Wow, thanks again for the solid explanation. As far as loudness is concerned, I actually listen and relisten routinely to raw band pratice material, so I'm pretty used to play with the level knobs of my playing devices to compensate. I think I was the author of the comment about close to 0db. In fact, the key. Word was "consistantly" meaning it's'just not a hanfull of peaks in dramatic moments when the drummer gives all he's'got to put an exclamation mark at the end of a chorus or to launch a solo, it's'not even almost all kick drum hit. Sometimes the whole song seems located between 0 (even higher than that) and -6, which I think sounds pretty uninteresting once you adjust levels so that you don't get headhache. And yes, I do realise this is driven more by an "if this is what sells, then do that" approach than by any artistic consideration. I also understand that the one who pays for it might want to maximise profit and that the sound engineer doing the work needs to do what he is asked for rather what he would enjoy himself. Pretty much the same in every job I believe, but when that's'too much of it, it just becomes that: a job. I hope you guys manage to keep the passion alive.