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Author Topic: Is -0.0 DB too high for digital levels?  (Read 8591 times)

Ryan Leigh Patterson

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Re: Is -0.0 DB too high for digital levels?
« Reply #15 on: October 03, 2005, 07:39:59 pm »

I'm pretty sure "the next" medium is already here....its called an iPod (etc).  The trick is getting people to pay for the music.

People buy lots of DVDs though, with their DVD players connected to "home theater" systems ... which probably sound better than "ghettoblasters" from the 80s and "mini component" systems from the 90s.  






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Ryan Patterson
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blueboy

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Re: Is -0.0 DB too high for digital levels?
« Reply #16 on: October 03, 2005, 10:29:53 pm »

I'm starting to think that the kind of emotions and experiences that most of us got from listening to music as we were growing up is being replaced today by the "video game" experience.

Kids seem to get more nostalgic about when a particular version of Doom or Quake came out, than when a particular song came out. A lot of the music today is starting to sound like a video game soundtrack....

I think it is all really just a reflection of people's lifestyles though. How many people actually have time to sit down and really listen to music these days? If everybody only listens to music "on the go", and they want the convenience of downloading, there isn't much point anymore in Hi-Fi sound.

I just hope that all my favourite albums are released on SACD or DVD Audio before all hi-resolution formats die.

There is one really good thing about the iPod/iTunes revolution, and that is now you're not forced to buy the whole album if the rest of it is crap.

Maybe, artists will have to start writing better songs to be more competitive.

Not having record companies "pay to play" might help a bit too.

My guess though is that the next "Nirvana" type reaction is just around the corner, and that might shake the current state of music up a little.

JL
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bobkatz

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Re: Is -0.0 DB too high for digital levels?
« Reply #17 on: October 03, 2005, 10:47:03 pm »

bblackwood wrote on Sun, 02 October 2005 19:48

Though I generally don't care for hyper-limited music, it is cool for some projects, imo. The point it, we're still talking about art, and to place some sort of limitation based on your (or anyone else's) subjective idea of what art should or shouldn't sound like is simply wrong.

It's akin to telling someone that they can't use too much red in a painting.


It sounds like you're getting the sound confused with the average level. One has nothing to do with the other. If you normalize to the peak, that's the problem.

Hey, I'm a card-carrying member of the ACLU so I'm totally with you. Freedom of choice and I'm definitely NOT trying to legislate against that.

CHANGING SOMEONE'S "SOUND" IS N---O---T WHAT THIS IS ALL ABOUT. WHAT WE WANT IS:

1) YES, you can "smash it" as much as you want. Get your sound, man, that's very important.

2) All that dialnorm does is set the listener's volume control so he can put one CD in after another and not go jumping. It "levels" the playing field.  In CD changers, for example.

For example, you know as well as I do that the output level control of the L2 does not affect the sound per se....  so limit or clip or smash it as much as you want, but don't make it so that "the other guy's better-sounding (subjective) CD has to be lowered to your lowest-common denominator because it's 6 dB softer".

Discussing the practical implementations of Dialnorm and whether it can even be practically implemented is a whole nother question. But all I'm talking about is  how it works is another and that's all I'm discussing here.

Yeah, you lose the surprise when Red Hot Chili Peppers blows your tweeters after you have your volume control set for a softer group, but that's a small thing to lose. And RHCP's SOUND is MAINTAINED with dialnorm.

BK
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bblackwood

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Re: Is -0.0 DB too high for digital levels?
« Reply #18 on: October 03, 2005, 11:17:43 pm »

I'm confusing nothing, Bob - it's the artist's right to have it as loud, obnoxious, distorted - whatever they want. Dialnorm is simply an idea to try to get people to stop doing something you dislike, plain and simple...
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Brad Blackwood
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Re: Is -0.0 DB too high for digital levels?
« Reply #19 on: October 03, 2005, 11:34:25 pm »

I'm not so sure...the dialnorm process as described here sounds like simply recalibrating the end user's DAC to a new ref level...seems OK unless someone out there relies on the lack of headroom in consumer grade DAC's to get their sound...
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TotalSonic

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Re: Is -0.0 DB too high for digital levels?
« Reply #20 on: October 03, 2005, 11:34:41 pm »

One client came in for an attended session I did and specifically stated that he loved the sound of Californiacation  and would love to get that same sound for his own band's CD.  So I smashed the living day lights out of it (although certainly not as badly as a lot of cuts are smashed these days) and the band and label loved the ref.  Hate to break the news - but some people actually LIKE the sound of hyper limiting.  I try and educate clients regarding the disadvantages of "competitive" levels - but if they are specifically asked for then I'll do my best to get to that place with the least amount of artifacts possible.

