Monday, May 30, 2011

New music for the week of 5/30/2011

Another five new tracks this week. Two from Pokemon Black and White:

-Powerful Wild Pokémon Battle!

And three from the Pokemon anime:


Also, the interview that premiered yesterday is now in the main playlist.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

PIRN Technical Journal 001: Volume Leveling

CD audio has 16 bits dedicated to each sample. Each bit adds six decibels (six decibels represents a doubling in volume) to the available dynamic range, resulting in 96 decibels of dynamic range. In simpler terms, that means that the ratio of the loudest sound a CD can produce to the quietest one it can produce is, in theory, 65536:1 (though in practice it's more like 32768:1).

What does this mean for PIRN? As it turns out, quite a bit. As a result of the available dynamic range, recorded music varies considerably in volume. Vocal music, especially popular music, has been consistently getting louder since the introduction of the CD in the 1980s, largely due to the availability of digital volume compression, in which softer and louder portions of the song are moved closer together in volume using a mathematical formula. This has escalated to the point where the song frequently "clips", maxing out the amplitude for brief periods of time (less than one thousandth of a second). Such durations are supposedly imperceptible, but allow the recording to have its volume maximized.

By comparison, orchestral music tends to have relatively high dynamic range so they can match the mood of the scene. Indeed, many times a track from an orchestral score never reaches the maximum amplitude of the format. This poses a problem for this station, however, where these two types of tracks often follow one another. Without some sort of correction, the listener will be forced to adjust the volume for every track.

As it turns out there's actually a pretty great program called MP3Gain, which takes an MP3 file, analyzes it, then allows you to adjust the average volume to the desired level:

(Yes, that's right, the good old Pokemon Theme is three decibels louder on Pokemon X than 2BA Master.)

MP3Gain isn't perfect, but it does allow me to fix most issues with song volume. However, sometimes tracks have so much dynamic range that straight amplification isn't enough-if a track is amplified too much in this way, audible distortion can occur. In these cases, the solution is ironically, dynamic audio compression.

Further Reading:

Dynamic Range Compression at Wikipedia

New interview following today's Top 25

There will be a new interview premiering on the station today following the Top 25 Countdown.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

New music for the week of 5/23/2011

In an unusual move, there's seven new tracks this week. Two from Pokemon Black and White:

-Undella Town (Summer)
-Lostlorn Forest

Three from the Pokemon anime:


And (gasp!) two from Pokemon: The First Movie:

-We're A Miracle
-Somewhere Someday

Since there was a tie (and I really wanted to bump up the number of used tracks from the album to twelve), I added both.

Monday, May 16, 2011

New music for the week of 5/16/2011

Five new tracks once again. Two from Pokemon Black and White:

-Someone's Entralink

And three from the Pokemon anime:


Also, remember that Pokemon Blu-Ray I wouldn't stop talking about? There's now a two-part review on the station!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

New music for the week of 5/9/2011

Five new tracks this week. Three from the Pokemon anime:


And two from Pokemon Black and White:

-White Forest
-Game Sync

Speaking of Black and White, that second prerelease interview is now in the regular playlist.

Sunday, May 08, 2011

New interview following today's Top 25

Another Black and White Prerelease interview will premiere on the station following today's Top 25. Also, here's one last plea from me on the (nearly) free Pokemon Blu-Ray:

The disc comes out this tuesday (or next Sunday, depending on the source), so be sure to watch for it!

Monday, May 02, 2011

New music for the week of 5/2/2011 + First Movie outcast poll

Five new tracks this week. Two from Pokemon Black and White:

-Anville Town
-Black City

And three from the Pokemon Anime:


I've also added a poll regarding the six songs from Pokemon: The First Movie you'd most like to hear on the station. The winner goes on!

Sunday, May 01, 2011

New Interview + Get a Free* Pokemon Blu-Ray

Here's an interview from a recent Pokemon TCG prerelease:

Also, some of you may know that there is a Pokemon Blu-Ray coming out later this month:

Best Buy
Barnes and Noble

You'll probably want to order this online-it doesn't look like it's going to be stocked in stores very much, if at all.

I'm looking to do an audio review of this, and I'm looking for someone to comment back and forth with. If you meet the following criteria, you may be able to get a free* copy out of it:

-Must be at least 13 years old (18 would be preferable).
-Must have a Blu-Ray player capable of playing discs from region A (I don't know if the disc will be region locked, but it should definitely play in region A players).
-Must have access to a phone or Skype.

If you're interested, go ahead and e-mail me at the usual PokePress e-mail address (hint: It's in the video above).

*Cost of ordering the disc will be reimbursed after the interview is conducted.