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What's the deal with WEEZER music being so LOUD??

Old 05-02-07, 03:49 PM
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What's the deal with WEEZER music being so LOUD??

I put Weezer songs (everything from the Blue album on forward) on my iPod, but after awhile I couldn't take it anymore and was forced to remove all their songs.

This hurts, because I'm a huge fan of Weezer, but their songs are too loud, and screeches the speakers. You have a normal song, then WEEZER BLASTING, followed by another normal sounding song.

And its not because Weezer is the only contemporary group on my iPod. I have new music from the likes of All-American Rejects and The Shins, but their songs blend in fine with the older music I have.

The problem only exists with Weezer. I never thought I'd say this, but is there some place where I can get Weezer songs that are "watered down?" Not acoustic - their studio songs, just at a lower decible.
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Old 05-02-07, 04:10 PM
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Ignore Sierra's snark; you've hit upon a real problem that's been one of the biggest ongoing controversies over the last decade. I'm unfamiliar with the Weezer CD catalog, but the problem you describe is certainly not limited to their releases alone.

Believe it or not, this is intentional, a mastering preference that took hold in the early 90s and has been the bane of music lovers (at least those who care about the sound quality). The point is to make the music as loud as possible, even where this induces dynamic range compression and distortion ("clipping"). It's sometimes referred to as "the death of dynamic range" or "the loudness wars". Unfortunately, your only alternatives are a differently (properly) mastered CD or LP, should either be available.

Check this wikipedia entry for some background on all this: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Loudness_war
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Old 05-02-07, 04:12 PM
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Can't you adjust a songs volume setting in Itunes?

Edit: Yeah, right click on the song, go to options and you can adjust its volume.
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Old 05-02-07, 04:21 PM
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You can adjust the volume to just one song?
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Old 05-02-07, 04:40 PM
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It might be possible to re-import them into iTunes and reset the volume while you're doing it. It won't be same as a remastering by any stretch, but on standard iPod headphones audiophile quality is generally a waste anyway.

Highlight the songs you want, right click (I think...I'm on a Mac), and go to get info. You can adjust it there. Good luck!
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Old 05-02-07, 04:41 PM
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Originally Posted by Buttmunker
You can adjust the volume to just one song?
Correct.

"Some songs or videos in your iTunes library may be louder or quieter than average. To adjust the volume of a particular song or video, select it, choose File > Get Info, click Options, and then drag the Volume Adjustment slider left or right. iTunes will use this setting each time the song or video plays."
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Old 05-02-07, 04:42 PM
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Yeah, one great example of this is "Mary Star Of The Sea" by Zwan. Probably the loudest mastered record I've ever heard.
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Old 05-02-07, 04:54 PM
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The White Stripes albums are also all loud.Fridays at work i always set my ipod for random play of all tracks and theres stands out quite a bit volume wise.
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Old 05-02-07, 05:08 PM
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What you are looking for is called "normalize". Actually, after quickly checking iTunes, it's called "Sound Check" in its preferences. Go to EDIT>Preferences>Playback and check "Sound Check" and it should normalize all songs to play at about the same volume. It will take a little while to go through your whole collection to determine all the individual song volumes.

This is a common feature in any MP3 or other electronic players. Since it's a common problem, as stated above, any player worth its weight has the ability to do it. You can even do it during the rip if you are ripping with a different program (I believe EAC has a normalize function).
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Old 05-02-07, 05:20 PM
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Just to make a small point... normalization - or even merely turning down the volume knob - will solve the amplitude issue relative to other music. But the "screechiness" you refer to is unfortunately there to stay.

People often refer to CDs mastered in this way as "ear bleeders". You may have heard people criticize certain speakers or sound systems as being "fatiguing" (and maybe you've felt that "fatigue" in your own ears at some point). Very often, it's the source material that's causing this, particularly if you don't usually find your stereo or iPod to be fatiguing.

