Auto mastering and equalization

debojitacharjee wrote on 10/17/2022, 2:17 AM

I want to know how I can equalize the frequencies of any audio track on Vegas Pro? Is there a way to use the equalizer because I don't find any under the audio Fx. I would also like to know whether there is any way to do auto mastering of the audio track just like the Magix Cleaning Lab?

Apart from that I also want to maintain the loudness of the audio tracks, and I tried normalization but it doesn't help much. Using the Limiter (Fx) can't boost the audio level evenly for all types of music, and sometimes it gives distortion for some frequencies. Is there any other way to keep the loudness consistent for any type of audio track?

Comments

dape wrote on 10/17/2022, 5:27 AM

Apart from that I also want to maintain the loudness of the audio tracks, and I tried normalization but it doesn't help much. Using the Limiter (Fx) can't boost the audio level evenly for all types of music, and sometimes it gives distortion for some frequencies. Is there any other way to keep the loudness consistent for any type of audio track?

Hello, when i used VP19 (i am a happy Davinci Resolve user now) i normalized each audio track to -0.5 db and then put a Waves L2 Maximizer (-1.1 db ceiling) + Waves WLM Plus (with the built in limiter at -1.0 db) on the final mix and everything worked out pretty much okay (for the youtube loudness standard).

rraud wrote on 10/17/2022, 9:55 AM

Vegas has 'peak' normalize which brings the audio event's highest peak to 0.01dBFS, other peaks would remain at relative level to the highest peak. A compressor/limiter and/or a manual volume envelope is much better in this case. Loudmax is a decent freeware brink-wall limiter to even out levels. ToneBoosters free version of Barricaid is a good brink-wall limiter as well. There are many, many others available for free and otherwise. If you have Sound Forge, that has EQs and comp/limiters that can be used directly in VP as well. iZotope's Ozone Elements has some automatic EQ and leveling presets, which can be a good starting point.

rraud, Magix forums moderator

debojitacharjee wrote on 10/18/2022, 11:09 PM

Apart from that I also want to maintain the loudness of the audio tracks, and I tried normalization but it doesn't help much. Using the Limiter (Fx) can't boost the audio level evenly for all types of music, and sometimes it gives distortion for some frequencies. Is there any other way to keep the loudness consistent for any type of audio track?

Hello, when i used VP19 (i am a happy Davinci Resolve user now) i normalized each audio track to -0.5 db and then put a Waves L2 Maximizer (-1.1 db ceiling) + Waves WLM Plus (with the built in limiter at -1.0 db) on the final mix and everything worked out pretty much okay (for the youtube loudness standard).

I am using VP16 and these plugins are not availabe under the Fx collections. However, any limiter works the same way and I have also used the Limiter of VP16 but that won't help in mastering because it's just a overall volume limiter. It won't help eualize the frequienies and I need a auto EQ.

debojitacharjee wrote on 10/18/2022, 11:40 PM

Vegas has 'peak' normalize which brings the audio event's highest peak to 0.01dBFS, other peaks would remain at relative level to the highest peak. A compressor/limiter and/or a manual volume envelope is much better in this case. Loudmax is a decent freeware brink-wall limiter to even out levels. ToneBoosters free version of Barricaid is a good brink-wall limiter as well. There are many, many others available for free and otherwise. If you have Sound Forge, that has EQs and comp/limiters that can be used directly in VP as well. iZotope's Ozone Elements has some automatic EQ and leveling presets, which can be a good starting point.

rraud, Magix forums moderator

That means auto mastering is not possible on VP? There is one problem with peak normalization - it can't normalize properly on every track. For example, if there is a 10 mins audio track with two music each of 5 mins duration, and if one music is having a peak level of -4dB and the other with -6dB, then after normalization, one will be normalized to 0dB but the other one will be at -2dB. So is there a way to normalize a track evenly?  

Dexcon wrote on 10/19/2022, 12:25 AM

While far from being automatic, there is a way to do what you want which adds a bit of time but is less time-consuming if there are only a few audio events on the timeline.

Options/Preferences/Audio (tab) has a selection to enable the Normaise peak level to be user set. Then by right clicking the audio event on the timeline, normalising can be activated in either of 2 ways: 1/ click on Switches and click on the Normalize selection; or 2/ click on Properties and check the Normalize checkbox. This way, normalisation is optimally set for each audio event.

Normalising at the audio event level overcomes the problem that you've highlighted by doing this at track level, but if there are dozens of audio events, this method would be a real pain.

