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Try to get my mind around loudness and its consequence
Old 1 week ago
  #1
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Killkrt's Avatar
 

Thread Starter
Try to get my mind around loudness and its consequence

Hi,

I've spent last days trying to understand how loudness is measured and which tools/techniques should be used.
Since I am a newbie, I would like to double check with you if I got them right.
  1. In a master-ready mix there should be no clipping at all.
  2. In a master-ready mix loudness level is no 100% important, it is more important the dynamic range (peak over RMS). So avoid overcompression in your mix.
  3. Masters that should be played in a streaming service (e.g.: iTunes Radio, Spotify, YouTube...) should have a integrated loudness around -16 LUFS (or -14)
  4. Masters for CD o MP3 have no limitation for loudness, anyway -9 LFUS is considered a good loudness.
  5. Since the limitation of -16 LUFS in many streaming services, it is now (finally) more important to have a good dynamic range over the overall loudness.
  6. LUFS (or better ITU-R BS.1770/EBU R128) uses K-weighted criteria, so it is not necessary to compare loudness measurements made with ITU/EBU and K-System.
  7. Despite RMS is still a good loudness indicator, ITU/EBU loudness should be now preferred.
  8. In mastering stage True peak meter should be always preferred over simple sample peak meter.

Assuming that what I understood is correct , I have some questions about what I've learned:
  1. Since dynamic range is very important, why this information is not always shown clearly (or at all) in most DAWs or meter (for example I cannot find it in Ozone Insight, I can see only in bx_meter)?
  2. Since the dynamic range is computed as peak over RMS, why we do not use a measure that computes true peak over instant loudness? It could be a better indicator, IMHO.
  3. Which is a good average dynamic range that a rock mix ready to be mastered should have? Where I can find some hints about such information?
  4. Dose it make sense to check the average/integrated dynamic range (as it is made here: Album list - Dynamic Range Database) or it would be better to focus on dynamic range in the hardest part?

Thank you.
Old 1 week ago
  #2
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Odeon-Mastering's Avatar
 

Verified Member
Quote:
Originally Posted by Killkrt View Post
Hi,

I've spent last days trying to understand how loudness is measured and which tools/techniques should be used.
Since I am a newbie, I would like to double check with you if I got them right.
  1. In a master-ready mix there should be no clipping at all.
  2. In a master-ready mix loudness level is no 100% important, it is more important the dynamic range (peak over RMS). So avoid overcompression in your mix.
  3. Masters that should be played in a streaming service (e.g.: iTunes Radio, Spotify, YouTube...) should have a integrated loudness around -16 LUFS (or -14)
  4. Masters for CD o MP3 have no limitation for loudness, anyway -9 LFUS is considered a good loudness.
  5. Since the limitation of -16 LUFS in many streaming services, it is now (finally) more important to have a good dynamic range over the overall loudness.
  6. LUFS (or better ITU-R BS.1770/EBU R128) uses K-weighted criteria, so it is not necessary to compare loudness measurements made with ITU/EBU and K-System.
  7. Despite RMS is still a good loudness indicator, ITU/EBU loudness should be now preferred.
  8. In mastering stage True peak meter should be always preferred over simple sample peak meter.

Assuming that what I understood is correct , I have some questions about what I've learned:
  1. Since dynamic range is very important, why this information is not always shown clearly (or at all) in most DAWs or meter (for example I cannot find it in Ozone Insight, I can see only in bx_meter)?
  2. Since the dynamic range is computed as peak over RMS, why we do not use a measure that computes true peak over instant loudness? It could be a better indicator, IMHO.
  3. Which is a good average dynamic range that a rock mix ready to be mastered should have? Where I can find some hints about such information?
  4. Dose it make sense to check the average/integrated dynamic range (as it is made here: Album list - Dynamic Range Database) or it would be better to focus on dynamic range in the hardest part?

Thank you.
Hi there,

the following is my opinion:
  1. Yeap, this is true.
  2. What serves the music itself, is important. Compression or a smaller dynamic range is not necessarily a bad thing...but _over_ compression/limiting is.
  3. If it serves the music itself, then yes.
  4. Yes...although, even louder tracks are not that rare (I mean tracks with a smaller LUFS value).
  5. Again it 's all about the music...
    but yes, nowadays, loudness for the sake of loudness, is not as important as it used to be and producers know the benefits of avoiding _over_compression/limiting/clipping.
  6. I can't comment on K-system.
  7. RMS was never a "good" indicator, but yes, LUFS is definitely better.
  8. Sure, but if your session is in 96K, it is not as important as if it were in 44.1K.
  9. Dynamic range is something that is "heard"/"felt", it is more important to use "density"/"compression" to serve the music than fall within a range, I have no interest in "dynamic range meters" as a VU meter, a goniometer and a peak meter are enough (assuming that we listen and not depend on looking at meters)
  10. You may find "dynamic range meters" that use different ways to do their thing...but nothing will ever beat you listening deep to the music itself. There are no rules about dynamic range that you should comply to..
  11. See above.
  12. It doesnt really make sense to look at these numbers...I know a few albums that sound HUGE even with a very small "number" attached next to them in a random internet list....

I cant help but think you may be overthinking it with the numbers...and I am guilty of doing the exact same thing, some years ago..
in my case, I think I took comfort in trusting "numbers"/"visuals" over listening, which at the moment seemed a lot more vague, as I gained more experience and learned my tools (speakers and room) and as I realised that music is not being served by chasing numbers, the vagueness disappeared...

cheers
Old 1 week ago
  #3
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Killkrt's Avatar
 

Thread Starter
Thank you for the answer.

Yes, maybe I am overthinking about theory and numbers.
I know that each song it's a different story, but I was thinking if I can get some helps from tools (also math theory could be a tool) in order to be on the right path. So it's true that some of the rules that I wrote before are not real rule, but just macro guide lines, just want to understand if they make sense in general or not.

Anyway, I think I got your message: "use more your ears than your eyes" and I think you're right!

Thank you.
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