Unusually, as the producer and sound balance engineer, I actually ended up mastering the album, as well. This brought up the issue of intrinsic loudness in the final product – and it was something I had hands-on control over. From previous bulletins, you will all be aware of my advocacy for increased dynamic range in recorded music (and you’ll even notice that as I’ve become more confident about the content of my ownwork, the intrinsic levels have decreased and the dynamic ranges have increased). I am happy to say that I stuck to my instincts and preserved a healthy rms level of between 10 and 14dB on the tracks on the Captain Wilberforce album. Funnily enough, it doesn’t sound particularly quieter than many of the hypercompressed albums of the last few years, but has an intrinsic level more akin to the great sounding records of the early-mid 90s. In my opinion, that is the period where we had achieved true hi-fidelity sound in recorded music with an intrinsic level that is appropriate for the most situations and applications. To further this notion – do you notice a level increase when a 90s rock piece is followed by a 2010 rock piece on the radio?
I didn’t think so.
I hope you all share my views on this absurd “Loudness War” which really has had no effect on music sales (if anything, it’s had a negative effect) and I’d love it if more people could spread the word about bringing dynamics back to music. Have a look at Turn Me Up and watch the video below…
….and don’t forget to order yourself a copy of the new Captain Wilberforce album!