazz fest and the music put chills down my spine. Then when I listen at home the music doest seem as soulful and powerful to me. Sorry if i went on a tangent, I forgot where i was going with all this. Right, compression.
Say no too Compression.. I rip WAV only and I can tell the free MP3 downloads you get with records from Wav in seconds . Ok simple science here what happens when you make orange juice ? You squeeze the orange and always have stuff left behind. Or think of the movie The Fly.. You take thing One apart here and try to put it back together over there.. You never get the same thing and it get worse ever time you try.. Wav only for me
 
2

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#3
https://www.cnet.com/news/the-top-10-reasons-why-music-is-compressed/

https://www.cnet.com/news/compression-is-killing-your-music/

"No. 1: Audiophiles like to complain about compressed music, but they actually prefer it." :p

I did an internship a recording after high-school some years ago (yikes I'm getting old:eek:). This female pop singer came in one weekend and recorded. I vividly remember her voice ok, not great. After the engineer had working his magic with some serious compression on her vocals; she sounded amazing. Like a "popish" version of Mariah Carey. I remember he make her do like 30 overdubs of the chorus and it sounded like very filling and soulful. Point is when listening studio music it can sound great but once you go out to a live show I thing that really exemplifies the artists talent or lack there of. eg. I remember seeing Stevie Wonder at Jazz fest and the music put chills down my spine. Then when I listen at home the music doest seem as soulful and powerful to me. Sorry if i went on a tangent, I forgot where i was going with all this. Right, compression.
I'm not sure what the sound tech was doing to the vocals was compression or not, but there are more than a few national recording artists that needed some kind of "help" from the sound engineer.

I think generally speaking...compression in music recordings had more to with finances and practicality imo....I'm guessing, bringing an uncompressed musical file to market was deemed not practical and not very beneficial to the masses.
 
CB22

CB22

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#4
I'm not sure what the sound tech was doing to the vocals was compression or not, but there are more than a few national recording artists that needed some kind of "help" from the sound engineer.

I think generally speaking...compression in music recordings had more to with finances and practicality imo....I'm guessing, bringing an uncompressed musical file to market was deemed not practical and not very beneficial to the masses.
I remember the vocals need a LOT of help. I remember the compressor was an la2a compressor and not a cheap. 3.5k for 1 compressor. Actually the engineer told me one he likes the drive around in his car and do critical listening on the project he's working on. :oops: Reason being, "the masses" will mostly be listening in their car and basic home stereo. Only a smaller present of people will be listening on HiFi systems.
 
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2

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#5
I remember the vocals need a LOT of help. I remember the compressor was an la2a compressor and not a cheap. 3.5k for 1 compressor. Actually the engineer told me one he likes the drive around in his car and do critical listening on the project he's working on. :oops: Reason being, "the masses" will mostly be listening in their car and basic home stereo. Only a smaller present of people will be listening on HiFi systems.
My son initially went to school to be a sound tech...his ignorant dad steered him into biz mgmt.

Anyway, he got to work on the big board for a few projects and it's amazing what they can do so I'm not surprised some of them (along with some sexy clothes and dance moves) were able to make pop superstars out of voices like Janet Jackson's.

I think it was Sony & Philips that positioned a small segment of the population would appreciate and pay for uncompressed music. Ultimately it was a commercial failure I would suppose on most P&L statements, but they were right about the small segment...maybe it was smaller than they anticipated.
 
BoredSysAdmin

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#6
I did an internship a recording after high-school some years ago (yikes I'm getting old:eek:). This female pop singer came in one weekend and recorded. I vividly remember her voice ok, not great. After the engineer had working his magic with some serious compression on her vocals; she sounded amazing. Like a "popish" version of Mariah Carey. I remember he make her do like 30 overdubs of the chorus and it sounded like very filling and soulful.Right, compression.
Riaaaght..... "compression"....
There is a name for this "magical" "compression and it's called.... drumroll..... AUTO-TUNE:
https://www.theverge.com/2013/2/27/...rfect-pitch-how-auto-tune-conquered-pop-music
https://rateyourmusic.com/list/Thrashisawesome/artists_who_have_used_auto_tune/
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Auto-Tune
https://www.antarestech.com/products/
I'm personally amazed that a geologist has made a cheap (from $400) software which makes anyone sound like a pop/rock star.
 
