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You’re probably well aware of the infamous ‘loudness war’ that has been raging in music production over the past 20 years. Producers and mastering engineers have seemingly been on a mission to achieve higher levels, leading to a steady increase in the volume of recorded music.
Although there are some notable downsides to this battle - most significantly, a loss of dynamic range and mixes that are fatiguing on the ears - it’s still one that many of us would like to engage in. Here, then, is a guide to making your music loud, complete with audio examples so that you can hear the effects of our tweaks.
Step 1: To get started, drag all of the AIF files from the make-it-loud folder (click here to download the 241MB zip file) into a new arrangement set to 140bpm. The stereo bus will overload, so drop all the faders to -13.6dB to provide some headroom. The track should sound like this: