Need my Master to sound louder

LazerBeakShiek

AKA Optimus Prime LEGO Vampire
Rich, what Reaper action is that? Loudness?

edit- Got it.

SWS extensions.

Are there any other add ons for Reaper yall use?
 
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TalismanRich

Well-known member
Yeah, Beakster, the SWS extensions are really great. I've got Ozone Elements, but so far, I really haven't used it for much. I really didn't like the way the presets sounded. The add on I really use is the Bricasti M7 reverb IRs. They work great with ReaVERB.
 

Svemir

Member
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.

View attachment 111272

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.
Not really like my references pal, just see.
Where have you downloaded those references? might be the format? Mine are in FLAC downloaded from soulseek, yours?


MOGWAI
1629357750770.png

ENVY
1629357806584.png
 

Svemir

Member
Yeah, Beakster, the SWS extensions are really great. I've got Ozone Elements, but so far, I really haven't used it for much. I really didn't like the way the presets sounded. The add on I really use is the Bricasti M7 reverb IRs. They work great with ReaVERB.
I'm measuring only the explosive part of the song, the highest in volume, not the quiet parts eh
Ahhh shit! I have found the GLITCH!!! I'm not using the youlean meter properly!! Now I analyzed it from their website and my master is at about -12 LUFS integrated, fu**!!!! LOL
ah but this is all relative guys! so basically it depends from the kind of song! OF COURSE mine has a very quiet part that last like 3 minutes and then an explosive part which last 1 minute, I was comparing it with a Mogwai song which is all hardcore, of course mine measure -12 LUFS and that one -6 LUFS integrated!
So if I want to make a comparison I should measure only the loudest part, so if I measure that mine is at about -8 LUFS int (despite the whole song is at -12 LUFS int) and the reference at -6 LUFS int pretty much the whole song
 
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Svemir

Member
Yeah, Beakster, the SWS extensions are really great. I've got Ozone Elements, but so far, I really haven't used it for much. I really didn't like the way the presets sounded. The add on I really use is the Bricasti M7 reverb IRs. They work great with ReaVERB.
So basically even my 4 songs have all different LUFS int because one has a long quiet part, the other not, so when I reference the LUFS I should take the average only of the loudest part of the song.
 

Svemir

Member
Yeah, Beakster, the SWS extensions are really great. I've got Ozone Elements, but so far, I really haven't used it for much. I really didn't like the way the presets sounded. The add on I really use is the Bricasti M7 reverb IRs. They work great with ReaVERB.
NEW VERSION. Still hot and squashed?
SWEVEN (Remastered).wav

Momentary Max = -7.01 LUFS
Short Term Max = -7.33 LUFS
Integrated = -10.02 LUFS


LINK: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1VC8Auf1qmwV9OU8JH1u7VKs2f4e4ySx3/view?usp=sharing
 

rob aylestone

Well-known member
You've totally missed the point that LUFS as a measure of loudness needs the entire thing because that is how ears and brain work. Our hearing bases loudness on differences, so a track that is a mangled mess of noise from bass to cymbals throughout simply doesn't have loudness - it's simply full. We cannot help because you won't listen. You are like a trainee pilot who is brilliant on his laptop and hasn't crashed once, who has totally missed the feeling of going up and down, speed, acceleration and G forces. You have not yet developed the aural acuity to understand what people are telling you, but think you have. Being honest - your tracks are so hard to listen to. They're wearing and just so squashed to hell. In fact, the squashing has made almost every source have a new character. The bass isn't a bass - it sounds like a bass synth, the processing has removed all traces of humanness. the drums are reminiscent of those early drum machines doing thump and crack and no depth. Listen to your track, Is that a shallow kick with solid beater or a deeper one with a soft beater? Can anyone tell now you've mangled it. Are those cymbals beginners ones or mega expensive Z's? Your processing has taken the reality away. Can you not hear how your track sounds different from commercial recordings of the same genre?

