Using DP Meter 4 for Loudness Normalization and Consistent Mixes in Bitwig Studio
Tutorial | Mar 11, 2020
In this video, I introduce the plugin DP Meter 4, which I have used for years and recently rediscovered. It is very helpful for metering loudness and integrating loudness, and also has a feature to level out the volume of tracks to a reference value. This is a manual process, but it is more reliable than other similar plugins I have used in the past. Additionally, I explain the benefits of using the EBU R182 standard for loudness, and how it can be used for consistency purposes. I also share a tutorial for using DaVinci Resolve to normalize audio levels to a specific reference value using the same standard. Overall, I think incorporating a tool like DP Meter 4 or a similar feature into Bitwig Studio would be a great idea.
You can watch the Video on Youtube - support me on Patreon
Questions & Answers #
Maybe you dont watch the video, here are some important takeaways:
1. What is the purpose of the DP Meter 4 plugin? #
The DP Meter 4 plugin is used for loudness metering. It allows users to read and integrate loudness values, as well as show the momentary, short-term and integrated loudness of their tracks. It also has a feature that lets users set a reference level and apply gain, ensuring that their tracks match the desired reference level.
2. How reliable is the Eliometer plugin compared to the DP Meter 4? #
The Eliometer plugin can sometimes be unreliable as it may not save the gain values correctly in the state or have glitches in certain situations. On the other hand, the DP Meter 4 plugin's gain compensation feature is more manually-operated but it's also more reliable. The user only needs to hit the M button to apply gain once they've analyzed their track.
3. What is the importance of using the EBU R182 standard for loudness metering? #
The EBU R182 standard is important for loudness metering because it not only takes the time domain but also the frequency domain into account with the measuring. It also provides clear guidelines for loudness monitoring, ensuring that tracks are mixed consistently and in accordance to industry standards. Moreover, the Loudness Range, which is also known as the crest value in the RMS world, can help determine a track's dynamic range.
4. How can the DP Meter 4 plugin be used to achieve consistency in tracks? #
The DP Meter 4 plugin's loudness metering feature can be used to achieve consistency in tracks. Users can analyze their tracks, set a reference level, and hit the M button to apply gain, ensuring that their tracks are of the same loudness level. This can be useful for consistency purposes, especially when mixing tracks for albums or EPs, or when certain elements in different tracks need to be equally loud. Additionally, the momentary loudness feature can be useful for single sounds like hits, bass hits or snare drums.
This is what im talking about in this video. The text is transcribed by AI, so it might not be perfect. If you find any mistakes, please let me know.
You can also click on the timestamps to jump to the right part of the video, which should be helpful.
[00:00.000] Today's video is about DP Meter 4, I use it for years now and it's very helpful and
[00:07.440] I rediscovered it recently because I needed something and I just found out that exactly
[00:16.400] this plugin has this feature I need.
[00:19.240] So stay tuned and I'll show you what it's all about.
[00:28.120] Here's my code polarity in the shop to save 10% on the price and support my channel.
[00:34.560] Some random project and I have this track here called Bass and on this there's a pully
[00:39.920] synth playing a bass if you can imagine and when I hit play here, this bass track is too
[00:56.160] So what you usually do is you go into the track here and change your game setting on the
[01:01.240] synthesizer or instrument or you go into this here and change the level on the track itself
[01:09.280] or you maybe go to the mixer page and then you change all your mixer settings etc.
[01:16.160] But what I've done in the past is and I already made a video about this called AutoGain
[01:22.400] and I maybe put a link in the description where I have all my faders here on zero basically
[01:30.160] as you can see and then I use a plugin called Eliometer and this plugin does exactly this
[01:42.920] for you.
[01:43.920] It changes the gain of your track so the output of the track matches a reference value
[01:50.280] and you can put in this reference value at this point here.
[01:53.400] In my case it's minus 23 dB loves it can change the analyzing mode I'm going for short
[01:59.640] basically this changes the measuring time or how long you want to measure and calculate
[02:05.480] the average value out of it.
[02:07.640] So in my case I'm going for short and you hit this auto button here and all you have
[02:13.120] to do now is basically hit play.
[02:26.480] You can see when I hit stop the auto button is disabled and it applied a gain compensation
[02:33.080] of minus 4.5 dB loves so the output now matches basically my reference value.
[02:43.000] So this is pretty handy because you can put this on all your tracks and get in this way
[02:51.240] a nice neutral mix down of your track.
[02:57.800] It's even better than just having a pink noise sample somewhere playing and then you
[03:04.080] change all your faders on your mixer all you have to do is use this plugin put it on
[03:09.040] all your tracks and let it analyze, set the right reference value and all your tracks
[03:15.120] are equally loud.
[03:18.040] But in the past this plugin made some problems and I had also some comments under my video
[03:23.120] about this plugin that it's not very reliable.
[03:28.680] So in my case sometimes when I load up a project the gain value here calculated before was
[03:38.800] all over the place so it's what was not rightfully saved in the state.
[03:46.040] And sometimes there are some weird glitches so when you have this track here and I have
[03:54.040] this auto on and you change the volume of this pull you sent here to make it quieter
[04:01.080] as you can see it doesn't compensate for it.
[04:03.400] So it stays on minus 4.5 but when you raise the volume above this level
[04:26.360] so it only compensates in one direction when it's basically too loud when your output
[04:31.320] level is too loud then it brings the volume back down.
[04:34.920] But when you have when you make your input signal a bit quieter then it doesn't compensate
[04:40.400] for it.
