Adventures In Audio

The Grammy-winning mastering strategy you haven't tried yet

Learn how to become a better producer in your own home recording studio >>

Check below for David Harper's interesting comment on this track.

Comments on this video

You can comment on this video at YouTube

David Harper:  So here's the deal... If you purchase a subscription to Spotify and choose the "high quality" setting and turn off volume normalization in the settings, you get unvarnished "masters" from the artist and in this case the Chaise Longue track clocks in at about -9 LUFS and a 0.0 True Peak max... If you have the volume normalization on, then this track comes in at -14 LUFS and with no dynamics, a -4 True Peak... Youtube has volume restrictions on just about everything, so no one gets to hear the true volume of the master... All that being said, at any volume, this track is crushed with limiting and sounds like crap on a real audio system... Listening to the latest Gorillaz tracks that are being crushed with limiting is very disappointing...

dolphinwaveorg replies to David Harper: Volume down normalization does not squash the dynamics - it just brings the volume down, by 5bB in this case. So, both the LUFS and the True Peak are down by the same amount. But the dynamics are the same as they were prior to the volume down normalization.

If you were to buy the "high quality", you still would be listening to the same squashed dynamics, just 5dB louder (-9 LUFS instead of -14, and 0 TP instead of -5). But for that I can use my volume knob, too.

The point is that instead of squashed dynamics at -9 LUFS that were turned down by Spotify to -14, they could have mastered it to -14, to begin with, and got the same loudness but with 5dB more of dynamics.

And if you wanted to listen to it louder, at -9 LUFS, you simply could have turned your volume up by 5dB, and you would have got those -9, but still with *more dynamics*.

Audio Masterclass replies to David Harper: Good point. Thank you for your input. DM

Ralph Mckenzie:  They sound like an indie/punk band from the 1970's. Garbage in garbage out no matter how good the mastering. Definitely not grammy winning in my humble opinion.

Audio Masterclass replies to Ralph Mckenzie: There are 91 Grammy categories. Surely they can win something. DM

Emiel333 Official:  What I think? Well, I like and enjoy your videos. Outstanding.

cougar1861:  Any guess as to the dynamic range of the live performance in the studio during recording?

walthaus:  I don't know whether the TP level and "wasted" dynamic range was a result of intentional aesthetic mixing and mastering decisions or not, I think it's worth mentioning that the original master could have had a different TP level since the recommended headroom for true peaks is intended to accommodate changes in inter-sample peaks ( True Peaks) that result from utilizing audio codecs. I'm not sure that Codecs always raise the inter-sample peak-level, maybe in this case they lowered it. Maybe a Nugen plug-in was employed that gives the mastering engineer emulations of all the Codecs used on various streaming platforms and some resulted in true peaks higher than the Spotify codec of choice. Just my 2 cents.

C. Alleen:  Overdubbing the voiceover? My face on every thumbnail? Yes. Fame awaits.

Adam Machin:  I think, in this comment is, that you have a great sense of humour.

KingMrColin:  Do you think this could be less to do with the mastering engineer and more a case of the mix engineer pushing the tracks hard(ish) into analog gear to get a sound that they like without too much care for what their meters say? I listened to an interviews with Andrew Scheps where he describes working like this and he would get some push back from mastering engineers who considered his premasters to lack dynamic range, but he thought they sounded great. My opinion is that aiming for a certain dynamic range is like the tail wagging the dog: getting the music sounding good has to be the priority.

Ares replies to KingMrColin: There's a good number of well known mixing engineers that essentially send their mixes to mastering at an already mastered level. They will use a mastering limiter in (most likely) Pro Tools on their master fader. Mastering engineers, most of the time, will take it and make it louder. Mixers will sometimes send the mastering engineer mix-passes with and without the limiter and some mastering engineers actually prefer to use the already limited mix to work off of (within reason), as they understand that the loud version is what was approved, and the limiting used has now become part of the approved sound.

David Harper replies to KingMrColin: @Audio Masterclass I'm trying to do that now with my projects... But I'm sure that if the recordings get "picked up" by some label, the mastering engineer will still crush it...

Audio Masterclass replies to KingMrColin: Call me old-fashioned but my view is that the original producer should make a multitrack that hardly needs any mixing other than faders and pans. Then whatever the mix engineer does should be so perfect it doesn't need mastering other than setting the preferred LUFS. Oh yes, and the musicians should sound so great at source that the engineer just has to capture their sound as it is. But then the track would sound old-fashioned and no-one would listen. DM

Leisure Muffin:  People still want Grammys? lol

sachary369 replies to Leisure Muffin: just Beyonce

EgoShredder replies to Leisure Muffin: Where there are musical whores the doors of opportunity will open wide.

john hawkins hawkins:  I still don't get it.....

vdochev replies to john hawkins hawkins: I think the point is that the song would have had better mastering with more dynamic range, but they compressed it to compete in "the loudness war". It is not incredibly loud, but it's still compressed.

fabrizio:  thanks

You can comment on this video at YouTube

Thursday April 20, 2023

Like, follow, and comment on this article at Facebook, Twitter, Reddit, Instagram or the social network of your choice.

David Mellor

David Mellor

David Mellor is CEO and Course Director of Audio Masterclass. David has designed courses in audio education and training since 1986 and is the publisher and principal writer of Adventures In Audio.

Audio Masterclass gives you all the technical knowledge and skills to bring your musical dreams to life

The Audio Masterclass Music Production and Sound Engineering Course

Get the most from your studio with the Audio Masterclass Music Production and Sound Engineering Course.

Get your FREE TRIAL...

Learn Pro Tools with our amazing range of video courses

Pro Tools video course catalog

Browse Pro Tools courses...

Learn Logic Pro with our amazing range of video courses

Logic Pro video course catalog

Browse Logic Pro courses...

Learn Cubase with our amazing range of video courses

Cubase video course catalog

Browse Cubase courses...

Audio Masterclass gives you all the technical knowledge and skills to bring your musical dreams to life

The Audio Masterclass Music Production and Sound Engineering Course

Get the most from your studio with the Audio Masterclass Music Production and Sound Engineering Course.

Learn more...

More from Adventures In Audio...

The noisy truth about your DAW: An ear-opening investigation

CD vs. 24-bit streaming - Sound of the past vs. sound of the future (Turntable tips)

When plugins fail - The sad and costly truth

VIDEO: How much do you want to add real tube magic to your DAW? (Features Freqtube FT-1)

Add real tube magic to your DAW with the Freqtube FT-1

Unleash your creativity with the Taiga: The ultimate paraphonic modular synthesizer

From flat to fabulous: Transforming your audio with parametric EQ

What is saturation? (It's not what you think it is)

Why is the Neumann U47 considered the best microphone ever made?

Why should you learn pro audio?

When recording vocals, should you always be the same distance from the mic?

SoundBite: Does compressor attack time work above the threshold?

SoundBite: An introduction to decibels

SoundBite: Panning effects with filters

SoundBite: Put an end to clipping with the 32-bit float WAV file format

SoundBite: Left-right stereo to MS and back again

SoundBite: Gated reverb on snare from scratch

A stereo microphone - Should you want one? What can you do with it?

The EQ unwanted resonance trick - Is it wrong?

How to set the shortest attack time in your compressor

How to make your masters louder, even though streaming platforms don't allow it

Why the Tascam TM-82 dynamic microphone does not have an on/off switch

What buffer size setting should you use in your DAW?

Why you should (or should not) upgrade to an Apple Mac Studio