[LAU] metering, mixing levels was Re: Ardour: exporting woes

jonetsu at teksavvy.com jonetsu at teksavvy.com
Tue Apr 12 00:37:53 UTC 2016

On Sun, 10 Apr 2016 22:05:30 -0500
"Chris Caudle" <chris at chriscaudle.org> wrote:

> http://www.digido.com/articles-and-demos12/13-bob-katz/22-level-practices-part-1.html
> http://www.digido.com/how-to-make-better-recordings-part-2.html

Thanks for the links.

Bob Katz's article questions the use of normalization.  I have made a
'non-norm' setting in Ardour for exporting now.  It is not obvious that
after so much time spent on a piece adjusting sometimes up to 25
tracks, that all is thrown to a mathematical function that will
modify levels.  So I use 'non-norm' now and wonder why normalization is
a default in Ardour/Mixbus.  
> The short version is use the same technique as film mixers, use a
> consistent mixer gain calibrated with band limited pink noise and a
> sound pressure level (SPL) meter and mix so it sounds good.

This is the second time I see this method mentioned.  I might try it
later on this year.
> Unfortunately there are no standards for CD mixing and mastering
> practice, so your choice often becomes make your mix sound good, and
> the listener will have to adjust volume between different recordings,
> or compress the dynamic range so your mix sounds like current rock
> recordings, which will probably reduce the quality of the sound.

Thing is, I never do that when listening to CDs in a noiseless
environment (eg. in the car some tunes might be too soft, needing
volume compensation).  The softer tune will come across as fine as the
dynamic one before.  Or will at least give the impression.  Within a
single CD 'universe' there should be some kind of 'level' consistency
independent of the dynamics of the pieces.
I've only very recently started to load in Ardour some commercial
pieces and see how they fare, with the help of some meters that can
give reference numbers for a beginner, between themselves, and
also compared to mixes I have done.  To follow a bit Harrison's 'Gain
Staging' video, the very first thing is to have waveforms that are in
the same range.  


The level the VU meter is adjusted at also influences the results
(didn't knew about that).  

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