Airwindows Hit Record Meter: Free Mac/Windows/Linux CLAP/AU/VST3

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bsy8zQlJk1E

TL;DW: Meter measures things about audio you've never seen before.

github.com/airwindows/Meter/releases

This is a bit new: heavily GUI Airwindows, outside the normal styles of plugins I make. It's taken a lot of work to get this far and I couldn't have done it alone. Everything from the basic JUCE framework and technique for 'building plugins directly on Github' to the support for the new CLAP format is thanks to Sudara and his Pamplejuce framework, and before then, Baconpaul from the Surge XT project without whom the basic concept for the plugin couldn't have started. It takes a village to make (and maintain) this sort of plugin, and my efforts couldn't reach you without these helpful open source developers. There will be more, and I'll do my best to make the new kinds of plugins reliable and exciting, while continuing to do my core DSP work as I have been doing. Meter is CLAP, VST3 and AU for Mac, Linux and Windows.

What's this?

I can measure the hit-record-ness of audio, and rate it by how compelling and attention-getting it is, and also by how commercially successful it's likely to be. Those are NOT the same things, but points along a scale I can define as 'density of ear-catching events', where the 'vibe' of the hit record is determined by how intensely it hammers you with these events.

None of that has anything to do with 'maximum loudness' and in fact loudenating will hurt you, provably, and kills the energy-build whenever it kicks in. The secret is distribution of peak energy.

The events I'm talking about are the combination of PEAK (not RMS, you can safely ignore RMS. Really) energy and slew rate. There's a balance between these things and every known hit record noise, whether it's Steve Perry belting in Journey, or James Brown screaming (not shrieking: when he makes cat noises it's a completely different type of energy) or hard-hit drums mixed just perfectly or Burial hitting the perfect sub-bass or nearly everything in a Mutt Lange mix, nails this balance. It's most easily understood as 'the aura (of peak energy) given off by passionate performance' and it applies across the board, from Count Basie to Ace Of Base. (brief examples of each are given in the video)

The Airwindows Hit Record Meter (or 'Meter' as it'll show up in your DAW) will show this directly. Did you think you 'can't hear peaks'? Doesn't matter, now you can see them. And where you place them is hugely important. You can cram them all up as close to clipping as you can get, and have LOTS of them constantly, to get a sound that's just as attention-getting as any loudenated sound (as squashed sound cannot technically BE any louder than clipping, it can only have more distracting distortion layered on). Or, you can make sure you have some of the peaks crammed up toward clipping and doing their job optimally, while having the 'cloud' of peaks occupy a bigger space that is still constantly in flux.

And doing that consistently scores higher in Billboard chart rankings, and overall SALES, than the hyper-aggressive stuff. But the extreme stuff does get attention very well… and as long as the peaks (and their respective slews) are where you need them, it makes NO DIFFERENCE whether you have high or low RMS loudness and in fact you will do better, get more attention, and sell more records if you have the peaks maxed out and optimal, and the RMS as LOW as you can get it to be without losing the constant peak energy.

You can even target comfort and vibe while still having sparkle and peak energy by aiming for it using this meter.

These are strong claims but you know I've been working on this for literal decades and had the beginnings of this in 'Mastering Tools', which existed before any of my plugins, before 2007. This isn't new, I've just been able to put the work in and I figured it out. You don't even have to use my plugins to make stuff work using this meter: I try to make stuff that'll help, but you could do it with anyone's plugins, or with hardware and tape machines, or indeed with any basic DAW right out of (in the) box. It's all about shaping the peak energy, balancing it with slew, controlling the slew and creating the 'cloud of peaks' at the density you want, with the volume of the peaks constantly varying between whatever amount of 'space' you want (18 dB is a lot, 12 is nice, 6dB is getting on the loud and fatiguing side) and clipping, without actually clipping.

But we're getting ahead of ourselves and I'm not the only person able to tell you how to mix hit records, even classic evergreen ones. It just looks like I'm the first to be able to give you visual reference to what's supposed to be 'inaudible', and that's Meter. For now, try this meter and see if you can recognize the various hit formulas (for instance, vintage southern rock, or 80s, or intense sixties and fifties hits) and explore them a little.

I'll be back with more tools for shaping the sound, but I'm very excited to have this new insight into WHY to shape the sound, and what to do.

