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sausagemaker

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May 18 15 9:04 AM

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Hi,

Do you have target integrated LUFS for music CD's?

I'm sure there are not any "standard loudness" guidelines for music CD's like there is for broadcast - Should there be?

What would your recommendations be?

Thanks,
Steve






 
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waltzmastering

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Posts: 1,665 Member Since:02/02/2011

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May 18 15 1:25 PM

I've never paid attention to any numerical measurement or reading when judging loudness/level. I've got a pair of Dorrough meters but don't put to much stock in them as things can tend to be all over the place, depending on density, genre, and taste.. I've got a couple spots marked on the volume knob to help as a rough gauge and judge repeatability/continuity,.. but really try to get a read on my clients wishes for anything that borders on exceptionally loud or conservative.

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chrisj

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May 19 15 5:58 AM

Yes, because I'm targeting YouTube. I ignored it until they put into place their system for turning down loud content, and picked -13dbFS for their 'standard'. That's not particularly good by audiophile standards but it's achievable, car-friendly, and you can get some crest factor out of it while it still sounds pretty 'fullbodied'.

I revised 'Righteous' to help me target this. I hope there's some wiggle room in the spec and they don't just straight up process everything to be EXACTLY -13 dbFS because it'd be nice to be able to put out stuff that's the right density and have it play back unaltered… but the farther you depart from that, the more they'll change your output. If you're hotter, you'll get turned down (arguably less damaging!) and if you're under their loudness window you get crappy limiting. At least I'm given to understand Spotify is doing this and I've seen reports that YouTube is also doing it.

Can't speak for Spotify but there are indeed loudness targets and YouTube's was -13 dbFS last I looked. Know your playback environment. :/

It is 'stupid loud' mastering that created this situation, but it ended up affecting everybody 'cos the techies have a vested interest in homogenized output levels. Gotta enable seamless autoplay for advertising purposes. Can't have anything breaking the flow, now can we?

Chris Johnson, airwindows.com

Last Edited By: chrisj May 19 15 6:01 AM. Edited 1 time.

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sausagemaker

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May 19 15 7:58 AM

When I'm listening and levels sound good to me - I find my entire CD project usually between -9 LUFS and -10 LUFS end-to-end (I'm using insight when bouncing the project)
This seems to put me in the ballpark when I drop my finals in iTunes and compare to other finished tunes (obviously some are louder and some quieter)

Would it make sense in the "loudness wars" that music production also have some sort of a loudness standard like broadcast production?

Does iTunes have an "Integrated LUFS loudness' that they have as a "deliverable" that "sound check" targets so it's not having to apply a lot of leveling correction?

-Steve

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todd loomis

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May 19 15 8:58 AM

 It seems like a step in the right direction - this lufs normalization.  Are you sure YouTube is at -13?   I haven't tested it yet, but if Itunes is at -16, that's a pretty big difference.   I'm not sure about Spotify or the many others.

Loudest control = good

Too many different standards = bad
 

Last Edited By: todd loomis May 19 15 9:36 AM. Edited 1 time.

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chrisj

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May 19 15 11:41 AM

I stand corrected, -13 LUFS. Which, turns out, is akin to RMS only under controlled circumstances (the ballistics are more complicated than that).

Yes it is a big difference, but the trouble with YouTube is that they aren't telling people about this and are not answerable to anybody. It's the same fellow, Ian Shepard, who's studied it, and here's his information: http://productionadvice.co.uk/youtube-loudness/ but bear in mind that YouTube could change their mind at any point.

I think they may have picked -13 LUFS because it's not unlike the loudness profile of fullscale brown noise (if I remember correctly? I did some experimenting) and so it mimics the loudest possible setting you can get for a sound profile that contains deep bass and some degree of dynamics. But I don't know: nobody does. Google won't tell you why they decide what they decide.

Chris Johnson, airwindows.com

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sausagemaker

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May 20 15 8:41 AM

todd loomis wrote:
 It seems like a step in the right direction - this lufs normalization.  Are you sure YouTube is at -13?   I haven't tested it yet, but if Itunes is at -16, that's a pretty big difference.   I'm not sure about Spotify or the many others.

Loudest control = good

Too many different standards = bad


 


Thanks for video link Terry... It seems Ian shoots for -11 to -12 LUFS...

It's also interesting that Ian notes that Slate and Waves RMS metering is not to the AES standard...

@Todd - Where did you find out iTunes is at -16 LUFS?


Thanks...
 

Last Edited By: sausagemaker May 20 15 8:43 AM. Edited 1 time.

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todd loomis

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May 20 15 11:47 PM

 I've seen iTunes at -16 lufs in various discussions on the Internet (but I haven't actually tested the iTunes level yet myself). Here is one of the the threads: http://prorecordingworkshop.lefora.com/topic/19403530/iTunes-Radio-and-Recent-Sound-Check-Version-Discussion

   I did do some checking on YouTube tonight, and sure enough, YouTube is at -13 lufs.  -13 lufs is similar to a lot of masters when CDs first came out...  The late 80s and early 90s.  -16 lufs leaves quite a bit more headroom for peaks obviously...

   Maybe all of this could really bring a true end to the loudness war...  for real...  although obviously there are still a lot of playback devices that may or may not use these kinds of volume controls.

Last Edited By: todd loomis May 20 15 11:59 PM. Edited 1 time.

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