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Loudness compression, loudness wars.. What exactly it is and why is it happening?

Wombat

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I checked the DR of their new release Help Us Stranger. Its really compressed. DR6 and 7 except for one track at 9.
As intended. ;)
 

maty

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Bruce Springsteen - The Rising (2002), Vinyl x2, Columbia 2020, Europe

Bruce Springsteen - The Rising (2020, Vinyl) | Discogs



DR Peak RMS Filename
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

DR12 -0.40 dB -14.13 dB A1 Lonesome Day
DR13 -0.57 dB -16.01 dB A2 Into The Fire
DR12 -0.76 dB -14.52 dB A3 Waitin' On A Sunny Day
DR13 -1.41 dB -15.87 dB A4 Nothing Man
DR12 -0.30 dB -14.35 dB B1 Countin' On A Miracle
DR12 -0.50 dB -14.28 dB B2 Empty Sky
DR12 -0.59 dB -15.67 dB B3 Worlds Apart
DR12 -0.65 dB -14.33 dB B4 Let's Be Friends (Skin To Skin)
DR11 -0.53 dB -13.01 dB C1 Further On (Up The Road)
DR13 -0.65 dB -15.89 dB C2 The Fuse
DR12 -0.52 dB -15.35 dB C3 Mary's Place
DR13 -1.22 dB -16.50 dB D1 You're Missing
DR12 -0.40 dB -15.10 dB D2 The Rising
DR12 -6.40 dB -21.10 dB D3 Paradise
DR12 -0.54 dB -15.34 dB D4 My City Of Ruins
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Number of files: 15
Official DR value: DR12


CD, 2002

https://www.amazon.com/Rising-Bruce-.../dp/B00006B1OO


dr.loudness-war.info Bruce Springsteen - The Rising DR8, four dB less!!!
 

Sal1950

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maty

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That is, if you do not listen to vinyl (or 24/192, 24/96 rips) in excellent condition.

In some you can hear some small noises with headphones.
 

Dro

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The problem with vinyl data is that it is most likely garbage. Unless you have confirmation that vinyl has a more dynamic master, assume it is the same master as digital, with some extra processing to put it on vinyl. Consider this example:
CD: http://dr.loudness-war.info/album/view/159197
Vinyl: http://dr.loudness-war.info/album/view/159193
Wow, 5 dB more!

I have a lossless CD version and MP3s of the vinyl rip:


Well, probably not quite 5 dB more dynamic range, because most of the peaks of the vinyl fall far short of 0 dBFS. But definitely more, right? Let's look at a drum transient:

The vinyl master has the same clipping, except it got tilted somehow. You basically get the same waveform for the CD version when you run it through a highpass and match the gain with the vinyl version:


Both versions use the same master. processing it for vinyl artificially bloated up the DR without making it sound any better. In fact, it being vinyl makes it sound worse than the CD version.
 

maty

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If things are done properly, vinyl, SACD, CD ... have to have practically the same DR values.
 

maty

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An example, just now:

André Previn, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra - Holst - The Planets Op. 32 (1986), Vinyl, TELARC, Germany

Gustav Holst - Andre Previn, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra* - The Planets Op. 32 (1986, Vinyl) | Discogs



DR Peak RMS Filename
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

DR13 -0.18 dB -17.35 dB A1 I. Mars, The Bringer Of War
DR15 -13.88 dB -36.30 dB A2 II. Venus, The Bringer Of Peace
DR14 -9.02 dB -29.80 dB A3 III. Mercury, The Winged Messenger
DR13 -1.02 dB -20.53 dB A4 IV. Jupiter, The Bringer Of Jollity
DR16 -3.10 dB -26.02 dB B1 V. Saturn, The Bringer Of Old Age
DR15 -0.16 dB -20.76 dB B2 VI. Uranus, The Magician
DR11 -18.56 dB -36.61 dB B3 VII. Neptune, The Mystic
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Number of files: 7
Official DR value: DR14


CD, 2006

Gustav Holst, Andre Previn, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra - Holst: The Planets - Amazon.com Music


dr.loudness-war.info Previn - The Planets

-> Gustav Holst: The Planets (24/96, ProStudioMasters)
http://dr.loudness-war.info/album/view/162913

DR Peak RMS Filename
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

DR11 -1.54 dB -16.62 dB 1-01 The Planets, Op. 32_ I. Mars, the Bringer of War.wav
DR15 -9.20 dB -30.72 dB 1-02 The Planets, Op. 32_ II. Venus, the Bringer of Peace.wav
DR14 -4.75 dB -26.70 dB 1-03 The Planets, Op. 32_ III. Mercury, the Winged Messenger.wav
DR12 -0.19 dB -17.61 dB 1-04 The Planets, Op. 32_ IV. Jupiter, the Bringer of Jollity.wav
DR14 -0.95 dB -22.51 dB 1-05 The Planets, Op. 32_ V. Saturn, the Bringer of Old Age.wav
DR12 -0.80 dB -18.32 dB 1-06 The Planets, Op. 32_ VI. Uranus, the Magician.wav
DR12 -18.56 dB -34.73 dB 1-07 The Planets, Op. 32_ VII. Neptune, the Mystic.wav
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Number of files: 7
Official DR value: DR13
 

Sal1950

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André Previn, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra - Holst - The Planets Op. 32 (1986), Vinyl, TELARC, Germany
First you subtract the surface noise level off the bottom, and then from the top subtract
snap, crackle, pop1.jpg

