Creating SFX and level and crest factor with compression

I am working on a Sound Effects project, generating short sfx (clicks, beeps, chimes, marimba) that play on a specific piece of hardware and speaker. I use Cubase Pro 11 to generate sounds. The client has given me specifics on the volume level and “crest factor”. I’ve never worked with crest factor before. The client suggested “using compression to make the average level ~-14 dB FS and a crest factor between 9-15 dB.” A few questions: Are there any tools in the Cubase Pro 11 suite that I could use to see and modify (compress) the “crest factor” to the client’s specs. If not, what software would be best for managing that? I have a separate question in that I’m trying to understand why the client wants me to manage the “crest factor” of the sound. The sfx get crunched to 16bit-16khz wav files, before ultimately being converted to 32kb/s opus files. I’m wondering if managing the “crest factor” helps with any clipping that may occur at play back time. Any insight is appreciated.

Crest factor is simply the ratio between the rms value of a signal and its peak value. In your case, the client is simply giving you the difference in db between an rms value and the peak - you can see both rms and peak values at the same time using the SuperVision plugin. Your looking for the rms value to be in the range of 9 to 15 db below the peak indication.


Terrific. I’ve never used that before. Once I see my crest factors (which the client says are too high) what steps can I take in a compressor to lower the crest factor (as I observe in SuperVision). My experience with using a compressor is limited. Thank you.

In Supervision, open the Loudness Module and observe the Peak-to-Loudness ratio (equivalent to crest factor). In general, higher compression ratios and/or lower compression threshold = lower crest factor.

1 Like