Based in California, the foundation is a non-profit organisation aiming to improve the quality of recorded music by encouraging the release of musical material that has good ‘dynamics’. For those unfamiliar with the recent ‘loudness wars’ debate, the trend in recent years has been to ‘brickwall limit’ many tracks (usually in contemporary and chart-oriented styles) at the mastering stage, to increase their perceived loudness compared with other contemporary recordings.
The Foundation encourages producers and listeners alike to become active members, supporting the cause with a donation of $30 per year (around £18). Membership brings several benefits, including free use of the Foundation’s own TT Dynamic Range Meter software. This meter has been designed to help mastering engineers avoid producing over-compressed mixes and comes in two versions: an off-line version, which analyses a file and gives an official DR value that can be used for registering your release as a ‘wide dynamic range’ track; and a plug-in version for giving a real-time reference to dynamic range values. The plug-in is available in VST, RTAS and Audio Units formats.