Bring Peace to the Loudness War
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Music streaming services need to properly manage audio loudness. We ask them to implement a loudness level in line with the Audio Engineering Society recommendations.
No More Loudness Jumps
Music listeners’ number one complaint is when volume levels jump up and down. In contrast, loudness management can make for a far better listening experience: Quiet songs or albums are turned up and loud songs or albums are turned down. This is called “loudness normalization” — and the benefits are huge. When streaming services start using normalization, listeners will be happier and sound quality will improve across all services.
Keep the Artists’ Intent
Streaming services, please let artists choose how their music should sound! Some producers choose to master loud as part of their art. But other creators feel forced to master too loud (over-compress), compromising their vision because more dynamic music would sound lower than the “competition.” They mix and master to the level of the loudest streamer, adding unwanted distortion, pumping and clipping. This situation intensifies the Loudness War in music production and discourages creators from producing programs which are dynamic, open-sounding and impactful.
Streaming services, please turn normalization on by default and choose the AES recommended loudness level (‘target’). This sensible target protects the sound quality of the original production and maintains loudness from track to track. When artists know and expect that loudness management will be used, they can finally follow their own vision without worrying about competing and we can enjoy the music exactly as they intended.
Streamers: Let’s Collaborate
We know streaming services want to provide the best sound and service to their users. As music streaming hits the mainstream, now is the perfect opportunity to end the Loudness War by adopting universal loudness management. So please join the dialogue here at change.org. Let’s work together to make a better sounding audio world!
The Loudness War is over if you want it. Many people have been concerned for a long time about this issue… Sign this petition, asking streaming services to implement loudness normalization now, following the AES guidelines — and share it with your friends!
- Wikipedia about the Loudness War.
- Loudness War links at MLA’s website
- MLA's white paper about Loudness Normalization for music
This petition focuses on music providers but all genres and services are affected by loudness issues, from podcasts to talk shows, music programs and videos.
Tremendous progress in loudness measurement and management has already been made by groups like the EBU, the ITU and ATSC. The AES has produced this streaming recommendation:
Recommendation for Loudness of Audio Streaming and Network File Playback: Audio Engineering Society Technical Document AES TD1004.1.15-10.
Recommendation for loudness normalization by Music Streaming Services: Eelco Grimm, HKU University of the Arts Utrecht. Presented on May 22nd 2017 at AES 142nd convention in Berlin.
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