dBFS Audio Clipping ???

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Re: dBFS Audio Clipping ???

Post by DigitalMusicProduction »

After checking the LUFS loudness meter the integrated level for the piano tracks only rose to -28 LUFS, thats -14 less then the required noise level for streaming service's. However on the instrument channel strip volume the track floats between -18 and -10 dBFS, peaks no higher then -3dBFS, which seems just right for my piano music.

Both volume levels on the piano sample library and Logics instrument channel strip volume are at their maximum levels, so I'm unsure as to how to increase the integrated LUFS level to -14 as all gain levels are at their maximum.

All that said when refering back to the instrument channel strip volume all seems fine when floating between -18 and -10dBFS with peaks no higher then -3dBFS. I assume these volume levels are adequate for CD and digital downloads. The issue lies with the LUFS meter by not being able to raise the tracks to the required -14 LUFS due to all gain levels already being at there maximum.

It's been said tracks that are to loud or to quiet when uploading to streaming service's will either be turned up or down to meet the required -14 LUFS, therefore should i not just upload the album and let the streaming service alter the volume to meet their standard if necessary?
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Re: dBFS Audio Clipping ???

Post by Hugh Robjohns »

Trying to teach this stuff via the forum is not the best way. If I were you I'd organise a couple of on-line tutorials on mastering with your own material.

I can recommend either Eddie Bazil who you can reach on this forum as Zukan , or Paul Ward who you can reach here as The Elf

Both are excellent tutors with a lot of experience and excellent feedback, and both really know their stuff.

As for just uploading and hoping for the best... all streaming services will turn loud material down, but not all will turn quieter stuff up, and since your tracks appears to be rather on the quieter side that might not work well for you!
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Re: dBFS Audio Clipping ???

Post by blinddrew »

DigitalMusicProduction wrote: Wed Jul 28, 2021 4:27 pm After checking the LUFS loudness meter the integrated level for the piano tracks only rose to -28 LUFS, thats -14 less then the required noise level for streaming service's. However on the instrument channel strip volume the track floats between -18 and -10 dBFS, peaks no higher then -3dBFS, which seems just right for my piano music.

If that feels right for the music then it probably is.

Both volume levels on the piano sample library and Logics instrument channel strip volume are at their maximum levels, so I'm unsure as to how to increase the integrated LUFS level to -14 as all gain levels are at their maximum.

I think this is indicating that you're not fully grasping what the LUFS measure is, you're looking at gain when really you need to be looking at range.
Here are some articles, a couple quite long, that go into depth around the difference between loudness and peak normalisation:
https://www.soundonsound.com/techniques ... udness-war
https://www.soundonsound.com/sound-advi ... udness-war
https://www.soundonsound.com/sound-advi ... -streaming

All that said when refering back to the instrument channel strip volume all seems fine when floating between -18 and -10dBFS with peaks no higher then -3dBFS. I assume these volume levels are adequate for CD and digital downloads. The issue lies with the LUFS meter by not being able to raise the tracks to the required -14 LUFS due to all gain levels already being at there maximum.

Again, if it feels right for the music then maybe it is. Don't get hung up on targets. :)

It's been said tracks that are to loud or to quiet when uploading to streaming service's will either be turned up or down to meet the required -14 LUFS, therefore should i not just upload the album and let the streaming service alter the volume to meet their standard if necessary?

This gets complicated as not all services behave the same way. E.g. Youtube turns down but not up. Spotify turns up as well as down, but they've actually recently turned off their limiter function and have released some new user-selectable options to allow a higher LUFS.
Personally I think it's better to make those decisions myself but with a full understanding of what will happen subsequently. This site: https://www.loudnesspenalty.com/ allows you to load your track and see what different streaming services will do.

Properly understanding this is a key part of releasing music these days so it's worth taking the time to read through the articles above. :thumbup:
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Re: dBFS Audio Clipping ???

