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Old 07-28-2019, 08:40 PM   #1
RDBOIS
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Default TECHNIQUES: Why Compression KILLS music !!! - Was Beethoven right?

Greetings.

First, I would like to say that I'm NOT SAYING that you should not use compression. You most likely need compression effect.

But, I have fell victim to OVER USING COMPRESSION, at many many levels. For example, at the individual track, and the final BUS MIX stereo track. I admit to having KILLED the life of my songs. All my songs are like sausages = Flat and boring, more or less...

As a case in point, I would like say that, most modern music is overly compressed. The dynamics is GONE = straight linear.

Why do I say that? Well...

1) The loudness war = compress the heck out of a song so it can be SUPER LOUD in all speakers, including cheap phone devices. = SAUSAGE

2) If we go back in the past, before technology, and listen to song dynamics we get a new "feel" to what loudness dynamics really mean.

Please listen to this song:



Imagine this song, compressed and limited, and how it would sound now-a-days? PFFFFffff.... It would not have the emotions and feeling. It would be a sausage of equal loudness!!!

Listen carefully to the dynamic range. It hits you HARD; up and down. It is almost painful; this is how unaccustomed we have become to great emotional variations!

Perhaps it is a question of Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder? I'm not sure. There is a painful reaction to having to listen to what our ancestors would, pay, sit and spend hours listening...

Now we have flat sausage-like, 2-3 minutes, of dynamic-less, perverted CRAP, with a touch of dis-harmony to boot!

Heck, I'm also a victim. I don't know who to compose songs that are not part of this paradigm... I strive to emancipate.

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Old 07-28-2019, 11:49 PM   #2
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I too think it's admirable Beethoven restrained himself from using Waves L3 in 1808.
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Old 07-29-2019, 02:09 AM   #3
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yet another downside to digital recording. Analogue was and still is much more forgiving. Not sure that you could get better dynamic range on analogue than digital, or indeed vice versa, but I have to agree about the dangers of over compression.

I have 2 compressors on my pedal board & occasionally click on both at the same time. The result is like playing a loud sine wave with NO dynamic range.
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Old 07-29-2019, 02:39 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zeekat View Post
I too think it's admirable Beethoven restrained himself from using Waves L3 in 1808.
Maybe it wasn't on $29 sale?
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Old 07-29-2019, 04:17 AM   #5
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He is likely already using compression, but in a different stratized sense.

Compression is just another tool. A hammer can be used to fix or kill things.

I wouldn't mind some eq is most of his tunes xd
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Old 07-29-2019, 12:10 PM   #6
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Rock music, and dance music, wouldn't sound quite right with that much dynamic range.

DSOTM has some serious dynamics, but nothing like well recorded classical.


Beethoven was written to played live, by an orchestra, in an appropriately built hall.

Music today is written to be heard in a car, with an engine running, or on Chinese ear buds that cost less than $5.

Listening to the 5th in a car, would require manual volume riding every 30 seconds.


Ironically, whenever TV plays the 5th, in an Ad or whatever, they compress the absolute hell out of it, without fear or favour.
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Old 07-29-2019, 12:36 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zeekat View Post
I too think it's admirable Beethoven restrained himself from using Waves L3 in 1808.
Quote:
Originally Posted by DarkStar View Post
Maybe it wasn't on $29 sale?
These responses made me laugh


Agree with the OP though, I'm no fan of the loudness war. However, the big streaming sites dampen that down a bit by normalizing songs down to a set LUFS level. Hopefully, eventually, the loudness war will be a thing of the past.
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Old 07-29-2019, 12:44 PM   #8
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I don't know if you can compare Beethoven, which is acoustic music, to 21st century electric/electronic music.

Any recording you're hearing of classical music most definitely has compression. The file you posted is an interpretation of surviving manuscripts. We don't have Beethoven himself to direct us.

We don't really know what Beethoven's music sounded like in the early 19th century. The closest we have is the Orchestra of the Enlightenment, which uses period instruments and plays in period halls/salons. I recommend you search them out. The sound is entirely different.

A violin with true gut strings makes a less compressed sound than one with steel strings. The tension on the carved top of the violin increases with steel strings, which is a form of compression. The greater the pressure on the top, the louder the sound. Archtop guitars work in a similar fashion.

The design of the bow for all the strings has also changed since Beethoven's time. This makes a different sound as well.

I will agree with previous comments that European classical music wasn't written for the concert halls we're familiar with. Carnegie Hall, Massey Hall, The Royal Albert Hall, etc. were built in the 1870-90s.

Vienna wasn't full of huge halls. The halls were more like a large studio space like Abbey Road #2. The audience was very close to the orchestra as well.

When we talk about compression, we're talking about a phenomenon of electricity. Limiters have been in use since the dawn of broadcast radio. All rock 'n roll producers have used them as tonal devices. Rock 'n roll is a compression-based sound.

"Pet Sounds" is one of the most emotional collections of music of the last century. So is "Sgt. Pepper." These make liberal use of compression.

Compression is a tool to be used or abused however a creator likes. If you don't care for certain sounds, I doubt it's because of compression.

If you're over 25 years old, you're not meant to like pop music. It's not for us. Remember, when George Martin first heard The Beatles he couldn't make out the sound. He had no frame of reference for it. But the kids went nuts for it. This has nothing to do with technology. It's psychology, social science, culture shift, etc.
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Old 07-29-2019, 10:53 PM   #9
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Quote:
...Compression KILLS music !!!
Quote:
Originally Posted by RDBOIS View Post
... I don't know how to compose songs that are not part of this paradigm... I strive to emancipate.
Handling dynamics in recording is a complex thing always for me. I've wrestled with it endlessly.

Good on you for reminding us to strive to do it well.
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Old 07-30-2019, 12:27 PM   #10
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Beethoven definitely pushed the boundaries in terms of dynamics and loudness. Hell, the invention of cathedrals were likely causing some controversy with music purists at the time, claiming the added acoustical performance is not what God intended... of course, those people's heads are probably buried in the foundation and their ghosts just add to the performers "connection" to be the deliverer of the One True Truth....
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Old 07-30-2019, 01:49 PM   #11
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https://youtu.be/cJ9Wz0ibHzc

https://monteverdi.co.uk/

You're welcome.
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Old 08-06-2019, 03:59 PM   #12
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Beethoven both quantized and limited his dynamics.
there are only 8 discrete levels from ppp to fff.
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Old 08-06-2019, 04:17 PM   #13
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Sausages are flat and boring? I thought they were spicy and tubular?

But Beethoven had no choice but to use the natural compression of the human eardrum. All the time.
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Old 08-06-2019, 05:14 PM   #14
prom
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Should have reduced his intake of wurst
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Last edited by prom; 08-14-2019 at 11:37 AM. Reason: I returned
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Old 08-06-2019, 10:07 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kirk1701 View Post
"Pet Sounds" is one of the most emotional collections of music of the last century. So is "Sgt. Pepper."
ummmm ....
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Old 08-06-2019, 10:10 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RDBOIS View Post
Imagine this song, compressed and limited, and how it would sound now-a-days? PFFFFffff....
yes exactly, it would sound like "pffffffffffff..."
pianforforforforfor...tissimo
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