April 27th 2022

Decibel Module: The LUFS Histogram - Track your music's loudness over time


Video Transcript:

My friends today we're going to talk about, how to use Decibel's histogram to optimize the dynamics of your song.


The Decibel histogram can show you 3 interesting and crucial things. 


Number one the dynamics of your song across time using our trudedyn measurement, you can think of truedyn as the equivalent of peak over average, but in the LUFS world.

This is how compressed your music is. The histogram will also show you if  you're clipping in certain areas of your song.


There’s little red squares just for that on top because red is stop.


If you are using Decibel in your daw as a plugin instead of a standalone, it's a  very good idea to set the LUFS recording to time code mode, this is a great way for your Instagram to be always up to date and permanently synced to your daw.


That means that it will update its data, as you work all day while you work on  your song.

So you don't have to run your song at the end to figure out, how loud  it is Decibel knows at all times how loud it is and you can just update it i'll show you.


I played the whole track before I started talking, so what i see here in decibel is the actual histogram  of the whole song if I click here.  



You can see that Decibel’s timeline jumps to the right spot, if i click here.  



Decibel’s timeline jumps to the right spot.


Now what i have here is the integrated LUFS of the whole song the  integrated truedyn dynamic range of the whole song. 

If i change something in my file for example, if i lower this part of the last course by a lot, and i play it again.




As you can see, i played the part that I lowered, Decibel wrote that down and  automatically updated the integrated LUFS number.


So i don't have to run the whole track again just because I changed this little part in the song.

That's a huge huge time saver.


Another very important thing that the histogram shows, you is the true line layer, this layer up here.




This is the dynamic range of your song it tells you how compressed your  music is, as you can see here music gets more compressed on the choruses less of  a range, and most Decibel’s templates will have red show up when you're starting to get dangerously near over compression


So if we look at this track, you see the different sections a quiet intro, a  slightly louder verse, a way louder, chorus and then the second verse which  is pretty much exactly the same level as the first verse and then the second  chorus which is the same loudness as the first chorus.

Now you can see how the different sections contribute to different dynamic range.


There's a lot of dynamics here on the intro, because there's no drums and there's nothing hitting there's no compression going on.


And then a lot less here, and you can see the red which indicates that we're  nearing the  -8, -7 in this template.


That tells you oh this is getting really compressed because, as it's getting louder it's hitting the limiter louder and thus has less dynamic range.


This is not just for music, if you’re mixing interviews, tutorials like this, one the histogram, is a really great way to align the lightness of all voice.


Throughout an hour and a half you don't have to go and you know nitpick you could just run the histogram and you will know you will see where your vocal  is not aligning right. 

And that's very practical and a huge time saver.


The Decibel histogram can also prove very educational when analyzing streaming platform songs. 

It can show you how compressed or not compressed the music is, so you can learn from it if you run, some tunes from Spotify through the histogram.


You can see that everything is hovering around -14db LUFS, why because that's the standard that's what the Spotify robot does automatically takes the music puts it at -14.


But then using the histogram you can see how compressed it is, so you'll see it's at -14, and then you'll see maybe the verse has 10 db's are dynamic and then maybe the chorus will have like that'll be like sometimes 5 db's are dynamic.


It's really interesting to see that, so you see okay it sounds this way why is that.


You can actually gauge just how compressed everything is just looking at the histogram.


And to do so, all you have to do is run the Decibel daemon and you're able to look at Spotify title Youtube, anything you want anything core audio and you'll be able to run it through Decibel, and learn this way it's very very nice.