Heads up audio addicts! Tomorrow March 16th is Dynamic Range Day 2012! Say NO to the Loudness War!
What is the Loudness War? Over the past 10 years (in particular) music has been mastered dramatically louder so that when a track is played on radio etc it seems better than the track previous. We perceive louder music as “better” and this way of handling audio has decreased dynamic range in our music, everything is loud, loud, LOUD! and it sounds pretty shit! Music sounds squashed, distorted and generally unpleasant.
Now I’m not for one minute saying compression is bad, it certainly has it’s place in music, in recording, mixing and mastering, it’s the over-use and abuse of compression is what I’m highlighting.
I found a nice example on a fellow WordPress bloggers post of the decrease of dynamic range in re-mastered music, in this case Madonna’s “Papa Don’t Preach”, you can see clearly by the last picture how big and solid the waveform became compared to it’s original which shows plenty of movement and space. Check out Step To The Beat’s post here: http://steptothebeat.wordpress.com/2011/06/11/dynamic-range-compression-or-murdering-pleasure-in-music/
There’s hundreds of amazing articles online if you wish to investigate the Loudness War, I’m no expert but it certainly does intrigue me and I’m 100% up for dynamics and musicality in the audio I listen to!
Visit the official Dynamic Range Day website, there’s a competition for nifty gear as well as a lot of fine articles to get stuck into. Get interactive with them on Facebook and all that jazz. http://dynamicrangeday.co.uk/
But most of all read The Loudness War – An open letter to the music industry.