Integrated Loudness Meter Help

Hello all, I’m new to this whole thing of mastering, and I’m curious about the Integrated Loudness Meter.

It seems like every mix I do, things end up peaking 5-10, maybe more, decibels over the integrated loudness meter’s threshold. The current one I’m working on is peaking at -13.9.

I was wondering if anyone has any tips of knowing what to do to minimize that problem, or if it is even really a problem. Am I falling victim to the loudness war while in my mixing?

This metering is really for delivery of broadcast material based on average levels over time…it’s not as relevant to mixing though that’s not to say you won’t find the readings useful once you understand what they mean.

The reference level that you are comparing to is probably the default -23LUFS (EBUR128 Broadcast Standard) and your mix being louder than this is not a problem.

Here is a fairly basic explanation of loudness including EBU128 if you’re interested:

So is the Integrated Loudness meter essentially the average level of the entire song? Like in Wavelabs Analyzer, it tells you the average DB level? I saw that it said one LU = 1 DB, but in terms of LUFS, is the -13.9 the average DB level of my mix?

So is the Integrated Loudness meter essentially the average level of the entire song?

Well to be clear it shows the average level of whatever audio has passed through it since it was last reset.
So if you reset and then played the song all the way though, yes.

Sweet! That makes me really happy, as I used to have to go into Wavelab to see the average level. Now that’s one less step when getting the mix where I want it.

Out of curiosity, is there a set level that the average should be?

if you get anything between -10.5 to -11 ,than it’s like the right volum as finished master sound. it is good to go on the radio then. if you are done With the mixing and put on the effect on the masterbus, compressor,eq ect…, then you need to get the intergrated to -10.5 to -11. you dont need to Write out the track and then do the mastering . you can do it in the project window and then Write it out. however I also put on the brickwall limiter,if not the masterbus will go red . I set the it on -05 and then auto. you will loose some range, but if you like me ,you wont mind. if you are a sound freak, then you need to mix and master separatly ( which I find confusing ) but maybe it will be a challange you want ? set evrything finshed and play the song without the limiter on , set the volum on the masterbus half and if nothing sounds distorted and the masterbus dont go red. it’s all ok. use the volum on the soundcard. then turn on the limiter and then turn up the volum and find the right intergrated. if every time you open the project and play the song and the Integrated never seeme to be stable , something is wrong. you need to find out what …if you’re finshed With evrything and playing the song on cycle and the intergrated is the same all the time. then you have been a good boy ! be aware …going from -10.5 to -10.7 is a hugh diffrence ,but you’ll be on the good side of the sound, if you go from -10.5 to -10.2 you’re on the WRONG side of the sound. it will be distorted and squeezed, any warm sound will be lost and sound hard and very tiring to your ears. my songs mostly are on -10.5/8 . a song With hard sounds will need to be -11 or lower. the right measure on the Integrated must always be where you play all track and sounds. you can not set the measure of the Integrated when you only play one gitar if you song is With many instruments , it must be measured when all intruments are in action. the meter in the masterbus will go through the roof, but dont mind. it’s the integrata that matters. hope it helps :smiley:

That does, but I’ve come to notice that most of my mixes range from -17 at the very lowest (one jazz album I mixed was at -16 for almost all the songs), and another album I did was from -16 to -11, but this current song is hitting -13 ish. -11 to -10.5 is “appropiate” I guess, but is as low as -17 still considered okay for an average DB reading?

Good stuff here!

-17 will be very low and thin. if you play Your songs on a stereo you then need to turn up the volum. it wont effect any sound ,but it will be low. when you got it between -10.5 to -11 you are helping People not to keep turning the volum up evry time they play Your Music. if you want to convince some record label, dont play songs on -17 . they will know that you dont know how to mix/master a song. helpful hints : compare song with other ,such as Springsteen,jagger,madonna ect…With Your own songs when they are -10.7. I’m comparing my songs on media player on my pc. it’s not the best but it’s ok. a good pair of monitors or headphones helps a lot. but I must say I mix pop/rock. I dont know anything about jazz. maybe it’s best at a lower volum/range. if you have lower db you get more range. higher db less range.

I have always thought that it’s the Dynamic Range which really matters, especially with high quality sounds, but then
A/B radio broadcasts makes this almost irrelevant. Especially listening to classical and modern jazz, which, to me, sounds ‘squashed’ on radio, like mp3 do(DR=80-96dB), as opposed to DVD-Audio (DR=120-144dB). Although following the discussion correctly: -11/12 is fine for classical/jazz.

for iTunes, Spotify, Mobile -16 LUFS

I agree with you, but I am new to the latest version of Wavelab… was in Protools for a few years
So I am working on this song

IN Cubase I set the master levels down to -6db so i had room for mastering

In Wavelabs I did see the level meter
has 4 bars
the top and bottom start out blue in color change to yellow and sometimes a little red the value to the right is -.60dB never goes above that
the middle levels start out stay red and max out at -11.07dB

So I am thinking this has something to do with everything - before i turn the brickwall meter on.

In Process–Global Analysis - loudness i get
avg -26.20 dB
max -8.27db
min -68.20 dB
all around cursor -58.51 dB

So trying to understand your advice and the new version of WaveLab to figure out which
indicates peak and which
indicates RMS

Then when i process the audio out - and use TT Dynamic Range Meter
which by the way i had to set threshold on limiter to 0 because i think i was losing to much volume
with my master volume set at -.56
Left 12.8 Dynamic Range
Left -.39 Peak
Left -15.7 RMS

Can someone explain to me the level meter so I can figure this out and try to get the right adjustments to get my levels correct
i also see a guide below talking about levels for itunes CD etc… this is helpful thanks