I have been taking a lot of time playing with different mastering techniques using new internal plugs, my old packages, and my new UAD quad card…all on my newer Xeon 8 core, 16gig RAM computer, though outfitted with the same IO (Lynx AES 16, PCIe instead of the PCI on the former main computer), and going through the same monitoring rig I have previously used (Dangerous “The Monitor” through Dynaudio BM15As and Auratones)…all this on a personal, charity project that does not have deadlines or industry reputations involved, allowing me to take my time and figure things out about the new program carefully.
I will often do direct, real time comparisons between a CD playing back through my reference player and the project playing in the montage with all processing in place. The comparison goes through the same converters by switching digital inputs (instant synching) for The Monitor, and The Monitor has detented, calibrated listening level outputs.
I have gotten quite used to understanding how low things are when I listen with the different detented, calibrated listening levels through The Monitor, and have been using my standard levels to listen from Wavelab to everything prior to printing the first CD…from a DDP file.
If you follow what I am saying above, you will see that the monitoring all takes place from digital sources, and that there is no intervening level device in the chain that is different for the CD player or the computer. I have been using this same monitoring chain with first WL5, then WL7 and the same digital out of the same CD player for at least 4 years now.
What happened when I burned the CD today is I find it to be playing digitally at least 3 db hotter than the output of WL8. I should note that I very carefully made sure that the speaker level output in WL8 was set to 0. Raising this by 3 db brings the two digital levels to approximately the same.
…I have looked through the manual and not found anything yet that leads me to understand this or how to fix it. It does seem like some sort of global pan law setting, but I can’t understand how this would have been implemented and be so different from previous versions. The manual does say that the speaker level does not process when it is at 0 (and gives the dark green indicator), which is of course what we want.
The situation is obviously unacceptable, so I need help with a remedy.