Monday, June 04, 2007

nick i have yet to hear "boxer". "not criminally" sounds ok. does it have that nasty ring that nearly all modern rock cds have. 'cos i've been opening lots of songs in audacity recently and wow you have almost been down-playing how bad this problem is.
Haha, only just seen this! I've not listened to this record in a couple of weeks and I've only got a weirdly-savaged promo anyway, so I'm not fully up on 'nasty ringing'.
As for the Audacity thing, yes, I am kind of downplaying it simply because it's SO ubiquitous that if one tried to meet it fully you'd go totally spare and hang yourself in the face of an impossible task. A lot of the time, because there's so much of it, you end up over-praising stuff that's just NOT AS BAD AS KEANE (and that last Keane album fucking hell, what a hideous, hideous mess) because it's a relief, rather than because it's done really, really well.
Like, I listened to New Adventures In Hi-Fi by REM yesterday afternoon and that's flat, very flat compared to something like the Guillemots or Electrelane or 65dos, but next to Keane or U2 it's amazing. You know, Dark Side Of The Moon's pretty fucking flat and boring and even (from memory, not listened in years), it's just not corrupted sonically in terms of the sounds being destroyed. I seem to remember a Mark S thread about DSOTM being sonically boring, actually.
And I very, very rarely go off looking at waveforms (partly cos aside from Garageband, which I don't know how to use, I've got nothing that'd do it for me), just trusting my ears, really.
-- Scik Mouthy, Monday, 4 June 2007 08:58 (28 minutes ago) Bookmark Link
ha i was thinking of starting a thread about it after i spent about half an hour shocking myself with waveforms, the difference between a pavement track form 1992 and a hold steady one from last year was amazing. pavement had all sort of wobbles even though the song itself was kinda droney whilst the hold steady song which seems quite dynamic was basically just an oblong shape.
-- acrobat, Monday, 4 June 2007 09:04 (21 minutes ago) Bookmark Link
Compression can be used to make things SEEM dynamic, but the key is SEEMING; on a different, better stereo it may corrupt horribly, for instance. The main thing that's lost is space, to my mind, and a lot of people don't know how to 'hear' space in a modern context. With The Hold Steady that's not so bad, because the aesthetic is dodgy bar band in a cramped venue playing live and loud, but if the Rufus Wainwright album did that it'd be horrendous, because the aesthetic is huge orchestral swells.
Stuff without space gets close to headache territory for me often these days because even with an illusion of dyanmic there is no actual respite. But basically as long as there's some space, some dynamic, and instruments aren't totally squished and corrupted, I can deal with it to an extent (New Adventures, for example). I'd much prefer it not to be there, though.
-- Scik Mouthy, Monday, 4 June 2007 09:14 (12 minutes ago) Bookmark Link
Also I think a lot of people genuinely misunderstand 'dynamic' and think it does just mean 'full'; not the same.
-- Scik Mouthy, Monday, 4 June 2007 09:20 (6 minutes ago) Bookmark Link


Monday, June 04, 2007


Blogger Ian - 6:05 pm

Audacity, the other program mentioned here, is freeware if you did have the urge to go poking around waveforms (although as you say, that may not be the best for your mental health).


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Nick Southall was born in southwest England at the tail end of the 70s, and is the youngest of three brothers. He has a degree in popular culture and philosophy and has written about music for Stylus Magazine, The Guardian and Drowned In Sound, amongst others. He likes red wine, expensive headphones, spicy food, and the Hungarian national football team of the 1950s. His favourite record is the last one he listened to. You can contact him by email via sickmouthy @ gmail dot com should you so wish.

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