While the "Mastered for iTunes" guidelines have been in place and available to mixing and mastering engineers for more than three years, the impending launch of Apple Music is about to make the protocol a whole lot more ubiquitous. The label will be familiar to iTunes shoppers who can browse the store by releases advertised as specifically "Mastered for iTunes."
Mike Dean recently spoke with The Fader about what the requirements mean in the age and context of the so-called "Loudness Wars," and while he seemed initially put off by the guidelines in the interview, he took to Twitter shortly after to revise his statements.
"They’re putting a limit on how loud you can be," he told the site. "It’s going to be like the movies soon. The sound on movies can’t go over a certain level. Same with TV. There's written-in-stone TV levels that you can hit, volume levels. That’s why some commercials are louder than others: they take all the bass out and turn up all the midrange and it just sounds too loud. If they put a limit on how loud you can be, people will start manipulating shit to hack that. It’s gonna make people make shittier music."
Shortly after the interview was published Dean announced on Twitter that he'd done some more research and was pretty sure he could still "turnup" despite the branded mastering requirements.
Dean was also on Twitter defending the "Loudness Wars" camp just a couple weeks ago.
@Maestro1021 ye3a fuck that i was against loudness wars then i joined and won higher bit rates give us higher clip levels— MIKE DEAN! #MWA (@therealmikedean) June 9, 2015