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

Paul Davis paul at linuxaudiosystems.com
Tue Apr 12 14:09:22 UTC 2016

On Tue, Apr 12, 2016 at 10:07 AM, jonetsu <jonetsu at teksavvy.com> wrote:

> From: "Paul Davis" <paul at linuxaudiosystems.com>
> Date: 04/12/16 09:59
> > Imagine you just obtained a finished, commercially produced and
> > mastered song.
> > You play it on your music system with the volume set at 5.0. It
> > sounds a bit too quiet, so you turn it up to 7.0.
> > Did you change the mix? Did you change any aspect of the
> > production process?
> > Hopefully it is clear that you did not.
> > Normalization is *EXACTLY* equivalent to this process.
> I think that by now I can see the topic :)
> So, if the CD is very much in the ballpark of the commercial productions
> of the same genre, then why not leave the final adjustment to the listener
> anyways ?

the reasons have already been explained. primarily dynamic range:

> One positive side effect of normalization is that you get the best
> signal/noise ratio for the exported target (usually 16bit). If the
> loudest peak is at 0dBFS the whole [16bit] range is available for
> dynamic range.  If the digital peak is at -6dBFS you get one less bit
> dynamic range (with integer encoding).

the ONLY downside of normalization is when it is done naively in ways that
lead to inter-sample clipping during D-A conversion. As long as this is
avoided (and it is easily avoided), there are simply no downsides.
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