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The Loudness WarThe Mars Volta's mastering quality


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#1 Onion-Ringu

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Posted 01 July 2010 - 06:27 PM

I remember reading a big debate here about the mixing/mastering of Bedlam, but here's my complaint about the ever increasing loudness trend in the music industry.
I don't know that much about record producing so I'm not sure if it's the mixing or mastering process, but since Bedlam TMV records are mixed/mastered to sound too loud.
My sensitive little ears are annoyed even by Octahedron in which the songs are much mellower than in Bedlam. I've tried listening with different stereos and formats, but I just cannot listen Bedlam, Octahedron or Cryptomnesia more than once at a time, because I get too exhausted by the loudness. Some of my older CD's I put on repeat and listen to over and over again.And it's not just that the songs are more aggressive in Bedlam and Cryptomnesia than in earlier TMV records, because Octahedron is mixed/mastered too loud also. (Xenophanes too).

I know this is not just TMV issue, I have same problems with latest records by Depeche Mode, Isis etc., but since TMV is my favourite band that I listen to most, I'm annoyed that the loudness war makes their records unlistenable/not as enjoyable to listen to than earlier TMV from Tremulant to Amputechture.

#2 dude001

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Posted 01 July 2010 - 09:54 PM

and yet amputechture is completely pleasant to your ears?

#3 stratocastermaster2

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Posted 01 July 2010 - 10:06 PM

yeah the production on bedlam and octa are much more pleasant then amp

#4 physalia

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Posted 01 July 2010 - 10:12 PM

I remember reading a big debate here about the mixing/mastering of Bedlam, but here's my complaint about the ever increasing loudness trend in the music industry.


i think the increasing loudness trend is a response to the ADD/apathy of consumers. it's not enough for a song to be catchy now for people to like it - it has to drown out ringtones and conversation etc too...

#5 dude001

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Posted 01 July 2010 - 10:40 PM

yeah the production on bedlam and octa are much more pleasant then amp

you're joking right? amp is their most poorly produced album. i have ear fatigue half-way through tetra without fail

#6 danielj

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Posted 01 July 2010 - 10:53 PM

Deloused is "louder" than Octahedron, and probably their loudest album (having compared the RMS level, essentially the mean loudness, of loud and quiet sections of Inertiatic and Cotopaxi in Logic). There is so much going on in most TMV tracks that they would sound like shit without modern mixing/mastering techniques. In fact, Cryptomnesia has a fairly dynamic and quiet mix and is also obviously less clear at low volumes. I don't own the album but someone will be able to confirm whether it was actually mastered at all or just mixed by Omar? It doesn't appear to be limited whatsoever. The answer to your problem is probably just that you like the earlier albums more, like a lot of other people.

The "loudness war" is something that has only recently come to the attention of the general public, but it has been going on for almost half a century. It hasn't got much worse since TMV have existed, in my opinion.

#7 ryan

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Posted 01 July 2010 - 11:27 PM

yeah the production on bedlam and octa are much more pleasant then amp

you're joking right? amp is their most poorly produced album. i have ear fatigue half-way through tetra without fail

Interesting.

#8 dude001

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Posted 01 July 2010 - 11:44 PM

yeah the production on bedlam and octa are much more pleasant then amp

you're joking right? amp is their most poorly produced album. i have ear fatigue half-way through tetra without fail

Interesting.

something about the way the guitars and higher pitched vocals were mixed and the guitars are way loud

#9 stratocastermaster2

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Posted 02 July 2010 - 01:27 AM

yeah the production on bedlam and octa are much more pleasant then amp

you're joking right? amp is their most poorly produced album. i have ear fatigue half-way through tetra without fail

i dont remember saying the production on amp was better

#10 MaX PoWeRs

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Posted 02 July 2010 - 01:58 AM

Pussies, I want my TMV cranked to 11

#11 dude001

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Posted 02 July 2010 - 02:02 AM

yeah the production on bedlam and octa are much more pleasant then amp

you're joking right? amp is their most poorly produced album. i have ear fatigue half-way through tetra without fail

i dont remember saying the production on amp was better

lol, i read your post wrong, sorry

#12 adderas

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Posted 02 July 2010 - 02:15 AM

DELOUSED
LOUD
ALL DAY LONG

#13 johnb820

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Posted 02 July 2010 - 05:13 AM

You can claim Cryptomnesia is quiet but, with my limited knowledge, it is massively compressed. I make this assumption because it is damn near impossible to pick apart individual instruments. Most parts sound like one massive blaring noise which, and I dare anyone to refute, fatigues the ears.

#14 MaX PoWeRs

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Posted 02 July 2010 - 05:35 AM

That's the point of the loudness war, actually. Remasters of classic albums are just overcompressed garbage. That's why, arguably, vinyl is better.

#15 dude001

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Posted 02 July 2010 - 05:55 AM

That's the point of the loudness war, actually. Remasters of classic albums are just overcompressed garbage. That's why, arguably, vinyl is better.

there is nothing correct in this post

#16 BlahSmack

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Posted 02 July 2010 - 08:25 AM

if you are not listening to the mars volta loud all the time you are doing it wrong!

#17 A.N.Other

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Posted 02 July 2010 - 03:25 PM

De-Loused was mastered by Vlado Meller. Most of the albums I've heard mastered by Vlado Meller sound like crap. Other TMV albums were mastered much better though also made quite loud.

#18 physalia

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Posted 02 July 2010 - 03:27 PM

That's the point of the loudness war, actually. Remasters of classic albums are just overcompressed garbage. That's why, arguably, vinyl is better.

there is nothing correct in this post


i think the 'vinyl is better' part is correct!

#19 6025

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Posted 02 July 2010 - 07:11 PM

You guys should learn to use a fucking EQ

#20 MaX PoWeRs

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Posted 02 July 2010 - 07:15 PM

With the advent of CDs, music was encoded to a digital format with a clearly defined maximum peak level. Once the maximum amplitude of a CD is reached, the perception of loudness can be increased still further by a combination of dynamic range compression, make-up gain, and equalization (frequency-specific amplification). Engineers can apply an increasingly high ratio of compression to a recording and then increase its gain until it peaks at the maximum numerical volume. Extreme uses of dynamic range compression can introduce clipping and other audible distortion to the waveform of the recording. Modern albums that use dynamic range compression therefore sacrifice quality of musical reproduction to loudness. The competitive escalation of volume processing has led music fans and members of the musical press to refer to the affected albums as victims of a "loudness war".


Bang bang.




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