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Mastering Challenge - General Gossip Thread

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Mister Fox
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Mastering Challenge - General Gossip Thread

#1

Post by Mister Fox »

Want to talk about the Mastering Challenge in general?

What are your fears/concerns? What would you like to see changed/improved?
What is your opinion on the rule set?
Do you have any suggestions?

Please type away :tu:

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Ungifted
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Re: Mastering Challenge - General Gossip Thread

#2

Post by Ungifted »

Hi,

I'm very excitet to see the Mastering Challenge come to live. Everyone interested in mastering has the problem to get good material and the possbibility to compare against others. I've just read the guidelines and I'm very happy about the point that declares the loudness level. K12 and -1db TP, it is a very good level to compare the results. Best way to compare frequency balance AND the ability to getting loud.

I'm just a little afraid, that K12v1 and -14LUFS-ITU1770 is causing a lot of questions...
For e.g. if i see the iZotope RX "wave stats" of any of my mastered files, the integrated ITU-LUFS and RMS-total are only different by approx 0.4 (-12LUFS integrated = -11,7RMS-total). If I compare via Melda Productions Loudness Meter (my favorite) EBU LUFS -14 with for e.g. dpmeterII RMS K12 average, there is a difference of approx 1,5 units.

So maybe it is better to tell all participants to use one free metering solution for all platforms and to not exceed the max. of -14LUFS?
For example: please use the youlean loudness meter in ITU-Mode and don't exceed -14 LUFS limit...??

Just an idea. Even the professional mastering engineers struggle with true peaks and the different loudness standards. Some of the famous known names deliver masterings with true peaks beyond +1.5db these days. I was one of the early digital DJs in the era of electroclash and french house and the loudness war was a horror! We had to use de-clipping and expanders to make this tracks work on large club systems.

If I can help, let me know!

Cheers,
Bianca (Ungifted)

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Mister Fox
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Re: Mastering Challenge - General Gossip Thread

#3

Post by Mister Fox »

The ITU-R BS.1770-x (especially MLk) vs RMS avg levels can vary greatly if we talk "more bass intensive content", as the ITU-R specs (with it's weighting filter) have less response towards lowend rumble, while unweighted RMS meters measure insane values here. My tests usually resulted in an offset of about 1,5 to 3 units if we talk SLk vs Dorrough/K-System v1. But I do get your point. Which is why I want this discussion - to set ground rules.


Personally I'd also go for LUFS (ITU-R specs with whatever preset you prefer: K-System v2, ATSC A/85, EBU R-128, etc), as this is way more unified than what is already out there. It is a widely accepted measurement "standard" at this point (not exclusive to streaming anymore). Also, not every RMS meter uses the same ballistics. One could use 600ms (Dorrough / K-System v1) as measurement window, another one anything between 200 and 400ms.

I just wrote down what I had in my head and what I've experienced throughout the years.
Though the feedback is duly noted.


Please keep it coming

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Jorgeelalto
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Re: Mastering Challenge - General Gossip Thread

#4

Post by Jorgeelalto »

Hi guys,

I'm just checking out the MastC rules and guidelines, and some things that come to my mind:

. It's said that in the second post of the rules that the second mastering round is optional. What are the circumstances under which the 2nd round occurrs?
. Also, in that same paragraph, there is an "after 1st Mix Round" which I think should be "after 1st Mastering Round".
. A few more of these in the Song Provides Guidelines, in the General Information and Legalities, the 10th and 11th points also confuse mixing with mastering. Just fine grain polishing here, don't worry.
. That fourth post of the thread will need a bit of tuning also with the "mix" to "master" thing :D, specially on the title of the post, the header, the "Rule set for mix participants", and the 7th and 9th points.

. The fifth too, with the 1st, 7th and 8th points.

I think that's all the quirks I've found, I think the rules are good enough. The loudness thing is, well... Hard. The solution Ungifted proposed is pretty good, everyone uses the same tool and that way we will get consistency over all the submitted masters.

