Old 05-25-2012, 09:15 PM   #41
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What programs are there that have a loudness normalization function at the moment? (...automated like peak normalization.)
The new version of Audition (CS6) has such a feature.

Foobar2000 also has something like this as well.
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Old 05-26-2012, 02:35 AM   #42
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Audition CS6, that's interesting.

Nuendo 6 will apparently have a lot of functions for this. Protools has nothing, if you don't buy a plugin that comes with an Audiosuite component for this, like NuGens $250 plugin for normalizing. Then there's their Loudness Meter plugin set, which also comes with an Audiosuite component so you can scan and then manually use something like the gain plugin to produce the final file.

NuGen's LMB($1000) is a batch processor just for the purpose of offline loudness normalization to specific specs, though I wouldn't trust anyone's dynamic compression of leveling schemes if there are any. It does have good logging and a built-in limiter for any necessary truepeak control. Great for facilities or networks. Imagine if the suggested functions were part of the batch processor of Reaper.

For static level normalization, you can measure it with the commandline tool of the libebur128 project(which I keep as my second external editor on a keyboard shortcut). That binary is no longer available at this time but I can upload it for you if you wish (win32-SSE2 and Win64 versions available).

Foobar2000, as Plush2 mentioned, has a replaygain scanner that now uses the ITU.BS-R 1770-2 method (integrated loudness scan with a G10 gate) with a target loudness of -18 LUFS. So if you want to batch convert to 0 LU = -23 LUFS, then just cut 5 dB in the conversion presets replaygain processing.

Of course none of this stuff supports time-code-locked history graphs. That would be a first. After I posted it, and many other engineers including myself asked meter manufacturers for it(such as RTW), I actually saw that idea in the Nuendo forums over at Steinberg as well. Someone else started asking for this in a two month-old post. It wouldn't surprise me if Steinberg implemented this idea for Nuendo 6.

In my humble opinion, the Cockos boys can probably get something like this going over a weekend, since the libebur128 library is MIT-license-free and works.
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Old 05-26-2012, 04:43 AM   #43
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A concept sketch. Any and all comments and ideas welcome. Please read the description(and critisize that too if you think it's not good).

The yellow "Time Selection for rescan.." text section to the right of the yellow'framed time selection wouldnt' appear of course. Maybe the Rescan button would light up if a time selection is made either in the graph window or the arrangement. -edit- Now it does.

There are faint grid lines for the "over" part of the graph, which the graph will then indicate in red as illustrated.

A time selection can be made for rescan or playback. Whether or not the playhead is actually repositioned when you change the time selection is controlled in the preferences. The rescan should be made with a preroll because of delay and reverb effects often being active. The context menu of the window could contain preset values in second increments and a custom setting that brings up a requester. Values should be entered in seconds, which corresponds to what probably all reverb effects use.

Left-click and drag for making a time selection. All keyboard commands applying to zoom and scroll behaviour, which includes the mousewheel-triggered actions, should apply here too without having to painstakingly recreate stuff from the arrangement setup.

No need to repeat the often lamented inconsistencies we had the midi editor. Should a separate context in the action list be made available, perhaps a reference to "As in Arrangement context" for those commands, similar to what some mouse modifier contexts do. In other words, links of one action context to another.


Commands required would be set start and end of time selection, rescan, preroll toggle on/off. Blind folks don't need this view anyway so there really wouldn't need to be commands for creating new views, changing to a different view or removing a view. Removing a view would be handled in the context menu as well, so as to prevent nasty little accidents in the fiddly little tabs.


Configuration
Baseline, maximum momentary LU, maximum LRA. Context menu is the easiest with popups of a combined text entry and dropdown menu(for presets and history).

The baseline (thick green line in the middle) is by default at 0 LU, which equates to -23 LUFS.
The Maximum Momentary LU value can be set to +9 by default. The Maximum LRA is safe at 20.

2nd Update
Updated the image to add a feedback text that appears to the left of the time selection in this view, to indicate the maximum LU, minimum LU and LRA if applicable for that selection. The LRA needs a minimum of 30 seconds iirc to get any meaningful measurements. This gives the user additional feedback and cuts down on guesswork.

The second addition is that little button-box in the top-middle of the selection. This is a function trigger to calculate the integrated LU/LUFS value of that time selection(with preroll if toggled on).

All programs are broken in to segments. Each segment has to conform to the loudness spec of the broadcaster. Thus the mixer will want to check each segment individually without having to render it to a file first. This function was suggested to be an action, but this window is the perfect place to expose that function, and only for time selections as well.

There's nothing else for the user to do on this graph but make a time selection, and in it trigger this useful function. Thus the button won't be in the way at almost any time.



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Old 05-27-2012, 04:45 PM   #44
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For static level normalization, you can measure it with the commandline tool of the libebur128 project(which I keep as my second external editor on a keyboard shortcut).
Having the scanning feature of libebur128 implemented as a type of audio file/item/selection inspector would be useful. A lot faster than having to run through the entire program in realtime while watching an LU meter just to get the integrated LU measurement.

