A Note about CD Loudness

Cohearent Audio is known for vinyl but also does lots of CD mastering. We would be happy to master your CD, but need to make one point very clear: We refuse to compress CDs to the degree known as “current industry standard”. Most CDs are mastered today with 6 to 8 dB or more digital compression, over and above any compression done in the original recording, just to make them loud, and the same loudness as every other current CD. We have been vehemently against this practice since it started in the mid 1990s.

It started with Rap and Dance music, and then filtered down to Pop music and now, even Jazz and Classical CDs. Once a few did it, everyone started doing it so their CDs wouldn’t sound quieter than the next guy’s. Many record labels started using 5 CD carousels to compare the 4 top selling CDs against a new one being submitted.  Now the criteria  is MP3s on Ipods and other current music storage devices.  If a new project isn’t as loud as everything else, it is sent back for “remastering”, READ: SQUASHING. This makes the sound annoying, fatiguing and unnatural. Many classic albums have been remastered this way, and when compared to the original releases the results are appalling. It is very simple to adjust your volume control to the desired volume when playing a CD. That way you are hearing the natural dynamics of the music, not slammed, all-one-volume drek. Why should the record labels be allowed to make this decision for you? If you don’t understand this, check out “The Loudness War” on You Tube… We are happy to use a bit of compression or limiting to “even-up” volumes between songs but we don’t SLAM. I have heard and read dozens of mastering engineers complain about this. We are doing something about it. If LOUD is what you are looking for, please just take it somewhere else!