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Compressed music causes ear loss?
plnelson
post Jan 11 2008, 00:07
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QUOTE (pdq @ Jan 10 2008, 15:48) *
QUOTE (plnelson @ Jan 10 2008, 16:42) *

Today's music has more dynamic range than most previous music.

I would change that to "Today's media has more dynamic range than previous media". How much of that dynamic range is actually used is the issue.


Yes, and as I said, the classical records of the 1970's can't hold a candle to the classical CD's I buy today WRT dynamic range. Today's classical CD's have more dynamic range that an LP was capable of.

OTOH, rock music has always been designed to be played at a steady loud level - 60's/70's rock classics such as "Smoke on the Water" or "How Many More Times" were not written for the emotional and sonic subtleties that require dynamic range to be expressed. This is not a question of recording engineering - it's a question of what the artist wants. Have you ever been to a club or concert where rock is played? It's LOUD and pretty much stays loud for most of the songs. I never go to a club without wearing in-ear hearing protectors.
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Vitecs
post Jan 11 2008, 08:57
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QUOTE (greynol @ Jan 10 2008, 16:50) *
Min RMS power: -65.13 dB
Max RMS power: -4.79 dB

These figures were calculated using Audition's default statistics settings.

Min RMS power carry no info for our case. Most important is Average RMS power.

BTW. How you people judge dyn. range? Is "Peak Value - Average RMS" formula correct enough? Any other variables?

This post has been edited by Vitecs: Jan 11 2008, 08:58
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greynol
post Jan 11 2008, 09:04
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QUOTE (Vitecs @ Jan 10 2008, 23:57) *
Min RMS power carry no info for our case. Most important is Average RMS power.

A question for you Vitecs,

How else are to determine how dynamic parts are within a song? We can increase the window if we like and perhaps alter the reference, but prey tell, how do you get two numbers from Average RMS power?

Remember, Woodinville is interested in the difference between pianissimo and fortissimo.

EDIT:
QUOTE (Vitecs @ Jan 10 2008, 23:57) *
BTW. How you people judge dyn. range? Is "Peak Value - Average RMS" formula correct enough? Any other variables?

Average RMS does not properly represent pianissimo; the quietest parts of a song are not the average.

Peak Value does not properly represent fortissimo; loud passages shouldn't be measured by looking at the value of a single sample.

This post has been edited by greynol: Jan 11 2008, 09:50
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Vitecs
post Jan 11 2008, 09:35
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QUOTE (greynol @ Jan 11 2008, 02:04) *
How else are to determine how dynamic parts are within a song? We can increase the window if we like and perhaps alter the reference, but prey tell, how do you get two numbers from Average RMS power?

Remember, Woodinville is interested in the difference between pianissimo and fortissimo.

I've re-read your message more carefully. Your Min/Max RMS for PPP/FFF have a sense. But somewhat holds me from agree that this is the dynamic range. You concern it as well?

I do not like "Min RMS" in calculations for one obvious reason: even hardly compressed music can have sudden stops. And we will get "good" numbers. Definition of the "perceptual" or "sensorial" dynamic range is something I do not know, but I believe it differs from technical audio definition (max signal - noise floor).

We can get one number from Average RMS Power and other from Peak value. For modern records latter usually is 0dB, so calculation becomes really simple: AvRMS. Maybe replacing "Peak value" with MaxRMS Power leads us to more reliable results?
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greynol
post Jan 11 2008, 09:49
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QUOTE (Vitecs @ Jan 11 2008, 00:35) *
But somewhat holds me from agree that this is the dynamic range. You concern it as well?
It is, though I already have an opinion on the matter (fff and ppp doesn't fit this opinion).

QUOTE (Vitecs @ Jan 11 2008, 00:35) *
even hardly compressed music can have sudden stops.
These sudden stops don't make up part of the dynamic character of the music? What if they are 1/2 note rests? What if it's a droning sound that adds ambience between loud parts of music (it isn't like I couldn't easily think of music that fits the challenge)?

