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what loudness are you mastering your demos at
Old 15th April 2018
  #1
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what loudness are you mastering your demos at

So i always have the dilemma on how loud a master should be.
In the modern day, where most stuff will land on youtube or spotify i try to get a master at -14dbfs (which should be what these plattforms normalize to).
This way, when the client listens to his tracks he can directly compare it to other tracks on the service, which is nice.

But how loud do you guys master a demo master? when you get asked to do a demo, you will be compared to other mastering engineers. noone will try to stay in the standard of -14dbfs i guess.
You can always go louder, just 1 db more will still work for track but you will be louder than all other demos.

So how do you guys view this issue?
Old 15th April 2018
  #2
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RightOnRome's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by nixoblivion View Post
So i always have the dilemma on how loud a master should be.
In the modern day, where most stuff will land on youtube or spotify i try to get a master at -14dbfs (which should be what these plattforms normalize to).
This way, when the client listens to his tracks he can directly compare it to other tracks on the service, which is nice.

But how loud do you guys master a demo master? when you get asked to do a demo, you will be compared to other mastering engineers. noone will try to stay in the standard of -14dbfs i guess.
You can always go louder, just 1 db more will still work for track but you will be louder than all other demos.

So how do you guys view this issue?
-1, or -2
Old 15th April 2018
  #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RightOnRome View Post
-1, or -2
thats not loudness. im guessing you are refering to peak level.
Old 16th April 2018
  #4
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Trakworx's Avatar
I think RightOnRome was making a cynical joke right there...

--------------------

You make some assumptions that can be questioned:

1. You cite -14dbfs as some standard. But all online platforms do not use the same loudness target. They range from -11 to -16 last I checked.

2. You state that going 1db louder than -14 will be louder than other ME's sample masters. There's no reason to think that other MEs are shooting for -14. When I've been allowed to check out other ME's samples they've usually been in the -10 to -8dbfs range ("modern loudness" essentially).

3. How do you know that the client is comparing to streaming sites and not CDs or downloads?

--------------------

I think that if I were to send samples at -14 or -13 on a regular basis then I wouldn't get much work. Mine are generally around -10 (during the loud passages) but that varies with the nature of the mix. When I've lost jobs to other MEs theirs were usually louder than mine. That says it all right there.

Also, genre matters a lot. Hip Hop and Electronica artists expect louder masters than do Folk and Americana artists, for example. Send -13 to a rapper and probably never hear from him again.

Send almost any client 2 samples at different loudnesses and they'll choose the louder one.

Last edited by Trakworx; 16th April 2018 at 03:54 AM..
Old 16th April 2018
  #5
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Thread Starter
Quote:
Originally Posted by Trakworx View Post
I think RightOnRome was making a cynical joke right there...

--------------------

You make some assumptions that can be questioned:

1. You cite -14dbfs as some standard. But all online platforms do not use the same loudness target. They range from -11 to -16 last I checked.

2. You state that going 1db louder than -14 will be louder than other ME's sample masters. There's no reason to think that other MEs are shooting for -14. When I've been allowed to check out other ME's samples they've usually been in the -10 to -8dbfs range ("modern loudness" essentially).

3. How do you know that the client is comparing to streaming sites and not CDs or downloads?

--------------------

I think that if I were to send samples at -14 or -13 on a regular basis then I wouldn't get much work. Mine are generally around -10 (during the loud passages) but that varies with the nature of the mix. When I've lost jobs to other MEs theirs were usually louder than mine. That says it all right there.

Also, genre matters a lot. Hip Hop and Electronica artists expect louder masters than do Folk and Americana artists, for example. Send -13 to a rapper and probably never hear from him again.

Send almost any client 2 samples at different loudnesses and they'll choose the louder one.
Thanks for your reply!
I guess i was not completly clear.

It seems the biggest two plattforms (youtube and spotify) are close to -14lufs. Im not sure about Itunes actually. So what i like to do when i master is get to that loudness in order to be the same loudness as the rest. From there i can always go louder for CD or other formats, but its easiest for my clients to compare the master with other songs.

This does not work with demo masters since the track will be compared to other demo masters and not spotify or youtube for instance.
This means you need the same loudness as the other masters for it to be "fair".

What i meant with the 1db louder was a totally different argument. I once blind testet with a friend. Even 1db louder ill sound a LOT better, even if nothing else has changed.
So what i mean is, if i send in a demo master at -11lufs and another engineer sends one in at -10lufs, his will probably sound better even if its inferior in some parts!

How do you guys deal with this? Do you go as loud as you can go without degrading the material? The figures you mentioned -10 to -8 is already a good start.
Old 16th April 2018
  #6
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This is a streaming loudness chart put together by Ian Shepherd. It was done about three years ago. When I get asked "how loud should my audio be when I submit it to XYZ", I simply reference this chart. As far as the original question goes, that would depend on what side of the "Loudness War" you support.
Old 16th April 2018
  #7
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Trakworx's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dana_T. View Post
This is a streaming loudness chart put together by Ian Shepherd. It was done about three years ago. When I get asked "how loud should my audio be when I submit it to XYZ", I simply reference this chart. As far as the original question goes, that would depend on what side of the "Loudness War" you support.
The link you posted doesn't work for me (error 404) but I'd love to check out that chart if you care to try again?
Old 16th April 2018
  #8
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Trakworx's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by nixoblivion View Post
Thanks for your reply!
I guess i was not completly clear.

