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14 June 2007


the improvising guitarist

The alluded to chronology—the ‘authentic’ ’80s vs. the ‘artificial’ present—is a little simplistic (does anyone actually remember the ’80s?). OTOH, what’s interesting for me is what we have to iron over to get this nice picture. Although the greed decade was, AFAIK, prior to the widespread use of multi-band compression, it still had its fair share (sometimes creative, sometimes not) of heavy compression—take, for example, the contrasting uses by Prince or My Bloody Valentine…

…or, er, the Phil Collins patented compressed, gated drums (okay, okay, I think that last example might be a borderline war crime).





The video is not talking about using compression effects on individual instruments in order to get a specific sound -- it's talking about compression at the mastering stage, where the entire mix is flattened out in pursuit of a louder average sound. There is no question that the average recording from the eighties had a much wider dynamic range than today's recordings do -- the Stylus piece I linked to last year goes into a lot more detail on that front.

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