Dynamic Range Day - Loudness War Protest

Production Advice

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Loudness War Myths Explored: 2 – Do some genres NEED to be crushed ?

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Sometimes you just need to go with the flow.

The plan was for the second of these Loudness War Myths videos to be about listening in noisy environments – but the controversy over a brand new metal release made this week makes it the ideal time to tackle another myth entirely.


Some genres NEED that ‘loudness war’ sound

This one gets trotted out with depressing regularity, even by people who should know better.

Metal and EDM are the most common styles that are supposed to only sound “right” if their level has been pushed up as hard as possible against digital’s brick-wall ceiling.

So, is it true ?

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The Distortion Of Sound documentary: fair comment, misleading over-simplification – or worse ?

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I’m not sure my feelings could be more mixed.

When people first sent me the trailer for a new documentary called The Distortion Of Sound, I was intrigued. Big names, high production standards, and a topic I care about.

But I immediately thought:

“I hope they don’t muddle up the two different types of compression – lossy (mp3) compression and dynamic (loudness war) compression”

Well, now I’ve seen the full documentary, and – they did.


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Longplayer for Voices – how to write music that lasts for millennia

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So, how long is the longest piece of music you’ve ever written ?

5 minutes ?

7 minutes ?

Maybe, if you’re Partial To A Little Prog like me, a 40-minute concept album ?

Or if you write classical music, you might have written something that takes several hours to perform.

But how would you feel about writing a piece of music that lasts a thousand years ?

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Using my Perception plugin with reference tracks

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The main feature of my Perception mastering plugin is to help you quickly and easily find the “loudness sweet spot” for your music, by giving you the ability to make seamless, loudness-matched comparisons “before” and “after” your mastering chain processing.

However because Perception can balance anything to play at your chosen reference loudness, it also gives you a quick and easy way to compare the songs you’re working on with other commercial releases you admire, in a truly objective way.

Lots of people have been asking how to set this up, so the video above demonstrates exactly how to do it using Perception running inside Logic, but the same method will work in any DAW (including Logic X and Pro Tools version 10 and higher).

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Win a copy of my new Perception Plugin !

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It’s been a big couple of weeks – my Perception plugin was officially launched, and has had another great review – this time a whopping 5-pager in Sound On Sound magazine. Hugh Robjohns wrote

Perception allows the true quality and dynamic range of the processed track to be evaluated and compared instantly against the source by ear… removing any guesswork, confusion and some of the ‘black art’ of mastering!”

and concluded:

“Perception is recommended without reservation for anyone involved in mastering, at any level”

And to celebrate we’re giving away ten free copies of Perception, to give you the chance to find out what the fuss is all about.

(Not sure what Perception is, or why you might want it ? Click here.)

Entering is easy – just use the widget below. You can enter more than once for more chances to win, and earn even more by referring a friend. And, if you’re an existing user and would like to enter, we’ll refund your original purchase price if you win. Good luck !

And the winners are…

The competition is now closed. The winners are, in no particular order:

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Ian Shepherd

BBC Radio 4 Interview

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Ian Shepherd from Production Advice discusses the Loudness Wars