QUOTE (Vitecs @ Jan 11 2008, 00:35) *
We can get one number from Average RMS Power and other from Peak value. For modern records latter usually is 0dB, so calculation becomes really simple: AvRMS. Maybe replacing "Peak value" with MaxRMS Power leads us to more reliable results?
Read my edit.

This post has been edited by greynol: Jan 11 2008, 10:57


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Vitecs
post Jan 11 2008, 10:44
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QUOTE (greynol @ Jan 11 2008, 02:49) *
QUOTE (Vitecs @ Jan 11 2008, 00:35) *
But somewhat holds me from agree that this is the dynamic range. You concern it as well?
It is, though I already have an opinion on the matter (fff and ppp doesn't fit this opinion).

I wonder if it includes "AverageRMS Power"? smile.gif

QUOTE
These sudden stops don't make up part of the dynamic character of the music?

Yes and No. "Yes" - for music. "No" - for our discussion.

Sometimes I think that audiophilies' "microdynamics" and "macrodynamics" has some sense. At least in part that speaking of music dynamic one should claim what time "window" he/she speaks of. Is it about lead guitar sounds really loud or it's about nice staccato passage...
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greynol
post Jan 11 2008, 10:56
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I simply don't agree on the premise. Dynamic range to me is as you stated it, max peak relative to the noise floor. This is a definition that's always suited me fine in my professional life.

Still:
QUOTE (greynol @ Jan 11 2008, 00:49) *
What if it's a droning sound that adds ambience between loud parts of music (it isn't like I couldn't easily think of music that fits the challenge)?
IOW, sure, I'll play by an alternate set of rules. Tool has "clippressed" music that is still quite dynamic.

This post has been edited by greynol: Jan 11 2008, 11:01
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bug80
post Jan 11 2008, 10:59
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In acoustics we talk about dynamic range, both in a "musical sense" and in a "signal processing sense".

I think you can use both, as long as you are clear on which of the two you're talking about.
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greynol
post Jan 11 2008, 11:10
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QUOTE (bug80 @ Jan 11 2008, 01:59) *
I think you can use both, as long as you are clear on which of the two you're talking about.

In all deference, I still stand by what I said...
http://www.hydrogenaudio.org/forums/index....st&p=540652

The media is 16-bits and most modern "clippressed" recordings use all 16 of them
EDIT:...and this often true for titles that aren't as compressed as well. wink.gif

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Woodinville
post Jan 11 2008, 11:17
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QUOTE (greynol @ Jan 10 2008, 14:50) *
QUOTE (Woodinville @ Jan 10 2008, 14:41) *
Show me.

Define dynamic range first.

PPP and FFF do not apply to any technical definition of dynamic range that I have ever seen, sorry!

To give you an example of something that moves towards the direction you seem to be heading, I offer up Wings For Marie (Pt 1) from Tool's 10,000 Days:

Min RMS power: -65.13 dB
Max RMS power: -4.79 dB

These figures were calculated using Audition's default statistics settings.


I see, so, first, music is non-technical in your view. I'll let that slide for now.

Now, then, you're the one arguing about dynamic range. Is there, then, some definition you had in mind?

You used it, what's your definition? Are you sticking to the idea of 16 bit PCM here, never mind that no recording I've seen lately uses that dynamic range, in which case the definition is completely, utterly redundant to this discussion, or are you talking about some dynamic range actually observed in a non-zero part of a standardly produced mainstream pop CD of modern production?

Your "min RMS power" lacks a few bits of information.
1) window length
2) weighting (or not)
3) Where does it occur in the song? Are we talking about a silent part of the song?

Leaving all that aside, I have run statistics on more CD's than I even want to consider counting, and I am quite well aware of the dynamic range that most, if not all, modern pop CD's use, and it's very, very little.

Rock music is not the issue here. The Rolling Stones USED more dynamic range in their recordings on LP, for goodness sake.


