compare & contrast

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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Betty & Veronica: The Kiss

Another compare & contrast, this time with something all-new vs a 2016 original…

Both pieces were done for my friend, Nigel. It was his request & his concept… and I believe this “mythical kiss” might have actually been done for-real in an Archie comic in recent years. Not sure—I pay almost no attention to this stuff!

Anyhow, the composition I came up with in 2016 was A-OK—quite strong—but, my goodness, the execution & rendering was, IMO, absolutely appalling!! Even at the time I felt it was missing the mark, but my problems with it have grown exponentially with the passage of time.

So I deciced to redo it. Nigel deserved better.

Here’s the all-new 2021 version…

Nigel Betty-Veronica 2021

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Club Vamporama Covers

Continuing this theme on the 15th anniversary of Club Vamporama (and the year of its demise!!), and following the Marie comparison, here’s two versions of a CV comic-book-that-never-happened cover.

Directly below is the most-recent version, from my moderately productive 2019 period. I’m still fairly happy with this. I don’t think it’s as cool or effective as the 2019 Marie portrait, but it’s OK.

Halloween Comix Cvr

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Club Vamporama’s Marie

Following up the Club Vamporama, RIP posting, with deference to the strip’s 15th anniversary, here is a reposting of some older arwork that is amongst the best CV visuals (IMO). It’s a portrait of Marie, showcasing her shapeshifting abilities—her hands look large and somewhat reptilian!—from 2019.

I was quite satisfied with this. Hey, I still am…

Marie Portrait

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Inking Gil Kane’s Green Lantern

This is a bit of a reblog from when I first did this inking, back in 2018. I was pleased with how it came out, but this time I thought I’d add the other versions for comparison. My source for Gil’s pencils was Kevin Nowlan’s blog (this post specifically). I really like Kevin’s work but I wanted to try my own spin—which I think came out somewhere between Gil himself and Ralph Reese.

Anyhow, more recently, I found a version actually inked by Gil, too! So that’s an extra interest factor—there are four versions of this piece to look at here! Lemme know what you think!! 🙂

In order: Gil Kane’s pencils; Gil Kane’s own inks; Kevin Nowlan’s inks; my inks.

Green Lantern Gallery cover pencils

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Marie Portrait 2019

I’m calling it 2019 because I wanted to revisit a piece I did back in February 2011. I just liked the concept, but the execution was really quite poor—at the time a few people were positive about it, but one person was quite critical… and basically they were right, whatever their motives. It was very amateurish indeed.

Marie Portrait

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“Hail Cthulhu!” Redux

New comics! As some of you know, I stopped doing comics after February 2013. During the hiatus I did some other things, including a few T-shirt designs. Anyhow, right now I’m moving towards a number of new projects, including regular Webcomics and a revival of Club Comicana Vamporama.

Yup, Club Com/Vamp is, as of June 2016, exactly ten years old! To celebrate, there will be two new strips; firstly, a reworking of an older strip, below—to be followed shortly by an all-new one!

Compare & contrast time!

Hail Cthulhu Redux Tones

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