Not sure what all this loudness stuff is about and how it affects you? Confused about the difference between LKFS and LUFS? In this article loudness expert Mike Thornton answers all these questions and many more, including what loudness is and how it relates to both music production and audio post-production workflows.
‘[How Will My Music Sound on Spotify?](https://www.izotope.com/en/learn/how-will-my-music-sound-on-spotify.html\)’
by Bill Podolak, Senior iZotope QA Engineer May 12, 2021
In 2021, the vast majority of listeners are consuming music through streaming services. And though they’ll forever have their fans, the days of LPs, Tapes, CDs, and even MP3 downloads being the standards for music consumption are waning. As audio engineers, it’s critical to understand what’s happening when we upload a final version of our songs to streaming services, since this is what most listeners are likely going to be hearing.
The GRAMMY® awards are on March 14th, and there’s a lot to learn by analyzing some of the records that have been nominated. But where to start? There are so many questions surrounding music production, mixing, and mastering, especially now that streaming services have started to move towards loudness-normalized playback. How loud should I make my master? What tonal balance should I aim for? How high should I set my limiter ceiling? How dynamic should my record be?
iZotope posted a fine article examining the tonal contours of some of the 2021 GRAMMY® awards
Think you know everything there is about mixing in stereo? Think again. FabFilter has published an excellent three part video series produced by Dan Worrall titled How To Mix In Stereo Without Sucking In Mono. This series is extremely well presented explaining stereo mixing fundamentals, panning, stereo microphone placement, phase, the effects of comb filtering, width, mono compatibility and more.
I just watched the first part – “Toeing the Blumlein” and stayed fascinated throughout.
I do a lot of mono monitoring to make sure things don’t get lost, but I rarely make changes that will make the mono mix down work really well. These videos are an excellent pointer.
Using Logic built-in plug-ins I think it will require several steps (made easy by the FabFilter tools)
Bus effects – independent panning required?
Logic EQ would need to have two instances, one for Mid and one for Side. Probably 2 aux channels…no, simply use the EQ in “Dual Mono” mode and work with Mid and Side channels as desired. Unfortunately there are no documentation resources for the “Dual Mono” mode of the EQs in Logic. The documentation says use two plug-ins. I will try to compare other EQs and see how easily things can be adapted.
Ozone 9 EQ essentially has both available “easily” along with pan and width.
Mid/side processing is an undeniably powerful technique, and one which gives the mastering engineer a wide range of sonic sculpting tools not available with traditional stereo processing. However, as we all learned from Spiderman’s Uncle Ben, “with great power comes great responsibility.”
IK Multimedia has a nifty new EQ – T-Racks EQual…
The new EQual digital equalizer is a 10-band, ultra-clear, high-end parametric equalizer with an extremely transparent sound, ultra-precise editing and a vast array of filter shapes that are based on the typical curves of classic British and American analog EQ’s. This incredibly flexible “hybrid monster” gives you the best of both worlds – digital precision with transparent clarity and on-demand analog character that works perfectly for high end mastering as well as individual track work.
Also need to look at the Imagers….
Multiband compressors and dynamic EQs are some of the most useful tools available to audio engineers. They allow for dynamic control of defined frequency ranges, providing some of the functionality and benefits of both EQs and compressors. Their ability to correct “problem” frequencies in a detailed and generally transparent way makes them extremely helpful for balancing a single sound or a full mix.
Useful comparison from iZotope to help us choose between these somewhat similarly behaving tools.
Achieving a well-balanced midrange in a recording is one of the biggest challenges of mixing. Beginning producers especially tend to struggle in this area. The ranges of many instruments overlap quite a bit, and some negotiation will always be necessary to help them share space in a mix. Muddy room resonances only complicate things further. When we have a session with a busy arrangement and high track count — a pretty common occurrence in digital recording — midrange problems can multiply out of control.
Referencing is a critical part of mixing. It allows you to compare your song against well-mixed music in a similar style. In addition to giving you a reality check and ideas for treating various mix elements, it helps mitigate the acoustical issues often found in untreated studios, by providing you with a baseline to compare your mix with. There’s a lot to discuss about this subject, and Fab Dupont covers it thoroughly in the pureMix video, “How to Listen-Reference Mixes.” The full video is available to pureMix Pro Members, but in this free excerpt, Fab talks about using plug-ins that are specifically designed to help you reference more effectively.
Pro Audio Essentials is a game-based course for music producers to practice and improve their audio skills. This unique learning experience uses audio games, ear training, and videos to build the production skills that music makers use every day when recording, mixing, and mastering.
Although he first got his start providing bass and vocals for LA indie outfit Princeton, Matt Kivel is also a hell of a songwriter in his own right. Since his decision to go solo in 2013, Kivel has put out four albums and he recorded his upcoming record from a temporary home right here in Austin. last night in america features minimalist arrangements and instrumentation performed entirely by Kivel himself. This latest offering is a haunting and endearing meld of Americana, folk, lo-fi and ambient, begging for another listen immediately after the first.
My “other” song of the day podcast from Austin, Texas. I really like the soundstage. Kind of reminiscent of some Michael Hedges recordings.
Pre-release. Added it to the music library, so when it comes out it will be available for me to listen to,
Blues busking troubadour Shawn James turns to the Greeks on “Orpheus.” This is his take on the mythology of one who played lyre and had a voice no one could resist.
KCRW does it again. I have found dozens of artists thanks to shows like “Morning Becomes Eclectic”.
Each day I listen to the KCRW “Song of the Day” podcast. Today is one of the days I stopped what I was doing and went off the “the music store” to get an album.
Misty Mtn dub their sound as “dark mountain pop,” and it’s on full display with their debut EP. The sexy sounding track “Silver” is inspired by natural elements.
I like this song. I will go find their EP so I can listen to it again.
The pre-chorus is arguably the most overlooked and underrated section of popular song structures. Having been established somewhere in the 1960s, the pre-chorus is a relatively young concept that has truly elevated the art and science of songwriting. The power of the pre-chorus can be seen in several important functions in a song structure, ultimately transforming a couple of musical passages into a fully realized song.
Fletcher-Munson Curves, more commonly known as the Equal Loudness Curves, were discovered by Harvey Fletcher and Widen A. Munson. The discovery was from an investigation with the aim of finding the cheapest way to broadcast a telephone call.
In the world of rock music, being ridiculous and flashy can get you a long way. For decades, rock has been propelled by bombastic lead singers, drummers, and guitar players. Despite the revelry often attached to the job description of “rock musician,” bass players hold the distinct challenge of having to blend in. While the bass in rock music has long served as a humble anchor underneath the cacophony, don’t be fooled—there are more possibilities for rock bass lines besides another unexciting eighth note cadence on the root note.
Convolution is one of the more sophisticated processes regularly used in audio production. Its ability to accurately impart the characteristic timbres of spaces and objects on other signals is useful in both sound design and standard processing applications. With a wide range of realistic and otherworldly sonic possibilities, convolution can be a fantastic addition to any producer’s toolkit.