Metering question

Discussion in 'Mastering' started by dpd, Mar 17, 2005.

  1. dpd

    dpd Active Member

    What metering would the ME's here recommend for use in either a mixing application or a mastering application? And, hardware or software?

    There are SO many threads that discuss the level issues. I'm looking for a way to really ensure my projects have plenty of headroom (it seems I've read anywhere from -6 dBFS to -3 dBFS) but get a true RMS reading so I don't push that too high. I want a mix that preserves the maximum dynamic contrast as I can, has good level, yet still leaves room in the mix for an ME to have room to work.

    Logitek, Dorroughs, plug-ins, etc. What's good, what's accurate, what's not cost-prohibitive? (BTW, I use a PC...) What about metering dynamics?
     
  2. Massive Mastering

    Massive Mastering Well-Known Member

    If you're mixing digitally, just use the meters in the host program. Don't even give a thought to the RMS level - That's how people mess up their mixes.

    You don't want to clip, and many M.E.'s (including myself) appreciate 3-6dB of headroom to mess with. In 24-bit, you're never going to miss it, but you'll certainly regret it if the mix is clipped or otherwise limited.

    That all being said, I'm sure that some names of plugs will be thrown around... Just try not to rely on them too much... Ears, not eyes. :cool:
     
  3. Michael Fossenkemper

    Michael Fossenkemper Distinguished past mastering moderator Well-Known Member

    spectrafoo is good but not cheap. sometimes you can find some good harware meters on ebay but again not always cheap. waves paz thingy looks ok and gives you several meters. But like John said, if all you want is to be sure you don't clip, then the meters in the program will do that for free. There is a freeware plugin called inspector that is basic but effective.
     
  4. dpd

    dpd Active Member

    Yeah - my son has Inspector installed on his Mbox. It seems to do a reasonable job, but I haven't tried to calibrate it to a real RMS-responding meter using a broadband noise source.

    I was looking for something to use at the radio station's performance control room. Sounds like no big deal.

    From a purely mastering perspective do you guys meter much for RMS?
     
  5. Michael Fossenkemper

    Michael Fossenkemper Distinguished past mastering moderator Well-Known Member

    I do on a per project basis. To make sure i'm in the ball park from song to song powerwise. But you can't really go on this alone as heavy low end stuff is going to show a higher RMS but may seem lower in volume based on the midrange. So I use it as one source of reference but not my only source.

    Spectrafoo has a ton of great tools displaying everything in every kind of way you can imagine. you should check it out if you are serious about measuring things.
     
  6. dpd

    dpd Active Member

    Michael - Thanks. IIRC Spectrafoo is Mac-only, so that's a non-starter for me.

    Thanks for the reminder on the broadband frequency content vs levels. I've been reading Katz' book since Christmas and the whole K-meter thing and dynamic contrast preservation just has me thinking a lot more than just 'crank it up till the mix sounds nice and loud'.

    I've been avoiding the compressors and limiters pretty much everywhere (esp. the master bus) and just concentrating on where the individual, aux, and final faders are peaking - then checking on the RMS/broadband levels - and working the levels from there.
     
  7. Michael Fossenkemper

    Michael Fossenkemper Distinguished past mastering moderator Well-Known Member

    Compressors aren't a bad thing, they just tend to be overused. Compression can really add a lot to a track or a mix, if you don't go over a certain point, then it goes downhill. But that's dependent on the compressor and the track and how you use the two of them. Sometimes it's not compression at all, but eq that can pull something in or push something out.
     
  8. Phil2000

    Phil2000 Guest

    check out http://masterpinguin.de, this guy is selling a very accurate
    metering-software- pc only, and not cheap, but well worth it. I use it everyday.

    regads- ph!L
     
  9. Michael Fossenkemper

    Michael Fossenkemper Distinguished past mastering moderator Well-Known Member

    Oh yeah, I forgot about pinguin. it is good, but like Phil said, it ain't cheap.
     

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