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The problem is now semi-universal.

I use a landline telephone and continually receive calls so compessed and
unitelligible that I have to ask to callers to speak slowly and move a bit
back from their device.  It works sometimes.   I assume it's cellphones but
could also be the transmission system. 

Steve Smolian

-----Original Message-----
From: Association for Recorded Sound Discussion List
[mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Tom Fine
Sent: Tuesday, March 11, 2014 2:09 PM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] Toothpaste

Equally terrible is the broadcast signal of WCBS-AM, Newsradio 88. Between
having reporters talk a few sentences into a cellphone and their massive
over-compression, the "on location" reporting is often unintelligable. I
grew up listening to Newsradio 88 and it was a textbook example of clearly
audible human speech and excellent spoken-word news and actuarial production
when I was a kid. Now it's reduced to disjointed, context-lacking bursts of
low-intelligable words which may or may not make any sense.

Along these lines, where did the idea come into radio that people need to
speak so fast that they are throwing out words with little enunciation? Why
is this "good"? Slow the hell down, say the words clearly and get the
message across. And, no offense, but is radio the right job for people with
speech impediments? Radio circa 2014 is full of such people, people who
can't say "L" sounds correctly (it comes out as "W" sounds), people with bad
lisps and a whole new generation of "millennials" who talk in questions. Are
we now so politically correct that we can't demand clear, declarative
English speech as a requirement for radio on-air employment? I'll save for
another time the subject of TV "personalities" who are so unskilled that
they can't properly read a teleprompter for a few seconds at a time, can't
even manage to consistently spit out proper English sentences with a script
right there in front of them.

-- Tom Fine

----- Original Message -----
From: "Mark Durenberger" <[log in to unmask]>
To: <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Tuesday, March 11, 2014 1:54 PM
Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] Toothpaste


