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the death of high fidelity January 8, 2008

Posted by AP in music.
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robert levine at rolling stone claims that technology is ruining music:

Over the past decade and a half, a revolution in recording technology has changed the way albums are produced, mixed and mastered — almost always for the worse. “They make it loud to get [listeners’] attention,” Bendeth says. Engineers do that by applying dynamic range compression, which reduces the difference between the loudest and softest sounds in a song. Like many of his peers, Bendeth believes that relying too much on this effect can obscure sonic detail, rob music of its emotional power and leave listeners with what engineers call ear fatigue. “I think most everything is mastered a little too loud,” Bendeth says. “The industry decided that it’s a volume contest.

i agree that remastering old material to be more pop-palatable can ruin it, but disagree with the general principle that loud recording is bad. i guess levine missed out on the last thirty years of this.

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