Turn me up! But not too much…

I’ve complained before about how loud music on the radio is getting. Part of it is the radio stations and part is the music itself being recorded at high levels of volume and compression, so the dynamic range of the recording is flattened out. No, I’m not going to rant about it now. But I will point to a couple of links.

ArtsJournal cited an article in the Chicago Tribune from January 1 about a new organization whose mission is to promote the idea that recorded music doesn’t have to be extremely loud with no quiet parts. The organization is called Turn Me Up!. Their website has links to many articles supporting their position that musicians should have the freedom to choose making a record that you might want to turn up the volume to hear. They make the note that if you have to turn down the volume of a CD that’s mastered at a uniformly high volume, it might sound like crap. Plus, there’s a definite benefit to the ears to have a little moment of relative calm so they’re not overstimulated and tired out.

Turn Me Up! isn’t against loud music when appropriate. They just want musicians to know they can make quieter music that doesn’t have to be blasted just to compete.

Edited to add (9:50 p.m. ET 1/3/08): Rolling Stone posted a huge article titled The Death of High Fidelity: In the age of MP3s, sound quality is worse than ever.

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About songdogmi

I'm a longhaired almost-hippie stuck in the inner suburbs of a major rust-belt metropolis who's thoughtful, creative, and kind of geeky. In exchange for a paycheck I run around in a cubicle maze most days. When I escape, I play music, hang out in coffee houses, dink around on the computer, take naps, and think I should be off in the woods somewhere. Every once in a while I get in my car and drive far, far away, though I've always come back so far.
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2 Responses to Turn me up! But not too much…

  1. rambear says:

    I noted with interest the recent Rolling Stone commentary about how MP3 compression is compromising the fidelity of music. Granted that is a point, but let us revisit how we first heard some of the greatest music of the late 1960’s and earlier–AM radio! Anyone want to quibble about the fidelity range of that medium?

    Personally, I’d say the least we have to worry about is the payload of the delivery media. Let’s see some great creative minds behind new music and the users will flock to them–be it MP3 users, audiophiles or people who listen on little plastic boxes!

    • songdogmi says:

      Is that the link I just added above? I found the article about five minutes ago, came here to add it, and found you’d commented. I haven’t read the RS article all the way through yet, but I will before the night is out.

      I think you’re right: We heard some mighty fine music on the radio, AM and FM, and the sonics were never good but it captured us anyway, from the NBC orchestra under Toscanini to Motown to rock and beyond. The biggest problem now may be that so many people are satisfied with mediocrity — and satisfied with whatever they’re given by the recording industry and the media. Even when there are virtuosos and visionaries out there, we’re told that they don’t matter because they’re not what MTV is promoting. Somehow, that needs reversing.

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