A simple question; do we and should we compress the main mix of a track and if so by how much?
Historically it was helpful when albums were ending up on vinyl or even cassettes to control the dynamic range. Then with the advent of CD a new problem arose, digital clipping, which was even more unforgiving with dynamic overs, so again the need to compress a final mix was sometimes essential.
Then some bright spark (sarcasm off the scale if you hadn’t realised) decided it would be cool to use compressors to get the maximum amount of audio energy into the mix and the loudness wars were started. Sorry to sound like a broken record, but I can’t recommend too highly ‘Perfecting Sound Forever’ by Greg Milner for some excellent insights into this whole debate.
However, on the whole, it has become the accepted norm to add compression to a final mix. Or are you one of those people who is bucking the trend and leaving the whole dynamic range intact? Are you the opposite kind and trying to squash as much audio under the line? Is this the job of a mastering engineer? If you are a mastering engineer are we making your job harder by sending squashed mixes?
Let’s have a debate…