It's OK up to 2 minutes then it just falls apart into a total mess. Everything just mushes up and it's gone. At that point, I have to press stop. In the UK exams there was a marking area called avoidance of noise, distortion and artefacts (well not quite that wording - but it explains it) and at that point, your marks would drop because you didn't notice and fix what was evident to the ears
 

Svemir

Member
You've totally missed the point that LUFS as a measure of loudness needs the entire thing because that is how ears and brain work. Our hearing bases loudness on differences, so a track that is a mangled mess of noise from bass to cymbals throughout simply doesn't have loudness - it's simply full. We cannot help because you won't listen. You are like a trainee pilot who is brilliant on his laptop and hasn't crashed once, who has totally missed the feeling of going up and down, speed, acceleration and G forces. You have not yet developed the aural acuity to understand what people are telling you, but think you have. Being honest - your tracks are so hard to listen to. They're wearing and just so squashed to hell. In fact, the squashing has made almost every source have a new character. The bass isn't a bass - it sounds like a bass synth, the processing has removed all traces of humanness. the drums are reminiscent of those early drum machines doing thump and crack and no depth. Listen to your track, Is that a shallow kick with solid beater or a deeper one with a soft beater? Can anyone tell now you've mangled it. Are those cymbals beginners ones or mega expensive Z's? Your processing has taken the reality away. Can you not hear how your track sounds different from commercial recordings of the same genre?
Allright thanks a lot for being honest, I didn't think it was such a disaster though. Consider drums are MIDI programmed drums, and consider I recorded this album at home with marshall monitor headphones, one external audio device wit one input and one laptop with Cakewalk by Bandlab. That's it. So consider my goal is not to reach those professional albums because I cannot, I just want something decent. Have you heard the last version I just posted? Because I changed a few things. Also how does it sound to youu compared to my reference track? https://mogwai.bandcamp.com/track/san-pedro

Because to be honest, to my ears, they sound quite similar, the drums are very close to Mogwai's ones, maybe the bass is more consistant but mine is distorted with big muff so it's a different sound.
 
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rob aylestone

Well-known member
HUGE difference. There are gaps between the snare hits, then distorted guitars don't hurt your ears. I have an idea.

Load that Mogwai track into your DAW and then apply your plugins to it and do your make it louder thing - and I bet the same thing happens - you squash the life out of it,

What we're failing to explain is that when a guitar does the 16th chuggy rhythm, between each 'chug' is not silence, but not loud. Your version has the chug peak, but hardly dies down before the next one so you get a huge wall of sound with no definition. Your gear is NOT the quality issue at all. Nothing wrong with MIDI drums if they're done right. Why don't you remove every single dynamics plugin and try to replicate what Mogwai are doing. It's like you have a rule book. 1. record guitar. 2. apply compression. 3 apply more compression. 4. add more, just in case. 5 look at LUFS meter. 6. go back and add more of everything to get LUFS up. 7. put headphones on and listen.

I don't think you've listened to what these plugin are actually doing - because they've turned it to mush. Make it sound like Mogwai's sound. If you can't, it will be EQ, balance, reverbs and 'air' - THEN only compress what needs compressing. with MIDI drum programming - look at your velocities. If they are all maxed out at 127 on kick, snare and cymbals the dynamics are already squashed. What's the point of adding more compression when there are no quiet bits?
 

Svemir

Member
HUGE difference. There are gaps between the snare hits, then distorted guitars don't hurt your ears. I have an idea.

Load that Mogwai track into your DAW and then apply your plugins to it and do your make it louder thing - and I bet the same thing happens - you squash the life out of it,

What we're failing to explain is that when a guitar does the 16th chuggy rhythm, between each 'chug' is not silence, but not loud. Your version has the chug peak, but hardly dies down before the next one so you get a huge wall of sound with no definition. Your gear is NOT the quality issue at all. Nothing wrong with MIDI drums if they're done right. Why don't you remove every single dynamics plugin and try to replicate what Mogwai are doing. It's like you have a rule book. 1. record guitar. 2. apply compression. 3 apply more compression. 4. add more, just in case. 5 look at LUFS meter. 6. go back and add more of everything to get LUFS up. 7. put headphones on and listen.

I don't think you've listened to what these plugin are actually doing - because they've turned it to mush. Make it sound like Mogwai's sound. If you can't, it will be EQ, balance, reverbs and 'air' - THEN only compress what needs compressing. with MIDI drum programming - look at your velocities. If they are all maxed out at 127 on kick, snare and cymbals the dynamics are already squashed. What's the point of adding more compression when there are no quiet bits?
mmm ok thanks. So this might neither be the processing, because on guitars I didn't do any processing apart from some EQ, and some limiter with soft clip option to reduce some peaks, and that didn't change much the sound. The rest of the sound comes from the THU Overloud amp sim, I actually tried to create the sound that I like, the guitar distortion shouldn't be exactly like mogwai, so might be that I did a bad sound with the amp sim? I don't think so since I'm guitar player and I liked the sound. So I think that maybe I applied too much processing at Master level in Ozone? I used an exciter module, like harmonic enhancer. Maybe if you could listen to my mix version, you can tell me if the problem is at mix level or master level, if you can please give a quick listen to the mix version would be great, thanks a lot. Here's the link

