Adventures In Audio

Why is modern music so bad?

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take your chits:  Everything is quantized to the grid so there's no humanity to it. There are some great vocalists these days but even their vocals are spliced apart and quantized and tuned. It's not bad in and of itself, it's just terribly boring.

Bond, Gabe Bond:  For the old set, those born around 1950, the sound was representative of the times. Not to ignore the sound quality of music as it blasted through the airwaves, we got music from a different type of band, not like the Benny Goodman stuff, but San Francico and New York rock. The sheer variety of bands is what made that period so great. That is what is missing today. Imagine the year 1967, the year I graduated from High School. It was The Doors, The Grateful Dead, Quicksilver Messenger Service, Procol Harum, Janic Joplin with Big Brother and Jefferson Airplane. It's easy to see that not all of great music was super processed, it was, to put it simply, different and beautiful. Who can't say the Moody Blues weren't great integrating orchestral music in their albums. Oh, and let's not forget when the Beatles arrived in the US, it was an event. All the girls were screaming and wetting their panties. Today is boring in comparison. As I tell people who are too young, you had to be there during that time period to take it all in. For those who were fortunate to live on the east coast, Woodstock was a experience no one who attended will forget.

Mark Furst:  “This one goes to eleven”

Stuart Coyle:  There is a difference between an artist using distortion as a music creation tool and an incompetent engineer crushing the dynamic range and introducing clipping. Rock music would not exist without distortion.

Mace:  Expression levels are down, that means there is less information contained in each song. Some old standard constructs, such as choruses, improv or melody have largely been abandoned. A lot of general expression has been abandoned. Melodic fluidity has also been hampered. I think musicians are much less capable with their instruments than the greats of the past. Some people don't even play an instrument. Lack of ability at playing an instrument leads to simpler compositions. Music of the past used to cover more ground. Getting somewhere used to be a priority, now pieces barely go anywhere. While Mozart may have had too many notes, today's music has too little. Personally, I blame the curtailing of music classes in schools. Kids and young adults should be able to do improv, and compose pieces with many notes. But their education has been suppressed. Also, corporations have hindered fluidic songs from reaching the mainstream. Consequently, what we hear from record companies is mitigated, in the name of a truncated formula the music industry believes is profitable. Music suffers because of their dogma. Complexity has been replaced by simplicity. Creativity is lacking.

Fernando Rivera:  You need to listen more stuff from this new era to give a better opinion, it's very poor to say "it's just noise", COME ON!. There are a lot of great bands that are making incredible things now with the big influence of iconic bands of past decades but giving their own skills and sounds. Nowadays we are living the age of DIVERSITY where we can find a lot of styles like Post-Punk, New- Wave, Psychedelia, Krautrock, Synth-Pop, Shoegaze, Noise-Rock, Experimental Music, Electronica, etc., etc all of them mixed with fantastic results. New artists and groups are very talented like PURITY RING, FONTAINES D.C., CHVRCHES, THE DRUMS, THE VACCINES, GRIMES, SHAME, DRY CLEANING, ALVVAYS, MOON DUO, METYL ETHEL, EFTERKLANG, WET LEG, etc. Seems the "generational thing" is affecting you and you are living in the past. You need to have open eide ears and listen new Music without prejudice...👍👍👍

chuckschilling:  The vast majority of the music I love today I wasn't aware even existed until I was basically in my last couple of years of college (and later).

Uffdad:  Is it me or is music devolving into an embarrassing stream of static that pretends to be something that it isn't? I have listened to most every music genre since the early 60's and found each decade to have interesting but varied music that was at least somewhat enjoyable. However, when the equivalent of scrapping fingernails across a blackboard dares to be called music because it was processed intensively enough by computer algorisms and autotune, then perhaps one should take a pass on it and then go revisit the music that was recognized as music in all the previous decades. The quality difference between the two will be quite evident. The modern listener has the obligation to call out bad recordings for what there are and not pretend that the shoddy result was what the artist truly intended.

Jae Emans:  "Old man yells at cloud" - all this guy's videos

Audio Masterclass replies to Jae Emans: Thank you for watching all of my videos. DM

Mike Saunders:  Made with not enough drugs …..and too many computers 😉 by people whose only perspective on life is through gooning at a smart phone. What’s the hideous “vocoder?” Whine on the vocals…..give me Sister Ray any day.

olivier geoffroy:  good video ..thanx for it ... for me pop music from 2010 til today are completly algorythmic it's like composers take some samples from anywhere and try to mix it properly to write a poor song and it' s in every style ...if you are a bit passionate of music you can understand that it's an art not a product to forget every week in the sixties band were running after composing a memorable song .. now it's not ... listening to the radio is like having noise next to you and it's everywhere even when you go to the supermarket or a shop ....we live a regression time ...very sad ..

Olivier Beltrami:  Music was better before it became “video with a soundtrack” and ugly people were no longer allowed to play it.

Jason Gultjaeff:  Most of the popular stuff in the charts is just bad, musically and I think technically on the recording side, for the reasons you mention. To my young kids, there is lots of great stuff, they will sing the songs and not care one iota about anything else. So there is a taste issue. There are still lots of great musicians and music out there, that sounds great to me. This pop stuff....nope. lol

paul hall:  its has no feel

Poindexter Queue:  There's lots of good music out there, but you have to search for it. General tastes have become rotten, and the most popular music is generally bad... it makes the 60s - 90s look like a unique period, when general tastes in music were better.

Spice Kai:  It's definitely the sound. I don't mind the music at all but the sound is pretty tiring to listen to. I'm quite young but I'm becoming more of an audiophile each year and a lot of modern music (sound-wise) just hurts my ears. That said there are some amazing artists out there, with good audio. They just don't get shown off in the mainstream.

Carlos W:  I expected a discussion about music and musical aesthetic. Unfortunately this video is about sound, recording, producing, etc etc. Too bad.

OrdinaryWorld:  More than ever, pop music has become increasingly banal, vapid and soulless... over simplistic, minimalistic, without growth or dynamics. Less complex than a nursery rhyme, with a few overused cheap tricks being the only hook to catch the naïve, musically illiterate ear. And the lyrics, unimaginative and cliched, often while pretending to be profound or clever. Insult to injury, modern music is masquerading as something of greater integrity than it really is, while being little more than a below average jingle.

Remy David:  Here's what I've learned. Since I started digital recording.. 40 years ago. In, 1983. After having been, QC Manager for the legendary, Scully studio recorder manufacturer.

That's it would digital recording. Due to the way pulse code modulation works. Unfortunately. While everybody is trying to seek headroom. By creating operating levels at, -12 or -16 or -24. There are different schools of thought. About those operating levels. Which can be explained.

When all we had was studio analog tape recorders. You could expect a normal 65 DB window of operation. From noise floor to, 3% distortion of the third harmonic of 1 kHz. Which of course is 3 kHz. A dissonant sounding frequency as it is not musically related to the fundamental at 1 kHz. And sounds nasty. Which only give you 65 DB of working dynamic range on analog tape. Yet fabulous sounding recordings were still made.

