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 Ear Fatigue???

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alldatndensum
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alldatndensum

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PostSubject: Ear Fatigue???   Ear Fatigue??? I_icon_minitimeThu Dec 31, 2020 1:54 pm

So do any of you find modern albums giving them ear fatigue? I am listening to a new record today that the drums are so loud and so busy that it distracts from the rest of the music. I want to hear the low end, but should it drown out the guitars? I want to hear everything. Also, this is mixed and mastered for maximum loudness, so it distorts some on my truck speakers. I hate it when that happens!  Because of the over the top drumming and the volume of the mix, a possible epic album won't get played very often if at all.

The album in question?  The Waymaker.

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Staybrite

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PostSubject: Re: Ear Fatigue???   Ear Fatigue??? I_icon_minitimeThu Dec 31, 2020 2:44 pm

I've certainly noticed some of that.  Seems to be worse if I'm listening with headphones, not quite as bad if listening through speakers.  
Also I find myself having a hard time distinguishing all the instruments from each other in modern recordings (regardless of the style).  I don't seem to have that problem with recordings from the 70's-90's.

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Xid

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PostSubject: Re: Ear Fatigue???   Ear Fatigue??? I_icon_minitimeThu Dec 31, 2020 2:50 pm

I hear a lot of underlying white noise on modern recordings.  Makes it unlistenable to me.  There is too much processing going in in production.  Cutting and pasting, quantizing and the like produces very stale music.

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Xid

Xid

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PostSubject: Re: Ear Fatigue???   Ear Fatigue??? I_icon_minitimeThu Dec 31, 2020 2:59 pm

I just listened to about a minute of Marching On by Waymaker:

The drums don't sound like they are in the same room with the rest of the music.  It's almost like they were added to an already mixed and recorded stereo track.  The drums are floating on top of the rest of the instruments.

The overall mix is weird.  There isn't any real separation of the other instruments.  Sure, you can hear them but they get all mushed together.
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MikeInFla

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PostSubject: Re: Ear Fatigue???   Ear Fatigue??? I_icon_minitimeThu Dec 31, 2020 3:37 pm

One that comes to mind is Mass "Sea Of Black". I think my ears want to bleed when I try to listen to it! Rush "Vapor Trails" is another. 

I have heard people say the same about PWR/UP but so far, no complaints from me! I have been crankin' that one. But AC/DC is supposed to be played loud.

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Black Rider

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PostSubject: Re: Ear Fatigue???   Ear Fatigue??? I_icon_minitimeThu Dec 31, 2020 6:12 pm

I notice that a lot on newer albums, too compressed. 
Rush redid Vapor Trails, sounds much better.
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MikeInFla

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PostSubject: Re: Ear Fatigue???   Ear Fatigue??? I_icon_minitimeFri Jan 01, 2021 5:39 am

Oh yeah, when Barren Cross reissued Rattle Your Cage it was extremely loud. I only grabbed a couple of songs and they are compressed and very loud (brickwalled). Same with the last GX album (can't remember the name of it, but I don't like that one very much due to the production of it).

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crucifyd

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PostSubject: Re: Ear Fatigue???   Ear Fatigue??? I_icon_minitimeFri Jan 01, 2021 12:56 pm

is brickwalling the case with reissues as well? when I do ABX on original vs reissue it almost always seems to me like everything sounds the same...just louder
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alldatndensum
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alldatndensum

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PostSubject: Re: Ear Fatigue???   Ear Fatigue??? I_icon_minitimeFri Jan 01, 2021 6:33 pm

crucifyd wrote:
is brickwalling the case with reissues as well? when I do ABX on original vs reissue it almost always seems to me like everything sounds the same...just louder



If an album was recorded, mixed, and mastered properly when it was issued, remastering usually only adds more overall volume.  Sometimes you will hear something new depending on what frequencies are excited during the remaster.  Many remasters want to make things sound modern so they focus on the low end beefiness.  The guitars almost always lose definition when they do this.  When I do my own remastering of albums, I prefer to boost the volume, but I like a more open airy sound that keeps the cymbals and guitars crisp.  But, if it gets to be too loud, those things will cause crackling through the speakers.

There is a delicate balance to this artform, and I don't care for some of the remastering jobs after I've bought the album.  I have gotten to the point that, unless there are bonus tracks worth listening to, I don't rebuy an album if I have the original.

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crucifyd

crucifyd

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PostSubject: Re: Ear Fatigue???   Ear Fatigue??? I_icon_minitimeSat Jan 02, 2021 1:55 pm

so is it accurate to say that these new remasters are just "turning up the volume"?

or they are sometimes turning up the different parts at different rates,
and that would make the difference from the original?

like I said I almost never hear a difference other than the recording overall being louder and it seems like I can get that with the original by just turning up the volume knob...
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alldatndensum
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alldatndensum

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PostSubject: Re: Ear Fatigue???   Ear Fatigue??? I_icon_minitimeSat Jan 02, 2021 2:32 pm

crucifyd wrote:
so is it accurate to say that these new remasters are just "turning up the volume"?

or they are sometimes turning up the different parts at different rates,
and that would make the difference from the original?

like I said I almost never hear a difference other than the recording overall being louder and it seems like I can get that with the original by just turning up the volume knob...


With some remasters, you would be right.  If they were highly polished, professional releases, then you are pretty much turning up the volume to more modern levels.

With some of the reissues that were not professional grade releases, they are expanding the stereo spread of the tracks, doing some cleaning of crackle from original sources (not necessarily original recordings), tweaking some frequency range to make some parts stand out more without actually remixing, and compressing/limiting other frequencies so that you can boost the overall volume.  The Fear Not reissue was more of "turning up the volume" while the Paradox reissues have been more of the tweaking/cleaning/boosting as those were cassette or LP recordings that were not big budget professional releases.

You and I can solve the volume differences with a tweak of a volume knob.  But, for radio and streaming, a large difference in volume of the tracks means that you won't get played or that they have to normalize the volume to ensure that their broadcast is at the perceived same volume.  There are programs that are free that you can do this with if you keep any of your music in MP3 format.

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mr.electric40

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PostSubject: Re: Ear Fatigue???   Ear Fatigue??? I_icon_minitimeMon Jan 04, 2021 3:38 pm

I often notice that the kick drums are often pushed so loud in many mixes now (eq and overall volume)  I have to turn the bass down on my music player or it becomes a wash of mudd...

Modern brick walling is the main culprit...  However what I also hear that every instrument and vocal is often layered to create space in the mix, yet the kick drums are not... no reverb/delay that would create "space" if you follow me...

Hence they kill the low end... decent enough in low volume situations... but in my car... forget it...
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topshot rhit



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PostSubject: Re: Ear Fatigue???   Ear Fatigue??? I_icon_minitimeMon Jan 04, 2021 6:30 pm

alldatndensum wrote:
But, for radio and streaming, a large difference in volume of the tracks means that you won't get played or that they have to normalize the volume to ensure that their broadcast is at the perceived same volume.  There are programs that are free that you can do this with if you keep any of your music in MP3 format.

That wasn't accurate for the low-budget non-comm FM stations I have worked at so I'd guess it's even more so with larger stations. There is various equipment in the broadcast chain to normalize volume so unless the DJ messes up the board levels a lot, which can happen, it's a non-issue. I would expect most are using digital files running from a PC now so the below would then apply.

Any streaming station (or FM using digital files) would be using ReplayGain or something similar to normalize perceived volume. That will work with any format that accepts ID3 tags (e.g., FLAC but not WAV).

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