Originally Posted by Bill-99
Content quality today isn't very good. A search on the Loudness Wars shows part of the problem. There are oceans of compressed and lossy content available that, when played on a transparent and detailed system, are an ice pick in the ear. While there are also audiophile kinds of recordings that are stunningly good on these transparent and detailed systems, most of us listen to more than just audiophile recordings. For example, that kind of recording is less than 1% of what's in my collection.
I keep hearing this...I listen to a lot of modern pop and rock music and I find most currently released music to sound amazing on my (current) system. There are incredible details, lots of sound-staging, and there still exist some
dynamics. Is it louder? Sure; I control the volume when needed. The biggest difference I find between today's and early recordings is the "simplicity". Today, I find there is tons of spectral content -- a lot going on. Tons of little noises scattered around the sound stage. Some people call it "overproduced", but I tend to enjoy it. It's like I can pick a sound, listen to it for a while, get a handle on its beat pattern, then pick another -- replayability, lol. Best thing, it's usually pretty easy to do, because each sound seems to enjoy its own little space in the soundstage; once I hone in on it, it stays put, "popping up" reliably whenever called for.
So, I say you can hate modern content / production all you want, but, IMO, the mixing is not
getting worse (though it is different
). Moreover, since the "production" creates more and more spectral content, IMO, it becomes more and more taxing on "audiophile" systems; any frequency abnormality (something most "audiophiles" never
seem to measure) masks or destroys quite a bit more content and muddies everything up. Playing simple content is simple, if all you have is, e.g., a singer and a sax then the spectrum is not exactly as wide as, e.g., a modern EDM piece that computer-generates a full bandwidth of sound and then heavily leverages time-intensity-trading (and or phasing) to create sound-stage and effects. These pieces paint a picture in front of me when I listen to them, with tons of "colors" (sounds) brushed all over...in fact, sometimes I find older recordings boring in comparison.
Further, some of the worst recordings I have heard lately are classical. I've was looking for piano music on Tidal and there were tracks where I could hear people breathing in the room while the focus should be on the bloody piano. Tracks where I could hear thuds like there was someone randomly jumping on the floor above the "studio" -- maybe I shouldn't have subs that play down so low, lol. On top of this, so many tracks had a stupid high noise floor so I have to listen through all kinds of hiss (and it's not from my signal chain!). Now, when I found good ones, they were incredible (though, often, mixed much lower; no problem, just a "twist" of the 'ole volume knob).
So, give me your worst, I want to see how bad it is; I think I should start a thread, lol.
P.S. I'm not saying there isn't bad modern content. For example, I have heard digital clipping in some music and it is super annoying. But, for every botched piece, there are many that are still great. Do I still like a track that "rides the fader", slowly bringing me along for a ride? Sure! But, there is something different in these "overproduced" pieces that I also enjoy...I think that gets lost on many folks (and it may just be because their "audiophile system" isn't quite as transparent as they think because it's "colored" just right for their tastes).
P.P.S. While I quoted you, please don't assume I am implying your system or tastes are poor...I am just putting out another perspective. If you hate the music or think your system reproduces it poorly and don't think it could ever sound good, that's just fine. But, I find a lot of music to sound amazing over my way...and it wasn't always like that.