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#249027 - 02/26/09 03:02 AM Modern Albums with Massive Dynamic Range
ClubNeon Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 02/06/09
Posts: 3448
Loc: Western Maryland, USA
In the Home Theater forum Micah asked why some modern recordings were not recorded well [it's actually the mix which is at fault]. A few replies brought up the war that is being waged against critical listeners in the name of loudness.

It isn't hard to build a list of over-compressed releases--it is just about everything in the pop/rock/rap genre these days. What I'm more interested in is recent releases (last 3 to 5 years) where the producer went the other way, and instead of compressing the mix into a fatiguing assault on the ears, went for a massive dynamic range. Mercifully, "classic" musical genres have remained neutral in this war, so I'm not so interested in these--they can generally be assumed to be good. I'd rather learn of recordings in the style of pop or rock (do feel free to also list rap, electronica, or other more recent styles too).


I'll start the list with an album my second-youngest brother (the real musician in the family) recommended to me: "Me and Armini" by Emiliana Torrini released in September of 2008. While it is mixed a little hot, with peaks pretty much maxing out the 16-bit depth, the lows drop down far enough to really make those highs kick.

As an example the track "Gun", which is a simple vocal track accompanied by a slightly over-driven electric guitar. When the volume on my mixer (listening in my bedroom studio) is set so the peaks hit -0 dB on the meter; the continuous rumble from the guitar's distortion lays at -12 dB. So each string pluck jumps that range, and smacks you in the chest. The bass drum on the title track, "Me and Armini" is recorded with so much detail that you can almost see the back flexing with each kick.

The nearly the whole album is produced this well. The exception is the track "Dead Duck" (I'd be curious to see the production credits), it suffers from the 3 dB of dynamic range which is pretty typical these days. Several of the tracks also exhibit tape hiss which is a tell in itself as to the production environment which could still release a nice, dynamic album in today's battle field.
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Pioneer VSX-1018AH-K, PDP-5020FD, DV-79AVi
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-Chris

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#249028 - 02/26/09 03:06 AM Re: Modern Albums with Massive Dynamic Range [Re: ClubNeon]
CV Offline
Founder, Axiom Upgrade Club
shareholder in the making

Registered: 07/20/06
Posts: 11237
Loc: Richland, WA, USA
I almost bought an Emiliana Torrini album at one point. I don't know why I didn't. I'll have to check that one out.

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#249165 - 02/26/09 10:20 PM Re: Modern Albums with Massive Dynamic Range [Re: CV]
fredk Offline
axiomite

Registered: 12/06/07
Posts: 7146
Loc: Canada
Well, here's an oldie, but goodie. I was listening to ELPs debut album tonight and decided to turn on the ratshack meter. The track I was listening to went from lows of 66db to highs of 96db.
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#249172 - 02/26/09 10:29 PM Re: Modern Albums with Massive Dynamic Range [Re: fredk]
Adrian Offline
axiomite

Registered: 12/27/08
Posts: 6613
Loc: It's all about the location.
Which song, Fred. There's some pretty hairy tunes on that album.
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#249174 - 02/26/09 10:35 PM Re: Modern Albums with Massive Dynamic Range [Re: Adrian]
fredk Offline
axiomite

Registered: 12/06/07
Posts: 7146
Loc: Canada
During The Three Fates. I am willing to bet the dynamics are similar throughout the disc.
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#249177 - 02/26/09 10:37 PM Re: Modern Albums with Massive Dynamic Range [Re: fredk]
Adrian Offline
axiomite

Registered: 12/27/08
Posts: 6613
Loc: It's all about the location.
I used to like "The Barbarian" and "Knife Edge".
_________________________
Half of communication is listening. You can't listen with your mouth.

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#250101 - 03/03/09 10:06 PM Re: Modern Albums with Massive Dynamic Range [Re: Adrian]
danmagicman7 Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 12/16/05
Posts: 1467
Nickel Creek always has had great quality recordings


Edited by danmagicman7 (03/03/09 10:08 PM)
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#250120 - 03/03/09 11:15 PM Re: Modern Albums with Massive Dynamic Range [Re: ClubNeon]
CV Offline
Founder, Axiom Upgrade Club
shareholder in the making

Registered: 07/20/06
Posts: 11237
Loc: Richland, WA, USA
 Originally Posted By: ClubNeon
I'll start the list with an album my second-youngest brother (the real musician in the family) recommended to me: "Me and Armini" by Emiliana Torrini released in September of 2008.


Hey, I got this album, and I'm liking it a lot. So far I'm just listening on the Audiobytes while I do stuff online, but I'll have to give it a serious listen on my main system sometime.

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#250121 - 03/03/09 11:37 PM Re: Modern Albums with Massive Dynamic Range [Re: CV]
ClubNeon Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 02/06/09
Posts: 3448
Loc: Western Maryland, USA
Cool, I always panic when someone goes to buy something I recommend. It's fine to say why I like it, and great when people agree, but when money comes into play... But glad you like it so far, see how that tape hiss is on big speakers.
_________________________
Pioneer VSX-1018AH-K, PDP-5020FD, DV-79AVi
Axiom M22s, VP150, QS8s
Sony PS3, surround backs
-Chris

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