[LAU] master levels

Ralf Mardorf ralf.mardorf at alice-dsl.net
Tue Feb 3 01:49:33 UTC 2015

On Mon, 2 Feb 2015 12:24:41 -0600, Chris Caudle wrote:
>To compare two versions of the same audio, the two versions must be
>level matched to within 0.1dB.

If there should be real loss, then it will be audible and it doesn't
matter that levels don't match. As I already pointed out, adding
dithering could improve the sound quality.

>Everyone should read Bob Katz's original two part article on level and
>metering recommendations

On Mon, 02 Feb 2015 22:25:49 +0100, Atte wrote:
>So in theory or utopia, we should refrain from compressing our audio so
>hard. But in reality, the loudness war is lost.

It's not lost, OTOH nobody producing music should care about such
rules as the Bob Katz rules. The world is not just black and white.

However, what ever kind of compression the OP does use, why should the
OP stay below 0.0 dBFS for the peaks?

On Mon, 2 Feb 2015 15:03:01 -0800 (PST), Len Ovens wrote:
>However, as I (and Ralph) meantioned in passing and Atte went into
>much more and better detail. It does depend on the audience. What is 
>technically best may not be what is best for your application. If what
>you are recording will be played along side other people's work, you
>pretty much need to follow the same guidlines as they have with
>reguards to levels and compression.

I don't recommend to do a loudness war mix, but there's no reason not to
use a little bit of compression and to use the whole bandwidth up to
0.0 dBFS. I prefer to stay below it, -0.5 dBFS, but even if you cause
digital distortion when a peak is higher than 0.0 dBFS, it's not always
audible. For a master there's no need to have headroom.
I guess headroom isn't for the kind of compression, but for the
"headroom" between the highest peak and 0.0 dBFS and a master doesn't
need this kind of headroom.

On Mon, 02 Feb 2015 17:08:57 -0600, Brent Busby wrote:
>A certain amount of compression is nice to make everything sound big,
>but when it gets to the point that everything in the mix is exactly the
>same loud volume, it's just gone too far.


On Mon, 2 Feb 2015 18:10:05 -0500, Joe Hartley wrote:
>Both Audacity and Ardour have a normalization function which will let
>you amplify a track (or selection) to some selectable level.  It's
>quite handy.

Why manipulating after doing the mastering, instead of doing a
correct mastering mix?

Resume: It's not that important if version A and version B of your song
do sound completely equal, but when it's a demo, the kind of mix
needs to fit to the target group, not to Bob Katz and the Linux
community. There's no reason to keep the kind of headroom we need for
recording. When mastering you know the highest peak and this can be 0.0

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