Which measurement method for comparing before after effect/modulation

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Autobot
KVRian
633 posts since 27 Mar, 2013

Post Thu Jan 16, 2020 6:38 am

What would be an appropriate method to measure the loudness before and after a (e.g.) compressor so that one can compare the sound without getting tricked by a louder output level? RMS, dB, ... ?
I'm not super firm with the measurement of audio material but also not a noob but nevertheless I find myself a bit lost regarding this topic :help:
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acYm
KVRian
1057 posts since 11 Sep, 2015

Re: Which measurement method for comparing before after effect/modulation

Post Thu Jan 16, 2020 9:56 pm

there's a meter for that called AB_LM by TBPro, very handy vst.

enroe
KVRian
1115 posts since 19 Mar, 2008 from germany

Re: Which measurement method for comparing before after effect/modulation

Post Thu Jan 16, 2020 10:46 pm

Autobot wrote:
Thu Jan 16, 2020 6:38 am
... one can compare the sound without getting tricked by a louder output level?
In the mastering DAW you have two tracks:
One (1) with all the mastering processing on it.
And a second (2) which stays totally pure.

Now you adapt the volume of (1) and (2) so, that
both tracks sound equally loud. And then you
switch to track (1), then to (2) - and compare
the sound! :tu:
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BertKoor
KVRAF
11423 posts since 8 Mar, 2005 from Utrecht, Holland

Re: Which measurement method for comparing before after effect/modulation

Post Fri Jan 17, 2020 12:14 am

@enroe: you suggest to use your ears? I think AudioBot wanted to use an actual measurement tool: the tool says it differs x dB, so adjust by that.
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enroe
KVRian
1115 posts since 19 Mar, 2008 from germany

Re: Which measurement method for comparing before after effect/modulation

Post Fri Jan 17, 2020 12:23 am

BertKoor wrote:
Fri Jan 17, 2020 12:14 am
@enroe: you suggest to use your ears? I think AudioBot wanted to use an actual measurement tool: the tool says it differs x dB, so adjust by that.
Haha, yes. If you want to "compare the sound" I do suggest
to use your ears, indeed! :D
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mschenkel
KVRer
22 posts since 5 Jul, 2011

Re: Which measurement method for comparing before after effect/modulation

Post Fri Jan 17, 2020 10:34 am

It really depends on what you’re trying to do.
Talking about compression.
If you’re trying to increase perceived loudness without increasing peak level you should even peak values.(first you limit/compress then you make gain up)
If you want to gain some headroom but still retain the same loudness you should even the rms levels.
If you’re are trying to a/b dry to wet signal go for rms/vu meter because louder feels better where it just sounds louder.

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Niowiad
KVRian
543 posts since 25 Jan, 2017

Re: Which measurement method for comparing before after effect/modulation

Post Fri Jan 17, 2020 6:54 pm

I'm interested in the topic but I'm not an "academical" expert so please correct me if I'm going to write incorrect stuff.

For that kind of purpose I use the bx_meter and I find it good enough to compare levels.
It has different pre-filtering methods (I settled on the K-weighting which I actually tested on different sources, it gave the most similar results to modern LUFS meters), which are explained pretty well in the manual, page 8: https://files.plugin-alliance.com/produ ... ual_en.pdf

Both Peak and RMS levels are in my opinion equally important to check and relate, for different and obvious time-related reasons, giving information on the transient rather than sustained portion of sound. Other meters offer LU and TruePeak readings (which I personally deem mostly important in mastering applications) but if I just have to compare sounds like said in the OP, I'm good with the old decibel Peak and K-weighted RMS values.

AB_LM was rightfully mentioned above (although it's actually an EBU R128 compliant gain matching plugin, not a meter plugin) and it can be an invaluable tool to quickly check material pre/post FX at comparable levels. It can save a lot of time and make the whole process less clunky.

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