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The Loudness War: Dynamic Range over the years, An analysis of the DR database
bug80
post Feb 19 2013, 00:05
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I thought it would be interesting to see how the Dynamic Range (Album DR) has developed over the years, and if this shows a clear picture about the development of the Loudness War. In order to check this, I made a dump of the DR database. I choose to focus on the period 1985-2012. The figure above shows the mean DR-value per year (the error bars represent the standard error). It is clear that, overall, the Dynamic Range of albums has decreased in this period from approximately 13 dB to the 8-9 dB range. It is also interesting to see that the minimum mean value is reached in 2008, the year that Death Magnetic was released. In 2009, we see an increase of +/- 0.5 dB (a double-sided t-test shows that this difference is statistically significant at the 0.01 level). Maybe this has to do with the awareness created by this album with respect to the Loudness War?

Furthermore, it seems that the Dynamic Range does not further decrease over the last four years. Has the Loudness War come to an end?

Finally, the figure below shows the number of albums per year that were analyzed. In total, 14,680 albums were included in the analysis.



This post has been edited by db1989: Feb 19 2013, 10:12
Reason for edit: as per request in post #11
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Gecko
post May 5 2013, 19:26
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I've always pictured a room full of record-label executives auditioning a large number of potential new releases in a very short time. If all records are played with the same gain, quiet records will sound weak in comparison to the hard limited competition and will thus flunk.

Of course I don't know if any labels actually operate like that.
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2Bdecided
post May 6 2013, 19:43
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QUOTE (Gecko @ May 5 2013, 19:26) *
I've always pictured a room full of record-label executives auditioning a large number of potential new releases in a very short time. If all records are played with the same gain, quiet records will sound weak in comparison to the hard limited competition and will thus flunk.

Of course I don't know if any labels actually operate like that.

That's pretty much how they compiled the BBC radio 1 playlist. I've seen a film from the 1970s showing just what you describe. I guess it took the widespread adoption of CDs to make the loudness war go nuclear though.

Cheers,
David.

