So, it's not my imagination - music is getting worse. I found this article from IEEE on how the amplitude of music is going up on one of my friend's blogs and found it truly fascinating. I had heard that this was getting worse, due to the way MP3 compression worked - but this article was enlightening! It seems that MP3 compression has improved enough where loss of quality is no longer as necessary, but that "louder" music attracts more attention - so that's what the sound engineers are going for. What this really means is that my wacky friends that insist music sounds better on vinyl are right.
There was a follow on article that blew my mind - it covers pitch correcting software used in more than 90% of recordings today. I find this shocking, because I consider part of being a good singer to have a good sense of pitch. It's hard, I know - I've heard some recordings of myself where I'm learning a new song where clearly my sense of pitch at that moment was... a little off. This just seems to me too much like cheating. How do we really know what we are listening to? Clearly, I'll have to continue to go see live theater if I want to see the real thing. The second article is "multi-media" so you can actually hear the pitch corrections as they are applied.
Speaking of live theater, rehearsals for ATC's Best Little W****house in Texas are going exceedingly well. We did our first run through this week. Yes, still lots to polish, but we're really getting there!