J Cole’s new album KOD just won the Dynamic Range Day Award 2018.
(The award is given every year to a great-sounding, successful album that also has great dynamics)
And it’s the most streamed album in it’s first week ever, AND it went straight in at Number 1 in the Billboard album charts !
So – remind me – why exactly is a super-loud master supposed to be ‘required’ for success and sales again ?
And here’s the thing – this is just the latest example in a building trend. More and more rap, R&B and hip-hop artists are taking advantage of the benefits of dynamics in their sound, and people love it.
Let’s start with a low-key example like – oh, say: Drake.
Right, the Drake – the one who regularly holds multiple Top 10 positions in the global streaming charts simultaneously. To be that successful, surely your music has to be ridiculously loud, right ?
Drakes recent single God’s Plan has 469 million views as I’m writing this, and the integrated loudness measures… -11.7 LUFS. Hardly the -8, -6 or even -4 numbers some people like to tell you are ‘needed’.
Now don’t get me wrong, both these numbers and albums are still loud – but they’re not “loudness war loud”, in the way so many are.
And that’s the point.
Users don’t care about loudness – they care about music.
Some of the biggest artists in the world are mastering their music with more dynamics – let’s hope everyone else follows suit.
I’ll be interviewing Glenn Schick, who mastered KOD for J Cole, on the next episode of The Mastering Show podcast. Subscribe now to make sure you catch it – and, listen to my interviews with previous DRD Award-winners Matt Colton and Bob Ludwig, while you wait !