In January 2009, The Pleasurize Music Foundation launched a wide-ranging initiative for ending the “Loudness War” being waged by successive music releases. This initiative aims to introduce a dynamic standard through several phases.
TT Dynamic Range Meter makes it possible to provide releases with a whole-number dynamic value to be printed on the recording medium as a logo, giving consumers an immediate means of knowing the dynamic quality of a recording. An online database is planned for furnishing information on music already released with the standard. In this way, conditions have been met for the creation of a single standard for audio recorded media – a step which was taken by the film industry over thirty years ago. Music with small dynamic range has a low value, for example DR4 (Dynamic Range = 4dB). Music with a large dynamic range has a higher DR value, for example DR14 or more. In this case, music can breathe and loud events are actually louder.
Founder and conceptual father Friedemann Tischmeyer on the functions and aims of the Foundation:
“The arrival of digital technology has made it technically possible for this process, thereby answering the commercial need of simply wanting to be heard. The principle is: ‘Whoever shouts the loudest will be heard.’ For labels and radio stations, loudness is the most important criterion in music. And that is where our work begins: We aim to provide qualified information so that people understand that loudness is not a measure of quality in music! There is a great lack of information in this area which has taken on huge proportions: most young people have never heard truly dynamic music played over a good-sounding hi-fi system. I believe that some of them would be so emotionally overwhelmed that they would cry with joy when hearing truly dynamic music under such conditions.”
What made you begin this wide-reaching initiative?
“As a mastering engineer I stand right in the crossfire between the detail-work of trying to obtain the best possible sound and the commercial pressures of my customers. Even when a customer knows that the sound suffers when dynamic range is further decreased, they accept this for fear of not being heard. This makes all my efforts involving working on fine nuances of sound practically obsolete. The only choice we are given is to make the loudest possible master with the least amount of sound-quality damage. Of course, that is not a satisfying way of working – all of the leading mastering engineers in the world agree here.”
“We therefore believe that our standard will increase the value of music. It is too simplistic to make the MP3 format out to be the scapegoat with regards to the current market situation in the entire music industry. The truth is more complex. The loss of emotional value in music is also a big part of this. We believe that our standard will strengthen the entire music industry. As soon as good-sounding music is once again purchased, musicians and all the creative people involved in making and producing music will profit.”