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How loud is too loud?

 
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zuzz



Joined: 13 Jan 2012
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 13, 2012 2:18 am    Post subject: How loud is too loud? Reply with quote

Seems like everyone's masters are getting louder and louder.
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michelkeijzers
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 13, 2012 9:36 am    Post subject: Re: How loud is too loud? Reply with quote

zuzz wrote:
Seems like everyone's masters are getting louder and louder.


What I normally do is set my combinations (or set lists on the Kronos) default to 100 (iso 127) to have some headroom left. And set the programs inside a combi to 100 too (iso 127).

And a bit unrelated: however, when playing in a band I notice when the sound is loud, the one who cannot hear himself increases its volume instead of asking others to lower it.
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clipnotic
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Joined: 21 Jul 2011
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Location: Germany

PostPosted: Sat Jun 30, 2012 5:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

well, this modern way of sound damage is called "loudness war"

If you listen to modern dance music for example, and look to the wave form of that songs ... you often can see that there is only less dynamic there so it looks like a flat wave bar ... and it sounds hard and loud only.

The actually commercial industry do this because loud music seems to be "better". And of course they want their music working on bad mp3 players, Iphones, too.

I don't like that sound damage what they do especially if they do this with hardcore multiband compressing ...

My wife bought a CD for some weeks and yes this CD works fine on her mp3 player but on my good old oldschool hifi-system and my studio monitors it sounds bad and lifeless ... only hard and loud but not good!

I prefer to use my volume control! Smile

And if I create a song for a release, I only mix it as good as I can without any effects on the master track. And then I export and send the single tracks of that whole song to my mastering engineer. So if you do it like that you need dynamic and some free dB that the engineer can work with your material! And my only mix versions are good for webside presentation, too ... so that illegal download freaks will only get my mix versions Wink
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Red Mastering Studio



Joined: 07 Aug 2012
Posts: 2
Location: London

PostPosted: Tue Aug 07, 2012 10:12 pm    Post subject: Re: How loud is too loud? Reply with quote

zuzz wrote:
Seems like everyone's masters are getting louder and louder.

I'd recommend to buy and read Bob Katz's book - audio mastering
it's great book to have for anyone interested in audio/sound engineering,
not just mastering engineer,
there's very interesting explanation and definition what is loudness, volume, gain, etc - really eyes opener
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SASMastering
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Joined: 10 Sep 2012
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Location: London UK

PostPosted: Mon Sep 10, 2012 5:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Most tracks will reach a trade off volume where the advantages of extra perceived level are balanced against the negative side effects such as distortion, loss of punch, loss of detail, blurred mid range etc. there is a compromise to be drawn and an experienced mastering engineer will be able to hear exactly when this is optimized on a mix by mix/ project by project basis.

cheers
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jeremykeys
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Joined: 19 Jun 2011
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Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada

PostPosted: Wed Jul 23, 2014 5:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't think it's so much a case of everything getting louder but more a case of less dynamic range throuhgout the song. The loud parts are as loud as technology will let them be but the quiet parts are also loud.

I also have a very good high end stereo and I've found that a lot of "modern" cd's area also lifeless.I also find it kid of depends on the type of music being played too. Music like, for example, Tom Petty's newest album still has a good palance between loud and soft, but a lot of new pop doesn't seem to have as much difference in it.

I think MP3's don't have much dynamic range because people listening with earbuds would probably blow their ears off if they had the quiet spots up to a comfortable level when the loud par6ts come in.
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SanderXpander
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 23, 2014 9:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hopefully, with the new R128 spec, we are on the way back.
That said, the master bus pumping on dance tracks can be considered an effect as much as "mastering" so I doubt that'll go away.

