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Transcript of video...
I'd like to talk about what could potentially be the new battlefield in the loudness war.
You'll need to understand what the loudness war is for this video to make sense. You'll also need to know about Loudness Units relative to Full Scale, commonly known as LUFS or you can just say LUFS if you like.
Here I have two tracks - 'Hallowed Be They Name' by Iron Maiden and 'Uptown Funk' by Mark Ronson and Bruno Mars. I'm going to measure their LUFS using the Waves Loudness Meter Plus, or WLM Plus for short.
LUFS measurements should be taken over the full duration of the track, so I'm going to play them all the way through. To make things faster, I can measure both tracks at the same time.
What I can do now is normalize both tracks to a target value of -16 LUFS, which is a commonly-used standard. I'll also set the true peak limiter to restrict the true peak level to -1 dBTP. This will help to prevent any clips due to intersample peaks.
So now if I play them both all the way through again, they should measure the same LUFS level.
So far so good, but have I achieved the desired objective of making both tracks equally subjectively loud?
Hmm, what I hear is that 'Uptown Funk' is louder than 'Hallowed Be Thy Name', even at the same LUFS level. Not by much, but to my ears there is a definite difference. It may be that since heavy metal music is expected to be loud, then the fact that it isn't may seem to make it quieter in comparison. Or it may be that the more gappy arrangement of 'Uptown Funk' allows the rhythm track to be louder to compensate.
Either way, I suspect that producers and mastering engineers around the world are seeking ways to get around the LUFS barrier and once again make their tracks louder than everyone else's. I hope not. I'd like the loudness war to be well and truly over. Let's bring dynamics back into music again.
I'm David Mellor, Course Director of Audio Masterclass. Thank you for listening.