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OT (somewhat): Highly compressed audio

 
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Mike Harrison
The Gates of Troy


Joined: 03 Nov 2007
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Location: Equidistant from New York City and Philadelphia, along the NJ Shore

PostPosted: Sat Mar 14, 2020 9:11 am    Post subject: OT (somewhat): Highly compressed audio Reply with quote

Anyone else find listening to highly (dynamically) compressed audio difficult, even annoying to listen to? It never bothered me listening to Top 40 radio during the 60s and 70s (the audio level of many stations rarely budged from hovering around 100% no matter what was playing). But, today, the lack of dynamic rage, even in voice-only, becomes tiresome to continue listening to after only about a minute or so. Anyone else experiencing this?
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Mike
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Bish
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Joined: 22 Nov 2009
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Location: Lost in the cultural wasteland of Long Island

PostPosted: Sat Mar 14, 2020 9:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Always. It's a major factor when mastering an audiobook... too compressed and it's painful. A well-produced book will have enough dynamic range to not cause listener fatigue over the hours people are expected to listen. For shorter stuff, I don't think anyone cares because they don't think people are in it for the long haul. I only occasionally listen to the radio (in the car) so can't really comment on radio... I find it massively tiresome anyway... that may have nothing to do with an over-compressed signal though Smile
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Mike Harrison
The Gates of Troy


Joined: 03 Nov 2007
Posts: 1820
Location: Equidistant from New York City and Philadelphia, along the NJ Shore

PostPosted: Sat Mar 14, 2020 9:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Exactly: long-form material! When voicing and/or producing eLearning, I'll raise the average level a bit if the level falls too low, but not so that the peak is being hit almost continually.
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Mike
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sounddguy
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Joined: 22 Jan 2009
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Location: Atlanta, GA USA

PostPosted: Sat Mar 14, 2020 10:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Not only that but for broadcast/commercials running the music or background so loud you really can't hear the voice well. I was watching a recent soccer match and had to go to the radio for commentary I could hear.
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Mike Harrison
The Gates of Troy


Joined: 03 Nov 2007
Posts: 1820
Location: Equidistant from New York City and Philadelphia, along the NJ Shore

PostPosted: Sat Mar 14, 2020 1:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I do know, from my days as radio Production Director, when those inexperienced with mixing (the on-air people) were asked to do spots, they would almost always mix with the monitor speakers very loud. That will result in the background music fighting the VO because, at that unnatural listening volume, they're not able to effectively judge. (Mixing music with VO should be done with the speaker volume set so that speech is no louder than if a person was speaking live [what a concept]).
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dwpthe3rd
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Joined: 28 Feb 2010
Posts: 174
Location: Where palm trees meet the pines

PostPosted: Sat Mar 14, 2020 3:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mike Harrison wrote:
(Mixing music with VO should be done with the speaker volume set so that speech is no louder than if a person was speaking live [what a concept]).


Spent many many years as a radio Production Director as well. Congrats for transcending that! And agree about mixing at low volume. My fine tuning"method" that worked for proper bed level against the VO was to first mix at normal DJ listening level, then really turn down overall volume until almost unintelligible; if the voice with the message was still discernible then chances were it was good to go. I'd at times EQ a notch in the bed and then bump the voice a db or two in that region to add clarity. Ahh the good 'ol days. Rock On!
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Bruce
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 15, 2020 9:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

When I ran production Id remind folks that some listeners had wire coat hangers for antennas and cheap speakers so we always listened to spots on crappy little speakers to be sure the mix was good before putting things on air.

Ive come to really dislike works these days where the music/SFX drown out the voice. It makes me think theyre listening to the final mix with their heads up their



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