And when we tweaked a tape recorder. We generally had operating levels set. So as to provide for, 15 DB of headroom. Before the tape would get really distorted sounding. And stopped at about +15 over 0 average operating level. Even though the audio console would output up to, +24 and beyond to +32. That would not get reproduced on tape. It would all stop at +15 and yet Saturated. And distorted. A little saturation not so bad. A lot of saturation. Clueless amateur hour.

And so those different operating levels between -12, -16, -24. Just arbitrarily indicate. How much headroom you're going to get. Before you start clipping out. And -24 four clueless entry-level beginners. -12 for those of us. With proper Audio Engineering, techniques. And basically -16 for everyone else. That basically mimics the headroom of, analog tape. But will clip instead of saturate. And will sound like clicks and clack's out your speakers. And will not possess the smooth Saturation from analog tape.

And there are those of us. That were involved in, Audio Recording Technologies.. And are early adopters. And what I have personally discovered is. These analog-to-digital converters. From the early originals. To present day. Lose a lot of their punch and beauty. When you are reserving all of this encoding and bits. That never become a part of the music. You are not encoding the bulk of the sound of your signal! And none of these analog-to-digital converters sound all that great. At these lower volume levels. The resolution goes down not up.

Many and most transient peaks. Really do not add anything. To the quality of sound. It does not represent the destruction of dynamic range. When micro second percussive peaks are clipped or lost. This is not primary audio source material. It is a transient peak. Gone before you hear it.

So everything whole and untouched. Electronically. Doesn't necessarily represent more accurate or less accurate electronically reproduced sound. It's just may be different? And people want to put all sorts of other verbiage to those descriptors warm and punchy. Thin and crispy. Metallic and brittle. Sweet and sultry. Balls to the wall. Pretty rhetoric. To try and describe sound to a deaf person. Or trying to explain color to a person who was born without eyesight. And I happen to know both folk. I was even interviewing Stevie Wonder. When my interview was interrupted due to a plane crash into the Potomac River at the 14th St., Bridge. In 1982. And I couldn't believe I was sitting next to Stevie Wonder. Recording him at the interview. For NBC Radio. When I had to go to chase dead people underwater in an airliner fuselage. Without getting wet. I used a battery-operated handheld cassette recorder. And it was only snow that landed on me. And airliners do not land on automotive bridges into Washington DC. What a mess. Stupid pilot error again. We are expecting a bus driver. To pilot a bus going 325 miles an hour and high enough you can't breathe. And they aren't making good decisions. Not 41 years ago. Not today. They are still trying to figure it out. And then their 737 Max 8. Wants to nose down. As the flight computer has turned into a homicidal maniac. That are compensating for an improperly mounted, jet engine. Instead of coming up with a better smaller, efficient and more powerful engine. Which can't yet be done and they want to make their agreed profits. So upgrade the software. And see if anybody else dies? Tested on humans. Because it's cruel to do it on monkeys. Humans make better monkeys. As you no longer even get free peanuts on short flights anymore. They would go bankrupt if they did.

I would also have to say. Modern music sound bad today. Because it's now manufactured by children playing. With their video games using audio software. And there are no actual musicians. And so it's musical recordings. Missing musicians and music and instruments and audio engineers and microphones and recording devices.. Not needed anymore. Available at the drive through. At McDonald's. Or is it Whataburger? One of those..

When a beautiful musical artform. Has been turned into a children's game toy. What do you think everything's going to sound like. The Beatles couldn't read any music. And that didn't matter. 50-60 years ago. Because there were no computers. There was no software. They had to practice. They had to rehearse. All non sequiturs today. Practice? I eat every day. What more do I need to practice? Nothing when you have software. And you've learned all the computer hack cheats, to win. You are so cool! You have knowledge in nothing. Tick-tock tick-tock. Now everybody's going to graduate from tick-tock University. Of implied FARTS.

I'm glad. I will likely be dead. By the time this young generation tries to take over. Notice I said, tries. They will give it their all. For at least 10 minutes. When they have a meltdown. Discovering their smart phone has been taken off the network. Freaking out. And not knowing what to do? Because they never learned anything beyond their smart phone. And Twitter and Insta Gram and Facebook. They know nothing. They've learned, nothing. And they will soon be in charge of all of our lives. And they have learned, nothing. No respect. No manners. No facts necessary. It's whatever Twitter says. It's whatever tick-tock says. Supreme Court? Not anymore. Now they have Twitter and Truth Social! That is anything but. Run by a madman. They are all run by madmen. What is a Zuckerberg? We all know what Musk is. Baboons reek from it! And well Elon is from Africa. And he's starting to stink. He also is to take over the US government. Because he knows better! They all know better! How to rule the world!

It used to be the Hatfields and the McCoys. Now it's going to be the Bozos and Musk Rat Love. Such a genius! He figured out how eBay could accept credit cards. A genius! A man filled with, Apartheid. Who got out of his rat infested country. To infest ours. With his rats. And cars and batteries and rocket ships. Because the US government and NASA. Doesn't know how to do that. Only a smart ass South African dogs. That's holding his carrot. In front of 350 million Americans. Here. You're going to want to purchase my car. We don't have to fix them. They fix themselves over at the GM dealers. Since real Tesla dealers is just a non sequitur. Sucker customers all. More money than brains. And thus will always be such. With stupid people that have money.

I know that it's painful. For all of us to know this. But wealthy people have no morals. They can't.

Rick Totty:  Most people don’t listen to music anymore. It just there and it doesn’t matter how it sounds. In my opinion, most music is destroyed in the recording, whether it was in the 60s or last week.

Remy David:  I'll tell you what isn't bad. My British sounding friend. You! Yes you.

Yes your microphone. And the processing you are using. Is, Outstanding! Thank you! Thank you thank you thank you!

Yeah I'll tell you. All of these other YouTube channel jokers. Trying to teach kids. As adults. How to make good homegrown rock 'n' roll recordings. Never at any Fucking Proper Processing! On their spoken word microphones! And they are trying to tell you how to make good recordings? They don't know how themselves! Ugh!

Yours just sounds fucking marvelous! So do my voice tracks. I specialize in, spoken word voice tracks. Nobody does them better than me. You come in a close 2nd I'd say. And that's a compliment sir. Rarely have I heard anybody on YouTube. Using proper processing and EQ on their microphone.

And so what is that shotgun MIC you've got? Sennheiser? RODE? Audio technical? Neumann? I'd like to say a Sennheiser. The 415. Not the really long 815. But I also don't hear that, wispy quality to the sound of the Sennheiser. And then assume it's likely a, RODE? Because I have a long, audio technical gray colored shotgun microphone also. It doesn't sound that good. And I've got an old Sony. And one of the small modular, low-cost, Sennheiser's.. Based around the MKE-2 lavalier. With the screw-on, short shotgun. And it doesn't sound like yours. Not that modular type.

