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Mastered for iTunes / inter-sample peak conundrum
Old 14th April 2015
  #1
Gear Head
Mastered for iTunes / inter-sample peak conundrum

The facts:

- I don't own an oversampling limiter
- I'd love to comply with Mastered for iTunes (if only for the sonic results)
- I'm getting ISP's of +1.4dB with the output ceiling on Waves L1 set to -1dB
- The release setting has no bearing on this issue

So, is the only solution to avoiding these +1.4 dB ISPs lowering my output ceiling to -2.4 dB?

In order to get to a competitive loudness level (I'm referencing K14), I'm having to attenuate up to 4dB with the limiter. That's more than I'm usually comfortable with.


Is there any other solution available to me without having to purchase something?
Old 14th April 2015
  #2
Lives for gear
 
Friedemann's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by coreycoleman View Post
So, is the only solution to avoiding these +1.4 dB ISPs lowering my output ceiling to -2.4 dB?

Is there any other solution available to me without having to purchase something?
No, you can also just bring down the limiter input the same amount. Otherwise, yes.
If you really don't have much money, take a look at the ToneBoosters | Audio Plugins plugins. Barricade is a good tool and it is 20 Euros.
Old 14th April 2015
  #3
Gear Head
Quote:
Originally Posted by Friedemann View Post
No, you can also just bring down the limiter input the same amount. Otherwise, yes.
If you really don't have much money, take a look at the ToneBoosters | Audio Plugins plugins. Barricade is a good tool and it is 20 Euros.
Thanks for the tip.
Old 14th April 2015
  #4
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Justin P.'s Avatar
 

What I've found is that if an encoded AAC using iTunes+ setting has a peak of +1.4. it doesn't always mean that you have to reduce the source WAV by 1.4dB to avoid that.

Sometimes a smaller reduction will do the trick, and sometimes even more reduction may be required. It all depends on the material, the limiter, and the encoder and it's settings.

Also, I'm not sure what you're using to encode and check for MFiT compatibility but one other fun thing is that if you are using the Sonnox Pro-Codec live in your DAW, you'll get different readings than if you encode the WAV to AAC in the offline version.

This is due to differences in synchronizing the start point of the buffer that is used to input data to the codecs.

This could also be true for other MFiT tools like the AURoundTrip that Apple offers but I haven't had a chance to test and confirm, just something to think about.

The first few MFiT releases I did, I was running the Sonnox Pro-Codec live in Wavelab and couldn't understand why I was getting different results on the same material until I dug into the manual more.

Last edited by Justin P.; 15th April 2015 at 12:09 AM..
Old 15th April 2015
  #5
Gear Head
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jperkinski View Post
What I've found is that if an encoded AAC using iTunes+ setting has a peak of +1.4. it doesn't always mean that you have to reduce the source WAV by 1.4dB to avoid that.

Sometimes a smaller reduction will do the trick, and sometimes even more reduction may be required. It all depends on the material, the limiter, and the encoder and settings.
Well, being an admitted novice, how commonplace is it for a final master to have less than a -1dB ceiling? (i.e. -2 -3 etc)

(not including masters made in the 70's when 0dBfs was yet to be invented)

(that was a joke )
Old 15th April 2015
  #6
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Verified Member
If you've got Waves L1 - try setting it to 'analogue' limiting mode instead of digital.
TBH - I've got no idea how well it measures up against modern so-called 'true peak' limiters, but the intention of the 'analogue' mode in L1 I believe was to prevent intersample peaks.

And it's something you have in your toolkit, so what have you got to lose?

Last edited by huejahfink; 15th April 2015 at 05:22 AM..
Old 15th April 2015
  #7
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Analogue Mastering's Avatar
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Friedemann View Post
No, you can also just bring down the limiter input the same amount. Otherwise, yes.
If you really don't have much money, take a look at the ToneBoosters | Audio Plugins plugins. Barricade is a good tool and it is 20 Euros.
It's not only good, I find it the best no nonsense ITB limiter out there.
Old 15th April 2015
  #8
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Tarekith's Avatar
 

