The "loudness" war

Hello All,

Those of you visiting from my music page, I thank you for following the link and being interested. As you know... Appearance, my new album is in it's final stages. That final stage may be a bit longer then I anticipated. The reason? MASTERING. For those who don't know, mastering is the final stage of a recording and in simple terms, ties up all the loose ends of a recording. It allows you to place the desired amount of time in between songs, ensure all your songs are a unified volume.... and the all important... MAKING IT LOUDER. This is a painful process for me. (and others I've discovered) Reason being is making stuff louder doesn't make it better.... it makes it worse. I won't get to techy here, but basically adding the right amount of EQ and compression to boost volume to the level that everyone likes to hear  smashes the dynamic range of a recording. Picture a sound wave.... ya see all those peaks and valleys? That is dynamic range. It has hot and cold. Soft and loud. Think of the crack of a snare drum.... the smash of a crash cymbal. You WANT that peak in there (you may not know it, but believe me... you do) And in a last number of years, the volume war is ON!!! Everyone simply crushing recordings to make them louder and louder.  To me, many of these recordings sounds dreadful. Many are distorted and kill the dynamics that the artist spent months or years trying to achieve in the tracking process. This makes no sense to me, yet we all as artists fall a victim to the volume war. We don't want anyone to have to reach for the volume when the Ipod shuffles around to one of our songs. "Chris Mahoney's record sucks!!! It's so much quieter then the other stuff in my Ipod!"This is the last thing I would want anyone to say! Yet, the volume war leaves me in quite the quandary. So with me being knee deep in the Mastering process I've come to a decision here, at 4:30 AM. I'm going to re-master my record. I'm going to relax the volume in favor of some dynamics. I want that crack in the snare... I want the guitars huge... I want the music to sound.... right. So I'm gonna take on the volume war and be a big rebel and fight the system. FIGHT THE MACHINE!!! lol!! Yeah.... quite the danger seeker huh? After all, we're not gonna hear my stuff on Kiss FM anytime soon so what am I worried about? Well..... I am worried about the thousands of people (cough-cough) listening to my new record in their Ipods and in rock clubs across this great land of ours and wondering.... "why do I have to reach for the volume knob when CMP comes on? I guess that means he sucks!!"I wish more artists would be as bold as I am....(patriotic victorious music starts here).... to go where no artist has gone before.... to say to the nation.. I BELIEVE MUSIC SHOULD BE LEFT ALONE.... I BELIEVE WE SHOULD SAY NO THE THE VOLUME WAR.
I WANT DYNAMIC RANGE!! LEAVE THE POWER IN HANDS OF THE PEOPLE AND LET US REACH FOR OUR VOLUME KNOB WHEN WE WANT. LET THE PEOPLE DECIDE... AND IF YOU VOTE FOR ME....... wow it's getting late! I hope you get the idea. My record won't be a loud as many of the others in your ipod or cd changers..... but I assure you turn it up a bit.... and it will be fine. I won't distort.... and your ears will feel better listening to it. Look up articles about the loudness war and tiring. About the loudness war and your plants in your house dying. (ok... I made that one up) The first one was true though. Be well everyone!!

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