How can I reach -9 'till -8 RMS "clean sound"

Discussion in 'Mastering' started by Darmawan, Jan 21, 2005.

  1. Darmawan

    Darmawan Guest

    :? I usually work with my wavelab (with inserted plugins: 1.Waves PQ10, 2. Waves C1 SC at sometimes 119 Hz, for bass compression, 3. Lin MB for Mid and Upper freq Compression if necessary, 4. Lin Eq for tweaking before limiter, 5. Steinberg Loudness Maximizer, 6. Steinberg Resample for downrate to 44.1, and last, 7. L3 multimaximizer to compesate level and dithering process. I found that, if I already have "a sound" before levelling at step 5 and so on, I felt hard to reach -9 'till -8 RMS "clean sound", I always have "distorted sound". I don't have analog gear. Can anybody give suggest to me? Sorry for my bad english.
  2. Michael Fossenkemper

    Michael Fossenkemper Distinguished past mastering moderator Well-Known Member

    Well, I would say either you are doing to much with the wrong things, or the track is such that it's just not going to get to this level. -9 or -8 rms is not really saying anything about how loud the master is. just how much it's moving a meter. If it's a very dense mix that doesn't let up, you may never get there nor would you want to listen to it if you did. Plus i've never been able to get good quality high level output from plugins that i can from high end outboard. So I would abandon the level goal and just make it sound good and reasonably loud. I personally wouldn't use 2 limiters. If you treat the mix properly before the limiter, one should be enough. And why are you compensating for dither? If your dither is making that much of a difference that you don't want, then choose a different less damaging one. In general, my guess is you are working too hard on the mix. I would zero everything out and start over, simpler, less plugs. get it to sound good. If your level is not there then really sit and listen to why it's not there. maybe you are smashing the low end too much. More low end = more rms.
  3. Massive Mastering

    Massive Mastering Well-Known Member

    Good God... -8dBRMS... What the hell is going on?!?

    Not that I don't get "forced" to crank out some seriously loud stuff, but it damn well better have the potential to get that loud (i.e. be one hell of an amazing sounding recording with every single duck in a row from the very first step).

    And yeah, getting those levels with plugs... They just don't have that kind of headroom.

    I'm starting to lose faith about the end of the volume war...
  4. Darmawan

    Darmawan Guest

    Thanks for your answer,
    I use 2 limiter, because sometimes with Steinberg LM, I don't get enough level (only average -12 'till -11 dbrms "clean sound"), so I compesate this with L3 to achieve -10 dbrms before the mix sound distorted. In My country the average commercial cd level = -9 'till -8 dbrms.
    I need to dither with L3 because the raw material is 24 bit and the final is 16 bit.
  5. beachhunt

    beachhunt Guest

    You might want to check - Is that level including clipping? In the US, some pop CDs are mashed enough to reach -6dBRMS (and they still sell! amazing... in 10 years, only a handful of people will be able to hear themselves speak, and they'll probably all be MEs), but they were probably at -10 to -12, then just pushed up into hard clipping until the foam shook off of the walls. I'm not suggesting that clipping is necessarily a good idea (many will tell you repeatedly that it's not), but that is one way some CDs get their RMS up.

  6. Ammitsboel

    Ammitsboel Member

    Darmawan, -8db RMS! are you sick??

    Depending on the material this level is hard to reach even by the best level junkies!...
  7. mixandmaster

    mixandmaster Active Member

    I get MIXES that are close to -8!!! Those are fun. :-?
  8. iq

    iq Guest

    Have you heard System of a down? it's -6dB RMS!
    Yesterday my client give me this -6dB cd as reference... :-? :cool:
  9. Sork

    Sork Active Member

    Nope, it's easy! Just clip and then limit! :) How it sounds is another chapter though...
  10. Ammitsboel

    Ammitsboel Member

    Cool!! I specially like those mixes that are exactly the same level all the way through!!!!! :cool:

    I always advice my clients to put an L2(plugin, the HW is not good enough) or even better if they have it an L1 over the mixbus with a minimum of 5db GR. It makes that special sound all people like so much!... :?

    I'm considering making a plugin with build in audio errors to start a new trend!...

    Best Regards
  11. Ammitsboel

    Ammitsboel Member

    ...why limit??
  12. TotalSonic

    TotalSonic Guest

    Friends don't let friends master to -8db RMS!!! That shouldn't be a goal - it should be a crime!

    Best regards,
    Steve Berson
  13. iq

    iq Guest

    And client who came with -6dB reference shall be arrested :cool:
  14. beachhunt

    beachhunt Guest

    LOL, I like that idea........
  15. Darmawan

    Darmawan Guest

    :D I'm now know how to handle this level, yesterday I finished my job with almost reach -7 dbRMS, it just only with little tweaking on SPL Loudness Maximizer. Iq told me about this, thanks :cool:
  16. Massive Mastering

    Massive Mastering Well-Known Member

    Just FYI... It might work on "this" mix, but it won't necessarily work on "that" mix... Know what I mean?
  17. TotalSonic

    TotalSonic Guest

    Interesting. Who else here has worked with the SPL Loudness Maxmizer? I've never used one so I'm curious

    Here's what I gleen from the website -

    24bit processing but limited to 44.1/48kHz
    runs on 2 66MHz slightly outdated DSP's
    digital i/o only on AES & spdif
    midi controllable - which is cool for automating during real time transfers
    controls are limited to "gain", "soft-hard" & "density" - so on the surface it seems we're not dealing with typical threshold & release parameters.
    and finally ... discontinued.

    Figure you could probably find one around for cheap - just don't know whether it would be worth to have one to fiddle with occasionally or not.

    Best regards,
    Steve Berson
  18. Massive Mastering

    Massive Mastering Well-Known Member

    My bad (I think...) - I swear it said Vitalizer...

    Although, I wasn't too impressed with the LM... Evidently, not too many were, as it's been discontinued for some time now if I'm not mistaken.

    [EDIT] Yeah, I see you mentioned the whole "discontinued" part. [/EDIT]
  19. iq

    iq Guest

    Mine still works fine and I can't live without it.
    I bought it in a garage sale for $400

    There's a nice button named 'BOOST', you can add an instant 2dB without sweating... 8)

    Pure & simple :)
  20. Darmawan

    Darmawan Guest


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