What level is Normalize on export?

Discussion of music production, audio, equipment and any related topics, either with or without Ableton Live
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Sales Dude McBoob
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What level is Normalize on export?

Post by Sales Dude McBoob » Tue Sep 24, 2019 3:04 am

Hi.

I've been doing some tests of some portable digital recorders and using the Normalize option on export. How can I determine what level Ableton Live is outputting this audio at? For example, is it -23 LUFS? I would like to know.

Thanks!

Da hand
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Re: What level is Normalize on export?

Post by Da hand » Tue Sep 24, 2019 5:18 am

Normalize is rarely useful really for export. You have no useful control over the peaks, RMS, LUFS, etc values of your audio.

Normalize (in any software) basically means that the highest peak is found in the audio in question and then the volume of the entire audio is increased or decreased, so that that highest peak found falls at 0dB (or at a value set by you, if that option is available).

This of course tells you nothing about where the rest of the peaks will fall or what the average volume is of your audio. This is why a limiter and a good volume meter (placed after the limiter) that has Peak, RMS, LUFS readouts is used in order to let you set the peaks, RMS, LUFS, etc. where you want them. This is at its most basic. Compressors and EQs placed before the limiter can further refine this if you need more control taming your levels.

Sales Dude McBoob
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Re: What level is Normalize on export?

Post by Sales Dude McBoob » Tue Sep 24, 2019 1:49 pm

Thanks. Makes sense.

jlgrimes
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Re: What level is Normalize on export?

Post by jlgrimes » Wed Sep 25, 2019 12:58 am

Sales Dude McBoob wrote:
Tue Sep 24, 2019 3:04 am
Hi.

I've been doing some tests of some portable digital recorders and using the Normalize option on export. How can I determine what level Ableton Live is outputting this audio at? For example, is it -23 LUFS? I would like to know.

Thanks!
I cant say I've ever normalized any mix/master.

I would just get my mix sounding as good as possible without clipping. Not caring too much about final level. It is usually pretty low, like -10 to -6db but I dont really notice. It has to be very low to create any artifacts like -48 db would be 16 bit and my mix never is that low. Generally if you practice good gainstaging during recording process your final mix output will usually be pretty healthy while not clipping.

For listening mixes/masters, I use limiters.

For mp3 I set ceiling at -1db, and for lossless, Wav, or CD, I set to -0.5 db.

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