New SLM 128 loudness meter

If you didn’t see it yesterday, we now have a new, free, loudness metering plug-in for Cubase v6.5 from Steinberg.

For reference, I found the offical EBU document here -

…but the topic sparked a few questions for me.

What does this EBU R 128-compliant loudness ‘standard’ mean for a music producer? Does this now mean that the quest for maximum loudness on commercial tracks is still very much alive…just a few db’s lower? (and a more complicated ‘averaging over time’ algorythm)

Should all my audio CD tracks now conform, so that they will be allowed on TV and Radio in future? (the guidelines cover both Radio and TV)

Will broadcasters apply the same rules for on-line media, whether streamed or downloaded? Presumably it’s not enforceable with on-line and cable transmissions (as opposed to terrestrial and satellite broadcast transmissions)

…or is it the responsibility of the broadcaster to align levels during the programme mixing or transmission processes? I suspect that it will have to be, due to the massive back-log of non-compliant legacy material that exists.

If my last sentence is correct, then is there any point for me (as a music and video producer) in taking any notice of these new regulations?

Just trying to see whether I need to change my working practices, or whether it’s really only for the broadcast companies (at this stage).

Am I asking the right questions here?

R128 attempts to address the deficiencies in Bob Katz’ K- specifications. It essentially is after the same goal but it takes a different route to get there. Most notably, it filters out (if I recall…my memory is hazy on the specifics) the low order spectrum of frequencies to determine perceived loudness. I can’t recall if the resulting HPF sound is then run through a running, weighted average algorithm but you get the point I’m sure.

It shows you the loud bits :smiley:

Thanks Bredo…the more the technicalities of this topic get discussed in public, the better we’ll all be able to understand the implications. Maybe now we will be able to enjoy the later stages of mixing and mastering, with the goal of ‘enjoyable immersive experience’, rather than ‘make it loud and ignore the inherent distortion and lack of dynamics that result’.

I’ve been rather frustrated in recent years by having to always compete with much of the ‘in your face’ nature of the wall of noise that I always feel obliged to mimic. Otherwise, instant A/B comparisons always seem to disappoint the client.

Then there’s just the small issue of compressed MP3 quality and the poor audio circuitry in most modern digital consumer devices…

How did we get to this point? Listening to music on the tiny speakers in mobile phones, with headphones, docking stations, bluetooth earpieces, laptop and plastic computer speakers, flat-screen TV audio… aaaaaaaarrgh. However much we regulate the broadcast chain, sadly we can’t control the kit that people choose to listen on.

…and the user-settings in Spotify, iTunes etc that say something like ‘normalise/enhance/make all the tracks equally as loud as possible’.

I have my TV connected to a pair of nice B&W speakers, it sure shows the need for some kind of standard across the broadcasters, or even within the same broadcaster :imp:

I’m certainly glad this thread was started as I would have never known about this free meter. Can’t believe Steiny doesn’t do a better job of letting users know about impotant developments like this.

I would still like to hear a representative set of songs across the major genres that have been mixed to K-14 vs. R128 so that I can hear the difference myself. Personally, K-14 serves my needs quite well, so I never understood the need for R128. It is, in my personal opinion, just a different way to define “loudness” thus giving you yet another way to master your songs.

Background info:
I think it’s been posted before but it’s good info so … :wink:

Very good Vid, a must watch :sunglasses:

Yeah, I’m watching it now. I’m finally at the peak metering vs. -23 LUFS + gate comparison. Good stuff.

I would like to hear that -23 LUFS sample vs. K-14 though.

Here’s another one: