Friday, April 04, 2008

Music is Getting Louder. Again:

In the 1970's there was a rush to use electronic instruments in pop music. Most "real" musical instruments produce notes that grow softer after they are sounded. Play a piano note and you'll see what I mean. But electronic instruments can sound an entire long note at the original volume, they do not have to decay each note into softness. Recordings took advantage of this effect to make music MUCH louder. Up to a point. After all, once you've fully exploited this trick, what more can you do?

The answer is, you can fiddle with a recording to make every single note as loud as possible. here's an article complaining about this new trend. It's a great pity. Loud, loud music is bad for our ears. And much subtlety in music comes from variations in volume. The article (see above) quotes Geoff Emerick, engineer on the Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper album, as follows: “A lot of what is released today is basically a scrunched-up mess. Whole layers of sound are missing." It's got to be awful to remove all this art to make a loud noise.

I'll be posting infrequently this April. I plan to resume daily posting in May. You do have other blogs you can read, don't you? Carry on!
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