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Pianoworldstage
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dBFS Audio Clipping ???

Fri Jul 23, 2021 6:34 pm

Hi

Is it right to say a peak level of -6dBFS is only recommended so as to leave enough space for effects processing such as mastering, which would take up an extra 3dB of space. Therefore seeing as I'm not applying any FX processing as a Master, i assume it would be safe to raise the peak level to -3dBFS ?
 
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triplets
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Re: dBFS Audio Clipping ???

Fri Jul 23, 2021 6:48 pm

It all depends on the level of compression you're already applying to the mix.
You can be peaking at -3 but have a very dynamic mix.
Or you can be peaking at -6 but have very compressed mix.
What's your LUFS value on the Multimeter?
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Pianoworldstage
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Re: dBFS Audio Clipping ???

Sat Jul 24, 2021 7:29 am

triplets wrote:
It all depends on the level of compression you're already applying to the mix.
You can be peaking at -3 but have a very dynamic mix.
Or you can be peaking at -6 but have very compressed mix.
What's your LUFS value on the Multimeter?

To put this more in perspective what I've done is recorded a track and added some minor FX processing tools such as Imaging and Volocity, which technically would constitute as mastering. After this mastering stage I'm still able to peak at -6dB, therefore I'm assuming i could raise the volume level to -3dB or possibly -1dB, would this be safe without causing any issues, the project is for commercial release.
 
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fuzzfilth
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Re: dBFS Audio Clipping ???

Sat Jul 24, 2021 8:06 am

The answer to this is triplet's post, verbatim.
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David Nahmani
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Re: dBFS Audio Clipping ???

Sat Jul 24, 2021 9:40 am

You can safely go up to 0 dBFS. You have to watch out for distortion that could be generated by other processes (too much limiting, too much compression, intersample peaks etc...) however keeping your mix below -1 dBFS, -3 dBFS, -6 dBFS or any arbitrary value other than 0 dBFS won't prevent you from introducing those kinds of distortion.
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Pianoworldstage
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Re: dBFS Audio Clipping ???

Mon Jul 26, 2021 3:28 am

At the final stage of mastering then should i be peaking as far as -1dB or less? What is recommended.

As mentioned the album is for commercial retail (online streaming) I've heard about the loudness war's therefore the standard LUFS volume has to be applied, not overly familiar with the concept at this point, so would need some direction as to how loud my final master should be?
 
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Re: dBFS Audio Clipping ???

Mon Jul 26, 2021 3:33 am

Loudness should be -14LUFs, if you're louder, your piece will be turned down to be -14LUFs, if you're quieter, tough luck.
TruePeak should be -1dBTP for stereo, -3dBTP for 5.1
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Pianoworldstage
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Re: dBFS Audio Clipping ???

Tue Jul 27, 2021 7:07 am

As mentioned the project is a solo piano album, (soundtracks) to be be delivered to an online music distribution site, in my case CD Baby. The intention for the album would be for CD, digital downloads and streaming. Online research states there has to be a standardized measurement of loudness for streaming platforms, streaming to be at -14 LUFS, whilst CDs and downloads at -8 LUFS.

Assuming this information is accurate? there would need to be two different final master volume outputs, one for CD, digital downloads, and another for streaming, is this correct?
 
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fuzzfilth
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Re: dBFS Audio Clipping ???

Tue Jul 27, 2021 7:11 am

Yes. And make sure they're labeled as such.
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Pianoworldstage
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Re: dBFS Audio Clipping ???

Wed Jul 28, 2021 8:45 am

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.

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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fuzzfilth
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Re: dBFS Audio Clipping ???

Wed Jul 28, 2021 9:00 am

Stating that the dBFs value differs from the LUFs value is like stating that water tastes different than gasoline. Yes, it does. As I've tried to convey, they are completely different methods of interpreting what goes on in your audio stream, with completely different goals, so you cannot compare or substitute them.

You need to aim for -14LUFs and -1dBTP for stereo, -3dBTP for 5.1. If you're at -28LUFs, your production will be less than a quarter of the volume of other productions and the streaming service will *not* pull yours up to match.

I think you need hands on professional help to get your project out the door in good shape, and I understand that it's not in your interest to post it here on a public forum.
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Pianoworldstage
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Re: dBFS Audio Clipping ???

Thu Jul 29, 2021 10:15 am

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.

It was recently pointed out to my attention 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 as it is i suppose?
 
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fuzzfilth
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Re: dBFS Audio Clipping ???

Thu Jul 29, 2021 10:47 am

It appears to me that you won't accept any other answer than 'yes', so yes.
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Re: dBFS Audio Clipping ???

Thu Jul 29, 2021 2:21 pm

fuzzfilth wrote:
I think you need hands on professional help to get your project out the door in good shape,

I agree.

It's one thing to get rough numbers to shoot for in order to get in the ballpark, it's another to actually know what you're doing (and thus know why you're doing it, versus just doing something because you've been told you should). For example, you can get intersample peaks above 0 dBFS when peaking as low as -3 dBFS (one could argue as low as -6 dBFS as was demonstrated by the TC Electronics team who wrote a well known white paper on the subject). A professional mastering engineer knows how and when intersample peaks occur, on what devices, with what type of material, what kind of distortion they introduce, etc. Depending on the genre, the audience, the distribution scheme, the loudness requirements, and many other factors, he can then make an educated decision.

Now I do understand that not everyone has the budget for a professional job, but make sure that you're aware that just shooting for any kind of specific numbers on your meters is not a guarantee that you're going to get the best result.
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Pianoworldstage
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Re: dBFS Audio Clipping ???

Fri Jul 30, 2021 5:17 am

Advice accepted, thanks to everyone for all you support on this topic, as always very helpful.
 
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David Nahmani
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Re: dBFS Audio Clipping ???

Fri Jul 30, 2021 6:01 am

You're welcome! :)
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