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How the Loudness War is crushing Dave Grohl’s analogue ambitions

by Ian Shepherd


 
Dave Grohl’s Sound City movie is fantastic – anyone reading this blog will love it. Grab it now !

(I do have some reservations about the film, which were expressed really clearly in this post from Tape Op magazine – but it’s still a great watch.)

BUT

At the end of the film, we see Dave recording an album inspired by Sound City Studios – and sadly the amazing analogue sound Dave loves so much and talks about into the film hasn’t survived 100% intact onto the final CD.

Not because of some imaginary intrinsic flaw in digital audio, but because of the Loudness Warsagain.

Take a look at the video to see what I mean – and if you agree with my viewpoint, please help spread the word by sharing it wherever and whenever you can !

You can hear the whole Sound City album here.

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3 Responses

  1. Klay Anderson says:

    I’ve been an music/movie/TV/concert engineer since the late 50s. Yep. Ears still work although mostly do restoration now. I have been aware of this “all-bits-all-on” crap since Billy Joel’s first digital album and it takes a lot of educating the customer for them to understand. I totally agree it is a pervasive and horrible “frame of mind” but I think it has a lot to do with the lack of education, experience and knowledge of whatever idiot was in charge of the project along with no backbone to stand up to the “producer”. In the beginning (like last century) there really wasn’t anyway to quantify what one was doing to the music other than the bar graph or pretty colors on the screen–unless you had a lot of technical knowledge they were just that. Just because I have a Home Depot card does not make me a contractor much the same as some key-clicking and mouse-scrubbing twat in a studio compressing the flip out of something makes them an engineer. I really do *like* the movie. What a great way-back machine.

  2. Savard says:

    The absolutly pure truth !

    Thanks !

  3. Thomas says:

    While I couldn’t quite put my fingers on it through monitors, when I put my headphones on I could actually feel the percussive presence and the difference in the drums on the vinyl mix whereas I could only hear drums on the cd mix.

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Ian Shepherd


BBC Radio 4 Interview

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Ian Shepherd from Production Advice discusses the Loudness Wars

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