-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 Heaven – Bee Gees █ Da Ya Think I'm Sexy? – Rod Stewart █ Babe – Styx █ Rock With You Michael Jackson – Off The Wall █ Call Me (Theme From American Gigolo) – Blondie █ Lady – Kenny Rogers █ (Just Like) Starting Over – John Lennon & Yoko Ono █ Bettie Davis Eyes – Kim Carnes █ Physical – Olivia Newton-John █ Centerfold – The J. Geils Band █ Jack & Diane – John Cougar █ Eye Of The Tiger – Survivor █ Billie Jean – Michael Jackson █ Every Breath You Take – The Police █ All Night Long (All Night) – Lionel Richie █ Jump – Van Halen █ When Doves Cry – Prince █ Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go – Wham! █ Like A Virgin – Madonna █ GRAPH KEY SONG KEY Shout – Tears For Fears █ RMS Levels █ High Frequency Peaks █ Pop █ MoneyCountry/Ballad For Nothing █ – Dire Straits █ Hip Hop █ 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 songs 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 Houston █ 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 – Cyndi Lauper █ 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 – U2 █ 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 – George Michael █ Never Gonna Give You Up – Rick Astley █ Sweet Child O'Mine – Guns N' Roses █ Love On The Rocks – Poison █ Straight Up – Paula Abdul █ Right Here Waiting – Richard Marx █ Miss You Much – Janet Jackson █ Nothing Compares 2 U – Sinéad O'Connor █ Vision Of Love – Mariah Carey █ Because I Love You (The Postman Song) – Stevie B █ Justify My Love – Madonna █ Rush Rush – Paula Abdul █ Black Or White – Michael Jackson █ Save The Best For Last – Vanessa Williams █ Jump – Kris Kross █ End Of The Road – Boyz II Men █ I Will Always Love You – Whitney Houston █ That's The Way Love Goes – Janet Jackson █ Dreamlover – Mariah Carey █ A VisualI swear – All - 4 - one █ History This Is How We Do It – Montell Jordan █ Waterfalls – TLC █ Bump N' Grind – R. Kelly █ The Sign – Ace Of Base █ Fantasy – Mariah Carey █ Because You Loved Me – Celine Dion █ Why your music is getting louder, and why it’s a problem Tha Crossroads – Bone Thugs-N-Harmony █ La Macarena (Bayside Boys Mix) – Los Del Rio █ of LoudnessUn-Break My Heart (Album Version) – Toni Braxton █ I'll Be Missing You (Feat. Faith Evans & 112) – Puff Daddy & The Family █ Candle In The Wind 1997 – Elton John █ Gettin' Jiggy Wit It – Will Smith █ Over the last thirty years, and even before, the music decades. This could be chalked up Theto harmless Boy 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. And I 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 Rob Thomas) – 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) – Christina Aguilera █ 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 – Nelly █ Genre popularity Lose Yourself – Eminem █ 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. In Da Club – 50 Cent █ Average Loudness by Genre Crazy In Love (Featuring Jay-Z) – Beyonce █
Time Hey Ya! – OutKast █
Peak Yeah! (feat. Lil Jon & Ludacris) – Usher █ Here is what a visual diagram of what a song might █ RMS Slow Motion ft. Soulja Slim – Juvenile look like around 1979. Notice that the highest points in Goodies (Feat. Petey Pablo) – Ciara █ 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. Jadakiss & T.i. – Mario █ around it.
Amplitude We Belong Together – Mariah Carey █ Gold Digger – Kanye West Feat. Jamie Foxx █ Bad day – Daniel Powter █ Total Loudness by Genre Here is what a popular songPromiscuous might look like (ft. in Timbaland)the early – Nelly Furtado █ 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 – Rihanna █ Beautiful Girls – Sean Kingston █ Crank That (Soulja Boy) – Soulja Boy █ Frequency is a portion in the audio spectrum. A frequency chart, such as the one Low – Flo Rida Feat. T-Pain █ picutred, shows all amplitudes for all relevent frequencies at a single moment in I Kissed A Girl – Katy Perry █ 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 – Lady GaGa █ Loudness by Decade Boom Boom Pow – The Black Eyed Peas █ 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.