I suspect if you pulled a waveform diagram from one of the Weezer tracks, you'd find that the peaks are all "chopped off", having hit the ceiling of the compact disc's inherent and unchangeable dynamic range limit. This causes distortion of the "bad" kind, that is, distortion that was not part of the original recording but which was introduced in the mastering stage for the sole purpose of making that track/cd sound louder than your other tracks/cds.
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Old 05-02-07, 05:28 PM
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A friend loaned me one of the Killer's albums and I couldn't even make it through one listen. By the end I had the volume turned almost all the way down and that didn't even help - it was still hurting my ears. Musically it was fine, but I couldn't really evaluate it because the sound was so bad.
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Old 05-02-07, 10:22 PM
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Old 05-03-07, 12:06 AM
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I just spot-checked a couple of Weezer CDs, and judging by the waveforms they're not too badly mastered. There's some clipping, but nothing near the absolute destruction of dynamic range that most CDs get today.

It could just be that they use a lot of layered guitars, which makes the music seem louder than it actually is.
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Old 05-03-07, 12:14 AM
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To illustrate the point, here's a wavefrom from Weezer's "No Other One":



In comparison, here's the waveform from the first track of Rush's Vapor Trails, which is a textbook example of how not to master a CD:

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Old 05-03-07, 08:42 AM
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Originally Posted by GHackmann
In comparison, here's the waveform from the first track of Rush's Vapor Trails, which is a textbook example of how not to master a CD:

That album sounds like total shit. It needs a remaster desperately.

Weezer's production has always been extremely loud. Pinkerton has got to be one of the loudest productions ever.

This seems to be a well known industry problem ( http://www.cdmasteringservices.com/dynamicrange.htm ). There's even a Wikipedia article about this ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Loudness_war ).
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Old 05-03-07, 08:46 AM
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I'm not sure if it's exactly an industry "problem". Many artists intentionally mix their records this way, why is beyond me.
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Old 05-03-07, 09:10 AM
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Why? So that when the songs come on the radio they pop out at people. It's that simple. Just like local commercials during the evening news are always extremely loud - it's just to get your attention.

It's rude, it's disgusting, it's unprofessional. My favorite was when Billy Corgan said he liked it that way. O RLY? You like that better than the awesome dynamics of Siamese Dream and MCIS? Then you may have lost your mind.
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Old 05-03-07, 09:29 AM
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What the hell!?!? I have Weezer songs on my ipod, i really don't think there's a difference, but if there is i'm all for it
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Old 05-03-07, 09:47 AM
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If it's too loud, you're too old!!!
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Old 05-03-07, 04:15 PM
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Originally Posted by nodeerforamonth
If it's too loud, you're too old!!!
Actually, I seem to remember having a weezer t-shirt that said "If it's too loud, turn it down"
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Old 05-03-07, 04:20 PM
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When I'm listening to the Weezer CD's, it sounds awesome! Hey, maybe I can adjust my iPod so that Weezer stays neutral, and I raise the volume adjuster to the right of every non-Weezer song to make it all sound the same.

BTW, I tried that "normalizer," but it didn't make a difference. Weezer was still too overpowering.

On the flip side, I kind of wish they'd remaster the Doors albums to sound as loud as the Weezer albums. Doors songs sound way too low, even with other songs from that same era that have been remastered on K-Tel compilations.
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Old 05-03-07, 07:06 PM
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Originally Posted by fender69
Actually, I seem to remember having a weezer t-shirt that said "If it's too loud, turn it down"
Post 13, my friend.
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Old 05-03-07, 08:33 PM
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I put Weezer songs (everything from the Blue album on forward)
This the original blue album or the Deluxe? All I have is the Deluxe so I can't compare; AFAIK, could be the same master. I generally crank it pretty loud (the CD) and haven't noticed any intolerable clipping. I don't know if I've ever listened to them on my iPod which does seem to magnify clipping (to my ears anyway).

TJS
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Old 05-04-07, 01:57 PM
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Here is a great article on normalizing the volume of tracks in your mp3 collection. It's pretty informative and used one of the programs they suggested (MP3Gain) to normalize some of my tracks and it worked great. Worth a read.
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Old 05-05-07, 06:44 AM
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If I recall correctly, the blue album actually says on the back cover something like "This album was mixed to sound loud, use caution" or the like. I think it was mixed by Ric Ocasek.
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