This quantitative study investigates the possible correlation between auditory loudness perception and commercial success in the music industry by measuring and comparing the loudness levels of the top 10 and the bottom 10 singles from the Top 100 Billboard Year End Chart between 1980 and 2010.
A total of 140 singles from 1980 and 2010 (with 5 year intervals) were measured in terms of integrated loudness, momentary maximum loudness and loudness range. The variables were measured using the computer software based processing of iZotope Ozone Insight and Waves Loudness Meter (WLM) on Cubase 5 Digital Audio Workstation (DAW) platform. The data were analysed for any observable trend in terms of loudness level, commercial success and consistency between iZotope Ozone Insight and WLM.
The analysis clearly showed the steady increase in loudness level over time. Between the top 10 and the bottom 10 singles, there was no statistically significant difference. Therefore the results of this study illustrated that, for the Top 100 Billboard Year End Chart, there is no evidence of any correlation between the perceived loudness and the commercial success (sales).
Mini dissertation (MMus)--University of Pretoria, 2016.