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Mastering engineer Ian Shepherd says Metallica’s new Death Magnetic has been compressed just about as much as it’s possible to compress audio.

This is nothing new. In 2007, producer David Bendeth says over the past decade and a half, a revolution in recording technology has changed the way albums are produced, mixed and mastered — almost always for the worse. “They make it loud to get [listeners’] attention,” Bendeth says. Like many of his peers, Bendeth believes that relying too much on this effect can obscure sonic detail, rob music of its emotional power and leave listeners with what engineers call ear fatigue. “I think most everything is mastered a little too loud,” Bendeth says. “The industry decided that it’s a volume contest.”

According to Shepherd, the problem goes beyond compression. He says some parts are actually distorted from digital clipping. “As you can easily see,” he writes, “the CD version on the bottom has been heavily compressed, limited and/or clipped, and sounds massively distorted as a result.” Later analysis showed that the CD is 10 dB louder than the Guitar Hero version, which sounds about twice as loud to the ear, according to one description. That’s some wicked compression”.

“According to this analysis, audiophiles would be better off recording the songs from the videogame than buying the album because the Guitar Hero version has far more dynamic range than the hyper-compressed CD version”.

Ted Jenson who mastered Death Magnetic, whose comments can be supposably found on the ‘Metallica Forum‘  says he is not to blame. “I get to slam my head against that brick wall every day. In this case, the mixes were already brick-walled before they arrived at my place. Suffice to say I would never be pushed to overdrive things as far as they are here. “Believe me I’m not proud to be associated with this one, and we can only hope that some good will come from this in some form of backlash against volume above all else.”

In this case, the engineers, Greg Fidelman and Andrew Scheps, put their hands in mastering/brick walling the mixes before it was even sent to Ted Jenson.

When will engineers and mastering engineers end this loudness war?  When it comes to making records, Metallica is known to  sweat every last drop of blood.  Do they deserve an album with a sound comparable to a tv commercial? Absolutely not!  Please remaster and remix this incredible record and give the band and the fans a record with soul.

Sign the Petition here.

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If  music doesn’t affect your emotional state of being it’s questionable whether one should call it music. Let’s welcome Dawm Lanten originally from UK now residing in NYC. Lanten is hugely inspired by T.Rex, Hall and Oats, Lennon, and Jess Roden. The track On High is about Lanten seeking spiritual truth, while the dark and gloomy Blow Me Down refers to the long walk of a holy man. Lanten is less serious on Hell Is A Tomb Mind as he speaks of over indulgence and the rock and roll lifestyle. The fact is, true songwring still exists and few are able to channel thoughts above and beyond this world filled with distractions.  ‘Email info

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Q Prime, an old school management firm that handles Metallica and The Red Hot Chili Peppers will launch a record label called Mom & Pop music company. “Our ambition is not to be ‘indie’ or ‘major.” Instead, we are striving toward what would now be considered a boutique label, taking our inspiration from great historical music companies like A&M, Chrysalis, Sire, and Island – labels that maintained the best balance of cultural importance and commercial appeal, ” says Q Prime’s Cliff Burnstein.

Myspace Music, originally set to launch yesterday has been delayed until next week. Myspace Music has yet to find a CEO to helm the ship.

Warner Music: FOX columnist Roger Friedman is taking stabs at the Warner leadership. Edgar Bronfman Jr. promoted Lyor Cohen from head bounder to chief bounder. “Believe it or not, the reward for doing nothing but selling out your company is a promotion at Warner M. Group,” says Friedman. Cohen’s most decisive move in the last year? Selling off more than $6 million in stock to buy a tear-down house in the Hamptons. “WMG stock finished at $7.97 Tuesday. A year ago it was over $10. That was before Madonna and Nickelback left. This week, the company released what most people expect to be the final album by Metallica before that group moves on. …

This Week Sales:

Metallica ‘Death Magnetic’- 489,889
Kid Rock ‘Rock N Roll Jesus’ – 74,947
Slipknot ‘All Hope Is Gone’ – 51,773
Staind ‘Illusion of Progress’ – 18,308
Journety ‘Revelation’ – 12,919
3 Doors Down – Self Titled – 10,620
Hollywood Undead ‘ Swan Songs’ – 8,446
Shinedown ‘Sound Of Madness’ – 6,859
Rehab ‘ Graffiti The World’ – 5,374
Secondhand Serenade ‘Twist My Story’ – 5,302
Death Cab For Cutie  ‘Narros Stairs’ – 4,908

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Total Request Live the series on MTV that features popular music videos will soon shut down after 10 years on the air. TRL was used as a promotion tool used by musicians, actors, and other celebrities to promote their newest works to the teen demographic.

MTV pulled the plug because the popularity of music videos perished along with the TRL artists including Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera, N’Sync, Eminem, The Backstreet Boys, Blink-182, and Jessica Simpson.

The writing was on the wall at this year Video Music Awards when the German boy band Tokio Hotel walked on stage and grabbed the moon man trophy for Best New Artist. Long gone are the days when N’Sync was as popular as Sarah Palin, instead it’s Tokio Who?

Today’s Best New Artist is the artist no one knows about.

“The show spent ten years cycling the worst of pop music into daily rotation. And while you’d think that a decade in the biz would confer some legitimacy onto the show, you’d be wrong: Its Nielsen score actually peaked in 1999, after a mere year on the air”.  (Wired)

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Don Henley gives virtual chat with Star-Telegram pop music critic
Preston Jones.

“The record labels have always stolen from artists; now, music consumers are doing it, too. The only way for a musician to make a living anymore is on the road, because the Internet has just about succeeded in killing copyright”.

“We came up in an era when bands actually tried to avoid publicity except for what was absolutely necessary. Our generation of musicians also considered the visual media as something to be avoided in most instances. We tried to maintain an air of mystery, a little aloofness. We would hole up and write our songs, record them, reluctantly do a photo session, give a couple of interviews and then hit the road”.

“The live performance was the thing and FM radio was king. There wasn’t all this silly celebrity culture, all these tabloid TV shows and rabid packs of paparazzi roaming the streets. There was no YouTube, no MySpace, no TMZ. In the ‘60s and early ‘70s, most artists weren’t willing to “ho” to get their fifteen minutes of fame”.

“Back in the day, there was no MTV or VH-1. That was the beginning of the end, I think — MTV. It forcibly turned an aural medium into a visual medium and, in doing so, killed the opportunity for the listener to use his imagination. Bob Pittman, the inventor of MTV, said: “Young Americans are TV babies. If you got their emotions going, forget their logic, you’ve got ’em”.

“He went on to convince the struggling, major labels that MTV was the ultimate promotional tool — and, for a time, it was, enabling the majors to sell trainloads of absolute crap. During the MTV era, the number of one-hit wonders grew exponentially, and the music business has never recovered. As the song says, “Video killed the radio star,” and now the Internet is finishing the job”.

I don’t know if we would have made it in today’s climate. I’m not sure that we would have wanted to.”

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