The Pleasurize Music Foundation (currently in the process of establishment) began operations in January 2009 and is a nonprofit organization (which will be proofed by the American government in 2009).
Our aim is to improve the sound quality of music in its various recorded formats – including data compression methods such as MP3 – as well as music destined for radio broadcast.
Only music that provides a positive musical listening experience has real market value. The Foundation's aim is to increase the value of music within the creative production process for the entire music industry.
The objective is to revive the willingness to pay for music and therefore to create a healthier basis for all creative participants within the music industry.
We are not surprised by the fact that music listeners are losing the willingness to legally acquire music, because of the fact that contemporary releases are mercilessly over-compressed – a situation that turns off even the biggest music fans. For example, no natural dynamic can be heard in recent CD releases from groups such as the Red Hot Chili Peppers (for example: Stadium Arcadium). The masterful drum performance by the drummer in the band Garbage (Bleed Like Me) is totally distorted. Madonna's Hard Candy generates aggression and leads to distortion when played on disco sound systems. With Metallica (Death Magnetic), the level meter needle permanently sits in the red range!
The same applies to the so-called quality criteria of surround sound recordings. Nine out of ten surround releases sound worse that the original stereo mixes or are cheap up-mixes with surround simulation – this is no way to entice music listeners to move to a new high-resolution format based on Blu-ray technology.
We provide the conditions for:
- natural and dynamic sound on current releases, just like during the age of vinyl and the very beginning of the introduction of the CD (DYNAMIC RANGE)
- a label of quality for audio surround mixes, providing listeners transparency and trust in the products they buy
We educate and inform all interested parties about the advantages and disadvantages of data compression and provide the basis for an intelligent application of high resolution formats.
We need your help! Pleasurize Your Music!
YOUR help is needed! Please sign up on this site to demonstrate your support and to show record companies that that the idea of over-compressed music leading to sales is only a widespread myth. Please watch the video where we show the development of music that has become less and less dynamic. In addition, we ask you to recommend this information to other people interested in the quality of sound.
DYNAMIC RANGE and the end of loudness insanity!
The DYNAMIC RANGE METER is a free and open source VST (AU and RTAS versions will be made available as soon as possible) plug-in which is perfectly suited for many applications used in modern music production. In this way, anyone involved in music production has a free tool for creating more dynamics in their productions. This is a condition for ending the Loudness War! For those who are not familiar with this term, here's an explanation: the Loudness War designates the senseless competition between record companies which involves releasing music with increasingly high amounts of compression (the "compression" of dynamic levels so that originally quiet passages are as loud as the loudest parts of a song). This results in products which are increasingly obtrusive in oder to fight for the listener's attention (please read the Tech Info section for more background).
What does the DYNAMIC RANGE METER do?
The DYNAMIC RANGE METER displays the inner dynamics of a recording in whole numbers.
For technicians, this is the average cumulative difference between peak and loudness (RMS) over a specific period of time (duration of a song or album) and is a whole number value given in decibels. An analyzed song or album might have a value of of DR4 (DYNAMIC RANGE 4) for example. This represents an effective dynamic range of 4 decibels.
This is a very small amount and the music appears to be superficially punchy, but when listened to more closely, it is distorted, blatant, and tends to make the listener aggressive after a certain amount of time spent listening to it. Such a master suffers from being played back on radio stations or converted to MP3.
(Please read more on this under Tech Info. You can also simply search for "loudness war" or "loudness race" on the Internet where you will find a great deal of interesting and independent information.)
Less compressed music would be indicated by DR14 and would be perceived as being pleasantly musical and natural.
Together with the Recording Industry: Putting an End to the Sound Crisis
Transforming the Loudness War into a state of healthy competition for dynamic sound can only work if the recording industry is part of this process.
To accomplish this we have developed a two-phase plan:
Phase one begins officially on April 1, 2009. We will inform music listeners around the world about the advantages of a more dynamic music and show them how to recognize this on recordings.
The DR logo provides a quality label recognizable by everyone inside and outside the industry. The logo is already available on this site for download and license-free use. It exists in several variations and will be visible on the back side of CD jewel cases (on the inlay cards) and tells the consumer how much dynamic range the album contains.
At the same time record companies which have already signed the voluntary Commitment 1 begin to furnish CD releases with a small info sheet (b/w, booklet dimensions) and will print the DR logo on the back of the CD. This way music consumers will be able to see how much music they really have in their shopping cart.
Phase 2 begins on June 30, 2010. At that time, all record companies which have agreed to Commitment 2 will release albums with a minimum dynamic range of DR14. Less dynamic CDs will be given an appropriate amount of headroom and will be labeled with the dynamic range they contain.
For example, if an album with DR8 is released, it will also be labeled with DR8 and given 6 dB of headroom, so that it will be as loud as DR14 releases. In this way, different releases will have the same loudness when played. Producers and record companies have an incentive to really use the available dynamic range in the next release.
See the menu entry "Agreement" for further information.
More dynamics = Better sounding MP3s and radio broadcasts!
One thing is for sure: a song with DR14 which is sent through the processing chain of a radio station sounds just as loud as a song with DR6. In addition, it undergoes substantially less damage from the station's compressors!
On the other hand, the inherent loudness relationships (dynamics) in an already over-compressed DR6 track will be degraded and distorted through these processes. From a commercial point of view, there is no reason to over-compress CDs. In addition, unwanted audio artifacts resulting from levels that are too high or distortion in general is no longer a problem when encoding MP3s with DR14 music; musical enjoyment is significantly higher when listening to MP3s! Pleasurize Your Music!
Specific technical details can be found under "Tech Info" in the menu.