Master to -1 dB
horizon
Thread Starter
#1
29th January 2013
Old 29th January 2013
  #1
Gear maniac
 
Joined: Oct 2009
Posts: 234

Thread Starter
Master to -1 dB

Hey folks,
As we all know the last decades went into "loudness war" with everything mastered up to 0 dB - being as loud as possible.
So I now do have to master 70s style Rock and was trying to put mine up to 0dB - compared it to some 70s records and of course mine was louder then.
I like the limiter input signal pushed a bit and with some gain reduction coming
from the limiter (not only from the compressor) - I simply like the sound - so I don`t want to necessarily change that setting.So I thought to simply go down with the output switch, maybe to - 1 dB.
I would of course get closer to the 70s records signal then.
Would it be o.k. by today`s industry standards to master at -1dBFS or -2dBFS.
What would you guys say..?
Riccardo
Verified Member
#2
29th January 2013
Old 29th January 2013
  #2
Mastering Moderator
 
Riccardo's Avatar
 
Joined: Apr 2003
Location: Always on the Run
Posts: 3,245

Verified Member
I am pretty sure you won't get fined as it isn't against the law to output masters at -1dBfs if you wish to do so.
Do what your client requests.
horizon
Thread Starter
#3
29th January 2013
Old 29th January 2013
  #3
Gear maniac
 
Joined: Oct 2009
Posts: 234

Thread Starter
Quote:
Originally Posted by Riccardo View Post
I am pretty sure you won't get fined as it isn't against the law to output masters at -1dBfs if you wish to do so.
Do what your client requests.
well it`s my own production
but I would get closer to the 70s level which seems to be at least a bit lower in general.
-> why did they master at such a low level back then..?
#4
29th January 2013
Old 29th January 2013
  #4
Gear addict
 
NotchontheRocks's Avatar
 
Joined: Nov 2011
Location: Ohio
Posts: 493

Quote:
Originally Posted by horizon View Post
well it`s my own production
but I would get closer to the 70s level which seems to be at least a bit lower in general.
-> why did they master at such a low level back then..?
Those were normal, healthy levels. We are just mastering at extreme levels now.

Sent from my DROID BIONIC
horizon
Thread Starter
#5
29th January 2013
Old 29th January 2013
  #5
Gear maniac
 
Joined: Oct 2009
Posts: 234

Thread Starter
Quote:
Originally Posted by NotchontheRocks View Post
Those were normal, healthy levels. We are just mastering at extreme levels now.

Sent from my DROID BIONIC
So what was that level in the 70s then? -4dBFS or -5dBFS?
Quote
1
Riccardo
Verified Member
#6
29th January 2013
Old 29th January 2013
  #6
Mastering Moderator
 
Riccardo's Avatar
 
Joined: Apr 2003
Location: Always on the Run
Posts: 3,245

Verified Member
Your question could also read like..............
"why do customers want they master at such a high level now..?"
horizon
Thread Starter
#7
29th January 2013
Old 29th January 2013
  #7
Gear maniac
 
Joined: Oct 2009
Posts: 234

Thread Starter
Quote:
Originally Posted by Riccardo View Post
Your question could also read like..............
"why do customers want they master at such a high level now..?"
well, I know I´m alluding to a special issue here..
but I really would want to know these levels from back then.
Anybody from the 70s around who`d been finishing those records back then...?
horizon
Thread Starter
#8
29th January 2013
Old 29th January 2013
  #8
Gear maniac
 
Joined: Oct 2009
Posts: 234

Thread Starter
(additional)
as our level nowadays is 0dBFS or maybe -0,1 dBFS everyone is trying to stick to, I would want to know what was their "standard level" back then they all stuck to. -5 dBFS..?
really would be interested in that..
I listened to several 70s records and they all seem to have an equal level.
#9
29th January 2013
Old 29th January 2013
  #9
Gear addict
 
Joined: Mar 2010
Location: UK
Posts: 347

The peak level is not really important if you want a 70s sound - just back off on any digital limiting - let the transients and loud sections go as high as you like - and drop the overall level down to allow for that.

Quote:
Originally Posted by horizon View Post
in the 70s
Quote:
-4dBFS or -5dBFS
Also, you may want to consider what that means first!
#10
29th January 2013
Old 29th January 2013
  #10
Lives for gear
 
Joined: Feb 2009
Location: Slovenia
Posts: 1,253
My Studio

dBFS in 70's?
AFAIK there were some classical recordings done in digital, but they all ended in analog formats, so you can't really refer to the Ful Scale.
horizon
Thread Starter
#11
30th January 2013
Old 30th January 2013
  #11
Gear maniac
 
Joined: Oct 2009
Posts: 234

Thread Starter
Quote:
Originally Posted by jetam View Post
dBFS in 70's?
AFAIK there were some classical recordings done in digital, but they all ended in analog formats, so you can't really refer to the Ful Scale.
Yeah, that was the wrong term - my apologies
It was meant for the general output level of a record.
horizon
Thread Starter
#12
30th January 2013
Old 30th January 2013
  #12
Gear maniac
 