>A good point..because it brings out an insensitivity (carelessness???)
(indifference???) on the 
>part of broadcast engineers who don't notice this is an abnormal sound.
>
> Today's audio processing gear includes "gating" controls that are smart
enough to hold gain in 
> place during syllabic breaks in exactly that sort of audio.  The
properly-adjusted result can 
> actually be very pleasing...and there IS a romance about long-distance
nighttime AM 
> listening...and fun to the other team's broadcaster when your team is
visiting.
>
> But you're right...a lot of stations are guilty (both AM and FM).  They're
misusing what can be 
> very effective audio control equipment.  For too many it's "plug-and-play
and on to other things." 
> Tom Fine's NPR citation can include an examples of operations where folks
DO care.
>
>
> Regards,
>
> Mark Durenberger, CPBE
>
>
> -----Original Message----- 
> From: Steve Greene
> Sent: Tuesday, March 11, 2014 12:35 PM
> To: [log in to unmask]
> Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] Toothpaste
>
> Worst broadcast example I can think of is baseball on AM radio. They are
> now compressed to the point that the background noise: crowd noises,
> sirens, the PA all meld into a wall of rumble just under the the levels of
> the announcers. Thankfully, I can usually get games on FM now.
>
> Steve Greene
> Audiovisual Archivist
> Office of Presidential Libraries
> National Archives and Records Administration
> (301) 837-1772
>
>
> On Tue, Mar 11, 2014 at 12:09 PM, Mark Shakarjian
<[log in to unmask]>wrote:
>
>> The link doesn't explain much. Would wiki take it down??
>>
>> Mark
>>
>>
>> Sent from a device you don't need to know about
>>
>>
>>
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
---------------------------------------------------
>>
>>
>>
>> On Mar 11, 2014, at 8:32 AM, "Smith, Allison" <[log in to unmask]>
>> wrote:
>>
>> > Hi -
>> >
>> > Thanks a lot for the link.
>> >
>> > Regarding the Radio/Compression comment - that is sad.  However, WPR
>> doesn't broadcast compressed material if we can help it.  We only
broadcast
>> compressed files that are not produced by us, and are sent to us that
way.
>>  Then, we have no choice.
>> >
>> > Our audio engineers are aware of the difference for the listener.
>> >
>> > Cheers!
>> >
>> > ***********************************************************
>> > Allison A. Smith
>> > Archivist, Wisconsin Public Radio
>> > 821 University Avenue, Suite 7151
>> > Madison, WI   53706-1497
>> > P (608) 263-8806
>> > F (608) 263-9763
>> > [log in to unmask]
>> > It's not true I had nothing on, I had the radio on - Marilyn Monroe
>> >
>> > ***********************************************************
>> >
>> >
>> > -----Original Message-----
>> > From: Association for Recorded Sound Discussion List [mailto:
>> [log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Steve Greene
>> > Sent: Tuesday, March 11, 2014 09:42 AM
>> > To: [log in to unmask]
>> > Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] Toothpaste
>> >
>> > See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Loudness_war! I had never heard the
>> "toothpaste" metaphor either, but it's a great, visceral image!
>> >
>> > Compression is a tool used all the time on radio. In fact radio may be
a
>> prime driver of the trend.
>> >
>> > Steve
>> >
>> > Steve Greene
>> > Audiovisual Archivist
>> > Office of Presidential Libraries
>> > National Archives and Records Administration
>> > (301) 837-1772
>> >
>> >
>> > On Tue, Mar 11, 2014 at 9:51 AM, Smith, Allison <[log in to unmask]
>> >wrote:
>> >
>> >> I am fascinated by this toothpaste discussion.  I've never heard that
>> >> term before!  I tried googling "toothpaste and sound mastering" to get
>> >> some further info, but only found a few very minor discussions (and a
>> >> lot of information about toothpaste in general).
>> >>
>> >> Would someone please explain this to the group - or, send a link that
>> >> does?  Thanks!
>> >>
>> >> This is purely for my own interest...
>> >>
>> >> Allison
>> >>
>> >> ***********************************************************
>> >> Allison A. Smith
>> >> Archivist, Wisconsin Public Radio
>> >> 821 University Avenue, Suite 7151
>> >> Madison, WI   53706-1497
>> >> P (608) 263-8806
>> >> F (608) 263-9763
>> >> [log in to unmask]
>> >> It's not true I had nothing on, I had the radio on - Marilyn Monroe
>> >>
>> >> ***********************************************************
>> >>
>> >> -----Original Message-----
>> >> From: Association for Recorded Sound Discussion List [mailto:
>> >> [log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Tom Fine
>> >> Sent: Tuesday, March 11, 2014 05:57 AM
>> >> To: [log in to unmask]
>> >> Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] Neil Young wants to take h igh-resoluti on
>> >> FLAC audio recordings mainstrea m with Pono - Tech New s and Analysis
>> >>
>> >> The worst example of toothpasting ever was the last Metallica album
>> >> (which still won a Grammy for album art and was nominated for heavy
>> >> metal categories -- nice message about quality from the Grammy folks).
>> >> The RMS average level on that CD is -3dBfs and it's totally clipped.
>> >> It's so over-loud that it clips the analog stage of most playback
>> >> systems, clipping an already clipped waveform. And when it's crunched
>> >> to a lossy format, it clips further because of all the digital overs