It seems the biggest two plattforms (youtube and spotify) are close to -14lufs. Im not sure about Itunes actually. So what i like to do when i master is get to that loudness in order to be the same loudness as the rest. From there i can always go louder for CD or other formats, but its easiest for my clients to compare the master with other songs.
LUFS standards: Youtube is -13, Spotify is -14 Apple Music is -16, and SoundCloud doesn't normalize at all, so if, as you say below, 1db makes a big difference (and I agree), how are you going to account for this?
Answer: You can't.

Mastering for Soundcloud, Spotify, iTunes and Youtube. | Mastering The Mix

Quote:
Originally Posted by nixoblivion View Post
This does not work with demo masters since the track will be compared to other demo masters and not spotify or youtube for instance.
This means you need the same loudness as the other masters for it to be "fair".
Right.

Quote:
Originally Posted by nixoblivion View Post
What i meant with the 1db louder was a totally different argument. I once blind testet with a friend. Even 1db louder ill sound a LOT better, even if nothing else has changed.
So what i mean is, if i send in a demo master at -11lufs and another engineer sends one in at -10lufs, his will probably sound better even if its inferior in some parts!

How do you guys deal with this? Do you go as loud as you can go without degrading the material? The figures you mentioned -10 to -8 is already a good start.
Yes, I find the "loudness potential" of the song and stop there.

Unfortunately there are a lot of clients who view mastering shootouts as a competition for who can go the loudest. When possible through communication I try to get a sense of that from them before I start. But even people who claim that they prefer dynamics over loudness will often change their mind after they hear some reference track that sounds louder than theirs. It's a real problem. No easy answers...

---------------------------------

I feel like we're focusing too much on numbers though. Loudness metering is far from being a perfect indicator of perceived loudness, and different meters will give different results anyway, so it really has to be ears not eyes when it comes to evaluating loudness.

.
Old 16th April 2018
  #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trakworx View Post
The link you posted doesn't work for me (error 404) but I'd love to check out that chart if you care to try again?
Try this. Click the pic to enlarge. I think they may have blocked the other link for hot linking. I previewed this post and it worked.
Old 16th April 2018
  #10
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Old 16th April 2018
  #11
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Old 17th April 2018
  #12
if I understand the OP question well enough I think he meant '' when I send a demo master for a shoutout how loud should it be?'' even thought it will end up on Spotify or youtube ...

I would say as loud as you can get it while being musical, most likely during a shoutout no one set all of the demos at a standard loudness so often the loudest win, the loudest and most musical which is kinda opposite but that's our job to make loud and dynamic , once you win the shoutout you can send the different format required by all of the platform out there.
Old 17th April 2018
  #13
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@alex-p , did you build the mons in your studio? They look very intimidating, in a good way.
Old 17th April 2018
  #14
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Originally Posted by Dana_T. View Post
@alex-p , did you build the mons in your studio? They look very intimidating, in a good way.
I wish ! those are Eggleston Works The Nine SE
Old 17th April 2018
  #15
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Originally Posted by alex-p View Post
I wish ! those are Eggleston Works The Nine SE
KILLER! Do you need to wear a seat belt when you have them at 10% volume? They look awesome!
Old 19th April 2018
  #16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dana_T. View Post
KILLER! Do you need to wear a seat belt when you have them at 10% volume? They look awesome!
they are not about loud stuff but details and purity,
the JL Audio F113 on the other hand they do move some air !!
Old 19th April 2018
  #17
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Originally Posted by alex-p View Post
they are not about loud stuff but details and purity,
the JL Audio F113 on the other hand they do move some air !!
I have no doubt they deliver a detailed pure sound. But if you were to see them in the dark, you would assume they had a 357 instead of a 22.
Old 20th April 2018
  #18
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RightOnRome's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by alex-p View Post
they are not about loud stuff but details and purity,
the JL Audio F113 on the other hand they do move some air !!
yea man! ..unbelievable set up!..well done!
Old 20th April 2018
  #19
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dana_T. View Post
I have no doubt they deliver a detailed pure sound. But if you were to see them in the dark, you would assume they had a 357 instead of a 22.
that's a good point hahaha yes!
Old 20th April 2018
  #20
Quote:
Originally Posted by RightOnRome View Post
yea man! ..unbelievable set up!..well done!
thanks! its a good set up I can't complain, still looking at the Viginti for the new room, I kinda pass my time of gearslutz and more into the speakerslutz now lol
Old 20th April 2018
  #21
DAH
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Not a pro, more like hobby producing and mixing, I can say that after I have found quite a linear (from 40 to 10k) listening spot in my room and did some mixes from it it seems that these mixes can stand limiting to -12 as well as -10 dB RMS, further you can go, but you better mix from the start to a very "condensed" picture with not much dynamics, basically controlling the dynamics of the BIG parts of the mix and controlling even more the dynamics\masking of the smaller parts. So it boils down to how accurately you can hear the sound picture and sculpt it to the desired "density".
In this sense I believe more in finding the right spot\ears\low-end speaker extension (8 inches or more or a sub tuned well to the speakers) than the speakers themselves.
Old 5th May 2018
  #22
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Quote:
Yet another demonstration that even hard-hitting genres don’t need extreme loudness, J Cole's KOD is breaking streaming records, entering the Billboard chart at Number 1 – proving once again that listeners don’t care about loudness !
Quote:
Drakes recent single God’s Plan has 469 million views as I’m writing this, and the integrated loudness measures… -11.7 LUFS. Hardly the -8, -6 or even -4 numbers some people like to tell you are ‘needed’.
Just sayin!
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