People outside the music industry just don’t understand the Loudness War.
When I explain it to them, when I get to the end, they always look at me in bewilderment and say:
Why do people make music stupid-loud when listeners set the volume, when broadcast and players and online streaming remove the differences ? Why ?
And the answer is something that no-one likes to say out loud.
(Actually, it’s FUD – Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt – to borrow the geek acronym)
- Fear of not keeping up with the Joneses
- Fear of not applying the “formula”, of not doing the same thing as last time
- Fear of an industry whose business model is changing forever
- Fear of criticism
- Fear of failure
And fear is a powerful, insidious virus that can infect everything it touches.
Maybe you’ve heard before that it only takes one bad experience to wipe seven good ones from our memory of the day.
Well, there are seven stages in the traditional route of getting music to the listener:
- Recording engineer
- Mix engineer
- Mastering engineer
It only takes one person in that chain to succumb to Loudness War FUD to infect and fill the other six with fear – and suddenly a great-sounding mix is reduced to mush.
Because no-one wants to run the risk that the FUD is real. No-one wants to put their neck on the line.
The antidote to fear is facts
The antidote to uncertainty and doubt is knowledge.
Trusting the facts gives you faith.
- “Loudness” has no effect on sales – here’s the research
- People don’t like the “loudness war” sound – here’s the evidence
- Replay volume is adjusted so “loud” CDs never sound louder than anything else
- “Loudness war” levels sound worse on the radio
- Dynamic sound is a great way to make your music stand out
So the solution to the loudness war problem is simple.
We just have to face the fear – and share the facts
When enough people have faith in the facts, the FUD has no power.
This video demonstrates the facts, quickly and clearly:
Share this video.
Try this technique. Share the facts. Support Dynamic Range Day.
Face the fear.
Fight the FUD.
Original image by Amber Henley