Features | Awards

THE ED BANGER AWARD FOR MASTERING OF AN ELECTRO/HOUSE/POP RECORDING

By David Abravanel | 19 December 2008

The Presets
Apocalypso
(Modular; 2008)







PERHAPS SOME OF YOU DEAR READERS ARE FAMILIAR WITH AUDIO PRODUCTION, AND WITH DYNAMICS PROCESSING. ESSENTIALLY, IF A SOUND IS TOO LOUD IN A DIGITAL RECORDING, IT WILL DISTORT AND PRODUCE AN AUDIBLE CLIP. THE SOLUTION IS TO COMPRESS THE DYNAMIC RANGE (THE RANGE FROM SOFTEST TO LOUDEST SOUND), SUCH THAT THE MASTER LOUDNESS OF THE TRACK REMAINS THE SAME, WHILE THE PEAKS ARE SMOOTHED DOWN.

WHEN USED IN DANCE MUSIC RECORDINGS, OVERCOMPRESSION CAN SOUND GREAT ON THE DANCE FLOOR. UNFORTUNATELY, MOST LABELS HAVE SEEN FIT TO MASTER RECORDINGS INTENDED FOR HOME LISTENING IN THE SAME MANNER, IGNORING THE FACT THAT MOST HOME LISTENING ENVIRONMENTS DON’T HAVE A 1,000 WATT SUBWOOFER. WITH SUCH A REDUCED DYNAMIC RANGE, THINGS CAN GET GRATING AND BORING, MIGHTY FAST. OVERCOMPRESSION IS KIND OF LIKE WRITING IN ALL CAPS. ARE YOU HAVING TROUBLE READING THIS?

APOCALYPSO ISN’T A HALF BAD ALBUM, BUT GOOD LORD IF THOSE VOCALS AREN’T JUST PAINFULLY HIGH IN THE MIX, WHILE THE DRUMS AND BASS END UP SOUND LIKE TIN CANS AND WHITE NOISE. REMEMBER, KIDS, ONLY YOU CAN STOP THE LOUDNESS WAR.