"Streaming has taken aways the level control... given us in return headroom... i.e. the freedom to create mixes as dynamic as we want to"

Gregm

Well-Known Member
Mar 14, 2019
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It sounds like wishful thinking, but this is what Alan Silverman, a renown mastering engineer said not so long ago.
He claims that up until the mid-nineties we lived with 60dB dynamic range and distortion well below 1%.
Since then, with the loudness war, the average dynamic range has dropped to 12dB while distortion jumped to 20%!

What is happening now is that streaming services controlling the loudness level. The result is that overcompressed tracks sound quieter (and terrible) -- because they are, in fact, smaller size and the lost information is deploringly audible; in other words, there is no longer any reasons to master with loudness in mind and headroom can be used instead to make the music more distinct...

I, for one, am cool :cool: with that; let the sound of the snares, & the kick drums, and the sudden transients back in the tracks!

Unfortunately, I haven't noticed this in the products of mainstream labels -- but this is just my impression!

Here is the link (I don't know how to embed a pic...) to this interesting presentation by Alan Silverman.
 
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AMR / iFi audio

Industry Expert
Aug 21, 2019
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The compression, like everything has pros and cons.
On one hand, overused in loudness war kills the realism in music as said before.
On the other it is essential in mixing and mastering. It really helps to bring life to the recorded music.

But I don't think we can expect the big studios to spot engaging in the loudness war. The reason is simple: the majority of consumers use Hi-Fi of a very low quality. And it needs extreme compression to sound somewhat good.
 

Gregm

Well-Known Member
Mar 14, 2019
334
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France
But I don't think we can expect the big studios to spot engaging in the loudness war. The reason is simple: the majority of consumers use Hi-Fi of a very low quality. And it needs extreme compression to sound somewhat good.
Indeed!
But Silverman's point is that when streamed, compressed files sound "smaller" as if they're played at lower volume... In other words they are "less loud" and stand out much less compared to lower compression.

So, Silverman opines, streaming is changing the rules of the loudness war, and compression is no longer the way to go!
 

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