CB22

CB22

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#7
My son initially went to school to be a sound tech...his ignorant dad steered him into biz mgmt.

Anyway, he got to work on the big board for a few projects and it's amazing what they can do so I'm not surprised some of them (along with some sexy clothes and dance moves) were able to make pop superstars out of voices like Janet Jackson's.

I think it was Sony & Philips that positioned a small segment of the population would appreciate and pay for uncompressed music. Ultimately it was a commercial failure I would suppose on most P&L statements, but they were right about the small segment...maybe it was smaller than they anticipated.
DAMN DADS! ;) I came closed to going to U of Miami for sound engineering, smartly I changed my mind a the last minuet and went for to school for digital media. The sad reality is it's a very very very hard industry to make a decent living in these days, especially for the younger folks. From what I head, 70's -80s were the prime time for sound engineers, back before the torrenting days.
 
2

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#8
DAMN DADS! ;) I came closed to going to U of Miami for sound engineering, smartly I changed my mind a the last minuet and went for to school for digital media. The sad reality is it's a very very very hard industry to make a decent living in these days, especially for the younger folks. From what I head, 70's -80s were the prime time for sound engineers, back before the torrenting days.
This in bold and the money was more in the forefront of my thinking 5 yrs ago when we were making this decision, but I've since learned the sound tech field is a lot more open in terms of the job market than I ever knew...Radio/TV/Movie production, commercials...one of his buddies did graduate from ATL Art Institute and got a job in the field working as a commercial production sound tech for a TV station....the good, he's doing what he loves, the bad...you're right, the money is not that great starting out.
 
Verdinut

Verdinut

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#9
I wish TV stations would compress the SPL of commercials which are in some cases over 10dB louder than the level on the news and on the average non action film.

Compressed audio is most likely OK for pop music but not for classical music. If you believe that commercial classical CDs, DVDs and Blu-rays are compressed, you haven't listened to some good recordings. In a concert hall, you can have musical peaks of 20db and more.

Operas are the classical works that demand tremendous dynamic range, specifically the dramatic ones with big choruses. Also, depending on the opera, at least one opera CD was reported as having a recording peak of 35dB over the average SPL. This demands short term amplifying power over 3000 times the average power demand.
 
KEW

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#10
I assume we are talking dynamic compression?
Simple!
I want the greatest dynamic range possible such that I can hear the quiet stuff clearly over background noise and the loud stuff doesn't hurt my ears. If a singer has a powerful voice, I want to feel that power!
Unfortunately, this means the best recording for the car is not the best recording for critical listening at home.
I wish recording engineers would produce two versions if they decide to compress. The compressed is great for earbuds, background music, and car stereos and uncompressed for home - really experiencing the music.
I think this is the reason there may be some Vinyl that sounds better than CD. It is not the format, but the recording engineer for Vinyl knows his target audience is listening at home so there is no great need to compress so much!
 
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Verdinut

Verdinut

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#11
I assume we are talking dynamic compression?
Simple!
I want the greatest dynamic range possible such that I can hear the quiet stuff clearly over background noise and the loud stuff doesn't hurt my ears. If a singer has a powerful voice, I want to feel that power!
Unfortunately, this means the best recording for the car is not the best recording for critical listening at home.
I wish recording engineers would produce two versions if they decide to compress. The compressed is great for earbuds, background music, and car stereos and uncompressed for home - really experiencing the music.
I think this is the reason there may be some Vinyl that sounds better than CD. It is noty the format, but the recording engineer for Vinyl knows his target audience is listening at home so there is no great need to compress so much!
I would refer you to the Wikipedia Article on Vinyl vs Digital Disc Format: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comparison_of_analog_and_digital_recording

In it, there is a reference to compression on popular music:
Compression
"Despite the lower dynamic range and signal-to-noise ratios a vinyl or tape record can achieve in theory (60-80 dB versus 90-96 dB for CD recordings),vinyl records may still be preferred for their greater dynamic range in practice because of aggressive dynamic range compression used for CD audio material (see Loudness war),however unless the vinyl release specifically notes a vinyl mastering credit it is safe to assume it uses the same dynamically-challenged master as the digital versions."
 

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