Dynamic Range Day 2015

This Friday is Dynamic Range Day (DRD), a seminal holiday where fans, engineers, and artists all take a moment to reflect and celebrate the glory that is dynamics in music. Each year all around mastering engineer and superhero Ian Shepherd of Production Advice hosts a get together over Google Hangout and YouTube where he presents his incredibly insightful state-of-the-dynamics speech. He then proceeds to hand out a few fantastic prizes, fields some questions from the audience, and finally ends with presenting the award for the best sounding record of the year.

Now last year was a bit of disappointment for me since Ian didn’t post the 2014 nominees, but to my delight, this year he did. So without further ado, here are the nominees for the 2015 DRD Award:

Mark Ronson – Uptown Special (DR8)
D’Angelo – Black Messiah (DR8)
Aphex Twin – Computer Controlled Instruments PT2 EP (DR8)
Jack White – Lazaretto (DR10)
Opeth – Pale Communion (DR11)
Tir Eolas – Stories Sung, Truths Told (DR9)
Steven Wilson – Hand. Cannot. Erase. (DR11)
The War On Drugs – Lost In The Dream (DR8)
Damon Albarn – Everyday Robots (DR10)
Paulo Nutini – Caustic Love (DR9)

There is no doubt in my mind that Opeth’s Pale Communion is one of the best sounding records of the last year and probably one of the best sounding records I’ve graced my ears with in a long time. I know, I know, like many of you, I’m still disappointed with the direction they have taken musically and prefer the Black Water Park years, but sonically, Opeth has never sounded this good. Period.

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Do I think Opeth is going to win the this year’s award though? Probably not, my money is on Steven Wilson’s Hand. Cannot. Erase.

Regardless, I thought this would be a good opportunity to ask you guys what you think is the best sounding record on the list above and even more importantly, what was your personal favorite sounding record of the last year regardless of dynamic range score? Post them below and let’s discuss.

Please be sure to join Ian on Dynamic Range Day by attending the Google Hangout/YouTube live stream on Friday (exact details regarding the stream should be on the DRD website and Facebook page in the next few days). In the meantime, spread the word that Friday is Dynamic Range Day!