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

jonetsu at teksavvy.com jonetsu at teksavvy.com
Tue Apr 12 12:12:33 UTC 2016

On Tue, 12 Apr 2016 10:58:10 +0200
Thorsten Wilms <self at thorstenwilms.com> wrote:

> This sounds like you still haven't understood what normalization
> does. Given one session of one piece of music, normalization doesn't
> modify "levels", it modifies one level, making it equivalent to
> nudging the master gain fader.

I'd say I have an idea in the ballpark of what it does, as Robin
explained it here, for one.  

So above it says: "making it equivalent to nudging the master gain

That's it.  Why would 3 weeks of work on 25 tracks be thrown to a
mathematical function that will move one fader ?
> Aside of the shortcoming that Ardour's current normalization on
> export does not take inter-sample peaks into account, the whole issue
> is one of relative loudness between several pieces in one playlist,
> on an album, broadcast on one channel, streamed as one of many on an
> online service ... as well as having the headroom to say, make an
> explosion louder than a kick drum.

This is one thing that's tackled in Ian Shepperd's home mastering
class, which is very interesting and, actually has me do the exercises
and pay more attention to what is going on.  Some people need that.
Others go forward by themselves.  It varies.  I go forward in other
domains.  The idea with learning about mastering is to 'start at the
finish' perspective to question the mixes, by learning about what is
needed as approaches to a finish product.  Some people start at the

> Ardour's default happened in times of the loudness war, under the 
> assumption that at least for Pop/Rock/Dance productions, there was no 
> question the peaks of a production would be very even and should hit 
> full scale. Now I know better, Robin and Paul know even much better
> and work is under way to make Ardour's export facilities support
> modern standards.

Looking forward for this.  BTW, Robin's spectrum analyzer is quite
something when it comes to correlating audio events to frequencies.
The use of bar graphs distributed over the frequencies (scales ?) makes
it less muddy.  And the speed response adjustment is great. I have seen
the voxengo span in many examples, tried to run it in wine, I have used
Calf's and OvertoneDSP AF210 and they are more muddy, not as easy.
> Now if only broadcasters and streamers could agree on a single
> reference level for music ...

So far I take that if it sounds like many commercial productions, then
it is in the whereabouts of being OK, notwithstanding listening in the
car, on the Behritone, cheap headphones.

More information about the Linux-audio-user mailing list