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Dynamic Range Day - Loudness War Protest

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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.

Namely:

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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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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Building a Home Mastering Studio – Part 4: The End Result

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Wow – I thought people would be interested to see how I got on converting the garage of my house into a “home mastering studio” – but I never thought it would be this popular !

The room has been finished for months now, and since the last episode loads of people have been emailing asking for this final video – it was held up by the launch of my Perception plugin . But now here it is, at long last!

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My ‘Perception’ plugin has been officially launched !

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Finally the cat is out of the bag – my new ‘Perception’ mastering plugin, developed by MeterPlugs, is officially launched this week – and to celebrate, it’s available for 33% off, for this week only.

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It’s a kind of magic
- Or: It’s not about the f****** format !

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needle_groove


OK, enough is enough.

I’ve made various videos over the last few years comparing vinyl and digital releases of different albums – because sometimes vinyl is mastered with more dynamics than the digital formats, which is something I care about.

But I always try to avoid passing comment on the actual formats themselves – CD versus vinyl, analogue versus digital – because I feel these discussions are actually red herrings. They’re distractions from the real issues of what makes our music sound great.

But inevitably in the comments of these posts and videos, someone will eventually jump in with the timeless old chestnut:

‘Digital can never sound as good as analogue’

Now this is a popular belief these days, but the fact is there’s no theoretical reason to believe it’s true – correctly implemented digital audio can exactly reproduce any analogue audio signal with complete accuracy.

But when say that, there’s always someone who says something like “people who listen to CD are missing out on the emotional experience. I don’t expect you to understand, but I know it’s true”.

To which my response is – how dare 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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