Quantcast
Average amount of gain reduction in today mastering ? - Gearspace.com
The No.1 Website for Pro Audio
Average amount of gain reduction in today mastering ?
Old 25th January 2009
  #1
Here for the gear
 
🎧 10 years
Average amount of gain reduction in today mastering ?

I have few questions to you: which are verry important for me in this world of loudness war

01. What amount of gain reduction are you using during compressing ? ( in db )

02. What is average amount of treshold which you are using ?

03. What amount of gain reduction are you using with limiter ? ( in db )

04. What is average RMS of your mastered tracks ?

I know that this may be verry different in every mastering studio, in every music style, every record, but what are minimum amounts, and what are maximum amounts for you ? When song starting to sound overcompressed, distorted etc ... ??? and what is minimum of gain reduction if you want as song have modern standard sound ?

Today it is problematic to only use your ears, because if you will do 100% clean transparent record everybody will tell it sounding soft, not rich, everybody wants loud records.

Thanx for your opinions and answers
Old 25th January 2009
  #2
jdg
Lives for gear
 
jdg's Avatar
 
Verified Member
24 Reviews written
🎧 15 years
1. none to a few dB. who knows tho, im not trusting any meters. just not a lot.
2. depends entirely on input level.
3. none to a few dB.
4. -15 to -10. tops.
Old 25th January 2009
  #3
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by elchupacabra ➑️
I have few questions to you: which are verry important for me in this world of loudness war

01. What amount of gain reduction are you using during compressing ? ( in db )

02. What is average amount of treshold which you are using ?

03. What amount of gain reduction are you using with limiter ? ( in db )

04. What is average RMS of your mastered tracks ?

I know that this may be verry different in every mastering studio, in every music style, every record, but what are minimum amounts, and what are maximum amounts for you ? When song starting to sound overcompressed, distorted etc ... ??? and what is minimum of gain reduction if you want as song have modern standard sound ?
Is mastering your hobby or your profession?
Quote:
Today it is problematic to only use your ears, because if you will do 100% clean transparent record everybody will tell it sounding soft, not rich, everybody wants loud records.
What is loud? And in your country amplifiers and radios have no volume control?

Actually true story I was told: in Moscow in the times of the Soviet Union there were radios in many hotel rooms that had no volume control and no power switch, you had to listen what they wanted you to listen to.

Unfortunately the free world has now adapted a somewhat similar standard voluntarily.
Old 25th January 2009
  #4
Mastering
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by elchupacabra ➑️
I have few questions to you: which are verry important for me in this world of loudness war

01. What amount of gain reduction are you using during compressing ? ( in db )
How would knowing this fact help you in this "world of loudness war"? Every compressor is different, every piece of music is different, every gain reduction meter is different, and choice of compressor and ratio and listening is far more important than how much GR. In many cases I may use several compressors in series, each one with a barely noticeable amount of GR on its meters... When using a single, wideband, downward compressor I rarely see the GR move more than a dB, but I don't see how that helps the goals of your question.

Quote:

02. What is average amount of treshold which you are using ?
I think you are fishing, because threshold is adjusted to get the sound depending on the level of the source so it's impossible to give a meaningful answer.

"Enough threshold to get the action and sound that's desired..."

Quote:

03. What amount of gain reduction are you using with limiter ? ( in db )
Rarely more than a dB or 2.

Quote:

04. What is average RMS of your mastered tracks ?

For rock and roll? Ideally, no higher than before the sound starts to go downhill. These days that's 3 dB lower than many clients think are "competitive" :-(. I sometimes can get away with a "hot K-14"... if this helps you.

Around here the client drives the choice, but it's possible to give hints and to get hints that can help them to think about their requests. For example, when I ask a client what "kind" of a master he is looking for I give him some examples of how he might reply:

For example, "We're looking for something that's reasonably competitive but not smashed". Or "We don't need a loud master, please make it as loud as you can but without hurting the sound or the dynamics". Or even "We need this master to be competitive in level with (name of other group) and other current pop CDs in this genre. We don't care that this will make a master that sounds worse than the mix, even distorted, small and harsh---because we want it to be 'loud and competitive'."

And there are some good signs, recently a client wrote:

The singer of the band asked me one more time about the level: he's fearing
about commercial/radio issues, but for the moment I've managed to keep him
confident. I think I will have to struggle with the staff (manager,etc...)
but I'm sure they will thank me one day (hope this will not wait until I
can't remember I once made records...).


