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Amount of normalisation

Posted: Thu Jul 18, 2019 3:46 pm
by maartenfranken1
When I normalise it just happens and the normalised levels are all over the place, while I need all files at the same level. How do I determin the amount of normalisation, or to which level I want to normalise?

Re: Amount of normalisation

Posted: Thu Jul 18, 2019 4:01 pm
by Jemusic
For a start peak normalisation is pretty useless. It will only bring the highest peaks up to or close to 0 dB FS. This does not take into account what the rms levels are below them.

RMS normalisation would be much better but you may need an editing program to be able to do that.

Best way to keeps levels consistent right across the board is use a VU meter on your tracks to start with. Choose a reference level e.g. -18 db FS = 0 dB VU. Record your tracks so you are averaging 0 db VU on the meter. Adjust tracks as well (if they were not recorded by you that is) to bring them to 0 dB VU.

RMS levels are much closer to representing how loud a signal actually is. VU metering can be used on buses and the final output as well. Its possible with care to get the same VU readings in all three areas. e.g. at t e reference level.

The free PreSonus meter is not ideal but does work OK. Invest in a 3rd party meter such as Klanghelm or Waves. You can use the bundled Level Meter plugin though and switch it into K system mode e.g. -14 or -20. Aim for the bar graphs to be hovering around the 0 dB VU mark.

Re: Amount of normalisation

Posted: Thu Jul 18, 2019 4:34 pm
by maartenfranken1
I do that when recording full tracks, but right now Im adjusting speaker IRs, which are not much more than the initial peak, thats why Im using the normalisation function.
But shouldnt normalising be adjusting to a specified level? Thats how I was taught normalisation works and how Ive always done it.
What I see happening now doesnt make much sense to me, one time the level is increased, while another time its decreased, while levels of both files are very low. Also one time I end up with -2dB with a file that starts at -5dB and the next with -8dB for another file that also starts at -5dB. Im still talking about the initial peak only, compared between files of similar structure. I find no recognisable structure in how the function works, right now Im not sure if I understand what normalisation exactly is, to be honest.

Im simply exporting the files, Im not making a mixdown, and I tried adjusting the level with the fader, but I get the impression that the fader-level doesnt affect the exported file. How can I adjust the exported level if not by normalising, or increasing volume level of the channel?

Re: Amount of normalisation

Posted: Thu Jul 18, 2019 4:52 pm
by Jemusic
What version of Studio One 4 are you running? I am seeing some strange behaviour as well. I have got a piano track that is quite low in level and there are no peaks to speak of. After normalisation it only raised the level a few dB. I have checked the file and there are no hidden or short peaks or spikes anywhere which can do this. I will run some more tests.

I don't think Studio One allows you to set what level it is going to normalise to either.

Also what you are doing too (IR's) is quite different from what I was posting about. It's good advice but not directly relevant to you.

Re: Amount of normalisation

Posted: Fri Jul 19, 2019 6:44 am
by Lawrence
Use macros:

- Audio | Normalize Audio
- Audio | Edit Volume - Level ('-10"), Relative ("0")

You can Select All and fire that to normalize all audio events to -10 max peaks for example before starting to mix stems, whatever..

Re: Amount of normalisation

Posted: Fri Jul 19, 2019 7:00 am
by Tacman7
maartenfranken1 wrote I tried adjusting the level with the fader, but I get the impression that the fader-level doesnt affect the exported file. How can I adjust the exported level if not by normalising, or increasing volume level of the channel?



Plugins!

I raise up the gain on lots of things with compressors or preamp plugins and limiters.

Bring it up but keep it from clipping.

When I record guitar I have an almost invisible track, normalize really makes that show up.

The fader is monitor volume apparently.

Re: Amount of normalisation

Posted: Sun Jul 21, 2019 7:26 am
by maartenfranken1
I using SO v4.5.2

Thanks for the input, guys. Im gonna try some things, see what I can make of it.

Re: Amount of normalisation

Posted: Sat May 30, 2020 8:54 am
by BobF
Here is a macro as Lawrence described. I prefer neg 3 most of the time.

Drop this in your StudioOne > Macros folder and map to a keyboard shortcut or macro toolbar button.

Edit/rename to taste

Re: Amount of normalisation

Posted: Sun May 31, 2020 7:19 am
by miked7
Jemusic wroteFor a start peak normalisation is pretty useless. It will only bring the highest peaks up to or close to 0 dB FS. This does not take into account what the rms levels are below them....

I respectfully disagree. I use the Normalization function when I'm starting a new mix. I find Normalizing to 0dB FS is super useful to see where a track, especially one with sharp transients like drums, is peaking. Then you can clip gain any transients that are way out of whack with the rest of the track to get a quick and more accurate level and bring any wild peaks into line. Once you handle the crazy peaks in your tracks, simply select them all and hit the "-3dB" button until they're all where you want them.

I do agree, however, it would be wonderful to have the ability to Normalize to a specific RMS level. :+1

HoRNet Plugins has a few plugins that do similar things at ridiculously low prices.

It would be great if Studio One had this sort of thing type built in... :mrgreen:

Re: Amount of normalisation

Posted: Sun May 31, 2020 11:48 am
by frank.crow
When I prep a mix to get erratic tracks under control (usually vocal tracks) I slice them up and normalize by event.

I’m not certain of your specific task but another option for me to get a more even Vocal & Bass tracks is:

Vocal Rider & Bass Rider plugins followed by Hornet Gain Stage plugin across everything.

Re: Amount of normalisation

Posted: Sun May 31, 2020 4:08 pm
by darrenporter1
Normalizing is one of those hot topics that people wildly disagree on... my take... if it works for you OK go ahead and do it, but it can really mess with your gain-staging if you are using a lot of analog-modeled plugins. You could end up driving them way too hot. Running out of mix headroom happens a lot faster too.

Another "secret weapon" to EASILY tame wild tracks is Waves MV2. Used correctly it can save a LOT of time and effort.