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CHAPTER 4

Keeping It On the Level

There’s a loudness war going on these days, no doubt about it: the average level of prerecorded and live music has gone up significantly over the past 30 years, and today’s listeners are not only used to, but now expect, louder and louder music. All too commonly today, producers and mastering engineers compromise the sound to make the program louder. In a perfect world, sound quality would not be sacrificed for the sake of loudness. But this unfortunate trade-off is not inevitable. After all, the purpose of mastering is to make your music shine and to polish a good mix, not to take it downhill.

When artists and ...

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