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The Loudness War: Do Louder, Hypercompressed Recordings Sell Better?

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[Feature] The term “loudness war” refers to the ongoing competitive increase in the loudness of commercially distributed music. While this increase has been facilitated by the use of dynamic range compression, limiting, and clipping, the underlying cause is the belief that louder recordings sell better. This paper briefly reviews some possible side effects of the loudness war and presents evidence questioning the assumption that loudness is significantly correlated to listener preference and sales ranking.

JAES Volume 59 Issue 5 pp. 346-351; May 2011
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