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Bob Katz declares the Loudness War won
Old 20th October 2013
  #61
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As an example, here's what Sound Check does to Timberlake's Suit & Tie:


Sound Check engaged ^


FS ^

I should note that these screenshots are both during the same chorus of the song, but not at precisely the same moment. So, there is likely a variation in peak level.

-SD
Old 20th October 2013
  #62
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The_K_Man View Post

Last night at AES I hopped on the mic at the end of the meeting just like the one in my link, and told them what I was experiencing on Gearslutz.

I got a standing ovation and was told by at least two or three out of a packed room "not to waste my time there"! I told them: The engineers on GS are exactly the ones who should be in this room taking notes.
FWIW, I don't think it's your ideas that are responsible for what you are experiencing on Gearslutz, it's your presentation of those ideas and your demeanor that earns you that.

Old 20th October 2013
  #63
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trakworx View Post
FWIW, I don't think it's your ideas that are responsible for what you are experiencing on Gearslutz, it's your presentation of those ideas and your demeanor that earns you that.

Perhaps there's a reason for my "demeanor" - the almost unanymous opposition to the theories and concepts I have merely been passing along here - makes my blood boil.

Even in the mild-mannered fashion in which I first early on presented those ideas attracted opposition and opposing view points.
Old 20th October 2013
  #64
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The_K_Man View Post
It's NOT my crusade!

Will you folks on here stop saying that?!
The moment you start participating in threads about other topics as much and as emotionally as you do about loudness-concerned ones we will.
Old 20th October 2013
  #65
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kosmokrator View Post
The moment you start participating in threads about other topics as much and as emotionally as you do about loudness-concerned ones we will.
This particular thread concerns a proclamation of the end of the loudness race.

I merely contributed details of my experience at the AES seminar in which the person making that proclamation appeared there.

How is that off topic in THIS thread?
Old 20th October 2013
  #66
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The_K_Man View Post
Perhaps there's a reason for my "demeanor" - the almost unanymous opposition to the theories and concepts I have merely been passing along here - makes my blood boil.

Even in the mild-mannered fashion in which I first early on presented those ideas attracted opposition and opposing view points.
Yeah, well, if you don't like opposition and opposing view points then an internet forum is not the place for you to be hangin' out. 'Just sayin'.

But it occurs to me that perhaps you enjoy the argument...? just a lil bit?
Old 20th October 2013
  #67
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The_K_Man View Post
This particular thread concerns a proclamation of the end of the loudness race.

I merely contributed details of my experience at the AES seminar in which the person making that proclamation appeared there.

How is that off topic in THIS thread?
It's not. I never claimed it was either.
Look, I'm not one to argue about stuff like that on the net, so let's just leave it at that.
Old 21st October 2013
  #68
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kosmokrator View Post
It's not. I never claimed it was either.
Look, I'm not one to argue about stuff like that on the net, so let's just leave it at that.
There's nothing to argue about. Standards are being implemented so you don't have to worry about your songs "being as loud" as others in your genre.

It won't be a factor because avg loudness levels will be standardized. Instead, your keep will have to be earned based on what really matters: creativity/originality.
Old 21st October 2013
  #69
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trakworx View Post
Yeah, well, if you don't like opposition and opposing view points then an internet forum is not the place for you to be hangin' out. 'Just sayin'.

But it occurs to me that perhaps you enjoy the argument...? just a lil bit?
Well perhaps then I'm not the one to be argued with. Next AES convention(West coast in 2014) the mix/mastering engineers who frequent this Mastering Forum should make plans to go out there and attend the "Loudness Wars" 2hr seminar. There they can present their oppositions to the panel(typically including Thomas Lund and Bob Ludwig).

I'm sure it would generate an interesting debate.
Old 21st October 2013
  #70
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K_man, was there by any chance a discussion on what happens to tracks that would actually become too loud ?
Like the very soft slow movement in a contemporary string quartet ?

Is there anything being proposed to keep relative levels in bigger works that span multiple tracks maintained ?

Otherwise strange things will happen...
Not that those didnt happen slready in the hands of capable mastering engineers and/or labels.
Just listen to the streaming version of Prince/Parade.
The hit tracks are screamingly loud, the other have the normal (vinyl) levels.
Old 21st October 2013
  #71
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yannick View Post
K_man, was there by any chance a discussion on what happens to tracks that would actually become too loud ?
Like the very soft slow movement in a contemporary string quartet ?

