The Loudness War

In general and in principle I agree with critics of “the loudness war” (the trend to use more and more master compression). But in reality I started using the maximizer about 5db on the master bus myself.

To me it’s a certain sound that just isn’t there when leaving things uncompressed, esp on more aggressive tunes.

I’d like to hear peoples opinions here regarding this. Do use the maximizer on the master bus, if so when and how much? Do you feel it’s a compromise between the uncompressed, hi-fi beauty of your music and something you’re forced to do in order to get the listeners attention?

If you’re not familiar with the term “loudness war” wikipedia could be a nice starting point:

I’m a sucker for the loudness war. As fas as I’m concerned, it’s OKAY as long as you’re WINNING IT. Like you, I dig the agressive in-your-face sound a lot :)

Can we get an RMS meter in Renoise so we can actually tell you this with the same results from all platforms?

Personally I try and compose with nothing on the master, not seeing it peak but still always get the odd glitch that does highlight the Clip light, then I usually put the Maximizer on at about -0.2dB just to remove any peaks that are going over but barely changing the actual sound.

For the record, I keep my master clean too. EXCEPT FOR LOFIMAT

I keep my master channel clean at all times. I try to mix the tune the best I can before it hits the master channel. If there are peaks that light up the clip “led”, I find the channel that is causing it and I put a compressor/limiter/distortion there.

Uhmmm, I’d like my head off :) Who should I call when I’d like it back on?

Anyways, I couldn’t find any tools (using linux here) that’ll measure that. What would you use under other platforms, maybe this would make it possible for me to find something similar…

BTW: Are you in fact suggesting the “average RMS” is a measure for where my audio places itself, ranging from good-and-well-behaved-beautyful-hi-fi to too-greedy-stop-doing-that-it-makes-my-ears-bleed?

If you’re a fan of aggressive, in-your-face sounds, then you’re plainly not a fan of the “loudness war”. The “loudness war” refers to the decrease of dynamic range across entire mixes, thus making mixes less aggressive, and less in-your-face. If you use a dynamic range meter on all your favorite aggressive tracks, I guarantee they’ll show up as having a dynamic range of at least 9dB if not more. “Loudness war” tracks often have ludicrously low dynamic ranges, anywhere from 6dB to as close to 0dB as they can push it. This kills any aggression your mix would have. <— free… works great.

No, this is a matter of experiencing. What you may experience as flat, I might experience as agressive. I enjoy a overly pumped ducky French electro, because I experience it as agressive and in-your-face, not because I enjoy the dynamic spectrum ;)

Quote of the month!

Currently giving Linux a try (undecided at the moment, still really learning the system and configuring until happy) but I’m sure there’s something out there and you would hope for very similar results from different devices really ;)

Hmm… okay, this I can relate to…

Still, hurrah for loudness war! Make their bloody ears bleed! :D During the commercials!

i seem to remember reading somewhere that the brain is more alert to sounds which are compressed because that happens naturally with very loud sounds such as lightning and earthquakes etc. the ear can only take so much of those loud sounds and thus there’s a percieved compression happening and the brain goes, “ah i better stay alert now”.

can’t find anything on that right now and so take it with a grain of salt plz. (=

someone else heard of this theory?

I dare you to use that VST I just posted to check out the dynamic range on that french electro you like. I bet it’s nowhere as low as 6db.

Practical tip: try screaming in the ear of somebody, you will instantly know how alert they get :panic:



well, that suggestion was nsfw! D: (man, i really need to go home now btw!)

:lol: neither is this

Hmm, well okay… They’re mostly varying between 5 and 8, mostly 7 and 8.

And 6 is GOOD for tracks these days… the loudness war is pushing tracks into the 2-3dB dynamic range …er… range :P

The whole RMS?

That reminds me … isn’t it Metallica - Death Magnetic that sounds better in Guitar Hero than on original cd?

Great one… I’d never seen this before:


Shit man… you can’t complain with such a comparison.