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Old 05-27-2019, 12:36 PM   #1
IonianStreams
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Default Does Reaper master meter read 3 dB too low?

Hi all. Relatively new to Reaper, definitely new to the forum -- first post.

I've reviewed Ian Shepherd's info on LUFS concepts, in particular http://productionadvice.co.uk/lufs-dbfs-rms/. This webpage has a link to a pink noise .wav file that should, according to Ian, read out at about -11.5 dB RMS and/or LUFS on the meter. I loaded this pink noise .wav file into Reaper to check out its metering. I also used ToneBoosters TB_EBULoudness plugin to get a LUFS readout.

Before getting very far I had to investigate Reaper's master meter settings which are displayed by right-clicking the master meter. I set the "Top Label" to show "RMS" and set the "Display offset" to "0.0" to get raw uncompensated values.

Playing the pink noise track showed an RMS reading of -14.2 dB, which is about 3 dB under the target of -11.5 dB.

The Ian Shepherd webpage describes how a meter will read 3 dB too low if the meter was incorrectly calibrated using a square wave rather than a sine wave; according to AES, a sine wave is the correct waveform to calibrate a meter for music.

I see that Reaper's master meter settings also has a "Display gain" option to add 3 dB to the meter readout. When I use this +3 dB display gain and re-run the analysis, Reaper shows an RMS reading of -11.2 dB, which is essentially the correct reading. (I note that TB_EBULoudness gives a LUFS readout of -11.3 LUFS.)

So, after all that, my questions are: Is the Reaper master meter incorrectly calibrated using a square wave thus reading 3 dB too low? If so, is it advisable to set and keep the "Display gain" to +3 dB?

[Forgive me if any of this has been previously addressed. I searched the forum to see if it had, didn't see anything, and before long I'm sidetracked for hours reading other posts!]

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Old 05-27-2019, 12:53 PM   #2
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Have you also already checked the Pan Law settings?: https://www.reaper.fm/videos.php#BBeRtAfQlNM


In case you haven't already found this thread, you might find some additional hints here: https://forum.cockos.com/showthread.php?p=1675753
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Old 05-27-2019, 02:26 PM   #3
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Bingo solger! Your reference links confirmed my suspicions (without more forum searching). Thanks.

Yes, it would appear that Reaper's master meter shows an RMS that is 3 dB too low. Many of the users in your (solger's) second thread show them using a "display gain" of +3 dB to compensate for this and "align Reaper's meters with other meters".

One of those users refers to the "Hollis settings" which are given at https://forum.cockos.com/showthread.php?t=974011. Hollis says:
Quote:
Here's how I setup the master fader to give VU characteristics based on AES17's definition of 0 dBFS with a sine wave. Reaper's RMS calculation is not correct based on the AES17 standard--a sine wave should read the same value for peak and RMS. ... Display gain must be 3.0 dB to correct for the normally RMS reading meter offset (this is where Reaper takes a math approach to RMS instead of the audio-correct AES17 definition).
These threads are several years old but my pink noise test today shows that the meter still behaves the same way. Maybe an upgrade is coming soon?

Thanks again solger.
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Old 05-28-2019, 04:55 PM   #4
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Did you have the third party meters on the track or the master?
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Old 05-28-2019, 07:32 PM   #5
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Don't expect this to ever get changed, both because it's correct in a technical sense and because you have the option to adjust the gain yourself.

There's an argument to be made for making +3db the default setting, I suppose, but the same applies to other things like pan law where Reaper is doing its own thing.
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Old 05-29-2019, 05:21 AM   #6
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Is RMS useful? Really?
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Old 05-29-2019, 09:17 PM   #7
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Quote:
Is RMS useful? Really?
If you are making audiobooks ACX requires the level to be between -23dB and -18dB RMS. But for that (and for anything "loudness related") it's better to scan/analyze the file than to watch a meter.

With digital recording & mixing levels & metering aren't really that important except you need to avoid clipping when recording and again at the end where you need to avoid clipping and you may want to hit a certain loudness target.

So a peak meter is most the most useful meter.
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Old 05-29-2019, 10:50 PM   #8
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Honestly I often wish they'd give up on the db scale and just give me actual numbers.
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Old 06-03-2019, 10:00 AM   #9
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Honestly I often wish they'd give up on the db scale and just give me actual numbers.
Your ears are logarithmic and decibels are logarithmic.

