Loudness wars

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#1
So I bought a whole load of new tracks recently and noticed the waveforms in traktor looked decidedly flat with hardly any peaks or space.

On further inspection i checked out a few of the tracks in sound studio and loads of the wave has been clipped off in effort to make the track loud as possible.

I know that the loudness wars have been raging for some time but nearly every track I have bought recently was really badly clipped.

Is everyone getting used to this flat, clipped sound and loudness is all that matters these days?

From everything I have read you don't want to start clipping your waveform but I would say that 20 out of the 30 new tracks were all severely clipped.

Many of these tracks were brand new releases from well known producers as well!

Thoughts on this would be great.....is quieter better than louder?

The forum won't let me upload a pic for some reason so here's a link to one of the waveforms i'm talking about...

http://djrezonate.tumblr.com/image/31892077909
 
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rj_dnb

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#2
Normaally get mine off beatport for serato and theyre ok on waveform and louder than my wax. Would piss me off if the tunes I bought were clipped coz its a massive reduction in quality and the actual substance of the tune init?
 

d-low

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#3
actually its compression, compression narrows the dynamic range ie. making the quiet parts louder,

it might seem flat, while your sat at home, but you appreciate it in the club when everything is loud as fuck but still sounds consistent!!
 
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#6
I am referring to the waveform being clipped or chopped by excessively increasing the volume.....check out the link i have just attached to my first post this is one of the tracks that I have bought not one of my own...
 

rj_dnb

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#7
That's what I assumed was meant..like when your recording something on audacity and the inputs too loud, waveform goes over the top and if it was by a lot the recording is crap. Small amounts like the odd spike don't seem to make a difference...
 
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#8
That's what I assumed was meant..like when your recording something on audacity and the inputs too loud, waveform goes over the top and if it was by a lot the recording is crap. Small amounts like the odd spike don't seem to make a difference...
Thats exactly what it looks like to me...
 
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#10
actually its compression, compression narrows the dynamic range ie. making the quiet parts louder,

it might seem flat, while your sat at home, but you appreciate it in the club when everything is loud as fuck but still sounds consistent!!
I have never used compression on my master output or on a rendered track to successfully narrow the dynamic the range and pump up the volume without squashing the sound. What sort of settings would use use on compressor?
 

d-low

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#12
the waveforms your looking at cant be clipping because the volume is no higher than 0.0


clipping inherently means distortion of the signal, so your tracks are not clipping, they have been mastered and compressed.
 

d-low

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#13
I have never used compression on my master output or on a rendered track to successfully narrow the dynamic the range and pump up the volume without squashing the sound. What sort of settings would use use on compressor?
mastering is tedious bro, i wont pretend i know much about it . but concerning compression, i believe typically a multi-band compression unit would be used, which may split the signal into 4 frequency bands, that can have individual settings, like you dont squash the bottom end a lot or you lose the impact of your kick snare, but the settings on the high end might use heavier compression to smooth the transients of the hi-hats etc. im no good at it!



edit: haha sorry i sound kinda pretentious here - as i dont kno much about it all. but yeah its the compression making things "loud" without changing the overall volume of the track, and all that shit.

also: izotope ozone is a VST a lot of people use for a rough mastering, its got a multi-band pressor and that shit
 
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#14
mastering is tedious bro, i wont pretend i know much about it . but concerning compression, i believe typically a multi-band compression unit would be used, which may split the signal into 4 frequency bands, that can have individual settings, like you dont squash the bottom end a lot or you lose the impact of your kick snare, but the settings on the high end might use heavier compression to smooth the transients of the hi-hats etc. im no good at it!
Makes sense! Thanks for your input interesting to get some different perspectives on this one :)
 
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#15
New question then...do you think the example track i have posted has actually been over compressed and poorly mastered?

Compared to other tracks i have by other producers their waveforms do not look like this one.
 

d-low

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#16
no prob i just finished a music tech course at college and compression was one thing hammered into my head. otherwise wouldnt have a clue,

and i honestly cant tell from that pic mate sorry, what track is it out of interest? does it sound a bit off?
 

groelle

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#17
^^^^

you cant tell if it was badly mastered without hearing it tbh.

looks a bit squashed, but thats the norm today. pretty much all music looks like this nowadays.
 
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#18
no prob i just finished a music tech course at college and compression was one thing hammered into my head. otherwise wouldnt have a clue,

and i honestly cant tell from that pic mate sorry, what track is it out of interest? does it sound a bit off?
No worries man, don't want to start name dropping its not that important and don't want to start offending peeps! i was just interested to get some opinions on why the waveform looked so squashed.

The track just sounded very flat one big wall of sound with no space is the only way I can describe it.

You input beens really seful man I'm gonna check out mluti band compression and have a play round just out of interest but I think its probably best left to the mastering engineers!
 
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