RMS Levels

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RMS Levels

Postby tcatzere » Thu Jan 17, 2008 12:57 pm

Earle,

Are RMS levels fairly accurate regardless of genre or processing?

As an example, if I had a track with some decent dynamics and a compressed version of the same track -- and I adjusted the levels of both versions so that they each had an average RMS of -12dB, would the perceived level be the same for both tracks, or would the compressed track sound louder even though the RMS levels were the same?
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Re: RMS Levels

Postby har-bal » Thu Jan 17, 2008 1:07 pm

tcatzere wrote:Earle,

Are RMS levels fairly accurate regardless of genre or processing?

As an example, if I had a track with some decent dynamics and a compressed version of the same track -- and I adjusted the levels of both versions so that they each had an average RMS of -12dB, would the perceived level be the same for both tracks, or would the compressed track sound louder even though the RMS levels were the same?


Tom

You will find the best explanation here:

http://www.getmastered.com/techinfo.html

Cheers

Earle
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Postby tcatzere » Thu Jan 17, 2008 1:40 pm

Thanks, Earle, I'll check it out.

Tom
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Re: RMS Levels

Postby tcatzere » Thu Jan 17, 2008 11:42 pm

har-bal wrote:You will find the best explanation here:
http://www.getmastered.com/techinfo.html
Earle


Hi Earle,
I read the info at the link you provided. I guess the simple answer to my question is "no," not all RMS levels are created equally. So, this leads to a followup question . . .

I have a project which involves remastering quite a few CDs -- all basically in the same genre with about the same instrumentation. However, each one has varying degrees of processing and compression -- so the levels vary quite a bit from CD to CD. When I'm done, I was hoping to standardize the levels so that each CD would have about the same perceived volume.

In that I cannot simply match RMS levels, how do I accomplish this? Is there any other pretty reliable way to match up the levels from one CD to another? For some reason, I'm drawing a blank on this -- but it can't be all that difficult to accomplish.

Hope you can help.

Tom
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Re: RMS Levels

Postby har-bal » Sat Jan 19, 2008 12:03 am

tcatzere wrote:
har-bal wrote:You will find the best explanation here:
http://www.getmastered.com/techinfo.html
Earle


Hi Earle,
I read the info at the link you provided. I guess the simple answer to my question is "no," not all RMS levels are created equally. So, this leads to a followup question . . .

I have a project which involves remastering quite a few CDs -- all basically in the same genre with about the same instrumentation. However, each one has varying degrees of processing and compression -- so the levels vary quite a bit from CD to CD. When I'm done, I was hoping to standardize the levels so that each CD would have about the same perceived volume.

In that I cannot simply match RMS levels, how do I accomplish this? Is there any other pretty reliable way to match up the levels from one CD to another? For some reason, I'm drawing a blank on this -- but it can't be all that difficult to accomplish.

Hope you can help.

Tom


Tom

There are a number of techniques you can use..

1. Normalization (least favourable)

2. Sound level meter (I like this one) Set the weighting to "C" and the response to FAST. Set the meter to 85dBs

3. If the tempo of the songs are pretty much the same along with the instruments, then by all means use the same formula I outlines in the "Mastering Tutorial". You can always find it by typing Mastering Tutorial in the Google search engine.

4. Last but not least are our trusty EARS

Cheers

Earle
Last edited by har-bal on Sun Jan 20, 2008 2:22 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: RMS Levels

Postby tcatzere » Sat Jan 19, 2008 5:05 am

har-bal wrote:Sound level meter (I like this one) Set the weighting to "A" and the response to FAST. Set the meter to 85dBs


Thanks for the input, Earle. Interesting you mentioned the SPL meter. Before receiving your response, I pretty much concluded that that would probably be about my only option -- short of just listening. I did find your weighting suggestion rather interesting. I always thought "C" was a better choice than "A" for music. Is there a particular reason why you use "A?"

Also, I looked through your Mastering Tutorial (again) and noticed you show numerous screenshots. Toward the end of the article is a "Level Meter" and a "Spectrum Meter." Obviously, my DAW includes both of these meters, but I was kind of interested in the two you showed. Are they part of a package, or are they individual plugins that are available somewhere?

Tom

You are correct. The setting should be "C weighting". I must have been spacing for a second. I corrected the entry.

The Level and Spectrum meter you mentioned are both found as standard in Wavelab. They are actually part of the application.

Cheers

Earle
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