Loudness War: “Diminishing Returns”

Bob Katz Leave a Comment

John writes:


The master was passed around among all 10 of us and some others for a final listen and the only question raised was about loudness….we appear to be somewhat quieter than most commercial albums. Personally, I aware of this and it means when I crank it up the sonic integrity is maintained which is my book is great. I’ve listened to a number of recent commercial releases that are so loud they grate on my ears even at low volumes. 
I suppose the question for Bob is have we reached the point of diminishing returns in the ‘loudness vs integrity’ stakes?

– Johnny

Hi, Johnny.

Thanks for rooting for the integrity of your album and discovering its virtues. I personally GUARANTEE that any album which is apparently “louder” than yours at the same position of the volume control has been seriously compromised, and that your album is just better. When you say, “most commercial albums” you are only referring to the last few years of the loudness race, which has already been won, and “lost” a long long time ago. Your album reached “diminishing
returns” 2-3 dB ago, so it’s already beyond where it could be to sound more open and better, so you passed that!

Best wishes,

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