So, the top prize in the 2013 Dynamic Range Day competition is…
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 ?
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 ?
So, what are you waiting for ? Entry is simple – for more details, just click here.
Good luck !