Edit: PD: Please Fox feel free to delete or move this as I'm not sure those recommendations go here or if I should have PM'd that to you. Thanks :D

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Mister Fox
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Re: Mastering Challenge - General Gossip Thread

#5

Post by Mister Fox »

Jorgeelalto wrote:
Sat Nov 11, 2017 18:59 CET
It's said that in the second post of the rules that the second mastering round is optional. What are the circumstances under which the 2nd round occurrs?
That is actually an excellent question, to which I don't have an answer yet. Sometimes clients can be like "nya, but I find this high frequency a bit too much". Then again, we trust a Mastering Engineer to fix the issues with fresh ears.

So that "second round" might be scrapped altogether prior to MastC #01.

Jorgeelalto wrote:
Sat Nov 11, 2017 18:59 CET
I think that's all the quirks I've found,
Will get to that ASAP. Thanks.

EDIT - ca 30min later:
Edited all mentioned minor "quirks", and also addressed this in all other "Rules & Guidelines" threads. I also removed the K-System v1 "maximum loudness mastering" recommendation, or rather... reworded it.




Any feedback on the "Challenge Demo" threads? Are they easy to understand? Do I need to make clear what is meant (for example) with Redbook Audio CD? Would you understand that you need to provide 2 edits for both 44/16 and 96/24 along with MP3 versions in this case?

Just checking, so that we're all on the same page

HerbFelho
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Re: Mastering Challenge - General Gossip Thread

#6

Post by HerbFelho »

Really looking forward to the first mastering challenge! I think it will be interesting to see how people approach this and how different the masters will actually turn out.

Not really much to comment on the rule set, besides the things that´s already been mentioned here.
The one thing that will be important though is how to really achieve standardized loudness values. Not so sure how different metering plugins really are, but if it is like it´s been said here then it will be good to name one free cross-platform plugin that´s mandatory for all participants to use for normalizing the final LUFS value.

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Mister Fox
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Re: Mastering Challenge - General Gossip Thread

#7

Post by Mister Fox »

I addressed this in the Rules & Guidelines FAQ, Question 06.

It's also been addressed in the thread How to: Loudness Normalization (Manually and Automated) on this forum in "Production Techniques"

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Jorgeelalto
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Re: Mastering Challenge - General Gossip Thread

#8

Post by Jorgeelalto »

Hi,

I also think a suggestion (or obligation?) to use an unified free, cross-platform metering tool for all the participants would be great. I've used youlean for my participation on MastC001 but I'm not 100% sure I'm getting to the correct levels in the required standard. Also, most meterings in different plugins get different measurements for what seems to be the same measure (?). It's a hard part of the challenge RN but not because it's challenging, but because it's a bit messy.

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Mister Fox
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Re: Mastering Challenge - General Gossip Thread

#9

Post by Mister Fox »

A meter offset of +-0,1LU needs to be taken into consideration in terms of accuracy(part of the ITU-R BS.1770-x specs anyway). Also, each meter updates at their own "internal leisure" and therefore can give slightly shifted results if you run several meters side by side. If it's more than +-0,3LU, you should maybe look at a different tool.

If you're +-1LU ILk in the final results, things are fine (again, part of the allowed Integrated Loudness offset). So don't worry with your current -14,7LUFS


I think a good cross-platform tool is indeed "Youlean Loudness Meter" (I don't know when v2 will arrive, and if there will still be a free version despite all the promises). It's among the most accurate ones out there for an ultra-low budget, and without installing an extra set of bells-and-whistles. It's closely followed by ToneBoosters' EBU Loudness (which sadly isn't sold separately anymore).

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Re: Mastering Challenge - General Gossip Thread

#10

Post by Studio Saturn »

About mastering contest, Don't you think it is more appropriate if the song first is in mixing contest and then pass to mastering contest the winner mix?

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