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 Posted:   Jun 25, 2007 - 10:14 PM   
 By:   ZapBrannigan   (Member)

Does anyone else think the DEEP IMPACT CD (Sony, SK 60690) is not loud enough? It's weird how high I have to crank it up. Did I get a bad one?

 
 
 Posted:   Jun 25, 2007 - 10:21 PM   
 By:   torontoguy   (Member)

I've noticed this too... it's not just yours!

 
 
 Posted:   Jun 25, 2007 - 10:33 PM   
 By:   Avatarded   (Member)

This was James Horner's first recording with Simon Rhodes, and yes it is indeed VERY quiet, but it does preserve the dynamic range of the music nicely. I made a copy where I turned up the overall volume, without sacrificing that range in sound.

 
 
 Posted:   Jun 26, 2007 - 12:18 AM   
 By:   Ford A. Thaxton   (Member)

This was James Horner's first recording with Simon Rhodes, and yes it is indeed VERY quiet, but it does preserve the dynamic range of the music nicely.

I made a copy where I turned up the overall volume, without sacrificing that range in sound.


The recording is just fine, the mastering of the CD would appear to be the issue.

It seems to have been just done at a very low level and whoever mastered it for CD release didn't puuch the quiet sections up so they wouldn't be lost when someone was playing it in their car, on their computer or on their boombox.

It's a common problem with orchestral recordings in a world designed for pop music.

Such is life.


Ford A. Thaxton

 
 
 Posted:   Jun 26, 2007 - 12:23 AM   
 By:   Rozsaphile   (Member)

A problem? Are you saying that levels should be compressed for the sake of the weakest kinds of playback systems? Should the lowest common denominator rule? It's a tradeoff, of course, and I suppose no choice will satisfy all listeners.

 
 
 Posted:   Jun 26, 2007 - 12:28 AM   
 By:   Ford A. Thaxton   (Member)

A problem? Are you saying that levels should be compressed for the sake of the weakest kinds of playback systems? Should the lowest common denominator rule? It's a tradeoff, of course, and I suppose no choice will satisfy all listeners.


Friend, welcome to the real world....

That is about how just about every recording of pop music has been done for decades.

Most folks on the planet listen to music these days either in the car,on headsets playing MP3, on their computer (with those great speakers) and on boomboxes and you have to take that into account when you are mastering an album.

Almost every album I've ever worked on had to pass "The Car Test"

If it sounded good in the car, it got a thumps up.


Ford A. Thaxton

 
 
 Posted:   Jun 26, 2007 - 1:00 AM   
 By:   Michael Arlidge   (Member)

[I don't remember a thing about the following incident, because I was doped up on painkillers at the time, but this story was recounted to me by my parents]

I first listened to the Deep Impact soundtrack after waking up from a (minor) neurosurgical procedure. Usually after surgery I have a degree of temporary hearing loss (a side-effect of the anaesthetic and painkillers), so when I listened to this soundtrack, I couldn't hear a damn thing (a combination of the abovementioned and the quiet recording coming together to create an even quieter listening experience). Being completely incoherent, and famous for my ill-temper, I demanded to speak to the surgeon about his having screwed up my hearing.

To cut a long story short, I created a huge scene, but the surgeon (knowing full-well that my symptoms were temporary) just kept nodding furiously while trying not to giggle. It was only once I began recovering from the surgery that I had another go at listening to the CD (following the surgery there were complications, so after my initial outburst I was - to the gratitude of those around mebig grin - inactive for a few days), and realised that it was the CD itself that was the problem.

You may be wondering why I wasn't aware of quiet soundtrack recording prior to this? Well, in 1998 I was in my first year of soundtrack collecting, so I didn't have a clue. From the time of the above incident on I've made sure to avoid listening to anything (be it a soundtrack, or something else) while recovering from surgery.big grin

 
 Posted:   Jun 26, 2007 - 2:34 AM   
 By:   ZapBrannigan   (Member)

May you awaken from all your neurosurgeries!

Regarding the mastering of DEEP IMPACT, I'd say: If there's a happy medium between a big dynamic range, and a CD you can hear in the car, this is not it.

 
 
 Posted:   Jun 26, 2007 - 2:58 AM   
 By:   Michael Arlidge   (Member)

May you awaken from all your neurosurgeries!

Thankssmile. Incidentally, the neurosurgeon in question has retired since the incident I mentioned (I was fifteen when I had the surgery, and the guy was just about due for retirement when I was born eek ). His replacement is a humourless loser, so if I plan on living a long and happy life, I had better not repeat my earlier performance, lest he sort me out!big grin Methinks the Deep Impact soundtrack will remain at home next time.wink

 
 Posted:   Jun 26, 2007 - 4:15 AM   
 By:   Basil Wrathbone   (Member)

A problem? Are you saying that levels should be compressed for the sake of the weakest kinds of playback systems? Should the lowest common denominator rule?

