People ask me this all the time. I usually tell them it sounds "loud" and they ask why that is so bad. So, I worked out this silly analogy for them and I thought I'd share it with you here: ------------------------------------------------ I want you to go stand in front of a glass door or window. Are you there? Now, move closer to the window, concentrating on your face. When your nose just hits the glass, stop moving. On a CD master, this is the "peak" point; the loudest point on the master that you can go without running into gross distortion. The glass prevents you from going any further. It is like a "wall". So, your face (at this point) is still basically your face (if I looked at you from the OTHER SIDE OF THE GLASS I would recognize you). Now, let's pretend that the back of your head is the "quietest" area, and the tip of your nose is the loudest. This is your dynamic range. Just like the dynamics of music in the real world, even the loudest rock & roll. Got it? OK. Now, push closer to the window and smush your face against the glass. Owww. Hurt? Well, your face is distorting and still it is not breaking the glass (or getting any louder) just distorting. If I were to look at you from the other side of the glass I might not recognize you any more. This is what happens to music when it is digitally compressed. It's a sound I hate with a passion. If you think your nose and face hurts, this is what is happening to our favorite music when it is "remastered" for shear volume. Got it?