Lets talk about mixing levels (again)

Some years ago we had lots of discussions about proper mixing levels in the digital domain – with mixed (sic!) results, IIRC. Meanwhile, more and more influencers are claiming that targeting -18dBFS with a VU meter readout is the “digital audio sweet spot” and the way forward in terms of plugin gain staging. In practise that would imply mixing digital peak levels at around 0dBFS again but maybe I’ve missed something during my absence in recent years. So, to what mixing levels are you up to in your DAW today?

recap: what’s your reference mixing level?

After some hundreds of votes the results are pretty much stable and -18dB seems to be the way to go. The “pseudo standard” 0dBFS comes next followed by all other kind of level preferences. Interestingly, the -20 and -24dB standards does not play any significant role.

I reckon some of my upcoming DSP stuff will include a -18dB option.

Related links:

so, what is your reference mixing level?

And if you choose ‘other’ please leave a short comment about it!

loudness wars – episode IV

Yes, a new hope. While some of the recently established  metering systems did not successfully managed the loudness race problems in general there seems to be a new hope concerning those issues and this comes from the broadcasters standardization efforts. Started in 2006 the ITU recommendation BS.1770­‐1 defined already some replacement for the common QPPM metering and instead was oriented towards loudness metering. [Read more…]