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Matching the Loudness of Sounds - Is There a Meter That Does This?

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Re: Matching the Loudness of Sounds - Is There a Meter That Does This?

PostPosted: Wed Mar 03, 2021 12:59 pm
by Hugh Robjohns
My pink cocktail preference is Gin with bitters... no strawberry or orange required! :lol:

Re: Matching the Loudness of Sounds - Is There a Meter That Does This?

PostPosted: Wed Mar 03, 2021 2:35 pm
by CS70
Don't worry Hugh, nobody's perfect! :lol:

Re: Matching the Loudness of Sounds - Is There a Meter That Does This?

PostPosted: Wed Mar 03, 2021 2:44 pm
by desmond
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Re: Matching the Loudness of Sounds - Is There a Meter That Does This?

PostPosted: Thu Mar 04, 2021 7:35 pm
by Dennis J Wilkins
Wow! This simple query really exploded! Not sure how we got to gin, but maybe it's cocktail time!

As has been described, the idea of balancing initial levels without pulling the faders up and down is to obtain a "faders up" rough balance with faders at zero. As Hugh wrote years ago, "Whether you're using an analogue or digital mixer, it's designed to operate most effectively with its faders at or near the 0dB or 'unity gain' position (sometimes simply marked with a 'U'). This provides the best compromise between a useful amount of headroom and adequately low mix‑buss noise. So, when setting up your mix, you should open each fader to the unity mark and then adjust that channel's input gain control so that the signal is at roughly the right level for the final mix."

In a DAW itself we don't usually have channel input gain controls, and using a technique such as the LUFS meter provides the same effect. So, to answer the comment, "I guess if this is just about getting the channels on the faders at consistent levels to begin mixing, that seems eminently sensible" -- yes, that's the intent. I just took a look at a recently completed project and noticed that the raw files had some tracks with average differences exceeding 15 LUFS (or dB if you wish) -- and this was between several guitar tracks that in the end needed to be in the same ballpark (and 15 dB is far from the same ballpark!)

When I get well recorded material, often so with small jazz ensembles, tracks are often already balanced within a dB of where they end up. But some big projects (50-96 tracks) often have variances exceeding 15 dB and quickly getting a reasonable static balance can save me significant time hunting down a pad track or triangle track that is so far down in level that it can't be heard in a mix even pulling its fader up to maximum gain. But I've never seen a project where the static mix is the finished mix -- I tend to ride faders on most of the sub-mix buses throughout a song. And I have a great production controller with touch sensitive motorized faders that really makes it fun and efficient.

In fact, I'd better get off this "office" computer (having lost an hour checking email) and back in the studio!

Re: Matching the Loudness of Sounds - Is There a Meter That Does This?

PostPosted: Thu Mar 04, 2021 9:54 pm
by desmond
Dennis J Wilkins wrote:So, to answer the comment, "I guess if this is just about getting the channels on the faders at consistent levels to begin mixing, that seems eminently sensible" -- yes, that's the intent.

Thanks - makes sense now! :thumbup: