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Mastering and LUFS
Old 31st December 2019
  #1
Here for the gear
 

Mastering and LUFS

Hi,

got a question regarding mastering.

In this case I am doing STEM mastering. So I typically have the following tracks.

1. Kick
2. Snare
3. Percussion
4. Bass
5. Keys
6. Guitars
7. FX

These 7 tracks are routed to a group channel called "MAIN OUT". This is were I am doing the mastering, adding all the effects etc.

The MAIN OUT channel is routed to "Stereo Out".

So to my question. When listening to references I am approximately 4-5 dB LUFS (Short term) from the reference tracks. 2 of the reference tracks I used was at appr. -7dB LUFS and my track is at -11dB LUFS (And this without clipping in the "Stereo Out" channel.

If I raise the volume on my limiter in "MAIN OUT" so that I get appr -8dB LUFS I am still not clipping on my "MAIN OUT" track but I will do that on the Stereo out.

So to my question.
1. Is it wrong to turn up the volume on my limiter to get closer to -7dB LUFS with the "Stereo out" clipping? When I export the track I am exporting "MAIN OUT" and not "Stereo out".

2. Any thoughts on how to get closer to the -7dB LUFS that many songs seem to be at these days.
(I am aware of gain staging before exporting the mixed tracks. And the headroom etc. but I just seem not to be able to get that -7dB LUFS without sounding distorted). I am also usein SIR Audios StandardClip in my master track to cut the peaks.

Thanks!

/Emir
Attached Thumbnails
Mastering and LUFS-mastering.jpg  
Old 31st December 2019
  #2
Mastering Moderator
 
Riccardo's Avatar
That depends on your workstation and how things are routed inside it (and how and what meters are configured to read by the user of course).
In other words check if you inserts are configured pre or post faders and so on.
If your brick-wall limiter is configured in a safe mode, i.e. say at output at-1dB T.P. you shouldn't see any overs.
Also check where in your DAW chain the Clip plug in is inserted.
Take the habit of having your loudness meters reading long term integrated and gated first and then below it short term if possible.
That kind of loudness depends on writing, arrangement and production first and foremost. Mastering can only "maximize" what is already there. In other word in your case depends on the stems you were provided by your customers to master from.
Old 1st January 2020
  #3
Here for the gear
 

I am using Cubase Pro 10.

All my inserts on the "MAIN OUT" are Pre Fader.

I use BX_XL2 last in the chain and I set the output on that limiter on -0,5dB.

The Clip plugin is inserted just before the BX_XL2.

I do not udnerstand what you mean here? "loudness meters reading long term integrated and gated first and then below it short term if possible."

I think you hit the problem area with the arrangement stuff. I think too that this arrangement was to much happening. Distorted Power guitars, many background vocals. Big Drums, and a lot of synth chords

STEMS are provided by a guy that has some more to learn, me!
Old 1st January 2020
  #4
Mastering Moderator
 
Riccardo's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by fender__ View Post
I am using Cubase Pro 10.

All my inserts on the "MAIN OUT" are Pre Fader.

I use BX_XL2 last in the chain and I set the output on that limiter on -0,5dB.

The Clip plugin is inserted just before the BX_XL2.

I do not udnerstand what you mean here? "loudness meters reading long term integrated and gated first and then below it short term if possible."

I think you hit the problem area with the arrangement stuff. I think too that this arrangement was to much happening. Distorted Power guitars, many background vocals. Big Drums, and a lot of synth chords

STEMS are provided by a guy that has some more to learn, me!

When reading meters in a mastering context it is advisable in my personal opinion to look at integrated and gated long term values, i.e. when we say -7 dB LUFS it refers to the long term integrated and gated reading over the whole length of the song.

If you have access to the single tracks within the arrangement why use stems?
Besides writing and arrangements abilities which may or may not work at achieving desired loudness, go back to your source tracks and improve your mixing skills.
Old 2nd January 2020
  #5
Here for the gear
 

Thanks for the tips. I will read more about the things you mention. I am in this case looking av short term LUFS

Well I am STEM mastering first of all because the mixing project is on CPU overload.

Thanks so much for the help!
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