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bob ludwig and loudness
Old 3rd February 2009 | Show parent
Here for the gear
🎧 15 years
Originally Posted by kjg ➡️
Sorry Bob, can't really help you with that. I generally work for people that are more "underground"/realistic (i.e. don't care much about radio/tv broadcast as long as their disc/mp3 sounds great).

Like I said though, if loudness is pushed too much, it will come out worse and quieter when played back through additional radio/tv multiband compression. Being in the ballpark (for the style) but slightly quieter seems to be the safest (and relatively best sounding) way to go. You have to educate your clients in that regard. That "radio" sound will come after radio processing, when it is actually being broadcast. If you already make the master sound like that before broadcast, it'll probably sound wimpy on radio.

I am sure there are people here with more experience it dealing with clients aiming for the mainstream though, and I'd be interested to hear their thoughts on this subject also.

Thanks for your input kjg. i think I'll spin this out into a new thread.... kinda buried here. Should'a thought of that to begin with!

Old 3rd February 2009 | Show parent
Lives for gear
wado1942's Avatar
🎧 10 years
Bob, that's a bit of a loaded question. On air, it makes no difference because pretty much all radio stations these days use processors that in several stages (a.) make sure everything is the same volume and (b.) everything is as loud as humanly possible without overloading the transmitter's modulator. So in that case, a song that's already super-loud compared to others will be no louder when broadcast but the distortion added in the mastering stage will be compounded with the radio's processors making it more distorted. By pure listening environment from the home listener, a loud CD is WORSE.

Now, when it comes to chosing what song gets played on the radio, that's much more difficult to answer. My Dad was friends with a program director at a radio station and was paying him a visit at work. The director would pop on an album without ever turning on the monitors and stare at the console for about a minute, then pop on a new album and kept doing that throughout the visit. Finally, my Dad asked what he was doing. He replied "screening songs to be played on the radio." He never listened to ANYTHING. He just read the billboard ratings and let the BU meters tell him whether or not it should be played. Now, this is not common....most program directors don't even look at the VU meters, most of them just read the billboard charts and use that as the sole basis of their decision. Some of them don't even read charts. A lot of them are now just downloading play lists from the radio station's corporate website and just interject the local commercials.

I have 1 radio station in town that dares to play ANYTHING AT ALL that isn't a chart topper. They are much more dynamic and clean than the other radio stations, though the quality of their MP3s (radio stations don't use CDs in my town anymore) aren't very good.
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