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Loudness Wars
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  • Here's a video on the same subject. Very useful.

  • This is related to media, bad gear, TV commercials and so on. If you compare both audio and video sats from the last 20 years, you can see audio levels maxing and video saturation is way up. And what is missing in audio is the complete destruction of DR, which was one of the BIG deals in audio at the time of the CD changeover. Dynamic range! From the softest pianissimo. And what happens if I don't super compress my audio? The client says "I can't hear it in my car." EOS.

  • I didn't include the following parts.

    Funny that a company like TC Electronic doesn't have better recorded audio with their videos.
  • The Sequoia DAW has the option to let you know exactly how your overall loudness fits the new EU requirements, which is really handy, but AFAICS, most people are ignoring this and just pumping up the loudness as far as it can go.

  • I make club music and for artistic reasons often dislike limiting the dynamic range, but as previously noted, small dynamic range is convenient for many uses. Cars, portable players, home listening, especially if one must listen at low volumes or if ambient noise level is high.

    It'd be good to have a multiband maximizer integrated in sound output chips, or done in software, so that on every device user has the choice to limit DR if needed/wanted. Basically same as mastering plugins, but with only few user adjustable settings (off, medium, max and automatic based on ambient noise level). Some of this functionality has been in home receivers for ages now, but it's usually hidden somewhere in a menu. It would need to be "iPod easy" to become the norm.

  • As people age, they gradually lose the ability to distinguish key frequencies (eg voiceover) from background (sound effects, atmos and music). Compressing the dynamic range isn't the solution. See Background Noise Problem or Cocktail Party Syndrome

    IMHO, nobody under 30 should be mixing sound for audiences over 25 and likewise nobody over 30 can do a great mix for the under-25's.

  • Why does most music sound the same these days? Because record companies are scared, they don’t want to take risks, and they’re doing the best they can to generate mainstream radio hits. That is their job, after all. And as the skies continue to darken over the poor benighted business of selling music, labels are going to cling to what they know more fiercely than ever.

    So is that it? Have we arrived? Will records continue to increase in loudness and homogeneity until literally everything sounds like Californication? Optimistic engineers dream of a day when the world’s music listeners spontaneously rebel against over-processed music. The Loudness War will end and people will stop buying Black Eyed Peas records. A new era of high-fidelity recording will be born, and men in white coats will once again stride confidently through acoustically-lively studios placing their vintage microphones with care.

  • The Loudness Wars v3.0: "The Shouting Youtuber Phenomenon"