WHAT’S COMPRESSION AND IS IT RUINING MUSIC?
When you listen to my recordings you may notice that it doesn’t sound as loud as the mainstream stuff. Why? Don’t my engineers know how to turn the volume knob?
They do, but they don’t overdue it, because that turns the music into a loud mush. That’s what compression does in the mainstream music if it’s a corporate decision to sound louder on the radio, instead of an artist’s decision to get the song right.
Compression is when you digitally adjust all the parts of the music. But if misused, you get a dynamic, loud sounding music for sure – but it never can get louder and never softer.
Musicians like me who like to start slow and quiet , build to a peak, and either end high or bring it back down, are not what the mainstream music companies want. right now
When one of my songs was included in a compilation Landmark Theaters’ promotional CD with a lot of other musicians, I was ecstatic ! But when I heard it, my song sounded so quiet, so out of place. I thought it was my fault – now I know it was compression on all the others that made the striking difference.
The mainstream music you hear on major releases is compressed to give a full sound on every note – that’s fine if you leave it at that. My music is compressed to give a better performance – that’s fine. But you get a generic sound that soon sounds like a loud wall of noise with no where to go if you misuse it.
The links below, give you some of the controversy on compression, (or just google ‘compression in modern recording’ and see a lot of articles on this.)
Thanks Corporate Music (the Big 3: Warners/Universal/Sony) for trying to make music even more generic , robotic, and phony.
(Hear how the Nirvana classic would sound with compression.)
(see the graph for changes from 1985 – 2007)
(The Loudness War – wikipedia)