Mastering post-loudness-war LUFS and dB true peak levels - Page 2
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Old 07-10-2017, 03:55 AM   #21
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Re: Mastering post-loudness-war LUFS and dB true peak levels

Don't think either do a LUFS and dB true peak meter..though I could be wrong. (..back on topic )

Last edited by A.M; 07-10-2017 at 04:01 AM..

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Old 07-10-2017, 02:47 PM   #22
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Re: Mastering post-loudness-war LUFS and dB true peak levels

Thanks for all the input, guys, even if not directly related to the OP

I even tried out the RedEQ - have been thinking about maybe getting the Millennia NSEQ-2 at PluginAlliance which seems suited for similar jobs - but experienced graphical glitches and didn't like the fact that I couldn't rename the .dll file since my EQ plugin folder is strictly ordered with name prefixes...

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Old 07-10-2017, 09:34 PM   #23
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Re: Mastering post-loudness-war LUFS and dB true peak levels

One of the reasons why SSL consoles were so popular in the 1990s was because they had a compressor/limiter on every channel. Back then, that was astounding in terms of both price and power. It meant that every single channel could be compressed to a healthy mimimum to allow more headroom for other tracks and overdubs before even adding in outboard gear!

This is still a powerful concept worth comprehending. If you don't compress/limit every track in a multitrack composition, at least a little bit, you won't have the SSL sound or similar. Of course other parts of the SSL sound was it's high quality EQ and other components. I'm talking about analog gear, after all.

But the ability to gain so much headroom in addition to the console's inherent headroom made it possible for talented engineers and musicians to accomplish a lot more. This is why SSL's are so pricey and renowned, amongst other reasons.

I recently have been trying to go back to this style of mixing and composing. I used to do it like that back in the early 2000s, but I quit for a while. Ever since then, I had been wondering why my tunes weren't as loud and kicking as they used to be. But finally I remembered that I used to put a limiter on my pads, and a compressor on most tracks.

I was just learning how to do compression, so I wasted a lot of time fiddling, but eventually I did it right. Also, back then I learned about which types of clipping are audible and which aren't. It wasn't until about 2014 that I started using a really nice lookahead limiter on the master. And it wasn't until a few days ago that I started using gClip.

And it's been a while since I've used Flux BitterSweet II, a very nice Transient Shaper. Transient shapers can really get some stubborn sounds under control when nothing else works.

The main idea is, learn ALL the gear, and then try not to forget what's in your toolbox! This is where DAW templates are useful. In analog terms, an engineer probably wouldn't forget about his inline effect because they are built into the console or patched into the patchbay, but on computers, we've got so many files and limited GUI so it's easy to forget how much power we have!

And those who use a hybrid system are probably kicking out the most powerful mixes because of the best of both worlds!

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Old 08-10-2017, 12:39 AM   #24
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Re: Mastering post-loudness-war LUFS and dB true peak levels

I still believe, all said and done, that a lot of what you hear in the world of professional releases. The mixes have been finalised and mastered using outboard gear of a very high standard and oodles of $$€€...Shadow Hills for one example.

All said an done, if get the resuts your happy with ITB with you work and your listeners like it...that's all that really counts.

As a foot note, Eventides/NEwFangled audio Elevate suite is a game changer...I am convinced this is going to end up on a lot of peoples masterbus!

Last edited by MFXxx; 08-10-2017 at 12:49 AM..

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Old 08-10-2017, 12:56 AM   #25
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Re: Mastering post-loudness-war LUFS and dB true peak levels

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Originally Posted by MFXxx View Post
I still believe, all said and done, that a lot of what you hear in the world of professional releases. The mixes have been finalised and mastered using outboard gear of a very high standard and oodles of $$...
I sometimes think the same; but then I think that this is just me rationalizing my lack of talent in mastering

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Old 08-10-2017, 01:07 AM   #26
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Re: Mastering post-loudness-war LUFS and dB true peak levels

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I sometimes think the same; but then I think that this is just me rationalizing my lack of talent in mastering
Possibly. :*)

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Old 08-10-2017, 05:23 PM   #27
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Re: Mastering post-loudness-war LUFS and dB true peak levels

with current computing technology now there's no difference anymore, you can master digitally with just very good and reliable softwares and get equivalent results
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Old 08-10-2017, 09:57 PM   #28
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Re: Mastering post-loudness-war LUFS and dB true peak levels

In a couple of days I will post up a long-winded response to this LUFs stuff which I archived.
I'm having trouble with my ISP's filters blocking my posts so it will have to be later.

But in a nutshell, after thoroughly studying the new protocol, I'm going to ignore it.
Why?, that's a big explanation, which I'll get to later. But a lot of hit tunes that just about everybody loves do NOT comply with the LUFs stuff and some hit tunes predated the new standards.

I'm against the loudness war, but some tunes are great and powerful at -12 dbRMS fs to -9 dbRMS fs (for the entire tune's average). That doesn't neatly translate to the LUFs standards. But a hit is a hit is a hit. If it sounds good, I'm not going to lower the volume into a lower bit resolution just to fit into a lossy format. We have our bits for a reason.

I pretty much hate the lossy format de-evolution.

