First things first, I don't like distorted music or bad quality of course (Californication, Death Magnetic, yuck!), but I do however tend to love a loud, punchy mix. This might make a little sense because I grew up listening to Green Day's American Idiot, and Blink 182 and other really, really loudly mixed music. Although the whole noisy wall of guitars thing has lost much of it's impact to me, I've gotten more into the pop music which takes loudness even further. My favorite mixes are usually really loud, and they sound great. For example, some of my favorite loud mixes are recent albums from artists like Marianas Trench (Ever After album), Ke$ha (Warrior album), and Angels and Airwaves (I-Empire album in particular). (I like pop music, sue me.)
Keep in mind that I'm mastering my own music, because I don't have a lot of money, but I do seem to have pretty proficient mixing/mastering skills. I'm a beginner, but I think I'm getting the hang of it pretty quick. I'm getting my mixes as loud as possible without hurting the quality much, and it's still just not at that same level as other pop and rock music is. I refuse to make it sound bad obviously (even though a lot of people think all loud mixes sound bad, but I think they may be stuck in the past...) and even if I did all I could they wouldn't be quite as loud as commercial mixes, so what could I do to get some more volume? I'm not even talking about limiting or compressing more because I don't think that would help, it's just the perceived volume, and even pushing the highs doesn't give my music the same volume.
My goal for my future mixes and masters are a better sound and louder sound, because both will affect how people perceive them. Loudness does matter a little and as part of the new generation, there's a certain in-your-face quality that myself and others like about it.
The only reason I'm asking is because my mixes are sounding really good, I would just like them a little bit louder personally, and would like some tips on how to make it happen.
Also my mixes used to be really quiet and not limited dynamically at all, and I didn't really like how they sounded even turned way up. They didn't sound right to me. It's a matter of taste, so don't tell me about all the disadvantages of loudness, because I understand them. Thanks!