[04:41.640] And this yeah it's a bit strange and I had to scratch my head and maybe this is intentional
[04:49.200] with the loves metering or loves standard analyzing mode I don't know but I had to search
[04:59.000] for another plug-in to have more kind of a more reliable outcome.
[05:05.760] So I found this dp meter plug in here which I also used for years now but I never saw
[05:13.640] this feature basically.
[05:16.800] So in the main purpose of this plug-in is basically only to meter the loudness so when
[05:22.320] you put this on your track you'd play and then you can read your values here integrate
[05:28.640] the loudness, show term loudness, yeah if your momentary loudness and yeah can read your
[05:36.040] loudness level in this plug-in but you can also put in a reference level here at the top
[05:41.000] minus 23 and you can apply some gain but when you have analyzed your track all you have
[05:49.840] to do is press the small little M button here.
[05:52.880] So in my case I'm using the integrated loudness here and I push this and now you can see
[06:01.840] gain is applied 70.9 dp loves to bring up the volume of the track to match the reference
[06:12.240] level of minus 23 loves.
[06:15.360] So this is not so automatic like the other plug-in it's more manually you have to push
[06:20.520] this button but also it's more reliable and it's more it's more like a decision you
[06:27.760] have to make.
[06:28.760] So when you have this on your track and you change your sound you put on some additional
[06:34.600] plug-ins you are altering something and the volume changes all you have to do is at the
[06:40.840] end of your process just go into the db meter here and press this M button and then you
[06:45.840] are leveled up basically again which is pretty handy.
[07:09.280] If you are not familiar with the loves unit then you can also change this to RMS mode
[07:15.080] here if you want but I would recommend to use Ebo standard and always do everything
[07:22.280] in the Ebo standard don't care for the others RMS here it's the old measuring method in
[07:30.400] my opinion or you have to know as Ebo the loves unit is basically exactly what you want
[07:38.120] because it also takes not only the time domain but also the frequency domain into account
[07:46.280] with the measuring.
[07:48.280] You can also look up certain stuff on the Wikipedia page of the Ebo R182 standard which
[07:56.360] is a European standard for loudness so when you scroll down here you can see momentary
[08:03.960] averaged over the last 400ms so this is the measuring time for the momentary value.
[08:10.040] The short term value is measured over the last 3 seconds and the integrated value is
[08:15.880] basically measured over the whole track so when you go into this here and you want to
[08:21.840] read the real integrated loudness value you have to play back your track from start to
[08:27.000] finish and then you can read your value here.
[08:31.160] For most cases all you have to care for is the short term loudness max this is what
[08:35.720] I go for when I analyze certain tracks so I just measure basically or calculate over
[08:44.600] the last 3 seconds the average value then I hit M and I'm leveled out.
[08:51.840] Sometimes important is also the loudness range here in the RMS world it's called crest
[08:58.640] value maybe you heard something like this before which is basically the distance between
[09:04.880] the average value of your sound or your track and the maximum peak so the distance between
[09:12.960] these two values and you can read on this value how dynamic your track is so when this value
[09:20.880] is zero you basically have a break there's no dynamic in your track and when this goes
[09:26.680] up then you have a pretty dynamic track and I use this for consistency purposes so when
[09:34.400] I go for an album release or I make certain drum based tunes for an album and all these
[09:43.160] different tracks are all over the place with the loudness I go for certain parts of my
[09:49.160] tracks and measure the loudness range so for example one track I have a super loud drum
[09:57.640] loop and in the other track the drums are quite picky and then I mix everything around
[10:03.480] these picky drums or these louder drums and all these tracks become pretty different
[10:09.640] right so I'm going usually for a certain value in loudness for drums okay so I can see
[10:17.880] instantly if I have to compress my drums more or less or I have to make some room for more dynamics
[10:26.360] in the drums to bass so I usually use this for consistency reasons to have yeah equally loud
[10:35.800] tracks in the end without me having to go in and tweak the hell out of it so this is pretty handy
[10:43.480] and also I think momentary loudness is pretty nice for single sounds when you have some hits
[10:51.640] or some bass hits or some claps snares kicks and so on you can go for the momentary loudness here
[11:00.040] and if you use this all the time you get pretty familiar with the values and you know instantly
[11:07.720] when you look at these values if something's not right in your track or you have to adjust something
[11:14.120] so it's pretty handy and as I said you can pretty much stay all the time on the ibu
[11:21.400] page here that's all you have to care for at last I want to show you my video tutorial which is
[11:27.560] DaVinci Resolve which is also free and you can see all these audio tracks here and also in video
[11:34.920] track and it's basically the video you just saw or still seeing on youtube and I can select all
[11:43.000] these tracks here and can right click on it choose normalize audio levels and go for ibu R 182
[11:53.160] and my target loudness level is minus 22c loves and all I have to do is hit normalize
[11:58.200] and now it's all these tracks are analyzed and normalized to this reference value and now I
[12:06.760] know all these audio tracks are perfectly equally loud matched to minus 23 loss and this is also
[12:15.960] something I want to have inside bit big studio maybe for audio tracks I have no audio track here
[12:22.040] but you can imagine audio track hit right click normalize and then you have to ibu
[12:27.800] stun art and all these tracks are equally loud maybe also a plug-in or a device like the db meter
[12:35.640] here which you can apply to note tracks instrument tracks this would be pretty nice so what do you
[12:44.680] think about this I think it's a pretty great idea for bit big studio