Too LoudHave you heard of the Loudness Wars? If you hang around recording forums or websites for long, you’ll probably run into people fighting to the death over this issue. 🙂

So what is it? The Loudness Wars refer to the ever-increasing volume of today’s albums.

If you were to pop in an album from 20 years ago and play it alongside an album from today, you’ll notice that the current album will be much louder.

How is this accomplished? Through compression and limiting. You squash the dynamic range of the recording, then bring up the overall volume. Probably the most popular tool for this is the Waves L-series of limiters (L1, L2, L3, etc.).

So why is everyone trying to make their records louder? I think it originally started as a way for you to make your track more noticeable on the radio. If your song was louder than everyone else’s, it’ll get attention, right?

Now it’s just becoming the norm. Everyone wants their album to be as loud or louder as everyone else’s.

Here’s my question for you. What do you think of this? To be honest, I kinda like it when my music is nice and loud and in-your-face. Some engineers take it too far and compress/limit to the point of distorting the audio.

What’s your take on these Loudness Wars? Leave a comment!

We’ll be covering the process of mastering in-depth in the HSC Production Club during Week 12. Today’s your last day to sign up. Doors close at 6pm CST. You can sign up here.

Photo credit – striatic