 

Massive Master

www.massivemastering.com
Please don't say trust your ears cause I'm newbie on this.
And your reference track was arranged, recorded and mixed by professionals with *decades* of experience and then mastered by none other than Greg Calbi. I'm not saying not to have goals -- but it can take literally decades of work and dedication to reach those goals. And the end goal shouldn't be "how loud can I make it" -- A deaf person with a limiter can make any mix as loud as any other. It's up to every single step in the production process *before* that point that dictates what that mix is going to sound like at [x] level.

That said - It's (the reference track) so squashed and distorted, I'd be surprised that Greg put it out like that without pretty severe protestation. I think it sounds awful. Pretty sure he didn't go "Yeah - This sounds awesome" when he was exporting. Been there enough times (literally, hundreds and hundreds) myself -- Cramming perfectly decent sounding recordings into a "numeric loudness goal" that absolutely no one except for the artist or the label cared about.

Sorry - Ranting again. 30 years of this grinds away at you. That said - I'm absolutely thrilled lately with the number of clients who say "just give me the 'vinyl' version and let's skip the loud crap this time - no one cares about it anymore anyway." "The vinyl version" being what I typically export for (you guessed it) vinyl -- It's at the dynamic range that best serves the material - not some arbitrary number. Maybe add a dB or two if it doesn't do a lot of damage just to keep everyone happy (but leave the 'vinyl' version for vinyl and high-res downloads, radio advances, streaming, etc.).

In any case (well, the vast majority of the time), the loudness potential of any give [source material] is decided somewhere around the first time the RECORD button is pressed. And it's typically the *most* dynamic material that has the most potential. If I'm reading correctly, you're reducing the dynamics nearly every chance you get on every source. Turn all those compressors and limiters off and figure out why you need them and fix it there.
 

rob aylestone

Well-known member
Maybe if you could turn off every processing plugin and let us hear the raw material we could help? All we hear is the stacked end result of random processing. When you slap these things on, do you hear what they do? Are you adjusting the parameters? I hope in a way you're not - because the destructive commutative effect must be audible as you add each one. You seem to have a cymbal 'sheen' after 2 mins that lasts for ages - something a drummer just cannot do with 2 arms - a constant schhhhhhhiiiing. Some of the guys hear like taking stems from people with problems and seeing if they can mix and balance them.

I can't work out of you are doing a good mix, then wrecking it with the processing, or are processing each track badly then trying to mix that. Can you hear the difference between that Mogwai track and yours? Can you hear what we're talking about.

My music is totally different to yours. The only track that we've done that is metal-is is this one - and listening back, I've no idea why we left the drums so snare heavy - there must have been a reason. It was originally a track in a video for an electronic circuit board for an industrial machine process (that's the kind fo dull stuff we do) It's never designed to be listened to, just in the background. It does however reveal how things can be loud but clean.
 

Svemir

Member
And your reference track was arranged, recorded and mixed by professionals with *decades* of experience and then mastered by none other than Greg Calbi. I'm not saying not to have goals -- but it can take literally decades of work and dedication to reach those goals. And the end goal shouldn't be "how loud can I make it" -- A deaf person with a limiter can make any mix as loud as any other. It's up to every single step in the production process *before* that point that dictates what that mix is going to sound like at [x] level.

That said - It's (the reference track) so squashed and distorted, I'd be surprised that Greg put it out like that without pretty severe protestation. I think it sounds awful. Pretty sure he didn't go "Yeah - This sounds awesome" when he was exporting. Been there enough times (literally, hundreds and hundreds) myself -- Cramming perfectly decent sounding recordings into a "numeric loudness goal" that absolutely no one except for the artist or the label cared about.

Sorry - Ranting again. 30 years of this grinds away at you. That said - I'm absolutely thrilled lately with the number of clients who say "just give me the 'vinyl' version and let's skip the loud crap this time - no one cares about it anymore anyway." "The vinyl version" being what I typically export for (you guessed it) vinyl -- It's at the dynamic range that best serves the material - not some arbitrary number. Maybe add a dB or two if it doesn't do a lot of damage just to keep everyone happy (but leave the 'vinyl' version for vinyl and high-res downloads, radio advances, streaming, etc.).

