Recommended values for maximum level in dB Wav - mp3


there are many opinions about the recommended values for maximum level during mastering by export as wav oder mp3 file. The range is -1.0dB - -0.1dB

Is there anywhere, who makes mastering professionell and what values do you recommend, by export as:

  • Wav
  • mp3

Thank you and good sound i wish.

Have you tried Wavelab’s Encoder Checker? That’s what it was made for. Rather than decide on fixed values for anything or everything, you could let the Encoder Checker tell you what it should be for any particular program material, in the case of WAV, taking into consideration what you believe will be made from that WAV down the line. Audition and analyze it with the MP3 and AAC codecs in the Encoder Checker, adjusting input level to the Checker.

Yes. To expand on what Bob said, you have probably seen a range of recommended headroom because there is no magic number and it depends on all these things:

-the nature of material itself
-how loud it is pushed
-what limiter is used and if it has oversampling or intersample peak detection
-the target encoded format
-how much headroom you leave been the limiter output and 0dBFS

It’s best to use something like the Encoder Checker that comes with WaveLab, or Sonnox ProCodec is a very useful app if you’re serious about this. I like the Sonnox ProCodec because you can perform offline encodes with reproducible results to verify. With most (or maybe all?) encoder simulators, you will see more randomized results with the peak levels when you have the encoder running live because the encoder bitstream is not perfectly in sync with the start of the file you’ll eventually encode or send in for digital distribution.

Lower bitrate codecs will produce and higher (and more frequent) peak levels when encoded from WAV than higher bitrate codecs will. So if you want your material to be safe all the way down to 128kpbs, you may have to lower the output ceiling to -1dBFS or more. If you only care about being safe down to 320kbps, you might be able to get away with -0.5dBFS.

However, this depends on what the source material is, how high the average and peak levels are mastered, if the limiter used is doing some oversampling or intersample peak detection, and as I said, the specific codec you plan to encode to (128, 256, 320, AAC, Ogg Vorbis, etc.)

So for me, I make an educated guess based on the material and the limiter I’m using, render the WAVs and then do an accurate offline test in Sonnox ProCodec to be sure clipping doesn’t occur at whatever the target codec for distribution. If everything checks out, I’m done. If ProCodec reports clipping, I go back to WaveLab, adjust, and test again.

Puhhh…I thought it would be much easier.
Audio-Montage in Wavelab 9 - Meta Normalizer with korrekt parameters - render - ready…

I haven’t really explored all the WaveLab options so maybe something exists, but I know that with Sonnox ProCodec standalone app, you can load in your WAV files, and use the “Clip Safe” option and it will lower the gain of your WAV file on the fly before encoding so that it doesn’t clip with whatever encoder you have selected.

I really only use this to check the WAV files though I don’t often deliver mp3 as a master format for distribution…but it’s useful to check the WAVs you plan to submit. I prefer to go back to WaveLab and make the changes there and render the proper files for distribution.

There is too much variance with all the possible digital distribution and streaming platforms to make a “blanket” adjustment but with the right limiter settings, and double checking you can cover the main ones.

Just wondered, what parameters did you use, one of the factory presets in the Meta Normalizer, or a fixed LUFS target?

The Meta Normalizer doesn’t account for higher peak levels introduced in MP3 encoding.
Maybe it gets you close enough. (?)

I once requested a feature for WL that took an offline analyzation of a montage (with an encoder simulator like Encoder Checker or ProCodec VST plugin inserted on the master section) and reported peak levels (dB value and time) on a CD track by CD track (or region by region) basis (to simulate your eventual rendered master WAV files for digital distro), or for the whole montage in one pass if you prefer though I argue the track by track analysis is more accurate because of encoder bitstream but I don’t know if ProCodec running on the master section would reset itself on each render.

It didn’t seem to gain any interest at that time.

It gained interest with me. I thought it was a great idea.

It would make things much more definite, and less up to guesswork: should I use the Encoder Checker, and how? or Meta Normalizer? or both ?? With what settings ? That sort of guesswork.

I think that’s why some people think they have to use Sonnox in addition to Wavelab, because the Encoder Checker doesn’t have that sort of Clip Safe feature. I really think you can get close enough with Wavelab and a little analysis effort, but some people want the speed and assurance of more exact results, automatically.

Right. Encoder Checker and Sonnox ProCodec app are great for hearing the artifacts of the encoding and getting a good idea of peak levels that work for certain codecs, but I think that only offline analysis of a WAV of each “CD track” that will get submitted for digital distro is the only way to get reproducible results regarding the peak levels. In other words, it’s important to sync the start of each WAV file with the start of the encoder’s bit-stream if you want super accurate results which in most (or all cases) requires an offline analyzation scenario.

You’ll notice that if you insert Encoder Checker or Sonnox ProCodec VST plugin and playback from random points, you’ll see slightly randomized peak readings.

Another vote for the Sonnox ProCodec and the Sonnox Codec Toolbox.

in Audio Montage i would use the Meta Normalizer for all tracks of a cd - factory preset: “All tracks same loudness and 0dB peak” - about the peak value i asked here about your recommend suggestion - 0dB, i think, is to much peak.