Whats left in between is the real DR ;)
 

Blumlein 88

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eliash

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Yea but the highest peaks of the dr are ticks, pops, and other assorted noise. :p
Not from my perspective, using an audio analyser like tc-electronic´s Clarity M for instant loudness and true-peak display, most high level events are related to actual intented instrument action. That finding may be focused on finally mastered material, unprocessed live could be different...even vinyl behaves like this, with the exception of some very loud and audible cracks...
 

maty

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Elton John - Goodbye Yellow Brick Road (1973), Vinyl x2, Mercury UMC, Bob Ludwig Remaster 2014, Europe

Elton John - Goodbye Yellow Brick Road (2014, Trifold, 180 Gramm, Vinyl) | Discogs



DR Peak RMS Filename
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

DR13 -0.83 dB -17.47 dB A1 Funeral For A Friend-Love Lies Bleeding
DR13 -3.45 dB -18.80 dB A2 Candle In The Wind
DR13 -2.16 dB -17.90 dB A3 Bennie And The Jets
DR13 -1.83 dB -17.99 dB B1 Goodbye Yellow Brick Road
DR11 -3.52 dB -18.37 dB B2 This Song Has No Title
DR13 -0.60 dB -16.39 dB B3 Grey Seal
DR14 -1.56 dB -17.69 dB B4 Jamaica Jerk-off
DR16 -0.70 dB -19.04 dB B5 I've Seen That Movie Too
DR15 -2.60 dB -20.00 dB C1 Sweet Painted Lady
DR12 -2.05 dB -17.88 dB C2 The Ballad Of Danny Bailey (1909-1934)
DR14 -0.49 dB -16.45 dB C3 Dirty Little Girl
DR14 -0.84 dB -17.53 dB C4 All The Girls Love Alice
DR12 -1.39 dB -14.99 dB D1 Your Sister Can't Twist (But She Can Rock 'N' Roll)
DR13 -0.46 dB -15.37 dB D2 Saturday Night's Alright (For Fighting)
DR13 -3.22 dB -18.83 dB D3 Roy Rogers
DR13 -2.87 dB -17.98 dB D4 Social Disease
DR13 -2.89 dB -19.07 dB D5 Harmony
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Number of files: 17
Official DR value: DR13


CD x2, 2014

Elton John - Goodbye Yellow Brick Road [2 LP][Remastered] - Amazon.com Music


Album list - Dynamic Range Database


-> Remastered 2014: DR9
 

maty

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Queen - News Of The World (1977), Vinyl, EMI, 1st Pressing, UK

Queen - News Of The World (1977, Gatefold, Vinyl) | Discogs



DR Peak RMS Filename
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

DR11 -1.32 dB -15.34 dB A1 We Will Rock You
DR11 -0.91 dB -15.28 dB A2 We Are The Champions
DR10 -0.58 dB -12.99 dB A3 Sheer Heart Attack
DR12 -1.53 dB -19.12 dB A4 All Dead, All Dead
DR12 -1.68 dB -16.30 dB A5 Spread Your Wings
DR13 -0.67 dB -16.46 dB A6 Fight From The Inside
DR12 -2.14 dB -16.71 dB B1 Get Down, Make Love
DR12 -0.79 dB -14.29 dB B2 Sleeping On The Sidewalk
DR15 -0.76 dB -17.97 dB B3 Who Needs You
DR11 -1.07 dB -14.91 dB B4 It's Late
DR11 -5.65 dB -20.24 dB B5 My Melancholy Blues
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Number of files: 11
Official DR value: DR12


CD, year? link says: 2011-07-05?

- News of the World by QUEEN (2011-07-05) - Amazon.com Music


Album list - Dynamic Range Database :) :) :) :)

1998 - 2015 DR8
 
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If you find that this year could do with some more positive surprises, well, here is one:

The Beths ‎– Jump Rope Gazers (2020)


My pleb spec Amazon MP3 version measures as follows:

Code:
DR         Peak         RMS     Duration Track
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
DR11      -1.41 dB   -14.12 dB      2:42 01-I'm Not Getting Excited
DR11      -2.08 dB   -14.17 dB      3:34 02-Dying to Believe
DR10      -1.40 dB   -13.22 dB      5:12 03-Jump Rope Gazers
DR11      -1.72 dB   -14.13 dB      4:07 04-Acrid
DR11      -1.33 dB   -14.41 dB      4:16 05-Do You Want Me Now
DR11      -3.15 dB   -16.43 dB      3:40 06-Out of Sight
DR10      -1.91 dB   -14.12 dB      4:11 07-Don't Go Away
DR11      -1.57 dB   -14.55 dB      2:53 08-Mars, the God of War
DR10      -2.20 dB   -15.52 dB      3:51 09-You Are a Beam of Light
DR10      -2.26 dB   -14.03 dB      4:24 10-Just Shy of Sure
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Number of tracks:  10
Official DR value: DR11
I haven't seen 1990 era mastering levels on anything resembling new and trendy in a good long while. (The mix sure sounds clean and transparent.) While the long-term trend in loudness has been slowly down since about 2012, I'm still seeing plenty of DR6ish releases, or around DR8 when a more moderate approach is chosen. Maybe being from New Zealand is beneficial in this case for once. I've been seeing the most releases with super high levels in very competitive music markets, like Japan (absolutely notorious) and Australia.
 
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