BK
Old 25th January 2009 | Show parent
  #5
Here for the gear
 
🎧 10 years
dear jdg: what is few db to you ?

1db - 3 db max ?


because lot of modern records looks like this, and lot of amateurs want sound as this official records!



If you give them less louder mastered record they could tell you your mastering is not as good as mastering of official comercial top records

But for this kind of mastering you need 6-8 db of gain reduction from compressor and at least 3-5 db of gain reduction from limiter, crazy loudness war,

Isnt it much ? Can music sound transparent and musicall with this levels ? Witouth distortion ?

Yes of coures i prefer opened, transparent mastering but dont you have problems with clients for whoes LOUDER IS BETTER ??
Old 25th January 2009 | Show parent
  #6
Gear Nut
 
peter07734's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
for me i can get 1/2 to 1dB going to tape, maybe couple of dB's in the analogue transfer chain, maybe a couple more in the limiter, if i'm really pushed to do so 3 to 4 dB's in the limiter, but the mix has to be right for that other wise SNR etc etc transients just crap out..

what i'm saying is it's a combination of processes rather just one..

that always ends up being loud enough for me..

my 2c

Pete
Old 25th January 2009 | Show parent
  #7
Gear Guru
 
lucey's Avatar
 
Verified Member
1 Review written
🎧 15 years
How much compression? ... as little as possible.

How much limiting? ... as much as is needed.
Old 25th January 2009 | Show parent
  #8
Lives for gear
 
Robert Randolph's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by lucey ➑️
How much compression? ... as little as possible.

How much limiting? ... as much as is needed.
Does anyone else find this quite funny?
Old 25th January 2009 | Show parent
  #9
Lives for gear
 
Virtalahde's Avatar
 
Verified Member
13 Reviews written
🎧 15 years
I usually start off in MS-Paint, in where I paint a solid green block. Then I draw in a few think, black, vertical lines in where there's a fill-in or where the band has nothing to say. I then print this pretty picture and hang it on the wall. Then I patch-in my clipping plugin and try to match the picture.
Old 25th January 2009 | Show parent
  #10
Lives for gear
 
Waltz Mastering's Avatar
 
Verified Member
1 Review written
🎧 10 years
I would recommend to the OP, buy this book:
Mastering Audio : The Art and the Science ... Shed it for a bit...It's a good start. There aren't to many short cuts to mastering quality audio without spending a lot of time and some money. There aren't really any pre-set's available that you can just dial in.

TW
Old 25th January 2009 | Show parent
  #11
Lives for gear
 
macc's Avatar
 
Verified Member
3 Reviews written
🎧 10 years
It's funny that today I've had to apply techniques I mainly use in absolutely obscenely loud (RMS meter sits at -5 for most of the tune) drum n bass to something that is completely and very much NOT dnb, with the same result (RMS meter sits at -5 for most of the tune).

That picture of the master above looks like a piece of classical music compared to the wav I'm recording as I type!

Some people care much less about distortion than they do volume. Just the way it is I suppose. Give em what they want etc.
Old 25th January 2009 | Show parent
  #12
kjg
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Robert Randolph ➑️
Does anyone else find this quite funny?
no. i find it the best, most concise post of the thread.
Old 26th January 2009 | Show parent
  #13
Gear Nut
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by elchupacabra ➑️
dear jdg: what is few db to you ?

1db - 3 db max ?


because lot of modern records looks like this, and lot of amateurs want sound as this official records!



If you give them less louder mastered record they could tell you your mastering is not as good as mastering of official comercial top records

But for this kind of mastering you need 6-8 db of gain reduction from compressor and at least 3-5 db of gain reduction from limiter, crazy loudness war,

Isnt it much ? Can music sound transparent and musicall with this levels ? Witouth distortion ?

Yes of coures i prefer opened, transparent mastering but dont you have problems with clients for whoes LOUDER IS BETTER ??
No. I recommend that we don't smash it...but if they want loud then I'll do it and let them hear the damage. Good mixes that are mixed for that type of volume can usually take the push...Welcome to the brick factory. But I don't need 6-8 db gr compression and 3-5 db limiting...and I'm usually using more that one comp and 1 limiter for the really loud ones.
Old 26th January 2009 | Show parent
  #14
Lives for gear
 
macc's Avatar
 
Verified Member
3 Reviews written
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pete Lyman ➑️
Welcome to the brick factory.
heh
Old 26th January 2009 | Show parent
  #15
Lives for gear
 
MASSIVE Master's Avatar
 
Verified Member
🎧 15 years
1) Whatever is needed by each individual mix.

