Curmudgeon by Nirvana (1992 vs. 2004) - The Loudness War





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Uploaded on Nov 23, 2008

"Curmudgeon" by Nirvana, waveform and VU meter comparison

Lithium CD single version (1992) vs. With the Lights Out boxed set version (2004)

My full blog post:

The remastered version (2004) has been heavily compressed and is missing 7.8 dB of dynamic range compared to the original (1992). What does this mean?

Well, by watching the VU meter in the bottom right corner, you can actually see that the original version (1992) has more energy and dynamics than the remastered version (2004), which is flat and lifeless.

Also, listen to the snare drum. In the original version (1992), it's crisp, clear, and powerful, as it should be. In the remastered version (2004), it's barely audible.

What was once a powerful hard rock song is now a mushy, nondescript mess. All of the peaks have been flattened and the song has been ruined, just for the sake of making it *seem* louder, but compressing the music to this extent actually has the opposite effect. It makes the music sound *less* powerful because the attacks of the instruments and vocals have been severely limited and, in many cases, clipped and distorted.

What good is releasing the world's loudest rock CD if it sounds like distorted garbage?

Fortunately in 2007, engineer/producer Charles Dye, musician John Ralston, and recording studio owner Allen Wagner have created http://www.turnmeup.org - a non-profit music industry organization working to give artists the choice to release more dynamic recordings.

As a musician, music lover, and audio enthusiast, I fully support this movement and really hope it catches on soon.



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