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How do I master to -12 loudness (peak) Studio Headphones
Old 15th December 2010
  #1
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How do I master to -12 loudness (peak)

I have a project to turn in that's supposed to have a "loudness" of -12db. I asked if that meant RMS or peak and was told peak. That's gotta mean average peak, right? If so, what's the best way to achieve that/measure that? I'm using Cubase and WaveLab.

Sorry if the answer's in the forums, couldn't find it if so. Thanks in advance.

Clayton
Old 15th December 2010
  #2
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Jean Doe's Avatar
 

Some broadcast facilities need the audio for picture to be at -12dbfs. In that case it's peak values. Setting the ceiling of your final limiter to -12 should do the trick.

Having said that, I have no idea who gave you the task and what their definition of "loudness" is...
Old 16th December 2010
  #3
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wado1942's Avatar
 

Well, peak would refer to absolute max sample value, which has nothing to do with loudness. Loudness, on the other hand, is perceived level over time. So these terms are unrelated. RMS is closer to loudness, but still not the whole picture.
I'm sure he means maximum RMS value. The question remains, full scale sine or square = 0dB RMS and over what time range.

I don't know of any place that wants their audio to PEAK at -12dBfs. Most of them are looking for an average RMS level without any clipping.
Old 16th December 2010
  #4
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Jean Doe's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by wado1942 View Post

I don't know of any place that wants their audio to PEAK at -12dBfs. Most of them are looking for an average RMS level without any clipping.
There are loads. It's the northern european "standard" for TV commercials. It roughly translates to +6db above test tone on a ppm meter (EBU).
Old 16th December 2010
  #5
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jean Doe View Post
There are loads. It's the northern european "standard" for TV commercials. It roughly translates to +6db above test tone on a ppm meter (EBU).
+1 on that. When I had to send in some tracks for a videoclip they have asked me to send files at -12 rms level. According to them that's the standard for "pop" loudness. It's really stupid
Old 16th December 2010
  #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deegodbe View Post
+1 on that. When I had to send in some tracks for a videoclip they have asked me to send files at -12 rms level. According to them that's the standard for "pop" loudness. It's really stupid

So in Northern Europe they like things to arrive with a peak limit of -12db?

Are you positive youre not meaning to say -12db RMS, Jean Doe?

Using a peak limiter set at -12db sounds....well, insane. However, if those are indeed the proper terms and figures there for Northern Europe, they are - I dont live there and dont know, but the difference between something of with a peak of -12db and something with -12db RMS is a very large difference indeed. Just wanting to be clear is all.
Old 16th December 2010
  #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RasCricket View Post
Are you positive youre not meaning to say -12db RMS, Jean Doe?
Positive.
Old 16th December 2010
  #8
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24-96 Mastering's Avatar
Like Jean Doe said, many broadcasting outlet channels/media require specific dBfs max peak levels (suggested RMS may also be specified).


For example, here in Germany, TV ads and other programming is often required at

PEAK: -9 dBfs = +6 dBu = 0 dB ref (100%)
RMS: - 18 dBfs = -3 dBu = -9 dB ref (35%)

That means peaking no higher than -9dBfs.

IIRC, and as JeanDoe says, in the UK and northern Europe, -12dBfs peak is a going standard, based on BBC specifications.

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

That said, if you're unsure, best ask again. There's no shame in asking for precise instructions.
Also, you can always deliver your master in different versions, peaking at -12dBfs and at 0dBfs (clearly labelled and communicated). Your clients may appreciate this later if they want use the same audio for other formats.


PS: The Post Production forum here at Gearslutz may also be a good place to ask about specific level requirements.
Old 16th December 2010
  #9
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Awesome.

Totally thank you for the reply.

Yay for "standards" and guys knowing what they are and for where! Not kidding or making some joke. I actually appreciate factual information.

Call me crazy

Diggin a little deeper would take us elsewhere than the BBC standards. Thats a Euro standard. Got any info on any of the standards in broadcasting for here in the States? Is/are there any?

Also, pardon my doubts here at Gearslutz, but you all know, even though were talking about standard measurements desired and required by certain places and situations......you all know theres one guy reading this right now who is cocked and ready and probably minutes away from telling us all in this conversation to "use your ears".

Old 16th December 2010
  #10
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Verified Member
Quote:
Originally Posted by RasCricket View Post
Also, pardon my doubts here at Gearslutz, but you all know, even though were talking about standard measurements desired and required by certain places and situations......you all know theres one guy reading this right now who is cocked and ready and probably minutes away from telling us all in this conversation to "use your ears".
It's easy to get the delivery standards for whatever station is broadcasting your master. A typical standard that I have used for MTV/VH1 is 1k @ -20 dBFS as the reference tone with program peaking (never RMS) at -10dBFS.

Although I have seen both -9dBFS and -11dBFS used as well.

Of course none of this is related to perceived loudness, which is where the suggestion to 'use your ears' tends to come in.


DC
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