Audiofile Engineering's Wave Editor has a neat offline analyzer function that prints out various statistics, no LU measurements though. Might be a model to base a Reaper LU inspector.
http://www.audiofile-engineering.com.../analyzer.html
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Old 05-27-2012, 04:52 PM   #45
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I was thinking about where to put indicators like that.

Perhaps the user will want to place IN and OUT points that are independant of the time selection and which are continously updated (when the view is visible).

That way, segments won't have to be reselected, if all you're looking at are maximum LU values.

I don't know whether the collected data can be used to calculate the integrated loudness over the entire project, selected IN OUT or the time selection. I'd rather asssume it requires a complete rescan for now.
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Old 05-27-2012, 06:14 PM   #46
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Audioleak is another good offline analyzer that might serve as a model for graphing loudness in Reaper.

http://www.channld.com/audioleak/

To play devil's advocate though, as cool as graphing statistical loudness information would be to have native in Reaper isn't it kind of a lot to implement. This level of analysis is very niche and specialized. Basically broadcast audio engineers would be the main group to use this type of tool, while the average user would just need an LU meter, offline scanning feature for LU info and a 0 LU normalize function. Ok, done playing devil's advocate, if the masses want it and the devs decided to do it I won't be complaining.

On another note, just a quick thought on the normalize feature... 0 LU is a relative scale which can potentially change from standard to standard. To make this feature more flexible and future proof, instead of making the 0 LU an absolute position at -23LUFS make this a user input value so one is able to normalize loudness to other LUFS values. Example, if one wants or needs to normalize their program to -18LUFS you could enter that value into the loudness normalize function.
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Old 05-28-2012, 01:47 AM   #47
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Audioleak is another good offline analyzer that might serve as a model for graphing loudness in Reaper.

http://www.channld.com/audioleak/
Interesting app. Can anyone capture some video off that and Youtube it ?

Quote:
To play devil's advocate though, as cool as graphing statistical loudness information would be to have native in Reaper isn't it kind of a lot to implement. This level of analysis is very niche and specialized. Basically broadcast audio engineers would be the main group to use this type of tool, while the average user would just need an LU meter, offline scanning feature for LU info and a 0 LU normalize function. Ok, done playing devil's advocate, if the masses want it and the devs decided to do it I won't be complaining.
I've given that some thought as well, and as it turns out we already have most of what the devs actually need to make this happen.

This curve is a peak overview that simply doesn't fill the graph, uses a slightly more elaborate RMS function to calculate values and has a threshold to give it a different colour(overs). In fact, this is a lot less data to handle than any audio peak file, and less complex to draw than the overview of a midi item.

The view uses only control elements already used in Reaper, which includes tabs, a dropdown I/O selector, checkboxes and toolbar buttons (overs next and previous). The time selection is already implemented in the style we need too, in the media explorer.

The most complex thing here is likely to be the semitransparent button background of the "Scan for intergrated loudness button" and the status information of the time selection(yellow stuff to the left of the time selection in the mockup). And hardly a complex thing to do as well.

So I'm not terribly worried that this is an extraordinary resource drain. It's work, sure, but not more than a day or two's worth judging by past performance.


Quote:
On another note, just a quick thought on the normalize feature... 0 LU is a relative scale which can potentially change from standard to standard. To make this feature more flexible and future proof, instead of making the 0 LU an absolute position at -23LUFS make this a user input value so one is able to normalize loudness to other LUFS values. Example, if one wants or needs to normalize their program to -18LUFS you could enter that value into the loudness normalize function.
That standard is not going to change. 0 LU with a reference of -23 LUFS is a locked unit, like dBFS or dBU (0.775 V reference). The way to calculate an integrated LUFS/LU value over a period of time did change once, because the gate was included in to the IT-BS.R1770-2 standard, but instead of the -8 LU gate the first EBU R128 document uses, a -10 LU gate was now used and thus the EBU R128 document was updated so everyone would be using the same thing. This is why everyone updated their meters after March 2011. This is extremely rare and the entire industry has now adapted this standard in one form or another. Many of the US broadcasters still use -24 LKFS, which is the ITU-BS.R1770-1 standard, i.e. the EBU R128 method without the gate. Again, this only has any impact on integrated loudness measurement.

LUFS = LKFS if you're calculating momentary and short term loudness, so all Reaper would actually have to handle is having a preference to turn the -10 gate on or off for integrated loudness calcuations.

And measuring loudness with the standard is technically easy as well. It's really just a very simple filter curve in front of the RMS calculation.

Concerning things like -18 LUFS as a base reference, that's a good thing to have, but it should never be called 0 LU. LU has a standardized reference, unlike the VU descriptor. The NuGen VisLM plugin lets the user setup multiple coloured ranges. I reckon any metering updates will include all the ideas Danni had anyway. LU/LUFS measurement will simply augment those ideas to include how measurements are made.
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Old 05-29-2012, 11:05 AM   #48
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You always do such great graphic mock-ups airon for these post ideas. Hopefully we will see one appearing soon in the program.

