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Strategy for achieving 14LUFS release Metering & Analysis Plugins
Old 1 week ago
  #31
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none of us have clients that would approve a -20lufs master. most mixes i get are louder than that to begin with.
Old 1 week ago
  #32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scraggs View Post
none of us have clients that would approve a -20lufs master. most mixes i get are louder than that to begin with.
Of course. I would assume as much coming in on the tails of a Wild West loudness free for all.

But... even with all drum machines and sampled sounds, and a touch of MB compression, that is exactly what happens when I run a dance-pop track through to final mix with zero limiting. One before it came to normalized value of -18 LUFS, but only after extensive automation and sidechaining specifically to avoid combined peaks.

Still haven't put any final squeeze on either as I've been taking in all the alternatives. One alternative I will NOT be considering is releasing the track at -21 LUFS (Offset down 1db from normalized peaks). Just imagine a YT surfer coming across your pop track, and it's 8db down from everything else. I'm trying not to laugh, but it's a ridiculous thought.

Actually, this creates a number of real world problems. A lot of cell phones don't have enough gain to make up for that kind of a drop which means anyone who took the time to seek out your video will not be able to hear it, determine that the video is somehow broken, and move on.
Old 1 week ago
  #33
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any good mastering engineer could give you that dance pop track back at -13 with no audible clipping/limiting artifacts.
Old 1 week ago
  #34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scraggs View Post
any good mastering engineer could give you that dance pop track back at -13 with no audible clipping/limiting artifacts.
So can I.

It's being told NOT to do that repeatedly and that it doesn't matter that's confusing at best.
Old 1 week ago
  #35
Why is communication this difficult?
Old 1 week ago
  #36
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Stop the unloudness wars!!
Old 1 week ago
  #37
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Communication issue?

I was told several times to completely ignore the leveling targets and release a master without regard to the fact that it's normalized loudness is well below those targets.

The only possible interpretations I see of that imply:

1) A (several) people responding without first reading the OP issue.

2) A misunderstanding of the problem issue (me not communicating the issue clearly enough).

3) A technical misunderstanding of the fact that something can't be offset above 0dbfs without limiting or clipping issue.

4) A philosophical difference of opinion issue as to whether it matters if your music is limited by a third party or left 6-8 db quieter than everything else.



If you're implying that it's none of those, but rather that I'm misunderstanding what's been said to me, I'm all ears.
Old 1 week ago
  #38
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Quote:
Originally Posted by macc View Post
Stop the unloudness wars!!
It's funny, but in a way kind of makes sense. I really started this exercise as a way to step back and re-evaluate my mastering practices and see if it might be possible to do no limiting whatsoever.

In a way, though, that's kind of the trendy thing to do at the moment.

The spectre is still there in an odd way, it's just that what's optimal has shifted. What hasn't as far as I can tell is that optimal is neither minimal nor maximal. There is a sweet spot, and it is neither a crushed master nor a normalized -30LUFS master.

Both of those are a problem to be avoided. That, ultimately is why I started the thread... to dive a bit deeper into that optimization.
Old 1 week ago
  #39
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ain't Nobody View Post
Communication issue?

If you're implying that it's none of those, but rather that I'm misunderstanding what's been said to me, I'm all ears.
No, I commend you for trying to clarify what's real and what's not. After following the debate, I just got demoralized by it getting absolutely nowhere. You are up against some pretty arrogant answers, that does not address the core of your questions - or so it seems.
Old 1 week ago
  #40
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Unless I've missed something, they're saying that material is not limited or compressed; int/avg LUFS is measured and then the volume is bumped up/down accordingly, -14 being the reference point.

The issue is more likely how consistently the streaming services are normalising. I remember reading another thread last year regarding YouTube and inconsistent levels. The other factor to ponder is that streaming services can change their normalisation algorithm/process/limiting in the same way Google can change SEO code; overnight and silently. There is no standard (as far as I'm aware). A -20 LUFS master may sound great one day and quiet (or poorly compressed) the next.

I could be entirely wrong of course. Like yourself I'm trying to figure it all out. I'll just stick to -12/13 with -1 headroom to be safe. Still sounds great.
Old 1 week ago
  #41
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Henrik Hjortnaes View Post
No, I commend you for trying to clarify what's real and what's not. After following the debate, I just got demoralized by it getting absolutely nowhere. You are up against some pretty arrogant answers, that does not address the core of your questions - or so it seems.
Every year or so, I ask a couple questions in here, and every year I regret it. It's actually gotten better as far as I can see. There are at least some real answers to be found in the mix these days.

Used to be just automatic loudness bashing as a response to any question as if everyone was trying their hardest to pretend they were professional ME's who never touched a limiter and were offended by the word. Anyway, it's better these days. I think maybe folks have calmed down a bit now that the leveling schemes have been implemented, and I've gotten some good (helpful) responses in here too.

I feel like an alcoholic at a meeting now saying I used to release -9 masters, but I'm glad to see the changes... both as an artist, and as a music fan.
Old 1 week ago
  #42
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Quote:
Originally Posted by b0se View Post
Unless I've missed something, they're saying that material is not limited or compressed; int/avg LUFS is measured and then the volume is bumped up/down accordingly, -14 being the reference point.

The issue is more likely how consistently the streaming services are normalising. I remember reading another thread last year regarding YouTube and inconsistent levels. The other factor to ponder is that streaming services can change their normalisation algorithm/process/limiting in the same way Google can change SEO code; overnight and silently. There is no standard (as far as I'm aware). A -20 LUFS master may sound great one day and quiet (or poorly compressed) the next.

