AES New York 2013
Saturday, October 19, 5:00 pm — 7:00 pm (Room 1E14)
W22 - Loudness Wars: Leave Those Peaks AloneChair:
Thomas Lund, TC Electronic A/S - Risskov, Denmark
Florian Camerer, ORF - Austrian TV - Vienna, Austria; EBU - European Broadcasting Union
Bob Ludwig, Gateway Mastering Studios, Inc. - Portland, ME, USA
George Massenburg, Schulich School of Music, McGill University - Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Music production, distribution, and consumption has been caught in a vicious spiral rendering two decades of our music heritage damaged. Because of irreversible dynamics processing and data reduction from production onwards, new tracks and remastered ones typically sound worse than what could even be expected from compact cassette. However, with Apple, WiMP, and Spotify now engaged in a competition on quality, and FM radio in Europe adopting EBU R128 loudness normalization, limbo-practice is finally losing its grip on distribution.
The panel uses terms "Peak to Loudness Ratio" (PLR) and "Headroom" to analyze recorded music fidelity over the past 50 years from four different angles: physiological, production, distribution, and consumption. In the new realm, it's futile to master music louder than –16 LKFS.