Why destroy a great mix?
The 3rd is one of ours(also spiky), tho' that does not mean the mix is as good as the 2 top ones.
The 4th one is what almost all modern productions are like. Bloody awful.
Whatever is recorded and mixed, will look spiky. At the touch of a button, you can squash all the spikes into oblivion, or just chop them off, in order to have the average music volume louder than the next guy's.
There are no other benefits at all. Not one! Not a sausage!
There is only destruction of sound.
I personally can't listen to files like the bottom one for very long because they have a weird nasty edge that grates on my head. Also, I can't play those loud, which is a shame, as I play everything loud!
I am no great producer, so all I can do, is make sure everything recorded is heard and not flattened or ruined by studio tricks. Not quantised or ironed either.
I am glad to say that, as you see below, I seem to end up with something, not wildly different from what a true musician produced below. Not because I'm clever. Just because I'm not bonkers.
Why do so many think Vinyl sounds better? Pretty much one reason and one reason only: The mixes used on vinyl are almost always spiky. Or in the case of old records, the technology to wreck sound without people realising, was not around yet.
IMPORTANT NOTE: I did not tweak mine to look like Steven's. I tweaked bugger all really. It just came out this way.
Just noticed by accident that the new mix of "Something Old, Something New, Something Borrowed, Something Screwed"
has an incredibly similar frequency distribution graph as a track from Steven Wilson's "Hand Cannot Erase"