In any case (well, the vast majority of the time), the loudness potential of any give [source material] is decided somewhere around the first time the RECORD button is pressed. And it's typically the *most* dynamic material that has the most potential. If I'm reading correctly, you're reducing the dynamics nearly every chance you get on every source. Turn all those compressors and limiters off and figure out why you need them and fix it there.
Thanks for the precious tips, indeed I don't pretend it to be like the Mogwai song, I just want something decent, I recorded this with a guitar, headphones, an audio interface and a laptop, and programmed drums at home so....
What I'm trying to do is to shave those bloody peaks in the mix, kick and snare especially, so that in the master I can raise the overall song volume, pushing everything to the threshold louder without having too much gain reduction in the master limiter.
I used parallel compression and saturation on drums, this is the situation in my mix busses, does anything look abnormal to you? as you can see I didn't push the compressor that much, the peaks are those -6.5 dbs in Master bus, -14.0 guitars bus etc.
Have you had the chance to listen to the mix? I know some guitars might be too harsh I already reduced the amp Treble, but about the compression, is really that compressed to you?
Not sure whether the issue is at mix level or master level.


MIX: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1v9bPy1GxTQsFVWAZK9xJO44TiL3KgQug/view?usp=sharing

MASTER: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1VC8Auf1qmwV9OU8JH1u7VKs2f4e4ySx3/view?usp=sharing

1629445147036.png
 

Svemir

Member
Maybe if you could turn off every processing plugin and let us hear the raw material we could help? All we hear is the stacked end result of random processing. When you slap these things on, do you hear what they do? Are you adjusting the parameters? I hope in a way you're not - because the destructive commutative effect must be audible as you add each one. You seem to have a cymbal 'sheen' after 2 mins that lasts for ages - something a drummer just cannot do with 2 arms - a constant schhhhhhhiiiing. Some of the guys hear like taking stems from people with problems and seeing if they can mix and balance them.

I can't work out of you are doing a good mix, then wrecking it with the processing, or are processing each track badly then trying to mix that. Can you hear the difference between that Mogwai track and yours? Can you hear what we're talking about.

My music is totally different to yours. The only track that we've done that is metal-is is this one - and listening back, I've no idea why we left the drums so snare heavy - there must have been a reason. It was originally a track in a video for an electronic circuit board for an industrial machine process (that's the kind fo dull stuff we do) It's never designed to be listened to, just in the background. It does however reveal how things can be loud but clean.

There you go,

I just need to understand now exactly at which stage the issue is, I'm going nuts, I added only the drums track (processed) so you can really tell me if the drums are that much compressed as everyone says, or if the issue is at master level, cause to me the drums sounds ok.

this is my mix unprocessed

This is only the drums track ( processed)

this is the mix processed

this is the Master

I reduced the guitar treble in the unprocessed version, they were a bit harsh, but I'm more concerned about compression and dynamics.
 
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rob aylestone

Well-known member
I've not had a chance to get past the first recording unprocessed and up to 1:35 I now reall6y like it, but what is the thing added at 1:35 that produces this thin constant wash of sound? This destroys it. Then your processing makes it the feature? The drum sounds - especially toms,sound really good up to that point.
edit
drum track - great - bar the horrible persistent crash that pulses and fills the HF spectrum.
 

Svemir

Member
I've not had a chance to get past the first recording unprocessed and up to 1:35 I now reall6y like it, but what is the thing added at 1:35 that produces this thin constant wash of sound? This destroys it. Then your processing makes it the feature? The drum sounds - especially toms,sound really good up to that point.
edit
drum track - great - bar the horrible persistent crash that pulses and fills the HF spectrum.
do you mean the quarters with the crash? the tin, tin, tin , then it starts hitting the crashes quite fast, that's how it is suppose to be I guess?? the mess with crashes.
 

Svemir

Member
Yep but it fills up the space and isn’t how real crashes sound played like that
Thanks!
I got the point, in the master I used some exciter triode on the High End, I pushed it way too much and caused distortion.
Should be better now, I also have turn the cymbals volume down, Those cymbals were making the song squashed, but it wasn't really.
 

Svemir

Member
What gets me is that the untreated one sounds better, and all the processed ones worse.
Ok thanks, to me the mix sounds a bit like in a box, and the master has more presence, but i pushed too much high end indeed and sounds harsh.
To be honest between the unprocessed and processed mix, i cannot hear much difference,apart from the drums which sounds thinner, cause compression and saturation are not applied, the rest is pretty much the same
 
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