Library audio delivery...-6DB Unmastered

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BrentI
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Library audio delivery...-6DB Unmastered

Post by BrentI » Mon Jan 16, 2023 9:16 am

A library sent me the following guidelines for their delivery process: "-6DB Unmastered."

I'm wondering what the protocol is for achieving the proper levels (turn down the master? Make sure the loudest peak is -6DB?). They asked me to turn off all mastering plugins, so I assume using a limiter would be out.

Thanks in advance.

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Telefunkin
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Re: Library audio delivery...-6DB Unmastered

Post by Telefunkin » Mon Jan 16, 2023 10:30 am

Hi Brent,
Clearly, the library want to master your mix themselves but prefer a bit of headroom to do so, and without typical mastering effects (like compression, clipping, limiting or distortion) already imposed on it. The library will add their own mastering effects so your track sounds how they think it should, perhaps to match the level and vibe of other tracks that it will feature alongside, or simply to match their corporate standard or client needs.

Therefore, I'd say that you're correct - no mastering plugins on the master bus and definitely no limiter, but adjust the output level until your highest peak reaches no more than -6dB. Note that its fine to keep all your plugins in place on individual tracks or buss groups.

You might also come across a variation of this request where the library prefer to master from your stems (either individual instrument tracks or groups of similar instruments) rather than the whole mix. Again though, they'd expect you to remove your mastering plugins.

I hope that helps.
Graham (UK). Still composing a little faster than decomposing.

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Re: Library audio delivery...-6DB Unmastered

Post by cosmicdolphin » Mon Jan 16, 2023 12:50 pm

I assume you're doing one of two things :

A - Mixing in the DAW and then bouncing down a file to work on with your favourite mastering software, in which case just send them the unmastered bounce

B - Mixing & Mastering within the same DAW session, in which case just bypass your normal mastering plugins ( mine is Ozone pls a few others )

I would say leave your brickwall limiter as the final plugin but wthout any gain reduction just in case there are any stray peaks ( intersample peaks won't always show on a meter )

Mark

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Re: Library audio delivery...-6DB Unmastered

Post by Telefunkin » Mon Jan 16, 2023 1:38 pm

cosmicdolphin wrote:
Mon Jan 16, 2023 12:50 pm
I would say leave your brickwall limiter as the final plugin but wthout any gain reduction
That's another option, and the key words are "without any gain reduction". However, its a big jump from -6dB to 0dB for any ISPs so that limiter should not really be doing anything other than providing a safety net.
Graham (UK). Still composing a little faster than decomposing.

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