Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Death to Quality

So at my time here at Full Sail i have, against my best planning, learned a thing or two. So things are music related and other things are we'll say life relate. But today i want to talk to you about two issues that effects anyone who listens to music.

The Loudness War

In today's popular music there has become a battle for the loudest album. Record labels have pushed the level of volume on a CD to the point of destroying the music. This mostly happens at the mastering stage of the album. The maximum volume coming out of the CD causes two things. (1) A complete lack of dynamic range and (2) ear fatigue for the listener. Dynamic range is the range between the softest sound and the loudest sound in the song. You might have hear this on a CD where the soft piano is as loud as the screaming singer or whatever. This is accomplished through the use of compresses and limiters. Now for you dont know what compresses and limiters do i will tell you. A compressor "compressors" a sound when something crosses over a determined threshold. when the sound crosses the threshold the compressor will push back the sound at a determined ratio of 2:1 or 3:1 and so on. Meaning that at a 2:1 ratio for every 2 dB over the threshold the sound will be compressed back 1 dB. A compressor will stop working when the sound drops back below the threshold. So what the compressor just did is bring the loudest sound closer to the softest sound. You then can bring the whole track up in the mix without clipping. This is every useful with say a singer who throughout the song has soft parts and loud parts. if you turn up the track to hear the soft parts your loud parts will clip creating distortion which is bad. So you can use a compressor to solve the problem. Now a limiter is the same thing as a compressor when the compressor's ratio is set at 8:1 or higher. Meaning that no sound is allowed above the threshold. So on a limiter when a sound reaches the threshold the limiter in turns "flat lines" the sound. In the audio world flat lining means distortion.

Now bring us full circle in the mastering stage of an album they only use compressors and limiters. This is how they take the softest sounds and make them the same level as the loudness sounds. They also create distortion. Plus with the lack of dynamic range we have a lack of emotional effect. and the distortion and volume level also causes ear fatigue.

The thing is people have gotten used to this sound. Most people dont know what music should sound like. We have lost quality for volume and we are at the same time killing our hearing. Its sad.

There is another issue I want to talk about but i'm ready to go to bed so...i won't.

p.s. i dont know if anyone understood what i was saying. sorry about that.

Rules of Nap Time

So there are three times of the day i found out: Night Time, Day Time, and Nap Time. Nap time is new to me. Ashley has informed me that nap time is between 3-5p everyday of the week. She also informed me of the rules of nap time.

1. No phones allowed.
2. No touching the wall.
3. No music.
4. No laptops.
5. No talking above a whisper (this one is stupid)
6. No random noises.
7. What Ashley saids, it becomes a rule.

I don't follow the rules very well.

In other news, we needed another song for the wedding so I wrote it last night. So look out for another song soon.

Also Ashley may have found a job.

Ashley thinks I have mono and I think she is crazy.

ok well time for school

Friday, November 14, 2008

The world of Recording

So i know nothing about economics or government but i do know about recording so i'll write about that.

So I have started the process of building a small home studio. No doubt this will take a long time to fully complete but I have a nice little up. Below is a list of what I use

MOTU MIDI interface 8x8
Presonus Firestudio 8x8
Yamaha p-90
Alesis Micron
Mac Book Pro with Logic
and a couple of guitars and a bass guitar.
I also am using my roommates Microphone

So yesterday I finished a song. it took me a 5 or 6 hours to write and record. Its up at my myspace and its called Ashley's Song. There are a few things that i did that i am proud of. (1) i recorded a tambourine through the mic. I then took the tambourine and put reverb on it and then ran it through the Bit Crusher. I then EQ it so the low-mid range frequencies were boosted. It sounds more like a washing machine but with a more definite pulse. I really am proud of this sound. (2) I recorded a clean guitar ( yes jay i did play the guitar ) through the line channel. I then reverbed it and used a tape delay and turn it low in the mix and panned it left.

I did a couple of other things with panning and reverbs and delays also. There is a couple questions for you smart people out there. (1) What is a key (There are two answers to this one)? What is the meter of the song?

Thursday, November 13, 2008


i posted a new song at www.myspace.com/tbandme

ok i'm sleepy

Monday, November 3, 2008

a quick update from your friend...me

hello its been awhile sense i've blogged so i thought i would catch everyone up on my life.

- Ashley got back yesterday from Texas. she was gone for about 10 days and i did not enjoy being alone as much as one might think. but with her being gone i learned a few things.
1. Communication in a relationship is a key thing.
2. ACU does not know jack about relationships and how to help them.
3. the saying "plan for the worse and hope for the best" doesnt always work.
4. I want a tattoo on my shin.

- i have started my 6th month of my 12 month program. I really do like it here. every month i learn something new and interesting and every month i get depress because i learn how to use things that i can't buy.
- I moved my tv and xbox and surround sound system to ashley's (my soon to be new) place. and it is official... we have to much stuff. and jamie is not sad at all that i am moving in two months...that makes me sad.
- we got a butt load of gift cards from people at the wedding shower. Thank you to everyone who gave to us and more importantly people who gave to others. I told ashley that the long we keep the gift cards the more crap she will think of buy so we need to give the gift cards away as soon as possible.
- i found this cool store. i bought a shirt that has manatees sits on clouds with wrenches falling like rain... i like it.
- Tomorrow i will be practicing for the first time with a band. they play hardcore progressive music and i'm going to play keys for them... if everything goes right.
- i have long hair and a big beard and i dont shower very often because it takes my hair an hour to dry.
- i;m getting married in two months.
- i have begun applying for composer jobs for independent films. this is something i would would like to get into doing. i've applied for about 5 or 6 jobs so far. if you know anyone who needs original music for their movie send them my way.

thats all i've got for now. i love you all and jay... you look good in the shorts.