Comments for Production Advice make your music sound great Sat, 02 Apr 2016 22:52:30 +0000 hourly 1 Comment on Music Streaming Services – Bring Peace to the Loudness War by Joe Alaspa Sat, 02 Apr 2016 22:52:30 +0000 So awesome, I actually helped film this video with a business partner of mine a few months ago in Minneapolis and when he told me what the video was for I couldn’t believe it. It’s really cool because the gentleman speaking (Matt) is a really great guy, who actually cares about what he is talking about. We discussed this issue in depth and I got to see how passionate he was about music and engineering.

Comment on Music Streaming Services – Bring Peace to the Loudness War by Tassy Thu, 31 Mar 2016 15:06:29 +0000 I measured Dynamic Range = 0 ZERO! on spotify and iTunes.
I keep producing MUSIC, not normalized noise.

Comment on Online loudness ? You’re asking the wrong question… by Kahlbert Tue, 29 Mar 2016 16:06:36 +0000 Just got the new album by Lee Aaron (an artist which I have loved for a very long time now) – DR6.

Damn!!! I will never buy new music again, no matter by whom.

Comment on Compression and limiting – the Punchbag Analogy by Jakob Mon, 28 Mar 2016 18:36:16 +0000 Thank you, that was very helpful

Comment on 12 of my favourite albums for sound by Kip Drordy Tue, 22 Mar 2016 07:41:07 +0000 Lots of good stuff here. What I hadn’t realized is how many well recorded hard rock albums exist. I’m a fan of all sorts of music, but I typically don’t look to hard rock to find something that shines on my equipment.

There were a few artists/albums that I’m surprised haven’t been mentioned. Steely Dan paid very close attention to sound engineering. Albums like Aja and Gaucho are well made. Not my favorite music, but I appreciate the quality of their recordings. Related would be Donald Fagen’s The Nightfly.

Do remasters count or are they considered blasphemy? Elton John The Superior Sound of (1970-1975) is really worth a listen. Gus Dudgeon not only remastered, but also did some remixing. The result is really good. If you can find this one, get it.

AC/DC isn’t a band that comes to mind when I think of sound, but Back in Black actually sounds remarkably balanced on my system.

Trip Hop is missing from this list. Portishead’s Dummy sounds pretty nice. I can’t listen to Glory Box without playing it loud.

Stevie Ray Vaughn Couldn’t Stand The Weather is easy on the eardrums. Tin Pan Alley alone is worth the price of admission.

Not much country added here, but there is a ton of well recorded country albums out there mixed in with the junk. One that I like is Ride With Bob by Asleep at the Wheel. The mix and craftsmanship of the musicians comes alive.

Comment on YouTube just put the final nail in the Loudness War’s coffin by HenryL Wed, 16 Mar 2016 23:02:58 +0000 Thanks for confirming that I’m not completely losing the plot!

I don’t have ‘Album Mode’ as I’m using an older version of iTunes (I did double check this a while ago), so it can’t/shouldn’t be anything to do with that.

BTW I’ve dug out my song measurements again, and actually it seems to be the other way round, that Soundcheck is *less* sensitive to bass than LUFS!
More bassy mixes ended up with a higher LUFS value than less bassy ones after Soundcheck.

If interested the measurements should be viewable here (it’s just a small table):

It was the inconsistent correlation between the 3rd and 4th columns in the above table that I was puzzling over primarily, but it’s also interesting that bass-light ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit’ is reduced by almost 7dB from -12 to -19LUFS (roughly) by Soundcheck (its PLR was about 12 so this should not be due to peak headroom). Whereas bottom heavy tracks such as those by Morphine ended up the loudest out of this set of tracks in LUFS terms (about -15LUFS after Soundcheck)…

Comment on YouTube just put the final nail in the Loudness War’s coffin by Ian Shepherd Wed, 16 Mar 2016 17:53:44 +0000 Hi Henry,

I’m not surprised that Sound Check is more sensitive to bass – that’s a key advantage of using LUFS to judge loudness, since our ears are less sensitive to low frequencies.

And yes, most of the time it gives reasonable results, and sometimes it’s so far off I agree it’s not fit for purpose !

You’re right – a Volume adjustment of -6 should be measured as -6 LUFS too, so I’m not sure why this is. Possibly you’re seeing a difference between the adjustment used in Album mode (a single offset for all songs) versus Shuffle or Playlist mode (where the Volume value should be used, as far as I know).

But as always, everything Apple do is shrouded in secrecy, so there may be other factors we aren’t aware of…

Comment on YouTube just put the final nail in the Loudness War’s coffin by HenryL Wed, 16 Mar 2016 10:59:01 +0000 Hi Ian – sorry, didn’t see your response arrive (until now)!
We may be at cross-purposes somewhat.
I appreciate Soundcheck may not use LUFS as such, but it should have some reasonably consistent way of quantifying loudness and therefore I would expect it to be broadly comparable with another reasonable method such as LUFS, albeit the numbers/units/scales may not be the same. Especially for relative changes – which is what I was looking at. Else they are not both reasonably quantifying loudness!? I know there could be thresholds involved which could create step differences at certain points for example, but anyway they should be playing in the same kinds of ballparks, you’d think, or at least I would 🙂 Anyway, I was not looking at exact measurements just trying to understand some general behaviour.

It’s a while since I did it now and memory faded slightly on the detail but, without digging out the data again, for example IIRC it seemed like Soundcheck was more sensitive to lower frequencies than the LUFS meter (or maybe it was the other way round!) And how I stumbled on that observation/theory was simply by comparing the difference in LUFS with Soundcheck enabled and not enabled over a few different songs. Soundcheck was turning down bassy songs (not Shirley) more than less bassy ones (or turning them down less, whichever..). No big surprise though – different algorithm.

My real question was about how Soundcheck worked and in particular what the significance is of the ‘Volume’ parameter (under ‘Get Info’ on a song). I read online in various places the explanation that this parameter is the adjustment value determined by the Soundcheck loudness analysis and which is applied to the entire song when Soundcheck is enabled, but this didn’t align with my relative LUFS readings.

1) If iTunes (or Logic, or anything else) attenuates a signal (song) by, say, 6dB then the LUFS value of that song should also read 6dB less. The integrated LUFS should be 6dB less (assuming no significant hovering around the silence threshold I guess you need to add here). – Right ?!
(I checked this was the case with the ‘insanity test’ I described in my previous post.)

2) Is in fact this ‘Volume’ dB parameter set and used by Soundcheck? If so how?
It certainly does not seem to correspond with the difference in LUFS caused by enabling Soundcheck.
(By the way this parameter, which is found under the ‘Summary’ tab also does not correspond to the ‘user adjusted per song playback level’ that can be set under the ‘Options’ tab.)

Hopefully clearer.

Cheers/ Henry

Comment on Using my Perception plugin with Magic AB by SampleMagic by George BioTek Tue, 15 Mar 2016 22:37:12 +0000 Wow, nice stuff this Sample Magic plugin. Thank you!

Comment on YouTube just put the final nail in the Loudness War’s coffin by dennis Tue, 15 Mar 2016 21:39:44 +0000 EXCELLENT.