Here’s a statement to think about: throughout the years the audio equipment got better, the recordings however got worse (in general). True or not? I think there is a little bit of truth in there. That’s why I want to introduce to you “Nordic Dynamic”. They have real concerns about the level of compression, applied to recordings. There’s almost no headroom left! Let’s face it, their concerns are real. Take a good look at the images and nod along.
The image shows the evolution of the amount of headroom (dB) in sound recordings. You can clearly see the huge rise of compression!
Nordic Dynamic is a non-profit initiative started by Peter Lyngdorf, founder of Hi-Fi Klubben, DALI loudspeakers and Steinway/Lyngdorf, Thomas Lund, CTO Broadcast & Production and Kim Rishøj, founder of TC Electronic. They want to increase the awareness about the potential of dynamic sound recordings and offer a solution which makes good music sound better.
Nordic Dynamic encourages and supports artists, labels and producers to create dynamic sound recordings with greater contrast and depth. In other words, music that will reveal much more detail, sound better and make the listener want to turn up the volume.
Creating Nordic Dynamic versions of recordings give value to the artists, music lovers, the music industry, audio recording and mastering venues. It is the ambition of Nordic Dynamic to create a quality labelling for sound, in which consumers and the industry can trust.
The green color in the images represents the amount of available headroom. In the last picture of 2011, there’s almost no headroom left.
Link to an interesting background article on the degradation of sound recording.