The Dan Swano Challenge

Dan “The Man” Swanö is a legend. Period. Just the sheer number of fantastic projects he has been involved with as either a contributor or as the main driving force is mind boggling. Edge of Sanity. Bloodbath. Nightingale. Moontower. Death metal clearly runs threw this guy’s veins.

But what a lot of you don’t know is that “The Man” is also extremely passionate about production. Dan runs Unisound which is a heavy metal sanctuary where artists send their work to be “mixtered” into ear crushing perfection. Don’t take my word for it, just listen to the latest Incantation record to get an idea of what this Swede is capable of (and this isn’t nearly his best work).

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Taking The Dan Swano Challenge

When we last spoke to Dan, he was not just cognizant of the Loudness War and its devastating effect on music, but was adamantly against it. He was also extremely vocal about the benefits of higher dynamics and what they can bring to the table. But even more surprisingly, Dan even had a solution for this sordid state of mastering affairs: He proposed that engineers should first deliver a high quality, dynamic CD master and then go back and create a compressed MP3 version that would be included as a digital download. The idea is that for those that want it loud, perhaps for a mobile or promotional application, can just download it and leave us audiophile folks alone. Well with his latest project completed called Witherscape, Dan put his money where his mouth is (but reversed):

So here is your mission, if you so choose to accept it. Buy Witherscape. Listen to the CD. Then go listen to the alternative high dynamic mixes that are included with it and see if you can tell the difference. Post below and tell us your impressions and if you would like to see more artists do this. Hop to it!