#1
The debut album of a favorite band of mine, Children 18:3, was a clear touch above its sophomore album in terms of loudness (one click's worth on the volume control of my Ipod Touch). However, the 2nd album in turn seemed to be more compressed, punchy, the chords a bit clearer. Not that the first album was clipped or muddy, it sounded just fine, the 2nd album just trumped it on those traits.

What are you're opinions on more loudness vs more clarity in recording? When facing the middle ground, which would you opt more towards?
#2
id rather have the clarity, look what rick rubin did to death magnetic, its way to loud and it sounds terrible when you turn it up.
#4
I'd go for clarity over loudness any day. I've got a monster stereo system that can make the quietest of sounds almost deafening. I really hate it when there's a lot of emphasis on the bass almost to the point where no other instrument can be heard.
#5
DEFINITELY clarity. so much music nowadays is so compressed and has so much digital clipping because of the loudness trying to be maxed out
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#6
I found this nifty article on mastering that had this picture:



Its the remastering of a song over time. You can see that as the years go on, it gets louder and the dynamics go away. Right now, its a loudness war in music. Sadly, the louder you make it, the crappier it sounds and the less dynamics you get. Its not going away anytime soon with mainstream and produced music.

Clarity is always something that wins everytime. I'd take something rich in clarity that I have to turn my speakers up for than some overcompressed pile of shit any day. Thats why I own Pink Floyd's DSOTM on Vinyl, it sounds so much better in its original state than the remasters (though a bad ass nonetheless).

Btw, heres the article: http://www.cdmasteringservices.com/dynamicrange.htm
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#7
Quote by rickyj
id rather have the clarity, look what rick rubin did to death magnetic, its way to loud and it sounds terrible when you turn it up.


Rick Rubin produced it, he did not mix it or master it. it did not at all sound like a production error to me.

ideally, to compete with today's music, you'd want both. and yes, it is possible. it takes good recording, good producing, good mixing AND good mastering to achieve that. that's why most band's earlier albums are not as clear and tight as their newer ones. most bands cant afford the good engineers/producers that older bands can.

it also depends on the music. some need more dynamics than others
#8
The only reason this whole loudness war started was shuffle... some dude had the idea, and I supose it's kinda right, that louder things sound better in shuffle, because they attract your ears a little more. Thing is, nowdays, to my knowledge and what I've been told at least, most of these devices have compressors in them anyway, bringing the volume high enough, so I think people need to start to realise that the way we compress music now does destroy it, and that we should try to make it as clear and nice as we can, because on devices that would have problems with the file not being loud enough etc... the volume willl all settled anyway. This goes on what I've been told about integrated compressors... if these iPods and such like don't have them... well screw it. i still prefer it to be clear and nice.
#9
Quote by sandyman323
Rick Rubin produced it, he did not mix it or master it.



True, but when one makes a list of all the albums Rubin has produced/recorded, then one makes a list of of the most brick-walled and generally terrible sounding albums in recent memory, one invariably finds many overlaps....
#10
In my opinion clarity will always be more important than volume but due to current radio climate if something isn't as loud as everything else it doesn't get noticed.

People are too lazy to change their volume control.
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#11
Quote by alliwant
In my opinion clarity will always be more important than volume but due to current radio climate if something isn't as loud as everything else it doesn't get noticed.

People are too lazy to change their volume control.


That's the thing though, radio has the shit compressed out of it. That and the fact that a DJ will turn it up if it's really not loud enough...
#12
Quote by sandyman323
Rick Rubin produced it, he did not mix it or master it. it did not at all sound like a production error to me.
According to Wikipedia, it was Rick Rubin's fault.

Ted Jansen, the person who mastered Death Magnetic, claims that the album was already brick-walled by the time it got to him.

http://www.musicradar.com/news/guitars/blog-death-magnetic-sounds-better-in-guitar-hero-173961
#13
Always aim for clarity first!
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#14
Yeah, this was one of the things I liked about Chinese Democracy... Even with all the layers upon layers of guitars, you could still hear all the details. They said it took more time and money to get the CD right without compression, but I think the results speak for themselves. I have to adjust the volume knob every time it comes up in my changer's rotation, but so what?
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#15
i know undoubtedly clarity is the clear winner, but i do like a bit of oomph and punch in my music. i'm trying to get used to dialing it down a notch and letting the listener turn up the radio if they want to get punched.