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Old 08-07-2022, 10:08 PM
RackAddict RackAddict is offline
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Default Genre-Specific Mastering Loudness

I'm taking this Streaky course in mastering and he says to pick a couple reference tracks to have in your pro tools mastering template. Ive selected a couple tracks, the best and biggest sounding ones in my genres that I could think of: the first is Deftones 'Diamond Eyes' sounds big and Rammstein 'Sonne' is also pretty loud but also very clear. These tracks sound larger than life without sounding too slammed so I will be using those as my reference. And Im also to select some tracks in other genres too.

But then when i go to youtube to compare various tracks in hip hop, I am not sure why they seem to sound louder still. Im demo-ing anything from Post Malone to Drake.

I don't own any of the latter on CD so i cant import them for the time being into RX to analyze but When i analyze the Deftones one, it looks as maximized as possibly can be on the spectrograph and on the wave forms without sounding overboard on the limiting. Same with the Rammstein Sonne track.

Am I missing something as to why hip hop songs sound louder on youtube than metal tracks do? (and yes I am aware that youtube is not the best audio quality but Im still wondering whats going on here with the perceived loudness. And the objective here is to make metal as loud and as clear and clean as possible... as its already at a disadvantage for clarity since its very busy with alot of stuff going on. Am wondering if thats the case for loudness too and the reason for the lower headroom available? Because that shouldn't be the case if there is side-chain compression going on with kicks bringing down bass lines (and bass in metal isnt even as loud as hiphop, to begin with.)

Are metal mix engineers not sidechaining stuff to make it sound more massive? Because there is only so much a mastering engineer can do if there wasn't certain mix techniques applied.

There is also the possibility to tame electric guitars with compressors by sidechaining in the vocals.

Im assuming all this stuff is being done in hip hip to the maximum degree to really slam those tracks hard and that there is somehow more headroom to be able to do so.
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Old 08-07-2022, 11:45 PM
nednednerb nednednerb is online now
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Default Re: Genre-Specific Mastering Loudness

Metal and rock are a LOT brighter in tone overall than MUCH hip-hop.

The screaming guitars have a lot of high end, and they scream continuously. They raise the overall LUFS of that music,

BUT in a lot of hip-hop, the bass, kick, and percussion are important beside the vocals with various samples (not too blaring usually). The high frequency component of hip-hop is often the snares and high hats, but those instruments have much less sustain than screaming guitars. The bass and kick get more of the overall level in the tonal balance.

That means for the same LUFS integrated measured, hip-hip will drive the air "more" with deep powerful tone.

Then, a random person has to consider their human ears have their own curve on the "equal loudness" chart, but typically, we hear well mastered hip-hop with a LOT of power at the bottom. Also, if people have some lifetime hearing degradation due to repeated exposure to loud sound, some levels of some ranges might sound quieter than for others.

These are some random opinions on the question that might be relevant.
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Last edited by nednednerb; 08-07-2022 at 11:47 PM. Reason: grammar
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Old 08-08-2022, 04:05 AM
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Default Re: Genre-Specific Mastering Loudness

There are no templates when it comes to mastering
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Old 08-08-2022, 10:00 AM
RackAddict RackAddict is offline
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Default Re: Genre-Specific Mastering Loudness

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Originally Posted by JFreak View Post
There are no templates when it comes to mastering
I think this is more of a mixing thing now that I realize stuff about side chaining.
There's so many things one can cross sidechain to maximize the impact of whatever is being side-chained in. Even band-specific sidechaining.
The question is just how much side chaining is done when comparing all these genres.


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Old 08-08-2022, 03:17 PM
nednednerb nednednerb is online now
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Default Re: Genre-Specific Mastering Loudness

Some of what you refer to could also be described as "controlling one signal based on another". You can refer to what you sound like you're saying as "voltage control" or some flavour of "signal routing" and modulation.

A de-esser plugging could be one knob "De-Ess Amount" but in fact the process is a frequency dependent dynamic control where a signal is side-chained with itself.

It's definitely very interesting but the concepts you seem to be hinting at seem a bit more flexible and general than only the term "side chain" gets at.

Mastering plug-ins definitely do a lot of this parallelization of signals and intermodulation, hence the hundreds of milliseconds of latency in many such plug-ins!

