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Soundings: the ‘loudness war’

By Michael Spencer

Have you noticed how you move towards the remote control of your television set every time the commercials make an appearance.  Are you left with your ears still ringing even though you may have left the club some time before.  Recently there was an interesting article in the Times Online about this very subject and the use of ‘compression’, the technology used to ‘enhance’ a recording in what one must assume to be the belief by the record industry that the way to get their artists noticed is to be louder than anyone else.

Does this really bode well for the future of music, or indeed our hearing.  Will music eventually have to carry a government health warning much in the same way that tobacco does?

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