Is there anything being proposed to keep relative levels in bigger works that span multiple tracks maintained ?

Otherwise strange things will happen...
Not that those didnt happen slready in the hands of capable mastering engineers and/or labels.
Just listen to the streaming version of Prince/Parade.
The hit tracks are screamingly loud, the other have the normal (vinyl) levels.
In the case of sound check, the screamingly loud tracks will have negative gain applied, and the vinyl equivalents may even see some positive gain applied, until the average/rms levels are matched to within a specific tolerance.
Old 21st October 2013
  #72
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kingtoad View Post
Does the latest version of Sound Check respect the internal dynamics of albums? I know older versions didn't but it might have been updated. I can't see it ever being adopted by the majority unless it does.
I was told that it does work on an album when not in shuffle mode. Haven't tried it yet. I hope that is true.
Old 21st October 2013
  #73
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The_K_Man View Post

It won't be a factor because avg loudness levels will be standardized. Instead, your keep will have to be earned based on what really matters: creativity/originality.
That would be nice. Musicality should be king. Somewhere along the line, it was a mistake to forget that this is MUSIC. After all, music without musicality is called Muzak right?
Old 21st October 2013
  #74
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Quote:
Originally Posted by teknatronik View Post
Am I clear in thinking the goal is to produce music near or around -16 integrated lufs?
The goal continues to be making great sounding music.

Before the CD loudness war really got going engineers used VU meters that were set around -18/-20dBFS. We didn't think about the peaks except for the peak light on the tape deck, or later the DAT deck. Headroom was allowed. Transients were preserved. When VU meters disappeared a lot of people forgot about / never learned the concept of headroom. Transients almost completely disappeared from our music.

This whole -16 or -23 business is a way to get us back to thinking about average levels - the way the ear hears them - and less about peak levels. Hopefully headroom and transients will return. Headroom and transients are a big part of the "analog" sound people used to like. If Pro Tools removed the peak meter and replaced it with a VU meter I think people would make better sounding records.
Old 21st October 2013
  #75
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At AES there were many sessions about how to end the loudness war. Not a single session on how to make mixes / masters louder.
Old 21st October 2013
  #76
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gravit Dinchy View Post
The problem is the artists. They all want to be loudest. Always have, always will.
It's our job to facilitate that need.
Artists just want to be successful.
Most don't understand being fooled by the louder is better (but not when compared at equal level) paradigm.
Also confidence it takes to say no to Muzak-"mastering" and know you are saying no for the right reasons, is going be overwhelmed by "people in the know" perpetuating fear and paranoia ... (isn't the what it REALLY is?)

It is the mastering engineer's role to get the maximum musicality out of whatever is on the "tape" (very loosely paraphrasing Bob Ludwig)

This sometimes requires educating or negotiating with the artist/producer to understand the intrinsic loudness VS destruction factor, not blindly facilitating the misguided desire to pummel the musicality out of their music.

Holy smokes, I'm sounding like the K-man...

I think more artists now than ever are becoming sensitive to the potentially destructive side of mastering and these are highly commercial artists.
None of them feel the need to "compete"

Who knows, maybe they have ego or just the confidence to believe their music will be successful regardless of how loud it gets played in relation next song by someone else.

Kate bush
Steven Wilson/porcupine tree
Storm corrosion
Jack white
Guns 'n' roses
Opeth
Jack Johnson
Alan Jackson

Let's hope the loudness standardisation/playback levels pulls back the veil on Muzak-mastering and quashes the incentive for compromising that which should make our hearts jump... Oh beautiful music!!

Best,

Owen Gillett
Old 21st October 2013
  #77
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yannick View Post
K_man, was there by any chance a discussion on what happens to tracks that would actually become too loud ?
Like the very soft slow movement in a contemporary string quartet ?

Is there anything being proposed to keep relative levels in bigger works that span multiple tracks maintained ?
I have a related concern; It is my understanding that loudness normalization will be based on a song's (or an album's) average LUFS level for the entire piece. So a piece with long soft passages and short loud passages would start from a lower average LUFS level than one with mostly loud passages. Wouldn't this cause the piece with long soft passages to be raised more (or lowered less) than the piece with long loud passages, so the loud passages of the 2 works would not be properly level matched? Doesn't it make more sense to base the gain change on the LUFS levels of just the loud passages of each work?