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greynol
post Jan 11 2008, 11:26
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QUOTE (Woodinville @ Jan 11 2008, 02:17) *
I see, so, first, music is non-technical in your view.
Oh really? I don't recall making any such statement or implication.
QUOTE (Woodinville @ Jan 11 2008, 02:17) *
I'll let that slide for now.
rolleyes.gif

QUOTE (Woodinville @ Jan 11 2008, 02:17) *
Now, then, you're the one arguing about dynamic range. Is there, then, some definition you had in mind?
The standard electrical one, do you want an IEC number or something? I hardly think I was being unreasonable in providing you an example to address the alternative you put forward.

QUOTE (Woodinville @ Jan 11 2008, 02:17) *
are you talking about some dynamic range actually observed in a non-zero part of a standardly produced mainstream pop CD of modern production?
For heaven's sake, YES I'm talking about some dynamic range actually observed in a non-zero part of a standardly produced mainstream CD of modern production!!!

Why are you trying to pigeon-hole me to a single genre of music? I used the term "clippressed" not "pop".

QUOTE (Woodinville @ Jan 11 2008, 02:17) *
Your "min RMS power" lacks a few bits of information.
1) window length
2) weighting (or not)

Um, no it doesn't:
QUOTE (greynol @ Jan 10 2008, 14:50) *
These figures were calculated using Audition's default statistics settings.

QUOTE (Woodinville @ Jan 11 2008, 02:17) *
Leaving all that aside, I have run statistics on more CD's than I even want to consider counting, and I am quite well aware of the dynamic range that most, if not all, modern pop CD's use, and it's very, very little.
Oh, please! Get over yourself.

This post has been edited by greynol: Jan 11 2008, 11:42


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Woodinville
post Jan 11 2008, 11:31
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QUOTE (plnelson @ Jan 10 2008, 15:07) *
OTOH, rock music has always been designed to be played at a steady loud level - 60's/70's rock classics such as "Smoke on the Water" or "How Many More Times" were not written for the emotional and sonic subtleties that require dynamic range to be expressed. This is not a question of recording engineering - it's a question of what the artist wants. Have you ever been to a club or concert where rock is played? It's LOUD and pretty much stays loud for most of the songs. I never go to a club without wearing in-ear hearing protectors.


Excuse me? As it happens, I happen to have a copy of Machine Head handy, and the peak to RMS ratio of Smoke on the Water (not remix) is rather larger than that of, oh, say, "La Vida Loca".

If you want to argue rock music, let's stick to the same album, ok? Let's use "Lazy". Or even "Highway Star". It's ironic that you chose Deep Purple as an example here, because they have a well-stablished penchant for individual entry at the beginning of songs that force some dynamic range.

On a purely musical level, furthermore, I challenge the idea that "Lazy", which is a rock classic, has no emotional or sonic subtlety, just for the record.

Let's consider "Smoke on the Water" again. Just at the beginning, we have guitars entering at different times, with substantially increasing energy and loudness (both) as the bass starts up, and then even more in both energy and loudness when the percussion starts.

Compare that, alone, to anything you can find in La Vida Loca off of Ricky Martin, live.

Rock music is not the issue, and it's a red herring here. Bob Katz (and others) have published measurements on peak to RMS ratio of pop recordings. There is clear, present evidence of hypercompression on modern recordings that comes about long after rock music.

Yes, GOOD classical recordings nowdays use more dynamic range. Got many? I find my oldest recordings are most often the best there. Of course, it's also nice to find an artist who plays with some expression instead of "tick tock" accuracy. But I won't dispute personal taste if you like machine-like regularity.

(i.e. I prefer Tennstadt to von Karajan any day...)

Here the context is compressed music and personal listening. How many people listen to Le Deluge on their I-Pod on the subway on the way to work? Not many, I suspect.

Oh, and do keep wearing the hearing protectors. No dispute there. Everybody should. My job will be meaningless if you don't. sad.gif


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Woodinville
post Jan 11 2008, 11:41
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QUOTE (greynol @ Jan 11 2008, 02:26) *
QUOTE (Woodinville @ Jan 11 2008, 02:17) *
Leaving all that aside, I have run statistics on more CD's than I even want to consider counting, and I am quite well aware of the dynamic range that most, if not all, modern pop CD's use, and it's very, very little.
Oh, please! Get over yourself.


