Audio loudness metering (& the loudness wars)

A video tutorial that explains the concepts of audio loudness and provides guidance for project and home recording studio owners in the use of the new genera...

  • AT5047

    The New AT5047 Premier Studio Microphone Purity Transformed

audiokid, Mar 24, 2015
Sean G likes this.
    • DonnyThompson

      Great vid, Chris.

      To me, he mentioned some key issues... namely listener fatigue and destruction of harmonics and fidelity.

      So, it's not that these loudness junkies are only making the music louder, they are negatively effecting the fidelity of the music as it was originally intended to be heard, and, fatiguing the ears of the listeners to the point that they wouldn't be able to hear any fidelity, anyway...

      Music is inherently dynamic. Subtle nuances are part of what makes music pleasing to listen to. If those subtleties disappear, or are wiped out by forcing everything to occupy a narrow dynamic range, essentially, all you are left with is a wall of noise.

      I'm not just talking about classical music, either. There have been some fantastic dynamic changes in hard rock, too.

      Example... I love The Who - and arguably, one of the "loudest" bands of their time. But listen to a track like Who Are You... or Won't Get Fooled Again... there are powerful and striking sections of those songs, but the reason that those powerful sections are so effective, is because they are preceded by software passages. If everything is balls to the wall loud, then sections that are supposed to be loud don't sound loud, and aren't effective, because everything else is just as loud...

      Here's an example of dynamics that I love, in particular, check out 2:20 - 3:05 :

    • audiokid
      Great statement! Isn't that the truth.
      Which is sort of along the lines of how I adjust gain staging to fader input, and mix to the volume of the last printed track as I produce a song. I know not everything thinks this way, but coming from the workflow of a control room musician who does his own recording on track at a time, I've always thought a mix sounded better when I produce music that doesn't need savage fader moves at mix stage. It sort of mixed itself. Which is why I have said "a good mix, mixes itself".

      I've alway thought The Who was "loud" as in , just a loud band that wasn't too concerned over sounding high fidelity. Their mixes never kept my attention but have you heard Pete Townshends solo album, Who Came First? It was a favourite back in the 70's. Its much better sounding than any of The Who albums.

      What I noticed but didn't know why until recently, vinyl albums under 17 minutes as side actually sounded better because there was less distortion and more sonic consistency as the needle started getter closer to the center. Thus, which was why the best sounding music was always the 1st track of each side and under 17 mins.

      We sure don't have that issue now.
    • Sean G
      That loudness meter looked the whack, I just downloaded it on a 14 day trial to try it out
    • Sean G
      Oh wait...its discontinued...but you can still get the 14 day trial license???
    • Sean G
      Thats you click on the 14 day trial, it takes you to download the trial license but theres nowhere to download the actual loudness meter....bummer.:(
    • audiokid
      bummer, typical web. One day here, next day gone.
    • DonnyThompson
      @Sean G @audiokid

      Here' the one I use...

      It's completely free, no trial period. It's just free, period. I use it all the time. Now, it doesn't have any phase-checking feature, ( I don't need that anyway, because Samplitude has a phase correlation scope built in), but this meter is very effective, and very accurate for LUFS measurement. I used it on the last album I mixed, before sending it out for mastering, setting each song @ -20 db or so, and the M.E. ( @Thomas W. Bethel ) was perfectly happy with the amount of headroom I gave him in which to do his work.
    • Sean G
      Sweet...Thanks Donny (y)
    • Sean G
      Interesting observation...I finally managed to download the TC Electronics loudness meter and set levels @ -24 LUFS, which I believe is the new broadcast standard level (correct me if I'm wrong???)...
      In my SO3 DAW the audio track was at -12db and the main track level at -20db and the loudness meter was reading -24LUFS post main faders.
      - when I listen back on an android phone with earbuds its barely audible, even at full volume.
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  • Category:
    Audio Metering
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    Mar 24, 2015
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  • A video tutorial that explains the concepts of audio loudness and provides guidance for project and home recording studio owners in the use of the new generation of loudness meter technologies.
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