Login

Gain Staging AlexB and R2R

Officially Licensed 3rd Party Developer Libraries
Free 3rd Party Programs

Re: Gain Staging AlexB and R2R

Postby giancarlo » Thu May 05, 2011 4:14 pm

well, I think it's more a matter of skin...
User avatar
giancarlo
Founder
Founder
 
Posts: 9198
Joined: Mon Sep 21, 2009 10:40 pm
Location: Italy

Re: Gain Staging AlexB and R2R

Postby Mercado_Negro » Thu May 05, 2011 4:50 pm

Well, PSP VM and SatSon meters are pretty much the same as RMS 17 so no big deal for me :D
i7 3770k :: Asus P8H77-V LE :: 16Gb DDR3 @1600MHz :: Geforce GT 520 :: OCZ-Vertex 128Gb :: WD Black Series 1Tb and Green Series 1Tb :: F*******e Liquid56 :: REAPER 64bit and StudioOne 64bit (both latest versions) :: Win 10 64bit
User avatar
Mercado_Negro
Beta Tester
Beta Tester
 
Posts: 1353
Joined: Sat Mar 27, 2010 9:30 am

Re: Gain Staging AlexB and R2R

Postby ngarjuna » Thu May 05, 2011 5:05 pm

Here's a comparison of several external meters with Nebula Mode 4 (RMS 17) metering.

First, the Nebula setup:
Image

Meters Tested:
Naiant Studios VU Meter VST (set for 0VU = -21dBFS, this meter has a 3dB offset)
Blue Cat Digital Peak Meter Pro VST (RMS+3dB, also has a 3dB offset)
Nebula (current version from yesterday's update) using the VBC MBV se program
PSP Vintage Meter (set for 0VU = -18dBFS, 600ms)
PPMulatorPlus (0VU = -18, IEC268-10 Type IIa BBC Scale, 10ms integration, 2.8s/24dB fall).

Host is REAPER 4.0 beta1

Host meters were used to identify the default (-18.0 dB) as I don't have an external device with calibrated meters to feed from at this location.

All Nebula readings from the PROG page's "INPUT L" and "INPUT R" categories (if it was flickering between two values, which it often was, I just went with the one that was more predominate to the eye). The Nebula program was last in the chain (so as to not apply the Nebula program to the signal hitting all the other meters).

Needle style meters were all eyeballed for values (they don't give numeric readouts).

Test tones set for -18.0 peak/RMS @100Hz, 440Hz, 1Khz, 10Khz.

Results:
100 Hz
Host: -18.0 dB (rms), -18.0 dB (peak)
Nebula meter: -17.26 dB
VU: 0.7 dB
PSP: 0.7 dB
BlueCat: -17.3 dB (max), -17.3 dB (avg)

440 Hz
Host: -18.0 dB (rms), -18.0 dB (peak)
Nebula meter: -17.89 dB
VU: 0.1 dB
PSP: 0.1 dB
PPMulatorPlus: 4.1
BlueCat: -17.9 dB (max), -17.9 dB (avg)

1 KHz
Host: -18.0 dB (rms), -18.0 dB (peak)
Nebula meter: -17.99 dB
VU: 0 dB
PSP: 0 dB
PPMulatorPlus: 4
BlueCat: -18.0 dB (max), -18.0 dB (avg)

10 KHz
Host: -18.0 dB (rms), -18.0 dB (peak)
Nebula meter: -17.81 dB
VU: 0.2 dB
PSP: 0.2 dB
PPMulatorPlus: 4.2
BlueCat: -17.8 dB (max), -17.8 dB (avg)

Looking at these results, the only meter that is inconsistent is the host's. Nebula's meters seemed to follow the expected results based on what all the other external VU/rms meters were saying.

So I ask again, Giancarlo: what is "wrong" with using external meters?
User avatar
ngarjuna
Expert
Expert
 
Posts: 778
Joined: Tue Mar 30, 2010 5:04 pm
Location: Miami

Re: Gain Staging AlexB and R2R

Postby giancarlo » Thu May 05, 2011 5:15 pm

there could be different results. Our RMS mode is slighly different from a true RMS mode. We integrated nebula with a proper RMS mode.

Other things are timings, so depending on music you could get different values (cause RMS 17 attack and release time is not 300 milliseconds: attack is faster and release is slower). We implemented EVF 17, but we need programs based on that. Obviously using sine waves you can't see big differences.

The meter used by the engine is the meter you SEE. Using a windows term, it's WYSIWYG.

The new VU mode is almost compliant with VU specification, but it's based on our EVF implementation.
User avatar
giancarlo
Founder
Founder
 
Posts: 9198
Joined: Mon Sep 21, 2009 10:40 pm
Location: Italy

Re: Gain Staging AlexB and R2R

Postby ngarjuna » Thu May 05, 2011 5:25 pm

giancarlo wrote:there could be different results. Our RMS mode is slighly different from a true RMS mode. We integrated nebula with a proper RMS mode.

Other things are timings, so depending on music you could get different values (cause RMS 17 attack and release time is not 300 milliseconds: attack is faster and release is slower). We implemented EVF 17, but we need programs based on that. Obviously using sine waves you can't see big differences.

The meter used by the engine is the meter you SEE. Using a windows term, it's WYSIWYG.

