-30 RMS levels In negative decibles









peak levels In negative decibles -10 1979 • 1982 • 1985 • 1988 • 1991 • 1994 • 1997 • 2000 • 2003 • 2006 • 2009

Too Much █ Da Ya I'm Sexy? – █ Babe – Styx █ Jackson – Off █ Call Me (Theme From American Gigolo) – Blondie █ Lady – █ (Just Like) Starting Over – & █ Bettie Davis Eyes – █ Physical – Olivia Newton-John █ Centerfold – The J. Geils █ Jack & Diane – John Cougar █ Eye Of The Tiger – Survivor █ █ All Night Long (All Night) – █ Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go – Wham! █ Like A Virgin – █ GRAPH KEY KEY Shout – █ RMS Levels █ High Frequency Peaks █ Pop █ MoneyCountry/Ballad For Nothing █ – █ sounds in the middle frequencies of the song, from the primary chorus, or most definitive which are the frequencies that most everyday moment of each song. Three were Rock █ R&B █ Low Frequency Peaks █ Mid Frequency Peaks █ Absolute Peak Level █ Rock Me Amadeus – Falco █ sounds are involved with, including the selected from each year over the last three Greatest Love of All – Whitney █ human voice (1000hz). The high frequency decades, one from each trimester, with prece- peaks are the loudest sounds in the higher, dence given to songs with the most weeks at True Colors – █ The absolute loudness of a song is called it's peak peak at zero, or the maximum volume alloted by decreasing the space between the softest and estimated beyond the threshold of zero. Low less audible sections. The human ear is very number one, as well as musical diversity by level. In a song, this is the loudest part of the the medium. Producers and engineers found a loudest point. The RMS value Livin'determines On A Prayer how – Bonfrequency Jovi █ peaks are the average volume of the sensitive to these frequencies so volumes genre and artist. For help understanding what loudest instrument. By the mid nineties, the prolif- way to increase volume beyond this by increas- loud a song is by combining it's peak levels with loudest sounds in the bass region of the song With Or Without You – █ tend to remain lower as other frequencies this data means, see the understanding RMS, eration of CD audio made it possible for sounds to ing the volume of everything in the song, and it's softer levels, so that loudness can be (100hz). Mid frequency peaks are the loudest rise (10000hz). The data presented is pulled dynamic, and frequency section. Faith – █ Sweet Child 'Mine – Guns N' Roses █ Love On The Rocks – Poison █ Straight Up – Jackson █ – Sinéad O'Connor █ █ Because I Love You (The Postman Song) – Stevie B █ Justify My Love – Madonna █ – Paula Abdul █ – Michael Jackson █ █ Jump – Kris Kross █ End Of The Road – Boyz II Men █ █ That's The Way █ Dreamlover – Mariah Carey █ A VisualI swear – All - 4 - one █ History It – █ Waterfalls – TLC █ Bump N' Grind – R. Kelly █ The Sign – █ Fantasy – Mariah Carey █ █ Why your music is getting louder, and why it’s a problem Tha Crossroads – Bone Thugs-N-Harmony █ La (Bayside Boys Mix) – Los Del Rio █ of LoudnessUn-Break My ( Version) – █ I'll Be Missing You (Feat. & 112) – Puff Daddy & The Family █ 1997 – █ Gettin' Jiggy Wit It – █ Over the last thirty years, and even before, the music decades. This could be chalked up Theto harmless Is Mine (feat.capi Monica)- are – Brandy loud █ and so are all the soft ones. The dynamic of thirty years: the biggest hits from each trimester of we listen to has been getting louder. don't just talism, but the problem is that audioI'm can Your only Angel get – Celine so Dion(Duetsound, With R. or Kelly) the █part of music that makes it funky or every year from 1979-2009. Follow the numbers and mean more aggressive and angry. It's physically getting loud before it begins to lose all the stuff...Baby that One Moremakes Time it – Britneygroovy Spears or█ smooth or mellow or punchy or whatever you may find, like so many record producers and louder. Because louder music creates a more immediately so good. Once you compress the peaksIf You Had and My valleysLove – Jennifer youLopez like, █ is suddenly being pushed to what is more or mastering engineers already have, that the situation pleasing effect on the listener, record execs have been of rhythm and sound too far, it becomesSmooth the (feat. visual ) – Santanaless white █ noise, merely for a chance at that #1 spot. is far more dire than it seems. ordering the volume knob cranked up for the last three equivalent of typing in all caps: All theMaría loud María sounds – Santana █ Compiled here are 93 chart toppers from the last Come On Over (All I Want Is you) – █ Independent Women Part I – Destiny's Child █ Stutter – Joe █ All For You – Janet Jackson █ Understanding RMS, Dynamic, and Frequency Family Affair – Mary J. Blige █ Who’s Who in the Loudness Wars Foolish – Ashanti █ Hot in Herre – █ Genre popularity █ RMS is an average of the high and low peaks in a time based sound wave, such as Dynamic is the amount of space between the loudest point and the softest point in the gure below. a song. █ Average Loudness by Genre (Featuring Jay-Z) – Beyonce █

Time Hey Ya! –

Peak Yeah! (feat. & ) – █ Here is what a visual diagram of what a song might █ RMS Slow Motion ft. Soulja Slim – look like around 1979. Notice that the highest points in Goodies (Feat. Petey Pablo) – █ Valley the sound still only peak at about -4 or -5 decibels. This is like a beautiful painting withLet aMe generous Love You matte (part 2) Feat. & T.i. – █ around it.

Amplitude Together – Mariah Carey █ Gold Digger – Feat. day – Loudness by Genre Here is what a popular songPromiscuous might look like (ft. in )the early – █ nineties. Notice how the peak is regularly hitting zero? This would be like if i took mySexyBack painting and– Justin expanded Timberlake it █ all the way to the edges. Umbrella – █ Beautiful Girls – () – Soulja Boy █ Frequency is a portion in the audio . A frequency chart, such as Low – Feat. T-Pain █ picutred, shows all amplitudes for all relevent frequencies at a single moment in I Kissed A Girl – █ time. By the early 00's, new digital technologies allowed producers to push the lowerWhatever levels of the You song Like up – evenT.I. █ louder without distorting the peaks. This would be like Frequency me blowing up my painting Rightoutside Round of the –frame. Flo Rida █ Poker Face – █ Loudness by Decade – The █ 79 89 99 09

It is not uncommon, in more extreme situations, to see Amplitude songs today that look like this. it would be the equiva- lent of blowing up our image so that only a small portion is visible. Data based o genre by wikipedia and a mean average of songs over thirty years. Loudness by decade Low Mid High calculated as inverse of negative decibals from zero. Loudness statistics found using Destroy FX’s RMS buddy, Blue Cat’s Freqanalyst, and Sonalksis’ Free G stereo.