How to see AVERAGE GAIN of the audio file (song)?

Hi all.

I’m not sure if Cubase shows this parameter for an Audio file(s) but I’m mastering with Cubase 8.5.20 and I have a “minor” problem that all my mastered tracks for this one customer seem to be more or less louder or less loud with each other and I of course need to make sure that the AVERAGE GAIN or POWER or LOUDNESS or…etc…is equal with all the songs.

Meaning of course that if the song contains for example an intro which is not supposed to be as loud then the average loudness would not be as high as with some other song with “full volume” from start to finish - BUT - that’s why I would like to CHOOSE A SECTION (where the material is in “full volume”) from the initially mastered track and somehow view its properties including the AVERAGE GAIN value.

And then I would adjust the Mastering projects’ Maximizer (I’m using Ozone 6 plug-in within Cubase) once again according to those differences in the Average Gain in order to Master the songs - again - so that the resulting Average Gain values would be as close to each other as possible between the separate tracks.

Is this possible to determine (the Avrg. Gain) within Cubase 8.5 or do I need some other software for that, and if I do then what SW would You recommend for that? And if You have any advices for me regarding this issue then all the help is appreciated.

A huge thank You all in advance!

-Tommy Dee-

You could just reset the Cubase loudness meter (in control room) before playing the sections you want.
If you’re mastering then maybe the limiter you’re using has it’s own loudness metering?

My personal preference is to use a plugin VU style meter calibrated so the required average level is at zero on the meter.
(Sleepy Time Stereo Channel is a nice free meter)

Regardless, it’s important to understand that any of these are only a starting point…metered loudness is not necessarily the same as perceived loudness. Your ears are the best judge.

Thank You! I’ll check out that free meter.

Yes, You are right, the ears are the ultimate meter but I’ll first try this plugin for the initial results since all the material in all those songs is 99% similar according to drums, guitars, bass and vocals.

It would be good to have all the downmixed tracks within a single mastering project but I still need individual mastering settings for each track.

I at least yet haven’t found a metering feature in Ozone 6 that would also show the average gain. I need to check it thoroughly since it would be amazing if Ozone would not have that kind of a feature.

But I’m sure that this plugin You recommended will be adequate for me. Thanks a lot!

-Tommi

In my opinion you are best using the loudness meter in Cubase. It’s exactly suited to your purpose. A loudness meter gives you a much better idea of loudness than any other meter. It’s way more sophisticated than a digital peak or VU meter. You’d need to use the ‘Integrated’ value (in the lower half of the meter).

The integrated value is calibrated to -23LUFS (the EBU recommended level for broadcast) but you can ignore this when comparing the loudness of your songs.

I’d strongly recommend that you don’t compare just certain passages. I’d recommend that you compare ‘whole’ songs and measure the ‘Integrated’ value for each of them. Reset the meter and just play the whole song from start to finish each time. The loudness meter has gating to compensate for quiet passages. You may run into problems when comparing songs of a very different overall character… but if all your songs have the same character and use the same instruments in the same style then it should be OK.

If each of your songs is available in a single audio event you can use Audio / Statistics to find out the integrated level, shown in the lower EBU R128 section of the Statistics window. This is faster.

Depending on what your finished product is going to be you could try aiming for an Integrated level of around -14LUFS for each song with a true peak reading of -1dBTP (rough guide and depends entirely on what kind of music, how it will be distributed and so on). You could allow the final measured integrated levels to vary by around 1 or 2LU. If you want to control true peaks, use Steinberg’s Brickwall Limiter last in the chain.

For mastering purposes I’d recommend you set the loudness meter to the +18 scale in the settings. This lets you see levels higher up the scale. You might also want to activate ‘Reset on start’.

P.S. If you are using Ozone, as far as I know you can also switch its metering to ‘integrated’ loudness meters (LUFS(i) + LRA + TP) somewhere in the settings.
For more about loudness metering read this:
https://www.steinberg.net/forums/viewtopic.php?t=62649&p=375130#p375130