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Not testing your patience ;) Modern tunes and bad sounds.

L5730

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#1
Hello.
First up, if you like the artist or that song, don't take it as a personal attack or insult. We all like different things.

So, I've got new cheapy headphones and am running them in, some EQ dialled in with EQ APO and a nice VST plugin.
Spotify (free) playing some modern music of 'today'. Ariana Grande, Ed Sheeran, Kanye West, Dua Lipa, Saleena Gomez and a LOT of people and bands I've never heard of!

A track called "Follow God" comes on by Kanye West. It sounds lo-fi crackly, fuzzy and fluffy. I don't have things turned up loud, but it sounds like my new headphones have just died!
So many of these songs have processed sounds that are horrific.

I heard a bit of Metallica's Death Magnetic album on the radio a while back. Just a sickness inducing dense and congested mess of sound. Baked in clipping distortion. It just didn't have a pleasant sound. Mind you, I only like their Black album, so I am not a fan.

But what I am describing and hearing on this modern stuff goes beyond that, it actually sound offensively mangled. I don't even understand why the sounds are processed the way they are. We've had broken windows and strange sounds recorded for years, but this is silly.

The other thing is that this all sounds the same :p Gimme my Steely Dan lossless playlist :p

Don't take this post too seriously ;)
 

pwjazz

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#2
A track called "Follow God" comes on by Kanye West. It sounds lo-fi crackly, fuzzy and fluffy
You caught my curiosity so I listened to this song. The lo-fi motown sounding sample is obviously meant to sound old timey like it's coming from an old LP or something, which I'm cool with. In fact, overall I kind of like the song at a musical level. But dear lord that kick drum is just wrong. They pushed it so hard it's audibly clipping. Excuse me while I go bandage my ears.
 

KozmoNaut

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#4
You certainly picked some of the very worst offenders. Death Magnetic is legendary for how botched its sound is, to the extent that people seek out the tracks ripped from Guitar Hero, because the mastering is so much better.

Thankfully, the loudness war mastering is not nearly as bad as it was in the early 2000s. Mainstream music is still mixed rather loud and compressed, but at least the compressors have gotten a lot better, and the techs are much better at using them, especially sidechain compression.

Still, I listen to a lot of music that needs -12dB or so Replaygain, and I don't find it particularly offensive when the music is supposed to be noisy and aggressive. As long as it's not clipping, I'm OK with it. Sometimes it makes the music a bit flat, dulling the impact from drums and such. But once in a while I get an album where the mastering is just great and full and with the proper impact, which is a nice breath of fresh air.

And then I spin some Slaughter, mid-80s death/thrash metal with the most in-your-face drum sound that modern bands wish they could have, just to balance things out ;-)
 

Wombat

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#5

Aussie Boomer. Alpha-male Kangaroo. Not to be messed with. Now you know why older Aussie males need to be respected. :p
hLluR.jpg


Meanwhile the wombat eats roots and leaves. Bugger, missing commas. ;)
 
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Wombat

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#6
You certainly picked some of the very worst offenders. Death Magnetic is legendary for how botched its sound is, to the extent that people seek out the tracks ripped from Guitar Hero, because the mastering is so much better.

Thankfully, the loudness war mastering is not nearly as bad as it was in the early 2000s. Mainstream music is still mixed rather loud and compressed, but at least the compressors have gotten a lot better, and the techs are much better at using them, especially sidechain compression.

Still, I listen to a lot of music that needs -12dB or so Replaygain, and I don't find it particularly offensive when the music is supposed to be noisy and aggressive. As long as it's not clipping, I'm OK with it. Sometimes it makes the music a bit flat, dulling the impact from drums and such. But once in a while I get an album where the mastering is just great and full and with the proper impact, which is a nice breath of fresh air.

