pre mastering levels

Discussion in 'Mastering' started by blackbox, Apr 8, 2004.

  1. blackbox

    blackbox Guest

    What sort of levels (peak and avg) do you mastering guys wanna see on mixes you receive? Where do you try and end up? At the end of the day, what's the standard VU measurement and are all the peaks at 0dbfs now?

    Thanks in advance
     
  2. iznogood

    iznogood Guest

    I'd say anything that is below 0dBfS and doesn't have a limiter on it
    !!!
     
  3. Thomas W. Bethel

    Thomas W. Bethel Well-Known Member

    From a mastering engineer's standpoint I need some room to work so if you would aim for peaks about -4 dBFS I would be happy. If someone brings me mixes that are peaked at zero then I have to take them down a few dBs so I can do some EQ and compression on them and why add a stage of numerical calculations to the mix before you start to work on it. Just my thoughts
     
  4. Michael Fossenkemper

    Michael Fossenkemper Distinguished past mastering moderator Well-Known Member

    I don't mind pulling the level down during mastering if I need room, just don't use a limiter on the 2-bus. peak to avg ratio depends on the material. sometimes it's high and sometimes it's low. It all depends on the material.
     
  5. blackbox

    blackbox Guest

    Im sure that it always depends on the content and such, but specifically what are some of the values you normally deal with?
    And where do you find yourselves ending up? I guess I'm trying to get to the heart of how close a mix needs to be to the finished product.
     
  6. Michael Fossenkemper

    Michael Fossenkemper Distinguished past mastering moderator Well-Known Member

    I get stuff at all different kinds of levels. If your dealing with 24 bit files, then you have plenty of resolution headroom. you don't have to cram every last bit out. If it's an analog mix, then you don't want it too low or too hot. all depends on what your alignment is. there are so many variables involved that it's impossible for me to tell you what your peak to ave level should be. basically if it sounds good, your not clipping, and your meters are moving around -3 or -4 dbfs, your in good shape. where I end up after i'm done completely depends on the music. You don't want a string quartet slamming the meters and you don't want a punk band low. When your mixing, don't try to make it as loud as a mastered record. Use you volume knob to compare.
     
  7. Masteringhouse

    Masteringhouse Active Member

    It's going to depend on the type of material. Obviously an acoustic song should be lower in average level than a thrash metal song.

    For the average "pop" song most finished product (IMHO) is around -10 Dbfs RMS. So I would shoot below this. With peak levels it's best not to hit 0 to help ensure that the audio hasn't been clipped, but it's not a crime if it does for 3 consecutive samples or less.
     

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