But again I have to say. Your sound and your microphone processing is no less than, wonderful sounding. And what I enjoy. From our fine cousins across the pond. You guys are just the best. But then. I have owned 2 large custom 36 input, 1972, Rupert Neve, audio consoles. While I also declined a job offer. Back around 1983, 40 years ago from, Sir George Martin. And I don't think he offered to hire too many Americans ever? But I couldn't take him up on his offer. I was in love. And my love. Would later become. A renowned, Dramatic Opera Singer. And I was in love and funding her career. I would've had to say bye-bye and good luck. She would have done fine without me. But I stuck by the person I loved. And George Martin was shocked and told me if I changed my mind. To call him up. Or did he say ring him up? I can't remember? I changed my mind the following week. But I stuck by her for the next 10 years. And by that time. I was helping my next spouse out. When Quincy Jones made me an offer. And I had to decline.

Now when you get offers from those two guys. It made me realize. I wasn't just any other audio engineer. And NBC--TV & Radio in Washington, DC. And a hit recording studio in New York City. Also knew that about me. So did Baltimore's largest and most legendary recording studio. Know that about me. When they offered me Chief Maintenance Engineer for this multi-million-dollar facility. When I was only 16 years old. And I declined that offer. Not because I wanted to. But because my mentor. Who spent 23 years at Johns Hopkins University. Looking forward to his retirement in the next and 2. Got laid off after 23 years. And I was able to toss a full-time job. Doing something my mentor really truly loved. And one of the best in the world at. And I got hired on a few months later. At 17. An assigned my own control room. Cool! I was on my way. For my next 50 years. Now I'm 67 and retired. And this is all I have ever done for a living in my life. So I've been very lucky. Extremely lucky. I've beaten all the odds. And progressed to the technical top of the heap of, Engineers. And I'm originally a high school dropout with nothing more than a GED. And I have influenced the entire world television network news industry. Little old me. They engineer the TV News. The way I told them to back in 1984. When NBC was the first in the world to go with, Stereo TV. And I was the only one consulted. How to engineer the news in stereo. Which we still do not do to this day. Due to my engineering dissertation. Not to. And so it's all my fault LOL. It really is. I made a lot of sense. A great deal of sense. That the News. Shouldn't really be, Entertainment. And that's why the news is not in stereo. The music for the show is. And that's the only thing. I told them to play in stereo.

And so one never knows the sweeping influence. One could have on an entire industry throughout the world. But these things do happen. I mean who was Jeffrey Bozo? When he was just selling books on the Internet. And I thought he would go out of business, quickly. Whoops. Unfortunately he did not. And has been destroying American businesses, ever since. And some of the rich guy who decided to make some battery-operated cars on a folly. Because that's our rich guys amuse themselves. Then they move on to other things once they get bored with those toys. Then rocket ships! And turn it into a fun and profit-making carnival ride! Who cares of people get killed! They get to be weightless! And well everybody likes getting seasick don't they?

I've only gotten seasick once. Between Puerto Rico and St. Thomas US Virgin Islands. On a clear day. With a smooth glass like ocean. And I wasn't the only one tossing my cookies up. On a high-speed catamaran. That held 325 people. When I lost my breakfast. And did not want to eat lunch or dinner. Once we got to US Virgin Islands. One hour later. Oh my God! What the hell? I don't know why I got seasick? My dad was a private pilot. And I was a student pilot. And you practice stuff in the plane. That should make you sick. But doesn't. This boat was on flatwater. No waves.. Everybody's barfing. It was weird. I never want to be on a high-speed catamaran again. I forfeited my return fare tickets. And spent double the price for a one-way airfare back. What a miserable experience seasickness is. So do I want to be weightless? Not_any_more.

Be careful what you wish for.

Remy David:  I don't even have to listen to this video to answer the question. Why is modern music so bad? It's simple. The answer is simple. It's math. And copyright law.

All of the great melodies. Contain a series of musical intervals. That our brains are intrinsically attracted to. They are harmonically related. They are melodically, related. They are chordal structures that are deep. And every note has a serial number. All of which have been copyrighted. In the order in which they appear of 12 notes.

Copyright law now prevents, modern music from sounding good. Because all of the great melodies have already been copyrighted. As it is a mathematical equation. And after a while the numbers begin to repeat. This is a mathematical certainty.

And so when you remove everybody's, creative rights. We now have non-melodies. That are not worth remembering. Let your brain does not process. It provides no food. No inspiration. No connections. No emotions. It is empty. It is commercial pop music. Made only to generate money.

Today virtually nobody is willing. To pay a very small reasonable fee. To perform a piece of already copyrighted music. From decades ago. That has an actual memorable, melody, to it.

And so most young people songwriters today. Have never heard those other copyrighted songs. And are told. You can't copyright your song. So they get a degree in Home Economics, instead. Which is housekeeping. Because there musical creativity has been stifled and denied them. Because somebody else from 60 years ago. Came up with the same song. That they never heard. They never once even had a chance. And the musical arts die a cold and cruel death.

And that's why modern pop music totally sucks today. It's a bunch of sampled drum beatbox automated playbacks. That lacks all humanity. It's all fake. There is nobody playing any instruments! There is nobody singing! None of them can sing. Without a computer. They have no talent.

And that's why modern pop music sucks, today. We are leaving our children, nothing. Except copyright law bullshit. And their creative juices, stifled and extinguished. Because it cannot improve. Until copyright law is radically changed. Like with 4 your limits. Not 80 or 100 year limits. That is not fair. That is not rational. That is not human.. And music exemplifies our humanity.

And so when you take music away from the people. You also take away their humanity. And without humanity. We can have no lovely music ever again. And all because of copyright law. Which the Chinese have no concern of. As they get to dictate everything for themselves.

And where dictators are the norm. The world over. There is but one way to deal with that. And it's not nice. But then neither are they. We shall be pounding into the ground. As that must be done again. Last time we had 2 world wars back to back. One that started in 1914. Another that pretty much started in 1934. Just 20 years later. Now it's been 100 years nearly. 80+. And they all want to do it again. Proving that Homo sapiens cannot learn. Even though. There are those of us who have that capacity. We are living amongst a species of Homo sapiens. That aren't us. They are more primitive and more tribal. And us intelligent Homo sapiens 2.0 all know this. This is what Hitler thought he had discovered. But the wrong way. He was after the wrong people. He didn't get the smart ones to be on his side. Because he didn't like Jews. And that was his only reason. The same as these Republicunt's in the USA today. Without thought. Without function. Without a talent. Without a career. Without a future. And that's the problem with Homo sapiens 1.0. They are not evolutionarily advanced enough to function with us in the 21st Century anymore. The days of cowboys are over. And little boys have trouble dealing with that. But it's true. And anyone who doesn't want to recognize this? Is another fool in denial. And has decided to cross over. To the stupid side. To be like everybody else.. Who is, stupid. Or is that who are, stupid? As I really don't need to be concerned with that English. Writing out, technical manuals and instructions. My late brother had a degree in English. But I went to the University of Marijuana. And I read lots and lots of technical manuals. Written by college grads. Who obviously failed English. Like me. As my English only has to be so precise, so accurate. To tell you how to fix your tape recorder. Or what kind and how to position microphones on a rock 'n' roll drum set. Versus a jazz drum set. And how you might do that differently? And why.

