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Dynamic Range Day - Loudness War Protest

Production Advice

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Even Skrillex sounds better with more dynamics ! (And even on mobile phones)

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I got into trouble with a few people a while back for this post:

Why your EDM will sound better with more dynamics – and 6 places to find them

They said:

  1. I didn’t know what EDM was, and
  2. I was wrong – EDM needs that crushed, “loudness war sound” – that’s it’s an essential part of the genre

So, here are my replies to those criticisms.

  1. Bite me
  2. Watch the video above – unless you think Skrillex isn’t EDM, that is…

And then bite me.

Any questions ?


(By the way, the most excellent Matthew Weiss from the Pro Audio Files has just released a new video pack, called Mixing EDM – to find out more, click here.)

Update

This video has been getting a great reaction, but people have also raised a couple of valid points.

First – the sound effects make it hard to hear exactly what’s going on, and might contribute to the more spacious sound of the video

Second – several people think the iTunes version actually sounds better on the small speakers of smartphones, iPads etc !

So, I made another video, to address those points head on.

And here it is.





Short version – translation to mobile devices is NOT a valid reason for “loudness war crush”.

Nothing is.

Discover the dangerous, destructive, delicate delights of distortion

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I love distortion.

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again.

Now that might surprise you, coming from the founder of Dynamic Range Day, but it’s true. Some of my favourite songs simply wouldn’t exist without it – like the sublime example in the video above, for example !

Distortion has been an integral part of the sound of recorded popular music since the very beginning, and it always will be.

And I love it.

So how can this be true ?

How can someone who bitches almost daily about the squashed-flat, distorted sounds of most modern releases, someone who has developed a plugin specifically to make sure people can hear exactly how much damage the Loudness War Sound is doing to their music – how can I claim to love distortion ?

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Did they REALLY just auto-tune Aretha ? SERIOUSLY ?

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OK, before we start, I need to get something straight.

Aretha Franklin is a legend, one of the greatest singers of all time, and if she chooses to sing through a kazoo whilst breathing helium, that’s fine with me.

Seriously, you just don’t argue with talent like that.

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LANDR: Automated online mastering – but is it any good ? My test

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I’ve had so many people asking me what I thought of the new LANDR automated online mastering service, that I decided I just had to check it out !

LANDR offers “Professional Audio Mastering”, saying you can “Sound like a pro. Instant results at a fraction of the cost of studio mastering.”

But is it any good ?

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How to sound loud on iTunes Radio – the surprising secret of U2′s new album

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Standing out from the competition is crucial, right ?

And the best way to do that is make you music really zarking loud, right?

Wrong.

To find out the real way to make your music stand out in the 21st century, watch the video above – the answer may surprise you.

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Ian Shepherd


BBC Radio 4 Interview

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Ian Shepherd from Production Advice discusses the Loudness Wars

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