2010-03-20 Dynamic Range Day

Dynamic Range Day – Loudness War ProtestMastering is tricky business; there are so many options, and such fine balances to weigh, that it’s never a straightforward proposition.  That being so, the final dynamics of the music I work with is always my top concern.  If the final master is too crushed, loud, and flat, or (on the other side of the spectrum) perceived as too soft relative to other music that listeners are likely to hear, nothing else I do is going to make up for it; it won’t be an enjoyable listen.

Toward that end, from the Production Advice blog:

Dynamic Range Day is March 20th, 2010

Join us in a day of protest against the CD “Loudness Wars” – more info below

  • Show your support – check out the Facebook Event and RSVP to say you’ll “attend”
  • It’s easy to take part – just SHOUT (type in all caps) ALL DAY, EVERYWHERE !
  • And when people ask, tell them why you’re shouting
  • Add a Dynamic Range Day Banner to your website or blog
  • Use the Twitter hashtag #DYNAMICRANGEDAY

Read the full story here: Dynamic Range Day – The Idea

Latest News

What are the “Loudness Wars” ?

Music is getting louder, and sounding worse.

Engineers and artists are using modern technology to push the average level of recorded music up and up and up against the “brick wall” maximum level of the CD format.

This results in distortion, lack of punch and a flat, two-dimensional, lifeless sound …

2 thoughts on “2010-03-20 Dynamic Range Day”

  1. Maybe I’m simplifying too much, but isn’t there a reason we have a volume button on our preferred listening devices? Sure, I like to listen to music at high volume often, but I also like music (i.e. Pink Floyd…) with differing volume levels throughout songs and albums.

  2. Good point; volume and loudness are actually two different things.

    Imagine a sound wave. Volume is, technically, peak amplitude (that is, the highest point of the wave above zero (silence)).

    Humans experience loudness as, roughly, an average of peak volumes over a short span of time (on the order of milliseconds). And this is what the loudness wars are concerned about; rather than the height of the peaks, the problem is the *lack* of valleys and the distance between them.

    A test you could do at home is between an older song (like Floyd – make sure it hasn’t been remastered, though!) and a new one. Use iTunes’ individual track volume adjustment to reduce the new song to what you feel like is the same level as the old one, then listen to them back-to-back a few times. Most people will end up feeling that the new song is “squished,” “flat,” “dead,” or something along those lines. -h

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