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Sound Designer, Freelance / Self-employed -Media/Entertaiment

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Why is loudness so attractive?

Hello my fellow TEDians.

I am currently writing a short paper on the very controversial "loudness wars" in the media, particularly the games industry and I would like to hear others people's opinions on a simple question.

"Why is loudness so attractive?"

As I've been researching, all the evidence seems to point towards companies boosting the levels in their commercials, music or film by using hyper-compression to basically grab peoples attention.

But I haven't been able to find a good explanation on why loudness is so attractive? Is it just because it stands out? Or is there a acoustical/psychoacoustical/scientific phenomena which the reason why its so popular?

If so, what is the line between attractive and unbearable/dangerous?

Any analysis from a scientific, theoretical or even spiritual standpoint would be great!

All the best!


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    Jul 11 2012: I think it is because our ears are hardwired into our brains and we have no "earlids" and that is why some people run.
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      Jul 12 2012: Interesting concept Debra. Sight is the only sense for which we have control of the On/Off switch. Sometimes I really wish I had a mouthlid!
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        Jul 12 2012: Oh Edward, me too. I am an extravert anyway -surprise, surprise but one of the most horrible things to come out of my unexpected strokes was this sort of compulsion to talk. As you might guess, I choose to spend a lot more time alone. I am afraid of getting the monikor - Chatty Cathy - which was actually one of the first talking dolls. Look! I did it again!
        • Jul 15 2012: Not being talkative is boring though :)
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        Jul 16 2012: Oh Rob and Edward, I am afraid I wouldn't know -she said with chagrin.

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