I have exactly a week before my new course 'goes live', so this past weekend I wanted to take a bit of a break before diving into ‘full panic mode’ Monday morning. Okay, most of the course is done so it won’t be a total panic, and thankfully I can see light at the end of the tunnel...
This break could not have come at a better time. (Saint) Ian Shepherd dropped a new The Mastering Show podcast with Grimm Audio’s Eelco Grimm on the problem with Loudness Normalization and Tidal’s solution to it. It had so much great info that I listened to it three times, and pondered and researched the info on it all weekend.
It’s a must-listen for everyone interested in this, and the links to Eelco’s white paper (and the initial consensus over at the Music Loudness Alliance - both linked below) are great reading on what is quite likely the turning point for Loudness Normalization for music, and inevitably all streaming media to boot.
It brings up the concept of Album Normalization (which is something I hadn't really considered in today's singles-driven marketplace) as well as the difference and general public reaction to Track- versus Album-based Loudness Management. Just so much awesome info...
The fact that they also talk about normalization for all streaming media (as well as mobile devices themselves) is particularly relevant, as I've been thinking a lot about this since I discovered LUFS and Loudness Normalization. Glad to know I'm not alone here.
As an avid podcast devotee (as well as a creator and editor), I truly hate scrambling for volume not only for every podcast production - but even different episodes of the same podcast. It's something we need to look into as an industry, so it's quickly becoming my new soapbox. :)
I can also say the same thing for Netflix, Hulu, and other online video streaming services. Broadcast is normalized by law, but streaming services are not. This will need to change too.
One of the best takeaways from the episode is that once the ball gets rolling online the other players hate to be left out. This is where the Turning Point for Volume Normalization will happen and currently it looks like Tidal is leading the way. The others will follow quickly.
There is Light at the End of the Tunnel.
Eelco's White Paper: https://octo.hku.nl/octo/repository/getfile?id=qLlZPGSVXFM
Music Loudness Alliance's initial White Paper on Loudness Normalization: https://octo.hku.nl/octo/repository/getfile?id=qLlZPGSVXFM