Loudness: What You Need To Know
THE RULES HAVE CHANGED—AND YOU NEED TO KNOW HOW AND WHY
Forget what you think you know about loudness.
Unless you’re a mastering engineer, you’re probably not fully aware of today’s ever-changing loudness standards, monitoring, and manipulation technologies. The recording industry’s relationship with loudness has changed a lot over the last ten years, and it’s difficult to stay abreast of what is current.
While printing a final mix used to be a relatively simple task, today’s engineers need to be far more knowledgeable about delivery requirements, metering, and dynamics processing. While this article cannot explore every aspect of this important and complex subject, it will offer a short history of how we’ve gotten to where we are, explain the critical concepts, and note some of the current practices for mix delivery.