I have two thoughts. If the time/analysis window existed as a (optional) track lane rather than a separate new window for the dock it would solve any problems with correlation to the project and zoom levels. To my thinking the other big question is how to manage the integrated reading. Momentary and short term are pretty much self explaining. Perhaps if the integrated reading were tied in some way to the region manager, maybe a check box in the region dialog like the render one to indicate this region selection is targeted for integrated measurement.
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Old 05-29-2012, 12:09 PM   #49
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You always do such great graphic mock-ups airon for these post ideas. Hopefully we will see one appearing soon in the program.

I have two thoughts. If the time/analysis window existed as a (optional) track lane rather than a separate new window for the dock it would solve any problems with correlation to the project and zoom levels.
An interesting thought, but also tougher to manage. This would relegate display and activation of loudness graphs to the envelope window.

Accessing loudness graphs via a lane has workflow downsides.

You'd have to access each track individually to activate the loudness graph lane. Lanes are difficult and messy to handle in Reaper without building your own show/hide commands in to keyboard shortcuts or toolbars. And it's a pain in the ass to put envelopes on to the main track and remove them again. The extra clicks and fiddles are what keep me away from using Reaper envelope window in the first place. It would literally be no picknick to manage this stuff. Reaper just has no centralized control on envelope display, activation and management on where to show them.

So in its current state, the user experience would be terrible with lanes. In a more refined state it might be ok. If it took one or two clicks to show all existing loudness graphs on top of the tracks, it would be ok. But it wouldn't be ok to force the user to build scripts to do that. It would be downright unprofessional, just to stop anyone from suggesting something clever like that.


Quote:
To my thinking the other big question is how to manage the integrated reading. Momentary and short term are pretty much self explaining. Perhaps if the integrated reading were tied in some way to the region manager, maybe a check box in the region dialog like the render one to indicate this region selection is targeted for integrated measurement.
A checking column for a region for integrated loudness measurement would be neat. You'd need trigger commands and a reporting mechanism. Perhaps the context menu of a "report" column in the region list would work better. You double-click to run the integrated loudness measurement on the selected regions and the completed scan result would show up as a number(in LU).
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Old 05-29-2012, 02:03 PM   #50
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Reaper just has no centralized control on envelope display, activation and management on where to show them.
I agree. In the current state the lanes are already overly complicated to work with in all but the most limited uses. It would be nice and clever if the envelope lane system were easy to deal with. A tab window in the dock it is then!

Quote:
A checking column for a region for integrated loudness measurement would be neat. You'd need trigger commands and a reporting mechanism. Perhaps the context menu of a "report" column in the region list would work better. You double-click to run the integrated loudness measurement on the selected regions and the completed scan result would show up as a number(in LU).
The idea of an LU value in the region manager is inspired in it's simplicity. That would probably be an excellent first step towards implementing this feature. In this regard the docker window would be most useful as an indicator of where the mix may be getting out of hand.

As an aside, I've had some interesting experiences teaching LUFS to some audio engineering students. The funny upshot is that using a single window meter with no history for integrated measurements is kind of like watching the roulette wheel spin. The student watches through their mix cheering when the numbers are on or close to spec and swearing whenever they start to veer off. At the end there is either the exultant 'win' of hitting the magic goal or the anguished 'loss' of being out.

It's amusing and possibly instructive of how a better system might be built. A few of the students really benefited from viewing a bounce out of the mix (we were in PT). They could see from the waveform where the peaks tended low or high. I think the dock view would fill this need. It would be a constantly updated picture of where the short term LUFS readings sat throughout the program. It may also be useful to have it indicate where the gate is opening and closing.
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Old 05-29-2012, 05:00 PM   #51
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Mixing to a certain loudness spec is not so much about the meters.

I rarely if ever look at the meters. In fact, the momentary loudness metering is a bit useless to me, as I'm generally after something more longterm.


The history graph is interesting because it can reveal ear fatigue, which hits everybody, and you start mixing louder and louder as it gets later. Fuckup.

Mixing by ear with some occasional checking to see you're not going overboard is the only rule I can think of. That's what this loudness normalization has brought us. TV is still less dynamic beacuse it has to be. The sound systems on most TVs is just complete shit these days. More like boom boxes and kitchen radios really.

It's all by ear. I'd teach your students to review their own mixes the next day. It's how I generally learn the most from my own mistakes. Fresh ears.


Now concerning the loudness graph management, a separate view may be the most flexible and easy to setup solution for now. The "Sync" button needs to be very prominent, and perhaps any use of the zoom controls in the view should disengage that. It is prudent that the user can also place the playhead in that view, so the time selection you can make in the graph view should be mirrored by the arrangement, as well as the simply click to place the edit cursor at the very least. It should probably follow the exact same rules that the arrangement does.

Now, Cockos, you might be tempted to try that lane idea because you might think it's simpler, but it's only that way for you, not for us.

