This show is short & sweet - but essential listening if you’re interested in getting better results with online loudness - and balanced, musical dynamics for your masters.
In this episode Ian describes:
Episode 44 - Loudness Units 101
Episode 51 - What is Loudness Penalty?
Episode 52 - Don't aim for LUFS targets online
Episode 54 - When loudness normalization goes wrong
Dynamic Range Day
It’s been a while since we had a Q&A episode, so - here it is ! In this show we discuss:
We’ve all heard it - “the music is in the mid-range”. But what does that mean, exactly ? And if it’s true, is there anything we can do about it in mastering ?
We’ve talked about bass and high frequencies, but in this show we dive into the muddy, murky mess that is (often) the mid-range, and talk about how crucial it is for a great-sounding master.
TMS #55 - How bright is too bright ? Mastering top end
TMS #53 - Fear of bass
Leapwing Audio CenterOne
reFuse Software Lowender
Too Much 4k ?
…comes great responsibility. And mastering engineers need to accept that.
If you take on the challenge of mastering someone’s music, you also accept a huge amount of responsibility for that music, and In this episode we tackle the question - what are the responsibilities of a mastering engineer - and even the ethics ?
TMS #37 – Does gear matter ? And if so, how much ?
TMS #50 – Mastering on headphones ? (Glenn Schick interview)
TMS #45 – Jonathan Wyner
TMS #23 – Balance (or, how to master an album)
It’s a question we get all the time: what do you do when the mixes you receive are more… “challenged" than you might ideally like ? How much can you fix in mastering if you really need to, and how much should you do ? In this show we cover a range of strategies for dealing with some of the toughest challenges when you’re mastering tricky mixes, including:
Stereo width in mastering
TMS #25 - Stereo: width, depth and image – how to measure, monitor and master them
Centre that sub ! (A guide to mono-ing your low end) by Ian Stewart
TMS #33 - BEFORE Mastering
Everyone wants that glorious, sweet, silky-smooth top end in their masters - but how do you get it ? How do you stop things sounding harsh, tinny and brittle ? And even if the high frequencies do sound gorgeous, how hard should you push them ? In this show we’re talking about treble, and our topics include:
TMS #08 - You need this (Why acoustic treatment matters)
Building a home mastering studio - acoustics
7 crucial EQ bands to help balance your mix
Reference tracks - Ian’s “showreel” playlist
12 of Ian’s favourite albums for sound
Gearshoot - compare mastering EQ & plugins for yourself
Home Mastering Masterclass
As you know, we think normalization is a Good Thing. But many people disagree. And often that’s because it’s not perfect yet - not by a long shot. In this episode we explain some of the quirks, bugs and problems of normalization in action, and how they can cause unexpected results when you’re trying to optimise your music for listening online.
Along the way we discuss:
We all want great low end - deep, fat, solid and punchy. But it can be one of the hardest things to get right - especially knowing how much of it is needed. Too much bass can sound boomy, flabby, muddy or dull.
And as a result, it’s easy to be scared of bass. It’s easier to be cautious and avoid all those possible problems, right ? Well, maybe. Except if the low end isn’t working in your master, you risk the opposite problem - everything can sound weak, thin and harsh.
In this week’s episode we talk about ways to avoid all these problems, including:
All the online streaming services play music back at roughly -14 LUFS, so that’s the level we should aim for when we’re mastering, right ? Wrong.
That may sound strange, given how much we’ve talked about online loudness over the years - but we’re serious. In this show we dive deeper into one of the points we discussed in the last show: why you shouldn't be aiming for specific integrated LUFS values when mastering you music for online streaming. But, why it is still useful to know how your music will be affected.
Topics we cover include:
TMS #31 - What IS loudness ?
TMS #44 - Loudness units 101
TMS #51 - What is the 'Loudness Penalty’ ?
TMS #41 - Eelco Grimm & TIDAL’s normalization upgrade
How loud ? The simple solution to optimizing playback volume online – and everywhere else
"How loud will my music sound online ?" It’s the question everyone is asking these days, and the answer has always been “it depends”. Until now.
In this episode Ian Kerr from MeterPlugs talks about the new tool he has been developing with Ian Shepherd to answer this question. It’s a website called Loudness Penalty, and it’s free !
Along the way we also discuss
Ian S demonstrates Loudness Penalty
Bob Katz’s K-System
Users prefer musical balances between songs - the proof
How to decide how loud to master