Ian Shepherd: The Loudness War—How to Fight It Properly

Sam MatlaPodcast%s Comments

Here’s what I remember…

I’d export the final version of my song. I’d spent hours upon hours making sure it sounded good. I was happy.

Then, I’d jump on my decks and try to mix it in with everything else.

I wasn’t happy. It was too quiet.

I tried everything I could to get it louder. None of it worked. When I tried, it just ended up sounding squashed.

The loudness war is a real thing. Mastering engineer Nicholas Di Lorenzo and I talked about it in episode 8 of the Prodcast.

And today’s guest has a lot to say about it. His perspective? STOP mixing so loud. You don’t need to anymore. Especially with what Spotify, Pandora, Apple Music, TIDAL and Soundcloud are doing (listen to the episode to find out what that is).

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This episode is brought to you by EDM Foundations.

EDM Foundations is my course for new producers, those who’ve been producing for under 12 months, or even those who’ve just started. You can learn more about it here.

The whole idea of the EDM Foundations course is that you learn the fundamentals of music production by actually doing and not just learning concepts. The course consists of 12+ hours worth of streamable video where I walk you through the creation of 3 songs, and give you advice for creating your own original.

We’ve had over 500 people sign up for the course, many of them have had great results. Hope to see you in there.


Links from the episode:

Connect with Ian Shepherd:

Website | Twitter | YouTube

Ian also put together a video related to what he talked about on the podcast.

Show notes:

  • Background (3:00)
  • What is mastering? (8:30)
  • Do you need to learn mastering? (11:00)
  • What can you achieve with mastering? (16:30
  • Using reference tracks (27:58)
  • The Loudness War (34:56)
  • How online streaming services are combating the loudness war (40:20)
  • How loud should your music be? (50:25)

Direct Download Link

Right-click and select “Save Link As…”

Listen on Soundcloud

Subscribe in iTunes – Subscribe on Android – Subscribe on Stitcher

About the Author

Sam Matla

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I run EDMProd. Drop me a line on Twitter or follow me on Facebook.