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Dynamic Range Day - Loudness War Protest

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Dynamic Range Day Competition 2013 Announced

by Ian Shepherd



So, the top prize in the 2013 Dynamic Range Day competition is…

an SSL Buss Compressor.

Wait, what ?!?

The prize in a competititon intended to raise awareness of the loudness wars is… a compressor ?

Exactly the kind of tool that was used to make many of those crushed, distorted “casulaties” in the first place ?

Right.

Because, as SSL’s chairman Antony David tweeted on last year’s DRD:

Compression and limiting is about managing dynamic range, not removing it

We have nothing against compression. (At least, not against dynamic compression, anyway – mp3-style data-compression is different – see here for more info.)

It’s when compression is over-used, on everything, that there’s a problem – which is exactly what’s happening with the loudness war.

Pop and rock music have always had a much narrower dynamic range than acoustic music – it’s part of the sound. Ever since the 60s, compression has been an integral part of the way pop and rock music is produced, and we wouldn’t have it any other way – provided it’s used for creative, musical reasons, and not because of an urban myth.

Even the winner of 2011′s DRD Award, “Build a Rocket, Boys” has moments that are very compressed – but it has real light and shade, drama and build. Overall it’s a very dynamic-sounding album, and sounds great - especially by today’s standards.

(By the way, you can help suggest this year’s award-winner – just click here.)

So having a classic compressor as the prize for this competition makes perfect sense. And what better way to manage the dynamic range of your mix than with an industry standard like the SSL ?

Other great prizes this year include the TC Electronic LM-6 Loudness Meter plugin and free membership of my Home Mastering Masterclass course, with more to be announced soon.

So, what are you waiting for ? Entry is simple – for more details, just click here.

Good luck !

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One Response

  1. VIOZ says:

    And the winner is… The Music Industry, for “We’ll make it as loud as we want because nobody is doing anything remotely purposeful to stop us: it’s like they’re not even trying.”

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Ian Shepherd from Production Advice discusses the Loudness Wars

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