Plus, decibels are standard for audio & hearing so if you go with the raw numbers you'd be out-of-step with everybody in the audio world. (Audacity does show a linear numeric scale for the default waveform display.)

And, the raw numbers are different for different formats. So, although REAPER works in floating-point, the "numbers" in a regular integer WAV file are totally different, and they depend on the bit depth


It also makes it possible to calibrate analog & digital levels and to convert/calibrate between digital & acoustic levels, but this is rarely done in "home studios".


P.S.
Your levels are not that important except:
1. You need to avoid clipping during recording. That's peaks, not RMS.

2. When you get to the end rendering/mastering you'll generally want to normalize (peaks) and/or shoot-for a target loudness. If you want to hit a target loudness a loudness scanner/analyzer is better because it checks the whole file at once and you don't have to carefully watch a meter.

3. If you are using the K-system (or similar) you need to monitor your SPL levels.

Last edited by DVDdoug; 06-03-2019 at 12:33 PM.
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Old 06-04-2019, 09:05 AM   #10
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I guess I meant a scale where 0dbFS = +/-1, like the sample values we play with in JSFX.

I was mostly kidding though because I think the whole sine vs square thing is absurd. Reapers meters are correct. Anything else is silly. The peak to RMS ratio of a sine wave is irrelevant. I want to know the actual DR of MY waveforms.
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Old 06-17-2019, 02:02 PM   #11
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Thanks to all for their comments. My characterization of Reaper's RMS meter as "incorrectly calibrated" is not really fair. As Lokasenna and ashcat_lt point out, the meter is correct, it just doesn't conform to the AES sine wave standard. But it does offer the +3 dB "Display gain" to cater to those who want to follow the AES standard.

As DVDdoug points out, RMS isn't that crucial anyway. When recording, just keep overall track levels low (e.g. -18 dB) to avoid clipping the peaks; there's no noise floor to worry about in the digital realm. When rendering/mastering, bring up the final volume to the desired integrated loudness LUFS level (not the same as RMS) using a good limiter, again, to prevent clipping.

Have I got that about right? Also, DVDdoug recommends a "loudness scanner" to check the whole master file at once without watching a meter the whole way through. I've seen (don't have) the EXPOSE tool from masteringthemix.com which looks like such a loudness scanner. Is this a good one? Any others?
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Old 06-17-2019, 02:20 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by IonianStreams View Post
I've seen (don't have) the EXPOSE tool from masteringthemix.com which looks like such a loudness scanner. Is this a good one? Any others?
Orban loudness meter using it's offline analyzer/scanner...

https://www.orban.com/meter
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Old 06-17-2019, 02:35 PM   #13
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Quote:
Have I got that about right?
hey-heh,well not quite--DVDdoug is actually not giving a fuller picture...let's try again..
with a daw that records+renders only at either 16/24bit 1 must be cautious and aware of both input and output clippings--because it's a fixed format.. on the other hand.......
reaper offers 32bit float recording..this means advising about calibrating to -18 input level is just utter bs nonsense.. 1 can go well over 0db on both input+output renderings.
fact that few properly get that-even the guys in sweden (@propellerhead) needed to be reminded of this..was me (trumpet blows!) that done that actually..so all are more aware of modern tools uses+abuses!!

recording+rendering at 32bit is a no brainer-if 1 has the capacity to realize why+how that works out,then more power to them!
obviously the downside is mega massive file sizes,but that gets offset by resampling+ reformatting to lower qaulity distribution files,or streaming services later at the mastering stage or before/after archiving to hd partitions...

clear as mud__right? -no worries: the penny will drop 1day! and you can then pick it up-claim your fortunes and good lucks!! =hahaaa
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Old 06-17-2019, 02:39 PM   #14
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Doug's a lot smarter though.
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Old 06-17-2019, 02:55 PM   #15
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Quote:
Doug's a lot smarter though.

lol-oh please ..spare the dick swings!

maybe DVDdoug+the rest will try for themselves+find out why 32bit input rendering is superior to any dick or big titty swings!
@karbomusic- would you report your best mic response: flat input settings,what noise floor do you see in reaper before you hit record> in the most quiet,no noise environment? please+ty?
what input levels do you see in reaper without any fx-dry signal?
but why you ask...
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Old 06-17-2019, 05:05 PM   #16
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@karbomusic - can't post,won't post?
why are you choosing ignore? have you been upset or something?
come on man--this is usefull and helpfull to all daw users once fully grasped..why choose to ignore it?
+this appears offtopic=but is totally not as it's all to do with metering numbers and what really matters ultimately.... sigh great/greater recordings..
i love music+want people to have the very best in every situation.
wisdom helps in that quest,or does it not?
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Old 06-17-2019, 05:58 PM   #17
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karbomusic - thanks for the Orban meter info.