Joined: Oct 2009
Posts: 234

Thread Starter
Quote:
Originally Posted by haberdasher View Post
The peak level is not really important if you want a 70s sound - just back off on any digital limiting - let the transients and loud sections go as high as you like - and drop the overall level down to allow for that.

with back off and drop the overall level you mean put down the output level on the limiter or do you mean something else...?
#13
30th January 2013
Old 30th January 2013
  #13
Gear addict
 
Joined: Mar 2010
Location: UK
Posts: 347

I would try lowering the level of audio before it reaches the limiter rather than afterwards. If you do that, you will get the same(ish) loudness but with fuller transients, so they may sound more real/better. (I'm assuming it's a digital lookahead/brickwall limiter)

Lowering the output of a limiter means you get the same modern limited sound but quieter. That kind of limiting didn't exist in the '70s and so neither did that sound!
horizon
Thread Starter
#14
30th January 2013
Old 30th January 2013
  #14
Gear maniac
 
Joined: Oct 2009
Posts: 234

Thread Starter
Quote:
Originally Posted by haberdasher View Post
I would try lowering the level of audio before it reaches the limiter rather than afterwards. If you do that, you will get the same(ish) loudness but with fuller transients, so they may sound more real/better. (I'm assuming it's a digital lookahead/brickwall limiter)

Lowering the output of a limiter means you get the same modern limited sound but quieter. That kind of limiting didn't exist in the '70s and so neither did that sound!
So it`s lowering the input what you mean - if I do understand correctly.
It´s the Flux limiter and compressor - both sounding quite good.
The limiter has input/output switch and of course the threshold knob.
#15
30th January 2013
Old 30th January 2013
  #15
Gear addict
 
Joined: Mar 2010
Location: UK
Posts: 347

I don't know that particular plugin, but if it's a compressor and limiter in one, what I said before might not work in the way I meant it to. You need to do your gain staging such that the compressor is getting the sound you want, and the limiter is doing as little as possible without letting anything clip.

One way of doing that would be to turn the input to the compressor down by some amount, and then the threshold of the compresor by the same amount, but keep all the limiter settings the same - if that's doable with that plugin.
horizon
Thread Starter
#16
30th January 2013
Old 30th January 2013
  #16
Gear maniac
 
Joined: Oct 2009
Posts: 234

Thread Starter
Quote:
Originally Posted by haberdasher View Post
I don't know that particular plugin, but if it's a compressor and limiter in one, what I said before might not work in the way I meant it to. You need to do your gain staging such that the compressor is getting the sound you want, and the limiter is doing as little as possible without letting anything clip.

One way of doing that would be to turn the input to the compressor down by some amount, and then the threshold of the compresor by the same amount, but keep all the limiter settings the same - if that's doable with that plugin.

No, it`s limiter and compr. seperate - so like a classic mastering chain.
software is logic.The settings:
logic main out: 0dB
compr.ratio: 1:20 (thus quite little)
lim input: -2 dB
lim output: 0dB (so far - as said, tended to put this down)
lim threshold: -0,1 dB
#17
30th January 2013
Old 30th January 2013
  #17
Lives for gear
 
Joined: Feb 2009
Location: Slovenia
Posts: 1,253
My Studio

Quote:
Originally Posted by horizon View Post
Yeah, that was the wrong term - my apologies
It was meant for the general output level of a record.
Still ... the level of the record is (approximately) inverse proportional to the lenght of the record. If you take 10 different records from 70's, they'll all sound different (talking about the level).

There were some quite strong limiters in the 70's, but none of them was a true brickwall like the modern digital ones are, e.g. 1178 has a really fast attack and 20:1 ratio or even higher with all buttons in. If you like the way your limiter sounds, use it the way you like it.
1 dB isn't a lot and it's better to use -1 dBFS than 0 dBFS, because some DACs can't handle intersample peaks.
horizon
Thread Starter
#18
30th January 2013
Old 30th January 2013
  #18
Gear maniac
 
Joined: Oct 2009
Posts: 234

Thread Starter
Quote:
Originally Posted by jetam View Post
1 dB isn't a lot and it's better to use -1 dBFS than 0 dBFS, because some DACs can't handle intersample peaks.
Yeah, just had the same thought - so it would be better anyways..

off to bed now guys..
will be back tomorrow online.
but you can continue the discussion anyways
good night and thanx so far
#19
30th January 2013
Old 30th January 2013
  #19
Lives for gear
 
The_K_Man's Avatar
 
Joined: Aug 2012
Location: Stamford, CT
Posts: 1,509

Quote:
Originally Posted by horizon View Post
So what was that level in the 70s then? -4dBFS or -5dBFS?
For peaks? Either.
#20
30th January 2013
Old 30th January 2013
  #20
Lives for gear
 
The_K_Man's Avatar
 
Joined: Aug 2012
Location: Stamford, CT
Posts: 1,509

Quote:
Originally Posted by horizon View Post
(additional)
as our level nowadays is 0dBFS or maybe -0,1 dBFS everyone is trying to stick to
It's not good to generalize.
MASSIVE Master
Verified Member
#21
30th January 2013
Old 30th January 2013
  #21
Lives for gear
 
MASSIVE Master's Avatar
 
Joined: Mar 2004
Location: Chicago (Schaumburg / Hoffman Est.) IL

Verified Member
1) Properly calibrate your monitoring chain.

