Wednesday, April 15, 2009

The New Ten: Louder.


Pearl Jam's highly awaited reissue of Ten is out. And I have to say...I was hoping for better. 

The album mostly seems like Brendan O'Brien (the producer - though maybe the sound engineer is a more likely culprit) just boosted the master volume by compressing the audio, then boosted Vedder's vocals to make them stand out a bit more, and a slight increase in McCreedy's guitar - and that's it.

To quote Wikipedia:

The loudness war (or loudness race) is the music industry's tendency to record, produce, and broadcast music at progressively increasing levels of loudness to attempt to create a sound that stands out from others.

This phenomenon can be observed in many areas of the music industry, particularly broadcasting and albums released on CD and DVD. In the case of CDs, the war stems from artists' and producers' desires to create CDs that sound as loud as possible, or louder than CDs from competing artists or recording labels.[2]

However, as the maximum amplitude of a CD is at a fixed level, once that level has been reached, the overall loudness can only be increased by a combination ofdynamic range compression and make-up gain. This is done by applying an increasingly high ratio of compression to the dynamic range of the recording and then increasing the gain of the recording until the peaks have reached maximum. Certain extreme uses of dynamic range compression can introduce distortion or clipping to the waveform of the recording.


Seems like Pearl Jam's the latest to follow suit. Pity.

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