Here at Angry Metal Guy, we get a lot of common comments and questions. I am creating this document to make things a bit clearer. It will be added up from time to time.
Q: What is this “DR” thing you keep prattling on about?
A: DR stands for dynamic range which is the ratio of the softest to the loudest sounds occurring in a piece of music. Generally speaking, the greater the range, the deeper and more complex the music sounds to the human ear. Inversely, the lower the dynamic range the more everything sounds flat and uniform with little overall variation.
Q: How can you complain about production and DR when you’re using lossy files?
A: In controlled settings, the human ear does not hear the difference between a lossless file and a 320 kB/s mp3, as what is being compressed is the information that often exists beyond what you can hear. Furthermore, according to one study I read,1 in controlled studio environments with ‘audiophile’ level equipment, individuals could not tell the difference between lossless files and mp3 files as compressed as 160 kB/s. It is at 128 kB/s that the human ear apparently becomes capable of telling the difference between the files.
However, this does not have the effect on Dynamic Range measurements that critics would expect. I ran a series of experiments where I ripped albums as lossless files and converted them to 320 kB/s, 256 kB/s, 224 kB/s, 192 kB/s, 160 kB/s, and 128 kb/s mp3s respectively. Rather than lowering the DR, file compression increased it.2
Q: Would you consider reviewing _Insert Album Here_?
A: No. Or, well, maybe, but probably not on a recommendation from a fan and certainly not if the record has been out for several months. First, you’ll notice that we don’t review old records, except once a year or on a very rare occasion. This is because we receive tons of promo from tons of sources. Telling us repeatedly to review one thing or another is not going to get us to do it. Our review policy is simple: unless we receive an official promo of the record, we do not review it. Giving labels free publicity when they refuse to give us promo is something I do not want to do. And bands are free to contact us, themselves.
The one exception is that at the end of the year when we do the Things We Missed. Then, feel free to give recommendations.
Q: You don’t like my favorite band, why aren’t you objective?
A: Well, I’ve got a tiny answer for you here.
Q: My band released _Insert Our Release Here_ 6 months ago. Will you review our shit?
A: Chances are really slim. If you send promo of your material months ahead of time like labels and professional bands do, the chances of you receiving reviews are very good. When your record has been out for a long time, it’s definitely not likely that we will review it because there’s too much new coming out.
Q: Will you do an interview with my band?
A: No. Interviews are done only at request of Angry Metal Guy.
Q: Angry Metal Guy, what do you think of what other reviews have to say?
A: Oftentimes I haven’t had time to listen to everything that gets reviewed. Do you see how many records we get every month? C’mon people!
- Unfortunately, the reference is missing, but I am searching for it. ↩
- DETAILS IN PROCESS: I measured FLAC files with the official MAAT DR measuring software that the DR Database recommends. I matched this with the Foobar2000 plugin FLAC measurements to make sure that they were the same. In all cases, they were the same. I then used the Foobar plugin to measure each for the following albums: Chthonic // Relentless Recurrence (2002); Aeternam // Moongod (2012); … ↩