In an ideal world everyone would create perfect recordings which exactly suited the release medium. However, it's not a perfect world and not everyone has the experience - or the facilities - to create a perfect recording every time. And, of course, release media change over the years.
Even if a sound recording or mixdown has no obvious faults it is still possible that it may benefit from some enhancement. This will often take the form of equalisation or compression.
Equalisation consists of enhancing - or occasionally suppressing - certain selected frequencies within the recording. There can be many reasons why a recording might benefit from this.
Compression consists reducing the dynamic range of a recording, usually with the aim of making it seem as loud or louder than other, similar recordings.
The desire to create recordings which seem loud started with 78 and 45 rpm singles on jukeboxes and has never really gone away since. In fact the current trend is to take this to extremes with the result that many finished releases - singles and albums - actually sound quite "crushed". This may suit casual listening, but when the results are heard on a high quality sound system the lack of natural dynamics results in a sound which lacks light-and-shade and quickly becomes fatiguing and oppressive.
At Original Sound we believe that in order to stand out from the crowd singles do still need to sound loud, but that albums should sound dynamic and individual.
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