2) Work the project as loud as it wants to be keeping a "safety catch" limiter in there.

3) Don't worry about the numbers.
horizon
Thread Starter
#22
30th January 2013
Old 30th January 2013
  #22
Gear maniac
 
Joined: Oct 2009
Posts: 234

Thread Starter
Quote:
Originally Posted by jetam View Post
Still ... the level of the record is (approximately) inverse proportional to the lenght of the record. If you take 10 different records from 70's, they'll all sound different (talking about the level).

There were some quite strong limiters in the 70's, but none of them was a true brickwall like the modern digital ones are, e.g. 1178 has a really fast attack and 20:1 ratio or even higher with all buttons in. If you like the way your limiter sounds, use it the way you like it.
1 dB isn't a lot and it's better to use -1 dBFS than 0 dBFS, because some DACs can't handle intersample peaks.
..back on the thread
Had another try, and I also think 1 dB isn`t that much, it only gets me closer
to what I want: to lower the general output level.
When trying it now I didn`t think it alters the sound too much - only gets it a bit quieter...
#23
30th January 2013
Old 30th January 2013
  #23
Lives for gear
 
stinkyfingers's Avatar
 
Joined: Apr 2011
Location: Vermont

i sent some one masters last week that peaked @ -1dBFS.
after i got an email complaining 'they are not normalized', i had to re-do them @ 0dBFS...
they were happen then...
oh well...
(and this was an 'orchestral' piece for LP release...)
#24
30th January 2013
Old 30th January 2013
  #24
Lives for gear
 
Joined: Feb 2010
Posts: 511

horizon
Thread Starter
#25
30th January 2013
Old 30th January 2013
  #25
Gear maniac
 
Joined: Oct 2009
Posts: 234

Thread Starter
Quote:
Originally Posted by RJHollins View Post
If u'r interested in recording levels of past masters, visit the 'honor roll' catagory at:
Honor Roll
This is quite a nice list though it`s listed the other way round - the ones mastered at a quieter level stand first and it goes up if you go down the list, referring to the monitor level - if I do understand correctly.
horizon
Thread Starter
#26
30th January 2013
Old 30th January 2013
  #26
Gear maniac
 
Joined: Oct 2009
Posts: 234

Thread Starter
Quote:
Originally Posted by haberdasher View Post
I would try lowering the level of audio before it reaches the limiter rather than afterwards. If you do that, you will get the same(ish) loudness but with fuller transients, so they may sound more real/better. (I'm assuming it's a digital lookahead/brickwall limiter)

Lowering the output of a limiter means you get the same modern limited sound but quieter. That kind of limiting didn't exist in the '70s and so neither did that sound!
I have to add here:
I first went down with the lim input but that had quite an affect on the sound.
Yes, the transients being more clearer, the sound getting more transparent, as you said.
But the punch was lost IMO and I didn`t like the sound very much with reducing the input of the audio material.
Reducing the output level doesn`t affect the sound IMO, only makes the whole thing quieter - so I`d prefer this...
#27
30th January 2013
Old 30th January 2013
  #27
Lives for gear
 
SörenHjalmarsson's Avatar
 
Joined: Jul 2010
Location: Skövde, Sweden
Posts: 1,263

Hi horizon,

Simply turning your track down in level (without altering the dynamics) wont make it sound more simular to 70's music, it will only make it quiter... Your track will be played at the same percieved loudness as the 70's tracks on broadcasting stations and net stores anyway and people are going to set their volume knobs to taste, so you wouldn't achieve anything really (except that you will have allowed more safety headroom for conversion and processing downstream).

Cheers,
horizon
Thread Starter
#28
30th January 2013
Old 30th January 2013
  #28
Gear maniac
 
Joined: Oct 2009
Posts: 234

Thread Starter
well, that`s actually been my concern that if played in playlists with other 70s Rock mine would break ranks.
Allowedly, it isn`t that much louder but you realize it when putting in other test CDs from the 70s.
#29
30th January 2013
Old 30th January 2013
  #29
Lives for gear
 
Laurend's Avatar
 
Joined: Aug 2007
Location: France
Posts: 675

Brickwall limiters didn't exist in the 70's.
Quote
2
#30
30th January 2013
Old 30th January 2013
  #30
Lives for gear
 
Joined: Feb 2010
Posts: 511

Peak level would not be the target.
RMS levels from the 70's are.
Quote
3
New Reply Submit Thread to Facebook Facebook  Submit Thread to Twitter Twitter  Submit Thread to LinkedIn LinkedIn  Submit Thread to Google+ Google+ 
 
Topic:
Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Similar Threads
Thread
Thread Starter / Forum
Replies
imaverysoundman / High end
8
Bob Boyd / Mastering forum
0
Eric Greedy / Mastering forum
34
Confusionator / Mastering forum
33

Forum Jump
 
Register FAQ Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read

SEO by vBSEO ©2011, Crawlability, Inc.