LUFS -14, is it a mandatory rule?

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ceasynth
Posts: 9
Joined: 24 Mar 2019

Post 20 Sep 2020

Hello again! :)

Well, after all I've read, I've tried to do some mastering to 2 songs. I would like to know your honest opinion (at least, if it sounds better than the original mix xD), I'll pass you the link:

https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/ ... sp=sharing

Basically:
- Experiment_7/8.wav: Original theme, unmastered (so you can see the original mix)
- Experiment_7/8_New_Mastered.wav: Mastered theme, without following LUFS recommendations (I mean, that I thought it sounds good)
- Experiment_7/8_14LUFS: Same theme mastered, lowering a little the limiter so that it arrived at -14LUFS, to fulfill the recommendations.

The mastering chain I used more or less was the following:
- Equalizer to eliminate unnecessary frequencies: 35hz (backwards) in bass and 19.5Khz (forward) in treble
- Mid/Side Equalizer to centralize the bass (the drums mostly, the bass being synthesized I think it is better not to put it in)
- A compressor but compressing very little, I still don't control the compression issue very well and I preferred not to risk too much so as not to spoil the song
- Multiband compressor (OTT plugin). The truth is that it seemed to me more like an equalization stage than a compression one, maybe I have to learn how to handle it better xD.
- The suite Ozone 9 to put him a touch of final equalization and, finally, a limiter (Maximizer) to adjust the LUFS
- The Izotope Tonal Balance Control, to see that the bass, midrange and treble are more or less in place.
- Finally, the Spectrum Analyzer (to see that the frequencies are more or less stable) and the Youlean to see the LUFS.

Let's see what you think :P. Of course, any comment/criticism will be very well received and I will be very grateful :D

Cheers and thanks!! :)

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illlumen
Posts: 45
Joined: 23 Oct 2018
Location: Germany

Post 04 Feb 2021

ceasynth wrote:
01 Sep 2020
So, my question is, are the LUFS really necessary? Why these artists can overcome the LUFS and nothing happens to them (apparently, maybe I'm totally wrong or maybe I'm not analyzing the song properly). What do you advise me to know what volume is appropriate for the final mix?
It's all about the so called loudness war and the loss of dynamics (and therefore a loss of quality in music). IMO Spotify did its best to put an end to it, even if there still so many people who just don't care and keep releasing loud ond distorted stuff that doesn't necessarily have to be like that. Maybe you just ask Google about it if you want more details.

If you want I could have a listen to one of your tracks. Without that its hard to tell which loudness would be adequate.
I have been maing music for almost 20 years now (and I am mastering my tracks in my own since 5 years, too) but I have been struggling with loudness a lot. They always tell you: If it feels right. When you start with mastering I had no such thing as feeling I could refer to.
So after I got into all the LUFS stuff it helped me alot to understand how to master my own stuff.
To be honest, I consider -14 LUFS (integrated) for my loudest tracks. When I make ambient tracks I am providing much more headroom and I am even going so far that I automate the colume of my master bus to get even more dynamics out of it.

Don't get fooled by the fact that your brain considers louder the better. If you really want to compare plugins (and in your position the limiter) you should use something to match the loudness before and after. I am using AB_LM from TBProAudio for tasks like that.

User avatar
illlumen
Posts: 45
Joined: 23 Oct 2018
Location: Germany

Post 04 Feb 2021

ceasynth wrote:
20 Sep 2020
Hello again! :)

Well, after all I've read, I've tried to do some mastering to 2 songs. I would like to know your honest opinion (at least, if it sounds better than the original mix xD), I'll pass you the link:

https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/ ... sp=sharing
I'll have a listen and let you know what I think.

User avatar
ceasynth
Posts: 9
Joined: 24 Mar 2019

Post 05 Feb 2021

Thanks! Im glad to see more replies on this topic :).

The truth is that I have been disconnected for a while due to work and little free time :(.

The truth is that the last mastering tests I did I realised that I was trying to fulfil two objectives. On the one hand, to get the best possible mix (this task is before mastering of course) and then mastering to remove unnecessary frequencies and, finally, to adjust the volume to a reference track.

The problem, in my case, I think, is that I didn't choose my reference track well (a Carpenter Brut song was not appropriate for the songs I compose). But I would like to get the "effect" that after listening to another artist song (in a playlist for example) play one of my songs and dont change the volume from my music player xD (and It seems similar to the others xD).

