[UPDATE – New details have been announced ! To take part in Dynamic Range Day 2011, click here]
But before we get too far along, I want to take a moment to reflect and ask – was last year’s Dynamic Range Day a success ? How can we make this year’s even better ?
Some achievements from Dynamic Range Day 2010
- Over 2,900 people “attended” the Facebook event and another 6000 were invited
- Over 35 blogs posted about it – that I know about, maybe more – all talking about the event and the issues
- A massive stream of posts flooded Twitter on both Friday and Saturday night, full of links and comments – which nevertheless somehow mysteriously failed to “trend”
- I saw a huge spike in hits to posts on my sites discussing dynamic range, compression and the Loudness Wars, and many new forum posts discussing the topic
- I’ve even been asked to support a new academic research program about the Loudness Wars
All of which is pretty good for something that came together in little over a month !
This year though, I want it to be better, and I need your help. The one thing Dynamic Range Day didn’t manage to do was “go viral” in any real way. This year I would love it to spill out beyond our community of audio-loving musicians and engineers, and get noticed by “everyone else” – people who perhaps have never thought about these issues before.
How can we make it better ?
Why didn’t we achieve that last year ? Well, I think that the central idea – “SHOUT OUT against the loudness wars” – was fun to do and a good “in joke” if you already understand the issues, but viewed from the outside was just – well, annoying, to be honest !
Just imagine if your Twitter stream was suddenly and without warning FLOODED WITH PEOPLE TYPING IN ALL CAPS ABOUT A SUBJECT YOU DON’T KNOW ANYTHING ABOUT – if you’re anything like me, you wouldn’t even bother to read them, let alone click through to read a link or join in.
It wasn’t all bad – it allowed us all to blow off some steam and it caught the imagination of everyone who took part, but even I was pretty fed up with it by the end !
Intrigue and invite
This year I think we need a better idea – something inclusive, something fun, something that will draw other people in to take part and get involved.
And, I’d love to hear your ideas ! I have some thoughts, but it would be great to get a discussion going in the comments here to see what we can all come up with together.
I’m going to be asking for your help and expertise with other things, too – Facebook, for a start. Should I update the old event page, or make a new one, for example ?
And, I think we need to start talking about Dynamic Range Day sooner, this year, so people have an idea what’s coming. Let’s be prepared – gather together links and posts on the issues, of great and terrible-sounding albums, of pages like this and this showing the support and interest in ending the loudness wars.
Positive or negative ?
Research shows that negative comments drive significantly more discussion on the internet. But something that several people weren’t sure about last year (myself included) was the negative tone – the “SHOUTING”.
So, should we focus on a more positive message this year ? Highlight the fact that there is no demonstrable correlation between sales and loudness ? That absolute level has no effect on playback level on the radio, in Spotify and any other player using mp3Gain ?
Or, are these issues too complex to get across easily, and should we just focus on making lots of noise (ironic!) and hoping people will read through to find the message ?
Let’s get started
Please just let me know your thoughts, ideas and suggestions about all of this in the comments. For a start, how about a new slogan, and a Twitter hashtag ? Everybody loves getting involved in those #yourfavouritefilmbutwitharudewordinthetitle “memes”, can we come up with something like that ?
I’m looking forward to hearing your ideas, and meanwhile here are a few of mine to get the ball rolling…
Tell me your suggestions !
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Image by macca