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Old 09-10-2017, 12:53 AM   #29
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Re: Mastering post-loudness-war LUFS and dB true peak levels

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Originally Posted by Daggit View Post
I pretty much hate the lossy format de-evolution.
With you all the way on that one. Who would've guessed when the CD was made that digital audio quality would (on average) decline from there?

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Old 09-10-2017, 06:38 PM   #30
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Re: Mastering post-loudness-war LUFS and dB true peak levels

OK, HERE's MY RANT...

I calmed down today since I originally wrote this, but I was kinda ticked off when I first wrote this. I've since settled down:

Quote:
I have been studying this topic lately and reviewing the levels of some popular tunes from CD, and from (processed) YouTube downloads, and my own tunes (the ones that were both popular and sound good).

I have come to the conclusion that the LUFS metering is kind of a band-aid approach to the loudness war. I think it will actually decrease the level of quality for some types of tunes and music while resolving loudness war issues for those bulks of bad music which is too loud and poorly composed or masterered or both.
I came to this conclusion after studying the loudness levels of some really popular and successful artists such as Tipper.

To summarize quickly, a lot of high quality music is still at about -12 dbRMS fs ranging all the way up to -9 dbRMS fs. These are numbers for the RMS of each tune for it's entirety. You can just load up freeware RMS Buddy, presss reset and listen to the tune and stop after it's done. Or, you can use the statistical analysis within OcenAudio freeware audio editor.

I noticed that some other artists who are also extremely successful have levels as low as about -14 dbRMS fs to -15 dbRMS fs. This is a lot quieter than Tipper's -9 dbRMS fs, but her tunes are award-winning and very popular and both artists consitently make excellent music.
My own tunes in the past tended to be around -13 dB RMS fs and that was intentional.
But bass-heavy music needs to be able to thump and if you use pads, this will automatically raise the level mathematically if they are sustained long enough even if they don't seem all that loud.

Electronic music is not the same as other genres. We need to be able to do whatever we want, whenever we want. If the music gets pushed down after the fact, that's not a big deal if the track was made to sound great. And that's also how it was for several decades of classic rock and other significant genres and crossover genres. This "streaming" culture hasn't withstood the test of time.

In other words, catering to lossy codecs instead of trying to make each tune sound as powerful and good as possible is not desireable. Yes, it takes an immense amount of expertise and the right tools to make a great track, but there's no shortcuts around that.

The streaming culture's constraints are specifically tied to lossy, degraded, sound, and very low-tech, low-fi playback hardwares.
This is catering to the lowest common denominator instead of reaching for the stars and learning over years how to sound the best.
Great music takes talent. And the talented are being punished for the bad behaviors of the non-talented.

Fortunately, if you make really good tunes, just keep doin that. I say ignore the specs unless you get complaints of some sort. This streaming stuff just hasn't been around long enough to hold water.

I didn't used to feel that way until I mathematically looked at the levels of great hit tunes by great hit artists and noticed how most didn't comply with the computed LUFs / LUKs levels.


To be fair, a lot of intermediate good tunes still come in around the same levels as what is recommended, but it still seems to me that the top notch tunes still often are around -12 dbRMS fs to -9 db RMS fs average for the entire tune. This is bound to often be over the loudness limits of the LUFs/LUKs standards. But that didn't prevent anybody from gathering fans, winning awards, getting movie soundtrack royalties, getting radioplay, getting internet radio play, and selling both files and discs.

I think instead of dragging everybody down to prosumer and consumer settings, we whould be focussing on the next wave of 100% lossless high-fidelity, greatly composed, greatly mixed, greatly mastered tunes and techniques.

Ditch the lossy crap. I know it's not as easy yet, but we do have FLAC and WavPack already. Even TrueAudio (TTA) is still supported in some places.
These days you can RockBox your media player to play the lossless files. SoundCloud can do FLAC, and HearThis.At might any day add FLAC support.
At the very least, we ought to be using OPUS instead of M4A or OGG or MP3 (in order from better to worst). OPUS has seen extreme gains over the past several months and is confirmed in controlled listening tests to be of higher quality than the other lossy codecs. YouTube already uses it inside of some video downloads of the WebM (Matroska) format. Even the file sizes of OPUS files are the same or smaller, yet sound as good or better.
And yet the streaming services are stuck with the worst of the past and the worst of modernity too. Lossy is just not the way to go if you don't have to.
We need to get people listening on actual stereos or pro or semipro monitoring systems.
None of this earbuds and laptop speakers and iPod / cell phone playback crap.

That is not audiophile quality.

No wonder the loudness war occurred... people were trying to get stuff to sound more audible coming through crappy gear in crappy listening environments like driving on the highway or in loud offices or loud workplaces.... just copying the crappy ClearChannel Radio culture instead of trying to defeat it.
Don't try to listen to music in noisey ambience. It's bad for your ears! Wait till you get home a nd have had dinner and time for your ears to relax and recover!!! Listen on an actual stereo or DAW monitor setup!
And if you don't have a proper playback system, then WTF are you trying to accomplish??!?!!
We need to be thinking more clearly about this stuff and not just being sheep about it getting our fluff trimmed off for being too long.
Like I said, think about this in terms of the most successful and non-poser types of musics and artists. Not pop radio crap born yesterday and repackaged for ISP giants to make money off of without paying the artists hardly anything.

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