Post by Ben Asaro »

I also mentioned Loudness Penalty back in the early days of this thread ...
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Re: dBFS Audio Clipping ???

Post by Hugh Robjohns »

For reference I've just ran some semi-randomly selected classical piano recordings I have through the meter and came up with these stats:

Erik Satie Gymnopedie #1: Integrated Loudness = -32.7 LUFS. True Peak = -11.08dBTP

Debussy Etudes Book 1: Integrated Loudness = -18.5LUFS. True Peak = -1.75dBTP

Beethoven Sonata No23 in F minor: Integrated Loudness = -21.9LUFS. True Peak = -3.1dBTP

Food for thought, if nothing else...
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Re: dBFS Audio Clipping ???

Post by James Perrett »

Hugh Robjohns wrote: Wed Jul 28, 2021 5:43 pm For reference I've just ran some semi-randomly selected classical piano recordings I have through the meter and came up with these stats:

Erik Satie Gymnopedie #1: Integrated Loudness = -32.7 LUFS. True Peak = -11.08dBTP

As a point of comparison, Pyotr Godunov's version on Spotify has an integrated loudness of -27.3 and a true peak of -9.4dBTP. Philippe Entremont's version (which was at the top of the list in my search) is even quieter with an integrated loudness of -40.1LUFS and a true peak of -20.8dBTP.
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Re: dBFS Audio Clipping ???

Post by Hugh Robjohns »

Yes, it is a particularly quiet and gentle track in most releases, hence the reason for choosing it.
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Re: dBFS Audio Clipping ???

Post by James Perrett »

I thought it was interesting that Spotify certainly isn't increasing the level of these quiet tracks. I think the lesson here is to let the track tell you how loud it needs to be - there is absolutely no need to increase the level if it sounds right already.
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Re: dBFS Audio Clipping ???

Post by DigitalMusicProduction »

James Perrett wrote: Wed Jul 28, 2021 6:11 pmI think the lesson here is to let the track tell you how loud it needs to be - there is absolutely no need to increase the level if it sounds right already.

I entirely agree! all the tracks on the solo piano album I've recorded and produced float between -18 and -10dBFS with peaks no higher then -3dBFS, thus when played back on a typical home stereo system the track volumes are sufficiently loud, therefore i don't know why I'm getting vexed over this whole online streaming standardized -14 LUFS volume requirement.

As James helpfully pointed out there are tracks on Spotify that are considerably lower then -14 LUFS but remain on their service. As far as I'm aware I've gain staged the entire album to recommended volume levels and all sounds well, so in my opinion best to leave it as it is i suppose?
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Re: dBFS Audio Clipping ???

Post by RichardT »

I sometimes produce solo piano pieces that peak at -3dBFS or so, in the context of albums that contain louder material (e.g. with drums), where peaking at -1 makes the piano tracks too loud.

However if the album consists of just solo piano pieces then (unless you have a very wide dynamic range) you might as well aim to peak the loudest track at -1 dBFS.

But certainly don’t compress or limit the dynamic range unless it actually sounds better. In fact, I find midi compression is much more helpful than audio compression for piano tracks.
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Re: dBFS Audio Clipping ???

Post by BWC »

DigitalMusicProduction wrote: Thu Jul 29, 2021 5:58 pm ...vexed over this whole online streaming standardized -14 LUFS volume requirement.


Not really standardized, and not a requirement, nor a "target," just something to be aware of. Ultimately, you have no control over what the streaming services will do with the volume, or when they'll change their minds, or what the end listeners will do with their volume controls. So don't worry about it, just aim for what sounds best, while leaving just enough headroom for the possibility of encoding artifacts from data compression.
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Re: dBFS Audio Clipping ???

Post by DigitalMusicProduction »

BWC wrote: Thu Jul 29, 2021 10:35 pmDon't worry about it, just aim for what sounds best.

Your advice is more than welcome.
Thanks to everyone for all your support on this topic, very helpful as always, SOS best forum.
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