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Old 11-15-2019, 12:54 PM
ihate100bees ihate100bees is offline
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Default How to determine correct level of Wave form?

In preferences (metering), I chose a Digital VU. My low color break point is -20 and my high color break is -6. Also O = O. Everything is set for 48k recording and mixed thru my Sony DMX R100 console at 48k. My mixes are perfectly aligned within these numbers. From my Sony mix buss I run the mix thru 2 outboard compressors, then back into PT to a stereo track... again the levels look and sound perfectly clear...but when I do a "bounce" to a mp3 set to 320 and drop it onto a flash drive to play in my car... it's very low compared to everything else I hear that has been mastered... or other friends that work with music. Am I wrong to mix less at these levels? I understand and know about levels required for pre mastering but still... with everyone using software in their houses now to "Master"... mine is much lower. Also in comparing the height of MY wave forms, they are just under the top. If I zoom in, they increase. Is there a "default" setting to be sure I am not on a zoomed in wave form setting? When I import a mix from someone else and compare it, the top of the Wave form is smashed, compared to mine. Ideas? thanks!

Last edited by ihate100bees; 11-15-2019 at 12:57 PM. Reason: added
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Old 11-15-2019, 05:37 PM
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DetroitT DetroitT is offline
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Default Re: How to determine correct level of Wave form?

Hi
Your level approach seems good and correct.
_ CD-Loud has not gone away when it come to listening dubs!

Add separate Master (Dupe of your master) and add Hot-processing (peak at -1 or -0.1)
then alter both I/O of masters-out for the "to go" dub

there are many ways and variations to this theme....

to test and calibrate requires voltage tools and is a separate but connected subject.
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Last edited by DetroitT; 11-15-2019 at 05:39 PM. Reason: clarity
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Old 11-15-2019, 05:49 PM
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Default Re: How to determine correct level of Wave form?

Wave height has nothing to do with dB/volume, you can change one -except when you use Clip Gain/AS Gain - without changing the other.
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Old 11-19-2019, 12:17 AM
ihate100bees ihate100bees is offline
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Default Re: How to determine correct level of Wave form?

Thanks for this information. I'll need to know where to make that choice in the menus or options for clip gain, or not. Very good to know as I thought it did... make a difference if I saw the waveform being squished by the top line. I did notice when I zoomed in or zoomed out, that the wave form was not really squished. I try to keep my Peaks around -6 but I recently read an article, saying that when you go to mastering... it's really not that bad if your Peaks are just below zero. The problem seemed to be that when mastering is done with software, it could get ugly if it goes past 0 but with analog gear used like the old days... they can actually push it more to obtain a better sound. What is your take on that?

Last edited by ihate100bees; 11-19-2019 at 03:51 PM.
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Old 11-19-2019, 12:44 AM
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Default Re: How to determine correct level of Wave form?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ihate100bees View Post
In preferences (metering), I chose a Digital VU. My low color break point is -20 and my high color break is -6.
Have you considered using the K-14 meter for master? It may be better suited for you.
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Old 11-19-2019, 03:34 PM
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Bob Olhsson Bob Olhsson is offline
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Default Re: How to determine correct level of Wave form?

Setting levels on program material is always a guess. The difference between analog and digital is that with digital, it is far better to error on the low side rather than the high side.
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Old 11-19-2019, 04:04 PM
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Default Re: How to determine correct level of Wave form?

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Originally Posted by Bob Olhsson View Post
Setting levels on program material is always a guess. The difference between analog and digital is that with digital, it is far better to error on the low side rather than the high side.
True. Which is why I master to even -3dBFS when the material has very low RMS (a.k.a. not punchy) because of the end user DA cannot handle top 3dB very well.
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Old 11-20-2019, 09:34 AM
Rich Breen Rich Breen is offline
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Default Re: How to determine correct level of Wave form?

A few things to note here - some of which have been touched on by others:

You will never get close to most mastered levels without significant amounts of peak limiting - this is generally best done in the mastering phase *after* the mix has been printed with reasonable amounts of headroom.

Displayed waveform height is completely variable by the user, and trying to set levels by it is a waste of time, but ctl-opt-cmd-[ will return vertical zoom to default.

Trying to set loudness by VU meter is difficult for a novice; better to use a loudness meter (LUFS/LKFS) - nothing can beat your ears for determining loudness, but these will give you a better idea of actual loudness level than a VU meter. Peak meters are good for determining available headroom.

The best method for managing loudness is to work on a *calibrated* monitoring system; if you know where -20dBFS RMS = 85dB SPLC Slow is (or whatever level is appropriate for the destination) you will learn how things should *sound* and you can mostly forget about meters.

3 to 6dB of headroom is appropriate for unmastered mixed material - never deliver maxed out or peak-limited mixes to a mastering engineer.
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Last edited by Rich Breen; 11-20-2019 at 09:52 AM.
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Old 11-20-2019, 11:20 AM
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Default Re: How to determine correct level of Wave form?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rich Breen View Post
3 to 6dB of headroom is appropriate for unmastered mixed material - never deliver maxed out or peak-limited mixes to a mastering engineer.
^^this, and levels can safely be much lower, because 24bit WAV has 144dB dynamics so even if you used 120dB of it you would still have 24dB headroom. Whatever sounds good when you mix is good. Better turn your volume up than crank the digital levels.
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