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Winning The Loudness Wars

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Compression is a term rightly associated with sonic degradation in current recorded music. There are 2 types of compression - 1) Data Compression, 2) Dynamic Compression. This website is at the forefront of educating music lovers of the evils of data compression (mp3, ect.) Dynamic compression is another equally destructive trend in recorded music. Simply put, dynamic compression alters the natural balance of soft and loud in music so that more of it is constantly loud. This trend has been steadily increasing in the last two decades. Please watch this short and very informative video of the problem -

. The main motivation in overcompressing music is to have it initially appear better sounding than other music. Forinstance, people will tend to leave on the radio station of music that is more compressed because it initially seems stronger or more intense somehow. It has been documented that people can literally become agitated, aggressive and even sick when hearing over compressed music. Record company executives now force mastering engineers to make music as loud as possible even though it destroys the artistry of the music. The only real way to combat this insanity is to have an educated public that eschews overcompressed music. The Pleasurize Music Foundation is seeking to establish an objective means of analyzing and rating the dynamic range of recorded music. Here is their website - http://www.pleasurizemusic.com/ .

Take a little time to educate yourself about the loudness wars and turn your back on it. It is making people crazy.




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I imagine most audiophiles with any length to their teeth know about the Loudness Wars and for many it doesn't apply.


I discovered the mastering compression trend on my own as it was being applied to rock music over the last couple decades and rips of CDs could be examined with a simple WAV editor. In recent years it's gotten so bad in contemporary pop music that's it's unquestionably absolutely loathsome, but I don't listen to pop music anymore, so it doesn't really bother me anymore. Actually, pop music with few exceptions ceased to be interesting. The war is somebody else's issue now. Many of us here don't give a rat's behind what they do with contemporary pop music (the stuff the kids listen to). You usually don't find that genre mixed the word "audiophile" anyway and as Chris and others will tell you, "audiophile" is half of what CA is about.


For a while Japanese versions of many pop CDs were getting unique masters and had better headroom/dynamics. I think at some point the compressed versions the rest of the world got finally caught up to Japan. I have a lot of domestic CDs that I also bought the Japanese versions with the hope that the dynamics hadn't been as badly squashed.


Many recent album releases are getting pressed to vinyl again. I'm curious to know if the vinyl masters are different from the CD masters. It wouldn't surprise me to find they're the same which kind of negates anything but the novelty of having a vinyl version of a recent release to CD/MP3.




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