Free OneKnob Louder Plugin From Waves (Black Friday)

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While there are lots of companies offering Black Friday deals – Waves is doing things a little different and giving away a free plugin, OneKnob Louder.

Ideal for individual tracks and full mixes alike, Waves OneKnob Louder uses a powerful combination of low-level compression plus automatic makeup gain and peak limiting to increase RMS volume by up to 24 dB.

Valid email required. See the Waves site for details.

How To Make A Song Louder

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This video, by mastering engineer Ian Shepherd,  takes a look at how to make a song ‘louder’ – using mastering, multiband compression, EQ and limiting.

Besides looking at how to make a song loud, though, it looks at the pros and cons of chasing after loud tracks. Along the way, it demonstrates some of the compromises that are necessary to make a track louder and talks about why you might or might not want to make these compromises.

Shepherd also raises an interesting issue – ‘loudness potential’.

via masteringmedia

Free Loudness Maximizer For Mac, Windows

LoudMax is a free loudness maximizer effect plug-in for Mac & Windows.

LoudMax is described as a maximizer with a transparent sound, designed to retain the original character of the music as much as possible even at high compression levels.

New In LoudMax V1.09

  • LoudMax VST Plugin ported to Mac OS X. Audio Unit version implemented using Symbiosis from NuEdge Development. Support for Intel Mac and Power PC.
  • Winamp Plugin now supports 5.1 Surround. Built-in stereo overdrive protection to avoid distortions in a subsequent stereo downmix.
  • Improved limiter algorithm. Transients will remain better.
  • Improved release curve at high compression levels for an accurate sound and less artifacts.

Download from the LoudMax site.

Fighting The “Loudness Wars”

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In the last twenty-five years, the music industry’s loudness wars has led labels to record, produce and broadcast music at progressively increasing levels of overall loudness. The video above highlights the effects of over-compression to make “louder” records.

Turn Me Up! is a non-profit music industry organization campaigning to give artists back the choice to release more dynamic records:

To be clear, it’s not our goal to discourage loud records; they are, of course, a valid choice for many artists. We simply want to make the choice for a more dynamic record an option for artists.

Today, artists generally feel they have to master their records to be as loud as everybody else’s. This certainly works for many artists. However, there are many other artists who feel their music would be better served by a more dynamic record, but who don’t feel like that option is available to them.

While Turn Me Up! has a valid goal, the idea that compression for loudness is a bad thing is an over simplification. 

MUch of the electronic music created today uses extreme compression both functionally and as a creative effect.

If you’ve ever listened to a classical CD in your car, you know that recordings with less aggressive compression lose their nuances when played back in noisy environments. If you turn up a very dynamic performance in your car so that you can hear the quiet parts, the louder parts could get played back at levels dangerous to your hearing. 

I’d like to see extreme compression move to playback device: put a “loudness” button on car stereos. This would let musicians use dynamics expressively, while also letting listeners keep the functional aspect of compression. 

Let me know what you think!

via Torley’s comment on this story.