Welcome back. I'm Streaky. Today, I'm going to tell you how to not get fooled by plugin developers. So before we start, ask this question, which of these do you prefer? This one? (Music playing). Or this one? (Music playing) Well, there's actually no difference in them. The only thing that's different is the level on number two is 3dB's louder. Now, most of the time when you buy a plugin, when you turn a plugin on, there'll be some kind of level adjustment on it. It's just something to watch out for. I just want to make you aware of that because we can get fooled quite heavily by loudness. And so, as soon as something's louder, we think it's better, which is the whole point of the loudness war, which is why everybody wants their music louder because our ears naturally say it's better when it's louder. Hence why I shout so much.

So when you're getting plugins, make sure that the level is flat. When I'm mastering, I always have an A and a B. There's a great plugin called Metric A/B from Plugin Alliance, which is great for A/Bing against reference tracks if you are mastering. So that you don't just get fooled by level. It's very easy. It's a great old trick. If there's clients in the room, turn their version down, turn your one up. And they think, wow, that sounds great. But you don't want to do that because you're only fooling yourself. And when they go away, it's just not going to sound right. So what you've got to do is make sure the levels are always flat. So you can hear the difference between the two. So let me just show you now in the FabFilter limiter, a little trick they've got in there so that you cannot fool yourself with the levels and think, yeah, because I've added 3, 5dB on in a limiter, it sounds better. Because sometimes it can actually be taken away from the track.

Let's dive in, I'll show you what I mean. This is the FabFilter Pro L2. Now in here, you can smash some level on it. These are brilliant for getting some level. This is why it is the standard limiter for most mastering engineers in the world. There's a lot of other good ones out there, but a lot of guys use this. They'll use the output maybe -0.12, whatever you want to do. But the thing is you put loads of level in. And yes, when you're going in and out, it's it sounds great. You've got loads of level going in. You're doing a lot of gain here. But the problem that you've got is sometimes you might be just doing too much and taking away from the track. You want to be able to hear the dynamics of what you did. Because you might then be able to change things or you get to the limiter to be able to get it to sound much better. So the great thing about the Pro-L they have a feature here, which is one-to-one. So what that's doing, it's called unity gain. And what that does is it takes down the output by however much you put on the input. So if I've got the set +7, going in the output is going to play at -7, so that I get a level. Let me just show that to you. (Music playing).

You can really hear exactly what's going on with this limiter. (Music playing). You can hear the distortion. You can hear everything that's going on. But if you’re just smashing it, it just sounds loud. You can get it super loud, but you want to be able to hear what it's doing. So my advice is to listen in one to one to check out the settings, it's really good. There's loads of other plugins that do a unity gain trick like this. But as I say, just keep watching out for the added level, the added boosts, the added makeup gaining compressors, things like that, that are just going to fool your ears and make you think that it's better than what it is. It’s sneaky trick and a lot of plugin developers use it. So watch out for that. I hope you liked that. So the video coming up next is me mastering in Ozone 9. I'll see you on the next video. Thanks for watching.

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