The lane view means we have to fiddle around a bit more if we handle any other envelopes, whilst the separate view in its own window/docked thingy leaves everything in the arrangement intact. More flexible, though a slight bit more work to look from the view to the arrangement and back again.
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Old 05-29-2012, 07:18 PM   #52
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If the time/analysis window existed as a (optional) track lane rather than a separate new window for the dock it would solve any problems with correlation to the project and zoom levels.
Exactly what I was thinking, but instead of a lane have it as an item representation that you can toggle between waveform and loudness view. I think it would be clean and simple to work with. It draws out the loudness curve for the entire item, you have the scale on the left edge so you can get a good sense of the programs loudness at a glance. Zooming would be tied to the timeline system already in place. You can use markers and regions for specifying areas for detailed analysis and have a 'scan selection area loudness' function for individually selected items or scan a group of selected items to get loudness stats for the sum of those items.

To me at least, a separate window or docked loudness graphing interface just means more clutter and more tabs to shuffle through, when I really just want to have the mixer, TCP and timeline visible 90% of the time.

Another advantage to the timeline loudness view is that it would make manually adjusting loudness dead easy with the item volume envelope.

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Old 05-29-2012, 08:26 PM   #53
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Mixing to a certain loudness spec is not so much about the meters.

I rarely if ever look at the meters. In fact, the momentary loudness metering is a bit useless to me, as I'm generally after something more longterm.
Did I mention these are students? You can tell people about calibrated listening environments and trusting ones ears until you are blue in the face.......human nature seems to lean toward a shiny plugin that gives a magic number telling you that you've reached a good mix.

I'm sure the integrated loudness column in the region manager will be more than enough but occasionally one wants to cheat with their eyes a little.
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Old 05-29-2012, 09:27 PM   #54
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To me at least, a separate window or docked loudness graphing interface just means more clutter and more tabs to shuffle through, when I really just want to have the mixer, TCP and timeline visible 90% of the time.
I agree. I was thinking the loudness graph would mostly be used more on a mix bus track or folder track since end product is really the raison d'etre for the system.

As long as the Cockos team are going to put some time and effort into cleaning up the envelope lane and automation management I will be happy to support this idea. Sadly, with things as they are right now we are likely better off with yet one more tab in our dock.
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Old 05-30-2012, 03:28 AM   #55
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You cannot keep the TCP master track in view at all times. Having the loudness graph in view at all times is a benefit when you're fixing a mix. Maybe Cockos would consider pegging the master track at the top or bttom like we can in the MCP ? It would then make sense to have the loudness graph show up as a non-editable display in the master track.

Concerning students, yeah everyone thinks they're clever, but more importantly they just won't have the trained hearing yet anyway. It's ok to look at the meter a bit, but do ask them to mix by ear as much as they can. It's experience(wisdom) vs knowledge(clever).

You're not going to judge their mixes by a meter. Nobody is. And loudness normalization is idiot proof, because it's done after a mix. It's just a spec thing to have meters handy. They're only good for that and checking if your ears are tired.


This leads me to a concern about the loudness graph window as well.

Assume your spec says max.+8LU, and your mix is showing spikes of +9, but the mix is actually -1.5 LU overall. So you'd have to fix spikes you're not even scanning for. Oh well. All part of the process I guess. Not sure if Cockos will take it that far.

But what is it was easy to scan for this. A theory.
The basic loudness measurement algorithms can be studied in the ITU-R BS.1770-2 document of the ITU. The loudness metering happens with a 400 ms window at 75% overlap, same as momentary loudness measurement in the EBU recommendation. From the EBU 3341 document:
Quote:
1. using an absolute 'silence' gating threshold at -70 LUFS for the computation of the absolute-gated loudness level;
2. using a relative gating threshold, 10 LU below the absolute-gated loudness level;
3. The measurement input to which the gating threshold is applied is the loudness of the 400 ms blocks with a constant overlap between consecutive gating blocks of 75%.
So the theory I'd like to throw out there is that if we have an uptodate loudness graph of a sample size of 100 ms (10 samples per second), we could in fact calculate the integrated loudness of a section very quickly. Can anyone tell me whether that is an accurate assumption or not ? Or would a 400 ms sample size (25 samples / 10 seconds) be enough ?

Any tech savy DSP folks may want to take a look at this PDF of document 3341 of the EBU R128 document set from this page of the EBU to answer this question.

If this assumption is correct, we can pretty much instantly calcuate the the integrated loudness of any section that has data in the loudness graph and is up to date.
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Old 05-31-2012, 11:55 AM   #56
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I want to add this mockup to the request.

Would anyone like to add their ideas to this ?
What doesn't work ? I want to know.
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Old 05-31-2012, 02:34 PM   #57
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But what is it was easy to scan for this. A theory.
The basic loudness measurement algorithms can be studied in the ITU-R BS.1770-2 document of the ITU. The loudness metering happens with a 400 ms window at 75% overlap, same as momentary loudness measurement in the EBU recommendation. From the EBU 3341 document:


So the theory I'd like to throw out there is that if we have an uptodate loudness graph of a sample size of 100 ms (10 samples per second), we could in fact calculate the integrated loudness of a section very quickly. Can anyone tell me whether that is an accurate assumption or not ? Or would a 400 ms sample size (25 samples / 10 seconds) be enough ?

Any tech savy DSP folks may want to take a look at this PDF of document 3341 of the EBU R128 document set from this page of the EBU to answer this question.

