The Dynamic Range Day Award
About the award
The Dynamic Range Day Award is given annually to a great-sounding, dynamic album - proving
that music doesn’t have to be crushed to be popular and successful.
To be considered for the award, an album must meet at least one of the following requirements:
How and why do we choose these values ?
Dynamic Range Day is all about the real-world sound, not the numbers – and to claim that DR16+ is a “requirement” for great sound simply doesn’t hold up to scrutiny.
The aim of the award is to highlight mainstream releases which sound great and haven’t been “smashed”. Values of <-11 LUFS or >DR10 will probably sound better than the minimum requirements for the award, but it is possible to get great sound at even higher levels, so these values have been chosen to reflect that.
In 2014 the winner was…
(To no-one’s surprise !)
“Random Access Memories” by Daft Punk
We thought about being clever and giving the award to someone else, but that made no sense. This was one of the most successful albums of the year – AND one of the most dynamic ! If you ever wanted proof of the message behind Dynamic Range Day, you need look no further.
We genuinely hope this album will prove to be a watershed moment, a turning-point that we can look back on and say “the end of the war started here”. Only time will tell…
For more discussion about why this album sounds so great, and how dynamics play a key part in that sound (and it’s success) click here.
The winner of the 2013 award was…
“Blunderbuss” by Jack White (DR11)
To read a discussion of why this album made such a worthy winner, please click here.
Steven Wilson’s superb “The Raven that Refused to Sing” came a very close second !
The other nominees last year were:
- My Bloody Valentine – “MBV” (DR11)
- Steven Wilson – “The Raven that Refused to Sing” (DR9)
- Ólafur Arnalds – “For Now I Am Winter” (DR11)
- Mumford & Sons – Babel (DR8)
- Ben Harper with Charlie Musselwhite – Get Up! (DR9)
- Neil Young & Crazy Horse – Americana (DR8)
- Orbital – Wonky (DR8)
- Bobby Womack – The Bravest Man In The Universe (DR9)
The My Bloody Valentine album can be heard here
For even more great-sounding dynamic records from 2012, check out this list.
The winner of 2012′s award was Björk for “Biophilia”
(The winner needs to have an overall DR rating of DR8 or more)
The winner of 2011′s award was…
Elbow, for “Build A Rocket, Boys”
Watch a video of Craig Potter – Elbow’s keyboard player, mixer & producer – accepting the award on behalf of the band here.
A truly worthy winner, this album sounds superb and is crammed full of outstanding songs and performances.
Measurements are only ever a guide though, and to re-enforce this point, several tracks are as loud as DR6. In the context of the whole album, these huge moments just emphasise the emotion and power of the music – dynamics used as they were meant to be.
Elbow, we salute you !
More about the Dynamic Range Day Award
The idea of the award is to show that dynamic music can be both popular and successful, confirming that the so-called Loudness Wars are a myth – a modern fairy-tale.
Any of the nominees would have made a worthy winner – our hope is that more bands will follow their example.
Watch a recording of the live announcement
To see the announcement, click here
The full list of nominees was:
Laura Marling – “I Speak Because I Can”
LCD Soundsystem – “This Is Happening”
The Coral – “Butterfly House”
Elbow – “Build A Rocket Boys !”
Massive Attack – “Heligoland”
Neil Young – “Le Noise”
Mumford & Sons – “Sigh No More”
Four Tet – “There Is Love In You”
Norah Jones – “…Featuring”
Chosen by the Dynamic Range Day Panel 2011
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