What Happened To Dynamic Range: "Then, one day we awoke to a new technology. It was called 'digital recording.' Wow, now with a dynamic range of over 90 dB, our recordings could almost rival a live performance. Well, in theory. However, the music industry had other ideas.
Rather than use this new technology to take advantage of it's wide dynamic range, the music industry went in the opposite direction. They decided that louder is better. Suddenly, we found ourselves in a race to see whose CD was the loudest. The only way to make CDs louder was to keep compressing the signal more and more. That's where we are today. Everyone's trying to make their CD sound louder than everyone else's. The term that is used for this process is called, hot. Yes, most of today's music is recorded hot. The net result, noise with a beat."