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Is LUFS really better than RMS to measure loudness?
Old 2nd July 2022
  #91
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Imagine what mastering would be like if there were no such thing as loudness meters of any kind. Everyone using their ears instead of their eyes all the time. An unattainable audio utopia. Maybe I'll disable all my meters for a week and see what happens...
Old 2nd July 2022
  #92
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I actually think most experienced mastering folks would just carry on getting the job done. The forums and content creators would be a bit quieter though.
Old 3rd July 2022 | Show parent
  #93
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Jerry Tubb's Avatar
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trakworx ➡️
Imagine what mastering would be like if there were no such thing as loudness meters of any kind. Everyone using their ears instead of their eyes all the time. An unattainable audio utopia. Maybe I'll disable all my meters for a week and see what happens...
Quote:
Originally Posted by SmoothTone ➡️
I actually think most experienced mastering folks would just carry on getting the job done. The forums and content creators would be a bit quieter though.
Agreed & QFT.

I never look at the LUFS meter, but rather the Peak & RMS meters.

I notice that if i just use my ears, going for what sounds best, everything is just peachy,

albeit a dB or two quieter than what the client would ultimately like on the final master.

so i'll re-render from WaveLab with a touch more gain on the Limiter in the Master Section.

or Occasionally reprint the master from my notes, with more optimum gain settings.

Cheers, JT

Last edited by Jerry Tubb; 4th July 2022 at 04:33 PM.. Reason: editing is fun!
Old 3rd July 2022 | Show parent
  #94
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jerry Tubb ➡️
I notice that if i just use my ears, going for what sounds best, everything is just peachy,

albeit a dB or two quieter than what the client would ultimately like on the final master.
Often I set loudness without looking at the meters, then check the measurements after. TBH, I usually end up a dB or so louder than if I watch the meters while working. My eyes seem to prefer more restraint than my ears do in many cases. I think this could mean my standard monitor controller setting might be a little too low, but I keep forgetting to experiment with that when I'm at work. Habits kick in. I'll make a note to try it today.
Old 3rd July 2022 | Show parent
  #95
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SmoothTone ➡️
I actually think most experienced mastering folks would just carry on getting the job done. The forums and content creators would be a bit quieter though.
Yes, for most experienced MEs not much would change with no meters. It's the less experienced ones that feel the need for loudness targets who would benefit greatly I think.
Old 4th July 2022 | Show parent
  #96
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Ben F's Avatar
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trakworx ➡️
Yes, for most experienced MEs not much would change with no meters. It's the less experienced ones that feel the need for loudness targets who would benefit greatly I think.
I very much rely on RMS/LUFS metering for master delivery confidence. And yes LUFS is more accurate than RMS metering in terms of percived programme loundess. That's why it was implemented in the EBU/ITR standards.
Old 4th July 2022 | Show parent
  #97
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i've seen a very experienced broadcasting tech hitting the network's lufs target down to a fraction of a db...

...before even checking the meters or adjusting the processing - and this in a truck that was relatively new at that time?!

___


it remains a mystery to me how one could come that close and i gladly admit that i can get fooled (in terms of lufs but also leq when mixing live) more easily...

...which is why i'm having meters and tools in place to stay within levels which not only feel and hear healthy but which measure healthy!
Old 4th July 2022 | Show parent
  #98
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Jerry Tubb's Avatar
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trakworx ➡️
Often I set loudness without looking at the meters, then check the measurements after. TBH, I usually end up a dB or so louder than if I watch the meters while working. My eyes seem to prefer more restraint than my ears do in many cases. I think this could mean my standard monitor controller setting might be a little too low, but I keep forgetting to experiment with that when I'm at work. Habits kick in. I'll make a note to try it today.
Funny, I keep my monitor controller pretty low as well, I'm down in the 70s these days... probably 72-76dB from the Big Duns & McIntosh.

With the Audeze HP's, i leave the level control on the Prism DAC set the same, at a nice full sounding volume, 'flat' on the FM curve, but never too much.

Preserving my highs for years to come LoL

cheers, jt

i usually just pick the loudest chorus on the tune i'm mastering,
& check it's RMS level, pre & post, Works!
Old 4th July 2022 | Show parent
  #99
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ben F ➡️
I very much rely on RMS/LUFS metering for master delivery confidence.
Confidence? In what sense?
Old 5th July 2022 | Show parent
  #100
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trakworx ➡️
Confidence? In what sense?
An objective measurement.
Old 5th July 2022 | Show parent
  #101
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🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Trakworx ➡️
Yes, for most experienced MEs not much would change with no meters. It's the less experienced ones that feel the need for loudness targets who would benefit greatly I think.
I don't count as experienced compared to a lot of people here, but...yeah...

