1980s

2022 Viewing (Q1)

OK, so it’s 2022’s first-quarter viewings… Q4 of 2021 can be viewed here.

Have Gun Will Travel seasons 5-6 (DVD)
The Rifleman season 1 (DVD)
Batman and Robin 1949 serial (DVD)
Atom Man vs Superman 1950 serial (DVD)
Radar Men from the Moon 1952 serial (DVD)

A bit low on completed season viewings, but a very fond farewell to Have Gun Will Travel—things won’t seem the same without Paladin on the screen several times a week. On the other hand, Chuck Connors as Lucas McCain in Rifleman is a great stand-in… currently two-thirds through season 2, whilst also working through the spin-off series starring the excellent Michael Ansara, as Marshal Sam Buckhart—Law of the Plainsman. (You can view both series in their entirety on YouTube, if you’re so inclined.)

Chuck Connors & Johnny Crawford - Rifleman
Chuck Connors with co-star Johnny Crawford—publicity still for THE RIFLEMAN (1958).

And movies! We’ve watched some movies.

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Amphius Man

Who?! Why, this guy:

Amphy 2021

He’s the first ‘proper’ character I ever created, I believe, back in 1981. For his origin and some very old artwork (haven’t you all wanted to see how dreadful my art was as a kid/youth?!), read on…

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Compression & Brickwalling Examples

Following the previous entry.

Before I move onto other things—although music mastering & quality is something I might like to return to periodically—here’s a few more musical waveforms for comparison, with comments.

KATE BUSH—RUNNING UP THAT HILL (1985)

The top image is the original 1985 mastering. It has a dynamic range of 11dB. Below it is the 1997 remastering (not by Kate herself)—the dynamic range (DR) is 7dB.

Kate Bush Running 1985

Kate Bush Running 1997

You’ll note on the top one, Kate herself does make use of the full soundscape and sometimes clips the very peaks of the sound for effect (which is perfectly fine & valid!). On the ’97, there is lot of peak-clipping (the tops of the waveforms being cut off) and compression, which results in a loss of 4dB of DR. Kate’s own 2018 remaster of Hounds of Love, which I’ve yet to hear, has the same dynamic range as the 1985 release.

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Brickwalling Music

As mentioned in the previous post… I thought I’d talk a bit more about the dreaded Loudness Wars™ and the brickwalling of a lot of modern music. I’m not a full-on audiophile and not a sound engineer, or any kind of expert, but I do know what I like and I have a reasonable grasp on this stuff…

The dynamic range of a piece of music (or any audio) is the difference in dBs (decibels) between the quietest sound and the loudest. It hardly need be said that a wider range of difference creates a more dynamic soundscape. Whether or not this is desirable depends on the intent. For a classical symphony, for instance, you’d definitely want a big contrast between the quieter sections and the parts that boom out dramatically… whereas with heavy metal, a big fat wall of noise is pretty much the goal. (Even then, maybe it’s possible to go too far; more on that in a bit.) But with most music, I think most people would agree that something in-between would generally work quite well.

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