either it is realized or not, the world has become a place of noise. while at the same time there are as many people as those who want their voice being heard. without a proper strategy, there’s no way anyone can achieve it. the easiest thing to do is to increase anyone volume to draw attention.
that’s what also has been done by many musicians and record bosses. according to an article written by adam sherwin and published in the times online, they are among those who believe that the best album is the loudest one. they never stop trying to enhance sound levels so that the music punches through when it competes against background noise in pubs or cars.
oasis debut album is where the effort started. there’s been a so-called loudness war since. as with every war, what comes out of it is not good at all.
technically, loudness is achieved by removing the dynamic range of a recording, making everything sound, well, “loud”. there’s a “peak limiting”, which squeezes (or compresses) the sound range to one level, removing the peaks and troughs that would normally separate a quiter verse from a pumping chorus.
with the kind of process that take place at mastering, musical details, including vocals and snare drums, are lost in the blare. many cd players respond to the frequency challenge by adding a buzzing, distorted sound to tracks.
leading studio engineers not only branded recordings produced with compression process “unlistenable”. they also warned that modern albums now induced nausea, induced a sense of fatigue. they also indicated it as the cause of slump in sales.
the big picture is even gloomier: record sales on internet has exacerbated the effect. this is the case because songs are compressed once again into digital files before being sold.
i don’t know whether it’s true or not. what i do know is that there are cds that sound louder and sometimes they pushed the loudness needle further into the red.