Need my Master to sound louder

Svemir

Member
Guys, I know I asked a similar question but I followed some of your tips and improved my master loudness a bit.
Despite this I still cannot reach my reference track volume, needs still just a few DBs.
So below you can see the situation on my Mix busses, as you can see I have nothing on my master bus, but I have place a clipper on my drums bus just enough not to distort, and also an extra one on the drums track to load balance, also I put a compressor and a saturation knob on my drums bus.
On the guitars and bass bus I placed a limiter, also some limiters on single tracks that were having too many DBs, I used the limiter carefully.
Despite this my MASTER limiter (see Ozone following photo) is still going a bit crazy over the drums transients if I try to push it at -7 or -8 dbs in order to stay at around -7/-6 LUFS on the loudest part of the song.
Also consider the drums are not loud compared to the rest, they are just ok in volume atm.
Is this kind of gain reduction not recommended because you risk distortion?
What can I do still to raise my track volume without causing this kind of crazy gain reduction on my Ozone Master Limiter?
Please consider this loudest part is like post metal, rock, so heavy drums and distorted guitar and bass, so shouldn't have too much dynamic apparently.
Also suppose I'm mastering for CD so -6 LUFS loudness would be ok.

1629222610316.png

MASTER LIMITER

1629222637309.png


Analyzing my master (below) with my Reference Track (up, downloaded in FLAC from internet) I can see mine is more dynamic, so I suppose I can still push with the limiter despite the gain reduction that I see in Ozone? Please don't say trust your ears cause I'm newbie on this.


1629222669168.png
 

mjbphotos

What?!?
That top one (your reference track) has the old 'sausage casing' look - cram as much as you can in - look at all the squared-off (limiter) peaks. Stop playing the loudness war.
 

rob aylestone

Well-known member
You know my test? It’s not numbers, it when I have to stretch to reach a control to go up or down on the volume. In my studio the volume faders might have seized up? I’d never know. I do know that I had to turn this down on the pad I used last night on Spotify. Too loud when it kicked in. Somebody, somewhere gave advice to people to make things loud and involve volume measurement to three decimal places. We also invented new measurement systems to give even more numbers. Every time we see a waveform like this, we know what it will sound like. It simply needs to sound the same when Spotify has your track between two similar genre ones, and even if you get that wrong, Spotify will notice it and mangle it a bit more for you. Anything more that you do will make it worse, not better.
 

Mickster

Well-known member
Man....why do you (or anyone) need -6 LUFS ??? You're still fighting that battle huh? I noticed that you haven't asked Ozone to "learn the threshold". What happens when you set the "learn" threshold to -6 LUFS? Maybe you've tried that. I doubt that the result will be much different or better but you can give it a try.

As we've pointed out before regarding your song...you need to do more with your individual tracks to get to the volume you want. And yes.....you do likely need to adjust snare and bass strikes (and maybe other track spots) individually via automation. However.....you made some sort of statement that you rather shoot yourself.....or something like that.....than do that kind of automation. It's not that big a deal. It's VERY common to do note by note or VERY small incremental automation when needed. Vocals are a common area for that approach. Lots of individual tracks are approached this way. Your song is at the point where such an approach might actually get you where you want to go.

Anyway.....keep at it and good luck!!

Mick
 

doormanmusic

New member
I would really aim for -14 LUFS for online use. I don't know what you intend to do with your music but even -9 LUFS is loud enough for CD. Platforms like YouTube and Spotify normalize to -14 LUFS so anything that is uploaded and is louder will get turned down anyway.
 

Svemir

Member
I would really aim for -14 LUFS for online use. I don't know what you intend to do with your music but even -9 LUFS is loud enough for CD. Platforms like YouTube and Spotify normalize to -14 LUFS so anything that is uploaded and is louder will get turned down anyway.
From my understanding, tell me if I'm wrong, LUFS to measure the sound is quite relative? I mean basically you could have a lower volume song which is -14 LUFS but just because there are some peaks reaching more than -14 and that would make it -14 on average, but in reality your song by listening is low in volume.
SO I'm not sure everyone is really understanding what I'm meaning here.
You can have a -14 LUFS song on average that is much lower in volume than another -14 LUFS song, just because one is more squashed than the other, So if I tell you that mine is -14 LUFS is quite relative.
Consider also that this -14 LUFS thing is bullshit because you cannot tell me that those major artist songs on Spotify are -14 LUFS they sound much much louder than that, or maybe my song is just too dynamic and not squashed enough like those of major artist.
So every number is quite relative here.
 

Svemir

Member
I would really aim for -14 LUFS for online use. I don't know what you intend to do with your music but even -9 LUFS is loud enough for CD. Platforms like YouTube and Spotify normalize to -14 LUFS so anything that is uploaded and is louder will get turned down anyway.
ALso I know bloody streaming services are asking for -14 lufs but I want to have a louder version to listen locally on my phone, PC, and also Bandcamp for instance, they don't have this LUFS limit, so I would make a specific master version for spotify but I would have a louder one also.
 

doormanmusic

New member
Spotify allegedly turns everything down to -14 LUFS. So it would make sense to shoot for a song with these average dynamics (it is indeed an average). I don't know what Bandcamp does but I aim standard for -14 LUFS. The problem of shooting for -6 LUFS is that you lose a lot of dynamic range and the end result sounds squashed. That's my experience.
 

Svemir

Member
Spotify allegedly turns everything down to -14 LUFS. So it would make sense to shoot for a song with these average dynamics (it is indeed an average). I don't know what Bandcamp does but I aim standard for -14 LUFS. The problem of shooting for -6 LUFS is that you lose a lot of dynamic range and the end result sounds squashed. That's my experience.
Ok but my point is, most major artists on their CDs, or downloadable WAV songs are all around -6/-5 LUFS, I measured them, more than one. So you are saying that their songs are not dynamic?
 

