This is a 2015 re-boot of one of the first, and most popular memes I created for Dynamic Range Day – not a “Top 10” as some sites have reported, it’s actually the “selected high (and low) -lights” of recorded music levels over the last few decades.
And the information it gives is just as crazy as it ever was.
As a result of the so-called loudness wars, mainstream pop releases are being pushed onto CD and into mp3 files at such high levels they’re technically much ‘hotter’ than some of the loudest acts in history, in an attempt to make them stand out from the competition.
Why is it crazy ? Because it doesn’t work.
None of these “loudness” differences will be audible in any of most popular places we listen to music.
Not on Apple Music.
Not on Spotify.
Not even on Youtube, any more !
Replay volume is ‘normalised’ in all of these places, to improve the listener experience, because the number one source of complaints about audio is always big variations in loudness – we hate to have to keep adjusting the volume control.
So if you’re wondering – “why do people still bother?” – you’ve got a point!
It’s not all bad news
Take another look at that infographic, though.
There are some interesting features.
Look at the 2015 releases.