Loudness Meta Normalizer

This tool is a key mastering component to ensure that all songs get the same loudness and to prevent clipping. It allows you to adjust the loudness of each clip in the audio montage so that they all have the same loudness. It is also possible to adjust the loudness of the audio montage mixdown as well as the loudness at the Master Section output.

This tool operates on gains. It does not affect the underlying audio files or use any audio compressor.

If it is not possible to modify the loudness of a particular clip without clipping, the level of the other clips is reduced so that all clips still achieve the same loudness. This does not happen if the Ignore Peaks option on the Peaks pop-up menu in the Loudness Meta Normalizer dialog is selected.

To avoid clipping at the Master Section stage, you can limit the mixdown output of the audio montage before it goes into the Master Section and/or the Master Section output.

By default, clips on reference tracks are not taken into account when using the Loudness Meta Normalizer. However, if you activate Listen Alone for a reference track, only the clips of the reference tracks are taken into account when using the Loudness Meta Normalizer.

The loudness is calculated according to the EBU R-128 recommendation. The reference loudness can either be the loudness of the loudest clip, of a specific clip, or a custom value.

There are three possible loudness references:

  • Loudness of an entire file (EBU R-128 recommendation).

  • Top of a loudness range, that is, the average loudest 3 second audio section of a file. This ensures that a single unusually loud sound is not taken into account for the reference.

  • Maximum short-term loudness, that is, the maximum loudness that is found in a 3 second audio section of the file, for example, the loudness of a short music passage.

  • The audio path in the audio montage uses 64-bit floating point processing. You can therefore overload it, for example, use levels above 0 dB in clips, without causing clipping in the signal path. The only section of the audio path that can introduce clipping is the output of the Master Section or the output of the audio montage. Both of these issues can also be solved by the Loudness Meta Normalizer.

  • Because loudness requires several seconds of audio to be correctly calculated, this tool should not be used for very short clips (under 3 seconds).