2) Whatever is required by each individual mix.

3) Whatever seems necessary via each individual mix.

4) Whatever seems to best serve each individual mix.
Old 26th January 2009
  #16
Lives for gear
 
Adam Dempsey's Avatar
 
Verified Member
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by elchupacabra ➑️
everybody wants loud records.
That's simply not true. As evidenced by yet another client here, just today.
(edit: and this is a pop/rock album).

Last edited by Adam Dempsey; 26th January 2009 at 02:02 PM.. Reason: addition
Old 26th January 2009
  #17
kjg
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by elchupacabra ➑️
Today it is problematic to only use your ears, because if you will do 100% clean transparent record everybody will tell it sounding soft, not rich, everybody wants loud records.

Thanx for your opinions and answers
you don't mean everybody in music do you? you mean everybody in your scene/style/market segment.

i would hesitate to use limiters on baroque recorder ensemble recordings for example and i'm pretty sure the artistic director would not request it either. most jazz doesn't see much loudness processing. avant-garde electronic music? -6 dB RMS is not requested at mastering. taming Mahler's dynamics with your api2500? i don't think so.

there are may different musics.
I'm sure most rock bands want it loud, and while that might be a relatively big percentage of the market, it is a small percentage of "everybody" in music.

regards,
kjg
Old 26th January 2009
  #18
Lives for gear
 
MASSIVE Master's Avatar
 
Verified Member
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by elchupacabra ➑️
Today it is problematic to only use your ears, because if you will do 100% clean transparent record everybody will tell it sounding soft, not rich, everybody wants loud records.
No, everybody wants to be competitive -- There's a big difference.

No one I know actually prefers "smushed" over dynamic.

If mixes sound "soft" and "not rich" (when they shouldn't) then they probably weren't mixed well.
Old 26th January 2009 | Show parent
  #19
Lives for gear
 
Kadden Heart's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Defining someones personal threshold for either "little" "moderate" or "a lot" is really important in these questions.
What does Bob Katz personally think would be "only a little bit" of compression, etc...

But rather than the vague "a few DB" answer maybe just say your opinion... ".03DB of gain reduction seems pretty small to me" or
"2DB gain reduction seems perfectly normal,.."
"2.5db seems to be getting a little much"
Etc,...

Though i'm not a ME, it's nice to see what people would consider small amounts or larger amounts.
Old 26th January 2009 | Show parent
  #20
Lives for gear
 
MASSIVE Master's Avatar
 
Verified Member
🎧 15 years
But those amounts are dependent on the program material. With some material, 1dB of compression or limiting is a lot. With others, 3dB is pretty tame.
Old 26th January 2009 | Show parent
  #21
Lives for gear
 
greggybud's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Receiving a quality pre-master is important.

In most cases, majority of loudness increase is achieved before the limiting stage.

Sorry, but I don't do numbers other than sometimes run an analysis of a commercial mix and wonder how it could have sounded 20 years ago.
Old 26th January 2009 | Show parent
  #22
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
For anyone willing to think a little outside of the box this thread is funny.
Starting with the fact, that not one single ME in the world has any control over the "loudness" of their work, still they talk about it all the time.
The only equivalent parameter a ME can control is level.
You guys had a point if volume controls were illegal but they are thankfully not.

I just start to imagine the same idiocy would start in the picture world. All the pictures becoming brighter until most of them are almost white, because everyone wants to be "competitive".

Honestly guys, how more idiotic can it get?
Old 26th January 2009
  #23
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by elchupacabra ➑️
01. What amount of gain reduction are you using during compressing ? ( in db )

02. What is average amount of treshold which you are using ?

03. What amount of gain reduction are you using with limiter ? ( in db )

04. What is average RMS of your mastered tracks ?
This differs a lot per song, but I'll try to answer them:

1. Max 3 db
2. Depends on input level
3. Max 3 db
4. Somewhere between -16 and -11.

I mix and master folk music every now and then and I really never use a limiter there, just some clipping.
Old 26th January 2009 | Show parent
  #24
kjg
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Drone ➑️
Well said. Alot of people making electronic music now can't get the punch from their own mixes
so they depend on the master to provide what they couldn't deliver.
It seems like some are treating this process as an effect rather then quality control.
Exactly. Many people are outputting tunes while they really don't have enough arranging and mixing skills. And then mastering should make it great... Sure.
Old 27th January 2009
  #25
Gear Maniac
 
