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Old 08-15-2013, 11:18 AM
Join Date: Dec 2011
Posts: 1,033
The loudness war
The loudness war is a term given to the trend of recrods to be mixed louder and louder with less and less dynamic range, bleeding out nuance in quiet parts of recordings. Among audiophiles and audio enthusiasts it's generally regarded as a bad thing that's done specifically for average end consumers in their cars. A higher dynamic range (that is more distance between the loud and quiet sounds) is a good thing. Makes the whole album sound quieter, but allows for more detail in the recording. I found this site that compares many many different recordings and their dynamic range and, lo and behold, underworld is listed!

AHDO and OWB aren't listed, barking is taken with a lossy file structure, so i'm not considering it as valid. The DAT compilation is listed, surprisingly, as well. The 1992-2002 compilation discs are by far the worst offenders, with BF bringing up second (with barking removed). I'm curious how much of the final mastering is done out of house and how much is done by Rick.

edit: Doing a quick comparison to others (orbital, amon tobin) even barking is better than most.

Last edited by jetpig; 08-15-2013 at 11:27 AM.
Old 08-17-2013, 09:58 PM
this is bat country
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: San Francisco
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Re: The loudness war
Interesting you bring it up. Although I agree in theory with more dynamic range, there is also an irritation when earlier records that are mastered with less limiting and compression, such as Dubno, for instance, that just play so much quieter than everything else around it. Barking definitely has a different sound and vibe than Dubno... it's harsher by far. Dubno is a really warm album, whereas Barking seems a little brassy and digital. That's not to say I don't like it, but the evolution in the mastered sound is pretty easy to spot.
Old 10-09-2014, 01:40 PM
Big Time
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Dublin
Posts: 834
Re: The loudness war
Curious.... how much "louder" is the Dubno remaster??

I am sensing a lot more space, sounds like the core elements have been widened and if anything is louder it is the quieter features that were originaly buried in the mix.

But I wonder if an analysis of the mix will show that the levels have been pushed up overall.

EDIT: Sorry I should have looked first. They have already covered it. Looks like it has gone down in its DR score since the original release. but 10 isn't bad for an average - particularly for electronic music of this kind.
Flows like a river of Bass Vibration

Last edited by Dunwho; 10-09-2014 at 01:43 PM. Reason: Stupidity
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