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Thread: Hypothetical Question? Philosophical question?

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    Moseph is offline Junior Member
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    Hypothetical Question? Philosophical question?

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    First off, let me start by saying that I tried to search for this sort of thing but quickly found out that I'm not exactly sure how I can get the results I'm looking for.

    But consider this:

    You have a collection of tracks to be put together on a CD. You have the order and spacing figured out. You're content with the consistency of volume/panning/timbre between the tracks. You don't hear any other common offenders (noise, etc.) in the mixes themselves. The mixes themselves sound good individually. In short, you're happy.

    BUT, for various reasons, let's say that your volume levels are quantitatively low. And by that, I mean your PEAK gain on the songs maxes out well below full-scale. For convenience, let's call it -6 dB. You don't need to compress it or anything, you're happy with the intrinsic loudness/crest factor you've got. Is there any real harm in bumping up the fader an extra 5-6 dB?

    On the one hand, my intuition tells me that it's a transparent change, but it will improve SNR on playback systems.

    On the other hand, my guilty conscience (abused by the horror stories of the loudness wars) tells me that this is basically "using up all the bits" and shouldn't be done, because it doesn't "improve" the way the mixes sound. That this change is just trying to keep up with Jones' a little bit in terms of overall loudness.

    On a third, mutant hand, I get the distinct impression that maybe I've already over-thought this.

    So I'm curious as to what everybody's reaction to the scenario is, and why.

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    Massive Master's Avatar
    Massive Master is offline MASSIVE Mastering, LLC
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    This is one of the few (perhaps the only) valid use for normalization (as a complete project of course - Not individually).

    Go for it.
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    SouthSIDE Glen's Avatar
    SouthSIDE Glen is offline independentrecording.net
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    Quote Originally Posted by Moseph View Post
    You don't need to compress it or anything, you're happy with the intrinsic loudness/crest factor you've got. Is there any real harm in bumping up the fader an extra 5-6 dB?
    No there isn't.

    The whole objection with the "volume wars" thing is the wanton sacrifice of audio quality for loudness by things like hyper compression, excessive clipping and so forth. What you're describing is a simple gain change that has no effect on the character of the waveform or the audio and therefore not only has no real downside, but is probably pretty much SOP.

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    Greg_L's Avatar
    Greg_L is offline Gregois le Bloodshit!
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    Quote Originally Posted by Moseph View Post

    So I'm curious as to what everybody's reaction to the scenario is, and why.
    It depends.

    Do you want people to actually like your music? Then sure, bump up the volume.

    Do you just wanna sell it and don't care what they think once they've paid for it? Leave it as-is. Hell, sell em a blank disc.
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    Armistice's Avatar
    Armistice is offline Son of Yoda
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    I'm guessing they're pretty nifty mixes with that third hand you've got..

    Who needs automation!

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    NYMorningstar is offline Recording Modus Operandi
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    Quote Originally Posted by Armistice View Post
    I'm guessing they're pretty nifty mixes with that third hand you've got..

    Who needs automation!
    He's in the middle of the Atlantic. He needs that third hand to keep afloat.
    Busy recording...
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    TimOBrien is offline Been Here, Posted That
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    What does it say about the consumer and society in general when
    they can't be bothered to just CHANGE THE VOLUME CONTROL.....

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    Quote Originally Posted by TimOBrien View Post
    What does it say about the consumer and society in general when
    they can't be bothered to just CHANGE THE VOLUME CONTROL.....
    You can't expect graduates and the young to do things like change the volume ! What were you thinking ?

    I'm laying it down, but the mice ain't picking it up !

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    Armistice's Avatar
    Armistice is offline Son of Yoda
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    Quote Originally Posted by TimOBrien View Post
    What does it say about the consumer and society in general when
    they can't be bothered to just CHANGE THE VOLUME CONTROL.....
    I know where you're coming from TO'B and this has been done to death before, but how many people actually listen to full albums any more... so it's actually quite annoying to be continually adjusting the volume when you're listening to a playlist and this really cool quiet song comes on and you have to turn it up, only to realise it's been followed in the list by the Chemical Brothers or something equally harsh that takes your head off and destroys your hearing for an hour or two when it starts up at the new, upwardly adjusted volume - so I understand the desire of people to get as close as they can to "commercial" volume - question is whether they can do it without negatively impacting the sound... and in this case it would appear the OP can..

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    flatfinger is offline Use every dam bit!
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    Get your dirty stinking filthy hands off of my Crest Factor!
    Quote Originally Posted by NYMorningstar View Post
    This thread is full of as much bad info as it is good info. It should be deleted not stickied or whatever it's called. Save us all the trouble of reading it and maybe we can all get back to important stuff like mixing & mastering.

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