So there are Professionals and there are Professional Amateurs. Most are professional amateurs or amateur professionals. And most of us actual professionals. Don't associate much with, wannabe like you guys, much. Because they want to begin teaching us. That which they know nothing of. But think it should work their way. When they are off by a milestone. Or maybe a Mile stoned? Yes that's it.. They must have been stoned, at least for the past, mile. As it's a requirement now. In states where it is legal. You are required to consume it. In copious amounts. To record rock 'n' roll.

And don't come back until you have!

MARCELO PENA ONFRAY:  Because it's just entertainment, not art.

MARCELO PENA ONFRAY:  Porque es solo entretenimiento, no arte.

Smn B:  modern music isn't bad at all, you're just old, stuck in the past and cant accept change and stuck in a constant nostalgia-loop.

cheesestring replies to Smn B: as a young person he's right

basspig:  Music is a barometer of a country's culture. And the culture has been declining since the mid-1960s. We are at the point now where it's just people who are mentally ill wailing about their hopeless lives and Negroes screaming and women screaming as if they're vaginas are being hit with hot pokers. It's disgusting. That's why I get all my music from Japan now.

Majik Glustik:  Rock n' roll is noise pollution.
A current selection I find likable?
Francesca Battestelli...
If we're honest.
A beautiful sound; a sound message. What are you're thoughts? If we're honest is on youTube. Enjoy!

henry alva:  Modern music isn't bad, mainstream modern music is, because it's mostly based on Rap and Hip Hop. The easiest and cheapest "music" to produce, because it requires no talent. It's really not an age thing, because kids today are still listening to that garbage, just like kids did 25, 30 years ago. Goes to show that people listen to whatever the media feeds them, it's not because they like it

Stephen Campisi:  What a load. People who listen only to US rock music and break it up by decades, as though it’s not all the same pile of simplistic monotony of weak melodies and syrupy romance lyrics. Open your minds and ears to the thousand years of music we have from across the globe.

H - DawG:  It's not me, it's definitely U2. They make terrible music!!

Ad4waVe:  Nah new music is just bad, I'm 20 i keep listening to old music from the 80s especially and comparing em to new TikTok trending music, old is gold in my opinion because they actually tried and cared to make something nice to the ears but today's music is just trash

Glyn Dwr:  Music is different now because file sharing and demise of mainstream media choke points has removed a mainstream cultural current that everybody was familiar with. Even when people were making underground music, it was always in dialogue with that current. What's replaced popular music is a million tiny niche genres that most people can't even find unless an algorithm points them in that direction. Then there's the issue of labels that no longer think it's economically viable to sign and develop new artists. They instead expect artists to already have a following before they even sign them and invest in them. This is a very different environment than the post war consumer culture which produced rock and pop music as we know it. That emerged in the 1950s and began to evaporate at some point in the 2000s, so it really is likely that music actually is different than it was. It's not just you. If it sucks or not is subjective, but I certainly think it sucks, for the most part.

Hexspa:  Not all modern music sounds as squashed as that second example. The first punkish example sounded fine. Listen to Skrillex “Rumble” for an example of loud but clean.

I’m mixing one of my tracks now and it’s really a continuous choice as to how squashed I want it. Personally, I don’t prefer a suffocated sound from too much limiting. Then again, I’ve left my transients too spiky in the past.

Regardless, the point is moot. Most young people don’t have the critical listening skills nor experience to hear the difference. They will mostly listen to whatever is currently popular until past 13 when they start digging deeper. Eventually they’ll prefer greater dynamic range.

It’s a circle of life. Next.

miwafoxl:  I don't feel like audio quality should be considered something linear. What I mean by "linear" is that there is a absolute goal in sound where everything sounds perfect. We live in the era of the lossless streaming, which means we are at the roof already, there is no next level (if we don't consider stereo spacing perhaps).

I like to see this as stylistic decisions made by the engineer or the producer itself. Making a unnecessarily loud song with little to no dynamics it's a (pathetically) plausible stylistic choice, because loud is better for the masses, the algorithm really likes it. I don't like it. One other example of stylistic decision in the mastering session for two songs I've made, it really wanna to add imperfection to it, not that it sounded perfect, it just felt too digital and flat to me despite having nothing wrong in the mixing itself, so I added random DC Offset pops (when it changes DC instantaneously) throughout the song simulating kinda of vinyl pops and even had fun implementing them rhythmically to complement one of the songs. This is an imperfection, but it was my stylistic choice to add that. Unfortunately, we can't exactly tell if [A] that's me being dumb, or [B] it's me purposely adding those with an idea in mind. I would say that the example you shown in the video is probably A because c'mon it's a pop song what do you expect. Still, audio quality could be a art on itself, subjective and non-linear, standardized for good.

The music industry it's kinda of doomed to be that way though, the popularization of social media and the rise of the "algorithm" gave a north to what's OBJECTIVELY good content (Art = Content now). The algorithm didn't deleted the "subjective" factor, it's more like if the listeners were magnified towards "this" personification of normal, almost like an NPC. Now, if there is a way that is guaranteed to make you money, then why you should even try? How dare you try to think, that doesn't make money!!!!

Speaking more about the music itself, age is a huge factor, but for this time round I don't think it is, I'm probably not the only one to hate this kind of modern music coming from a Gen-Z perspective. For me, it just sounds pretentious, soulless, irritant, repetitive, mediocre, creatively crippled, lyrically pathetic, i'm listening to what it feels like an advertisement for the artist rather than an expression.

There is good modern music, unfortunately those are almost undiscoverable, making good music is not correlated with popularity anymore. I don't think it ever was. Well since I'm not so sure about what is "good" for you, I can't exactly say that this statement is confident enough, but I would recommend you digging a little in Bandcamp. Not everything is great, you will surely stump across something unpleasant, but it showed me that there at least some light at the end of the tunnel.

The CD, Vinyl and Cassette being revived are wrong in so many levels, the quality is obviously inferior — we thought — but it's just shows that some people are crushing on imperfections and inconvenience, because old inconvenient way of listening to music make it so much more worth your time than just 1-click in Spotify. You would prepare your playing device, open your disk cage and put it in, and then your would sit and listen to it. The inconveniences in the way made music more worth listening and thinking about it. Now what, we use Spotify to add background music while we're having a intercourse? I would call that convenience overload. Jokes aside, perhaps music is not as appreciated by the masses as it used to be, and future pretentious musicians growing up this "souless" era will most likely produce something worse. You can't exactly apply the Nostalgia factor when young people are on that trend too.

Ever heard of Hyperpop? It's bad, don't listen to it, stay away😭

Silly Sad:  and then you realize that Kingdom Come is not a mere impersonator, they are actually good.

Silly Sad:  it is not the "modern" it is the "PROMOTED" music is indeed that horrible on each and every level. (composition included)

Explosive Diarrhea:  AURORA is modern and is good music

┴ᔕƎᐯᖇᗩᕼ ʞᑌᑎᗷ:  What do you say to a 10-ton dinosaur wearing headphones?
Whatever you want. He can't hear you!

