Possibly Lazy: Using Loudness Meter

Probably been asked/answered 1,000 times… but here’s 1001.

Just upgraded from WL7 to WL9 Pro and am getting used to Loudness Metering. Can someone suggest a (free) tutorial (or better still!) actually give some advice on how to use the WL loudness meter.

I’ve seen a number of Youtube videos on Cubase Loudness but this thing is quite a bit different. I read the WL manual last night and though it explains the -features- it doesn’t really go into the ‘whys’ all that much… ie. ‘why’ -23db is preferred.

Or… I can continue using my ears, I suppose. :smiley:

(And yes, I did do a rudimentary search. Perhaps I didn’t use the proper keywords. Sorry. Again.)

TIA,

—JC

A great resource on loudness and loudness metering (and a lot more) is Ian Sheperd’s podcast The Mastering Show: http://themasteringshow.com/

Sadly, has nothing to do with Wavelab or specifically the WL Loudness meter. But thanks.

Anyone else? Looking for specific guidance on the WL 9 Pro Loudness Meter.

TIA,

—JC

This response is all the more reason to give it a listen, but it’s your call. You’re welcome.

Loudness Meters … at least those conforming to the common standards such as BS.1770 -4 … are all, by definition, the “same”.

There may be subtle differences in how the information is displayed, but the actual functions are the same. Otherwise, they wouldn’t be reflecting the relevant standard.

Essentially, it’s possibly more about understanding the standard that’s being measured … as opposed to the “metering” itself … which holds the key to your question.

This is possibly why earlier posts have referred you to non WL sources.

As to why certain reference levels are “preferred” … these are invariably directly or indirectly related to broadcast or other deliverables standards. Typically, when you get a job for, say a TV show theme, it will specify specific levels that the finished track must meet … or it will be bounced back. The common levels are reflected in the default settings I guess.

Page 45 of the WL Manual has a nice overview of the EBU Loudness Standard R -128 (which I think the metering reflects).

If you live or die on meeting broadcast level standards for deliverables (we’ve all been there at some time I guess), additional resources include Orban which (naturally enough) have a nice set of meters and a detailed manual here: http://www.orban.com/orban/meter/

I hope this helps.

The following is a discussion about various aspects of the WL loudness meters from some time ago (but the loudness meters are much the same in WL9):
https://www.steinberg.net/forums/viewtopic.php?f=189&t=62649&p=382314

While I would agree that most loudness meters are rather similar, the Wavelab Loudness meters are among the more adaptable, since you can colour code to your own preferences and set the thresholds according to your own loudness requirements. Loudness meters can be helpful for music but there is no ‘official’ loudness level for music on CD (for example) but there are guidelines for what might be considered healthy. The R128 -23LUFS standard level is relevant mainly for broadcast applications. Various other loudness guidelines are also in the process of being encouraged (for example, internet streaming services).

Before you start using the Wavelab loudness meters it’s hepful to have a basic idea of the function of the three meters, integrated (I), short-term (S) amd momentary (M). The integrated meter is a ‘long term program’ reading measured over the whole program signal, the short term is measured over 3secs, and the momentary is measured over 400ms. Used in combination they give you a good aural ‘picture’ of the loudness profile of the audio you are monitoring. The meters don’t show transient peaks like digital peak meters and more closely follow how we perceive loudness. And Wavelab’s loudness meter also has the loudness histogram which helps with viewing how the loudness is distributed.

Thanks for all the replies. I found this one of Ian’s which was also helpful. My issue with Ian’s ‘interview’ format is that (as he admits) he just gasses on for -ages-. If one -must- watch a video, couldn’t these guys at least PREPARE a bit and CONDENSE what they say? After all, what they have to say is actually about 5 minutes of true -content-, surrounded by 25 minutes of entertaining banter. Call me ADHD.

http://productionadvice.co.uk/LUFS-dbFS-rms

Did he ever say “why” specifically -23DB was decided on for broadcast ?

Not that I can recall.

Again, I may be ADHD, but I feel like everything he says could be put down on a 1 page explainer… and should be in the WL manual. That’s kinda what I was hoping for. I feel like my initial query was met with a certain amount of patronisation. I get the basic concepts. What I was looking for was literally a tutorial on loudness matching 2 songs using the WL meters. Which seems like a pretty simple request.

Or maybe that also betrays my ‘ignorance’… but I found the manual instructions a bit terse.

And Ian banging on for ages on his holy quest for MORE DYNAMICS! was not helpful for -my- modest needs. I don’t do Bangarang or Metallica. :smiley:

Cheers,

—JC





Loudness matching 2 songs - render each and Global analyze each render for the LUFS integrated loudness. Then adjust the original clips for the difference. Or use the Meta Normalizer to adjust both clips with processing to the same LUFS (or a whole album of clips to the same LUFS). Or just A-B them on the loudness meters to get them in the same Integrated 'I" meter ballpark.

Agree with bob, Meta Normalizer is good for loudness matching.

As for the -23LUFS broadcast standard, IMO that was a decision based upon leaving a healthy amount of headroom for transient peaks. In some ways it’s going back to a VU meter paradigm and is also close to using a K-20 meter. If you mix or master to -23 Integrated you’d rarely get a peak overshoot. It tends to be a good level for natural sounding speech and dialogue.

  1. He wants to sell you plug ins
  2. He never gets to the point.

Also,

Some of the plugs he sells are cool. If they work for you, they can be a great great addition. That’s a personal call.

But don’t treat that site like its a knowledge site. Its a sales site.

I don’t wanna be -too- harsh. But at the end of the day? Yeah… he isn’t doing it for altruism. If he were doing it like a true educator he would take a couple of hours and prepare a proper 10 minute Khan Academy ‘Explainer’ and that would be that. But he enjoys -chatting- more than he enjoys the real work (and education -is- work) of educating. Plus… he gets to have fun and sell some plugs.

Me being old, I have low tolerance for that.


The WL LUFS meters read “+” with the standard settings.
When playing a chorus, just look at the intergrated loudness for the chorus and see hoe it develops, with each play it resets, so when you play the chorus only, you will have a good view of the loudest part of the track.
Then +10 is “dynamic” +11/+12 is “commercial loud” +12.5/+13 is “EDM squashed”

That’s the “for dummies” way of using it.