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Music in the press

Trolling through ArtsJournal's music section found me this:
PSO discs see light of day again
The article focuses on the output of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra. But the real story is ArkivMusic's efforts to bring CDs that have been deleted from catalogs back in a print-on-demand sort of way. There are many, many examples or classical CDs being released and then removed from the record company's catalog after a short time, rendering them unfindable.
All that ill-timed applause is actually a very good sign
The theory is that Kent Nagano, in his second season as music director of the Orchestre Symphonique de Montréal, is what's filling the seats in Montreal -- filling them with new fans. Can't go wrong with that, other than the extra applause. They're even clapping in the middle of movements. But maybe that's the welcome sign of success in reaching out to younger fans.
Also from the Montreal Gazette,
Putting Tchaikowsky on the couch
a.k.a What would the Pathétique had been if Pyotr had been on Prozac?
Learning From a Master
Where stellar pianist Yefim Bronfman (see my latest DSO concert post) demonstrates he is quite a teacher, too. What a great opportunity for a musician, to take part in such a masters class!
Finally, in non-classical news:
Why music really is getting louder
Remember my rant a few weeks ago about how CDs are getting way too loud and badly mastered? It's happening in England, too! Includes quotes from Abbey Road greats.
Added, 7:20 p.m.: Wow, hope no one wanted to read the Montreal Gazette articles till now... the links were broken. Sorry about that. I fixed them, and went back and added publication dates for all the articles (see when you hover the cursor over the links, on most browsers).

Comments

( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
bonezman
Jun. 8th, 2007 06:47 pm (UTC)
"Why music really is getting louder"

It started in the 70's when they started over compressing drums for that new punchier 70's sound (and lost all the tone real drums make, leading to dead tone drum machines and only drummers noticing the bad sound). Then radio stations started gain boosting and limiting with their compressors on the final output to level out all the poorly mastered albums and CDs. Now everyone wants that big radio sound so they compress the hell out of everything and make the CD loud as hell.

Good mastering uses very little compression and rarely is the gain used at all. Normalize the track to top out the highs. If there is a spike the screws the normalized track then ad a limiter before the normalizer. Gate out low level noise, and the rest of the sound fattening is done with an EQ. Much of the sound loss is because of negative nodal points from a bad EQ. Clean up the EQ and the volume comes up to a natural level without compressing. All this takes a lot more time and experience to get done right which is why professional mastering people get paid real good. Well.. They used to till everyone started just compressing the hell out of everything.

My little rant on the subject.. Even the DJs are starting to complain about the new CDs and they like to push way into the red.
songdogmi
Jun. 8th, 2007 11:27 pm (UTC)
Just another example of how a lot of folks in the record industry need to get out amongst the public a bit more than they apparently do.

A comment to a comment on the Times of London article said that what radio stations do in the way of compression isn't nearly as damaging as what's being done on the CDs themselves. That's probably because radio stations (till now) have been in the analog realm, and analog sound turns out differently from digital sound when it's highly compressed and exceeds full saturation (or in geek-speak, exceeds 0db).

It just is one more reason why I feel it's just as well that my CDs likely won't become hot radio commodities. I'd rather put out quieter music that people can listen to without pain.
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )

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