Saturday, February 5, 2011

The Quest for Dynamics: part 1

Lately as I've been trying to add more and more dynamics into my mixes, I've ran into interesting problem with how different musical genres "should sound". When you tune in to your favorite radio/TV channel, most of the time you hear this flat and overly compressed sound wall coming your way. No dynamics to speak of; just this huge "block of sound" making its presence known through your speakers.

Many dance floor productions don't achieve this sound at the mastering stage by over compressing / limiting the final mix. Usually the sound comes from using dynamically "lacking" sounds in the first place, which is fine and many dance floor stomping teens don't seem to mind at all. But I do. The hard part would be getting those dynamics into the mix and still sounding good and familiar to the regular listener. It may sound simple enough, but the whole feel of the dance tracks changes dramatically when you create more dynamically/transient rich sounds and mix them well together. The mix starts sounding musically more interesting, but does it appeal to the club frequenting audience? Probably not. The mix just doesn't have that hugeness to it anymore which is expected of every dance track out there. That's the problem.

Most of the time I can't be arsed about this stuff since I usually won't spend that much time working on my tracks anyway. But from time to time I feel like paying closer attention to the details of production and on getting better results. When I'm doing this, I usually learn something new. My intention is to blog these new things I've learned, so expect a couple of blog entries on the dynamic range tricks with some audio examples included.

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