First off, this is the 5th time I've written this post. This is quite annoying, Tom. So, I am putting in a feature request so you can input the blogs via a file upload so that you can write it offline then upload the entire blog later.
With that said...
Since I've had my iPod, I've been diligently converting all my precious CDs to AACs. I spent a lot of time this week also downloading art for each of these records and associating them properly. In order for me to do that, I had to delete everything from my iPod then put everything back. When I got to the Smashing Pumpkins catalog, which is the biggest component of my collection with official albums, live tracks, and bootlegs, I reminisced about driving around the streets of San Antonio in my '86 Mustang LX bumping the Pumpkins at massive volumes and thinking to myself, "Nothing is ever gonna top this loudness!"
Well, I was wrong...
In recent years audio mastering has been more about volume and excess than taking music into consideration. This belief is fueled on the idea that the louder the record, the more of a chance it'll get played on the radio. That might've been true in the old days of vnyil and tape, but little do people know that radio stations take any recording, add 10-20 Db of gain to the recording to make it louder then limit the hell out of the signal to get the recording to smooth out prior to being broadcasted. So, if you're recording is already a few DB less than the standard rock record, once it gets played on the radio, it sounds just like everything else.
For those of us not on the radio, we have to think about it. People have become accustomed to hearing records with hardly any dynamic range on them and think something is wrong if they hear a record with normal dynamics. Also, there is a level of "crunch" that can be introduced into a mix with judicious use of a mastering program that is magical when pushed very hard. However, artists with loud/soft song dynamics in their records miss out on that advantage when even the soft parts are at 10 (the loud parts go up to 11).
I wonder if the Pumpkins took these ideas into consideration when they made their records or if they just took advantage of what could be done and got them to the loudness that they could for the times. For now, I have selected to bump up all the recordings in volume just so I don't have to reach for the volume button when a SP song comes on shuffle. I guess I'll have to ask Billy his thoughts at the time when we're ballin' at the club.
| Currently listening : |
By Smashing Pumpkins
Release date: By 04 October, 1994