I have extremely good electronics which could certainly be described as "audiophile" quality, but I don't find extreme dynamic range of the kind mentioned here adds anything to listening pleasure. I'd say it detracts, more often than not. Most people's domestic circumstances limit the maximum level that one can reasonably play the loudest passages, so if that level is set and quieter passages then become too quiet, the recording becomes difficult to enjoy. And of course, if one sets the playback peaks to a comfortable mid-level, the quieter parts become virtually inaudible. A narrower dynamic range doesn't have to sound compressed or lacking in realism.

 
 
 Posted:   Jun 26, 2007 - 10:11 AM   
 By:   Greg Bryant   (Member)

No, it's the way the music was written. It feels like the music is asleep. I didn't keep the CD for very long. It's one low point of an otherwise very good movie.

 
 Posted:   Jun 26, 2007 - 10:44 AM   
 By:   Charles Thaxton   (Member)

I've thought that Williams' A.I. CD and Sony SPIELBERG/WILLIAMS COLLABORATIONS CD were both mixed pretty low volume....if I use a track from either of them in a home made compilation I really have to boost them to keep up to neighboring tracks.

 
 
 Posted:   Jun 26, 2007 - 12:07 PM   
 By:   Ford A. Thaxton   (Member)

No, it's the way the music was written. It feels like the music is asleep. I didn't keep the CD for very long. It's one low point of an otherwise very good movie.

Couldn't disagree more..

As far as I'm concerned it's one of Horner's best efforts of the last 10 years.

Instead of going for the big epic approach, he decided to go for the EMOTION of the characters and the moment which in my view helped the film quite a bit.

THE WEDDING montage sequence is a perfect example of this, he plays the emotion of the moment between two young people getting married in order to save their lives and one character deciding to end her life and her reflections on her life and that of her family.

I tend to pull this one and give it a spin quite often.

A must for any serious Horner collection in my view.

Ford A. Thaxton

 
 
 Posted:   Jun 26, 2007 - 12:13 PM   
 By:   Avatarded   (Member)

No, it's the way the music was written. It feels like the music is asleep. I didn't keep the CD for very long. It's one low point of an otherwise very good movie.

Regardless of the intent of the thread, it wouldn't be a true Horner thread without SOME jab at the man or his music, wouldn't it?

It was nothing more than a technical question.

 
 
 Posted:   Jun 26, 2007 - 12:46 PM   
 By:   Jim Cleveland   (Member)

Funny... but I don't remember Deep Impaction(HAH!) being all that low! I will agree with Fjordwink however... it IS one of Horner's best in recent years, but it's such a DAMNED DEPRESSING SCORE... but that's obviously what the film required. The end title is beautiful, especially when the choir starts up. BEAUTIFUL!

 
 
 Posted:   Jun 26, 2007 - 1:42 PM   
 By:   jonathan_little   (Member)

Almost every album I've ever worked on had to pass "The Car Test"

frown

 
 
 Posted:   Jun 26, 2007 - 1:48 PM   
 By:   Ford A. Thaxton   (Member)



frown


And your point???

(Do you even have one?)


Ford A. Thaxton

 
 
 Posted:   Jun 26, 2007 - 1:56 PM   
 By:   Greg Bryant   (Member)



Almost every album I've ever worked on had to pass "The Car Test"

frown


I think that's an important test, at least for deciding which CD's to play, or at least keep in the car - can I hear it when I'm playing it in the car, what with all the other traffic noises going on.

 
 
 Posted:   Jun 26, 2007 - 2:05 PM   
 By:   Ford A. Thaxton   (Member)



I think that's an important test, at least for deciding which CD's to play, or at least keep in the car - can I hear it when I'm playing it in the car, what with all the other traffic noises going on.


And if you look at the studies, that is where one of the main places people listen ot their music and you have to design the product with this in mind.

That's just a fact of life.


Ford A. Thaxton

 
 
 Posted:   Jun 26, 2007 - 2:09 PM   
 By:   Greg Bryant   (Member)

Couldn't disagree more..

Instead of going for the big epic approach, he decided to go for the EMOTION of the characters and the moment which in my view helped the film quite a bit.



That would be a valid point, Ford, IF Horner could effectively score character emotion or emotional moments. In my mind he has been ineffective in any attempts at doing that, either in this movie, or the many others he has scored.

The only two that I think he has approaced any level of effectiveness with scoring emotions are Searching for Bobby Fisher or Field of Dreams. Most other attempts at scoring emotion have either been so low key as to sink beneath the surface completely, like Deep Impact, or so over the top that they scream out "Emotions Going On Here!!!", like Legends of the Fall.

 
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