Ya dicks. This is ridiculous:
To be fair, Ableton Live tends to squish waveforms down a bit and make them look more dynamically compressed than they perhaps actually are. Even so, I taken a look at quite a few waveforms in Live from other digital tracks (such as when comparing vinyl versus digital, which I often like to do) and the above clip is, by far the worst. It’s such a shame, too, because that is a fantastically good song!
I don’t even see the grand purpose behind this. Sure, I bought the song off iTunes and, I guess, arguably, the chance that someone will listen to it on a portable device, or in the car, is pretty high. Even so, put dynamic range compression at the end-point (ie on the car stereo) not the source! Don’t completely trash a song by nuking all the dynamic range, killing transients, and adding distortion just so someone doesn’t have to touch the volume knob while in the car! I realize it’s a bit of a chicken and egg problem, but shitting all over a good song with bad mastering is absolutely not the solution.
That is all. Oh wait, no, I’m going to call you (mastering engineers that do this) dicks one more time. Dicks.