The Loudness Wars is an interesting topic that you should be aware. In their quest for more profit, big label companies realized that volume regulations in film, television and radio were based upon peak amplitude. However, humans perceive volume using the average (actually root-mean square) amplitude. They could compress audio to an absurd level to ensure that no peak exceeded the threshold, and can raise the average volume to an extremely high level. It was believed that louder commercials would have more chances of grabbing attention. We reached for the remote control to turn off commercials on our TVs, as they could be as loud as the program playing. Radio is the same.
This war for loudness began with commercials, and then it grew into pop music. Every track is compressed so hard that the dynamics are lost, which only makes it harder to extract any emotion from the songs. This is stupid! It has the opposite effect. We don’t pay attention to the commercials because they are intrusive and invasive, but instead of getting our attention. If every song is loud, then we can turn down the volume on our speakers to make every song less loud. We are losing the dynamics of music.
There is a difference between DIY and Pro Mixing & Mastering
After looking at the cost of having a professional mixing and mastering your record, the age-old question is: “Can I do this myself?”
Yes, the question is “Should you?” Mixing is something I love and I have written all the articles on LedgerNote. The problem is that I spend so much time mixing my songs that I don’t have time to write or record my next song. You, as an artist, must decide how narrow your focus should be in order to avoid being distracted. A general rule of thumb is that you can’t be impartial. We now come to the question of
Do I mix my own music?
You should give them a try. Not only because they are fun and interesting but also because you don’t know what to expect from a job. It’s easy to give it a try with the free plugins included in your digital audio tool, such as Logic Pro or Pro Tools. Check out our list of the top DAWs for your needs. One of them is free (Cakewalk). Comfortable with terminology and methodology will help you communicate with your mixer engineer to ensure you both are aiming for the same goal. Do you want to be your own mixer? If you’re patient and willing to learn, you can. If you are really good at it, it can save you some serious cash. There is a problem. When it comes to music from other artists, you may be able to produce some of the most impressive mixes and still get the job done quickly. When it comes to your songs, however, you can lose sight of the bigger picture and spend hours tweaking knobs until you are unable to see what’s happening. You don’t have enough distance to your songs so it’s easy for ear fatigue to set in and cause you not to make the right shots.