Thursday, June 07, 2007

Sound Vs. Noise (5)

Something I find myself returning to in various guises is the horrible all-pervading noise that surrounds us. I would like to draw your attention to this article, which discusses an increasingly common manifestation of this.

5 comments:

Indy said...

Interesting that that article singles out the Flaming Lips: although many Dave Fridman engineered albums suffer terribly from really excessive compression, I wouldn't have said that was true of the last three Flips albums which, on my system at least, seem to have plenty of dynamic range and just don't clip the way he says they do.

Indy said...

Also, I just listened to the Beastie Boys track he talk about and the switch to widescreen in the intro is exactly that - the width of the stereo soundstage increases.

petemaskreplica said...

Well heck, if it's inspired you to dig out Paul's Boutique then some good has come of it all ;)

It's interesting what he hasys about the Lips, because it seems to me there's a definite subtext that he basically reckons "At War With the Mystics" is a sub-par record, which may colour his opinion of the sound. It has to be said that on my (admittedly cheap, old and crap) speakers that it's noticable how much it relies on density rather than dynamics - there's one obvious crescendo in the opening track that leads to no real increase in actual volume at all. And the acoustic guitar at the start of The Soun of Failure is very nearly as the full band when it comes in.
ooh - noticable clip on My Cosmic Autumn Rebellion!

They get away with because there's such a variety of sounds in the arrangements, unlike Oasis, say - and he's right about one thing, it's all Oasis's fault ;)

Indy said...

I think the "performance" on War With the Mystics is pretty full-on generally, and there's an extent to which distortion and clipping *is* part of the intended mix. But I compared it to The Soft Bulletin, and it is certainly more compressed than that...

petemaskreplica said...

ah, so it might be a parody of an over-compressed record! ;)