The new VU mode is almost compliant with VU specification, but it's based on our EVF implementation.


Okay, I get that (and you're right, sine waves were probably not the program material best for demonstrating differences; it's just that it keeps the meters steady so it makes them very easy to read accurately).

But I am still confused by something: if your implementation of RMS17 is very nearly VU spec compliant then wouldn't the results be almost identical to another meter which was also more or less VU spec compliant? Is the difference you're referring to simply the implementation of the meter itself or is there something specifically about where in the chain (and where in Nebula's internal chain) the metering takes place?
User avatar
ngarjuna
Expert
Expert
 
Posts: 778
Joined: Tue Mar 30, 2010 5:04 pm
Location: Miami

Re: Gain Staging AlexB and R2R

Postby faun2500 » Thu May 05, 2011 7:13 pm

This thread went down some strange paths!

1. Gain staging is important.
2. There are still a lot of people that are confused. (just count them in here)


lol
Forthcoming releases on: Black Heart Label, Hyperdrive and Transfixion. http://soundcloud.com/100mg. 6 FREE Downloads on my soundcloud page. Nebula ALL over these trax!
faun2500
Vip Member
Vip Member
 
Posts: 366
Joined: Wed Dec 22, 2010 1:05 pm

Re: Gain Staging AlexB and R2R

Postby apollo soul » Thu May 05, 2011 7:22 pm

Meters seem awfully jerky to me as well... but maybe I can bump the gui refresh rate to fix that.


I can't recall if I've seen a listing of the stats for the free library. For instance, I'm wondering what the calibration is for the 5042. Is that all listed somewhere? I'm not sure if that's just part of the free library, or if it's a free sample from r2r... not sure how it ended up in my folder, so not sure where to look.
apollo soul
User Level III
User Level III
 
Posts: 37
Joined: Sun Mar 27, 2011 12:25 am

Re: Gain Staging AlexB and R2R

Postby RJHollins » Thu May 05, 2011 8:16 pm

ngarjuna ... you bring up very good points & important observations on this metering situation !

[To the general crowd] if 'you' have not had the fortune of working [eating & sleeping] with a true HARDWARE VU meter with a plasma PEAK, then it may be tough to appreciate the poorly implemented metering that we see in many software based designs.

For myself, the way software meters, whether bar or VU design have been tough to adapt too. GRANTED, there are plenty of variations in hardware meters too, but once you have a tool that you can trust, all the better.
The one that AlexB suggests [from PSP] is decent. I'm also looking at the Waves Dorrough collection.

Until my new room is ready, I'm only able to do some general observations. Once in the new room, the entire calibration process will be done & then I can have confidence in what I see & hear.

... more later ... :)
i7-5820k, MSI X99A Plus, 16 GIG Ram, Noctua NH-D14, Win-7 Pro [64-bit], Reaper-64

NVC [Nebula Virtual Controllers]
RJHollins
Expert
Expert
 
Posts: 2633
Joined: Sun Mar 28, 2010 5:53 pm

Re: Gain Staging AlexB and R2R

Postby ngarjuna » Thu May 05, 2011 8:30 pm

So I've had some more time to mull over Giancarlo's comments in this thread today and here's my understanding:

He is advising against using third party metering because Nebula's internals will all be reacting to gain per Nebula's own metering definition (which is VU-ish) which is very accurate;

because RMS is implemented in a WIDE variety of ways in audio products, your "RMS" meter (most of which aren't even measuring true RMS as Giancarlo alluded to) may or may not be showing results which are reasonably close, variations potentially somewhat larger than the .1-.2 dB I recorded in the sine wave testing.

As a result (to ward off any potential problems introduced into the gain staging process from meters using oddly calculated averages) the best meter to use is Nebula's on Mode4.

The caveat to that being (I think, this is where I'm hoping Giancarlo will confirm or deny) if you have a meter that is fairly VU-ish (as in one of the actual standard VU-ish specifications), you could use it and get similar results (with no guarantees from Giancarlo et. al).

Does that sound about right?
User avatar
ngarjuna
Expert
Expert
 
Posts: 778
Joined: Tue Mar 30, 2010 5:04 pm
Location: Miami

Re: Gain Staging AlexB and R2R

Postby Mercado_Negro » Thu May 05, 2011 8:51 pm

@ngarjuna:

Yep, that pretty much sums it up as far as I can see.

In my case, I won't stop using 3rd party meters even if Nebula shows 0.1dB more or less or even 1.0dB. Those Nebula readouts are not useful to me, that's not the way I'm used to when it comes to measuring. If the default Nebula skin had VU meters (with needles) the story would be different... readouts: no no no.
i7 3770k :: Asus P8H77-V LE :: 16Gb DDR3 @1600MHz :: Geforce GT 520 :: OCZ-Vertex 128Gb :: WD Black Series 1Tb and Green Series 1Tb :: F*******e Liquid56 :: REAPER 64bit and StudioOne 64bit (both latest versions) :: Win 10 64bit
User avatar
Mercado_Negro
Beta Tester
Beta Tester
 
Posts: 1353
Joined: Sat Mar 27, 2010 9:30 am

PreviousNext

Return to 3rd party libraries

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: rick.vdk, soundskiller and 7 guests