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Old 08-08-2022, 09:15 PM
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Default Re: Genre-Specific Mastering Loudness

As outlined above, Peak vs Persistence. Metal will have high persistence compared to Hip Hop, so your metal track will get less individual elements punching out of the mix so to speak. Average VU will be high leading to a high LUFS measurement.
Hip Hop leans towards drums, bass and voice, so more peak and Bass which gives lower LUFS measurements.
Also your Hip Hop has a lot more mix space dedicated to vocals. Apparent loudness often corresponds to the loudness of vocal content.
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Old 08-15-2022, 09:24 PM
RackAddict RackAddict is offline
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Default Re: Genre-Specific Mastering Loudness

Need to clarify something major here which is why I'm not buying alot of what has been indicated. It's the Hip hop drums being louder than metal. So that is not about LUFS. That's the one area that surprised me because that portion of this is more about louder peaks which means there has to be more space allowed in some other way. So how is it that the kicks are punching when it has more to compete with in louder bass lines?
On Vocals that's understandable because of Vocals competing with guitars which you don't want to the vocal compressor keying hard into. But for the drums this isn't making much sense other than the fact that the clicker sounding kicks are likely competing with things like hats and click sounding Tom's as well where these engineers are EQ-ing so much content above 4K into kicks and toms, with often times Tim's hit at the same time kicks to.
So if they both are similar frequencies from 7 to 8k boosted, then what is side-chaining what here they can't both side chain each other at the same time so there must be competition which they are probably not realizing is really doubling those frequencies overdone so that the overall sounds are turned down just in the general mix. This is what I'm thinking.
There has to be some way to get this kind of music sounding bigger overall and I've started EQ-ing less of those highs into the drums because if a production needs to carpet bomb all these clicky over-crisp sounding drums into the production, then that seems it may be masking overall artistic value. (And by carpet bomb I mean all the un-naturally Eq-ed drums, I mean more in deathcore music now. But even the sample tracks i mentioned have the crisp drum type of sound).
But I'm just speculating here as I've just started experimenting with alternate approaches to mixing metal.

Last edited by RackAddict; 08-15-2022 at 09:39 PM.
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Old 08-15-2022, 10:22 PM
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Default Re: Genre-Specific Mastering Loudness

What! Where am I? Is this Gearslutz???!
More or less knowledgable people throwing out a messy mix of more or less factual statements based on internet hearsay - while at the same time trying their best to come off as much more experienced than they really are. Reference tracks from Youtube? Come on.
/rant
I might be getting battered after this, but I won't get into any type of fight, just had to vent.
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Old 08-15-2022, 10:24 PM
RackAddict RackAddict is offline
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Default Re: Genre-Specific Mastering Loudness

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ben Jenssen View Post
What! Where am I? Is this Gearslutz???!
More or less knowledgable people throwing out a messy mix of more or less factual statements based on internet hearsay - while at the same time trying their best to come off as much more experienced than they really are. Reference tracks from Youtube? Come on.
/rant
I might be getting battered after this, but I won't get into any type of fight, just had to vent.
You seem confused. The perceived loudness matter applies equally to a YouTube lesser quality playback as it does to the CD version 44.1/16 or original studio version at 88.2k or 96k/24 bit. The discussion is not about the detail of reverb trails or matters of hi-fi resolution

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Last edited by RackAddict; 08-17-2022 at 04:01 AM.
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Old 08-15-2022, 11:22 PM
TJ Allen TJ Allen is online now
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Default Re: Genre-Specific Mastering Loudness

The idea of everything keying everything else is madness, and is a product of people trying to get attention and follows on the social media by posting mix tips that try to give ‘tricks’ for making things sound good. Do pro mixers Sidechain stuff occasionally? Sure they do. But FAR fewer things than you expect. Perhaps the kick is knocking the 808 down to allow the attack of the kick through. Or perhaps the dry vocal is being used to key a compressor on a vocal reverb return to keep it out of the way during vocal phrases, but it’s often just that. Watch an actual professional like Manny Marroquin, Jaycen Joshua, Leslie Brathwaite mix hip hop or watch Andy Wallace or Terry Date mix metal and you’ll see very few ‘tricksy’ things - just small moves that add up to huge sounds. The most important thing is how well recorded/put together the track is, how effective the arrangement is etc.

In terms of LUFS and perceived volume - it’s pretty simple. Lower frequencies = more voltage. Hip hop has very loud kick and bass, but usual not much else. They are shorter, non sustaining sounds with loads of air between the notes. Metal = big kicks, big toms, thick bass guitar, thick guitars, often playing constantly. It stands to reason that because of the sustaining sounds, the LUFS reading will be ‘louder’, but the perceived volume against an equivalent LUFS reading on a hip hop track will be quieter.

My advice here is simple - stop paying attention to internet based mixing tips, and ‘professionals’ like Streaky (the fact that it wasn’t clear whether you were taking a mixing or a mastering course should hopefully be enough of a clue that it’s educational content is somewhat lacking), and simplify your process. Better still, get a Mix With The Masters subscription and watch some Jaycen Joshua, Andy Wallace and Leslie Brathwaite mix walkthroughs. You’ll see a lot less fancy processing than you expect, the routing will be simpler, and the bus processing will be simpler.

It’s a long road, but I hope that helps.
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