I don't think there is any inherent lack of dynamics in MP3s, or at least, there isn't meant to be, but once you're going for MP3 you already gave up the quest for audio fidelity so it's kind of a moot point I'm trying to make Smile
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jeremykeys
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 24, 2014 11:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The thing with MP3's is, I don't know anybody with a high end stereo using an MP3 player connected to it. If there is, I seriously doubt they're listening to Beethoven or jazz.
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jeremykeys
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 20, 2015 1:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I just thought I'd bump back in here.
I've been doing a fair bit of recording lately and the thing I've been trying to get, is changes in the volumes on different parts of the song.
It makes it difficult to get an overall loud song, but I really think it sounds better than just a "loud" song with no dynamics. Ok, so it won't make it as a radio hit, but I think that sometimes we as artists should creat what is true to our hearts as opposed to something that is loud just for the sake of being loud.
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If music is the food of love, play on and play loud!
Gear: Kronos 73, Triton Pro-X, Wavestation EX, Polysix, King Korg, Monotron and Monotron Duo, Minikorg, 1 Roland U-20, Hammond M3, 4 accoustic and 6 electric guitars, 1 Ibanez 5 string bass, a bunch of microphones and other very cool toys, 1 wife and 2 cats!
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SanderXpander
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 02, 2015 9:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I often fall into the trap of wanting to deliver a "loud" track, but I'm all for proper dynamics. Modern online services (YT, Spotify, iTunes) have already adopted the new R128 loudness metering, meaning they are leveling by perceived loudness rather than peak loudness. So a loudly mastered dance track will be turned down compared to a dynamic production. Which, ultimately, takes away the incentive to master loud. Since your song will be turned down anyway, it's better to mix with proper dynamics. We aren't there yet, but it's getting better Smile
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jeremykeys
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 03, 2015 1:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I just read about a plug in in Sound on Sound called the Nugen Audio Mastercheck. It's a loudness metering plug-in. It looks like something that a lot of home recorders like us could benefit from if we are looking to have some kind of standard loudness wise. Too bad it costs $130.
I'm sure a lot of us have noticed the volume differences between our own recordings and those of "professional" cd's.
I've been listening to the new Alestorm cd in my car and although I really like it, it does lack dynamics somewhat. I think I would like it better if the accents jumped out more over the quiet parts. This is something that I try to do with my own recordings.
Now, if we could only get commercials on television to be quieter.
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If music is the food of love, play on and play loud!
Gear: Kronos 73, Triton Pro-X, Wavestation EX, Polysix, King Korg, Monotron and Monotron Duo, Minikorg, 1 Roland U-20, Hammond M3, 4 accoustic and 6 electric guitars, 1 Ibanez 5 string bass, a bunch of microphones and other very cool toys, 1 wife and 2 cats!
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SanderXpander
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 03, 2015 2:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's not just amateurs, but the pros that use standard loudness metering. The EBU R128 technical document describes this standard. I don't know that tv commercials are going to change anytime soon, but major digital audio suppliers are now complying with the new standard that favors dynamics over compression/loudness. Many DAWs include software that lets you measure loudness in various ways.
You can read about the new standards here if you like:
https://tech.ebu.ch/docs/r/r128.pdf
Steinberg released a free R128 loudness metering plugin called SLM (Steinberg Loudness Metering) a while back, during Cubase 6.5. You can read about it and download it here;
https://www.steinberg.net/en/newsandevents/news/newsdetail/article/free-slm-128-plug-in-available-1970.html
Though it may already be available in later Cubase versions (I thought I remembered you used Cubase).
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jeremykeys
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 04, 2015 5:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes I do use Cubase. 7.5.2 to be specific. I'll have to see if I have put. Cool. Thanks!
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If music is the food of love, play on and play loud!
Gear: Kronos 73, Triton Pro-X, Wavestation EX, Polysix, King Korg, Monotron and Monotron Duo, Minikorg, 1 Roland U-20, Hammond M3, 4 accoustic and 6 electric guitars, 1 Ibanez 5 string bass, a bunch of microphones and other very cool toys, 1 wife and 2 cats!
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