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rraud wrote on 10/19/2022, 10:13 AM

If you do not have audio skills, get iZotope's Ozone Elements and assign it to the audio master bus, Ozone Elements can automatically set EQ and the loudness. You can choose loudness for broadcast (-23 LU), web streaming (-14 LU) or CD (0.01dBFS peak)

iZotope typically has great deals during the holiday season. which will soon be upon us. Ozone Elements is included with Sound Forge Audio Studio and Pro, but it is not included in the Vegas package deal with Sound Forge AS.

debojitacharjee wrote on 10/19/2022, 11:21 PM

While far from being automatic, there is a way to do what you want which adds a bit of time but is less time-consuming if there are only a few audio events on the timeline.

Options/Preferences/Audio (tab) has a selection to enable the Normaise peak level to be user set. Then by right clicking the audio event on the timeline, normalising can be activated in either of 2 ways: 1/ click on Switches and click on the Normalize selection; or 2/ click on Properties and check the Normalize checkbox. This way, normalisation is optimally set for each audio event.

Normalising at the audio event level overcomes the problem that you've highlighted by doing this at track level, but if there are dozens of audio events, this method would be a real pain.

Thanks for your support but I don't think peak normalization would work for me. VP has only peak normalization and any peak normalization won't normalize an audio track evenly if any audio event has the highest audio peak. Even RMS normalization won't give a perfect solution. I think only event based equalization will help but I don't think there is any such software available. But if you find any then please let me know. However, I would like to know how the normalization or mastering of any long audio containing too many audio events like speech and music is done professionally at the post production studios?

debojitacharjee wrote on 10/19/2022, 11:42 PM

If you do not have audio skills, get iZotope's Ozone Elements and assign it to the audio master bus, Ozone Elements can automatically set EQ and the loudness. You can choose loudness for broadcast (-23 LU), web streaming (-14 LU) or CD (0.01dBFS peak)

iZotope typically has great deals during the holiday season. which will soon be upon us. Ozone Elements is included with Sound Forge Audio Studio and Pro, but it is not included in the Vegas package deal with Sound Forge AS.

What you are recommending about Ozone is similar to the auto mastering of Magix cleaning Lab. In what ways Ozone is better than Magix ACL? Regarding the volume level, I came to know that the master volume level should be between -6 dB to -3dB but should not exceed -3dB. for any medium. When normalized to 0dB, sometimes some frequency band causes distortion (if not equalized properly), when such a music track is played at full volume after rendering. So, does this mean that normalization should be done only before mastering?

EricLNZ wrote on 10/20/2022, 2:49 AM

When normalized to 0dB

As Dexcon pointed out a few posts above you can set your own normalisation level. Is there a reason you want to use 0dB?

 

rraud wrote on 10/20/2022, 10:03 AM

What you are recommending about Ozone is similar to the auto mastering of Magix cleaning Lab.

I typically do not use Ozone and have not tried CL. My experiments with Ozone were just that, I would not use it for a client that is paying for 'my' mixing and/or mastering skills. Ozone's auto tools leaves a lot to be desired and I would suspect the same with CL. They may help folks with minimal audio experience though.

Musicvid wrote on 10/21/2022, 7:40 PM

If you are comfortable with Magix Cleaning Lab, and you are satisfied with the results, then I suggest you stick with it.

The suggestions being offered can be viewed as an invitation to develop your own mastering and leveling skills in Vegas Pro, not as replacements for "automatic" treatment of your audio.

john-brown wrote on 10/22/2022, 8:52 AM

@debojitacharjee

Hi,

You didn't indicate the final use. Will you be putting the video on YouTube or another streaming site? If so, then if your overall/perceived volume in LUFS exceeds a certain amount, the streaming site will lower the volume of your video.

Are you trying to level out the audio over the course of the video?

I suggest that you review these threads:

Audio volume level (vegascreativesoftware.info)

Plug-in for obtaining targeted LUFS and max Peak? (vegascreativesoftware.info)

Audio volume level (vegascreativesoftware.info)

You didn't indicate which version of Sound Forge ACL that you have. SFACL 4 comes with iZotope RX 10 Elements & iZotope Ozone 9 Elements. They are plugins and you should be able to use them with Vegas as well, so long as you add the VST path in Vegas.

I have SFACL3 and use older versions of the plugins, like iZotope Ozone 8 elements.

You have to mix in Vegas, so your individual audio events must have been cleaned and adjusted before mastering. You can send individual audio clips to SFACL, adjust, and bring back to Vegas. Once mixed, you can render the audio and master that in SFACL.

Working with audio is an art. That is why there are Audio Engineers. There is no automatic button that gets everything the way you want. There is no correct setting or incorrect setting - you have to use your ears (and eyes). The tools help, but you have to understand how, why and when to use them.