Mike Binkowski:  I grew up on video game music and always thought contemporary music of my time was just noise.

Angry Foetus:  The thing is that modern music isn’t like old chart music. You can find almost every type of music either genre or age-style.

I use a basic set up and just make use of what I have - guitars, bass, keyboard, microphone.

q u i e t l a b o u r:  All these new music simps coming out white nighting is funny as hell.Dude didn't even say the music itself is bad that its the recording.Well i think both are bad.

Diego:  Because they use a computer to record music and computers are only multi task devises.

grimble:  It depends on what to define as 'music'. It tends to come to down to popular music when people label it as better before vs. now. What's on the charts. Culturally, the West is in a state of neo-conformism right now, it's been going in that direction fot twenty years, and it is harsh at the moment, and it is reflected in the music of course, because most artists adapt to the times. It's not good times for music, poetry and art. It's good times for science, facts and statistics. It's very difficult to be a creative individualist now. Almost impossible, to an extent where you risk being cancelled and banned and censored and named and shamed, if you go your own way.

elitefitrea:  I find that most music today doesn’t even rise to the level of noise; it’s generally boring & forgettable :/

Brett Marlar:  I think it has more to do with the fact that everything is recorded digitally. The chief complaint when it started was that it was "too clean" sounding as you didn't have any crosstalk on the channels or saturation caused by overloading the tape. So if you didn't have access to an analog tape machine that you could then load into a DAW, they had to figure out a way to add that saturation on order to sound more "organic". Before tape and console emulation the best they could come up with was over compressing, over limiting, and use of distortion plugins.
Now, it could be fairly argued that it's been taken too far. But I'm not going to throw producers under the bus, by saying that it is all their fault for how modern music gets the reputation it has of being "bad". I have found bands out there that are doing some very cool things, musically. (Admittedly some do have a nostalgic vibe to them that speaks to me, but they're not derivative of those songs/bands of my youth.) My main gripe with a lot of contemporary music is that it's too "safe" sounding. No musical risks being taken. Everything adheres to a formula and is so heavily quantized that it has no chaos, or humanity to have an emotional impact.

Kevin McLogan:  Yeah, no. Really bad example to kick off this old man video. Wet Leg rules! Take it from this boomer, we're not all as square as this guy.

EreViGS:  Something I noticed is that a lot of songs rely heavily on repetition to make itself addicting and more listenable. Less details are thrown around under the foreground because its easier to do so, and far less instruments, or the illusion of it, are on display.

It doesn't mean that I won't like it as I've been exposed to all kinds of music before my 20s, but I will say I can notice the sheer differences in both theming for songs and tracks and how tracks are organized overall.

I know music is a business but businesses are soulless and empty as their only motivation is profit in the long run. Music historically has been the opposite of what businesses want, which is to take risks. Today in all kinds of media, anyone who's made a living seems to be taking less risks.

Kind of an advantage for us lesser known producers, wouldn't you say?

Mike Ferguson:  I think that it is ultimately one's taste in music. I too am older, and normally when I hear new music, I tend to write it off--specifically music that has no actual instruments, other than synthesizers and samples. However, I do try to keep an open mind, and if there is true talent and creativity there, it will shine through. Take Billie eilish for example. When she became hugely famous, I did not like her music, but after seeing things like the tiny desk concert and other things were it's completely stripped down and just her and her brother singing with a single guitar, she has an objectively beautiful voice that she controls with precision. And for musicians in that category, live performance separates the the eye candy from the truly talented.

P Man:  I'm 50 and love heaps of current music Wet Leg included! There's so much out there that is so easy to find that I could not have dreamed of doing when I was young.

Problem is people equate the loudness of these songs to them being rubbish.

Sam Hill:  I'm maybe the exception (definitely in my household), but what I like now is as far removed from what I listened to in the 1970s, which at best I can tolerate when I hear it now. For me what's interesting is always what's new and doing something different sonically.

Martijn:  Depending on the type of track and the skills of the producer and mastering engineer -8 db LUFS seems to be the upper limit before degrading distortion kicks in. For most music genres -10 dB LUFS Is the limit. The original CD pressing of Thriller has an Integrated loudness of -13.9 dB LUFS.

Graeme J W Smith:  Ha ha ha - I agree - parents thought it was "noise".

BUT - today - no really - curmudgeon that I am - like you - it IS JUST NOISE

Autotuned to death - no one can actually sing.

And it sounds like CRAP because streaming is full of compression artefacts. HiFi long ago stopped being of any quality - unless you want to get into lossless formats.

And THAT is why (old time) vinyl DOES sound better - even though digital is technically capable of being better. It's not just the nostalgia factor - vinyl is actually engineered.

Daniel Abilez:  Call it what you want. It neither good or bad. It is someone else's summer. It is their time.. You are out of phase. It is a small matter.. You had your time under the sun.

Audio Masterclass replies to Daniel Abilez: You didn’t watch the whole video. DM

Kristi Munn:  I 100% thought this was Paul McCartney

IndianaBones:  I find that the internet, as in so many things, is a two-edged sword with music. SO many musicians self-publish or promote themselves online, so that there is an embarrassment of riches of all sorts of genres of music online. However, seeing that older people (and I'm 54 so I'm close to that) lack the online skills of younger generations, they tend to miss the variety, and only see (and hear) the staid morass of top-40 dross put out by corporate music studios...and then remark that "all modern music is garbage." Make the effort to look for the good stuff--use some of that vaunted older person will be worth the effort.

Boon Doggle:  Most of the music that I listen to now I was exposed to well after the age of twenty, and most of the music that I listened to in those formative years I only listen to occasionally now. Most of the music that I listen to ranges from the 40s through the 90s, with the bulk of it being made in the 60s and the 70s before I was even born. My issue is with more modern music is that it just isn’t very good musically because the musicians just aren’t as talented as they were in years past. I’m sure there are some exceptions that I’m not being exposed to but generally I just don’t think that it’s very good. I also think that music that came out decades before I was born is very often better than the music I listened to in my formative years.

79mercedes:  Hi:
Derek F. hit the nail on the head. Kudo's!

Being born in the 50's, and you may agree, the music today lacks much of what music used to consist of. The music of the late 50's through to the 90's had much more compositional structure. For example: this generally consisted of an intro followed by a couple of verses, which would tell the story, then a chorus which was more of a "refrain" for lack of a better term. This intern was followed by a bridge which was both musically and lyrically different from both verses and choruses. Followed possibly by a solo and then a repeat of the verse chorus and then the extro - this made music appealing and interesting! If you listen to much of the music from the era's I've mentioned above you'll hear this structure. (Don't get me wrong there was still "bad" music back then)

Unfortunately many of the songs today lack that very important part of what I consider "good song writing". Now it's one - and sometimes one only - repeating "theme" accompanied with a few very uninteresting chords and then - out! Short and to the point - well - not much of a point generally. As such, being a subscriber of Spotify, I find that I have to search much longer and harder to find music that is both appealing and interesting to me.

