WLE 9.5 R128 Radio Mix Advice


I’m trying out WLE 9.5 to produce a weekly music radio show. I use Audio Montage and setup 2 tracks to sequence host and music content, get all cross fades setup, etc.

Aside from occasional individual song corrections like EQ, the host audio and song content only requires volume level setting before being rendering the whole montage.

I’m trying to figure out the best workflow and plugin settings in Master section to accomplish an R128 mix. And if WLE 9.5 provides some automated assistance to set the levels of all the audio elements in the montange (about 20 clips per show), this would save me time.

I have a free plugin I used from Youlean to monitor LUFS that I pull into the master section, however looking at the rendered audio files, I find it difficult to hit the R128 level I’m aiming for.

If anyone is using WLE and has some helpful advice on workflow, or setting Master section plugins to accomplish a R128 mix, I would love to hear from you.

Thanks …

I use WL all the time for radio delivery. I use the MetaNormalizer plugin to ensure my deliverable hit the required mark.

And it’s easy in WL to perform a loudness analysis (and adjustment as well) using the built-in tools.

See here for a great overview:




Hey Bruce, thanks for the reply …

Checked the video, a good reference point, however my question is pertaining to the somewhat crippled ELEMENTS version.

It would be lovely to figure out If/How the MetaNormalizer works in ELEMENTS … it does appear in this version and looks like something that could save me a lot of time.

My testing of 5 different songs (different volumes in each) in an Audio Montage left me feeling the feature is either useless – or I just don’t understand something about using it yet.

No LUFS value field is available BUT! … it does come with 8 Loudness Presets, 2 of which even specifically refer to R-128 loudness. I proceeded to test the presets …


After analyzing the tracks, 2 presets:


…did nothing. Tadaa! Gain values were all left at zero. No boosts, no attenuations.

<<ALL CLIPS SAME LOUDNESS AND BELOW 0DB>> applied the exact same reduction to every clip regardless of how soft or loud it was (-1.823dB) … obviously no Same Loudness there.

<< TV BROADCAST -23 LUFS -9 PEAK >> applied too severe a Pre-Gain reduction on some clips (-9s & -10s across all the tracks)

My ‘hand rolled’ solution gave me vales of -9 -2 -5 -10 -12dB on my test clips to hit the -23 LUFS target on the Youlean Loudness meter.

It would have been a mistake to trust any of these presets and base a render of the montage of any of them (I bypassed the Master Levels).

So – I’m evaluating Elements 9.5.15 right now. It’s a functional replacement for what I’ve been using but I sometimes get the feeling I’m working with a calculated teaser-version of something else.

… and as I say, would be great to find out there’s something I don’t understand about this – but I’m not seeing it.

Thanks again for the reply!

You’re right. I don’t think any of the presets are working correctly. Apple -16 is not -16, -23 is not -23 etc. And all youve described.

What do you mean by ‘Pre-Gain reduction’? Please explain in more detail.

I don’t use WL Elements, but the result of some of those presets would be to change the montage ‘output’ level in the EFFECTS section, without necessarily changing the apparent level in the waveforms.

Hi Stingray, I looked for that but saw no change, as did the OP. It really seems all 8 presets here need to be looked at because they’re not right. They’re not working like they are in Pro.

I believe you Bob. Looks like a problem !

As I mentioned I don’t have WL elements so cannot test here. However, I would say that the -9 PEAK setting in one of those presets can easily result in audio which does not reach the expected -23LUFS.

If the presets ‘ALL CLIPS EQUAL’ and ‘EQUAL CLIPS + BROADCAST RECOMMENDATION R-128’ do nothing then clearly there must be a problem.

The problem: WaveLab Elements does not provide R128 loudness support. The presets you see, come from WaveLab Pro, and were included by mistake.

And voila … what I was starting to suspect.

Looks like this Elements product was pushed out the door maybe to try to capitalize on lost sales from the full Pro version, or maybe to have something to sell to anyone who lost access to Apple’s Waveburner program when Sierra came along.

Also why Elements has a rushed, and ragged buggy feeling to it, ie. things crippled but not removed (R128 support) - why it feels like an intentional ‘teaser’ version, glitchy display issues on my iMac 27" i7 computer sometimes, and a reliance on Youtube for additional video tutorial support which is never about the Elements version (a few poor exceptions).

It’s functional when you learn to work around the potholes, and I may decide to use it but it’s one of those purchases where you feel bad buying it, and associate that feeling with the Steinberg brand, but ultimately decide you have to.

And their 560$ full version is way overkill for many just really looking for what the Audio Montage provides, or should have provided. It’s a section of the audio production world that offers little competition.