loudness matching for plugin chains

All feature requests and suggestions for upcoming releases of Cubase Pro 8, Cubase Artist 8 and Cubase Elements 8 can be posted here.
Locked
ultradust
Member
Posts: 235
Joined: Tue Jan 08, 2013 12:37 am
Contact:

loudness matching for plugin chains

Post by ultradust » Tue Feb 16, 2016 5:02 pm

Understanding the actual effect of plugins on a signal chain, without perception being colored by loudness changes, is crucial.

Use case: User is evaluating the effect of an EQ, compressor, and limiter on a bass track. The user wants to listen to the exact change to the signal without being steered by an increase/decrease in overall volume (which, due to Fletcher-Munson and the effect of loudness itself) can unduly influence perception of the changes being made.

Current workarounds:
1. The user can buy specialized plugins for this task, such as MeterPlugs Perception, TB Pro Audio's AB_LM and Melda MCompare. These plugins work pretty well, but they're a hassle to set up (two instances per channel - a feeder instance at the top of the chain and an evaluator instance at the end of the chain) and they're expensive relative to their functionality. Advantage is the continuously integrating loudness matching for precision.

2. More imprecisely, the user can utilize loudness meters to roughly match loudness manually. This is also a bit of a hassle because the user has to set up metering correctly and make manual level compensation changes every time a change is made to the chain.

3. Also imprecise, the user can "eyeball" it with their ears. This avoids the hassle and expense of setting up meters or specialized plugins, but it will likely be the most frustrating, time-consuming approach.

Feature Request: Include optional loudness compensation as an integrated part of the plugin system in Cubase (similar to the Smart Bypass in WaveLab, but using a more accurate algorithm like MeterPlugs' ).
The user could:
  • turn on overall loudness compensation for each track (keeping levels consistent regardless of plugins used); or
  • set numbered "in and out" points for each loudness compensation thread. For example, the user could set the source (starting "in" point) before a specific plugin on a bass track, and set the compensation (adjustment "out" point) after a specific plugin on the master buss. (For lateral-thinking examples of this sort of numbered matching scheme, see Blue Cat Audio's metering plugins, where tracks can be assigned numbers and all represented within one plugin instance. Not a direct analogy, but the numbering idea is similar.)

User avatar
Winter Rat
Member
Posts: 695
Joined: Thu Jan 06, 2011 3:10 pm
Contact:

Re: loudness matching for plugin chains

Post by Winter Rat » Thu Feb 25, 2016 9:56 pm

+1
Cubase 9.5
Win 8.1 or Win 10 Pro; Intel Core i7-8700K; Gigabyte GA-Z370 HD3P; 16 GB, 3000 MHz; GeForce GTX 1050.

omniphonix
Junior Member
Posts: 126
Joined: Sun Dec 19, 2010 2:27 am
Contact:

Re: loudness matching for plugin chains

Post by omniphonix » Fri Feb 26, 2016 9:38 pm

This sounds like it would be a good addition to the channel strip as another mini-plug. You could enable/disable, have one knob to set how much level matching, and a few meters to check differences.
Main DAW: Core i9-7940X | 64GB DDR4 3200 | Asus Prime X299-A | Radeon RX570 | Samsung 950 Pro 512GB & 850 Evo 2TB | Acer T272HUL | UR824 | CC121 | Virus TI | MCU Pro | Akai MPD232 | Nektar Panorama P6 | Roland VG-99 | Win10 Pro x64 v1809 | Cubase Pro 10 | Reason 10

DAW/Gig NB: MSI GT76 9SG | Core i9-9900K | 64GB DDR4 2666 | RTX 2080 8GB | 2x PM981 512GB NVMe SSD RAID0 | 860 QVO 2TB SATA SSD | iConnect Audio4+ | Akai APC40 mkII | Akai MPK249 | Win10 Pro x64 v1809 | Cubase Pro 10 | Ableton Live 10

iPad Pro 12.9" Gen 3 1TB: Same Audio4+ as above | CME Xkey 37 | Cubasis | Cubase iC Pro | Many IAA/AU Apps

ultradust
Member
Posts: 235
Joined: Tue Jan 08, 2013 12:37 am
Contact:

Re: loudness matching for plugin chains

Post by ultradust » Mon Sep 19, 2016 6:25 am

Additional thoughts?

mpayne0
Member
Posts: 655
Joined: Fri Dec 17, 2010 10:07 pm
Location: Brooklyn
Contact:

Re: loudness matching for plugin chains

Post by mpayne0 » Tue Sep 20, 2016 3:19 pm

I like the idea, I can't imagine having something like this until like version 11 or later.