My big influence was the Beatles and because of them gave me the burning desire to become a drummer. This eventually turned into a profession for me and doing much of my recording, touring and TV work from the 1970's up to and including the 2000's song "structure" was very prevalent. Now I find it's very hard for me to have any desire to listen to "pop" radio. Don't get me wrong there are still some very interesting artists out there who are still writing and performing "great" music. Unfortunately for me I generally find them out buy pure chance. Such as on Kimmel, Colbert, PBS etc, or a link while checking out a band on Spotify which then leads to a different band I've never heard of and so on.

In closing all I can suggest is don't get discouraged - keep looking - great music is out there it's just more of a challenge to find it!
Thank you.

AJMjazz:  Today's music is written to fit in the time allowed by tiktok and mixed to sound good through the audio processing and micrometer diameter of a smartphone's speaker.
I grew up in the 1960's and prefer human musicians playing conventional musical instruments, no auto-tune on vocals, no quantizing to the grid, and some musical variety in chord structure, dynamics between sections of the song, and structure (verse/chorus/bridge, etc.) In general. Give me the Gershwins or Cole Porter any day over what is considered "songs" or "music" today. A "boomer" and proud of it.

Paolo Coletti:  It's considered "bad" when it doesn't speak to you, your life and your world.

mioufie23:  Turn it up to 11!

mioufie23:  OK Boomer

Audio Masterclass replies to mioufie23: This is why you shouldn't comment before you've watched the whole video. DM

garet teasdale:  something I have in common with my niece Rhian, of wetleg. we both got btec national diplomas in music technology! its quite possible this being the first work ahead of producing the album she did not have a lot of input into the production of the song, the studio probably used their junior engineers, even in post production, I am overjoyed she became a success on the strength of this tune. having listened to the album only on small speakers it is difficult to discern, but it sounds "live" like a live cut demo, not a meticulously and possibly over produced studio master, which knowing the energy the band has, is probably what they were hoping to achieve.

Mike B replies to garet teasdale: I adore the production of the wet leg songs I heard. I like the rich-wall-of-fuzz. And it sounds great on my high-end buds set to 100% (my hearing is a lost cause at this point). I see no problem with it at all, the vocals are distinct and that Wall is appropriate to the genre and intention. It's not like they're a twee indie-pop band ruined by distortion; they're essentially a punk band (in the broadest sense). Kudos to your kin, her band, and the producers.

Stevo McSteve:  Music is played by musicians. Musicians make music. If nobody is playing an instrument then what you are hearing is not music. That is mostly why the "music" is so bad now. You have people today calling themselves musicians that couldn't actually perform or play an instrument if their lives depended on it.

mike schaper:

mike schaper:

Allan Fifield:  Two Thoughts: 1. The first clip sounded much better to my 74 year old years than the second clip. The sound of the second clip would wear my hearing out quickly. 2. I have some commercial albums (formerly vinyl and now CD) that are poor to listen to on speakers than are magical on good quality headphones. Other albums seem to make no difference speakers or headphones. What gives?

Audio Masterclass replies to Allan Fifield: Regarding speakers vs. headphones, if music is mixed on headphones and sounds good on headphones then it might not necessarily sound good on speakers. However if music is mixed on speakers and sounds good, then it will usually sound good on headphones. DM

Bennett Theissen:  I'm almost 70, so generally your age, and I appreciate what you say. I'm a radio dj and I play everything from the past to now. Mostly now. However, I do not use streaming services. I am on Bandcamp and Amazon and am always listening to new music. For instance, Felicita, PC Music, Charli XCX, Carlline Polachek, while at the same time listening to Bob Dylan, Robert Johnson, Hendrix, Miles and Sun Ra etc. I will record a song and then master it myself so the sound fits what I need, rather than booming so loudly, which I don't enjoy. Modern music isn't bad. How we listen to it is what's bad. Volume isn't everything but clarity is. I love new music. Never use Spotify!

Joe Brewer:  It’s very easy one so bad. All modern artist overthink everything.

Jamaicafunk:  Jeez…I thought it was McCartney in the thumbnail 😮

John Quimby:  A useful counterpoint is this example from the 60's. Try measuring the dynamic range of a Phil Spector recording like "Baby I love You" by the Ronettes. Back when we played that 45 on an AM radio station the VU meter on the broadcast console barely moved. Phil was a very successful producer of many hits and an influence on other bands and producers. Why? He was innovative. The "Wall of Sound" effect made his records LOUD and somehow loud is good. Bouncing tape tracks down several generations to layer in multiple instrumental, chorus and lead vocal tracks, added reverb, analog limiting and compression plus tape compression, tube overdrive and more compression to the master were all added distortion. But the thunderous drum sound and piano chords that jump out at you in the intro grab your attention and Ronnie Spector's vocal never let's it go. It sounds like she's singing over a speeding freight train shaking itself to bits and it's classic! Adding "secret sauce" to a meal can be a great thing. Being served nothing but sauce leaves you wanting something more.  Taste plays a big role. Modern popular music is lacking finesse. A song like in the air tonight has finesse in it, especially compared to the cheap shit of today. Classical music in comparison , the bolero of Ravel has much more finesse that Phil Collin's song.
I get he feeling that the commercial popular music is getting cheaper and less effort is benign put in producing it. having a good voice is not even a thing anymore. Also most music today is being listened to in clubs with horrible audio installations and overpowering their smps and speakers (causing distortions), or on phones and cheap headphones that will never produce a competing sound compared to a 1970-1990's stereo installation.

Geoff Stockton:  When I was a young adult in the 1990s it was easy to believe that new music was bad when listening to music through the ears of somebody who loves harmony. It seemed like harmony sort of hit its peak in the 1940s and 1950s with the evolution of jazz and big band and then it was all down hill all the way to Am G F. But in the last few years when we have somebody like Jacob Collier winning multiple Grammies, stacking 300 vocal tracks with chords that haven't even been named yet, one really has to generalize to call modern music noise.

Trevor Monroe:  i just turned 76, and Tori Amos' first album wasis absolutely thrilling. So, there's exceptions.

beingsshepherd:  Instead of parochial bickering, why not compare the brightest star leading today's musical zeitgeist with those of previous eras?
Is Adele superior to Michael Jackson and if so in which ways?

Noodle Tribunal:  awesome video

Michael Groom:  Great evaluation. Sorry but these tracks have absolutely no dynamics and are way too loud for no reason........WHY.?

chameleon47:  Yeah, plenty of present-day "mastering" isn't. Try dirty dubstep if you want to recoil in horror. It is at 0 to +6. Not exaggerating. Mastering nightmare.

thvsch:  Streaming services suck. I absolutely do not understand why any serious music lover would choose listening to streaming services. Songs are too loud, they sound flat, no dynamics, no depth. The experience of listening to a physical audio source is so much better, no matter if it’s cd, vinyl or even cassette tape.

G D W Lawrence:  Wet leg ….I gave this to my daughter on vinyl for Xmas . She plays it in her student flat and seems rather happy with the album which is yellow.