To me limiters in the hands of the consumer only leads to even more potential for  damage of average playback fidelity - although I can certainly see the market for them could be made if they were packaged well.  

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Steve Berson

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Re: Is -0.0 DB too high for digital levels?
« Reply #21 on: October 03, 2005, 11:51:14 pm »

I can remember when I started out playing in bands and not knowing anything about audio quality except how loud my marshall could go that to me a professional sound was what I heard on the radio.
Therefore that squashed radio sound was the way to go.
Know I know better but I can't see things changing
until a new format comes out where O db isn't the loudest level.
Infact we may not have seen the worst yet.

David Wilson
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dcollins

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Re: Is -0.0 DB too high for digital levels?
« Reply #22 on: October 04, 2005, 12:45:03 am »

bblackwood wrote on Mon, 03 October 2005 20:17

I'm confusing nothing, Bob - it's the artist's right to have it as loud, obnoxious, distorted - whatever they want. Dialnorm is simply an idea to try to get people to stop doing something you dislike, plain and simple...


We are nearing the decade mark on this topic.

Next someone will suggest a band could "cheat" the dialnorm to be louder!  

Perhaps a special prosecutor is needed.....but who?

DC

Ronny

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Re: Is -0.0 DB too high for digital levels?
« Reply #23 on: October 04, 2005, 03:16:04 am »

dcollins wrote on Tue, 04 October 2005 00:45

bblackwood wrote on Mon, 03 October 2005 20:17

I'm confusing nothing, Bob - it's the artist's right to have it as loud, obnoxious, distorted - whatever they want. Dialnorm is simply an idea to try to get people to stop doing something you dislike, plain and simple...


We are nearing the decade mark on this topic.

Next someone will suggest a band could "cheat" the dialnorm to be louder!  

Perhaps a special prosecutor is needed.....but who?

DC



How many prosecutors are there with sound minds?

It hasn't been two years since the city council members of New York proposed to save money by not providing police with db meters.  
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bobkatz

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Re: Is -0.0 DB too high for digital levels?
« Reply #24 on: October 04, 2005, 10:51:45 am »

bblackwood wrote on Mon, 03 October 2005 23:17

I'm confusing nothing, Bob - it's the artist's right to have it as loud, obnoxious, distorted - whatever they want. Dialnorm is simply an idea to try to get people to stop doing something you dislike, plain and simple...



This is totally untrue. You are not getting the point. Dialnorm is a volume control. That's all it is.

Think of a jukebox with a smart operator.

BK
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bblackwood

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Re: Is -0.0 DB too high for digital levels?
« Reply #25 on: October 04, 2005, 10:59:03 am »

bobkatz wrote on Tue, 04 October 2005 09:51

bblackwood wrote on Mon, 03 October 2005 23:17

I'm confusing nothing, Bob - it's the artist's right to have it as loud, obnoxious, distorted - whatever they want. Dialnorm is simply an idea to try to get people to stop doing something you dislike, plain and simple...

This is totally untrue. You are not getting the point. Dialnorm is a volume control. That's all it is.

Think of a jukebox with a smart operator.

But Bob - you're missing the point! If a rock band wants their record to be 10dB louder than everything else, it should be their right to do so.

I honestly can't think of a reason to do something like dialnorm unless you are simply trying to 'level the playing field', which is preposterous to me. It's akin to telling an artist who's pictures are twice as large as everyone else's that you are going to reduce it by half so it 'fits' with everything else. I'm sorry, but I think it's plain wrong - what's next, dialnorm controlling listening levels so everyone hears it at 85dBspl like the mastering engineer?