Maybe it's time for a chill pill and to wrap this up. I'll quote Kenny Gioia (who defn knows his stuff); https://forum.cockos.com/showpost.ph...1&postcount=74:

Quote:
Set your recording levels into your A/D Convertor at around -18dB. Don't peak above -12 to -10dB.
That's it.
Do what you want with the audio inside the DAW as long as it doesn't clip.
Now. Record something!!!!
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Old 06-17-2019, 06:50 PM   #18
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Quote:
Maybe it's time for a chill pill and to wrap this up. I'll quote Kenny Gioia

lol-wow--what is actually wrong with you people?
brain dead parrots who regurgitate the narratives they are dictated to by the false prophets or invisible gods?
or ..
free thinking individuals,who work things out and do for themselves?
there's no helping some-while some will help themselves..
cyaz.
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Old 06-18-2019, 09:32 AM   #19
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hmmm- i wonder if DVDdoug is actually smart enough to figure this troll™ out..what say he now?
as for any playground bullies..well,being cowardly-they just run away avoiding any mental/physical challengers.lol.
lufs is just a new term-and people are looking at it like some whacko religious experience-heh,more fool them--great music is not made by looking at geeky nerd numbers-- it's done with passion+energy..32bit helps that as a modern daw user to then never worry about clipping-ever.
normalizing sounds as geeky as it does-but it has uses once realizing why it exists.
a-to the m.f. men,brothers + sisters!
even ian shepherd can gain something from this-it's for all to know,nothing exclusive or sellable here product wise-just information.
take it,or leave it--choice is there for all to consider.

Last edited by Bri1; 06-18-2019 at 09:38 AM. Reason: typedoh
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Old 06-18-2019, 09:46 AM   #20
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Quote:
Last edited by Bri1; Today at 12:38 PM. Reason: typedoh
You missed all the other "typedohs".
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Old 06-18-2019, 09:49 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IonianStreams View Post
karbomusic - thanks for the Orban meter info:
All good There may be other suitable offline LUFS tools but Orban was the first I used and I like the fact you can drag a bunch of files into it and it will analyze all of them. As mentioned in another thread, when I want to meet some LUFS target, I prefer using offline due to integrated taking the entire song into account.
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Old 06-18-2019, 10:00 AM   #22
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lol-coward.
karbomusic_head is so far up your own ass-you can't see the light that shines before you?
and being a massive prick-i reckon that's also a no brainer-u win m8.lmao.
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Old 06-18-2019, 10:46 AM   #23
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Dude, a large amount of your posts consist only vague handwavy stuff that invariably boils down to "experiment and you'll figure it out", which is one way to get to the point, but generally defeats the purpose of answering questions in the first place. I've not seen your proof of your points, although to be fair I haven't followed the threads you post in too closely - I might have missed it. You do need to take a look at the insults that you hide behind smilies and "lolz" and "lmao".

Normally I'm content to read your posts and chuckle internally at the wide variety of personalities we encounter in this life. I felt the need to post this time, though. I don't think your posts come across the way you mean them to, or the way you think they do. Introspection is useful.

