The Loudness War - It's a little Too Trendy!
I can not imagine any musicians primary goal when having their cd mastered is to have loudness be their number one priority. The amount of time, effort, and money a musician goes through, to write and compose songs, have them recorded and put into a two-track stereo mix (the "pre-master"), and finally professionally mastered, should not be wasted on trying to sound louder than cd's from competing artists. Why would these musicians sacrifice dynamics, quality, and harmonic sweetness just to sound louder? What do they think a volume control on any stereo or playback equipment is for?
Even with technology today in regards to software ( iTunes or Windows Media Player ), that have features that calculate the perceived loudness of a CD, certain record labels persist in making their releases even louder! The ultimate goal should be to master a CD with everything balanced so the consumers listening experience is one of complete enjoyment from beginning to end, no matter what playback system they are using.
Bottom line is it seems the consumer is less critical and maybe just accustomed to the way their favorite artists are releasing their CD's these days. The best thing that any musician can do is to leave it in the trusted hands of a professional audio mastering engineer. The true quality of the music and the artists performance defines success and will ultimately make or break the album. However a true professional mastering engineer will take any musicians studio recording and fine tune it so it has clarity, good dynamics, diminished noises, relative level adjustments, and a final added polish to make the well recorded project shine.
For further information on CD mastering contact us at Discmasters-CD Duplication