So, what is relevant, your feelings, or actual measurements?

Do you happen to have a list of Peak/rms ratios for a variety of music handy? If so, show me, and try to convince me.

There is, of course, a simple problem here, dynamic range has more than one meaning. When talking about compression, we're not talking about the peak to noise floor of a 16 bit PCM word. I think we all know that number to our hearts' content. It's simply not germane to this discussion, and it's not in any dispute that I know of in any knowledgeable circle.

Again, the context is not high-quality classical recordings.

What we're talking about is the dynamics actually present in the modern pop recording, unless you are suggesting that the majority of all people (this is a discussion about a population that might be suffering hearing damage, after all) listen to high-quality, uncompressed classical recordings, and that is what causes the general population's hearing loss. !?!?!?

And, while I haven't personally used the term "clippressed", yeah, it's an interesting word. I use "loudness enhancement" (which also implies nonlinearity, of course).


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Vitecs
post Jan 11 2008, 12:11
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QUOTE (Woodinville @ Jan 11 2008, 04:41) *
listen to high-quality, uncompressed classical recordings, and that is what causes the general population's hearing loss. !?!?!?

Just wonder, how it to be the musician... have a seat inside a big orchestra... With one neighbor's trumpet in one ear and other's trombone in other ear. And, make some sounds yourself... Is it comparable to rock band' drummer with monitors? Maybe we call the thread "playing any music causes hearing loss"? cool.gif
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greynol
post Jan 11 2008, 12:31
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QUOTE (Woodinville @ Jan 11 2008, 02:41) *
So, what is relevant, your feelings, or actual measurements?
My feelings??? You must be joking!

QUOTE (Woodinville @ Jan 11 2008, 02:41) *
Do you happen to have a list of Peak/rms ratios for a variety of music handy? If so, show me, and try to convince me.
No, I don't, though you must have them handy since you're familiar with nearly every modern pop title. rolleyes.gif

QUOTE (Woodinville @ Jan 11 2008, 02:41) *
There is, of course, a simple problem here, dynamic range has more than one meaning.
Yes this was obvious from your first response.

QUOTE (Woodinville @ Jan 11 2008, 02:41) *
When talking about compression, we're not talking about the peak to noise floor of a 16 bit PCM word.
[...]
What we're talking about is the dynamics actually present in the modern pop recording, unless you are suggesting that the majority of all people (this is a discussion about a population that might be suffering hearing damage, after all) listen to high-quality, uncompressed classical recordings, and that is what causes the general population's hearing loss. !?!?!?

That wasn't what I was talking about. I was giving a specific response to a statement I saw fom pdq. Sorry to disappoint you.

After mulling over your response to me(*) I thought I might try to "show" you something that you seem to believe doesn't exist. Since you subsequently decided to limit my options (the genre, not the measurement) I guess this something doesn't exist after all.

QUOTE (Woodinville @ Jan 11 2008, 02:41) *
And, while I haven't personally used the term "clippressed", yeah, it's an interesting word. I use "loudness enhancement" (which also implies nonlinearity, of course).
I personally don't care for the term myself but I know many people here like to use it (hence the use of quotations). Admittedly, I used the term to suggest that samples existed at full-scale.

Do we agree that it's use doesn't reduce that lack of dynamic range of a recording (the uninteresting measurement) nor does it prevent one from producing music that still has dynamics?

EDIT: (*) I didn't even bother to read the first half of your reply where you addressed plnelson until now:
QUOTE (Woodinville @ Jan 10 2008, 14:41) *
QUOTE (plnelson @ Jan 10 2008, 12:42) *
Today's music has more dynamic range than most previous music.
Ok, I would like to see some statistics from you. Can you show me a modern pop CD recording that has a 100 millisecond variation in intensity of more than 20dB, other than at the start and stop of a song?

