There is currently a lot of debate and concern over the ‘loudness’ of recordings. This mainly involves audio compression at the mastering (final) stage of a track’s production. Over the last few years engineers (under pressure from labels and artists) have been making recording incredibly ‘loud’. This is an issue exacerbated by the fact that most radio stations add additional audio compression before broadcast.
The fall out from this is ‘audio/listener fatigue’ and ultimately, bad sounding records. It is a relatively new problem as it has only really been in the last decade that everyone could afford to use these tools. As a general rule I don’t use much compression at the mastering stage because of the nature of my music. However when producing ‘club and dance’ tracks I do compress the music very hard. This I feel is in keeping with the sound I wish to achieve. That said, things have gone too far. Sometimes less is more!
Below is a YouTube link that is easy to watch and will help you understand why some of your favourite music today is not all it could be!