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Old 11-11-2019, 10:44 AM   #1
read
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Default for loudness during mastering a maximizer is needed

from what i understand

for loudness during mastering a maximizer is needed..

not a limitor, nor a compressor (with makeup gain)

is that correct?

if you could also explain what does a maximizer do over what do a limitor does

thank you
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Old 11-11-2019, 11:06 AM   #2
Stella645
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No that's not correct. Plenty of people making loud masters without anything labelled as a maximiser.

There's a fairly blurred distinction between them in the software world. WHile limiting is a faily defined process maximising is more a marketing term.

probably most maximisers are basically limiters with some saturation but then there are limiters that also have saturation....there are probably also maximisers that are nothing but a limiter with the name maximiser.
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Old 11-11-2019, 11:41 AM   #3
serr
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Short answer: No! WTF?

A maximizer usually has a saturation (distortion) element to it. That can lead to a bright or hyped thing.

Volume war style mastering (often done for the CD version of an album) usually has peak limiting followed by makeup gain of 10 to 14db and then a treble boost (often extreme with 10 - 20db boosts in the high end). These are loud and shrill and jump out of your ear buds! Normalize the volume and try to play them on a home hi-fi and they're a crude tinny not mess that sounds laughably bad.
Volume war levels: -9 to -6 LUFS

So... a maximizer style limiter/distortion box can lend itself to that.

More reasonable levels (including where streaming is set to nowadays) can be achieved straight off the mixing board and will sound better with more finesse that way. Otherwise just pure limiting of a db or two will usually get the level up without mad distortion.
Streaming level: -12 LUFS

-13 LUFS is a common target for 24 bit HD downloads and bluray disc.
CD versions are often still -13 to -10 LUFS (so... some the same as the 24 bit version, some still boosted a bit)


A mix that's not dialed in that well can be muddy or indistinct in other ways. Pummeling it with a limiter or maximizer is a crude way to get the level up. It won't sound as good as some finesse in the mix but it's done often enough. Hard to do any worse than the volume war CDs out there or some of the online "mastering" services (the quotes mean what you think and I swear these are all trolls).

Have fun with LOUD!
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Old 11-11-2019, 11:43 AM   #4
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can i limit (use a limitor on) a waveform by setting the threshold right above the highest peak of the waveform?

thus not really touching the waveform..just setting the threshold right above the highest peak (lets say highest peak is -4db)

would the song get any louder? or would it not be affected by the limitor?
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Old 11-11-2019, 11:51 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by read View Post
can i limit (use a limitor on) a waveform by setting the threshold right above the highest peak of the waveform?

thus not really touching the waveform..just setting the threshold right above the highest peak

would the song get any louder? or would it not be affected by the limitor?
That would successfully let you use a limiter as a volume boost without actually limiting it. There's no mystery magic going on with a limiter when the signal is below the threshold.

If you are truly looking for a distortion/saturation effect to make your mix shrill, a maximizer would do that. A limiter would just start leveling the peaks when you hit the threshold. You will get distortions if you go crazy far of course! But the more bright saturation effect comes from intentional distortion generation in the maximizer.

Sounds like you're asking for this...
Not sure if that's truly what you want.
What do you listen to? 24 bit HD downloads or bluray? Or volume war CDs (or mp3s made from volume war CDs or... mp3s from volume war CDs uploaded to Youtube)?
How loud you trying to get? And what's your target format/audience?

Yeah... so, I'm inclined to ask what's wrong with the mix and suggest fixing the problem there. (Where you have the multitrack elements right there!) The 'mash an unfinished mix into a loud ball of loudness' bit... You'll get a few suggestions here eventually for people's "mastering chains" where they load up on limiters and distortion boxes and do that.

I noted the common target loudness levels above. Where's your problem mix at?