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Part of the benefit of MFiT masters is that they don't have to be as compressed or limited. So instead of lowering the final output, just don't limit it as much. Turn down the input as mentioned.
Old 15th April 2015
  #9
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MASSIVE Master's Avatar
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by coreycoleman View Post
Well, being an admitted novice, how commonplace is it for a final master to have less than a -1dB ceiling? (i.e. -2 -3 etc)
With MFiT? Very common. But that's sort of the point... Don't crush it. You might also find that ISP's are more related to density than specific numerical values... As mentioned, turning down the input to the limiter is usually more effective (and almost universally better sounding) than limiting it harder.
Old 15th April 2015
  #10
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Indeed! it's quite simple actually, set your limiter ceiling at -1dBFS and aim for about 12LUFS on the momentarily loudness meter on the loudest parts of the track.
depending on the material, the overall track will then avg out somewhere between 15 and 12. I never limit more than -1dB, most of the time the limiter shaves off -.01 or -.02 maybe 2 or 3 1.5dB hotspots a track.
If the track isn't then loud enough, you can increase density with higher compression ratio, or stacking an additional comp, or driving the AD. (if you have a nice one)
But as mentioned above, it's NOT about loud, it's about finding the dynamics sweetspot
Old 15th April 2015
  #11
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Having the Momentary at -12 LUFS in the hottest parts and still preserve an average integrated of -12 LUFS to -15 LUFS seems quite dense. Are you sure there is no typo?
Old 15th April 2015
  #12
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It all depends on the track, genre etc. But for house / dance it's quite common, ofcourse a ballad will be lower.
But I normally always measure the chorus, or as they call it in EDM "drop", once the hottest part is right, the rest will follow.
Old 15th April 2015
  #13
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Friedemann's Avatar
 

Ah ok, electronic music may fit that. Thanks for clarifying!
Old 15th April 2015
  #14
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Bob Olhsson's Avatar
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by huejahfink View Post
If you've got Waves L1 - try setting it to 'analogue' limiting mode instead of digital.
TBH - I've got no idea how well it measures up against modern so-called 'true peak' limiters, but the intention of the 'analogue' mode in L1 I believe was to prevent intersample peaks...
L1 analog mode was the very first "true peak" limiter.
Old 15th April 2015
  #15
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Alexey Lukin's Avatar
 

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L1+ does not fully meet the true peak spec, but it gets pretty close. If you can't afford a true peak limiter, upsample your track x4 or x8 with a good SRC, then apply a normal limiter, then downsample it and check true peak levels.
Old 16th April 2015
  #16
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Greg Reierson's Avatar
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Olhsson View Post
L1 analog mode was the very first "true peak" limiter.
The Model T of limiters. Get something a bit more modern and you won't have a problem.
Old 17th April 2015
  #17
Gear Head
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jperkinski View Post

Also, I'm not sure what you're using to encode and check for MFiT compatibility but one other fun thing is that if you are using the Sonnox Pro-Codec live in your DAW, you'll get different readings than if you encode the WAV to AAC in the offline version.

This is due to differences in synchronizing the start point of the buffer that is used to input data to the codecs.

This could also be true for other MFiT tools like the AURoundTrip that Apple offers but I haven't had a chance to test and confirm, just something to think about.

The first few MFiT releases I did, I was running the Sonnox Pro-Codec live in Wavelab and couldn't understand why I was getting different results on the same material until I dug into the manual more.
That does turn out to be true for MFiT.... bummer
Old 17th April 2015
  #18
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Bob Olhsson's Avatar
 

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It is the mfit codec on macs, just not on windoze.
Old 17th April 2015
  #19
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Greg Reierson's Avatar
 

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Pro Codec is essential when you need to cover all encoded music streams. Files that pass just fine with the MFiT tools may clip 2dB or more on low bit rate internet / satellite radio.
Old 17th April 2015
  #20
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Justin P.'s Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Olhsson View Post
It is the mfit codec on macs, just not on windoze.
Yes, just be sure that you check your files in the offline mode when testing for overs with precision, regardless if it's OS X or Windows.

I'm on a Mac but noticed that when testing a file by running it live in Wavelab, I was getting slightly different over readings on different playback passes that were no reproducible. I think this would be true with all the various codec settings due to reasons mentioned in the manual regarding bitstream sync.

After some emails to tech support and reading the manual closer, I learned that the only way to know for sure when things will clip is to use the offline version. This will give you repeatable results that you can work with for MFiT compatibility.

Using the "clip safe" feature in the offline version will prompt Pro-Codec to tell you how much (if any) it had to reduce the level of the source file by in order for encoding to be accepting with no clipping.

Then you go back to your mastering DAW, make adjustments and test again.
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