If this assumption is correct, we can pretty much instantly calcuate the the integrated loudness of any section that has data in the loudness graph and is up to date.
The ITU-BS1770 is basic the recombination that started it all back at 2006, then after the EBU made their adaptation basedon the IT model, they added the gating algorithm and from that the ITU adapted to ITU-BS1770v2 which includes the gating algorithm of the EBU recommendation (R128).

It would be great to be able to measure with the BS1770v2 from ITU and the "True Peak" recommendation it includes and save presets of our "top" level, this would be great for game audio where we not only use loudness metering and normalization to tangle with massive media assets in different platforms, but also we are in search now, for the best application of the ITU-BS1770v2.

To sum it up I'm recommending to apply the theory and algorithms, but not in solid manner, such as EBU metering. On the contrary, the approach should be the same as happened with the REAPER ReaSurround, the Surround Panorama plugin of Cockos. The algorithm is the same and we chose our peak notification in presets, hell, we could also peak different peaks in the same meter and have different loudness level spans for different layers of sounds with different coloration. We'll be able to have the industry (factory presets) of EBU and A/85 (European and US standards) or our own. As have in mind that not everyone works only in Broadcast. Cinema mix is also using different loudness range or peaks.

What are your thought on that thought?
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Old 05-31-2012, 04:00 PM   #58
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That's a comon requirement.

Most of the requirements in the US are still based on the simple ITU-R BS 1770-1 methods. This is when you see "-24 LKFS", like what Discovery asks for(or has, I'm not on top of that). The only difference in the ITU-R.BS 1770-2 is that it features the -70 LKFS absolute gate and the relative -10 gate, which is the result of what the EBU first did when it made its recommendations in the PLOUD group.

So we have two basic models actually, both only different for when the Integrated Loudness of a program/song/section needs to be calculated.

One uses the -70 LUFS/LKFS absolute gate and the -10 LU relative gate (ITU-R BS.1770-2 and EBU R128 as of March 2011), the second uses no gates (ITU-R BS.1770-1).

Cinematic mixing doesn't actually factor in to this yet, because there the monitor environment is calibrated with standardized audio file (Dolby pink noise) but no loudness standard exists. TV has no playback system calibration standard in the consumer home, but theaters do. People are thinking about this, but nothing has come of it yet.


There is a third setting that may become more relevant for music, and that's the "Mastered for ITunes" initiative of Apple.

Their tools perform loudness normalization on your masters before you upload them in to the store. That's one of the features of that process.

Their target level, according to measurements by the PLoud group of the EBU is around -16.7 LUFS, 1.3 LU higher than the Replaygain standard of -18 LUFS.

This becomes very relevant when music compositions are used in broadcast mixes or cinmatic features. Most mixers I know, including myself, HATE overcompressed music because it has to be heavily EQ'ed and turned WAY down in any situation where something else has to cut through. Overcompressed music is almost like noise in that regard as it masks other stuff too well, whereas dynamic tunes are much easier to mix. They contain way far less distortion and live more easily next to dialogue and effects.

So I would suggest presets that cover
  • EBU R128 (momentary and integrated measurements are indentical to ITU-R BS.1770-2)
  • ITU-R BS.1770-1 (indentical to EBU R128 for momentary and short-term but not for integrated)
  • Replaygain (EBU R128 methods but with a baseline of -18 LUFS, NOT using LU since that is standardized and not negotiable like VU is)
  • ITunes Sound Check (same as Replaygain but uses -16.7 LUFS as a baseline)

Baseline refers to where the meters change colour from green to orange or something. It's 0 LU/-23 LUFS for EBU R128, -18 LUFS for Replaygain, -16.7 LUFS for ITunes Sound Check and whatever the specs require for the ITU-R BS.1770-1 folks. But 0 LU is always -23 LUFS. That never changes.
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Old 05-31-2012, 04:19 PM   #59
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Wow, Airon, thanks for the informative entry!

You really shed some light here!

Many thanks man!

I would like to be able to arrange an arbitrary number of custom baselines with different colors.

This could help a lot with game audio.
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Old 05-31-2012, 07:14 PM   #60
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Quote:
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But 0 LU is always -23 LUFS. That never changes.
Sure looks like it changes from standard to standard here.







From what I can see it's a relative scale until you reference it to an absolute scale. If you applied the LU to A/85 you wouldn't say -24LKFS is -1 LU, it's 0 LU for that standard.

This is a similar concept to the way Bob Katz's k-system is a relative scale that can place 0dB on a -20dBFS, -14dBFS or -12dBFS reference to the absolute dB full scale. In Reaper we do this in the master meter settings and it works pretty well and it would work just as well for a loudness metering system.

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Old 05-31-2012, 11:59 PM   #61
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At one point the North American and EBU interpretation differed in very minor way on where 0 LU (nominal level) should sit on the new loudness scale. This was under BS.1770-1 (which is indicated in the NuGen meter by BS1771). The difference was 1 LU, both with the average measurement (-23 for EBU, -24 for ATSC) and the peak measurement (-1 for EBU, -2 for ATSC). The -24 standard is currently in use by some (because version 1 is referred to in the CALM act) but the new standard BS.1770-2 is intended to bring the two standards into alignment. They are now the same at -23 LU. This document from the good folks at Merging Technologies should explain the details.