How many, as a percentage of total CD issues?

Dynamic range does not refer to the ability of the playback mechanism to reproduce a wide dynamic range in the context of this discussion, rather it refers to the actual dynamic range, using the term in the perceptual sense, that is RECORDED on the medium.

In that light, it is provably false that there is more dynamic range today than in 1999. There are better players, the POTENTIAL for better dynamic range is certainly there ...


This post has been edited by greynol: Jan 12 2008, 00:00
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plnelson
post Jan 11 2008, 16:50
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QUOTE (bug80 @ Jan 11 2008, 04:59) *
In acoustics we talk about dynamic range, both in a "musical sense" and in a "signal processing sense".

I think you can use both, as long as you are clear on which of the two you're talking about.


FWIW, what I mean is the difference in dB between the very quietest, teensy bit of sound a musician makes and the very loudest sound the musicians make. Really, why would you use any other definition? If the goal is to accurately reproduce the experience in the concert hall, then you need the ability to accurately reproduce that entire range.
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bug80
post Jan 11 2008, 16:58
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Just a thought: maybe the standard deviation of the average RMS is a good measure for dynamics (I won't use dynamic range because that is confusing, as greynol pointed out).
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plnelson
post Jan 11 2008, 17:08
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QUOTE (Woodinville @ Jan 11 2008, 05:31) *
Let's consider "Smoke on the Water" again. Just at the beginning, we have guitars entering at different times, with substantially increasing energy and loudness (both) as the bass starts up, and then even more in both energy and loudness when the percussion starts.

But the quietest of them comes on loud - WAY above the noise floor. "Smoke on the Water" has no quiet (pianissimo or pianississimo) passages. Dynamic range is the difference in decibels between the loudest and quietest passages in the music, or if you're talking about gear, the difference in decibels between the loudest and quietest passages that it CAN reproduce, i.e., the difference between the noise floor and clipping. Most rock music doesn't employ pianississimo along with fortississimo in the same piece so it's not a big issue for most rock music.
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plnelson
post Jan 11 2008, 17:20
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QUOTE (Woodinville @ Jan 10 2008, 17:41) *
QUOTE (plnelson @ Jan 10 2008, 12:42) *

QUOTE (PoisonDan @ Jan 9 2008, 04:06) *

I think several of you are misinterpreting the meaning of "compressed" here. The article is not about MP3 compression, but about the lack of dynamic range in today's music ("clipression", like some people call it here).


Today's music has more dynamic range than most previous music.


Ok, I would like to see some statistics from you. Can you show me a modern pop CD recording that has a 100 millisecond variation in intensity of more than 20dB, other than at the start and stop of a song?


Who cares about pop? And why does it have to be in 100 ms? Almost any piano or violin concerto will have wide variations between when the full orchestra is playing and when the soloist is playing.

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Vitecs
post Jan 11 2008, 17:49
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QUOTE (plnelson @ Jan 11 2008, 10:20) *
Who cares about pop? And why does it have to be in 100 ms? Almost any piano or violin concerto will have wide variations between when the full orchestra is playing and when the soloist is playing.

You mess "long term" sound pressure difference with the short one. Don't you think that giving to the listener an ability to hear violinist plays PPP solo would be enough to say "record has a great dynamic"?
It's easy to create such record. Much harder is to give us ability to listen to the PPP during, along with band plays hardrock riffs. That is why we usually want 100 ms. Maybe 50 ms or even less.

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shigzeo
post Jan 11 2008, 17:54
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how is internet not one of these 'bullshit' media?
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greynol
post Jan 11 2008, 19:39
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QUOTE (plnelson @ Jan 11 2008, 08:20) *
QUOTE (Woodinville @ Jan 10 2008, 17:41) *
QUOTE (plnelson @ Jan 10 2008, 12:42) *
Today's music has more dynamic range than most previous music.
Ok, I would like to see some statistics from you. Can you show me a modern pop CD recording that has a 100 millisecond variation in intensity of more than 20dB, other than at the start and stop of a song?
Who cares about pop? And why does it have to be in 100 ms? Almost any piano or violin concerto will have wide variations between when the full orchestra is playing and when the soloist is playing.

