Remarkably Serious: An Interview with Spanish Brass Quintet Carlos Beneto Grau
A “rock band from brass” or a serious circus? The Spanish Brass brass quintet performed at the International Music Festival in Yaroslavl. Spanish macho virtuosi first appeared in Russia, and…

Continue reading →

Love in all its manifestations: five new albums of young indie rockers
Everyone has long known that rock and roll is dead. However, this guy has an amazing ability to be reborn into life, like a phoenix from the ashes. And he…

Continue reading →

Mozart effect
Listening to Mozart's music enhances our brain activity. After listening to Mozart, people responding to the standard IQ test demonstrate an increase in intelligence. This phenomenon discovered by some scientists…

Continue reading →

Why music is no longer recorded as before?

When old music lovers complain about songs nominated for a Grammy this year, there is a reason.

The time has come for the annual Grammy Award, and, as always, the Sunday ceremony will emphasize the difference of generations: “The music they write now is not the same as it was before,” baby boomers and representatives of generation X grumble.
And they are right. For the most part, modern music is fundamentally different from that recorded in the nostalgic 70-80s. Last year, the industry marked an important milestone in sales. The Recording Companies Association of America confirmed that “Their Greatest Hits (1971–1975)” of the Eagles group turned out to be the best-selling album in the United States of all time, with sales of 38 million. It should be noted that records, CDs and online purchases were taken into account. So purists will have to turn a blind eye to the fact that LP was not the greatest album. Album, released almost 43 years ago, was the first to receive platinum status (sales of 1 million) – a reminder that once songs were so appreciated that millions of people continued to buy them in reprints. It was also perceived as a quiet victory for those who think that music is too loud today.
Scene from the “Loudness War” Compression of the dynamic range of pop music has been used in recording studios for decades. The more aggressive use of compression in recent years is illustrated by these two patterns. In “This Is America,” peak levels are cut, and the average loudness fluctuates less than in “What’s Going On.” The distance between the peaks (red dots) and the middle level (green graph) shows how much the range of the song was compressed, and is six decibels more in the Marvin Gay song than in the Childish Gambino song. More examples can be seen later in our article.

The graphs illustrate the peak and root-mean-square volume of each song every half second during a 20-second sample.
By “too loud” I do not mean the music of the Eagles, which was cut to the fullest. I’m talking about volume, as the level of sound intensity within a particular recording. Our ears perceive loudness in the environment, reflexively noting the dynamic range – the difference between the quietest and loudest sounds. In this case, the medium is the recording itself, and not the room in which you play it.
A loud commercial can make us turn down the volume, but its sound peak / maximum sound level is no higher than in a normal program that it interrupts. Just advertising much more often resorts to the maximum allowed sound volume. A radio station with classical music can broadcast a power signal that is not inferior to the hip-hop channel, it just resorts to maximum sound peaks every few minutes, while hip-hop radio several times a second. Volume Triumph These 30-second samples of 15 popular songs, sorted by year of release, illustrate the trend towards more aggressive mastering. Many modern songs have clipping at signal peaks and have a higher volume than old tracks.
The graphs show the peak and rms volume of each song every half second for thirty seconds of the sample, starting from one minute before the beginning of the song. Some tracks may have been remastered after their original release.
The loud recording in this case is the one whose dynamic range is limited (i.e., the ratio between the loudest and quietest sound is reduced). For many decades, musicians and sound engineers resorted to compressing the dynamic range in order to achieve a richer sound. Compression boosts quieter sounds and lowers loud sounds, creating a narrower range. Historically, compression was usually resorted to at the mastering stage – preparing records for a commercial release.
In the pre-digital era, a mastering engineer was responsible for this process. In the case of digital recording just a few mouse clicks can dramatically compress the dynamic range. As a result, the music is made more aggressive to the ear, just like in television advertising. In the 90s, when digital technologies were introduced into the sound recording process, some engineers resorted to compression, competing for the loudest sound. This phenomenon, which has received the name “loudness war” in the industry, was caused by the interrelation of aesthetic and economic needs. A louder recording attracts attention and will always, or at least at first, be perceived as being of higher quality than a less compressed album. And because the musicians did not want their product seemed weak in comparison with others. Maximum loudness was considered a prerequisite for commercial success.

The graphs show the peak and rms volume of each song every half second for thirty seconds of the sample, starting from one minute before the beginning of the song. Some tracks may have been remastered after their original release.

Loud music and reaction drivers
Listening to music at high volume while driving can impair the response and lead to a traffic accident. This conclusion was made by Canadian scientists. Their research showed that it…

...

Tremendous frequency power
Hard rock sucks energy not only from a person, but also, for example, from geraniums. Ever since Luther Burbank, it has been known that music and sounds can influence vegetation.…

...

Will AI mastering replace real mastering engineers?
Making music is the most human and human occupation in the world, but in recent years, artificial intelligence has also begun to play on this field. Algorithms are involved in…

...

Yevgeny Khavtan and Robert Lenz, Bravo: “Not Russian rock, but Russian twist!”
The group "Bravo" celebrated its 35th anniversary and releases an album of rare songs. We talk with band vocalist Robert Lentz and permanent leader of the band, guitarist, songwriter and…

...