why is everything so loud?

why is everything so loud?


January 26th, 2015


I usually take a day a week to check through all the tunes I get sent, most times I will pick out a few and check levels, look at them on a spectrum analyser just to see whats going on with the mix. I get sent a lot of tunes by all kinds of people, Demos from friends and commercial releases and underground bits. I love music and this is about the best part of my week.

I have noticed that a lot of producers are pushing the levels a bit too much and let me explain my thinking.

When you bounce the final master out of your DAW (music software) the mastering chain does not stop there… you have to think about the whole chain, where is that audio going next. so it will then go onto a CD or USB stick, Played out of a pioneer CDJ,  usually distorted through a Pioneer mixer, into the club DI Box, into a club desk, through some nasty VCA compressor or worse a multi band limiter then its down to the crossover network and through some amps and then eventually through some speakers a bit of air and then through your ear to your brain. Thats a long chain.

For the Radio you are looking at brutal multi band compression so even more crucial for a normal sounding tune to back off a bit.

Every step of the chain adds some kind of distortion and if your tune is way over in level then I think it makes it really nasty to listen to in a club. By just pulling back on the limiting and even every channel in your mix so that it hits the final chain a little quieter you get so much more space in the mix.

You know the tunes you love the most are the ones that are like wow thats warm, clean and nice sounding. Loudness is like a drug and with the powerful tools at our disposal it is very easy to crush life out of a good tune.

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