I have a TC Clarity M. I use its dBTP meter to make sure I'm not going crazy, and I enjoy glancing at its radar for instant readings and short term history. I do set it's "target", but that's just meter scaling, not an actual target. And I don't really ever look at integrated loudness unless notes come back that they want it louder.

I'm not convinced that anything would be all that different without it.
Old 5th July 2022 | Show parent
  #102
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ben F ➡️
An objective measurement.
Unless the client requires a specific LUFS or RMS, what's the benefit of the objective measurement?

'Not being argumentative. Genuine question.
Old 5th July 2022 | Show parent
  #103
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trakworx ➡️
Unless the client requires a specific LUFS or RMS, what's the benefit of the objective measurement?

'Not being argumentative. Genuine question.
all customers want is their master to 'sound good' and to be 'competitive'; but they are technically speaking more or less ignorant so they don't know what they could or should ask for when sending their master somewhere - of course they are then disappointed to find out that these files don't meet the technical requirements say of a broadcaster or get ridiculed in the local club...

...so why not provide two or three versions, taking into account different scenarios?
Old 5th July 2022 | Show parent
  #104
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deedeeyeah ➡️
...so why not provide two or three versions, taking into account different scenarios?
The honest answer is it confuses people. I offer a standard 44k16 master at genre loudness as well as an HD version for streamers who can deal with it and even that is too much for a lot of people. They just want a master that (for better or worse) sounds like everyone else.
Old 5th July 2022 | Show parent
  #105
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Yeah, multiple versions = multiple mistakes. Even when everything is clearly marked and explained. Even with professional management and record labels, let alone indie artists.

AEs forget that most people know nothing about digital audio. And apparently it's human nature to not read the instructions.

I keep it as simple as possible, with an offer to provide anything they want free of charge for the ones who know what they're doing.
Old 5th July 2022 | Show parent
  #106
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Greg Reierson ➡️
The honest answer is it confuses people. I offer a standard 44k16 master at genre loudness as well as an HD version for streamers who can deal with it and even that is too much for a lot of people. They just want a master that (for better or worse) sounds like everyone else.
maybe it confuses some of those clients with whom one does not have much of communication - with regular clients, i'm not having this issue though; rather, they seem to be glad to be given additional information (and files).


¨
p.s. i benefit from this practice too: it has saved me from getting further calls in the middle of the night... ;-)
Old 6th July 2022 | Show parent
  #107
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Ben F's Avatar
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trakworx ➡️
Unless the client requires a specific LUFS or RMS, what's the benefit of the objective measurement?

'Not being argumentative. Genuine question.
The benefit is consistency between masters. That way if I do several singes for an artist I can use them in an EP knowing that they are around the same target. Also, I have a certain loudess that I like to hit so it sounds good on most platforms, on radio and played live - obviously mix dependant.
Old 6th July 2022 | Show parent
  #108
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ben F ➡️
The benefit is consistency between masters. That way if I do several singes for an artist I can use them in an EP knowing that they are around the same target. Also, I have a certain loudess that I like to hit so it sounds good on most platforms, on radio and played live - obviously mix dependant.
In my experience, one can train to do so by getting used to 1-2 fixed monitoring levels. Drawing simple markers on the main monitoring gain control, and never change them.

I find this much easer than having to look at a screen. Also forces me to keep dynamics/timbre consistent.

Automated loudness algorithms are most important for broadcasters and streamers, whenever there's no DJ around. These meters are largely irrelevant in music production.
Old 6th July 2022 | Show parent
  #109
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ben F ➡️
The benefit is consistency between masters. That way if I do several singes for an artist I can use them in an EP knowing that they are around the same target.
I get that. I prefer to use the same mastering session for an artist over time, so I have the previous masters on screen while I'm doing the next one and can compare them by ear instead of by meters. That way they can fit with each other in more ways than just measured loudness - the frequency response and everything else can be included, as much as is appropriate.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ben F ➡️
Also, I have a certain loudess that I like to hit so it sounds good on most platforms, on radio and played live - obviously mix dependant.
That made me check some of your work on iTunes and it looks like your 'certain loudness' is very close to where I often find the sweet spot as well. Nice to see that!
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