And then I spin some Slaughter, mid-80s death/thrash metal with the most in-your-face drum sound that modern bands wish they could have, just to balance things out ;-)

If artists wish to issue such albums, so be it. Purchasing is not compulsory and the releases can be auditioned on the net, so no surprises.

The loudness war thing is tedious.

Good advice even for the non-religious:

god-grant-me-the-serenity-to-accept-the-things-i-cannot-change-158.jpg


Sometimes I think the fetish for DR is a bit DeRanged.


IMNSHO. ;)
 
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L5730

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#7
You caught my curiosity so I listened to this song. The lo-fi motown sounding sample is obviously meant to sound old timey like it's coming from an old LP or something, which I'm cool with. In fact, overall I kind of like the song at a musical level. But dear lord that kick drum is just wrong. They pushed it so hard it's audibly clipping. Excuse me while I go bandage my ears.
Yes, well the sample has been processed to sound even more old-timey. When I heard that guys voice, I thought Kanye was pretty good, then I actually heard Kanye come in - boo, bring the other guy back :p
I think the sample may have been over processed to sound extra fuzzy and fluffy, but it's obvious that it's supposed to sound oldish lo-fi.
You got it, that kick drum and other sounds, they just sound like knackered headphones. Yuk!

I'm in my mid 30s - does that make make a boomer? I don't have a smart phone and only recently got a tablet. I think I am now classed as 'old' :p
Gimme Patsy Cline over Taylor Swift, or Sam Cooke over Drake.

You certainly picked some of the very worst offenders. Death Magnetic is legendary for how botched its sound is, to the extent that people seek out the tracks ripped from Guitar Hero, because the mastering is so much better.

Thankfully, the loudness war mastering is not nearly as bad as it was in the early 2000s. Mainstream music is still mixed rather loud and compressed, but at least the compressors have gotten a lot better, and the techs are much better at using them, especially sidechain compression.

Still, I listen to a lot of music that needs -12dB or so Replaygain, and I don't find it particularly offensive when the music is supposed to be noisy and aggressive. As long as it's not clipping, I'm OK with it. Sometimes it makes the music a bit flat, dulling the impact from drums and such. But once in a while I get an album where the mastering is just great and full and with the proper impact, which is a nice breath of fresh air.

And then I spin some Slaughter, mid-80s death/thrash metal with the most in-your-face drum sound that modern bands wish they could have, just to balance things out ;-)
Not really talking about DR / Loudness wars. More talking about processed sound to sound a particular way. Deathmagnetic is a poster boy for 'urgh' sound, clipping being baked in etc. Maybe that is what they wanted to create though, it certainly sounds claustrophobic and difficult to listen to. The modern stuff in that Spotify playlist had me scratching my head wondering just why someone thought it was a good idea to process some sound the way they did, or include them where they distract from the song. It'd be like putting a loud triangle recording in the middle of a Metal track, the ear would be drawn to it and would struggle to focus on anything much else.
 

L5730

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#8
Haha, or don't click Spotify playlists with "today" in it :p
Funnily enough, I played some of an "audiophile" playlist on Spotify too, and that had Boney M in it!

Where is the upside down smiley face emoticon? Hahaha!
 

Frank Dernie

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#11
I thought Kanye was pretty good, then I actually heard Kanye come in - boo, bring the other guy back
I wouldn't judge his studio stuff but somebody sent me a link to him singing "Bohemian Rhapsody" a couple of years ago. It was pitiful. He was completely out of tune and when he got to a high bit he stopped singing and stuck the microphone out towards the audience for them to sing it.
I was shocked how weak, out of control and small in range his voice is.
Amusingly a couple of months later I saw a meme which said "If somebody sends you a link labelled "Kanye singing Bohemian Rhapsody" don't open it, it is Kanye singing Bohemian Rhapsody. It was maybe a joke but it was actually good advice. His voice is crap.
 

