FACEPALM: “It sounds great! Now can you make it louder ?” – My simple four-step solution

louder facepalm

 

It’s the question we all dread.

You finished the master, everyone is really happy, and then they hit you with it:

Can you just make it a bit louder ?

Because even though we know that loudness is pointless, even though we know that if you want to sound louder on YouTube, or iTunes Radio or Spotify or anywhere, the answer is to master with balanced dynamics – no-one else believes it yet.

The artists don’t believe it

The labels don’t believe it

The producers don’t believe it

The A&R people don’t believe it

And plenty of mastering engineers still don’t believe it, either !

Even though we know that:

No-one believes us.

They’ve bought into the myth, they’re feeling the FUD.

Don’t Panic

Luckily, they don’t have to believe us, because now we can show them. Quickly, and easily.

This strategy is free, non-techy and simple to implement.

Here it is: [Read more…]

So Taylor Swift is louder than Motorhead, AC/DC and The Sex Pistols… – wait, WHAT?

Adobe Photoshop PDF
(Click on the image for a larger version)

This is a 2015 re-boot of one of the first, and most popular memes I created for Dynamic Range Day

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 Spotify.

Not on iTunes Radio.

Not even on Youtube, any more !

And certainly not on radio or TV.

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.

[Read more…]

YouTube loudness normalisation – The Good, The Questions and The Problem

youtube loudness
 
So, yesterday was the big headline:

YouTube just put the final nail in the Loudness War’s coffin

And the news has had a fantastic, positive response from almost everyone.

But there’s a problem, as I mentioned.

And I’ll get to that in a minute.
 

Before we start

First, I should be clear that everything here is based on research and speculation. As far as I know, there has been no official word from YouTube about normalisation at all. Which means…
 

This is a moving (dynamic ?) target

Some of what I say here will probably be wrong, or go out of date really fast. But for now, here’s what (I think) we know.

[Read more…]

YouTube just put the final nail in the Loudness War’s coffin

youtube-loudness-lcast
 
This is HUGE.

It may not look like much, but if you’re involved in music production, recording, mixing or mastering, this image could be the most important thing you’ll see all year.
 

What is it ?

It’s the loudness output of a YouTube playlist, as measured by the MeterPlugs LCast loudness meter.
 

So what ?

First – it’s quiet. The loudness levels are all quite low, especially by modern “loudness war” standards.

Second – it’s very consistent. More importantly than the low loudness, they’re almost all playing at the same loudness.
[Read more…]