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RexRed

How high to set the output gain of songs?

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I just bought the Fab Filter L2 plugin ( was using the old L filter) and it has a setting for -14db for "streaming". Well, I have always mixed my final output to where when limited it would be just under the brick wall threshold so CbB would not produce any vertical orange bars.  In other words, the waveform preview would fit the entire envelope in the Cakewalk master track bus.

It seems that this is too high for what is necessary on the web for streaming. I hear that streaming services just lower it if necessary to -14db.

When I set the output level to a lower level then the limiter does not kick in at all. I am now completely confused.

If you need more info I will be here to discuss this topic more. Thanks in advance for any suggestions or tips.

How do I get the limiter to kick in and even out the peaks while still keeping the total gain around -14db?

My PC will run 32bit oversampling without even breaking out a sweat.

I have a music song loop track that I got off audio blocks and I am trying to attenuate loud and soft sections so it has a perfectly flat response. I tried  the stock compressors in the  the pro channel and I tried the Waves stereo Vocal Rider and I tried CA-2A and set it to limiter. When I look at the waveform in the CbB master bus in the Fab Filter plugin it keeps jumping in volume at the same point no matter what I do. I only have that track playing.  Am I missing something here like relative gain versus something else? 

I used to have a specific way of mastering and now it all seems confused with this new plugin approach.  

I am watching YouTube videos but this Fab Filter L2 plugin is so new there are not many tutorials on it.

I need to read the manual I guess.

Please kindly contribute any advice you can to help me possibly understand how this relates to Cakewalk's optimal output  level for exporting files. 

Thanks.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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This video series is helping some. Yikes, this stuff is complicated. :)

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Posted (edited)

It doesn't help that Cakewalk's documentation is very thorough about describing the many options for audio export while being careful not to explain or recommend any specific option (at least that I could find).

This is unfortunately common among DAW's, among metering plug-ins, and even, sadly, among articles and videos about level and loudness.

I have found them all strangely coy when it comes to specific instructions. By that I mean like where you actually insert the metering plug-in, which might seem obvious, but it's not for someone new to all this. If you don't know where to put it, it's like getting a Roku Box without knowing that you are supposed to connect it to the Internet, but if Roku Boxes also didn't pop up error messages saying that they weren't connected to the Internet and also without knowing that you're supposed to be able to watch Amazon Prime and Netflix and Kanopy and Hulu and Tubi and all this other stuff on them.

I would expect there to be something like "examine your DAW's signal flow chart to find the last point you can insert the loudness metering plug-in before monitoring and rendering and do no level adjustments past that point before rendering" but nope, they just expect people to come from the womb knowing that.

In the DAW world, the documentation usually says "you can render from here, there, and everywhere, isn't it wonderful how versatile it all is?" When it would be helpful to at least be told that most of the time you're going to want to choose this and this and this option. And if you find that your rendered file's level is too low, increase it on this or that fader.

The simplest stuff is not always painfully obvious to first-timers and because it's considered the simplest stuff it won't be documented as well.

When I was starting out with DAW's I read a couple of articles and watched a few videos about this stuff and studied my DAW's documentation and at the end of all that I knew that Oasis had ruined radio by using a brickwall limiter and that it was up to all of us to use the LUFs standard to fix things. I learned that we could use metering plug-ins on our DAW's to do it, also standalone programs like one by my old company, Orban. I also knew that there were a bunch of different LUFs numbers that different streaming and digital music services used as their standards.

What I did not learn from any of my reading or video watching was where to put the plug-in, which of the numbers I should be shooting for, how Level relates to Loudness, and what to do if my LUFs were too big or too small. And that seems weird to me, that after all that effort to figure it out, I'd still be so in the dark, when all those things are not only quite important, but also easily explained (except for the loudness/levels thing, which I still haven't sorted out).

Edited by Starship Krupa
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On 6/14/2019 at 8:36 AM, mark skinner said:

Who is doing the video you posted ?   He seems pretty straight forward ..      mark

@mark skinner

The video was posted by Sean Devine, https://seandivine.com/about-sean-divine/

Judging from his website his preferred daw tools are Pro Tools, Cubase and Logic Pro.  His YouTube channel has more than 89,000 subscribers.

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 "Thanks" I'll check him out.  I've gone thru the same thing relating to levels ,  and have redone a lot of songs after changing my mind.  I am now settled on  -14 lufs.  I usually export the main mix at around -6 peak db and do my final gain, comp, eq, limiting, etc. outside of the main project.  Less confusing for me this way.  G-Clip has been very helpful for removing the really quick spikes that I've had problems with using normal comps. and limiters.  I actually prefer -18 to -16 lufs, but doing my final at  -14 and controlling the true peak insures no clipping during conversions for streaming.   Good luck ...   mark

 

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