Need help with Mixing a 2-track Podcast Project with background music


On w3 site, we read:

Making sure that the foreground speech is 20 dB louder than the background sound makes the speech 4 times louder than the background audio.

I have the following questions. I do appreciate your responses:

Q1. How much louder should that be in terms of LUFSs? 20 LUFS?
Q2. Let’s say, the content of the podcast is as follows:

My music has track 1 and track to with background music and foreground speech, respectively.
measures 1-20 ( intro music, track 1 only)
measures: 20- 120 (background music with foreground speech, track 1 and 2)
measures: 121-130 ( outro music, track 1 only.).

now assume, we want to have background music should be 20 LUFS softer than foreground speech, how can we do this in Cubase, please?

Of course, the mixing console has three channels ( excluding output),1) music 2) speech 3) stereo output bus.

A step by step instruction would be appreciated.

Take this with a grain of salt as Loudness is not my strongest area. But I don’t think you want to concern yourself with LUFS until you get to the final mixed output. They are describing what they want in terms of dB. Why not go with that. Set the speech level so it sounds good without music. Take note of the level it is peaking at (I’m assuming there’s not a lot of variation in the speech levels). Then add the music track and for the middle measures make sure it is peaking -20dB from the speech level above. Don’t add any compression after the speech and music are combined as that will mess up the 20dB difference. Put any compression on each individual track.

Thank you very much. I only have multiband compression to brighten the dull sound of the speech. No compress on the master buss.

Are you saying I need to gauge the True pick levels?

I guess, I need to make a note of the speech level for the middle part? How can I do that? When I do “Audio > statistics”, it shows me the stat for the whole recorded take. I can split the middle part and redner it.

But is there a way to get the statistics of a selected range?

The value shown in the statistics will be the peak for the whole file, so conceptually you could use that. Problem with that is any EQ, compression or Fader settings will impact the level so you want to get the values after that processing occurs.

I’d set the initial levels of both tracks by ear so you are getting a decent level on the output buss and it sounds good (whatever that means). Then reset the meters and play the whole thing thru. Afterwards jot down the peak values shown on the meters for both the music and speech Tracks. Then do some math to see how much you need to change the level on the music Track so its peak will be 20dB below the speach and make that adjustment. Rest your meters again and play the whole thing to verify you have the peak levels you were aiming for. Repeat as needed.

After doing the above you might find that now the overall mix is too low or hot. If it is modest amount you can adjust for this with the Stereo Out Fader. If that proves inadequate you might need to raise or lower the faders for both the speech & music by the same amount. This might mess up the balance a bit, in which case repeat the process above for finding and setting the peaks.

I definitely make sense. I will do that. Thank you very much.