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Lufs levels?

New Here ,
Sep 30, 2021 Sep 30, 2021

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Hi all

 

Any help here would be truly appreciated. Lately I have been burning CDRs at -16 lufs and I was recommended  to up the level to -9 or -10 lufs as I am using wav files. The thing is I have also heard if you up the level too high you can lose the dynamics of the music. I would love to hear your views on what would be a reasonable lufs level without losing the dynamics of the music. Thanks!

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Export , How to , Playback

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Community Expert ,
Sep 30, 2021 Sep 30, 2021

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I would never, under any circumstances, consider that a LUFS level has anything to do with the levels on a CD - at all. With a CD, you get the tracks sounding like you want them to (in relative terms), and then normalize the whole assembly to -1dB. Job done. If you set the levels too high, you will clip the output; -1dB is a good level to aim for. If you set the level too low, you will reduce the dynamic range of your CD - because it's an integer-based storage system, and you are getting closer to the fixed noise floor.

 

The LUFS level can only affect the dynamic range of your file when it's played into a fixed-range system at too low a level, and it won't be your file as such that is limited - it will be a system limitation that will appear to be making some of it disappear into noise. But it won't be the CD itself causing this.

 

CDs are 16 bit. If you lose 12dB of level so that they peak at -12dB, all of a sudden they're 14-bit. Each bit represents 6.02dB of signal/dynamic range, and you really shouldn't be throwing that away.

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New Here ,
Jan 07, 2023 Jan 07, 2023

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Hi Steve and company,

 

I was studying your reply to the above query. You mention -1DB to the whole assembly, would I select 'Match Volume Settings' and then choose -1db on the ITU loudness feature?

 


@SteveG_AudioMasters_ wrote:

I would never, under any circumstances, consider that a LUFS level has anything to do with the levels on a CD - at all. With a CD, you get the tracks sounding like you want them to (in relative terms), and then normalize the whole assembly to -1dB. Job done. If you set the levels too high, you will clip the output; -1dB is a good level to aim for. If you set the level too low, you will reduce the dynamic range of your CD - because it's an integer-based storage system, and you are getting closer to the fixed noise floor.

 

The LUFS level can only affect the dynamic range of your file when it's played into a fixed-range system at too low a level, and it won't be your file as such that is limited - it will be a system limitation that will appear to be making some of it disappear into noise. But it won't be the CD itself causing this.

 

CDs are 16 bit. If you lose 12dB of level so that they peak at -12dB, all of a sudden they're 14-bit. Each bit represents 6.02dB of signal/dynamic range, and you really shouldn't be throwing that away.


 

 

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Community Expert ,
Jan 07, 2023 Jan 07, 2023

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No, you do as I said. Since the result has to be listened to by a human (presumably) you listen to the relative balance between the tracks, and adjust that if you need to first. Then you line up all of the tracks in one file and normalize the whole assembly to -1dB. This won't alter the relative levels between the tracks, but it will bring everything up to the point where the loudest thing on any of them will hit -1dB.

 

Whenever you start playing with 'match volume settings' you start to lose control of the process - it's as simple as that. That -1dB normalize and your ears should be the arbiters here, not some software that doesn't have any.

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