Part 4- Loudness
"I want it louder than my competition so people will like it more than my competition"
I'm sorry but just because your music sounds louder, does not mean that people will like it more than your competition.
The "loudness war" has been an on going battle in the audio industry. Everyone wants their music to be the same level as everyone else. The theory is that if it is slightly louder it will be perceived to sound better. This is actually true. A half db increase in level can be enough to fool your brain into thinking the track sounds better than the half db quieter same track. However there is nothing different from the tracks except the fact that one is louder. So from this producers come to the conclusion that louder is better.
Thankfully today producers and engineers are learning and realizing that most platforms for music now normalize all tracks to be at the same level regardless of how loud or hard you hit the limiter. We want our tracks to be competitive but we also want all the subtleties and dynamics to come through the final master. To do this you must come to a compromise and meet near really loud but under enough that the track soars through any sound system as it was fully intended. Note-this does not mean your music has to be way quieter, you can achieve a competitive loudness level and still retain all dynamics.
The thing to remember is that the listener has a volume control knob/button, if they like what their listening to enough they will simple turn it up. Listeners typically like what their listening to not because of the volume compared to the next track but because the genre of the song fits with what they like.
Next week in the final part of this mini series, we will discuss getting an already limited track and dynamicly crushed track...