I could be entirely wrong of course. Like yourself I'm trying to figure it all out. I'll just stick to -12/13 with -1 headroom to be safe. Still sounds great.
Sonds like the perfect plan.

I'll take the blame for not explaining this clearly enough since there seems to be so much confusion on this point, but I'll lay this out one more time since your summary shows the confusion is still there.

Yes, that is what's been said.

No, it's not correct.

The LUFS measurement by itself is meaningless. It's really the relationship between the peaks and the LUFS that matters. I could get a -14 LUFS release by squashing it to -4 and just turning it down 10db. If I did that then yes, you could just offset it up or down to whatever figure you want without issue.

The issue is on the other end. If I'm NORMALIZED... meaning my peaks are already hitting 0dbfs, and the measurement is UNDER the target... say -20LUFS, then one of the following will happen 100% of the time at 100% of the outlets:

1) Nothing. They'll leave it, and my track will just be quieter.

2) They'll turn it up.

First is self explanatory. Second seems to be where all the confusion lies. You can not turn it up further without limiting or clipping it. It's not possible. If you turn it up when the peaks are already at 0dbfs, you must by definition clip or limit to turn it up any further, so the statement that they offset it without limiting is just not true.

Actually, in that circumstance, I'd HOPE they'd limit it because if not that means that my track is just 4-7db lower than everyone else's depending on the outlet which is essentially a death sentence in terms of gaining new listeners. Your fans may bother to turn it up, but everyone else will just scratch their head and wonder why yours seems to be the only track that's not working right and hit next.

I hope that's clearer.
Old 1 week ago
  #43
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ain't Nobody View Post
Every year or so, I ask a couple questions in here, and every year I regret it. It's actually gotten better as far as I can see. There are at least some real answers to be found in the mix these days.

Used to be just automatic loudness bashing as a response to any question as if everyone was trying their hardest to pretend they were professional ME's who never touched a limiter and were offended by the word. Anyway, it's better these days. I think maybe folks have calmed down a bit now that the leveling schemes have been implemented, and I've gotten some good (helpful) responses in here too.

I feel like an alcoholic at a meeting now saying I used to release -9 masters, but I'm glad to see the changes... both as an artist, and as a music fan.


I really dont touch a limiter that often i just clip everything and then i resample it boost some highs to fool your ears send it to the tape maschine back into my behringer mixer and iam damn sure u will like it plus give me all your money and regret asking those questions on gearslutz where skeletor and he-man is listening to the sound of HDDs.
( why u dont send your clients 0 lufs Masters it will be really dynamic and stand out on the streaming services as u know silence is very powerful same counts for me )

Last edited by Qtwister; 1 week ago at 04:40 PM..
Old 1 week ago
  #44
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ain't Nobody View Post
The issue is on the other end. If I'm NORMALIZED... meaning my peaks are already hitting 0dbfs, and the measurement is UNDER the target... say -20LUFS, then one of the following will happen 100% of the time at 100% of the outlets:

1) Nothing. They'll leave it, and my track will just be quieter.

2) They'll turn it up.
Sorry for the confusion.

-20 LUFS?

IF you submit a track that low in level then as far as I understand, yes all of them will not turn it up with the exception of Spotify.

The solution is as I have said, to master the track as per normal practice.

What does that mean?
Check it for technical issues.
Bring the track up to a normal commercial level that when volume matched with the original sounds just as good or slightly better than the mix.
Make it sound finished/emotionally connected/aesthetically pleasing etc etc.
Make it cohesive and matched with everything else on the EP/Album etc.
All the usual stuff.


After that, you don't need to worry because a normal commercial level is above the LUFS targets set by all the services listed, so nothing to worry about.
Old 1 week ago
  #45
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Quote:
Originally Posted by b0se View Post
Cheers for feedback fellas.

So if you master (well) at say, 12 LUFS as an example, and everyone is happy with the balance (not compromised etc), uploading that will be 'safe', as the only thing that will happen is a volume drop?

I ask as when I use the SilverBullet it's so easy to increase RMS (musically) that I often push past 14 LUFS (13 or 12) and prefer the sound.
Yes absolutely. And as you have experienced, its totally easy to go beyond the target level and make the track sound great.
Old 1 week ago
  #46
Quote:
Originally Posted by polybonk View Post
Sorry for the confusion.

-20 LUFS?

IF you submit a track that low in level then as far as I understand, yes all of them will not turn it up with the exception of Spotify.

The solution is as I have said, to master the track as per normal practice.

What does that mean?
Check it for technical issues.
Bring the track up to a normal commercial level that when volume matched with the original sounds just as good or slightly better than the mix.
Make it sound finished/emotionally connected/aesthetically pleasing etc etc.
Make it cohesive and matched with everything else on the EP/Album etc.
All the usual stuff.


After that, you don't need to worry because a normal commercial level is above the LUFS targets set by all the services listed, so nothing to worry about.
@Ain't Nobody

And after that, if you want to optmize for streaming services, check the integrated value of those songs, see where it sit (probably between -12 and -9) and then back off the clipper and limiter accordingly.
Tweak this version to make it sound right (you might gain some punch and bass extension with less clipping/limiting) and submit to the client as an alternate/Streaming version closer to the target level.
It might even become the MAIN version and you can also use it for Vinyle.

It's a bit more work but to me it worth it.


To play this game even more, you could set up your monitoring chain based on target value and work from that but with various target and unconstistency in time it feels like a risky move.
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