Avid Pro Audio Community

Avid Pro Audio Community

How to Join & Post  •  Community Terms of Use  •  Help Us Help You

Knowledge Base Search  •  Community Search  •  Additional Resources


Avid Home Page

Go Back   Avid Pro Audio Community > Pro Tools Software > AAX Plug-ins

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
  #1  
Old 08-18-2018, 06:21 PM
bob2014 bob2014 is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2014
Location: Seattle
Posts: 28
Default Processing audio to an RMS range and max peak level (Waves)

I am working with Pro Tools (native) v. 2014. I recently bought Waves WLM Plus Loudness Meter. I have (mono) spoken word audio that needs to meet the following specs for each file:

A) Must have peak values no higher than -3dB.

B) Must measure between -23dB and -18dB RMS.

C) Must have a noise floor no higher than -60dB RMS.

In Pro Tools, I can use use Audiosuite Normalize to normalize a peak level (to keep peak values at -3.1 dB). I can also use Normalize to normalize to RMS, but can't do a combination of Peak and RMS normalization in one move.

I've been using WLM to measure peak levels.

I'm trying to figure out the best way to achieve the three tech requirements, and also to have each file have a similar RMS level, so the material has about the same perceived loudness.

If I use the WLM Plus True Peak Limiter, I believe that processing will be in effect when I 'Bounce to disk (offline)' in Pro Tools. I've done testing in Pro Tools to select the proper combination so I can bounce in mono, and retain the same file amplitude. The combination is:

Track output: 1-2
Bounce source Out 1-2 (Stereo)
Format: Mono (summed)

I could also bus the track WLM is on to another track and burn the audio there as well, for long term use.

1) Will True Peak Limiter retain the amplitude of my mono clips (i.e., not attenuate -3 dB) when 'Bouncing to disk (offline)'?

2) What would be the best approach to keep peak levels at -3.1 dB, and keep the material between -23dB and -18dB RMS? My strong hunch is the material at a -3.1 dB peak will fall in that range, however I also want to have each file have about the same perceived loudness? That might imply I find an RMS level in that range, that 'works' with the material, given the peak level maximum requirement, then apply that to the other files. What would work best, if available, is process where I peak limit and RMS normalization in one move, or do that sequentially.

3) To measure RMS, should I be using WLM's EBU or LM1?

I'm going to test one of the files, peak limit to -3.1, then check where it sits in the RMS range I need it to. Ideally, it will fall into the range, then I can peak limit al the files, then use WLM average metering to verify each file, and simply use volume automaton across any tracks needing a small amount of attenuation. The audio I'm working with is fairly consistent (a few dB of analog compression (Ureil LA-4) with maybe 2-3 dB of GR).

I have no problem paying for the annual upgrade plan for the Gold Bundle, which includes L1. I used L1 extensively a couple of decades ago. I don't recall if L1 can do peak limiting and RMS normalization in one move.

If I do use peak limiting (with gain compression, which L1 does; not sure about WLM), I might need to go easy on compression, to keep the noise floor in in range.

Any suggestions welcome.

Last edited by bob2014; 08-18-2018 at 06:45 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 08-20-2018, 05:22 AM
simon.a.billington simon.a.billington is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2014
Location: Australia
Posts: 643
Default Re: Processing audio to an RMS range and max peak level (Waves)

Quote:
Originally Posted by bob2014 View Post
I am working with Pro Tools (native) v. 2014. I recently bought Waves WLM Plus Loudness Meter. I have (mono) spoken word audio that needs to meet the following specs for each file:

A) Must have peak values no higher than -3dB.

B) Must measure between -23dB and -18dB RMS.

C) Must have a noise floor no higher than -60dB RMS.

In Pro Tools, I can use use Audiosuite Normalize to normalize a peak level (to keep peak values at -3.1 dB). I can also use Normalize to normalize to RMS, but can't do a combination of Peak and RMS normalization in one move.

I've been using WLM to measure peak levels.

I'm trying to figure out the best way to achieve the three tech requirements, and also to have each file have a similar RMS level, so the material has about the same perceived loudness.

If I use the WLM Plus True Peak Limiter, I believe that processing will be in effect when I 'Bounce to disk (offline)' in Pro Tools. I've done testing in Pro Tools to select the proper combination so I can bounce in mono, and retain the same file amplitude. The combination is:

Track output: 1-2
Bounce source Out 1-2 (Stereo)
Format: Mono (summed)

I could also bus the track WLM is on to another track and burn the audio there as well, for long term use.

1) Will True Peak Limiter retain the amplitude of my mono clips (i.e., not attenuate -3 dB) when 'Bouncing to disk (offline)'?

2) What would be the best approach to keep peak levels at -3.1 dB, and keep the material between -23dB and -18dB RMS? My strong hunch is the material at a -3.1 dB peak will fall in that range, however I also want to have each file have about the same perceived loudness? That might imply I find an RMS level in that range, that 'works' with the material, given the peak level maximum requirement, then apply that to the other files. What would work best, if available, is process where I peak limit and RMS normalization in one move, or do that sequentially.