And almost by definition, loudness war not only breaks this (by outright removing peaks) but also kills the rising energy of a track AND sales potential… because even doing this perfectly, the very highest energy/attention levels do NOT make for Top Ten hits. I've measured over 600 hit records from Count Basie to the Beatles. It doesn't matter who you are or how good you are, if you push the intensity too far you lose the mass market… and this is by definition what loudness war tries to do, except it also ruins the sound with distortion where music energy's supposed to be.

Use this tool to stop doing that, and if you still want ultimate maximum overwhelming obliterating energy, do it properly from now on and your work will last :D

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Does this also work on Ambient Hit Records? :?
You can be creative in any right place on Earth, and not only in the wealthiest cities. Bring the world feelings from everywhere, and not only feelings of capitalistic or jail environment.
― Aleksey Vaneev

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El°HYM wrote: Sun Jun 16, 2024 1:08 pm Does this also work on Ambient Hit Records? :?
As near as I can work out, you can apply these principles to ANYTHING. I would like to try and make some extremely vibey space ambient through aiming the line at 'ultimate deep space' but then also having just enough high frequency stuff in there to fill up that middle Slew meter without ever going into 'grey or black spikes of too much brightness'. I think it'd be a great sound done that way :D

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jinxtigr wrote: Sun Jun 16, 2024 12:51 pm I'm not the only person able to tell you how to mix hit records,
Can you give us a list of hit records you've mixed?
None are so hopelessly enslaved as those who falsely believe they are free. Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

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Ambient Hit Records FTW now. :borg:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dd7uv38WsT4
You can be creative in any right place on Earth, and not only in the wealthiest cities. Bring the world feelings from everywhere, and not only feelings of capitalistic or jail environment.
― Aleksey Vaneev

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El°HYM wrote: Sun Jun 16, 2024 1:08 pm Does this also work on Ambient Hit Records? :?
No such thing.
THIS MUSIC HAS BEEN MIXED TO BE PLAYED LOUD SO TURN IT UP

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jamcat wrote: Sun Jun 16, 2024 11:45 pm
El°HYM wrote: Sun Jun 16, 2024 1:08 pm Does this also work on Ambient Hit Records? :?
No such thing.
:?

Eno's - Here Come The Warm Jets, hit Billboard on 151 for 6 Weeks in 1974.





Btw. - some of you should really check out this new Plugin, even if it might take some Time to fully grasp.
You can be creative in any right place on Earth, and not only in the wealthiest cities. Bring the world feelings from everywhere, and not only feelings of capitalistic or jail environment.
― Aleksey Vaneev

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Love AW long time now.

Do we really want another algorithm telling us want we like?
We jumped the fence because it was a fence not be cause the grass was greener.
https://scrubbingmonkeys.bandcamp.com/
https://sites.google.com/view/scrubbing-monkeys

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Scrubbing Monkeys wrote: Mon Jun 17, 2024 3:29 am Love AW long time now.

Do we really want another algorithm telling us want we like?
Think of it as an algorithm able to tell us when we have gone so horribly wrong :D

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jinxtigr wrote: Mon Jun 17, 2024 5:12 am
Scrubbing Monkeys wrote: Mon Jun 17, 2024 3:29 am Love AW long time now.

Do we really want another algorithm telling us want we like?
Think of it as an algorithm able to tell us when we have gone so horribly wrong :D

Thanks Chris...
So really a non hit identifier. :D
I will use this to delete years of projects and free up some harddrive space.
We jumped the fence because it was a fence not be cause the grass was greener.
https://scrubbingmonkeys.bandcamp.com/
https://sites.google.com/view/scrubbing-monkeys

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Scrubbing Monkeys wrote: Mon Jun 17, 2024 7:37 am Thanks Chris...
So really a non hit identifier. :D
I will use this to delete years of projects and free up some harddrive space.
I mean… same :lol:

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Created the greatest hit known to man (maxes out the 'hit' meter and the blue line eventually goes off the top of the window):
https://ilovecubus.co.uk/pete/aa_super_hit_2000.flac

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mcbpete wrote: Mon Jun 17, 2024 12:44 pm Created the greatest hit known to man (maxes out the 'hit' meter and the blue line eventually goes off the top of the window):
https://ilovecubus.co.uk/pete/aa_super_hit_2000.flac
I think I see God :o

:lol:

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I've noticed that increasing the noise in a recording (eg adding tape noise etc from whatever plugin) usually sends the meter off into the high attention ratings. I'm off to make more pop noise records!! :tu:

Otherwise, still trying to work this meter out, there's a bit going on, but the idea seems to have something in it...

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It also occurred to me that what this is doing might also be a useful broadband noise detector?

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