Although it seems like it, this metering is not intended to be relative. There are different proposed scales for it (+18, +9) but 0 is supposed to always be in the same place (-23...err..maybe -24 for a few people...for just a little while longer)
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Old 06-01-2012, 01:34 PM   #62
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Sure looks like it changes from standard to standard here.
From what I can see it's a relative scale until you reference it to an absolute scale. If you applied the LU to A/85 you wouldn't say -24LKFS is -1 LU, it's 0 LU for that standard.
A misconception that is quite comon.

The ATSC A/85 standard uses only the basic loudness measurement algorithm described in the ITU-R BS.1770-1 document. They call the unit of loudness measured LKFS in the document. -24 LKFS is usually the target spec. The EBU PLOUD group thought that was a rather confusing name that did not conform to standard naming conventions and thus came up with LUFS and LU for what amounts to the same thing.

The EBU R128 and the ITU-R BS.1770-2 standards use two gates for integrated measurements, and the EBU R128 document gives the unit the name "LUFS" and "LU". "LU" has a reference of -23 LUFS. In anything but the measurement of integrated loudness (=loudness of over an entire program/song/section), LKFS = LUFS .

Here's a simpler reference document which gives you a quick overview of what EBU R128 is
10 things about EBU R 128 (IBC 2011) (PDF file).

Quote:
This is a similar concept to the way Bob Katz's k-system is a relative scale that can place 0dB on a -20dBFS, -14dBFS or -12dBFS reference to the absolute dB full scale. In Reaper we do this in the master meter settings and it works pretty well and it would work just as well for a loudness metering system.
For LUFS and LU this is not the case. It is actualy similar to standards like dB SPL( 0dB SPL = 2*10^-5 Pascal) and dBU (0 dBU = 0.775 Volts) . The way loudness is measured has not changed. The way the integrated loudness over a complete program/song/section is measured has changed once, because the ITU adopted and updated what the first EBU R128 document defined, and to unify it all the EBU R128 standard changed (from -8 relative gate to -10 relative gate).

The A/85 standard is still being uses (in the US mostly), and is thus a preset on most monitoring plugins and tools. The EBU R128 / ITU-R BS.1770-2 standard, which yield fairly similar results to A/85 for integrated loudness measurement, are now taking over and are the only ones being used in Europe for example.
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Old 06-02-2012, 09:14 AM   #63
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If it's that common a view maybe it's not a misconception.

From ITU-R BS.1771-1, page 8, fourth paragraph - http://www.itu.int/rec/R-REC-BS.1771-1-201201-I/en
Quote:
Recommendation ITU-R BS.1864 specifies a target operating loudness level of −24 LKFS. Some organizations may specify operation at different levels. The chosen operating loudness level corresponds to 0 LU on a loudness meter that indicates relative loudness.
From EBU - Tech 3343, page 23 - http://tech.ebu.ch/docs/tech/tech3343.pdf
Quote:
In an 'EBU Mode' loudness meter, 0 LU equals -23 LUFS.
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Old 06-02-2012, 04:37 PM   #64
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Nobody calls -24 LKFS 0 LU, since everyone knows that "LU" is part of the EBU R128 document. But it can be confusing . They're constantly doing conferences and lots of folks have done information videos(some even sell that stuff) about it.

So if you'd like a zero-reference, don't call it 0 LU, because that's taken for an actual defined standard now. That way nobody will assume you meant -23 LUFS when you actually made up your own definition that only you use and is thus the opposite of a standard. +4 dBU is always the same too.

I don't know, use whatever else you like.

My strategy would be to assign a colour below and above what is my personal reference for a particular project, such as mixing for a Youtube show, or mastering to ITunes Sound Check loudness. It's really just a helpful indicator during a mix, and loudness normalization of the final product usually occurs when it's all finished. So labeling that point of reference on the meter with text is pointless.
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Old 06-13-2012, 03:24 AM   #65
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TCEletronic has put out a nice plugin, for a while now actually, called LM6.

They just released the LM2 plugin at a discount price if anyone's interested.
http://www.tcelectronic.com/lm2-plugin.asp

What this still doesn't do is time-code locked graphing. No-hobody has that, but every engineer wants it.

I've added the example implementation mockup of the loudness view idea to the request. Also added links to the documents describing the broadcasting standards for Europe, US, Japan and Australia. China's still putting their official documents together and I'm still looking for the South American documents, though I'm told they already exist.
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Old 06-13-2012, 04:07 AM   #66
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For owners of RME interfaces: RME's DIGICheck has a EBU R128 metering function as of version 5.43 (win) / 0.651 (mac os x)!
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Old 06-21-2012, 04:10 AM   #67
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I'm kinda hoping that in all the DAWs that people use for both music, game audio and video for audio, Reaper isn't the last DAW to get EBU R128/ITU-R BS.1770-2 metering.