Ceburaska

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#12
@L5730 , I prefer Justice For All compared to the Black album :)
All you Jonny-come-latelys! It’s Ride the Lightning for me o_O
Death Magnetic is their only album I don’t physically own. Mind you, I kinda wish I hadn’t bought St Anger.
 

Ceburaska

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#13
I wouldn't judge his studio stuff but somebody sent me a link to him singing "Bohemian Rhapsody" a couple of years ago. It was pitiful. He was completely out of tune and when he got to a high bit he stopped singing and stuck the microphone out towards the audience for them to sing it.
I was shocked how weak, out of control and small in range his voice is.
Amusingly a couple of months later I saw a meme which said "If somebody sends you a link labelled "Kanye singing Bohemian Rhapsody" don't open it, it is Kanye singing Bohemian Rhapsody. It was maybe a joke but it was actually good advice. His voice is crap.
I can’t believe I’m saying this, but it’s a bit unfair to judge him for not being a good singer. Hip hop ain’t singing. And I don’t mean this pejoratively.
Of course, my view might be coloured by the fact that I think hip hop is largely performed by people who can’t sing, so maybe I am being pejorative. Unsure. Still, I’m pretty sure there are plenty of ‘real’ singers who are just as bad as Kanye in live performances. Let alone trying to do a Freddie.
 

KozmoNaut

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#14
All you Jonny-come-latelys! It’s Ride the Lightning for me o_O
Death Magnetic is their only album I don’t physically own. Mind you, I kinda wish I hadn’t bought St Anger.
St. Anger has the greatest brutal death metal snare drum sound. It's just a shame the rest of the music is so dull.
 

L5730

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#15
This thread is turning into two simultaneous conversations, one about whether or not Kanye can sing and the other about what album(s) of Metallic you own.

Shhh...don't tell anyone, but I have got Ariana Grande's "No Tears Left To Cry" stuck in my head. There is something about that track.

Is Spotify free limited to medium bitrate mp3? 160 kbps or something?
 

raif71

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#16
This thread is turning into two simultaneous conversations, one about whether or not Kanye can sing and the other about what album(s) of Metallic you own.

Shhh...don't tell anyone, but I have got Ariana Grande's "No Tears Left To Cry" stuck in my head. There is something about that track.

Is Spotify free limited to medium bitrate mp3? 160 kbps or something?
To me, it's this song that can stick to your head .... :)
 

KozmoNaut

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#17
Is Spotify free limited to medium bitrate mp3? 160 kbps or something?
160kbps Ogg Vorbis, to be exact.

"Low quality" is 96kbps and "high"/"premium" is 320kbps.

The mobile app by default switches bitrates to match your connection speed.
 

BillW

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#18
This thread is turning into two simultaneous conversations, one about whether or not Kanye can sing and the other about what album(s) of Metallic you own.

Shhh...don't tell anyone, but I have got Ariana Grande's "No Tears Left To Cry" stuck in my head. There is something about that track.

Is Spotify free limited to medium bitrate mp3? 160 kbps or something?
Lol! Ariana Grande is way way out of my demographic but since she's on heavy rotation on terrestrial radio I don't mind her. I just played "No Tears Left To Cry" on Spotify Premium to take a listen on my system. Got to say it was a pretty good beat. My subs were working the low notes on that one. My spouse came up stairs and said "what happened to David Brubeck?" haha
 

Wombat

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#20
The last of the Boomers turned 30 in 1995! Don't confuse me with Gen X. I'm a Boomer born in1963. OK?
And probably put starting a future ahead of lifestyle spending and an entitlement attitude re living near CBDs(very expensive).

Disclosure: I am a Baby Boomer(1947) with university educated Millennial children who had a much more comfortable upbringing than myself and yet blame Baby Boomers for the Capitalist efforts which have turned an economically socially progressive time back toward the earlier industrial era.

When I asked my son's wife(professional Town Planner) if her antipathy toward her Baby-Boomer parents(high school teachers) assets would make her refuse any inheritance from them she was lost for words.
 
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