Close

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 12
  1. #1

    Default Nice freeware LUFS meter - and mastering for new level standards for streaming audio

    Greeting SAWyers -
    Streaming is quickly replacing downloaded music files for the majority of end listeners' preferred delivery methods - and the adoption of "loudness normalization" algorithms as a default on playback by many of these services (particularly Spotify, YouTube and Tidal) has started to spark a major turning point in mastering levels.
    For those new to this - some background info on the various new average metering scales (including LUFS) is at https://www.tcelectronic.com/brand/t...ness-explained
    Spotify and Tidal are now using the LUFS metering system (which measures average loudness similar to RMS, but uses frequency weighting to make their measurments much more accurate for describing actual perceived loudness than RMS gives) and using -14 LUFS as their target - and YouTube uses a slightly different algorithm with around -13 LUFS as its target. What this means is that heavily brickwall limited tracks that were crushed in order to sound "loud" in a CD player or iPod shuffle have their overall level turned down by an x measured amount to allow more dynamic tracks when played in shuffle to sound as if they are at the same level. So - more dynamic tracks will sound just as "loud" as heavily crushed tracks in a shuffled Spotify or YouTube playlist - but the less crushed tracks will be able to playback cleaner, with less harshness and more punch and snap retained.

    SO- if you are mastering specifically for these formats it is now vital to be able to meter using the LUFS standard if you want to achieve optimal results for them.

    One of the best VST plugin meters for the various new loudness standards is Nugen Mastercheck Pro - however this is only available as a 64bit plugin - and when I attempted to wrap it as a 32bit dll using JBridge it still crashed SAWStudio. Not only that - but it costs a bit of cash that could likely be better used for other things in a studio's budget if other options are available. You can still send to this meter via using Virtual Audio Cable to send to a different host that can handle 64bit plugins - or you can stream to the other host via a multiplexing in a digital interface or digital patchbay - but these work around solutions are a bit more clunky than just being able to load a plugin directly in SAWStudio.
    Luckily I found a great freeware meter that reads LUFS correctly - that works great in SAWStudio - the YouLean Loudness Meter -
    https://youlean.co/youlean-loudness-meter/

    Hope this post helps some others - and Happy SAWing!

    Best regards,
    Steve Berson

  2. #2

    Default Re: Nice freeware LUFS meter - and mastering for new level standards for streaming au

    Quote Originally Posted by TotalSonic View Post
    Greeting SAWyers -
    Streaming is quickly replacing downloaded music files for the majority of end listeners' preferred delivery methods - and the adoption of "loudness normalization" algorithms as a default on playback by many of these services (particularly Spotify, YouTube and Tidal) has started to spark a major turning point in mastering levels.
    For those new to this - some background info on the various new average metering scales (including LUFS) is at https://www.tcelectronic.com/brand/t...ness-explained
    Spotify and Tidal are now using the LUFS metering system (which measures average loudness similar to RMS, but uses frequency weighting to make their measurments much more accurate for describing actual perceived loudness than RMS gives) and using -14 LUFS as their target - and YouTube uses a slightly different algorithm with around -13 LUFS as its target. What this means is that heavily brickwall limited tracks that were crushed in order to sound "loud" in a CD player or iPod shuffle have their overall level turned down by an x measured amount to allow more dynamic tracks when played in shuffle to sound as if they are at the same level. So - more dynamic tracks will sound just as "loud" as heavily crushed tracks in a shuffled Spotify or YouTube playlist - but the less crushed tracks will be able to playback cleaner, with less harshness and more punch and snap retained.

    SO- if you are mastering specifically for these formats it is now vital to be able to meter using the LUFS standard if you want to achieve optimal results for them.

    One of the best VST plugin meters for the various new loudness standards is Nugen Mastercheck Pro - however this is only available as a 64bit plugin - and when I attempted to wrap it as a 32bit dll using JBridge it still crashed SAWStudio. Not only that - but it costs a bit of cash that could likely be better used for other things in a studio's budget if other options are available. You can still send to this meter via using Virtual Audio Cable to send to a different host that can handle 64bit plugins - or you can stream to the other host via a multiplexing in a digital interface or digital patchbay - but these work around solutions are a bit more clunky than just being able to load a plugin directly in SAWStudio.
    Luckily I found a great freeware meter that reads LUFS correctly - that works great in SAWStudio - the YouLean Loudness Meter -
    https://youlean.co/youlean-loudness-meter/

    Hope this post helps some others - and Happy SAWing!

    Best regards,
    Steve Berson
    Many thanks for the info, Steve.

    I discovered the Youlean plug a few months ago, and used it to set session template levels for a client's semi-weekly podcasts (client typically records and renders the program on her own). As it turned out, I had already been RMS-ing them into the current-day-podcast-convention ballpark (though there is a range out there, of course), which made me feel good.

    After decades of wishing and hoping, in a bit of a reversal, it looks like market forces are finally solving the loudness wars problem. Whodathunkit?

