If the main outs and mastering meter clip

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samp
Posts: 51
Joined: 25 Oct 2015

Post 10 Sep 2019

Hello all. When mixing and mastering a song in Reason i always strive to get everything good and loud without clipping. Now i imported a commercial mp3 from a major release into a track in reason to use as a reference. Signal is dry. When playing back the reference track it is clipping off the charts all over the place. My question is how can i judge a mix and master of my own music against this??? Thanks.

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mjxl
Posts: 359
Joined: 23 Nov 2018

Post 10 Sep 2019

Is it clipping, or are the meters going red ? They are not the same.

Video explaining this:
:reason: 10+ :re:

samp
Posts: 51
Joined: 25 Oct 2015

Post 10 Sep 2019

mjxl wrote:
10 Sep 2019
Is it clipping, or are the meters going red ? They are not the same.

Video explaining this:
Definitely clipping at the mastering meters

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gullum
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Joined: 15 Jan 2015
Location: Faroe Islands

Post 10 Sep 2019

do you have maximizer or similar in the masterin buss? that would boost the mp3 if maybe it already is a loudly mastered mp3
If you want to use the mp3 as a reference track in can't go through any of the mixer or mastering plugins as they would alter your reference in sound

samp
Posts: 51
Joined: 25 Oct 2015

Post 10 Sep 2019

gullum wrote:
10 Sep 2019
do you have maximizer or similar in the masterin buss? that would boost the mp3 if ma2ybe it already is a loudly mastered mp3
If you want to use the mp3 as a reference track in can't go through any of the mixer or mastering plugins as they would alter your reference in sound
Signal is dry. No mastering or fx of any type. Even starting a new session with nothing in the chain and just adding a mp3 of any commercial release clips the main mastering meters.

RealReasonHead
Posts: 24
Joined: 21 Jun 2019

Post 10 Sep 2019

I haven't thoroughly tested this but I think the clip lights turn on if the signal is >= 0 dBFS. So if the song is kissing the digital ceiling it would show it clipping although there is no additional clipping applied. Have you verified with a dBFS meter (like the one from pongasoft) that the signal actually exceeds 0 dBFS?

PhillipOrdonez
Posts: 509
Joined: 20 Oct 2017
Location: Colombia

Post 10 Sep 2019

Lots of commercially released tracks go a bit over 0dbfs.

Back to your question: how do you judge and compare against that? Easy: loudness normalisation. Turning the gain of the reference track until it matches the perceived loudness of your track. I recommend a free Hofa plugin that lets you compare two or more tracks and of your dive into the settings, you can turn on the option that will analyse the audio going through and match the loudness so you can objectively compare.

You'd need to do some routing to have your mastering chain on one track and the reference on another and nothing in the master bus to be able to pull this off within reason..

sdst
Posts: 658
Joined: 14 Jun 2015

Post 10 Sep 2019

you need to put a limiter in the end to the hardware interface
Kilohearts AB kHs Limiter - FREE
the limiter is the last thing
(yes you can put a loudness meter to the last last thing) or use the big meter in Reason

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antic604
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Location: Warsaw, Poland

Post 10 Sep 2019

PhillipOrdonez wrote:
10 Sep 2019
Lots of commercially released tracks go a bit over 0dbfs.
But you couldn't tell from the digital file, I think? I mean in the DAW itself it KNOWS signal is going above 0dBFS, because it has the source audio signals and summing them goes over board. But with a file that you got externally and that you play dry, the meter shouldn't show clipping. You might hear the file was clipped or see it if you zoom into the waveform, but meter wouldn't have a way of telling this. Or so I think.
Bitwig 3 // Reason 10 // Cubase Pro 10 @ Lenovo Y730 15'' i7-8750h
my music - https://soundcloud.com/antic604
other stuff - "Psytrance in Bitwig Studio" tutorial

samp
Posts: 51
Joined: 25 Oct 2015

Post 10 Sep 2019

Thanks everyone for the responses. The big meter is where i see the clipping on the reference track. But when zooming in on the wav file of the reference it doesnt look clipped. So my other question would be if my master s of my file sounds good and where i want it but clipping on the big meter is that ok.?