3) To measure RMS, should I be using WLM's EBU or LM1?

I'm going to test one of the files, peak limit to -3.1, then check where it sits in the RMS range I need it to. Ideally, it will fall into the range, then I can peak limit al the files, then use WLM average metering to verify each file, and simply use volume automaton across any tracks needing a small amount of attenuation. The audio I'm working with is fairly consistent (a few dB of analog compression (Ureil LA-4) with maybe 2-3 dB of GR).

I have no problem paying for the annual upgrade plan for the Gold Bundle, which includes L1. I used L1 extensively a couple of decades ago. I don't recall if L1 can do peak limiting and RMS normalization in one move.

If I do use peak limiting (with gain compression, which L1 does; not sure about WLM), I might need to go easy on compression, to keep the noise floor in in range.

Any suggestions welcome.
WLM will make Trim suggestions to bring your audio into spec. As long as you have it set up correctly just hit the trim button after playing it through.

For more fine control, WLM will tell you when it has overs. The feature is not on the interface though, it’s actually in the automation. Just set it up, record the automation and make changes in the appropriate spot in your project.

From the manual...

Quote:
Automation Warning
The WLM registers Overs and Unders in the counters below the Short Term numeric display. If you would like to know when these readings occurred, you can either refer to your log, or use the Automation Warning feature.

The WLM includes a special control that does not appear on the plugin interface, but does show up in the automation parameters. When the host is set to write automation for the Automation Warnings control, it will display a line in the middle of the lane indicating compliant loudness levels. When an Over is detected, it will write a step to the maximum value; conversely, it will display a downward step when an Under is detected.
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 08-20-2018, 08:19 AM
JFreak's Avatar
JFreak JFreak is offline
Moderator
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Tampere, Finland
Posts: 15,269
Default Re: Processing audio to an RMS range and max peak level (Waves)

You need to have a brickwall limiter last in master output, set to -3.1 and before that a compressor of your choice to get the RMS to where you want it to be
__________________
Janne
What we do in life, echoes in eternity.
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 08-20-2018, 09:08 AM
simon.a.billington simon.a.billington is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2014
Location: Australia
Posts: 643
Default Re: Processing audio to an RMS range and max peak level (Waves)

Although WLM Plus has a True Peak limiter built in.

I still prefer to use my limiter of choice, but just use that last in the chain to catch any rogue peaks.
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 08-20-2018, 09:31 AM
JFreak's Avatar
JFreak JFreak is offline
Moderator
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Tampere, Finland
Posts: 15,269
Default Re: Processing audio to an RMS range and max peak level (Waves)

True. And that limiter of choice may not necessarily be expensive... the Massey L2007 still beats many top dollar limiters and it is free for try (cannot save settings) but I strongly suggest you pay for if you like it it as it is dirt cheap
__________________
Janne
What we do in life, echoes in eternity.
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 08-20-2018, 08:14 PM
bob2014 bob2014 is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2014
Location: Seattle
Posts: 28
Default Re: Processing audio to an RMS range and max peak level (Waves)

Quote:
Originally Posted by simon.a.billington View Post
WLM will make Trim suggestions to bring your audio into spec. As long as you have it set up correctly just hit the trim button after playing it through.

For more fine control, WLM will tell you when it has overs. The feature is not on the interface though, it’s actually in the automation. Just set it up, record the automation and make changes in the appropriate spot in your project.

From the manual...
Thanks much! On a somewhat related note, the manual says the True Peak limiter does not introduce makeup gain, so if my RMS level is too low, I may need to use L1 (or a peak limiter and a compressor, as Jreak wrote). I own Waves Gold Bundle, so I'll probably activate WUP so I can use it again.
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 08-20-2018, 08:15 PM
bob2014 bob2014 is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2014
Location: Seattle
Posts: 28
Default Re: Processing audio to an RMS range and max peak level (Waves)

Quote:
Originally Posted by JFreak View Post
You need to have a brickwall limiter last in master output, set to -3.1 and before that a compressor of your choice to get the RMS to where you want it to be
Much appreciated!
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 08-20-2018, 08:18 PM
bob2014 bob2014 is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2014
Location: Seattle
Posts: 28
Default Re: Processing audio to an RMS range and max peak level (Waves)

Thanks to Simon and JFreak. Great suggestions.
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 08-20-2018, 08:21 PM
simon.a.billington simon.a.billington is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2014
Location: Australia
Posts: 643
Default Re: Processing audio to an RMS range and max peak level (Waves)

Quote:
Originally Posted by bob2014 View Post
Much appreciated!
If it introduced make up gain it would put your signal back over your desired RMS level. The whole point is NOT to make that gain up. It’s actually a good thing with an ISP limiter.

However, there is still the Trim function that you can use manually.
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 08-21-2018, 05:20 AM
bob2014 bob2014 is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2014
Location: Seattle
Posts: 28
Default Re: Processing audio to an RMS range and max peak level (Waves)

Quote:
Originally Posted by simon.a.billington View Post
If it introduced make up gain it would put your signal back over your desired RMS level. ...
I downloaded Waves Gold Bundle this morning.