Right now it wouldn't surprise me to see Protools 11 come out with it. Nuendo 6 will get it. Sequoia(Samplitude too?) already has it.

But nobody has a DAW-native loudness graph view like the one proposed by many engineers.

Apart from the automation requests, this is another corner-stone in modern mixing.
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Old 06-21-2012, 06:04 AM   #68
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You got it right Airon (you always do!), I don't mix with any other way than ITU-BS1770-2 metering any more.

As I see it it would be great to have a graph showing the 3 measurements (integrated, etc...) to the subgroup tracks as now we are seeing the shadow of the channels included to that parent.

Or to the track itself.

This could be an offline rendering measurement with settings for accuracy vs speed (and the option to hide the measurements you don't want to see), and as in Adobe's After Effects, it could include a green line above for the parts that are not changed and a red line for the parts that are changed and the measurement must be redone to be correct. This could save time as it renders the measurement from the changed parts of the session every time.

On top of that, I can surely suggest as it comes from many discussions in the AES Game Audio Group and other organizations that are facing the topic now (Game Audio Perceived Loudness Measurement Standards), that the user could set his/her own "zero" reference point in the scale and have some kind of color coding to get the visualization he/she wants.

Because the latest talk about this matter in Game Audio suggests that we are going to use many different reference points for different content types. For example, louder reference for destruction and explosions and lower for voice and even lower for background environmental effects.

That way we will be able to mix and export our sound effects to the desired level of perceived loudness and as we all know add the real time randomization of pitch and level attenuation for each effect,which adds to the immersion of the player and the gameplay.

That way we are:

1) Saving almost 50% of the mixing an engineer is doing the last weeks that a game is developed.

2) Having a better prototyping of the game, as any asset is created, already fits the concept and aesthetics from the design team.

3) Working in one consistent environment (REAPER) and not having to address other tools, cutting the budget on software, backup and pipeline issues all in one clean cut.

4) Saving as much as 80% of the time of the testing and Q.A. (Quality Assurance) teams.

5) Having one more great reason to call REAPER the king of DAWs!

Cheers!
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Old 06-23-2012, 02:58 AM   #69
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The integrated loudness would be just a number, so it's really just two graphs, though three again is you want to keep track of Truepeak levels. That's only important at the DAC though, wouldn't you say ?

NuGen's VisLM does a good job and looks like the best idea so far.

Some improvements must still be made to this design idea of the Loudness graph window. The Momentary Loudness graph is fairly erratic-looking for most program material, but is necessary for a good overview, much like the peak-waveform overview used to be to get a general idea of how compressed the material is.

The Short-Term Loudness graph is much smoother and probably better for visually representing the loudness of entire sections of songs and program material.

Does anyone know how to take one-value-per-line data and visualize it on a graph ? I have little experience in that, but would like to fit the mockup with an accurate secondary short-term loudness graph. In a pinch I'll just make one up though.
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Old 06-27-2012, 05:13 AM   #70
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The NuGen LMB is the best tool to get off-line data for loudness,

Here is an example:

http://www.nugenaudio.com/images/LMB_graph_view.png
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Old 10-05-2012, 03:31 PM   #71
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pipelineaudio
Hell yeah!!!! Imagine using this to set relative levels between songs when sequencing an album
Quote:
Originally Posted by Quest The Wordsmith
My thoughts exactly!
Quote:
Originally Posted by Joystick
This is an excellent suggestion!

We Game Audio folks will be more than happy to explore how those tools will work in our relatively new industry.

The internet is already hot with discussions on setting a standard for Loudness in Game Audio Development, I'm working on some special interest groups on relative matters and its great to see ideas like those in my favorite tool, if REAPER had an Internet Browser, Office Apps and Steam Store, I wouldn't want an operating system :-D

Great job Airon, thank you for taking the time to do such a detailed design document, I hope I can contribute to that great idea when our beloved Cockos devs make it true! :-)

Cheers!
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Old 10-05-2012, 06:13 PM   #72
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It would be also cool to be able to process the items and normalize them to a selected level of loudness according to various standards, official and user-configured presets.

Also a separation of different levels in color would make a nice visual tool to take a quick look to all the session and see what's going on. Kinda like the NuGen meter does.

From my experience in game audio we don't need only the ITU-BS1770.2 standard, but also perceived loudness measuring standards for short duration sound effects in order to produce content that is relevant to the perceived loudness easily.
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Old 10-06-2012, 06:50 AM   #73
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The graph would make that a little easier if you spread them out over the timeline.

The request includes the ability of producing a graph per track and selecting which graph to view in a dropdown menu.

This could be interesting to line up all the VO for example, though it'll require a little trial and error, seeing what LU values should be targeted for each voice.

Not sure I'd trust the algorithm that far yet, but it's worth a try.
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Old 12-09-2012, 03:48 AM   #74
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In an interesting titty-twist of events, the application most of us are least likely to use has actually implemented most of the things requested here. Not that this request was overly original to begin with. It was merely practical.