sdst
Posts: 658
Joined: 14 Jun 2015

Post 10 Sep 2019

to me clipping is bad, I know because I damaged some speakers
the big meter has different options, you can replace the the big meter with the free vst Youlean Loudness Meter
but until you learn how to use a limiter you will see the clipping

samp
Posts: 51
Joined: 25 Oct 2015

Post 10 Sep 2019

sdst wrote:
10 Sep 2019
to me clipping is bad, I know because I damaged some speakers
the big meter has different options, you can replace the the big meter with the free vst Youlean Loudness Meter
but until you learn how to use a limiter you will see the clipping
Thanks . So does it mean the commercial mp3s i use as reference are not mastered well possibly?

sdst
Posts: 658
Joined: 14 Jun 2015

Post 10 Sep 2019

samp wrote:
10 Sep 2019
Thanks . So does it mean the commercial mp3s i use as reference are not mastered well possibly?
in the Loudness Meter you can see the volume of reference track, then very easy to adjust your project
you need to learn to use two things
a limiter and a Loudness Meter

PhillipOrdonez
Posts: 509
Joined: 20 Oct 2017
Location: Colombia

Post 10 Sep 2019

antic604 wrote:
10 Sep 2019
PhillipOrdonez wrote:
10 Sep 2019
Lots of commercially released tracks go a bit over 0dbfs.
But you couldn't tell from the digital file, I think? I mean in the DAW itself it KNOWS signal is going above 0dBFS, because it has the source audio signals and summing them goes over board. But with a file that you got externally and that you play dry, the meter shouldn't show clipping. You might hear the file was clipped or see it if you zoom into the waveform, but meter wouldn't have a way of telling this. Or so I think.
Try a true peak meter and see. There's a free one called youlean loudness meter.

WarStar
Posts: 28
Joined: 17 Oct 2018

Post 11 Sep 2019

I wouldn't use a MP3 as a reference.. try getting the .wav or 24bit version of the song you want as a reference. I've noticed this too when it comes to mp3s even at 320. Maybe inter sample peaking as a result of converting to mp3?

RealReasonHead
Posts: 24
Joined: 21 Jun 2019

Post 11 Sep 2019

samp wrote:
10 Sep 2019
Thanks everyone for the responses. The big meter is where i see the clipping on the reference track. But when zooming in on the wav file of the reference it doesnt look clipped. So my other question would be if my master s of my file sounds good and where i want it but clipping on the big meter is that ok.?
The big meter seems to show that a file is clipping when the sample values reach 0 dBFS already and not only when they exceed it (which is what would actually cause clipping). So I guess the reference files you have are not actually clipping in Reason but either have been clipped or just mastered right up to 0 dBFS. Another reason could be that there was left some headroom (people usually leave 0.5 to 1 dBs of peak headroom) but that got reduced when converting to mp3, which is exactly why people leave more headroom: mp3s can cause additional clipping.
But to answer your question: Use a limiter on your master bus as the last FX device in your chain, a true-peak limiter like Ozone is preferred, and turn the output gain down by 0.5 to 1 dB. That should save you from any additional clipping.

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selig
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Post 11 Sep 2019

A clip meter only counts samples at 100%, rather than samples OVER 100%. Typical clip meters count THREE samples at 100% as "clipped", but there is no hard and fast standard I'm aware of.
You can also have inter-sample peaks that would occur even in a recording where all samples are "legal" (under 100%), which often happen with mastered audio that's going for hyper-loud levels (and not leaving headroom).
These both can happen because the clip meter is measured at the final output of the digital signal path, after being converted from floating point to fixed point (24 bit) - floating point audio will not clip above 0dBFS, having as much as 1500 - 3000 dB dynamic range (depending on whether it's 32 or 64 bit float).
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samp
Posts: 51
Joined: 25 Oct 2015

Post 11 Sep 2019

Thanks everyone!

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