Svemir

Member
Spotify allegedly turns everything down to -14 LUFS. So it would make sense to shoot for a song with these average dynamics (it is indeed an average). I don't know what Bandcamp does but I aim standard for -14 LUFS. The problem of shooting for -6 LUFS is that you lose a lot of dynamic range and the end result sounds squashed. That's my experience.
Can you tell if this is squashed or too hot for you? https://drive.google.com/file/d/1nkhUcs6ODZ7VJTLokKPn0kQ83sVRARO8/view?usp=sharing
 

rob aylestone

Well-known member
You can have whatever you want? You clearly don't want MORE level you just want as much maximum level and nothing below it - as in you want more compression. Logically, there is a maximum volume for each sample, and you are just trying to get more of yours closer to it!

It's futile! It's already squashed, and you want to squash it even more. That's of course your choice, but what you want is very, very different from everyone else. Since we started using LUFS, most people have a new attitude to volume - a system where everything has a relative volume - the quiet bits the loud bits the spiky bits and smooth bits. We can now cope with all these and put numbers on it.

I'm not saying you are wrong - it's your music and you can do whatever you want with it - but it's one of millions of bits of music and instead of conforming to the norm, you're fighting in your own corner. If your phone can really do the music justice - go for it, but I'm not sure you'll ever me happy.
 

Svemir

Member
You can have whatever you want? You clearly don't want MORE level you just want as much maximum level and nothing below it - as in you want more compression. Logically, there is a maximum volume for each sample, and you are just trying to get more of yours closer to it!

It's futile! It's already squashed, and you want to squash it even more. That's of course your choice, but what you want is very, very different from everyone else. Since we started using LUFS, most people have a new attitude to volume - a system where everything has a relative volume - the quiet bits the loud bits the spiky bits and smooth bits. We can now cope with all these and put numbers on it.

I'm not saying you are wrong - it's your music and you can do whatever you want with it - but it's one of millions of bits of music and instead of conforming to the norm, you're fighting in your own corner. If your phone can really do the music justice - go for it, but I'm not sure you'll ever me happy.
all right, I think I might have found the issue, I didn't use parallel compression on the drums, but only one compressed bus, I'm trying and now the drums sound much louder with the same peaks, so that might work in the master I should be able to not squash it. To be honest with you I'm still a newbie and I cannot tell if it's squashed or not. So I used a bx_meter that measure dynamics, compared it with my reference track, and mine is more dynamic, also from the waveforms you can see its more dynamic, but you tell me it's squashed, so I must have done something wrong here.
 

rob aylestone

Well-known member
The one organ you have that really works for you are your ears. If you cannot tell if it is squashed by listening, we cannot help you. You MUST learn to hear properly before you start faffing around with numbers. When I became a teacher - I was one of the first to teach music technology and then later examine it, and the one thing that has been a constant since those days was student's inability to hear compression - and we're talking basic compression on drums and vocals. Sometimes, they'd suddenly hear it, but others never did. You're not reacting to the sound, you're reacting to numbers and you need to go back to basics and really get to grips with what compression does, and most vitally, what the artefacts of compression sound like.
 

LazerBeakShiek

Well-known member
all right, I think I might have found the issue, I didn't use parallel compression on the drums, but only one compressed bus
How many times are you compressing your drums?

Isn't the peak db + RMS meter easier? Use the RMS for dynamic strength. Then take the mix and normalize to -16LUFS.
 

Svemir

Member
The one organ you have that really works for you are your ears. If you cannot tell if it is squashed by listening, we cannot help you. You MUST learn to hear properly before you start faffing around with numbers. When I became a teacher - I was one of the first to teach music technology and then later examine it, and the one thing that has been a constant since those days was student's inability to hear compression - and we're talking basic compression on drums and vocals. Sometimes, they'd suddenly hear it, but others never did. You're not reacting to the sound, you're reacting to numbers and you need to go back to basics and really get to grips with what compression does, and most vitally, what the artefacts of compression sound like.
thing is that I'm using my ears and comparing my master with my reference track and it doesn't seem squashed to me, but is super squashed for him
all very relative
 

Svemir

Member
How many times are you compressing your drums?

Isn't the peak db + RMS meter easier? Use the RMS for dynamic strength. Then take the mix and normalize to -16LUFS.
I used some compression on individual kit, so snare kick etc, then on the drums parallel bus I applied parallel compression, ratio at 4, then also a saturation knob and a clipper always on the drums parallel bus, so I think it should be enough. I think should be quite normal to have some peaks of kick and snare over a super wall of metal guitars, otherwise thedrums will disappear behind them, so I don't know how can you raise the overall volume without making a super compressed track. On metal tracks compression is quite heavy, so I'm not sure
 

LazerBeakShiek

Well-known member
, so I don't know how can you raise the overall volume without making a super compressed track. On metal tracks compression is quite heavy, so I'm not sure
Use a LPF and HPF filter set and make up the gain.

I know those drums disappear..The bass disappears on the higher neck notes.
 

TalismanRich

Well-known member
Ok but my point is, most major artists on their CDs, or downloadable WAV songs are all around -6/-5 LUFS, I measured them, more than one. So you are saying that their songs are not dynamic?
You're sorely mistaken if you think that is the norm. I just pulled a half dozen commercial recordings into Reaper and measured the LUFS for each track. NOT A SINGLE ONE hit -6. Here are the statistics.

Commercial Loudness.jpg

If all you measure is thrash metal, where everything is just a barrage of sound and the needle never moves below -2, then yeah, -5 might be there, but that's more the exception for a specific genre. You're squeezing all the life out of stuff.

You need to quit looking at a damn waveform graph and start listening.
 
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