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Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Evidence That The Loudness Wars May Finally Be Over

For way too long mixers and mastering engineers alike have been forced to squash songs before their final release, first in an effort to sound louder than everyone else's (especially on radio), then to just keep up in level with what's already out there.

But squashing a song to within an inch of its life may finally be counterproductive, as most digital services are now each employing their own brand of normalization in an effort to make all songs the same volume level for a better listening experience.

Here's a great video from UK mastering engineer Ian Shepherd that explains how it all works using a number of hits from U2 as an example. You can check out Ian's blog for a lot of great audio information at

Let's hope that this is the first step in the return to dynamics in music.

Don't forget to check out my Music 3.0 blog for tips and tricks on navigating social media and the new music business.

1 comment:

Brendan said...

Im in a band called the Cilikis, and we are a metal fusion band that takes great pride in our music and retaining as much dynamics as possible. We also make sure that people are aware of this fact too that the albums and content released by us will not be as loud as mainstream releases and to turn it up. All we need now is people to actually take note that bands like us are out there and releasing great dynamic releases instead of harping on the crap releases by the mainstream and whinging about the rubbish releases all the time. The loudness war may not be over for the mainstream but for some us its not a concern being louder than the rest, what IS a concern is the lack of interest in the non mainstream acts out there doing great, dynamic work.


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