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Building a Home Mastering Studio – Part 3: Acoustic Treatment

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This is the third instalment of my series of videos about building a “home mastering studio” in my garage. Part One is here and Part Two is here.

This episode is all about acoustics – or more specifically, acoustic treatment.

(But I’m not using acoustic “foam” – there are better-performing, more cost-effective and better-looking alternatives.)

As I said in the first video, I’ve known all along that the room isn’t an ideal shape, and so treatment would be vital to reduce the impact of resonances and reflections on the sound of the monitoring.

This has proven to be even more true than I expected – but the final results have also turned out even better than I’d hoped for, so I’m delighted with the results.

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Loudness War Myths Explored: 1 – Louder is better (and sells more copies)

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Louder is better, right ?

And “loud” records sell more copies, right ?

Well… yes.

- And no.

The truth is, it’s a bit more complicated than that, really !

This is the first in a series of videos where I demonstrate and investigate some popular loudness war myths, so you can decide for yourself whether they stand up or not.

In this video I make one of the biggest hits of last year, “Get Lucky” by Daft Punk, “Loudness War loud”, which should make it sound better and sell more records, according to the myth – then I test the real-world effect using my new Perception Plugin.

Watch the video to hear it for yourself and make up your own mind!

In the next video, I’ll be testing the idea that “loud” sound makes music sound better in our increasingly noisy modern environment. Check back for updates soon.

(To find out more about the loudness-versus-sales research, click here.)


U2′s surprising secret for sounding loud in the 21st century

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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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Daft Punk win 2014 Grammy for Great Sound

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Daft Punk won no less than five Grammy Awards last night, including Record Of The Year for “Get Lucky”) and Album Of The Year for “Random Access Memories”.

One of these five awards was for Best Engineered Album (Non-Classical) – and it probably won’t surprise you to hear that I think this factor was a crucial part of the mix. [Boom, tish!]

It’s easy to think that the sound of a record is almost irrelevant to it’s success – after all, it’s the song, performance and artist that sells records. Most people listen to music on laptop speakers, mobile phones and iPod earbuds, these days – no-one can hear sound quality on those, right ?

Looking at it another way, one of the most obvious ways to judge “quality” in the 21st Century is “loudness”, and since research shows that loudness has no effect on sales, one way the other, it stands to reason that other more subtle factors in the sound make even less difference, right ?

Well, maybe – but maybe not.
 
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UK Sisters Are Doing It For Themselves – Dynamically !

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Bob Katz recently announced that the Loudness War has been won. But is he right ?

Well, based on recent releases by a slew of UK female artists – maybe !

The YouTube video above of Lily Allen’s new single “Hard Out Here” sounds great and measures a respectable DR9 on the TT Meter, following the same trend as two of the year’s biggest hits, “Blurred Lines” by Robin Thicke and Daft Punk’s “Get Lucky“.

(Plus the satisfyingly rude and on-point video and lyrics for “Hard Out Here” are especially pleasing if you share my reservations about “Blurred Lines”…)

And Lily’s not alone.

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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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