Where do you stand with Dynamics in dnb/dancemusic?

Discussion in 'Production' started by saganspirit, Feb 14, 2015.

  1. saganspirit

    saganspirit Member

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    This is an interesting Facebook page. I remember the 90s tunes (particularly Reinforced, Metalheadz etc) always seemed to have plenty of space in their mixes (dynamic range of 10+). Whereas now most seem to have a dynamic range of 5 or higher.

    https://www.facebook.com/DynamicRangeDay?fref=ts


    Discuss.

    Apologies if already posted.
     
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2015
  2. lug00ber

    lug00ber Active Member

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    Music sounds best when it's mixed and mastered to sound good, not to sound loud.
     
    Zippolisko, Interruptor and Alert like this.
  3. Alert

    Alert Oblivion Fringe

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    truth

    :lighter::applause:
     
  4. Interruptor

    Interruptor Member

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    Truth has been spoken, indeed.

    I kinda find this "#dynamicisthenewloud" thing boring, tbh. I mean, do we really need another loudness war again but just this time about songs being dynamic? "lol m9 this song has like no dynamix at all u compressing scrub" I mean, really.
     
  5. Mania

    Mania i fukin wot m8

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    Loudness =/= dynamics. Its easy to get good dynamics, hard to get good loudness. Loudness is usually (but only) important for club play, but is something i really appreciate. its a hard skill to get right.
    A tune being dynamic is always nice, especially for a drum based genre, and im happy with a lot of modern mixes in that regard. A lot less mixed are squashed to poo compare to 5 years ago.
     
  6. saganspirit

    saganspirit Member

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    Definitely a lot less squashed now. I suppose my point is will people still listen to Noisia (extreme example I know) in 20 years time in the same way that people listen to Parallel Universe, Timeless and Black Secret Technology 20 years later.

    Also, I think we're at a stage where 2 masters are required - one for club play and one for digital release.
     
  7. Interruptor

    Interruptor Member

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    edit// *OT*I think Noisia will be remembered and listened to since (at least I like) it has almost unrivaled engineering point of view, to my ears the guys are quite genius as sound engineers. I have never really felt it being overly squashed eventho it most likely is. *OT*

    The most extreme examples Ive came across have been some "new talent" type of producers whose only point is to get loud wub wubs to sound louder than the rest. Oh god. Dynamic range around absolute zero. Soundgoodizer / maximus. That sorta thing...

    And yeah, club play and consumer release masters would actually be lovely.
     
  8. Saftstein

    Saftstein Active Member

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    What i'm wondering is, where do good dynamics come from? That maybe sounds like a stupid and really basic question, but I'm seriously wondering about that.

    If i have a good mixdown, do i have good dynamics as a result? Or do the dynamics just come from mastering?
    Would like to see a tutorial from this guy where he explains how to achieve better dynamics :D
     
  9. Howitzer

    Howitzer Active Member

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    potentially, yes. A good mixdown will usually have good dynamics. Mostly because dynamics are removed in most mastering stages these days with too much compression and limiting to get them to the current loudness standards.

    I'm fairly certain dynamics are measured, in part, by the RMS of the music which in laymans terms (the only terms i understand) is average volume. Many tunes these days are compressed to an RMS of -8db or above, this has changed the way music is made at a pretty fundamental level, you have to be super tight on a mixdown to be able to achieve this kind of RMS without ruining the source material.
     
  10. saganspirit

    saganspirit Member

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    I agree that they are great engineers but I genuinely don't think their albums will stand the test of time (just my opinion).

    - - - Updated - - -

    Very true and arrangement also comes into it. There's a Metering system called the TT Meter and they advocate a maximum of 10DR (which I think roughly equates to -10 RMS). As I stated above though, I think 2 masters are now required (club play and digital release).
     
  11. Know One

    Know One Living A Lie

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    Not music related, but sound can be to dynamic at times for me. This is especially apparent in movies with stock flat screen TV speakers. You know what I'm talking about..... you have it at a level were you can hear people talking, but as soon as some action scenes start, your blasted with ear piercing volume and your roommate is pounding on your walls. So you turn down the volume, then when the talking scenes come back you can't hear what the hell anyone is saying. Sometimes I wish my TV had a compressor function. I'm sure if I had a nice surround sound system this might be a little more manageable.
     
  12. saganspirit

    saganspirit Member

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    The 2 are roughly related. Because of the problems you stated above, they've brought in a system called LUFS (very similar to RMS but for film and TV) which I think should sort that out.
     
  13. RUSSLA

    RUSSLA DNBF Monarch

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    this always pissed me off so I just download stuff now and rarely watch telly, use VLC, compress the living fuck out of it - Done.
     
  14. Know One

    Know One Living A Lie

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    Intresting, I gotta read up on LUFS. Thanks for the info.
     
  15. logikz

    logikz I Am Not The King Staff Member

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    where do i stand? i really like dynamic range and really really want music i create to have lots of it. i do not put a maximizer or limiter on the master, only for quick and dirty dancefloor masters when everything has to be as big as possible as quick as possible
     
  16. lug00ber

    lug00ber Active Member

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    "Good dynamics" is obviously subjective, so it's a bit hard to give any answer.
    What I define as "good dynamics" is that stuff that's supposed to be quiet is quiet and stuff that's supposed to be loud is loud. For something to be dynamic there has to be a change somewhere, if not everything's the same (= no dynamic).
    So, with that definition out of the way, the short answer to your question is this:

    Dynamic range can not be increased at the mastering stage, only reduced. So if your track is lacking in dynamics (and assuming it's not because you've put five limiters on your master bus) you must fix it in the mix (dialing down your channel/bus compression, automating volume to change the focus of your mix throughout a track and so on).
    If however you wish to decrease your track's dynamic range, you can (and should) do that both in the mix and at the mastering stage. Added compression at the mastering stage is a good way of gluing a mix together and achieve a more compact (and perceived louder) sound, just don't overdo it.
    However, if you want good and loud sound, most of the work is done while mixing and arranging your track. That means prioritizing what parts of the track should have focus and which parts are less important (volume faders primarily, and then panning to some extent), removing unneeded frequencies from sounds (eq) and adding dynamic compression for sounds *that need it* (vocals typically need a lot, a sine sub nothing at all).
    It's simple in principle, frustratingly hard in practice :burn:


    My absolute "favorite" example of shit dynamics is Madonna's Hung Up: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EDwb9jOVRtU#t=216 (can't embed with time bookmarks)
    I've cued up the link at the start of the middle breakdown, which is obviously followed by what is supposed to be a huge drop. Arrangementwise it's done right, absolutely by the numbers. The track is stripped down, and elements are added back for a proper crescendo before the beat kicks back in.
    However, by the time the beat kicks back in the sound pressure is already so "loud" that there's almost zero dynamic effect from the drop. If done properly, there should a solid lift in sound pressure (and therefore energy on the dancefloor) when the beat kicks back in, but since the mix is already so busy it sounds like some quiet clicks in the background.

    Dynamics is obviously not all about drops, I just love using that track as an example because the mix totally fails in working with the arrangement when it comes to accentuating what should be the high point of the track.