Loudness Wars Revisited

Posted by PH on January 15, 2008
Music & Technology

Back in October I posted on the so-called ‘loudness wars’ (Just Loud). Since then a couple of other useful sources have come to my attention:

Firstly, there’s an excellent in-depth article here on Wikipedia, with a particularly useful set of References and some well-conceived visual examples. For example, there’s an illuminating image sequence showing the time-domain representations of four successive releases of Something by The Beatles which highlights the incredible extent to which modern CD releases are being (over) compressed. And in a similar vein, there are these two images of Abba’s One Of Us, the first from a 1981 CD release, the second from a 2005 reissue:


I’m sorry, but this is nothing short of butchery…

The second article is in a similar vein and is here at Record-Producer.com. What’s interesting about this article is that the included audio examples have been processed to show what it is your adding when you over-compress/limit. Incidentally, a very odd piece of music!

Finally, there’s this article from Wired’s Listening Post, which is really about the sound of vinyl compared to that on CD. It only mentions the ‘loudness wars’ in passing, but it seems to me to be part of the overall debate.

[Thanks to author of above images. Used here under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License. Apparently.]

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