Seems like a big development commitment from them. Anyways, +1

nexis
Member
Posts: 222
Joined: Wed Jan 05, 2011 10:49 pm
Contact:

Re: loudness matching for plugin chains

Post by nexis » Thu Sep 29, 2016 3:31 am

+1 Great Idea!
Cubase 10 PRO, Steinberg MR816 CSX (2 of them), Windows 10 Pro, i7 Processor, 24 gigs of RAM, 3 TB Drives, Dual Monitors

Quinn3k3
Member
Posts: 299
Joined: Sat Jun 18, 2011 12:45 am
Contact:

Re: loudness matching for plugin chains

Post by Quinn3k3 » Thu Sep 29, 2016 11:22 pm

+1

Personally, I would like to see the option to have a small meter that measures the difference between the input and output volume of each plug-in effect. In addition, a small trim slider that you could easily adjust to properly gain stage your chain. There could also be an option button to auto adjust the gain to match the input and output levels for the entire chain if that is what you prefer.

The extra metering may use quite a bit of extra CPU so it should be optional for those who have older computers. However, if it were coded to only meter the chain on the selected channel, it shouldn't be too heavy.

dmbaer
Member
Posts: 323
Joined: Fri Jul 05, 2013 7:30 pm
Contact:

Re: loudness matching for plugin chains

Post by dmbaer » Fri Sep 30, 2016 9:36 pm

If the infrastructure to provide this feature is built (tapping the input signal at two locations), it might not be a huge stretch to extend that capability to provide a differences output - flip the phase on the "after" signal (that signal having been first level-adjusted) and mix that with the "before" signal. The result would be just that which is different between the signal at the "before" tap and at the signal at the "after" tap.
David Baer

Hardware: Intel I7 4-core hyper-threaded; 8M RAM; Dual hard drives; Roland Quad Capture
OS: Win 7 64-bit
DAW: Cubase 7.5 64-bit (and SONAR X2 64-bit)
Synths and effects: More than I care to contemplate, but only the 64-bit stuff ever gets used

ColinPark
Member
Posts: 287
Joined: Mon Mar 30, 2015 7:58 pm
Contact:

Re: loudness matching for plugin chains

Post by ColinPark » Sun Oct 30, 2016 9:34 pm

Agree with everybody. It's something you frequently need, and very very important. It's also something that should be used only when adjusting the insert (or whatever). Otherwise, the fader loses its meaning. So you'd start at a particular level, engage level matching, make the tweak, do your A/B, (repeat tweak + AB as needed), disengage level matching and fader sets itself to appropriate level. Alternatively, level in and out meters that allow you to make a match manually. We have to be a bit concerned about a proliferation of processes continuing to run when they are no longer relevant, which would tax the CPU and create confusion.

BTW, I believe we have this kind of thing on the Studio EQ insert (auto gain).

There's a problem of how you define loudness. If I bring down the low end and push up the middle, I might keep the same level, but it might sound louder due to Fletcher Munson. Then there's the problem of stereo. Do you apply a weighting curve to each channel separately? If so, then what happens when you adjust the pan? How much load does this add?

[Edit: 2 days later]

OK, so not only do we have automatic make-up gain on a lot of inserts, but you can also add an FX track to your project and route thru that. (So instead of going from input bus 1 to output bus 2, you go input bus 1 to FX track, and FX track goes to output bus 2). Placing the FX track next to the tweak track, you've now got 2 VU meters side by side in the mix console, and you can put your FX on the FX track, and tweak them there. Even use insert bypass to do A/B.

Suppose you have inserts I1, I2, I3, and I4, and you're trying to adjust I3. Then you could leave I1 and I2 on the original track, put I3 on an FX track, then put I4 on a 2nd FX track, and chain them together:

Code: Select all

    Original Track     FX track 1    FX track 2
=====================  ==========  ===============
input 1 --> I1 --> I2  --> I3 -->  I4 --> output 2
You can see the input to I3 on the VU meter of the original track, the output of I3 on the VU meter of FX track 1. You get the ultimate sound (including I4) on output bus 2.

Therefore, I think this is something we can work around (in terms of level matching) as illustrated. Loudness matching might be another matter. I admit the work around is a tad awkward, but I could live with it.
Win 10 (64 bit), 3.5GHz i7-4770K, 32GB RAM, Sabertooth Z87, Samsung SSD 850 Pro 512GB, RME fireface UFX, Novation 61SL MkII keyboard controller, Yamaha HS7 monitors. Cubase Pro 10.0.40], HALion 6, HALion Symphonic Orchestra, Dark Planet; Ozone 8 Adv, Neutron 3 Adv, Rx7 Std; Sonarworks Ref 4; Melodyne Essential 4.2.2.004

Locked

Return to “Feature Requests and Suggestions”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests