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Dynamic Range

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Long time viewer, first time poster...


I've been into music and mostly electronic for 18 years and i have gone through different styles and recently came across Psybient and I'm really liking what i'm hearing (for the most part)


To my ears i'm finding  a large number of tracks seem to be mastered loud. all forms of Ambient music needs room to breath and have its ups and downs.


Am i alone in this? whats your thoughts?

Edited by Gagarin, 17 May 2016 - 10:18 PM.
change word "masted" to "mastered"

Matt Freak Flag

Matt Freak Flag


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Well, I mean... The loudness war isn't a joke.  A lot of electronica producers - especially those who also make more uptempo dancefloor music - want their tunes loud.  Are you saying that you think a lot of psybient is mastered particularly loud? 


From my experience, it's all over the map.  Some is quite quiet; others times, the songs are mastered so that the kicks and snares are clipping substantially on every downbeat (which is something I associate with massive dancefloor tunes, albeit ridiculously loud ones).


I'm almost more surprised these days when people release tunes that aren't that loud. 


When I do a chill set, I work with a lot of loops from acid jazz and neo soul stuff... some new, some older.  But, working in Ableton, I'm turning down some clips a whole lot just to get everything at a consistent volume.  Usually not more than -6 db or so, but that's pretty substantial. 


Although, now that I think about it, some of the psybient tunes I have currently rigged up for downtempo sets are the clips that are turned down the most, so that might support what you're noticing...

If it sounds good, it is good.  



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From my experience, it's all over the map. 


Quite right.

neil (spatialize)

neil (spatialize)

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it's a general trend across the musical board isn't it?


I agree though that more ambient music (particularly soundscape) should be allowed to breathe. 


If you push the limiter more than a 1-2 db on a soundscape tune, it can sometimes do very strange things.....as ambient is all to do with distances and spatial relations.  When you squash those together it can lose it loses its spaciousness a bit, which is a bit of a sacrifice for the sake of turning amplifier up a little bit. 


Look at Eno's early work.  No limiting on that.  The majority of the sound at -6db.


psychill can sometimes  have a full bodied sound with drums / bass etc (very much like a full band production track) and can handle a good couple of db of limiting. 


I do find that a limiter can sometimes pull the track the track together a bit but personally I think anything much more than 2 db is just increasing the volume for the sake of it.


Anyone used the Sony inflator?


I know lots of people use it to just add whacking great loads of volume but you can set it gently to add soft saturation / prescence.  It's a very nice plug in for that and could be used like that on a group bus to add a little bit of oomph (though I haven't done that yet)

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