Your Parents Are Right: Music Really Has Gotten Louder

Skillet Is Starting to Win Mainstream Music Fans

From that point on, the graph shoots upwards. S It’s very important, at this point, to specify exactly what the researchers mean by “louder.” This is not the actual volume of the music, the kind that you can turn up and down with a knob. Rather, this measure of loudness considers the difference between the softest part of the song and the loudest part. Over time, the softest parts of songs have been getting increasingly louder while the loudest part is getting closer and closer to the max. Try playing Rage Against the Machine and The Supremes at the same time. You’ll get the point. But that’s not all. Music has actually been getting consistently more energetic”energetic” being the mix of volume, beats, structural changes and instrument sounds. Echo Nest did a similar survey of those 5,000 songs and found that music today is about three times more energetic than it was back in the days of sock hops. So are we just a fiercer generation, one that wants MORE all the time? More volume, more energy, more power? More, more, more!

Your Parents Are Right: Music Really Has Gotten Louder

Today’s bands and record labels know their audiences aren’t listening at home on a stereo, so they have to make sure the music’s volume never changes. That way the listeners can hear it well enough in the noisiest of places. That’s why engineers compress music, compression boosts the softer sounds, and flattens the really loud bits, so it all comes out sounding the same. From a whisper to a scream, it’s all equally loud. Adding a little extra zing to the mix helps it cut better over the lowest-fi Bluetooth speakers, especially when there’s lots of competing sound on the beach or park or other settings. And since most BT speakers are just one speaker, mono is well on its way to replacing stereo over speakers. They haven’t figured out how to lose stereo over headphones just yet, but given enough time I’m sure it will happen. Of course, folks who occasionally listen in quieter places, over decent speakers or headphones, are rightfully appalled by the sound. They voice their outrage on various forums , including this blog , but we more attentive listeners are just a tiny minority. Most folks happily consume overly compressed and processed music, and sadly, I can’t see that changing anytime soon. That’s reality; the engineers will continue to skew their mixes by pumping up the midbass and adding sizzle to the treble, so the sound cuts through the murk. Subtlety doesn’t make sense anymore. The brightest ray of hope for good sound is the continuing vinyl sales boom, but again, the overall number of vinyl listeners is small.

An inconvenient truth: Why music sounds bad

Email | Twitter | Google+ The Music City Center has generated over $26 million in economic impact during its first full quarter of operations, Convention Center Authority officials announced today. The $623 million convention center, which opened in late May, held 100 events in July, August and September. In total, the events brought more than 62,000 visitors, generating 18,751 hotel room nights. According to the release, tax collections are outperforming projections and the Music City Center portion of tax collections was up 12.7 percent year over year for July 2013. “We’ve been very fortunate to have the opportunity to host events for numerous groups in the community, most recently the NAACP’s 40th annual Freedom Fund Gala and the Nashville Downtown Partnership’s annual Meeting and Awards Luncheon,” Charles Starks , president and CEO of the Music City Center, said in a release. “We have been very busy but our team has done a great job adjusting to the high demand that this building has created and things are running very smoothly.” August was the MCC’s slowest month, generating 1,424 room nights and $2.3 million in economic impact. The new convention center, which relied on public financing to be built, is forecasted to generate $200 million in economic impact for fiscal year 2014. E.J. Boyer covers Nashville’s health care industry and legal affairs. Related links:

Roberto Fonseca, Pedrito Martinez looking to move Afro-Cuban music forward

In this Tuesday, Oct. 1, 2013 photo, the northern lights glow north of Havre, Mont. on Highway 232.  The conditions of the sky were clear that made it favorable for viewing the northern lights.  (AP Photo/Havre Daily News, Lindsay Brown) MANDATORY CREDIT

Dizzying and dazzling, it sounds like falling down the stairs and landing on your feet. To me, music doesnt have frontiers, doesnt have borders, Fonseca says over the phone from a tour stop in New Orleans, perhaps the only city in this hemisphere crammed with more musical magic per square foot than Havana. When people listen to my music, they feel good, even if theyre not from Cuba. Fonseca has helped push Afro-Cuban music further into the 21st century on other recordings, too his work with British dubstep pioneer Mala produced an intriguing 2012 album called Mala in Cuba . But, Fonseca said, his desire to move Cuban music ahead feels more personal, almost internal. It would have been easy to name myself the Buena Vista Social Club new generation, Fonseca said. But now its my career, and people are really accepting. We are starting from zero here, and Im feeling really good. My music is my life and my life is my music. * * * New York percussionist and singer Pedrito Martinez seems to be following similar impulses on the excellent, eponymous debut album from the Pedrito Martinez Group, out Tuesday. The album grinds the band leaders original compositions up against tunes made famous by Led Zeppelin and the Jackson 5 all played with a zeal that should burnish Martinezs reputation as one of the most vital and charismatic Afro-Latin percussionists on the planet. The 40-year-old conga player first learned Cubas rhythmic dialects in the streets of Havana, but he said his curiosity is continuously stoked by the music of New York City. Everything comes from tradition, and what you do is add, Martinez said over the telephone. Its Afro-Cuban music interpreted by someone whos been in the United States for 15 years. Martinez first left his native Cuba for a tour of Canada in 1998, and in 2000, took first place at the Thelonious Monk International Afro-Latin Jazz Hand Drum Competition, held at the Kennedy Center. Since then, hes appeared on more than 100 recordings, all while performing regularly at private Santeria ceremonies at apartments across various New York boroughs. His group an ace quartet that includes keyboardist Ariacne Trujillo, bassist Alvaro Benavides and percussionist Jhair Sala still maintains a weekly residency at Guantanamera, a Cuban restaurant in Hells Kitchen. Martinez said the gig has helped him learn to a play with a dynamism and intensity that can rip across rooms of any size. We made this band in a little restaurant where people are eating and talking, Martinez said.

Music City Center gets its first quarterly report card

“No one really knows why our last album went platinum,” Korey Cooper said. “… So there’s even added pressure of how do you follow up something nobody can really put a handle on why it was successful.” It could be of the energy they’ve put into relentlessly touring, concentrating on both mainstream and Christian crowds. They are in South America starting Thursday and will join Nickelback in Europe Oct. 26. “Rise” made its debut at No. 4 on the Billboard 200 chart and No. 1 on the Top Rock Albums and Alternative Albums charts. And this comes after the group’s last album in 2009, “Awake,” reached No. 2. Despite their success, they’ve not had that one giant crossover hit, said Anthony Delia, senior vice president of marketing for their label, Atlantic.