I'm trying to get versed on WLM Plus first.

Chapter 2 –Using the WLM
2.1 Quick Start Guide

1. Identify your loudness requirements. [Each file must measure between -23dB and -18dB RMS. Each file must have peak values no higher than -3dB.]
2. Insert WLM or WLM Plus on your program output. √
3. Select the appropriate preset. [For now, WLM Full Reset, then choose LM1. My requirements are not the same as any of the presets. Trim shows: 0.0.]
4. If you would like to create a log file, click the Export CSV button. √ [I chose Off-Line, but got no data. Next time I chose Real-Time, and got data.]

"Select Real-Time CSV File – Choose this option if you need ongoing infinite logging over a real-time audio stream. Remember to create the CSV log file in advance and the logging will take place in real time during measurements. (Recommended for Pro Tools RTAS.)
Select Off-Line CSV File – Choose this option when you want to scan a premixed file and draw a log. This file is written only when the WLM plugin is closed, and logs up to four hours of measurements. So, in case you forget to set a real-time log file, you can save an Off-Line CSV which will contain loudness information of the first 4 hours of measurements carried out by that plugin instance. (Recommended for Pro Tools Audiosuite.)"]

5. Play your program through WLM. √
6. Watch the meters to view the loudness measurements. √

After playing the entire program, check the Long Term meter to ascertain that your program complies with the required target.

[Close the plugin to close and save the CSV file.]

[It does not comply to RMS: LONG TERM: -24.3 LUFS (my target requirement: between -23dB and -18dB RMS). Range 6 LU ("Range Displays (in LU) the overall loudness range across the program signal that passes through the plugin.") (Range is not a spec I'm chasing.) It does comply to my -3.0 max peak required target: True Peak Limit -3.0.]

Trim is shown as 0.3 after playthrough.

--

To normalize the loudness measurement and ensure the program material does not exceed True Peak levels, you may use the WLM Plus component in the following manner after the initial measurement described above:

[I had to choose CSV offline to get data, and that meant I had to close the plugin to save the data of the first passthrough in its own file. When I reopen the plugin, it retains the same setting and data. I think that is just fine.]

The next steps presumably are to be executed starting with the plugin window in the state it was in after the first passthrough.]

1. Click the Trim button. √
2. Click Reset button. √
3. Activate the True Peak Limiter. √
4. If you would like to create a log file, click the Export CSV button. √ [I chose real-time.]
5. Play your program through WLM Plus to re-measure. √

[Close the plugin to close and save the CSV file.]

--

In the second go through my LONG TERM RMS is: -24.0 LUFS (1st pass was -24.3). Range 6 LU ("Range Displays (in LU) the overall loudness range across the program signal that passes through the plugin.") (Range is not a spec I'm chasing.) True Peak Limit -2.7 (exceeds my max target of -3.0 dB by .3 dB).

Trim shows: 0.0 after the second passthrough; the Gain slider got set to 0.3. The changes WLM made were apparently to make the specs of LM1.

The best I can figure (unless and until I can load a setting that is the same as RMS), I need to:

1) Measure each file for peak level.

2) Set the trim as the difference between the peak and my target (negative or positive, depending on if my peak is over or under target.

However, since I not only need to: keep my peaks at (or under) -3.0; be in my RMS range (between -23dB and -18dB RMS); and have my RMS values be close across files, it seems I need to measure all my files (I have about 28) for peak and loudness, and then work on compressor settings to get each file into the RMS range and be more or less matching between files, while maintaining a max peak value.

As far as I can tell, there is no way to enforce a maximum peak level automatically (as you can do in L1), but please correct me if I'm wrong.


Since my files are spoken word, any recommendation for a Waves compressor to work with (that is in the Gold Bundle, i.e., C1 vs. Renaissance)?

I have a mono Master Fader. When I insert and engage C1, the level on the right meter (seen in the master fader) is way attenuated compared to the left (about 20 db). My (source) track is mono, and panned center. Any thoughts on how to fix that?

thanks

Last edited by bob2014; 08-21-2018 at 12:59 PM. Reason: Major update
Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On

Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Waves Audio Processing Accelerator? mjteix 003, Mbox 2, Digi 002, original Mbox, Digi 001 (Mac) 3 09-20-2018 08:42 PM
Audio Suite Gain Plugin doesn't agree with Peak level in Track Meter blackbird99 Pro Tools 9 1 11-13-2014 10:14 AM
Specs for Broadcast, Leq(a), Peak audio and reference level yazoo Post - Surround - Video 7 04-04-2011 08:26 AM
Peak Level snoopdasnoopdog Tips & Tricks 2 01-24-2010 04:08 PM
Waves Audio Processing Accelerators scotsman Pro Tools TDM Systems (Mac) 12 06-10-2005 12:08 AM


All times are GMT -7. The time now is 07:11 AM.


Powered by: vBulletin, Copyright ©2000 - 2008, Jelsoft Enterprises Limited. Forum Hosted By: URLJet.com