🎧 10 years
my latest master was:

Compressor ratio 1.5:1
2-3 db of compression

2-3 DB of limiting ..(not constant limiting)...i'm very happy with the sound..modern country...my 2nd full length album, i recorded, mixed and mastered it....everybody is happy! I love studio work now more than playing gigs!
Old 27th January 2009 | Show parent
  #26
Lives for gear
 
Ben F's Avatar
 
Verified Member
1 Review written
🎧 15 years
Generally no more than 1/2dB of compression on most rock music, sometimes up to 1dB for hip hop and electronic music. More than that kills the transients of the kick/snare, and makes the verse louder than the chorus- the track should get bigger on the impact, not smaller. It's really mix dependent. Often I will use no compression, or send it to 1/2" tape for some saturation.

Limiting would be no more than 2dB max.

RMS level that I feel comfortable with is around -12dB RMS. Depends on the mix and the client. To get that it's mostly about gain structure, not so much compression and limiting.

Also, equalisation is by far the most important tool used in mastering.
Old 28th January 2009 | Show parent
  #27
Lives for gear
 
wado1942's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
01. What amount of gain reduction are you using during compressing ? ( in db )
Depends on the material, sometimes none, sometimes as much as around 3dB. Sometimes I EXPAND the signal, not compress.



Quote:
02. What is average amount of treshold which you are using ?
It's always set to -14dB, just kidding. Too many variables here.



Quote:
03. What amount of gain reduction are you using with limiter ? ( in db )
Sometimes none, sometimes 1dB all the way up to 6dB. Sometimes I use a soft clipper instead. Sometimes I use a soft clipper followed by a limiter.



Quote:
04. What is average RMS of your mastered tracks ?
Anywhere from -24dBfs up to -9dBfs. Depends on the style and the client. I'm talking for highpoints of program material here, if there's lots of breaks or ppp sections etc, that would make an average RMS level reference useless.



Quote:
I know that this may be verry different in every mastering studio, in every music style, every record, but what are minimum amounts, and what are maximum amounts for you ? When song starting to sound overcompressed, distorted etc ... ??? and what is minimum of gain reduction if you want as song have modern standard sound ?
I personally find if I'm using less than 1dB of anything, it's often best left out of the chain. Though it's common for me to make 1/2dB volume changes & such, I won't patch in an EQ just for a 1/2dB cut at 100Hz or whatever because it would likely degrade the signal more than it would benefit. I will say that when people want super-loud masters, I'm likely to use LESS compression because it often exaggerates transients while also making for a less dynamic sound.
Old 3rd February 2009 | Show parent
  #28
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
Indeed

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pete Lyman ➑️
No. I recommend that we don't smash it...but if they want loud then I'll do it and let them hear the damage. Good mixes that are mixed for that type of volume can usually take the push...Welcome to the brick factory. But I don't need 6-8 db gr compression and 3-5 db limiting...and I'm usually using more that one comp and 1 limiter for the really loud ones.
Definitely....Its all about 'distributing the load' as it were.
Old 23rd February 2009 | Show parent
  #29
Gear Nut
 
🎧 10 years
How much drinking do you need to get drunk? Your question has the same answer....
Old 23rd February 2009 | Show parent
  #30
Lives for gear
 
Waltz Mastering's Avatar
 
Verified Member
1 Review written
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by dimitvel ➑️
How much drinking do you need to get drunk? Your question has the same answer....
Was it Confucius or Gandhi who first said that? : )


TW
πŸ“ Reply

Similar Threads

Thread / Thread Starter Replies / Views Last Post
replies: 100 views: 45827
Avatar for nyandres
nyandres 29th May 2021
replies: 29126 views: 3107277
Avatar for Mattski
Mattski 6 hours ago
Post Reply

Welcome to the Gearspace Pro Audio Community!

Registration benefits include:
  • The ability to reply to and create new discussions
  • Access to members-only giveaways & competitions
  • Interact with VIP industry experts in our guest Q&As
  • Access to members-only sub forum discussions
  • Access to members-only Chat Room
  • Get INSTANT ACCESS to the world's best private pro audio Classifieds for only USD $20/year
  • Promote your eBay auctions and Reverb.com listings for free
  • Remove this message!
You need an account to post a reply. Create a username and password below and an account will be created and your post entered.


 
 
Slide to join now Processing…

Forum Jump
Forum Jump