The Loudness Wars Vs. Sales

  • Interesting article that may or may not have come to your attention, Earl Vickers debating the idea that louder music sells better..

  • swwweeet video!!!


  • yes..and as a side note, it is comforting, reassuring, and encouraging to me as a home project studio producer, when i listen to some established monome artists' more casual self-mastered releases, on soundcloud for example; that they choose not to try and compete with their own mastering houses, telling us more or less to reach for the volume if we want to hear it louder; thus encouraging me not to fall victim to loudness envy, and making poor decisions in during the self-mastering stage.

    ^ Would you consider that to be a run-on sentence?

  • really interesting stuff - thanks for posting.

    in certain contexts, the brick-walled, bass-bin rattling, everything side-chained to the kick production style can work. on the whole though, its just gone too far. here's a recent quote from a very popular producer friend of mine, who for now will remain unnamed:

    "need advice! artists are producing with a limiter on the master so they can push the drums super hard but Mastering engineers are telling me the tracks are too crushed to do anything with. What should I do?"

    it was pretty amazing to see the responses - definitely people camped on both sides.

    and...a cool utility:

  • Does louder mean better?

    I guess it all comes to the discussion of how much headroom do you/I have...

  • The Loudness War has become something of a joke among engineers that makes us cry. "Client didn't like the mix? Slam it harder with an L2."

    It's especially fierce in advertising where I work. There's nothing we can do if the client wants it louder. They'll find someone else who will do it if you don't.

    Even on those commercials that only have a song playing (no VO, sound fx, etc.) there's a ton of limiting going on on top of the already mastered song. Granted, a lot of it has stemmed from trying to compensate for the crappy internal speakers on TV sets, but it's still fairly irritating.

    Actually, compared to Europe (Germany especially, I've noticed), the US is doing fairly well as far as dynamic range goes. They're flat out clipping, audible compression artifacts everywhere.

    Luckily, I've also noticed the general public is becoming aware of the issues of over compression and producers/artists aren't as aggressive anymore with the mastering engineer. It'll never likely go back down to where we were at in the 80s, but music will be dynamically enjoyable again.

  • drives me insane when the ads come on when i'm watching telly and i have to reach for the volume to turn it down...

  • the truth is not inside Factory Culture

    next world will remember this era

    like a giant war against the taking of human consciousness

    in a world where everyone is an artist..

    better to be a simple fan of