He didn't suggest 100 ms in his response to me, but I'll redo my measurements with an increased window size.

I have to admit I stopped following the discussion at about the point where people were trying to explain that this topic is not about lossy compression, and only glanced at it to make sure it was going along ok (just as I only glanced at this) and noticed the statement from pdq which I must have taken out of context; MY BAD!!! I have not actually followed the conversation and apologize.

Here's the new data for Tool's Wings For Marie (Pt 1). The window size was increased to 100 ms. The first 4000+ samples of silence was removed. The track is over 6 minutes long and has a gapless transition into the next track, so there was no need to trim anything from the end. There is no silence within the track.

From the right channel:
Min RMS power: -63.75 dB
Max RMS power: -5.74 dB


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plnelson
post Jan 11 2008, 19:48
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QUOTE (Vitecs @ Jan 11 2008, 11:49) *
Much harder is to give us ability to listen to the PPP during, along with band plays hardrock riffs. That is why we usually want 100 ms. Maybe 50 ms or even less.


Aside from the question of whether actual human listeners would be able to hear an instrument playing PPP when the rest of the ensemble is playing FFF, none of this is related to dynamic range. Dynamic range has a clear, standard definition that's been used forever in engineering and it's the one I (and others) have mentioned. If there's a different phenomenon you're trying to describe use a different term for it.
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Woodinville
post Jan 11 2008, 20:59
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QUOTE (plnelson @ Jan 11 2008, 08:08) *
QUOTE (Woodinville @ Jan 11 2008, 05:31) *
Let's consider "Smoke on the Water" again. Just at the beginning, we have guitars entering at different times, with substantially increasing energy and loudness (both) as the bass starts up, and then even more in both energy and loudness when the percussion starts.

But the quietest of them comes on loud - WAY above the noise floor. "Smoke on the Water" has no quiet (pianissimo or pianississimo) passages. Dynamic range is the difference in decibels between the loudest and quietest passages in the music, or if you're talking about gear, the difference in decibels between the loudest and quietest passages that it CAN reproduce, i.e., the difference between the noise floor and clipping. Most rock music doesn't employ pianississimo along with fortississimo in the same piece so it's not a big issue for most rock music.



Hmm, let me load up Houses of the Holy here.

So, dynamic range is dB ratio of power?

How about loudness instead of power?

But, of course,you're still dodging the point, which is the loudness creep in pop music, and the question of if that causes harm to the hearing apparatus.

Which leads to a question. Is it intensity or loudness that is a better measure of potential hearing loss?

(And yes, that is a question. I don't know the answer.)


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Woodinville
post Jan 11 2008, 23:16
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QUOTE (plnelson @ Jan 11 2008, 10:48) *
QUOTE (Vitecs @ Jan 11 2008, 11:49) *

Much harder is to give us ability to listen to the PPP during, along with band plays hardrock riffs. That is why we usually want 100 ms. Maybe 50 ms or even less.


Aside from the question of whether actual human listeners would be able to hear an instrument playing PPP when the rest of the ensemble is playing FFF, none of this is related to dynamic range. Dynamic range has a clear, standard definition that's been used forever in engineering and it's the one I (and others) have mentioned. If there's a different phenomenon you're trying to describe use a different term for it.


Missed this. Masking results suggest very clearly that under the most sensitive conditions, 30dB NMR in an ERB is the best you can hope for.

If ppp to fff is bigger than that, and the spectra of the instruments do not vary enormously, there is not going to be any issue of audibility.

All of this argument about "uses all the bits" is just off key here, I think. The question could be restated (and perhaps should be) as "how far down from peak is the masking threshold for modern pop vs. older pop". Given that masking threshold seems to follow loudness very well ...


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J. D. (jj) Johnston
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