Feeling the noise in advertising and beyond

Consumers often complain that commercials seem to be shouting at them. Be that as it may, an item in The Times of London (hat tip to ArtsJournal for flagging it) suggests that loud is the new normal for the music industry as well. “Record companies are using digital technology to turn the volume on CDs up to ‘11’,” says the article (alluding, presumably, to Nigel Tufnel’s famous amplifier in Spinal Tap). “ ‘Peak limiting’ squeezes the sound range to one level, removing the peaks and troughs that would normally separate a quieter verse from a pumping chorus.” The idea, according to one music executive, is to make the stuff sound more “impactful.” In such a world, perhaps commercials could cut through the increasingly noisy clutter by employing a wider range of dynamics than people expect to hear.   

—Posted by Mark Dolliver