Last edited by Reason; 06-18-2019 at 06:57 PM. Reason: took a chill pill
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Old 06-18-2019, 01:18 PM   #24
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Quote:
Dude, you LITERALLY never post anything useful. .
wrong-your so wrong in most your post there..
people are ignorant and unhelpfull -that's not mi problem--
prove it. =am willing to show+prove anything written on this forum if i've tried to make points..
it's also not mi fault if some refuse to use the brain- never called anybody in particular a parrot-so like your bully pals--your simply making shit up now.
LOL.
do you even understand any of the points i try to make? why not challenge every single comment if you disagree with them all?
your not feeding a troll-because i am not a troll-simplez. i get trolled by the likes of you.dope.


the topic here is about master meter being 3db too low...too low for what? preprogrammed suggestions from others?

must start asking mods to delete this account for your safety.
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Old 06-18-2019, 03:15 PM   #25
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lol-i feel totally like david icke-ridiculed,ignored+censored by a postage stamped concensus driven population!
ok-try this -see how it makes any1 feel..
The Storm Troopers Of Censorship - David Icke






then after-1 can try maxing out input mic or itb levels to 0db-switch rendering projects to 32bit (brave go 64bit) -make input peaks reach as high the pre amp will allow-but the trick is to insert a 64bit processing plugin on the input chain- (if monitoring turn fader down some) and then user can go as high they like-while rendering.
hit normalize.wonder why this is better than 16 or 24bit.?
it really could be a standard thing-but is not.yet.

http://music.1014.org/Jams/Clippy/19...isappeared.mp3
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Old 06-19-2019, 01:52 AM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bri1 View Post
lol-wow--what is actually wrong with you people?
.
A thought: When everyone around ME seems to be acting like brain dead jerks, that`s the time I stop, take a deep breath and look at my own behaviour. You might want to try doing a little navel gazing...
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Old 06-19-2019, 03:19 AM   #27
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heh-- well,it's time some midget minds get awakened to certain realities..
i literally cannot shout loud enough to get people to wake up-quicker.
lol,so much concern over silly numbers or measurements simply pales in comparison to the greatest (lie) story ever told.
has anybody here ever considered neural interfacing before? no? not even 1?

information changes...watch n learn kiddiez..>





heh,guess these guys are bullshitting us all as well..right?
no.it's fact.
everything is about to change.i would suggest brace yourselves mentally..
some brains will be broken by this info.
how loud is silence?
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Old 06-19-2019, 08:24 AM   #28
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hahahahahahahahahahahahaha holy fucking shit

just

WOW
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Old 06-19-2019, 09:02 AM   #29
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yep-haha-life's a box of chocolates eh..
1day you will just be thinking music..and it will just happen as you think.
future can be bright-if we think brighter thoughts!
fundamentally our concepts of reality is .....not the whole story.
a wave for eg: is not something in+ of itself..i believe it's a gradiented field perturbation of the ether.
sounds does not travel as most think-it's actually a rate of induction,like light is...as far i can tell.
all are fields-force,mass,acclerations,magnitudes,plain of inertia...to think of bumping particles may be incorrect..
current metering is incorrect imo-not all may agree with that.
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Old 06-19-2019, 09:08 AM   #30
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heh-try this and apply the wisdom to metering please >


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Old 06-20-2019, 08:20 AM   #31
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up ourselves much? lol

someone should take their head out of their arse and f off.....

if you DID take your head out of your arse, you MIGHT realise you are in "newbieland" and maybe don't put everyone down

even if you were always right I still wouldn't take your advice.
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Old 06-20-2019, 08:37 AM   #32
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Quote:
someone should take their head out of their arse and f off......

lol--at least ya got a gsh!

quite often go where the sun don't shine,and happily put miself down as much the next man/woman..heh
in my happy,delusional ickle bubble- sound begins @ 0+ only rises and decreases..it never actually falls below zero--because,basically,that would implode the universe.negative infinity? is there really such a thing? lol.
some negatives lurk in many places,many minds,forums..etc..but also see the positives!!
lighten up eh.am not trying to put any1 down accept miself-as we are all 1.
tasty info,take it,or leave it,bit by bit,don't really give much a sh...ut that door..
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Old 06-21-2019, 04:40 AM   #33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bri1 View Post
lol--at least ya got a gsh!

quite often go where the sun don't shine,and happily put miself down as much the next man/woman..heh
in my happy,delusional ickle bubble- sound begins @ 0+ only rises and decreases..it never actually falls below zero--because,basically,that would implode the universe.negative infinity? is there really such a thing? lol.
some negatives lurk in many places,many minds,forums..etc..but also see the positives!!
lighten up eh.am not trying to put any1 down accept miself-as we are all 1.
tasty info,take it,or leave it,bit by bit,don't really give much a sh...ut that door..
Ramble On
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