Old 11th February 2014
  #1
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Loudness wars

Hi everyone

I read a thread from Deep House Page forum posted by Dennis Ferrer about loudness wars. The technique he suggest when mixing your track is that after proper gain staging your drums send them to a group and brickwall limit that group so that the total of it's output is -18/or whatever your ad/da sets 0dbvu at. Then send that drum group
along with the rest of your keys to the master buss. Use your maximizer to make up the
gain from -18 to -0.3(redbook cd), keep all the other ones off , make sure you pick intelligent, margin -0.3(redbook cd) as your
saying don't allow the output to go higher than this value, threshold -18 and your
done. Apparently -18dbfs = 0dbvu in Cubase, i use reason 5 and this is different because -12dbfs = 0dbvu in propellerhead reason. Does this mean i should brickwall limit the group of my drums to -12 then bring the meter peak to -0.3? I tried this but my track sound quieter. Any suggestions

Thanks
Emizer
Old 11th February 2014
  #2
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DCT3's Avatar
 

War. War never changes...
Old 11th February 2014
  #3
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Any professional suggestion from an experience sound engineer/producer will do.
Old 11th February 2014
  #4
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That Q & A is from 2010

The loudness wars are over. Most digital playback software and hardware devices normalize audio based on RMS (essentially the perceived volume) which means you'll squash the hell out of your mix introducing distortion in an attempt to get those last few precious decibels out only to have it automatically turned down by the hardware, software or DJ.

Use your EARS. If it sounds wrong then it is obviously not an effective technique for the way you produce.




pt
Old 12th February 2014
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The Q and A um referring to is from 2010, that i know. But signal still clip in my DAW (reason 5) in 2014, i tried the technique Dennis Ferrer suggested (above) but my mix sounds quieter hence um looking for the way of dealing with that.
Old 12th February 2014
  #6
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I've heard people say that the true 0 of their DAW is below 0, which to me doesn't make any sense. You should not be getting any digital distortion until you get to 0 dbfs. I tend to mix so my peaks don't go above -0.1 dbfs and then put a limiter on with some makeup gain, usually around 5-6dB. That way I still keep the dynamics of the track yet keep up with the competition's "loudness" of tracks.
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Old 12th February 2014
  #7
Lives for gear
The loudness war is indeed over in the commercial realm.
Loudness won by a great margin over dynamics. go figure

i was hoping we would win the loudness war because commercial audio lost the talent war in the 90,s
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Old 12th February 2014
  #8
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Louder is NOT better. It's completely fine if your mix is quiter because it isn't the year 2010 and mixes are not judged by RMS volume and unless you are using the EXACT same software and version that Ferrer was using in 2010 then things WILL work differently. If you still want more volume you need to either carve frequencies out of the bass instruments so that the drums can be turned up, side chain the kick and snare so that the bass is ducked just long enough to let the transients through when the drums hit (allowing the bass to be turned up without masking the drums) or rebalance the mix as a whole so everything can be turned up. As for the clipping make sure you have a brick wall limiter as the last insert on the master buss and make sure the master buss fader is set at unity gain (zero, ie not boosted or cut, just don't touch it... ever). If you are still clipping on the master buss then the attack setting on the limiter is too slow and not catching the transients. Adjust the attack, use a different limiter or use an external program with better limiters to master your material.
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Old 12th February 2014
  #9
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Thread Starter
Quote:
Originally Posted by DCT3 View Post
Louder is NOT better. It's completely fine if your mix is quiter because it isn't the year 2010 and mixes are not judged by RMS volume and unless you are using the EXACT same software and version that Ferrer was using in 2010 then things WILL work differently. If you still want more volume you need to either carve frequencies out of the bass instruments so that the drums can be turned up, side chain the kick and snare so that the bass is ducked just long enough to let the transients through when the drums hit (allowing the bass to be turned up without masking the drums) or rebalance the mix as a whole so everything can be turned up. As for the clipping make sure you have a brick wall limiter as the last insert on the master buss and make sure the master buss fader is set at unity gain (zero, ie not boosted or cut, just don't touch it... ever). If you are still clipping on the master buss then the attack setting on the limiter is too slow and not catching the transients. Adjust the attack, use a different limiter or use an external program with better limiters to master your material.
Thanks guys this was very helpful and informative. Had no idea loudness war is over.
Old 13th February 2014
  #10
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the war hit its peak of as loud as it could go i guess.
Old 13th February 2014
  #11
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The loudness has definitely pulled back but it's still pretty loud out there.

I would take any ones advice or suggestions with a grain of salt. Ultimately you have to find your own rhythm.

Speaking on that specific article. I don't do what he does. I will compress or limit a drum buss but I'm doing it usually for character - maybe get it to punch more.

Even on my master buss I don't do a lot of compression. I generally lean towards soft clipping and then a limiter which takes off maybe a dB. If I mixed dynamically then I get some pretty good (natural) sounding results with that. I would say don't limit or squash just because you want it louder. I will usually lean on the side of a quieter mix if squishing was my only other option.
Old 13th February 2014
  #12
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Thanks Chris

My problem is that i wanted to leave enough headroom when i mix to treat -18dBFS as the equivalent of the 0VU mark on an analogue system’s meter. So you say that you do not stick to this technique Chris? Oh and my confusion was the Big meter on Reason, the VU+PEAKS scale default is 0dbvu = -12db. I just find that you can change it to 0 dbvu = -20db and this way i can use that technique of brickwall limiting my drums to -18.
Old 13th February 2014
  #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by phatbeatstudio View Post
The loudness war is indeed over in the commercial realm.
Loudness won by a great margin over dynamics. go figure

i was hoping we would win the loudness war because commercial audio lost the talent war in the 90,s
That was right on. I record mostly acoustic music for international release, I have to pretty much lose any dynamics to get it loud enough to compete. Pisses me off to no end.

And as far as talent, I think it left the building well before the 90's.
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