We've been down this road many times over the years on different boards, and I just see it as a handicap for art. I know you mean well by it, but I could never get on board with it.
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Brad Blackwood
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Re: Is -0.0 DB too high for digital levels?
« Reply #26 on: October 04, 2005, 11:23:17 am »

bblackwood wrote on Tue, 04 October 2005 10:59


I honestly can't think of a reason to do something like dialnorm unless you are simply trying to 'level the playing field', which is preposterous to me. It's akin to telling an artist who's pictures are twice as large as everyone else's that you are going to reduce it by half so it 'fits' with everything else.



Leveling the playing field is essential in a fair and just society.  Is it an athlete's right to take steroids so they can win, is it anyone's right to drive 90MPH in a 50MPH zone so they can get there faster, can I yell "BOMB" in a crowded theater to create an artistic performance event?  Brad, what you're saying seems fair, but only on the surface.  It's too simplistic to say an artist can abuse a public medium at the disadvantage to those who don't because that's their right.  The picture analogy doesn't really make sense.  People acknowledge that a small work of art can be beautiful and engaging, but there is a misconception in the music industry that if you have to turn the volume up on a track there is something wrong with it.   It's an unhealthy fallacy that is destroying the health and viability of the record industry.  Dialnorm is one attempt to cure a disease that has become a pandemic.  I think tc electronic is about to release a new metering system that sees past hypercompression as a possible tool for restoring things back to some semblance of sanity.
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bblackwood

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Re: Is -0.0 DB too high for digital levels?
« Reply #27 on: October 04, 2005, 11:42:01 am »

AlanS wrote on Tue, 04 October 2005 10:23

Leveling the playing field is essential in a fair and just society.

Yah, God forbid we have the freedom to be different from one another...

Quote:

Is it an athlete's right to take steroids so they can win

Steroids are illegal and banned in sports, loud CD's are not.

Quote:

is it anyone's right to drive 90MPH in a 50MPH zone so they can get there faster

Speeding is illegal and dangerous, loud CD's are not.

Quote:

can I yell "BOMB" in a crowded theater to create an artistic performance event?

Nope, that's illegal too, loud CD's are not.

None of your analogies above relate to art, only to illegal activities. Why is this so hard to comprehend?

Again, I guess we'll have to agree to disagree, as I see freedom for the art to be more important than anything else. What you're suggesting is simply a band-aid for the issue instead of a cure, and will only restrict the artist's ability to express themselves. I'm not cool with that.
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Brad Blackwood
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Re: Is -0.0 DB too high for digital levels?
« Reply #28 on: October 04, 2005, 11:48:14 am »

Those activities are illegal because they are destructive to society and give an unfair advantage to the perps.  Abusing a medium to drown out non-abusers is the same thing.  It's not illegal because nobody dies, except for a lot of good music.
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“A working class hero is something to be,
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John Lennon

"Large signals can actually be counterproductive.  If I scream at you over the phone, you don’t hear me better. If I shine a bright light in your eyes, you don’t see better.”
Dr. C.T. Rubin, biomechanical engineer

blueboy

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Re: Is -0.0 DB too high for digital levels?
« Reply #29 on: October 04, 2005, 12:36:39 pm »

If the compatibility issues were all taken care of with DualDisc, that would seem to make the most sense.

The CD side would continue to be consistent with the levels that consumers expect. You couldn't accidentally flip it over and play the wrong side in a CD player and have a total change in playback volume because it couldn't read the DVD side anyway.

People "could" flip the disc over by mistake when playing the disc back on a DVD player, as it can read both the CD and the DVD sides though. But I think most people are much more aware of setting the playback volume while listening to a DVD player due to the wide dynamic range of movie soundtracks, so there is less likely to be any speaker blowouts.

Most consumers already appreciate the benefit of full range dynamics on their home theater systems, so associating full range music playback on the same system may help to keep it alive. The great thing is you wouldn't have to buy a dedicated SACD or DVD Audio player...the ability is just "there" in the DVD player you already own for watching movies.  

This way, no one has to do anything other than the player manufacturers making sure that new designs are capable of DualDisc playback.

JL
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