• iTunes' Volume Normalisation -- Don't do it!

    Giu 14 2006, 15:22

    So today in the summer sun I went along to my local musical outlet to buy AFX's Chosen Lords because it just had to be done.

    Happy with my purchase, I decided to import it into iTunes. I'd upped the bitrate to 320kbps and max'd the sample rate for increased pleasure and enjoyment.

    I listened to it, and it didn't seem to excite me as the vinyl releases had, which was odd as the tracks on Chosen Lords come from the vinyl releases.

    Then it hit me, the volume's been normalised; they'd slaughted my snare rushes! All the tracks with delicate and fine sounds had been stream-rolled over, which happens to be all the tracks.

    I then reimported the album without volume normalisation, and voila, the album was alive again. But what's more worrying, all the album that I've imported into iTunes have been normalised too. All those albums that I've thought "Yeah, ok, but it's not that exciting" may have been unduly affected by this stream-roller of a feature.

    EDIT: I've just realised, unchecking "sound check" in preferences turns off the volume normalisation for all the tracks in your iTunes database; it's not permanent. And breath out.

    Don't do volume normalisation, kids; it's a mugs game.
  • Captain Beefheart

    Mag 28 2006, 1:46

    How did he escape me for so long? I was watching a documentry on BBC Four about The Fall the other day. It claimed the whole punk thing was influenced by weird german electronica, Captain Beefheart, etc. That got me thinking: "I keep hearing about Captain Beefheart, and even my good friend Benjamin likes him; I'll check him out."

    I've been listening to Safe As Milk since around 2pm, particularly Zig Zag Wanderer and Grown So Ugly, and haven't stopped since. That makes 12 hours. Safe as Milk isn't currently streamable on last.fm, you'll have to trust me. Imagine a weirder Velvet Underground with a lot more edge.

    Amazing. Rock/Pop has returned to my life.
  • diplo - flordia

    Ott 5 2005, 12:05

    So i've just found about about Diplo's album, florida, and I love it. Although I've not absorbed it all yet, I love the first three tracks so much, especially Big lost. And this is all thanks to the wonderful people at Fiziks!

    Violins should be compulsory.