Put differently: There are songs that are just acoustic guitar and vocal for 3 minutes, then turn to full band rock for the last 1 minute. How is a song like that supposed to be loudness-matched with a song that is full band rock from start to finish if they base the gain change on average LUFS for the whole song?
Old 21st October 2013
  #78
Quote:
Originally Posted by Greg Reierson View Post
The goal continues to be making great sounding music.

Before the CD loudness war really got going engineers used VU meters that were set around -18/-20dBFS. We didn't think about the peaks except for the peak light on the tape deck, or later the DAT deck. Headroom was allowed. Transients were preserved. When VU meters disappeared a lot of people forgot about / never learned the concept of headroom. Transients almost completely disappeared from our music.

This whole -16 or -23 business is a way to get us back to thinking about average levels - the way the ear hears them - and less about peak levels. Hopefully headroom and transients will return. Headroom and transients are a big part of the "analog" sound people used to like. If Pro Tools removed the peak meter and replaced it with a VU meter I think people would make better sounding records.

I do understand the goal, but as a music maker I have been asking for a good goal to shoot for. I do aim for best sound, but knowing an average or decent level to shoot for does help.
Old 21st October 2013
  #79
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trakworx View Post
I have a related concern; It is my understanding that loudness normalization will be based on a song's (or an album's) average LUFS level for the entire piece. So a piece with long soft passages and short loud passages would start from a lower average LUFS level than one with mostly loud passages. Wouldn't this cause the piece with long soft passages to be raised more (or lowered less) than the piece with long loud passages, so the loud passages of the 2 works would not be properly level matched? Doesn't it make more sense to base the gain change on the LUFS levels of just the loud passages of each work?

Put differently: There are songs that are just acoustic guitar and vocal for 3 minutes, then turn to full band rock for the last 1 minute. How is a song like that supposed to be loudness-matched with a song that is full band rock from start to finish if they base the gain change on average LUFS for the whole song?
I have to believe these things will be measured and split for processing.

But, yeah, chances are if you created that song, results from that processing may not align with intended results. we're talking about dynamics that have been fussed over every step of the way, to now be run thru some algo that will determine what IT thinks your dynamic range should be.

I am not sure about this stuff.

I think I would prefer to not have anyone touch any of my ****, I will decide if I want to crush it or not. If you like it, you buy it, if you don't move on. As an artist, Once I frame my work, you either look or close your eyes. NO one gets to change my art.
Old 21st October 2013
  #80
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smoke View Post
I think I would prefer to not have anyone touch any of my ****, I will decide if I want to crush it or not. If you like it, you buy it, if you don't move on. As an artist, Once I frame my work, you either look or close your eyes. NO one gets to change my art.
That's exactly how this works. You can crush it to -3 and that's perfectly OK. Another artist can keep it at -15 and that's OK too. With this system the consumer can listen to both side by side. Everyone wins.
Old 21st October 2013
  #81
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In Bob's Press release it says:
Quote:
iTunes radio will not just ‘turn down the volume,’ but may peak-limit the important transient peaks of the material
I find it strange that there is peak-limiting involved.
Old 21st October 2013
  #82
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Greg Reierson View Post
That's exactly how this works. You can crush it to -3 and that's perfectly OK. Another artist can keep it at -15 and that's OK too. With this system the consumer can listen to both side by side. Everyone wins.
Oh, so it is pure level attenuation based off of an RMS/peak formulation.

No compression.

So them what DOES happen to the above scenario where he/she had a delicate quiet intro that led to full blown top of the scale loudness?
Old 21st October 2013
  #83
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Waltz Mastering View Post
In Bob's Press release it says:
I find it strange that there is peak-limiting involved.
It makes sense to me that if a track peaks at, say, -0.5dbfs but it's LUFS is -20, then it's level would be increased by 4LUFS, which would necessitate peak limiting to avoid clipping during the peaks. But I'm not sure I like that.
Old 21st October 2013
  #84
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trakworx View Post
It makes sense to me that if a track peaks at, say, -0.5dbfs but it's LUFS is -20, then it's level would be increased by 4LUFS, which would necessitate peak limiting to avoid clipping during the peaks. But I'm not sure I like that.
That was my inital thought as well, but then it goes on to say:

