An important stage of any record producing is mastering mix when all audios are being leveled according to their loudness level. They are placed in the order which fulfills requirements of any carrier. In the case with vinyl in the process of album mastering it was necessary to search for the balance between loudness level and playback time especially thoroughly. That is to say, the increase in loudness caused decrease in amount of grooves capable of fixing much wider recording amplitude.
This issue was particularly topical for long playing records one side of which often contained not more than 20 minutes of sound. As an album included one or at most two vinyl discs (it was accounted for the pursuit of economy on manufacturing cost), in most cases in the war between time and loudness eventually time used to win. At that time only analogue mastering compressors were used and only separately applied to each channel of multitrack recording. However, some mixing background vocals started to use compressors to boost loudness level artificially on master bus up to the degrees which much more exceeded average data.
Mastering engineers “choked” dynamic range of an audio so that it was possible to amplify the level to the max and then to stay within the limits of possibilities of a vinyl medium. This mastering was usually used for singles which had only one song on each side of a record. In that case it was possible to inscribe grooves less closely as compared to standard long playing records. And now let’s come back to our time and reply to the question why listeners nevertheless prefer much louder recordings.
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