I hope I can find some free time and learn a little more.

Thank you very much for offering to listen to one of my tracks, I'm looking forward to your opinion. :)

Best regards!


illlumen wrote:
04 Feb 2021
ceasynth wrote:
01 Sep 2020
So, my question is, are the LUFS really necessary? Why these artists can overcome the LUFS and nothing happens to them (apparently, maybe I'm totally wrong or maybe I'm not analyzing the song properly). What do you advise me to know what volume is appropriate for the final mix?
It's all about the so called loudness war and the loss of dynamics (and therefore a loss of quality in music). IMO Spotify did its best to put an end to it, even if there still so many people who just don't care and keep releasing loud ond distorted stuff that doesn't necessarily have to be like that. Maybe you just ask Google about it if you want more details.

If you want I could have a listen to one of your tracks. Without that its hard to tell which loudness would be adequate.
I have been maing music for almost 20 years now (and I am mastering my tracks in my own since 5 years, too) but I have been struggling with loudness a lot. They always tell you: If it feels right. When you start with mastering I had no such thing as feeling I could refer to.
So after I got into all the LUFS stuff it helped me alot to understand how to master my own stuff.
To be honest, I consider -14 LUFS (integrated) for my loudest tracks. When I make ambient tracks I am providing much more headroom and I am even going so far that I automate the colume of my master bus to get even more dynamics out of it.

Don't get fooled by the fact that your brain considers louder the better. If you really want to compare plugins (and in your position the limiter) you should use something to match the loudness before and after. I am using AB_LM from TBProAudio for tasks like that.

User avatar
selig
RE Developer
Posts: 9490
Joined: 15 Jan 2015
Location: The NorthWoods, CT, USA

Post 05 Feb 2021

ceasynth wrote:
20 Sep 2020

Let's see what you think :P. Of course, any comment/criticism will be very well received and I will be very grateful :D

Cheers and thanks!! :)
From what I'm hearing, you could have probably done just as good with a compressor/EQ/Limiter. But I feel the mix probably has issues that should be addressed. One thing that immediately stood out is the all but missing kick on the first track and the possibly too "cutting" kick on the second track (needs far less upper mid "click" boost IMO, just the opposite of the first kick that needs a substantial boost of high mids to match the second track.
But I'd say your mastering has achieved the most important goal: do no harm!
:)
Selig Audio, LLC

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Kalm
Posts: 532
Joined: 03 Jun 2016
Location: Austin

Post 05 Feb 2021

Nope not at all. I learned that the hard way. That rule was to help musicians who was over blasting the limiter for the sake of loudness. Think of it like a safety net for someone who doesn't know how to use a limiter properly since streaming will adjust it anyway. But as you saw in your own examples loudness is more than a decibel and the proof is this forum.
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User avatar
ceasynth
Posts: 9
Joined: 24 Mar 2019

Post 15 Feb 2021

selig wrote:
05 Feb 2021
From what I'm hearing, you could have probably done just as good with a compressor/EQ/Limiter. But I feel the mix probably has issues that should be addressed. One thing that immediately stood out is the all but missing kick on the first track and the possibly too "cutting" kick on the second track (needs far less upper mid "click" boost IMO, just the opposite of the first kick that needs a substantial boost of high mids to match the second track.
But I'd say your mastering has achieved the most important goal: do no harm!
:)
Please excuse me for the delay in responding :cry: :cry: , I've had a busy few days with other issues and didn't remember to check this thread :? .

Thank you very much for your comments. The mix of the first song was a bit tricky because the bass effect that sounds in the background, from time to time, I wanted it to hit (almost on par with the kick) but always the main volume bar would turn red. I spent a week adjusting volumes for each channel, and I think I'm going to have to do it again hehe .

You are absolutely right about the kick hitting, maybe my equipment is not the right. Although I try at least to play the songs in different environments (several headphones I have, in my car, on my TV, etc.). they can make me make these mistakes :S. I'm glad that at least the tracks don't hurt your ears, it's already a step xDD.

I'm thinking of taking a course on mixing and mastering and I'm encouraging myself to do it, even if it's not in a professional way, that will help me to improve

Thank you so much for spending your time listening my songs :clap:

best regards!

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