I feel safe and comfortable to do that once I know that the song structure around the bass part is very interesting and it satisfies me in a compositional sense.
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Back in the day, fans wrote letters to groups - you'd get them, although it could take a while. Now, artists can go online and there's discussions about what you should and shouldn't be doing. The minute you announce that you're recording an album, thousands of people are telling you what that album should be.
It's a battle between record company, between producer and between mastering engineer. Because the louder you make your record in a digital process, the more dynamics are squished out of it. Nobody knows exactly what happens, but the dynamics in the performance disappear, and everything is at the same volume.