Note: this post is from 2006, outbound links may be broken.
Imperfect Sound Forever by Nick Southall
Clive Thompson @ collision detection has put up some excerpts:
- One result of [overcompression] is that modern CDs have much more consistent volume levels than ever before. But when is it desirable for music to be at a consistent volume? When it’s not being actively listened to; i.e. when it’s intended as background music.
- Music isn’t meant to be at a consistent volume and flat frequency; it’s meant to be dynamic, to move, to fall and rise and to take you with it, physically and emotionally. Otherwise it literally is just background noise …
- Music is about tension and release. With very “hot,” un-dynamic music there is no release because the sensory assault simply doesn’t let-up.
- … people I see out and about wearing walkmans or MP3 players seldom seem to tap, or nod, or hum along at all though; instead their gazes seem fixed with a steely resolve, their bodies tense and their minds seemingly tenser. To me that isn’t the body language of someone enjoying music.
- People are forgetting how to listen, and who can blame them?
The entire article is quite interesting so check it out at Stylus Magazine.