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

Jörn Nettingsmeier nettings at stackingdwarves.net
Tue Apr 12 14:39:05 UTC 2016

On 04/12/2016 04:04 PM, jonetsu wrote:
>> From: "Jörn Nettingsmeier" <nettings at stackingdwarves.net> Date:
>> 04/12/16 08:26
>>> That's it.  Why would 3 weeks of work on 25 tracks be thrown to a
>>> mathematical function that will move one fader ?
>> ???
>> That still sounds like you're confused about it.
>> If you normalise the master output, it does not affect your mixing
>>  balance at all. All the mysterious "mathematical function" does
>> is: 1. play the song through a "peak hold" meter. 2. look at the
>> maximum peak level, say it's minus n dB FS. 3. play the song again
>> with the master fader at plus n dB FS 4. save the result
> Something is affected nevertheless.

Sorry, I'm dropping out here. If I didn't know your posting history,
which is overall very constructive (if confused at times), I would
assume you're trolling.

>> If by "tracks", you actually mean "songs", well then, yes, if you
>> have one song per session, normalizing each one individually can
>> upset the loudness balance from one song to the next, but I doubt
>> you'd get that one perfect anyway. For this kind of workflow, when
>> switching songs means loading another session, I would recommend
>> to export each song, then create a new ardour session with as many
>> stereo tracks as your album has songs, arrange the songs one after
>> another, but each on an individual track. Then you can fine-tune
>> the relative levels with the channel faders and even throw in some
>> extra "mastering" processing like EQ if the songs don't quite
>> match yet.
> I think I mentioned that.  Not just now, but earlier.  Comparing
> with commercial tracks of the same genre.  This is what I started
> doing. First steps.  Much later on, developing a uniform experience
> from a series of original pieces.  I still do not see why I would
> throw anything at a 'mathematical function' at this stage of
> learning.  I might stick with that for a long time (there's at least
> one 'big guy', Bob Katz, that does not consider normalization in a
> good light, as can be read in a recent link posted here, so it might
> not be a uniform accord).

Bob is arguing against the practice of normalizing every track as it 
comes in without thinking.
There are also very good arguments against peak normalizing a master, 
namely that we should adjust for loudness, not peak level.
Another of his arguments is the accumulation of rounding error in 
fixed-wordlength systems, which is very valid. But honestly, your 
understanding of the whole matter seems to be several tens of dBs away 
from the point where this becomes relevant.

Unless you are willing to understand that normalizing the sum does not 
change anything in your mix, continuing this discussion is pointless.

> For now I much prefer to do all by
> craftiness, by observation and experiment and that all and every
> changes are made explicitly.

You should also get rid of mysteries and magical thinking, because half 
of the audio industry is drooling and waiting for non-analytical 
thinkers to show up so they can be ripped off, ruthlessly.

Jörn Nettingsmeier
Lortzingstr. 11, 45128 Essen, Tel. +49 177 7937487

Meister für Veranstaltungstechnik (Bühne/Studio)
Tonmeister VDT


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