>> >> created by the crunching math and psycho-acoustic EQ stuff. Even
>> >> sometimes hearing damaged metal fans hate the sound of that album.
>> >> Music-wise, while it's not up to Metallica's prime standards, it was
>> >> their best album in years and could have stood as a very powerful last
>> >> stand against age and changing music/culture trends. But it sounds so
>> >> bad, I don't think it will be remembered as something as good as the
>> music.
>> >>
>> >> The mastering guys tell me that the biggest problem with the
>> >> toothpasted stuff is that it's often delivered to them like that. Once
>> >> a digital file has been committed to toothpasting, especially if it's
>> >> done track by track, it can't be undone. Even if the toothpaste
>> >> commitment came in the mixing, it's still an expensive and
>> >> time-consuming endeavor to go back and remix it with civilized
dynamics.
>> >> The same is true with analog recordings, of course, and toothpasting
>> >> was not invented in the DAW world (nor in rock music -- see Buddy
>> >> Rich's 1970s Groove Merchant albums as an example of super-compressed
>> jazz production).
>> >>
>> >> As I've said before, the thing that amazes me about toothpasting is
>> >> that the drummers -- usually the tough guys in the band -- let the
>> >> guitarists win and come out louder. Toothpasting hurts electric
>> >> guitars the least and drums the most.
>> >>
>> >> -- Tom Fine
>> >>
>> >>
>> >> ----- Original Message -----
>> >> From: "Shai Drori" <[log in to unmask]>
>> >> To: <[log in to unmask]>
>> >> Sent: Tuesday, March 11, 2014 6:35 AM
>> >> Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] Neil Young wants to take h igh-resoluti on
>> >> FLAC audio recordings mainstrea m with Pono - Tech New s and Analysis
>> >>
>> >>
>> >>> I actually had a client not pay me about a year ago for a mastering
>> >>> job because it wasn't touthpasted. They went and redid it with
>> >>> another engineer who did. And they had the audacity
>> >>> (Spelling?) to use my mixes without paying for them.
>> >>> Shai
>> >>> בתאריך 11/03/14 12:18 PM, ציטוט Tom Fine:
>> >>>> Yes. I lump them with record company hacks.
>> >>>>
>> >>>> ----- Original Message ----- From: "Robert Cham" <[log in to unmask]>
>> >>>> To: <[log in to unmask]>
>> >>>> Sent: Monday, March 10, 2014 10:19 PM
>> >>>> Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] Neil Young wants to take h igh-resoluti on
>> >>>> FLAC audio recordings mainstrea m with Pono - Tech New s and
>> >>>> Analysis
>> >>>>
>> >>>>
>> >>>>> Let's not forget the producers in this. Back when I was very
>> >>>>> active in recording, they were the main proponents of louder is
>> better.
>> >>>>>
>> >>>>> Bob Cham
>> >>>>>
>> >>>>>
>> >>>>>
>> >>>>>> Apple, because it's Apple, hates FLAC and refuses to allow it in
>> >>>>>> iTunes. Meanwhile, Sony is belatedly putting on a big push for
>> >>>>>> native DSD, including a hardware/marketing push. So it's likely
>> >>>>>> to be muddled, SACD vs DVD-A all over again. That said, anything
>> >>>>>> to promote higher-quality downloads is a Good Thing in my book. I
>> >>>>>> include in that Mastered for iTunes, but note that the vast
>> >>>>>> majority of material sold on iTunes was not well mastered or well
>> >> converted to the lossy format. Newer stuff, if it carries the Mastered
>> >> for iTunes certification is better.
>> >>>>>>
>> >>>>>> On another front, I'm seeing slight signs of progress against
>> >>>>>> terrible-sounding toothpaste MAKE IT LOUDER mastering. Just the
>> >>>>>> fact that the high-rez downloads places are demanding reasonable
>> >>>>>> dynamics is trickling down to the CD mastering. I've now heard
>> >>>>>> enough tales of woe from mastering engineers -- "The Artist Made
>> >>>>>> Me Do It" or "The Record Company Suit Made Me Do It" -- that I
>> >>>>>> tend to
>> >> believe them, that Make It Louder is completely the fault of tin-eared
>> >> artists and record company hacks. But that doesn't make the results
>> >> sound any better!
>> >>>>>>
>> >>>>>> --Tom Fine
>> >>>>>>
>> >>>>>> ----- Original Message ----- From: "Tim Stamps"
>> >>>>>> <[log in to unmask]>
>> >>>>>> To: <[log in to unmask]>
>> >>>>>> Sent: Monday, March 10, 2014 6:20 PM
>> >>>>>> Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] Neil Young wants to take h igh-resolution
>> >>>>>> FLAC audio recordings mainstrea m with Pono - Tech News and
>> >>>>>> Analysis
>> >>>>>>
>> >>>>>>> I hope all the players update their software so FLAC will play
>> >>>>>>> on everything, but unfortunately it's not possible since many
>> >>>>>>> players (both software and hardware) sold and/or distributed in
>> >>>>>>> the past
>> >> cannot be updated.
>> >>>>>>> Tim
>> >>>>>>>
>> >>>>>>> On Mar 10, 2014, at 4:42 PM, Steve Greene wrote:
>> >>>>>>>
>> >>>>>>>> http://gigaom.com/2014/03/10/neil-young-wants-to-take-high-reso
>> >>>>>>>> lu tion-flac-audio-recordings-mainstream-with-pono/
>> >>>>>>>>
>> >>>>>>>> Stay tuned...
>> >>>>>>>>
>> >>>>>>>> Curious as to what kind of mass-market penetration you can make
>> >>>>>>>> at that price-point. Is the audiophile market alone enough?
>> >>>>>>>>
>> >>>>>>>> Steve
>> >>>>>>>
>> >>>>>>>
>> >>>>>>
>> >>>>>> !DSPAM:639,531e5abb44331637612606!
>> >>>>>
>> >>>>>
>> >>>>
>> >>>
>> >>> --
>> >>> Cheers
>> >>> Shai Drori
>> >>> Timeless Recordings
>> >>> [log in to unmask]
>> >>> בברכה,
>> >>> שי דרורי
>> >>> מומחה לשימור והמרה של אודיו וידאו וסרטים 8-35 ממ.
>> >>>
>> >>>
>> >>
>>
>
>