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Cliff Notes on the Loudness Wars

With master quality HD audio getting into people’s ears and getting more buzz every day, I think its important to look into one of the related issues in recorded music: The Loudness Wars.

It really does get to the core of the industry vs. art debate, the present vs. the past & future.

I support a wide dynamic range and have trouble listening to most modern music because of the loudness problem. Even classic artists that I love have put out records in the last 10 years that are so friggin’ loud they crush my ears on first note, and not in the good way. Pure fatigue.

This video covers the industry pressure and competition driving the volume problem.

But there are two other battlefields in this war: the playback systems used to render our music and the production tools used to make our music. Both are bloody battles between quality and convenience.

I’ve been covering the playback side of things with iPhones and PonoPlayers for the last few years, I’m going to start covering the production side of things soon.