Thursday, June 06, 2013

Radioactive, radioactive radio edit controversy

There's a bit of a controversy about a popular song right now called Radioactive by Imagine Dragons.  There's a lot of complaints by fans who bought the album about how the song quality on the album is inferior to what's been playing on the radio and in trailers for movies and on commercials for new TV series.  (Seriously, this song is everywhere right now.)  The complaints are pretty consistent by fans, not even haters.

Distortion was noticeable on digital format as well as CD. Very poor quality on car stereo really drives home the point.
Somehow, producer Alex da Kid thought that intentionally introducing that awful, cheap sounding distortion (several tracks, most notably beginning on 'Radioactive'), was somehow "artistic". What a stupid idea.
What's this about distortion?  The bass in the song Radioactive has been distorted to sound like subwoofers maxed out.  It's a rough and gravelly sound that doesn't sound good on good stereo systems (such as the stereo systems in the average car these days).  I got the CD, and I agree with the criticism.  It's OK, but not good.

Theres something called the radio edit version of the song, which I like, but it also seems like it's distorted too much too.


Anonymous said...

The radio edit pointed to here isn't any better. The vocals are ruined, the bass is still distorted (but quieter), and the song just sounds different.

It seems like the only version of this song with proper-fidelity drums is "Live at the joint". Obviously it's a live version, but it provides a glimpse at how great this song could have been without some of the terrible production decisions.

Seriously, for as song as highly drum-driven as this, employing dynamic range compression, the most noticeable side effect of which is loss of drum punch was the single quickest route to castration.

fcsuper said...

I think it is better, but yes, it's still not perfect by along shot. Someone with the right sound software might be able to remove the noise.

Anonymous said...

F the loudness war, i love the music on Night visions, the cd mastering is horrendous and sounds like a clock radio turned up as loud as it can go. We are mastering music to be played on iPhones and car stereos which both have enough gain to blast an unclipped programme why the F would the mastering be clipped, this is backwards, brainless and destroying music.