Turn Me Up is a new initiative whose aim is to restore dynamics to recorded music. Currently many, perhaps most new and remastered CDs and downloads suffer from excessive compression, the result being a sound that is fatiguing and lacking in dynamic range. It is a problem that is well documented, but mastering engineers feel intense pressure to make CDs that are as loud as the competition, so the situation continues.
The organization explains that:
…it’s not our goal to discourage loud records; they are, of course, a valid choice for many artists. We simply want to make the choice for a more dynamic record an option for artists…Today, artists generally feel they have to master their records to be as loud as everybody else’s.
The idea of Turn Me Up is to promote the benefits of mastering with full dynamics and to communicate this to the purchaser with a logo. This also explains the “Turn Me Up” name. This is the proposed text:
Turn Me Up!™ Certified
To preserve the excitement, emotion and dynamics of the original performances this record is intentionally quieter than some. For full enjoyment simply Turn Me Up! (www.TurnMeUp.org).
Unfortunately the site does not reveal who has formed Turn Me Up or how much support it has within the industry, though according to this story it was founded by Florida-based Charles Dye, who has mixed CDs for Bon Jovi, Ricky Martin and Sammy Hagar. Apparently a new release from John Ralston, called Sorry Vampire, which is mixed by Dye, uses the Turn Me Up text on the CD.
I’m not sure what chance of success Turn Me Up has, but it strikes me as a sensible approach and worth supporting.