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Subject: Confusion over Meters During Mastering Music CD
Posted by: MasterMurph
Date: 6/19/2016 3:26:28 PM

After studying & experimenting with SFP 11 for almost a year, I feel I am now finally ready to Master my new CD Album, Red Book it & send it out for duplication. However, there is still one thing that continually stymies me, even after going over & over the wording in both the Manual & the Help over the subject of "Decibels", "Meters & Metering", etc.
In trying to keep the over all Stereo L & R Output of my Master (after the chosen Plug-In Chain, etc. has been applied) to a maximum of the recommended "-0.6 dBFS to -0.1 dBFS" L & R in order to get the loudest CD while still avoiding "Clipping" that may occur when converting to Mp3 (for future "Downloads" online marketing opions), I am still not sure which "Bottom Line" Meter to go by to get the desired results.
Understanding that the "Loudness Meters" (to comply with the Broadcasting "CALM" act) include an all-important "True Peaks" Meter which is the most sensitive & reads-out in "dBFS" & will show Clipping more & faster than the "VU /PPM" Meters, as well as the "Peak" Meters , I am still not sure whether I need to go by this particular Meter if I am only Mastering a Music Audio CD & not a TV or Radio Broadcast Commercial/Advertisement, etc..
In other words, if I am not doing any thing in regards to Radio or TV and just working on Mastering a Music CD for duplication in both CD & Mp3 formats, do all I need to do is ignore the "Loudness (CALM Act) Meters (including the "True Peaks" Meter) and just go by the "Peak" meter (assuming that it reads in dBFS or does this one read in just "dB" ?) as the "Bottom Line" Meter to accomplish the results (between -0.6 dBFS & -0.1 dBFS Max) I am trying to achieve?
Presently, in my experimentation I am "averaging" per song L= -0.8 dBFS & R= -0.7 dBFS on the "True Peaks" Meter, while the "Peaks" Meter is reading -1.7 (dBS or dBFS, I don't know) on both L & R Channels, with no Clipping (Red) on any of the meters. If it is true that I can ignore the "True Peaks" Meter & just go by the "Peaks" Meter & if this Meter reads in dBFS (& not dB), then I would be able to raise the overall L & R Volume even more (short of say, -0.6 to - 1.0 dBFS) to get the loudest CD possible short of Clipping.
I am very confused. & have tried & tried in vain to get an answer from the Support team - either by email or by phone #, which always has a recorded message saying that they are presently "Closed", even when I call during the Hours they are supposed to be open 9-5 Central.
Therefore, any help from anyone out there who knows the answer to this would be gratefully appreciated & as a result, will also help clear up this mystery perhaps for many others who are also using SFP 11 to self-Master their CD Albums. Thank you very much ahead of time.

Message last edited on 6/19/2016 4:03:14 PM by MasterMurph.
Subject: RE: Confusion over Meters During Mastering Music CD
Reply by: rraud
Date: 6/20/2016 5:40:57 AM

You may basically ignore the LUFS reading for audio CDs. The peak dBFS is your primary concern.. for audio CDs, as long as the dBFS peak does not clip, (exceeds 0.01 dBFS your ok. Encoding to MP3 or other data compression formats may require the volume be reduced slightly though.

FWIW, most CD duplication/replication houses prefer an image file. <.bin>, <.cdt> and <.cue>. Unfortunately SF Pro, CD-Arc, or Vegas cannot render an image AFAIK. Nero, ImgBurn and others can though

Subject: RE: Confusion over Meters During Mastering Music CD
Reply by: ChristoC
Date: 6/20/2016 3:47:06 PM


Also CD duplication/replication houses like DDP Image .dat files
Recommend HOFA CD-Burn & DDP
http://hofa-plugins.de/en/plugins/cd-burn-ddp/

Subject: RE: Confusion over Meters During Mastering Music CD
Reply by: musicvid10
Date: 6/20/2016 7:01:23 PM

The de facto consensus for CD production was -1.0 dBFS peaks.
I say "was" because it's all over the map these days.

Loudness metering is useful in music production, especially since so much of it is delivered electronically. Apple's standards for iTunes are almost 6 dBFS louder than EBU/ATSC broadcast levels. That's about as close to a keystone standard as we have for the web. So using your loudness meters, target -18 LKFS, and you will be "in the pocket" for electronic music distribution -- depending, of course, on what one compares it to. Best of luck.


Message last edited on 6/20/2016 7:06:50 PM by musicvid10.
Subject: RE: Confusion over Meters During Mastering Music CD
Reply by: rraud
Date: 6/21/2016 11:16:34 AM

In addition, the free VST (and stand-alone) TT Dynamic Range Meter is a useful mastering tool IMHO. I have been checking my music mixes with it for the past year of so to confirm I'm not hammering things to death


Message last edited on 6/21/2016 11:19:27 AM by rraud.
Subject: RE: Confusion over Meters During Mastering Music CD
Reply by: MasterMurph
Date: 6/21/2016 2:45:49 PM

I'm sorry - "-0.6 dBFS to -0.1 dBFS" should read : "-0.6 dBFS to -1.0 dBFS" for absolute highest "True Peaks" R & L levels, in order to avoid any "Clipping" that may occur during the conversion process to Mp3 when so desired.
Thanks very much for your Replies - it is helping very much, although I have yet to understand about the many types of Files in which the Duplication Houses prefer to receive the completed Master Copy.

Subject: RE: Confusion over Meters During Mastering Music CD
Reply by: ChristoC
Date: 6/21/2016 3:53:27 PM

> I have yet to understand about the many types of Files in which the Duplication Houses prefer to receive the completed Master Copy.

Best to ask the house you will use; many publish their particular requirements on their websites, and also provide an fpt service for upload of Master and Artwork files.

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