Loudness war: The ’death magnet’ of modern music

With modern day music manufacture, being an ever so competitive pursuit, the idea of mastering a track ‘louder’ in the hope of supplementing further stimulus, or shall we say ‘pleasure’, to the listener is a subject many producers deliberate . The habitual question smeared all over the internet between audio enthusiasts will always remain the same, for now at least: Is music getting louder?

The short answer is yes, the ‘loudness war’ is a well-known occurrence between major labels, were tracks are excessively compressed with levels increased to give a perceived attribute of ‘pop’, ‘high energy levels’ and ‘excitement’. A recognised example of this was Metallica’s 2008 Death Magnet Album release; causing uproar of criticism from both audio professionals and fans over its distorted and ‘noisy’ manner. Furthermore, it has even been discussed that the ‘Guitar hero’ version is significantly quieter than its CD counterpart, and when the levels where matched the game version was ‘cleaner’.

The Death Magnet example is merely a common illustration of the ‘loudness war’ exploit, however audio enthusiasts are frequently demonstrating its intensity on the net. Below is an example of the way the ‘loudness war’ is employed;

  • Close your eyes and listen
  • Play it again and look at the physical alteration to the dynamic range

With thanks, ajuk1, https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC2ycCF7MPEzyGldTncR-X-g

There is even a day dedicated to the awareness of ‘loudness wars ‘called dynamic range day, which had been created by an audio engineer, who wants to change the way we listen to music. Take a look at: http://dynamicrangeday.co.uk/about/ .


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