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Monday, October 17, 2011

Bob Ludwig Discusses The Loudness War

This is the third or fourth week in a row that I've featured something by mastering legend Bob Ludwig, but both I and most of my readers can't get enough of this guy's wisdom. In this video from the 2009 AES show, he discusses how the loudness wars are as old as recording itself and even plays some before and after examples.

Perhaps the biggest pearl of wisdom is about how little a mastering engineer does (or should do) to a well-recorded master.

Speaking of AES New York, I'll be signing books at the Hal Leonard booth at 2PM this Saturday, the 22nd. Stop by and say hi if you're planning to attend the show.

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Anonymous said...

So Chinese Democracy was just played at two different levels, but the same file was played both times. Is that correct?

So this simply showed how low Bob mastered it compared to the first tune?

Juan said...

It’s always a pleasure to listen to someone so experienced and down to earth like Mr. Ludwig. This issue is one of my favorite discussions ever, loudness wars.

I remember when I first listened to "Vapor Trails" from Rush, and noticed the awful distortion all along the disc, because extreme "mastering". It was so obvious that later on, I did research over the internet and found an article talking about that particular CD, and loudness wars.

I think in the future, a digital audio format should exist to prevent music from being pushed over a certain RMS value.

Sometimes, several artists go beyond a point where their music turns into damage to the idea of listening.


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