Thursday, 26 November 2015

The Loudness War is ending - tremendous news about a growing awareness for more dynamic music releases

*ironically*  No-one will ever hear you in the end...

Dear Dynamic Music Friends, Audiophiles, Producers, and Audio Geeks,

Topics of todays newsletter: (reposted from last years seminars...)

1.) The Loudness War is ending - What will happen with DR?

2.) Most dynamic version makes the mastering pitch between 5 mastering studios - watch the video

3.) MASTERING ACADEMY teaches how to create distortion free and MFiT-ready masters

4.) Upcoming MASTERING ACADEMY seminars


1.) The Loudness War is ending

The global efforts to solve the problem of diminishing audio quality caused through the paradigm of Peak Normalization, which has driven the demand for hyper-compressed music releases, is going to create a shift in the world of audio and music through a growing implementation of Loudness Normalization.

The PLOUD expert group of the EBU (European Broadcasting Union) and other bodies around the world have been able to exceed the implementation of Loudness Normalization upon the boarders of TV Broadcast into the world of music.

iTunes Radio is loudness normalized to minus 16.5 LUFS.
Spotify is loudness normalized to minus 16 LUFS.
Most of the major music distribution platforms apply loudness normalization to the pre-listening samples, which allows more dynamic masters to reveal their beauty opposed to distorted music releases which are played with a proper level reduction of sometimes up to 10dB.

This is just the beginning of a major shift in all areas where music and audio is distributed to listeners. From now on it is just a matter of time that also major record companies will recognize the benefit of the delivery of better sounding masters instead of hunting for the loudest master without a chance to win an already lost race? What will happen with Dynamic Range measurement? Is that important for the future?
Yes, it is!

Since the development of the TT Dynamic Range Meter many new measurement algorithms appeared on the metering landscape:

- LRA (Loudness Range according to BS 1771 and R128)
- PLR (Peak to Loudness Ratio)
- LUFS (Loudness Units)

Let´s have a quick glance on that!

LRA is designed to evaluate the foreground dynamic for broadband broadcasting content and is not able to replace DR because of the ignorance of the highest 5% of the dynamic area. This is actually the area where most of the music happens today. Therefore LRA is NOT able to give us meaningful information about the dynamic integrity and technical quality of music. PLR reflects the difference between peaks and average loudness (RMS) which can be meaningful if applied on the loud portions and parts of music.
In case of a piece of music with very dynamic parts and a super hyper-compressed chorus this measurement would lead to high measurement results which do NOT reflect the dynamic distortion of the chorus when measuring the whole song and is therefore not suitable for this purpose.
PLR reflects the momentary crest factor and that´s it.

The TT Dynamic Range Algorithm is actually based on PLR but reflects just the upper 20% of the dynamic spectrum which makes it suitable to reflect the dynamic integrity of musical content. DR is still the only available and broadly accepted algorithm to display the use and abuse of hyper-compression in a meaningful manner.

During the process of getting back to more dynamic releases DR is a helpful and the only available tool to distinguish hyper-compressed and distorted releases from more breathing releases.

Due to the new established world standard for loudness normalization (BS 1771 / R128 / A/85--> LU & LUFS measurement) DR is not any longer a proper standard for loudness normalization as it makes no sense to have multiple competing systems on the market.

Therefore we will develop the TT Dynamic Range algorithm into a direction that it even better will be able to give a meaningful information about the technical vitality of musical content.

Our aim is to develop a second generation which considers TPL (True Peak Level --> the portion of distortion caused through inter-sample peaks) and the truthfulness of High Res content. High Res content is a growing market segment and major companies are trying to fool customers through releasing faked up-sampled versions of actual Low Res releases. We are going to embed a verification algorithm into a new meter that will be able to reveal faked High Res releases.

The new algorithm will be called DRQ - for Dynamic Range Quality.
You are welcome to support the development though donations on our platform. 100% of your donation will be invested into the development of the new algorithm.
We have calculated a development budget of approx. USD 60,000 which will allow us to release an all platform compatible tool in three versions:
Free - Low Budget - Professional. The Low Budget version will be priced in the USD 30 area and the pro version will come with a wide set of highly professional tools for about USD 99 in order to be able to cover development expenses.
Donate here

2.) Most dynamic version makes the mastering pitch between 5 mastering studios
Pleasurize Music Foundation founder and Dynamic Range Meter inventor Friedemann Tischmeyer shows in this video, how a proper pitch process between multiple master version is applied professionally. It is revealing the drastic quality differences between various masters of the same song.
This video is very informative for all decision makers in the industry from artists to product managers but it is also very inspiring for mastering engineers too.

3.) MASTERING ACADEMY teaches how to create distortion free and MFiT-ready masters

In order to support the paradigm shift within the music industry towards more dynamic releases, Friedemann has founded the MASTERING ACADEMY.
The aim of the MASTERING ACADEMY is to provide the best possible and scalable learning environment to become a highly skilled mastering engineer.
The 5-day Master Seminar is supported by a 9 hour preparation program and accompanied by optional subsequent "Supervised Mastering Sessions" which allow the participants to get in-depth feedback on actual mastering jobs from mastering icons like Alan Silverman (53 Grammies), Friedemann and further first class senior mastering engineers of the network with a dedication towards superior audiophile masterings.

MASTERING ACADEMY is targeting mixing engineers, producers and upcoming as well as established mastering engineers to increase the skill set and even become a better mixing engineer through this intensive understanding of the mastering process.
The seminar empowers you to make the transition from loudness oriented mastering to distortion free mastering in a meaningful and competitive manner.
You will also learn how to master relatively loud and produce a much better sounding result which is already MFiT (Mastered for iTunes) compatible.
MASTERING ACADEMY allows graduated students an access to leading High Res distribution platforms.

MASTERING ACADEMY is providing a growing network of certified affiliate locations around the world.

Look for a location near you.

Online Schedule:

With kind regards,

Pleasurize Music Foundation & MASTERING ACADEMY team

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