This post has been edited by 2Bdecided: May 6 2013, 19:44
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Posts in this topic
- bug80   The Loudness War: Dynamic Range over the years   Feb 19 2013, 00:05
- - extrabigmehdi   Interesting graph. QUOTE (bug80 @ Feb 18 201...   Feb 19 2013, 01:19
- - Fandango   Hm, I wonder how they managed to produce CDs in th...   Feb 19 2013, 02:06
|- - extrabigmehdi   QUOTE (Fandango @ Feb 19 2013, 01:06) Hm,...   Feb 19 2013, 02:59
|- - Porcus   QUOTE (extrabigmehdi @ Feb 19 2013, 02:59...   Feb 19 2013, 10:10
- - DigitalMan   The increasing sample size of albums analyzed in l...   Feb 19 2013, 03:58
|- - Kohlrabi   QUOTE (DigitalMan @ Feb 19 2013, 03:58) J...   Feb 19 2013, 08:20
|- - cliveb   QUOTE (Kohlrabi @ Feb 19 2013, 07:20) If ...   Feb 19 2013, 09:29
||- - bug80   QUOTE (cliveb @ Feb 19 2013, 09:29) QUOTE...   Feb 19 2013, 09:53
|||- - db1989   QUOTE (bug80 @ Feb 19 2013, 08:53) Howeve...   Feb 19 2013, 10:12
|||- - bug80   QUOTE (Porcus @ Feb 19 2013, 10:10) QUOTE...   Feb 19 2013, 10:22
||- - Kohlrabi   QUOTE (cliveb @ Feb 19 2013, 09:29) QUOTE...   Feb 19 2013, 12:58
|- - dhromed   QUOTE (Kohlrabi @ Feb 19 2013, 08:20) ...   Feb 19 2013, 10:07
||- - Porcus   QUOTE (dhromed @ Feb 19 2013, 10:07) QUOT...   Feb 19 2013, 10:28
||- - Jplus   QUOTE (dhromed @ Feb 19 2013, 10:07) QUOT...   Feb 19 2013, 13:06
|- - Kees de Visser   QUOTE (Kohlrabi @ Feb 19 2013, 08:20) Thi...   Feb 19 2013, 13:21
|- - Kohlrabi   QUOTE (Kees de Visser @ Feb 19 2013, 13:2...   Feb 19 2013, 14:21
|- - extrabigmehdi   QUOTE (Kees de Visser @ Feb 19 2013, 12:2...   Feb 19 2013, 14:42
|- - dhromed   QUOTE (extrabigmehdi @ Feb 19 2013, 14:42...   Feb 19 2013, 14:57
|- - guerrillero   QUOTE (dhromed @ Feb 19 2013, 14:57) QUOT...   Feb 19 2013, 15:12
|- - bug80   QUOTE (guerrillero @ Feb 19 2013, 15:12) ...   Feb 19 2013, 15:15
- - mzil   QUOTE (bug80 @ Feb 18 2013, 19:05) Furthe...   Feb 19 2013, 07:01
|- - bug80   QUOTE (Fandango @ Feb 19 2013, 02:06) Hm,...   Feb 19 2013, 08:10
- - LithosZA   QUOTE There are plnty of other possible reasons fo...   Feb 19 2013, 09:46
- - shadowking   I have to sadly agree: We lost - at least with ...   Feb 19 2013, 10:04
|- - 2Bdecided   QUOTE (shadowking @ Feb 19 2013, 09:04) A...   Feb 19 2013, 10:33
- - Engelsstaub   I would honestly settle for the solid DR 9 average...   Feb 19 2013, 10:43
- - guerrillero   the problem i have with this data is the following...   Feb 19 2013, 11:17
|- - bug80   QUOTE (guerrillero @ Feb 19 2013, 11:17) ...   Feb 19 2013, 12:41
|- - guerrillero   QUOTE (bug80 @ Feb 19 2013, 12:41) Althou...   Feb 19 2013, 14:16
|- - bug80   QUOTE (guerrillero @ Feb 19 2013, 14:16) ...   Feb 19 2013, 15:03
|- - icstm   is this dataset somewhere to download? I would lo...   Feb 28 2013, 15:55
|- - bug80   QUOTE (icstm @ Feb 28 2013, 15:55) is thi...   Mar 11 2013, 09:10
- - Porcus   Re the selection issue: I am not so concerned abou...   Feb 19 2013, 14:15
|- - BFG   It's interesting that Muslimgauze has an album...   May 20 2013, 19:21
|- - delusionn   QUOTE (BFG @ May 20 2013, 14:21) It's...   May 20 2013, 19:26
- - rick.hughes   I have the impression that a lot of people buy mos...   Feb 19 2013, 14:42
- - extrabigmehdi   Well I believe in fragmentation of market, because...   Feb 19 2013, 16:03
- - hawkeye_p   Well at least Krautrock was invented way longer th...   Feb 19 2013, 16:07
- - probedb   Prog rock, industrial, stoner etc were around over...   Feb 19 2013, 16:07
|- - extrabigmehdi   QUOTE (probedb @ Feb 19 2013, 15:07) Prog...   Feb 19 2013, 16:19
- - greynol   Don't tell Kansas and Yes fans that! Also...   Feb 19 2013, 16:33
- - Porcus   Obviously there's a greater chance of knowing ...   Feb 19 2013, 16:44
- - 2Bdecided   I suspect people's assumptions about music sal...   Feb 19 2013, 18:07
- - ianshepherd   For those who are interested, I'm compiling a ...   Feb 19 2013, 21:22
- - icstm   As you have so expertly done teh work can I just a...   Mar 11 2013, 19:54
- - bernhold   I always wondered what the reason of the loudness ...   May 4 2013, 21:15
- - db1989   I won’t claim to speak for our industry-minded mem...   May 4 2013, 21:22
- - smok3   Is there a link/explanation to what exactly DR is ...   May 5 2013, 14:21
- - soundping   Maybe hearing loss inspired the loudness wars?   May 5 2013, 17:19
- - Gecko   I've always pictured a room full of record-lab...   May 5 2013, 19:26
|- - 2Bdecided   QUOTE (Gecko @ May 5 2013, 19:26) I'v...   May 6 2013, 19:43
- - audiofilaid   I'm reading "Appetite For Destuction: The...   May 15 2013, 23:20
- - delusionn   I just did a data visualization and a background p...   May 20 2013, 18:29
- - AliceWonder   I can't comment on why sales have declined but...   Mar 23 2014, 22:05


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