    Patience, Grasshopper.
    Dave "it aint the heat, it's the humidity" Labrecque
    Becket, Massachusetts

  3. #3

    Default Re: Nice freeware LUFS meter - and mastering for new level standards for streaming au

    Oh -- while on the topic (or slightly off-topic) -- if anyone's looking for a really decent FREE AGC VST plug-in, check out MB Process. It's made such a huge difference in the consistency of these podcasts (where levels can be all over the road).
    Dave "it aint the heat, it's the humidity" Labrecque
    Becket, Massachusetts

  4. #4

    Default Re: Nice freeware LUFS meter - and mastering for new level standards for streaming au

    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Labrecque View Post
    Oh -- while on the topic (or slightly off-topic) -- if anyone's looking for a really decent FREE AGC VST plug-in, check out MB Process. It's made such a huge difference in the consistency of these podcasts (where levels can be all over the road).
    would this do something different than the levelizer?

  5. #5

    Default Re: Nice freeware LUFS meter - and mastering for new level standards for streaming au

    Quote Originally Posted by Pastor Rob View Post
    would this do something different than the levelizer?
    VERY different. The levelizer is a simple compressor/limiter (with some cool features). The MB Process does Automatic Gain Control, which means it follows the overall loudness and tries to keep it constant. MB Process actually has several different stages and functions, but that's it's main function. It's like having an engineer "riding gain" on a program that varies in volume in an effort to keep it's loudness consistent.

    Example: I have a podcast client who's mix engineer is her husband. He has poor hearing and lackluster audio intuition, so oftentimes his host vs. guest (who can be in the studio or on the phone) levels are pretty different. I used to struggle to try to train him to listen better, and that worked to some degree; but he has a disability, so we never got all the way there. With MB Process on the job in mixdown, his shortcomings as a mix engineer are pretty much rendered moot. It's been a game-changer for us on this podcast. And it's free!

    You can adjust how intensely you want the gain control to work. It has multi-band compression and limiting, too. It's pretty cool. It's like a poor man's Optimod (the thing radio stations often use to even out their program signal -- and make it loud).
    Last edited by Dave Labrecque; 05-14-2018 at 06:16 AM.
    Dave "it aint the heat, it's the humidity" Labrecque
    Becket, Massachusetts

  6. #6

    Default Re: Nice freeware LUFS meter - and mastering for new level standards for streaming au

    Thanks Steve & Dave, good info!
    "It's like, how much more black could this be? and the answer is none. None more black." - Nigel Tufnel

  7. #7

    Default Re: Nice freeware LUFS meter - and mastering for new level standards for streaming au

    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Labrecque View Post
    VERY different. The levelizer is a simple compressor/limiter (with some cool features). The MB Process does Automatic Gain Control, which means it follows the overall loudness and tries to keep it constant. MB Process actually has several different stages and functions, but that's it's main function. It's like having an engineer "riding gain" on a program that varies in volume in an effort to keep it's loudness consistent.

    Example: I have a podcast client who's mix engineer is her husband. He has poor hearing and lackluster audio intuition, so oftentimes his host vs. guest (who can be in the studio or on the phone) levels are pretty different. I used to struggle to try to train him to listen better, and that worked to some degree; but he has a disability, so we never got all the way there. With MB Process on the job in mixdown, his shortcomings as a mix engineer are pretty much rendered moot. It's been a game-changer for us on this podcast. And it's free!

    You can adjust how intensely you want the gain control to work. It has multi-band compression and limiting, too. It's pretty cool. It's like a poor man's Optimod (the thing radio stations often use to even out their program signal -- and make it loud).
    THANK YOU FOR THE INFO!

  8. #8

    Default Re: Nice freeware LUFS meter - and mastering for new level standards for streaming au

    Hi Steve!
    I stumbled upon this today, but can't get it to work correctly. I put it in the SAW VST folder, and it opens up fine (using the 32 bit version).
    I have it on Device 1 output channel, tried it in Pre and Post Fader positions. Then I put a stereo file on track 1 of the multitrack.
    Nothing on the meter.
    Tried the Sonoris meter in the same position, works fine. I see and hear signal on the SAWStudio output 1.

    What am I missing here? It's just not getting any sound through it.

    Thanks!!

    Scott

  9. #9

    Default Re: Nice freeware LUFS meter - and mastering for new level standards for streaming au

    Quote Originally Posted by studio-c View Post
    Hi Steve!
    I stumbled upon this today, but can't get it to work correctly. I put it in the SAW VST folder, and it opens up fine (using the 32 bit version).
    I have it on Device 1 output channel, tried it in Pre and Post Fader positions. Then I put a stereo file on track 1 of the multitrack.
    Nothing on the meter.
    Tried the Sonoris meter in the same position, works fine. I see and hear signal on the SAWStudio output 1.

    What am I missing here? It's just not getting any sound through it.

    Thanks!!

    Scott
    Scott -- not that it should make a difference, but I have my Youlean VST DLL here: C:\Program Files (x86)\Vstplugins -- with an INI file in the C:\SAWStudio\VST_PlugIns folder pointing to it.

    Does it work with a mono file on track 1, but not with a stereo file on track 1? That would be weird. Mine works with both. I'd double-check your mono and pan settings for the channel and all your routing type settings.

    NOTE: when I went to investigate, I found that at some time in the past I disabled the DLL (added ".disable" to the filename), so it must've been behaving badly in SAWStudio. I just don't remember the details. That said, I re-enabled it just now, and it seems to work.
    Dave "it aint the heat, it's the humidity" Labrecque
    Becket, Massachusetts

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Tehachapi Ca.
    Posts
    512

    Default Re: Nice freeware LUFS meter - and mastering for new level standards for streaming au

    Not working here either...shows up but does not respond.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •