loudness war

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blingstef
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loudness war

Post by blingstef » Fri Apr 25, 2008 12:21 am

I know some of y'all think that nowadays music are too loud and that if u're not an mastering engineer u should not master ur own tracks and even if u were u shouldn't do it neither because u need a fresh pair of ears to accomplish the overall balance of frequencies and things, BUT i am tring to master them myself just fullfilled my need of knowledge in this business but anyhow...
i was asking myself a kestion hope that u guys could give me an answer or a hint....
i have been using harbal for a while now and on one 'industri track' i have noticed that the peak level was 1.83db and average around -7.67db....
my question is that: why isn't it clipping when i put it in live? clipping are not supposed to happen when there is a signal higher than 0 db? am i mistaking something here?
kickiest kicks with the snariest snares
http://www.dsidemusic.com,
m-audio axiom49, ableton live 7.0.12, m-audio projectmix I/O.

Angstrom
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Post by Angstrom » Fri Apr 25, 2008 12:32 am

as soon as you render it out it will be clipped. While it remains in Live it is in a magic zone where clipping doesn't really happen.
This is complex, but trust me - if you render a signal that registers higher than 0db on the master fader then the output wave will sound clipped

blingstef
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Post by blingstef » Fri Apr 25, 2008 12:51 am

does wavelab have the ''same magic zone'' cuz i tried putting it in wavelab 5 and the clipping dot didn't flick even once!!!! that's very magic then.... what is this magic zone?
anyhow.... how can i affect only the highest peak of an instrument in my mix? Eq? compressor? (i.e all the time the effect doesn't not have an impact on the vst itself but when the peak happens it does his job)
kickiest kicks with the snariest snares
http://www.dsidemusic.com,
m-audio axiom49, ableton live 7.0.12, m-audio projectmix I/O.

blingstef
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Post by blingstef » Fri Apr 25, 2008 12:56 am

another question...
is it possible to make a vst sound louder than it is?
i noticed that using the comp as a limiter i can make some vst sound louder thant they are ... i mean u hear it like it is 3 db or higher but the level meter is barely at -1db.... how strange heh? why is that?
kickiest kicks with the snariest snares
http://www.dsidemusic.com,
m-audio axiom49, ableton live 7.0.12, m-audio projectmix I/O.

suburbanbather
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Post by suburbanbather » Sun Apr 27, 2008 12:48 am

blingstef wrote:does wavelab have the ''same magic zone'' cuz i tried putting it in wavelab 5 and the clipping dot didn't flick even once!!!! that's very magic then.... what is this magic zone?
It has to do with the internal processing power that software's algorithm uses. That is why you are not hearing any clipping when going above 0dbs. Have you tried rendering your final mix in Wavelab? Your should get the same scenario as you do with Live. Do not let your master channel meter exceed 0dbs, ever! You may not hear any clipping while your track is playing, but once its rendered, prepare for the worst.

In response to your compressor question, the output control determines what the final output level is. A compressor reduces the volume of anything that exceeds the threshold limit to the output level set by you or whatever the preset level is. Also, there should be a make-up gain control as well. Say you have your output level set at -3db, but you want the final output to reach -1dbs. The make-up gain will fix that. All of these levels have varying effects on your final output, hence "pumping sounds" and loss of dynamics.

blingstef
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Post by blingstef » Sun Apr 27, 2008 1:24 am

suburbanbather wrote: Say you have your output level set at -3db, but you want the final output to reach -1dbs. The make-up gain will fix that. All of these levels have varying effects on your final output, hence "pumping sounds" and loss of dynamics.
U seem to make a difference between db and dbs... if so what is it?
kickiest kicks with the snariest snares
http://www.dsidemusic.com,
m-audio axiom49, ableton live 7.0.12, m-audio projectmix I/O.

suburbanbather
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Post by suburbanbather » Sun Apr 27, 2008 1:45 pm

blingstef wrote:
suburbanbather wrote: Say you have your output level set at -3db, but you want the final output to reach -1dbs. The make-up gain will fix that. All of these levels have varying effects on your final output, hence "pumping sounds" and loss of dynamics.
U seem to make a difference between db and dbs... if so what is it?
Sorry! I get real lazy after a couple glasses of wine. I meant decibels(dbs)

Cheers!

blingstef
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Post by blingstef » Sun Apr 27, 2008 3:21 pm

lol ok...
since we are on this topic, i would like to know how does todays music sound boxy? what i mean is that i am mixing a lot with headphones and one thing i have noticed different with my tracks (specially for the kicks, vocals) is that with professional music ''they don't come out the baffles of the headphones'' but still they have their body.
The question may not be clear, but it is the closest i can get to what i mean.
Hope someone will understand and answer me.
kickiest kicks with the snariest snares
http://www.dsidemusic.com,
m-audio axiom49, ableton live 7.0.12, m-audio projectmix I/O.

Electronathan
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inter-sample clipping

Post by Electronathan » Tue Apr 29, 2008 5:54 pm

I just wanted to quickly add that when mastering levels really, really hot you need to take into account inter-sample clipping. The standard metering tools in most DAWs flag for overs, but do not flag clipping for the reconstruction of the sample.
It's worth a much better and more detailed explanation, but do note that it does contribute to the loudness war drama.
i am mixing a lot with headphones and one thing i have noticed different with my tracks (specially for the kicks, vocals) is that with professional music ''they don't come out the baffles of the headphones'' but still they have their body.
The difference here may be that you're using more sub energy than neccasacary. The idea behind big kicks is simulate bass presense with the harmonics - as opposed to the root (which may be <50Hz). Mixing with cans may be the only option you have right now, but listening in a room is going to produce the "truer" results of bass.

(PS: this window has been open for the last couple hours - I have no idea what I just wrote and I didn't proof read - forgive me for whatever this may sound like. Peace)
I'm functioning in realtime.

Nod
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Re: inter-sample clipping

Post by Nod » Tue Apr 29, 2008 10:38 pm

blingstef wrote:i have noticed that the peak level was 1.83db and average around -7.67db....
That's pretty hot - the average figure you've quoted is *just* above comfortable for a commercially mastered track - pretty sure it'll have little to no dynamics and lots of lovely square waves. Are you really sure about that peak figure? Is it actually possible to exceed the 0dB barrier?
Electronathan wrote:I just wanted to quickly add that when mastering levels really, really hot you need to take into account inter-sample clipping. The standard metering tools in most DAWs flag for overs, but do not flag clipping for the reconstruction of the sample. It's worth a much better and more detailed explanation, but do note that it does contribute to the loudness war drama.
+1 - a useful, free tool for checking intersample clips, and hence the quality of your limiter, can be found here:

http://www.stillwellaudio.com/?page_id=33 - VST and AU

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