Dynamics in Drumming, an Entire Dimension far too long squashed and squandered — Everything usually “Maximized” boosting every whisper to scream-volume

From the video comments — “It’s funny because far too many of the “pro” drum videos, MTV music videos, and actual pro performers, they essentially have Near-Zero dynamics and instead blast and belt away, fortissississississississimmmmmmmmmmo “ffff”, no FFFF, and more commonly full-freaking-blast, maximal arm-swings, baseball-bat sticks, real head-denting / cymbal-cracking FFFFFFFFFFF – and they get paid and glorified for playing that jackhammering (literally akin to every piano note being “played” by whack-a-mole-elbow-smashes-down-onto-the-keys). It’s overwhelmingly common and it is undeniable by even the non-musicians; disheartening, destructive (to instrument and the music), deafening. Dynamics is an entire dimension for too long actively squashed and done-away-with by in no small part the mastered-for-near-zero-dynamic-range-environment-of-the-automobile-playback mentality that has always existed in all pop music. Dynamic players are not just facing the obtuse recording engineers who demand “more even volume” but also the oafish mastering engineers who do not serve music but industry which demands “louder, LOUDER!” at the expense of all performance nuance and sanity. It is refreshing to hear your core based on simplicity and dynamic variation.”



“Dynamics” in drumming refer to the variation in volume, intensity, and articulation that a drummer employs while playing. It involves the control and manipulation of loudness and softness, as well as the emphasis and accents within a musical passage. Dynamic range is essential for expressing emotion, creating contrast, and adding musicality to drum performances.

Dynamic compression, on the other hand, is an audio processing technique used to reduce the dynamic range of a signal. It works by attenuating the louder parts of the signal while leaving the quieter parts unaffected, effectively reducing the difference between the loudest and quietest parts of the audio. This can result in a more consistent volume level throughout the performance, making it easier to control and manage the overall sound.

While dynamic compression can be a useful tool in certain audio production scenarios, such as ensuring a consistent level in a mix or enhancing the perceived loudness of a track, it can also lead to degraded sound quality if applied excessively or improperly. Over-compression can squash the natural dynamics of a drum performance, removing the subtle nuances and variations in volume that contribute to its expressiveness and musicality. This can result in a flat, lifeless sound lacking in energy and excitement.

To avoid degraded sound quality due to dynamic compression, it’s essential to use compression judiciously and in moderation. The goal should be to enhance the sound while preserving its natural dynamics and character, rather than sacrificing musicality for the sake of volume consistency. Additionally, it’s crucial to pay attention to the attack and release settings of the compressor, as well as the overall gain reduction applied, to ensure that the compression is applied in a way that complements the musical context and preserves the integrity of the drum performance.

Compare the 1983 dynamic variation with 1999 “mastered” version —

[image source https://milbert.com/articles]



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