Quote:
iTunes radio will not just ‘turn down the volume,’ but may peak-limit the important transient peaks of the material and make the song sound ‘smaller’ and less clear than its competition.”
I thought it was purely and only non-compressed level attenuation involved.
Being that there is additional peak-limiting happening on who knows what tracks. I no likey, ..but then again it's like most radio that messes with the sound. .. so, nothing new.
Old 21st October 2013
  #85
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Greg Reierson View Post
That's exactly how this works. You can crush it to -3 and that's perfectly OK. Another artist can keep it at -15 and that's OK too. With this system the consumer can listen to both side by side. Everyone wins.
Sure, much of the time this will work fine, but what about the song with a lot of soft segments vs the song with no soft segments? How can those 2 be loudness-matched based off average LUFS measurement? "Stairway to Heaven" and "Rock and Roll" would not go together well (the end of Stairway would end up louder than the whole of Rock and Roll). Or even if it's measured by album, Led Zep 4 won't match loudness with Metallica's Death Magnetic if average LUFS is used for the calculations. Death Magnetic would play back quieter, and LZ 4 might get peak limited. I don't see how you can not base it off just the loud parts for it to work well. But that's what I read they are doing - using average LUFS.
Old 21st October 2013
  #86
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smoke View Post
So them what DOES happen to the above scenario where he/she had a delicate quiet intro that led to full blown top of the scale loudness?
The system is pretty clever. It measures a song with respect for loud and quite sections and makes an assumption that the loud parts are on par with the loud parts of other songs. The math is miles over my head but they did consider that exact situation. Certainly no algorithm can match what a human would do but it's really damn close. OTOH, and as mentioned in other threads, there are many songs that are too dynamic for anyone to successfully match - even by ear - and that's just the nature of the music.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Trakworx View Post
It makes sense to me that if a track peaks at, say, -0.5dbfs but it's LUFS is -20, then it's level would be increased by 4LUFS, which would necessitate peak limiting to avoid clipping during the peaks. But I'm not sure I like that.
I asked Thomas Lund about this at the 2010 AES. Classical is really the hard part - and one of the reasons we have two different targets (-16.5 for iTunes and -23 for the EBU). iTunes assumes the vast majority of listeners are listening to non-classical and -16.5 works pretty well. But put a very dynamic classical piece in and you may get clipping on ƒƒƒ sections. Drop the target down to -23 and the chances of running out of headroom are much less, but many players would not have sufficient gain on the output for normal listening levels. We have gotten our selves into quite a mess and digging back out has its challenges.
Old 21st October 2013
  #87
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Waltz Mastering View Post
I thought it was purely and only non-compressed level attenuation involved.
Being that there is additional peak-limiting happening on who knows what tracks. I no likey, ..but then again it's like most radio that messes with the sound. .. so, nothing new.
Yeah, that makes no sense at all. The only scenario I can see peak limiting kicking in would be when the algo raises the gain of a track, so it would be the more dynamic music that would end up getting peak limited
Old 21st October 2013
  #88
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Waltz Mastering View Post


I thought it was purely and only non-compressed level attenuation involved.
Being that there is additional peak-limiting happening on who knows what tracks. I no likey, ..but then again it's like most radio that messes with the sound. .. so, nothing new.
Nothing new, but I've accepted that with radio by now. It's staticky, it's compressed, I don't get to choose a playlist, I have commercials, I get that I'm already being pwned there.

At least its not a standard and I can compare which stations have the sharpest knives.
Old 21st October 2013
  #89
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Greg Reierson View Post
The system is pretty clever. It measures a song with respect for loud and quite sections and makes an assumption that the loud parts are on par with the loud parts of other songs.
I hope that is true. But I wonder why I keep reading that average LUFS is being used?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Greg Reierson View Post
We have gotten our selves into quite a mess and digging back out has its challenges.
You can say that again...
Old 21st October 2013
  #90
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trakworx View Post
I hope that is true. But I wonder why I keep reading that average LUFS is being used?



You can say that again...
I don't know about the iTunes stuff, but in EBU R128, there are some ways to address this problem. F.e. there is a 10LU relative gate that takes momentary readings more than 10LU lower than the current integrated reading out of the measurement for the integrated level.
Then there are slowly short-term (3s integration) and/or momentary (400ms integration) restrictions being implemented.

Of course this is for broadcast.
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