A very good article on the problem with most pop songs today. I remember teaching a class on this… and it’s true. You can hear which songs are ‘edited’ for different markets. No wonder the grammy’s for technical mastering is always given to some unknown work (unknown to me at least lar :P).
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.”
Producers and engineers call this “the loudness war,” and it has changed the way almost every new pop and rock album sounds. But volume isn’t the only issue. Computer programs like Pro Tools, which let audio engineers manipulate sound the way a word processor edits text, make musicians sound unnaturally perfect. And today’s listeners consume an increasing amount of music on MP3, which eliminates much of the data from the original CD file and can leave music sounding tinny or hollow. “With all the technical innovation, music sounds worse,” says Steely Dan’s Donald Fagen, who has made what are considered some of the best-sounding records of all time. “God is in the details. But there are no details anymore.”
I mean, when Britney Spear’s latest song on the airwaves get a ‘good’ review with statements like ‘her voice is better now, more rasp, more mature, yada yada…’ it shows how inexperience the reviewers are. It’s all technological nowadays. Want a verse sung ala Mariah Carey-like quality; no problem… just fire up ProTools and you’ve got it.
*It’s a wonder I don’t get ML into the record industry already 😛 hahahaha. I would have if I had a mac computer… Garageband would have made ML a star by now 😛 hahaha.
There. Enya doesn’t suffer from this. I know. I can listen. 😛