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Loudness on your songs

Argle · 24 · 12294
 

Offline Argle

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This is question for everyone, musicians and mix people.  When you do a mix or requisition one, do you shoot for a particular overall loudness?

The reason I ask is I always worry if a) my product isn't loud enough, and b) my product is too loud.

What are your thoughts on loudness?


Offline snowdoguk

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I always go for a specific loudness on my playback amp at volume setting 9 (which is only relevant to me as a reference). Once it sounds loud enough (and more importantly still doesn't clip) at that setting then for me it's loud enough. It's the old loudness wars thing again where louder is perceived by most as better. Dynamic range is usually the big loser.

Do I "worry" if it doesn't sound loud enough? Yes... although I'm not sure why
Do I "worry" if it's too loud? No, as long as it still sounds clear

Is this question part of a course you're doing Adam? Sounds like the sort of question I might have asked a year or two ago during my studies.
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Offline Argle

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Is this question part of a course you're doing Adam? Sounds like the sort of question I might have asked a year or two ago during my studies.

Nope, just personal curiosity.  It's something I frequently ponder about my own material.


Offline NickT

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Total Loud is between - 8 and -10 RMS
I shoot between -10 and -14 RMS
Very good dynamics is between -14  and -16 RMS

Here is a good blog:

http://mastering-media.blogspot.com/2008/10/diy-mastering-part-5-how-loud-is-too.html

Nick

Here are some examples from the blog:

-8.6 (-6.2) Oasis - "Some Might Say": Severe clipping distortion
-8.9 (-4.9) Metallica - "TDTNC" (CD): Massive distortion & clipping
-10.4 (-7.7) Feeder - "Pushing The Senses": Heavy clipping distortion
-12.7 (-7.7) Metallica - "BB&S" (Mystery Mix): Slight source clipping
-14.0 (-10) Katatonia - "Consternation": Awesome (clean) sound, massive choruses
-15.3 (-13.1) Sugar - "Fortune Teller": From 1993
-21.8 (-16.9) Metallica - "TDTNC" (GH3) Needs to be louder !



« Last Edit: May 03, 2012, 09:36:07 AM by NickT »
NickT

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Offline CosmicDolphin

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Quite a complex subject, I wouldn't say I shoot for any particular RMS figure. 

Actual RMS and perceived loudness are two different things in any case, spectral balance can make things sound louder even though it may not actually be measurably different from another song with the same RMS.

I just try and mix the song as best I can with plenty of headroom, bounce it down without any or perhaps a small amount of 2buss mix glue....then I can play with the loudness afterwards with some mastering plugins. I'm finding that different songs react quite differently, some will sound good at -8 , others will sound wrecked even at -10 or -11.  Once I've finished I put it through the TT Loudness meter...if it comes up with less than -10 then I have a rest and go back to see if I can increase the dynamic range...most stuff I mix seems to come out between -13 to -10.

One thing I find useful is on Slate FGX is the 'Constant Gain Monitoring' button , which keeps the music at the same level , even in bypass.  So you can check if it's really helping or you're just being fooled by the boost in level.

I have noticed this little Mixcube I got recently gets you to focus on the critical midrange, and if you can get it right on it then it actually does sound subjectively louder than if you'd scooped out the mids and made the mix too smooth, which I have a tendency to do  ::) 

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Offline TravelersTale

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Rip a song from your favorite CD...compare loudness to your song.

Thats what Ive been doing lately although most of my CD's are from the 80's.




Offline CosmicDolphin

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Rip a song from your favorite CD...compare loudness to your song.

Thats what Ive been doing lately although most of my CD's are from the 80's.




Don't try it with a recent CD , most of them are ultra compressed  :o
We never finish a mix... we simply abandon them.
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Offline napoleonboot

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LOUD
George can often be found playing stringy things, and singing...


Offline TravelersTale

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Charles Dye and guys like that are against the loudness wars and so am I...I dont want the mixes or music shouting at me.

Most mixes that are overcompressed and to loud I turn off pretty quickly theses days...which is a lot of mixes.

I listen to old school stuff because it sounds warmer and the mixes for the most part were better and more interesting.

I have a lot of remastered CD's of older bands from 50's 60's and 70's...digitally remastered to CD...I use them a lot as references.

Im going for a warm brown sound in regards to mixing...you feel the music...not just hear it.


Loud overcompressed mixes are harsh on the ear...not good.


Offline napoleonboot

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Actually I like LOUD, but still with dynamics.

Whitesnakes albums are an inetresting exanple; they moved from dynamic (Moody and Marsden on guitar) then fairly compressed (Sykes or Vai on guitar), to unpleasantly over-compressed (Aldrich and Beach on guitar).

This also matched a descent from excellent in 1978 to un-listenable in 2009+.
George can often be found playing stringy things, and singing...


Offline mickbrit55

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I just turn everything up to 11
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Offline CosmicDolphin

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Charles Dye and guys like that are against the loudness wars and so am I...I dont want the mixes or music shouting at me.



He also admits to contributing to it  :o

At least he saw the error of his ways
We never finish a mix... we simply abandon them.
You can't polish a turd, but you can always spray paint it GOLD
Great songs are not written, they are re-witten


Offline CosmicDolphin

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I just turn everything up to 11

 >:D  >:D  >:D
We never finish a mix... we simply abandon them.
You can't polish a turd, but you can always spray paint it GOLD
Great songs are not written, they are re-witten


Offline napoleonboot

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My amp goes up to 12.

Everyone and their dog has one going up to 11 these days.
George can often be found playing stringy things, and singing...


Offline stoman

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I hate loud music. Everything below a dynamic range of roundabout 10 dB is critical IMO. Some (very few) songs work at DR9, but less than that is always very unpleasant and exhausting for my ears.

I've made the mistake to buy a couple of CDs from Amazon without paying attention to the note that said "remastered". ALL those CDs are completely unlistenable. Unfortunately it's almost impossible to buy any acceptable music from Amazon nowadays because EVERYTHING gets (re)mastered to death. One of the rare exceptions is the "Original Albums" series.

Good rock or pop music needs not be squashed like hell. I just mixed the "All Right Now"  cover by Mick, Andy, Parry and Basil, and my master has a dynamic range of 12 dB. The original song has DR14! That's a good loudness that you can listen to for hours without overburdening your ears.

Regards,
  Steffen
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