LUFS hell

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carel11
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LUFS hell

Post by carel11 » Sun May 05, 2024 12:09 pm

I am working with a library who wants the finished project to have -11 LUFS
I have several stems I am mixing to create that.
No matter how use my compressor, limiter, or adaptive limiter, While the -11 is quite do-able, I cannot seem to get my true peak anywhere near -1. It's always in the red. around 2
When I get it the true peak to behave itself, I am at -13. Any suggestions or magic to bring then to the desired numbers?
thanks
carL
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Re: LUFS hell

Post by eeoo » Sun May 05, 2024 8:09 pm

Can't you just set your limiter to brickwall at -1? Maybe I'm not understanding (that's usually the case :D ).

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Re: LUFS hell

Post by Telefunkin » Mon May 06, 2024 1:54 am

What's the difficulty with lifting the overall level to -11 with a true peak limit set to -1? If you're using Ozone for example you should be able to set that, but it sounds like you have a very dynamic mix, so is there a problem with distortion when you do that? If the peaks are distorting then I'd suggest going back into the mix and trying to controlling them a bit more using compression/limiting/clipping/envelope on the channels that are responsible (usually kick and/or snare). If you can control the peaks of the most dynamic elements with minimal sonic consequences then your whole mix should have more headroom, and that should help get the mastering range under control.
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Re: LUFS hell

Post by carel11 » Mon May 06, 2024 2:00 pm

Thanks for responding eeoo and tele.

I am not putting any plugins on the stereo out.
I have gone back to the original tracks (stems) and have started the arduous process of looking for all the peaks and overlapping frequencies and taming them with a ton of different plug ins to see which will work most efficiently . However to get the mix to sound right, I need the low percussion to sit at a level that keeps pushing the peak over.. when I bring it lower so as not to peak, I am at -14 LUFS. Every attempt winds up with me doing the low LUFS/PEAK overload dance. I am hoping someone have a different idea for a work through
thanks for the time and concern

carL
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carl wurzbach

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Re: LUFS hell

Post by eeoo » Mon May 06, 2024 3:45 pm

Is there a reason you're not using a limiter on your stereo out? I imagine pretty much all daws these days come with a pretty decent and transparent limiter.

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Re: LUFS hell

Post by carel11 » Mon May 06, 2024 6:09 pm

Tell me if this thinking is wrong

when the stems are stacked on top of one other they create the stereo out. If I limit the stereo out, it will not be the sum of the stacks

thanks for the thought

carL
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carl wurzbach

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Re: LUFS hell

Post by eeoo » Mon May 06, 2024 6:43 pm

Do they want the stems as well as a main mix? I would assume if they want the stems separately they would do the mix/master. If they want a main mix i wouldn't hesitate to do some "mastering" on your output bus. Don't hesitate to reach out to them to clarify exactly what they expect.

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Re: LUFS hell

Post by carel11 » Mon May 06, 2024 9:44 pm

thank you so much for the advice
i shall try going back
and reaching out

have a lovely night

carL
a little rock, a little roll, and a rather unfocused gaze
carl wurzbach

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Re: LUFS hell

Post by Telefunkin » Tue May 07, 2024 1:48 am

As said, it depends on exactly what they are asking for.

Most often its the main mix that libraries are concerned with but might request stems just in case someone wants to create slightly different mixes. You're right that any level-dependent processing on the master buss will affect the full mix differently than individual stems (or sub-mixes of them), but as long as you don't do anything drastic (and you shouldn't need to if the mix is good) then the difference is subtle and shouldn't get you any complaints. Because the library have specified what appear to be master level LUFS values I would assume that's what they want. If so, you could use a limiter on the master buss to get those levels for the main mix and leave it in place when rendering the stems.

However, some libraries prefer to create their own mastered version of the main mix from your stems. In that case its best to confine processing to the stems and not use anything on the master buss. Because they're in control of the final processing and levels you shouldn't have to worry about LUFS values for the combined stems other than leaving a bit of headroom for mastering (but I doubt that they'd ask for it as loud and as specific as the values you quote). Therefore, from what you've said it doesn't sound like this is what they really want.

As suggested, its important that you clear this up with the library. My guess (but that's all it can be until they confirm) is that you're in first situation where they want the main mix mastered to the specified LUFS values, but for you also to provide stems.
Graham (UK). Still composing a little faster than decomposing, and 100% HI.

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Re: LUFS hell

Post by edmondredd » Tue May 07, 2024 11:26 am

That's a tough guess, not knowing what the genre is, and what the track sounds like.
I suppose you need to set your framework (the 3 most important pillars of your music) in a way that those 3 hit the desired LUFS.
And then the rest will follow. You will then adjust to taste, and be sure to hit the desired LUFS.
This is applicable to a certain genre of course, and might not apply in your situation.
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