If you normalize, you have to know why. Will compression help? Will correction to the volume envelope help?

Why use an equalizer? Do you know what to do with it and why?

There is a lot to learn.

John CB

 

 

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debojitacharjee wrote on 11/20/2022, 3:10 AM

When normalized to 0dB

As Dexcon pointed out a few posts above you can set your own normalisation level. Is there a reason you want to use 0dB?

 

 0dB normalization is a standard to make any audio track sound as loud as possible without clipping. However, that's not always perfect because every audio recording can have different EQ levels. To make an audio track sound professional, it needs to be mastered. But doing it manually using EQ could be a painstaking job. That's why I use the auto mastering of Magix cleaning Lab, but it would have been easier if vP16 had this feature. Besides that, I have noticed that any music track rendered by VP16 gets some quality loss. What could be the reason?

  

debojitacharjee wrote on 11/20/2022, 3:22 AM

What you are recommending about Ozone is similar to the auto mastering of Magix cleaning Lab.

I typically do not use Ozone and have not tried CL. My experiments with Ozone were just that, I would not use it for a client that is paying for 'my' mixing and/or mastering skills. Ozone's auto tools leaves a lot to be desired and I would suspect the same with CL. They may help folks with minimal audio experience though.

How do you normalize and equalize a mixed audio track? I find it confusing in some situations. For example, if there is a 2 mins music track that contains speech events in different places of the track and after normalization, the speech level goes to peak but the rest of the music level stays below -3db or something. In such a situation how can you make both the speech and music normalized at the peak level? Besides normalization, how do you use EQ for mastering the music? Manually using the EQ while listening to the audio can be a problem because every audio hardware sounds somewhat different.

debojitacharjee wrote on 11/20/2022, 3:36 AM

If you are comfortable with Magix Cleaning Lab, and you are satisfied with the results, then I suggest you stick with it.

The suggestions being offered can be viewed as an invitation to develop your own mastering and leveling skills in Vegas Pro, not as replacements for "automatic" treatment of your audio.

Regarding mastering any music, I have seen in Magix CL that the audio mastering has many presets like pop, rock, disco, etc but when I use the pop auto mastering, it sounds good for almost any type of music. So why do we need so many presents? I guess the audio equalization is a universal thing no matter what genre the music is.

debojitacharjee wrote on 11/20/2022, 3:47 AM

@debojitacharjee

Hi,

You didn't indicate the final use. Will you be putting the video on YouTube or another streaming site? If so, then if your overall/perceived volume in LUFS exceeds a certain amount, the streaming site will lower the volume of your video.

Are you trying to level out the audio over the course of the video?

I suggest that you review these threads:

Audio volume level (vegascreativesoftware.info)

Plug-in for obtaining targeted LUFS and max Peak? (vegascreativesoftware.info)

Audio volume level (vegascreativesoftware.info)

You didn't indicate which version of Sound Forge ACL that you have. SFACL 4 comes with iZotope RX 10 Elements & iZotope Ozone 9 Elements. They are plugins and you should be able to use them with Vegas as well, so long as you add the VST path in Vegas.

I have SFACL3 and use older versions of the plugins, like iZotope Ozone 8 elements.

You have to mix in Vegas, so your individual audio events must have been cleaned and adjusted before mastering. You can send individual audio clips to SFACL, adjust, and bring back to Vegas. Once mixed, you can render the audio and master that in SFACL.

Working with audio is an art. That is why there are Audio Engineers. There is no automatic button that gets everything the way you want. There is no correct setting or incorrect setting - you have to use your ears (and eyes). The tools help, but you have to understand how, why and when to use them.

If you normalize, you have to know why. Will compression help? Will correction to the volume envelope help?

Why use an equalizer? Do you know what to do with it and why?

There is a lot to learn.

John CB

 

 

Using the ears for mastering is not always perfect because every audio hardware can sound different. Even the simple peak level normalization doesn't work in every situation. I have seen that some music tracks sound louder even when the peak level is -3d. On the other hand, some with 0dB don't lound loud enough. This is because the overall tone of every audio track may differ and to make the tone of any audio track sound alright using the EQ is mastering. But doing it manually is a painstaking job and it was an old traditional approach. However, nowadays computers can do the job automatically but the software should be a good one, as well as the hardware.

  

Dexcon wrote on 11/20/2022, 4:00 AM

You might want to immerse yourself in Sound-on-Sound Magazine and Steinberg's 6 part series on Mastering Essentials - https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLtZcTSildlejXan0AXNKH7d8jkCxwEymh

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