What About That RMS?

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TheElement
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What About That RMS?

Post by TheElement » Mon Aug 17, 2015 6:01 pm

Thought I'd share this cool vid...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q_wjZBbnhYE

I found one of my tracks was a little lower in volume compared to my other tracks and got into researching how to get more volume. RMS stood out as something I wanted to increase to get more volume out of a track.

Sure you can master a track to 0db but that doesn't mean it will sound louder. What I needed to do was increase the tracks RMS.

Most are saying use parallel compression to accomplish this. I will be using The Glue to get this done for that track. However if you mix loud the RMS level will already be fairly high.

So what are your thoughts on RMS? Whats the industry standard RMS level? Different for each genre?

Thanks! 8-)
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Re: What About That RMS?

Post by RockChild56 » Mon Aug 17, 2015 6:38 pm

http://www.tcelectronic.com/loudness/lo ... explained/

I think LUFS LKFS & LU may be what, or is the standard as far as loudness goes.
Also keep in mind true peak level?

Read the article above and see what you think.
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Re: What About That RMS?

Post by Russell Landwehr » Mon Aug 17, 2015 7:02 pm

The thing about RMS is that it comes from a time when everything was analog and pushing stuff over 0db made it sound better and hotter.

An RMS meter could sit at Zero and sound good even though technically there were "overs" in the PEAK program material. Analog equipment could run peaks well over zero db and sound good... and actually even output PLUS-db stuff.

When I was a DJ (on radio) back in the 80's, everything was RMS, and your target was making it bounce up to +3db. Then you knew you were hitting the pre-transmitter electronics hot and driving the FM signal up to (and slightly over) the FCC thresholds. (even though the peaks were probably hotter than that +3db)

But now that everything is in the Digital realm, zero db is ZERO db and you CAN'T go over that. So now RMS runs well below where it use to, and the RMS measurement has turned into newer terminology better suited to the media we now work with.

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Re: What About That RMS?

Post by TheElement » Mon Aug 17, 2015 7:48 pm

cool thanks guys. 8-)

Russell thats some interesting info. I had thought it was the other way round. There is more headroom in the digital realm. So can we push it some more?

However I've heard pushing analog and getting that saturation (I guess like a guitar tube amp) makes for a fat and warm sound. Digital doesn't react that way. But there are some attempts to replicate analog.

So with digital we got a threshold of 0db. And we try and push the RMS to get more "perceived" volume.

There are some really loud EDM tracks out there. I think their RMS level is something like -3db
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Re: What About That RMS?

Post by TheElement » Mon Aug 17, 2015 8:22 pm

RockChild56 wrote:http://www.tcelectronic.com/loudness/lo ... explained/

I think LUFS LKFS & LU may be what, or is the standard as far as loudness goes.
Also keep in mind true peak level?

Read the article above and see what you think.
Thanks. Good article. Some DAWs now come with R128 metering. Like Cubase. I just have the Artist V but the full Pro has that new broadcast metering on the master buss.
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Re: What About That RMS?

Post by andygabrys » Mon Aug 17, 2015 9:03 pm

As is alluded to in the TV electronic article, we are in the middle of several different standards concerning music production, and it's inclusion in programme material like a a TV episode or a movie.

The various time weighted standards in the TC article indicate the new standard - and the way that all programmed material will be mixed to now and in the future as most countries hav adopted these standards.

But on the other hand, there is no standard for pure music production, and there is no standard for how loud a cd can be. So everybody has just mixed in such a way that they can slam the music during mastering.

Yes - the louder productions have an RMS values at -5 dB or less. But you would be hard pressed to find just about any commercial music that has an RMS level less than -10 dB. It's easy to check this by getting CDs or audio from the iTunes Store. Spotify and YouTube no longer broadcast at the same peak values, they employ a perceived volume algorithm to bring down the volume of each separate production to a similar volume to your ear. Same as iTunes does if you employ the Soundcheck algorithm.

How you do that yourself?

1) make a really finely leveled / balanced mix. If it's not really balanced, and has carefully measured amounts of sub bass, you will not be able to make it as loud.
2) utilize any parallel process that combines your original material with a very compressed dynamic range version of the same. A distorted or overdriven or heavily compressed / limited (or all of the above which is basically what happens when you distort something) and mix that in under your original.

You are likely to find that most people especially in pop and Edm are using a lot of distortion. Ian Sheppard has a video on that, and there are many other ones to find.

Good luck!

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Re: What About That RMS?

Post by TheElement » Tue Aug 18, 2015 3:42 pm

Thanks Andy! Great info! 8-)

I didn't know that about commercial music like on itunes etc. Interesting.

All this is very confusing. I need my own mix engineer! :lol:

Ok so I guess its places like Soundcloud where producers try and have the loudest track. I know John Christian is known for having the loudest EDM tracks. He shows how he does that in some of his mastering videos. Great stuff to watch. Yes and his stuff sounds distorted its so loud. I always worry about that but so many EDM producers say its ok to clip and distort a EDM track. I do it a little but try not to. I guess a little won't matter.

I opt for a decent volume but not crazy loud. I just want my tracks to be around the same level as other EDM tracks. Also need them all to be around the same volume for when I get my demo CD done.
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Re: What About That RMS?

Post by RockChild56 » Wed Aug 19, 2015 9:28 am

Just for your info. It is my understanding that I-Tunes uses a standard of -16 LUFS
and the standard adopted my many countries is -23 LUFS (absolute).
According to Ian Shepard LUFS and RMS are similar/close in output.

As I am sure you know RMS is basically continuous output. If a wave form has a lot of High and Low swings, it would probably have a lower RMS value even though you may think it is louder.

I saw it explained like this; take the highest point of a wave form (draw a line across) and the lowest point (draw a line across) the middle of those two lines all the way across the wave form is the RMS value.

My personal opinion on Louder vs: Quieter is that EDM is one of the ONLY Genres that sound Decent Very Loud. Almost all other Genres especially Rock sound like Crap Very Loud.

Since you are a young Man I won't go into Loudness Vs: Your HEARING.

Oh and Don't confuse RMS or Loudness on a meter with dB (Sound Pressure). I do believe they are two different animals. If you want to know how loud your Music is, use a dB meter in a room with the music playing through speakers.

Think about this, It takes more Power (RMS Wattage) to drive Woofers than it does Tweeters.
With that in mind it would seem the more Low frequencies you have the (Louder) or higher RMS value
you would probably have. That is why Bass Amplifiers usually have a higher RMS wattage than Guitar Amps. One more note you can have an Amp with a peak wattage of 250 watts but the RMS wattage is only 50 watts (it will peak at 250 momentarily) but run at 50 watts on average. If it ran at 250 watts continuously it would RIP the speakers apart.

Just my 2 NonCents
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Re: What About That RMS?

Post by RockChild56 » Wed Aug 19, 2015 11:08 am

Just so you will know, the intro (1st 14 seconds) of your song "Fast and Loud" maybe even the same for "Rush Hour" (congrats BTW) sound louder (on my headphones) to me than when the Bass (Drums) kick in. It seems to have more Mid Presence.

Whether it is or not that is my perception.

Good Luck,

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Re: What About That RMS?

Post by TheElement » Wed Aug 19, 2015 6:56 pm

Thanks E J. Appreciate that info. 8-)

I like this...it sums it all up nicely: "I saw it explained like this; take the highest point of a wave form (draw a line across) and the lowest point (draw a line across) the middle of those two lines all the way across the wave form is the RMS value."

Yes bass would raise RMS but they say the ear naturally hears more of the mid/high end so that tends to sound louder to our ears.
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