G D W Lawrence replies to G D W Lawrence: @Audio Masterclass it’s probably the same! She has a modest set up. Not important at all. She loves vinyl

Audio Masterclass replies to G D W Lawrence: I haven't heard the vinyl but it may well be that it doesn't suffer the problems of the digital version. DM

Hexspa:  I was learning from audio masterclass back in '09!

Lebowski Servicios:  while i agree with the "imprinting" thesis, i wanted to understand your distortion example better. it would have helped me if you had done 2 extra things ...played the same clips with the volume normalization on vs off ..i really wasn't sure whether you were demonstrating that or just talking about it. Then i would have liked the same comparison fone with some classic rock tracks ...that would have driven the point home much better. That said i don't think my dislike of contemporary pop has anything to do with distortion or lack of. As an engineer you are drawn to engineering explanations, while Rick Beato as a musician first is drawn to technical musical explanations. Neither approach really satisfies the non musician like me. Andy Edwards is a musician but he stays away from technical explanations, so i grock his explanations better..That said, i enjoy hearing your engineering details ...i just don't see the direct application to the particular scenario of older like vs newer dislike.

Audio Masterclass replies to Lebowski Servicios: It wouldn't sound any different with volume normalization off, just quieter. I might in future compare an original version from the early days of CD with a remastered streaming version. That should be interesting. DM

Lee Davidson:  From a technical perspective, there is not an ounce of doubt that todays slamming of the master recording is unprecedented, and its all down to those numbskulls at the record company who thought that if its louder, they'll sell more.. as for the "music" itself, its not so much about it being "all noise", but more about being the SAME noise, IE: generic pop music.. with all the fear at present over the possibility of AI taking over the creative process, i'd suggest that the process of change has already been happening for the last 15-20 years, effectively prepping us, so by the time the transition occurs, we won't even notice the difference (one clue.. think autotune..). As for the reason for all this nonsense..? Its not hard to work out.. whilst im perfectly happy for all concerned to make a healthy profit, it becomes a problem when it directly affects the CULTURE.. the record companies now all answer to a higher power, with art or artists way down the pecking order.. so i figure there's only one of 2 options: We're all doomed i tells ya.. or, buy strictly independent music directly from the artist.. the internet can be used FOR GOOD as well as evil.. but back to the distortion.. i master at -16, and refuse to go any further.

Audio Masterclass replies to Lee Davidson: Thank you for your interesting comment. I would much rather place my YouTube soundtracks at -23 LUFS than YouTube's preferred -14. I compromise at around -16 LUFS. This is sometimes not exact if I use an audio example, or if my Betty animation appears because her voice can be a bit shrill at high level. I'm just thankful I can buy a blu-ray movie and get good sound with a wide dynamic range. How long will that last though? DM

iLyesh:  It isnt bad. You are just listening to the shit.
First you should ask yourself about your musical taste. Is it really that good like you might think ?
There is a plenty of good music out there. You just have to look for it with open mind...just my 5 cents..cheers.

Audio Masterclass replies to iLyesh: That's where I'm going wrong of course! I'm listening to the sh*t that people like and send to the top of the Billboard chart. I'm in agreement that there's good music out there with good sound. The problem is that no-one likes it. DM

PsychoLogix:  Most modern music is crap. But sometimes an intrigung sound comes out which sounds good anyway. The challenge with people producing music is that there has to be something to catch the interest of the listener and each decade gets musically defined by certain unique features.

However, in general music is becoming, more noise orientated and as a rule of thumb a genuinely good song will sound good even if played on one guitar or one keyboard. If a song stripped down to one instrument sounds rubbish then objectivley speaking it probably is rubbish..

nope nada:  The argument I would make is that the amount of talented songwriters and musicians has fallen dramatically. Modern music is formulaic, uninteresting due to the lack of dynamics and evocative chord progressions, uninteresting lyrics or, worse, offensive lyrics (nothing new there, I'll admit), WAY overused autotune and other studio crutches, and repetitive, canned beats and sounds. Modern music is disposable. None of these new songs will be played in ten years, unlike the Beatles, Pink Floyd, Led Zepplin, even 60s hits, which are all still played regularly40 and 50 years later. Every song I hear from top 40 lists is uninspiring rubbish and I don't think it's because I'm old (60), it's because the music is indeed objectively bad. There IS some new music that is genuinely good, even great, but it simply doesn't get into the ears of most of us, because the music industry is too busy spoon-feeding the masses this disposable rubbish that is churned out by talentless hacks who are more about their looks than their musicianship. I know, I sound bitter.

That's because I am.

AV Geek:  What you didn’t mention about the samples you played is that there is no “space” in the music. Just constant instrumentation and vocals. It gets fatiguing very quickly to the ears. Space between notes and different instruments is an important part of music. BTW: I’m a mix/sound engineer and musician, so that’s my perspective.

AV Geek replies to AV Geek: @Audio Masterclass I'd never heard that quote. I like that!

Audio Masterclass replies to AV Geek: As Miles Davis is reported to have said, "In music, silence is more important than sound" DM

Helene Stromfors:  Instead of whining about it DO SOMETHING!!!

Audio Masterclass replies to Helene Stromfors: The gist of the video, for anyone who hasn't watched it or watched all of it, is the distortion that is added intentionally to the music. I can't understand it, but it seems to be popular. If people really do like it, then there's nothing I can possibly say or do to make a difference. DM

Константин Лактионов:  I hated only modern lyrics. Music it's just a music. Okay loudness it's maybe bad, noise and distortion maybe harmful or tiredfull but lyrics, it's just unhumatized and super harmful. Lyrics must be punished and stopped.

Commonsense 101:  I would go to age 25 but after that (1984 for me) I began to dislike most new music. On occasion, someone or a band would get me after 1984 but it was rare. Did this just happen to match up to the new revolution of CD? Or was it just a coincidence?
Perhaps I am always going to be a fan of the 2.5 minute classic rock-style song with the odd longer song cracking my code.

jagmarc:  Something that never changes over the decades is the younger dont have the experience to realise there's virtually zero originality nor is much thought put into music creation. Often just the demo mode or default setting of the very latest thing on the market

carlos juliao:  this is a VERY good observation that could be applied to possibly ALL generational differences of taste.
our programming becomes less malleable with age & as humans we tend to cling to what WE were exposed to "The Way" things should be
brilliantly illustrated in this video with a very clear explanation as it applies to music (and i am NOT much of an audiophile). nicely done! & thanks for the video! :)

Roberto Peña:  I just moved to Qobuz.

HiltonBenchley:  Here's a thought I occasionally mull over when thinking about what I like. When I was a teenager a lot of music was rubbish. Most of what I listened to was people older than me, though not usually by a great deal. But their lyrics were relatable. As I grew up, the artists I liked grew up, and I still listened to many of them, finding their stuff still relatable. Then there were groups aimed very much at teenage girls. I didn't listen to them. The older I've become, the less inclined I am to relate to new younger artists. I'm this age, and they don't speak for me. The ones from 40 years ago who were not much older, I related to then and mostly related to them ever since. etc. New fads inevitably come along and some I don't mind while others I find to be noise. As a teen I thought or hoped that my musical tastes would always be on the cutting edge of new music. That didn't happen. Oh well. The 1960s were the best years for pop music and I didn't start listening until about 1975.