Last edited by serr; 11-11-2019 at 11:57 AM.
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Old 11-11-2019, 11:55 AM   #6
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i see,

i just realized what i described in my last post is Normalizing the waveform basically?
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Old 11-11-2019, 12:07 PM   #7
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I've always equated the term "Maximizer" to mean a plugin (or could be hardware too I suppose) that incorporates a number of elements (limiter, compressor, EQ, expander, etc).

It seems like we're getting away from the loudness wars which usually required something like a maximizer (or chain of effects). I find myself using them less and less (which I like).

Often times I just want to prevent digital overs.
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Old 11-11-2019, 12:09 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by read View Post
i see,

i just realized what i described in my last post is Normalizing the waveform basically?
Correct!
Moving the audio to the top of the dynamic range without altering it.
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Old 11-11-2019, 12:16 PM   #9
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Streaming hitting at -12 LUFS is finally helping!

We're still in the thick of it in many corners though.
CD versions are still often boosted up to -10 LUFS. Got to make them sit comfortable (harshly?) next to people's other volume war CDs in their collection!
So... where does most of the content on streaming sites come from (that's being normalized to -12 LUFS - either turned up or down to get there as applies)? Well, from the volume war CD edition of course! Yeah... So that's where most of the telltale tinny streaming 'sound' comes from.

The average 24 bit download is genuinely around -13 LUFS nowadays though. Same for the bluray edition. There are outliers here though too. The occasional bluray that literally has the same volume war'd CD master as the source.

I recommend -13 LUFS for your 24 bit master right now.
Grill your client for where they want their CD version to sit and boost that if desired. Everybody gets what they expect.
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Old 11-11-2019, 12:30 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by serr View Post
Streaming hitting at -12 LUFS is finally helping!

We're still in the thick of it in many corners though.
CD versions are still often boosted up to -10 LUFS. Got to make them sit comfortable (harshly?) next to people's other volume war CDs in their collection!
So... where does most of the content on streaming sites come from (that's being normalized to -12 LUFS - either turned up or down to get there as applies)? Well, from the volume war CD edition of course! Yeah... So that's where most of the telltale tinny streaming 'sound' comes from.

The average 24 bit download is genuinely around -13 LUFS nowadays though. Same for the bluray edition. There are outliers here though too. The occasional bluray that literally has the same volume war'd CD master as the source.

I recommend -13 LUFS for your 24 bit master right now.
Grill your client for where they want their CD version to sit and boost that if desired. Everybody gets what they expect.


which plugin u use to measure LUFS please?
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Old 11-11-2019, 01:59 PM   #11
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Quote:
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which plugin u use to measure LUFS please?
The free Hofa meter.

https://hofa-plugins.de/en/plugins/4u/

I have a couple other meter plugins too with LUFS scale that I forget at the moment. This is a newer standard FYI. It's like db but takes loudness over time into consideration. You know how the TV commercials got crafty and found how to be louder but still hit the legal db level? This foils that better.
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Old 11-11-2019, 02:16 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by serr View Post
The free Hofa meter.

https://hofa-plugins.de/en/plugins/4u/

I have a couple other meter plugins too with LUFS scale that I forget at the moment. This is a newer standard FYI. It's like db but takes loudness over time into consideration. You know how the TV commercials got crafty and found how to be louder but still hit the legal db level? This foils that better.

thank you!
useful to learn this, much appreciated
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Old 11-11-2019, 02:20 PM   #13
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Quote:
for loudness during mastering a maximizer is needed..
What you "need" depends on what you are trying to accomplish and what you're starting with.


Quote:
if you could also explain what does a maximizer do over what do a limitor does
I'd avoid any plug-in where they don't tell you exactly what it's doing.


Quote:
which plugin u use to measure LUFS please?
dpMeter (FREE!) is one option. It can also give you the EBU R128 LRA (loudness range) as well as peak, RMS and other level-loudness related statistics.
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Old 11-11-2019, 02:27 PM   #14
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That's one of the other meter plugs I have. TB_Pro

And another fine answer from DVDdoug.
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