Logic X Loudness Meter Tutorial
Learn all about Logic’s new meter.
With the release of 10.2.3 Logic released the Loudness Meter, this has been much needed for a long time and is something I personally am very happy to see added to Logic’s huge range of amazing plugins.
Although it’s a simple to use plugin there’s a lot to understand and learn about why it’s been added and what it means for you and your music. It will help you to judge how loud you music will be heard by your listeners and how loud your music is compared to other tracks in your style.
History of Loudness in brief – really brief!
I’m sure you’ll wanna get straight to the video so here’s a very quick why this plugin came into being.
Logic’s Loudness Meter is really about adding a plugin that will be widely and mainly used by broadcast professionals. Ever watched your favourite show and when the adverts come on they suddenly seem much louder? It’s all to do with limiting and crushing the dynamic range of the music. Because of the digital limiters ability to get ever louder and most commercial meters inability to read the true loudness of the music a new meter was needed that could read long term average levels of a piece of music so that all broadcast material would be heard by the viewer at the same perceived audio level.
The loudness meter was introduce to combat that specific problem.
In this first part looking at the Loudness Meter I go into more detail about the plugin and some of it’s key components.
Check out the video and enjoy!
Loudness Meter All About Broadcast
Rather read about the plugin than watch the video? No problem read on 🙂
PPM, VUdB, dBFS, dBTP with so many ways to measure the strength of audio why do we need another, LUFS? Isn’t it all just a bit too confusing and is it relevant to you?
Older forms of metering still have a firm relevance in music recording and production, broadcast media though has an Achilles heel and that’s the standardisation of audio levels across content.
Advertisers, like record labels, loved the loudness war because if their advert could be 2 or 3dBs louder than the advert before which do you think would likely stand out more?
With adverts getting ever louder than your favourite TV shows people spent more time grabbing the remote as levels constantly changed between content. Pretty annoying. So the brains at something called the International Telecommunication Union or ITU scratched their heads and came up with a way to standardise audio across content.
Hopefully I’ve not lost you or put you off just yet because trust me there’s some cool stuff coming up!
LUFS – Your Ear Is In Logic‘s New Tool!
Before I go any further let’s briefly talk about how Logic’s Loudness Meter reads levels.
As discussed in previous chapters there are two basic ways to measure audio using the Level Meter, RMS and Peak.
RMS gives you an indication of the average level and Peak the loudest.
So here’s the rub, RMS tells you what the average is but can’t read long term average values from start to finish; Peak gives you no indication of how loud your music actually is you can only gauge loudness if it’s heard for a relatively long period of time.
Our ears are essentially wired to be long term averaging meters and that’s exactly what the Logic Loudness Meter aims to do. To measure audio signals like your brain does when sound passes through your ears.
The Loudness Meter has three ways to measure amplitude. Momentary, Short Term and Integrated.
Momentary – Has the fastest response of around 400ms and essentially allows you to monitor the peaks of transients like snares or guns shots for example if you’re dubbing a film.
Short Term – Has a longer response time measuring average levels over several seconds similar to RMS giving an indication of the short term average level.
Intergrated – For Integrated think of your music from start to finish, view it like a landscape with the music’s average level rising up and dropping down over time from beginning to end.
Integrated measures the average level of the entire music providing a more accurate reading similar to the way we perceive loudness as humans!
Integrated only works once you click the start button and play your track from beginning to end. The plugin will analyse the entire mix and give you an Integrated value and LU range (LOUDNESS UNIT RANGE). Values and readings can be reset by clicking the reset button. We’ll look at what all this means shortly.
In order of importance the Integrated value is king followed by Short Term and then Momentary but of course the 3 work in tandem.
In the next video let’s look at three different tracks from Logic’s sound library and compare their loudness levels using the Logic’s Loudness Meter.
You can get part three by clicking Logic’s Loudness Meter Part 2 and 3.