That DAW is Nuendo 6. It has a loudness track, which is what Reaper would never do of course, but it does what the loudness graph view would have done. It gives you a synchronized loudness history graph that automatically updates itself. Not that Reaper really had a chance at doing this first. It has trouble limping long with its FisherPrice automation system anyway, so this being something broadcast folks will get a kick out of and more and more music mixers might, I fully expected Reaper to be eclipsed completely on this issue.

That's it for this months update. We now return to our regular scheduled waiting.
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Old 12-09-2012, 08:15 PM   #75
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I've read a few interviews this week with various sound designers for game and film and quite a few of them are now using Reaper which means to keep them here we need this feature and a few more! please devs!

Quote:
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In an interesting titty-twist of events, the application most of us are least likely to use has actually implemented most of the things requested here. Not that this request was overly original to begin with. It was merely practical.

That DAW is Nuendo 6. It has a loudness track, which is what Reaper would never do of course, but it does what the loudness graph view would have done. It gives you a synchronized loudness history graph that automatically updates itself. Not that Reaper really had a chance at doing this first. It has trouble limping long with its FisherPrice automation system anyway, so this being something broadcast folks will get a kick out of and more and more music mixers might, I fully expected Reaper to be eclipsed completely on this issue.

That's it for this months update. We now return to our regular scheduled waiting.
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Old 12-09-2012, 09:23 PM   #76
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I've read a few interviews this week with various sound designers for game and film and quite a few of them are now using Reaper which means to keep them here we need this feature and a few more! please devs!
I have seen this as well. My personal experience has been that Reaper is in many ways adept for Audio Post and just has a few gaping holes that suggest it's largely music-focused pedigree.

This is an appeal from a large community of individuals doing creative and cool things with audio who would love to use Reaper more often. I showed Project Bays to my foley artist and he kept saying for the rest of the day how that would be something he would use all the time. There are so many little things like this that make Reaper incredibly useful but then there are those sticking points: automation, timecode grid (including session offset), reliable video playback and scrubbing (big ups for the latest pre-release). So close. I guess this is an appeal to make Reaper so it's not just for the pioneers of the post-audio world.
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Old 12-11-2012, 08:41 AM   #77
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Just for information, the last release of ToneBoosters EBULoudness plugin has some alternative meter scales for music producers to work to.

LU K-12v2 (-12LUFS)
LU K-14v2 (-14LUFS)
LU K-16v2 (-16LUFS)
LU K-20v2 (-20LUFS)

The metering uses a selectable K-offset so that your reference is -12 to -20 LUFS. I'm using LU K-12 for now and I'll move downwards (-14, -16) as I think I can get away with it as attitudes change.



I've been mastering (or mixing and BWL-offsetting) to -12LUFS and I've decided to make that my standard maximum client offer level and suggest they take it for professional mastering elsewhere if they require more level. I'm no mastering engineer and I neither enjoy or am consistently any good at pushing it much further without artefacts; I just can't lie and say it sounds ok or I'm happy with it when I can hear the damage.

So the quantification of loudness has given me the scope and the courage to do something I've wanted to do for a long time -draw a line in the sand! This reduces my stress and makes me happier approaching some projects, where the clients can notice the level, but don't listen to the sound. Now I can offer a service and anything above that I can pass on if I want or need to -"there are better people than me to take it to the next level".

I took a small amount of satisfaction recently in playing a level-matched master of something I'd mixed, but not mastered alongside the my final mix. The client had brought it back because they wanted the comparison, and I think it was an eye-opener to them -they may use that master as a "this is too far" reference in future.

I use the TB plugin as my reference and I would love REAPER to be able to incorporate something similar into its metering. I've voted, have you?


>
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Old 03-17-2013, 01:38 PM   #78
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Quote:
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Exactly what I was thinking, but instead of a lane have it as an item representation that you can toggle between waveform and loudness view. I think it would be clean and simple to work with. It draws out the loudness curve for the entire item, you have the scale on the left edge so you can get a good sense of the programs loudness at a glance. Zooming would be tied to the timeline system already in place. You can use markers and regions for specifying areas for detailed analysis and have a 'scan selection area loudness' function for individually selected items or scan a group of selected items to get loudness stats for the sum of those items.

To me at least, a separate window or docked loudness graphing interface just means more clutter and more tabs to shuffle through, when I really just want to have the mixer, TCP and timeline visible 90% of the time.

Another advantage to the timeline loudness view is that it would make manually adjusting loudness dead easy with the item volume envelope.

Would be defenetly awesome
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Old 03-31-2013, 07:01 AM   #79
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It would be so cool.
The loudness history timeline track or window should work in the background as a separate process, always updating the loudness line where needed even if you are stopped... being able to set some CPU cores for it if needed. It should be constantly updating the chart without having to play in realtime all the track to have the graph. This way you have instant visual feedback of where you have to take care of the volume. Right now.. working with realtime plugins is not good.
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Old 12-19-2013, 07:43 AM   #80
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I voted. I do music for TV & publishers have been asking that composers comply with the new standards. Some companies are rejecting songs that don't. I'm using Ozone 5 (not advanced-can't afford that). It seems that my levels were already very close anyway.
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