TheAgeOfAnalog:  That Wet Leg record is a hoot. So much fun and my vinyl copy actually sounds great.

Audio Masterclass replies to TheAgeOfAnalog: I haven't heard the vinyl but it is possible that the mastering is different, perhaps with less added distortion. DM

Bruce VAIR-TURNBULL:  I don't think your long expostulation on the technical shortcomings can get away from the fact that both the clips you played were simply crap.

From Somewhere, A Transmission:  2:00 yes, I really do love Altin Gün, that's recent. No, it doesn't sound like anything I grew up with in the 1987-2007ies.
I absolutely love Taeko Ohnuki's stuff, and that doesn't sound anything like what I grew up with, that's before my time.
And yes, I don't speak Turkish nor Japanese. So it really is about the music as art, as an object that creates feeling.

Mike Baas:  Yes, music sounds better with proper mastering. What kind of question is that?

Audio Masterclass replies to Mike Baas: 'Proper mastering'. I think we can take it that the people who master these songs know what they are doing and the added distortion and extreme LUFS levels are intentional. Proper mastering to me would be what makes the music sound at its best. But proper mastering in the music industry is what conforms to the current trend, which is more-distorted/louder equals better. DM

Gary XHLC:  From "Melancholy Elephants" by Spider Robinson (entire short story on his website, free read!):
"There are eighty-eight notes.   One hundred and seventy-six, if your ear is good enough to pick out quarter tones.   Add in rests and so forth, different time signatures.   Pick a figure for maximum number of notes a melody can contain.   I do not know the figure for the maximum possible number of melodies--too many variables--but I am sure it is quite high.  
"I  am certain that is not infinity.   
"For one thing, a great many of those possible arrays of eighty-eight notes will not be perceived as music, as melody, by the human ear.   Perhaps more than half.   They will not be hummable, whistleable, listenable--some will be actively unpleasant to hear.   Another large fraction will be so similar to each other as to be effectively identical: if you change three notes of the Moonlight Sonata, you have not created something new.  
"I do not know the figure for the maximum number of discretely appreciable melodies, and again I'm certain it is quite high, and again I am certain that it is not infinity
[...] Wagner wrote well over sixty hours of music--the Ring alone runs twenty-one hours.   The Beatles--essentially two composers--produced over twelve hours of original music in less than ten years.   Why were the greats of yesteryear so much more prolific?  
"There were more enjoyable permutations of eighty-eight notes for them to find."
XHLC adds: (𝑎𝑛𝑑 𝑛𝑜𝑡 𝑙𝑜𝑐𝑘𝑒𝑑 𝑎𝑤𝑎𝑦 𝑏𝑒ℎ𝑖𝑛𝑑 𝑐𝑜𝑝𝑦𝑟𝑖𝑔ℎ𝑡!)

fractalign:  I started discovering music in my late teens, that was the late 80’s. There has always been awful music through every decade, I don’t think music now is better or worse than any other decade.

Jordan replies to fractalign: I’m 30, and I’m starting to think music kind of peaked 7-8 years ago, cannot see people making albums better overall than they did in 2013-2015. Really hope my mind changes in this, but general creativity and album flow across the board has been in a downward swing for years, I kept telling everyone music was so good they just didn’t know for the last 13 years but that feeling is gone as of the last few, artists like Charli XcX, Beyoncé, and weirdly Enough Ariana Grande give me hope for popular music to grow and be better than the modern classics, but for now I either need to do some deeper investigation or the stagnation of modern sounds has actually been achieved.

I don’t know if this is too much to read or not, but I had to stop myself from going fully into all of the major modern genres because I definitely don’t mean to only focus on pop, my favorite genres personally are death metal, post-hardcore, progressive rock, hardcore punk, and golden era boom bap hip-hop, but I am very familiar for modern rap (drake, Kanye, Travis etc), while modern rock is an enigma, people think Imagine dragons makes rock music, and the ones crying about the state of modern rock don’t like the actual artists like Every Time I Die or Coheed and Cambria because they’re too heavy or eccentric and deep into niches.

beingsshepherd replies to fractalign: But is the collective Western psyche better or worse?

Pol Morgan:  Hi there, I'm about your age and have been trying to 'make it' all my adult life. I went to live in Hollywood for ten years, and did pretty well, then lost everything, Now i live back in my native Glasgow and have been writing and recording in my home studio for the last two years or so. How relevant do you think older people like me are in the modern world? There has never been more people all trying to make music, and i think thats a good thing, but i feel much of it is not that good to my ear, I wonder what my Genre is. I have become a recluse over the past ten years and litterally have no social media presence, i am starting from having the best songs i think i have recorded yet absolultly nobody listening. Iam hopefully going to release the two almost finnished full albums i have over the next year. But i am at the 'tinkering with the mixes' stage. I have origonal titles and artwork to go with the twenty good tunes of the two hundred i have recorded. Do you have any advice? other than get my ass in gear and get the tunes out. thanks, all the best.

Pol Morgan replies to Pol Morgan: @Audio Masterclass yeah i see that but i'm asking anyone who seems to unnderstand the recording world. i really am stuck on not knowing why i do what i do, thanks for answering.

Audio Masterclass replies to Pol Morgan: I'm definitely not the right person to ask about this, but I can pass on what seems to be good advice. First, get yourself a social media presence. TikTok is a good community for music. Make vids that showcase snippets of your music. Give people a reason to like you. Then release on Spotify via a distributor such as CDBaby. Promote your release in advance to your TikTok audience, then on release day make several vids recommending your audience to go to your track on Spotify. It's not so much about your music, although that has to be good - people have to like you, then that gives them a reason to listen to your music. That's all I have for now. Good luck. DM

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David Mellor

David Mellor

David Mellor is CEO and Course Director of Audio Masterclass. David has designed courses in audio education and training since 1986 and is the publisher and principal writer of Adventures In Audio.

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VIDEO: How much do you want to add real tube magic to your DAW? (Features Freqtube FT-1)

Add real tube magic to your DAW with the Freqtube FT-1

Unleash your creativity with the Taiga: The ultimate paraphonic modular synthesizer

From flat to fabulous: Transforming your audio with parametric EQ

What is saturation? (It's not what you think it is)

Why is the Neumann U47 considered the best microphone ever made?

Why should you learn pro audio?

When recording vocals, should you always be the same distance from the mic?

SoundBite: Does compressor attack time work above the threshold?

SoundBite: An introduction to decibels

SoundBite: Panning effects with filters

SoundBite: Put an end to clipping with the 32-bit float WAV file format

SoundBite: Left-right stereo to MS and back again

SoundBite: Gated reverb on snare from scratch

A stereo microphone - Should you want one? What can you do with it?

The EQ unwanted resonance trick - Is it wrong?

How to set the shortest attack time in your compressor

How to make your masters louder, even though streaming platforms don't allow it

Why the Tascam TM-82 dynamic microphone does not have an on/off switch

What buffer size setting should you use in your DAW?

Why you should (or should not) upgrade to an Apple Mac Studio