The “Loudness War” – A killer of digital music quality

Posted by Knonie

Are you a music fan, who enjoys listening to music on great sound-systems and portable music players, because you know what Quality is. You also know that medium/low quality tracks never sound great because they usually lack the clarity of sound–fidelity, to be precise. But are you aware of the term “Loudness War”???

In simple words, it’s a digital way of increasing the “Loudness” of an audio track, which in terms lose many details of sounds without any apparent loss in Quality. Tricky? Isn’t it?

See this Waveform of a portion of a song, and see how its loudness is digitally increased in the name of “Digital Remastering” throughout years, and how it has lost the details.

Audio Waveform to show "Loudness War"

The trend of increasing loudness as shown by waveform images of "Something" by The Beatles mastered on CD four times since 1983.

Now check this short video to see Audio/Visual example. If you can’t feel the obvious difference, train your ears, or this “Loudness War” has nothing to do with you…

This treatment makes song appear “load” and “Hot”, but it makes it rather flat, with less variations, and this treatment often makes many songs unbearable to listen again and again.


Credits: The image used here is termed free to use by the owner “Aquegg”
Further reading: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Loudness_war


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