[Ardour-Users] New analysis window when doing an export

Thomas Vecchione seablaede at gmail.com
Mon Feb 22 06:53:56 PST 2016

On Mon, Feb 22, 2016 at 7:52 AM, Ralf Mardorf <ralf.mardorf at alice-dsl.net>

> Important is what we hear, measurements we see are overrated. This
> visualisation is a disease, not only regarding loudness. Nowadays even
> graphs of EQ settings (I'm not talking about the audio signal) seems to
> be important information for many "engineers". Real "understanding" has
> less to do with numbers and graphs, to understand audio the hearing
> must be trained, there must be an understanding of at least how the
> most important tools work, without caring about "standards". If we like
> and/or need to, we can care about standards, but they have less to do
> with how to mix per se.

Actually Ralf, the reason these things exist, the reason numbers were put
on the first EQ at all, was because it is a tool.  I am not going to argue
you should always trust your ears, but you have tools available to help
confirm or deny that as our ears do get tricked very easily.  How many
times have you, or any engineer, worked on tweaking an EQ for a period of
time only to find it was bypassed, but yet your ears told you the sound was
changing?  Heck there is a simple demonstartion I just did with my
students, talking into a mic and raising a fader on an analog console,
starting at -20 at a comfortable, maybe slightly quiet, listening level,
then -10, then 0, then +10, then back to -20.  By the time I came back to
-20 again, it seemed exceedingly quiet to them, why?  Because of temporary
threshold shift, something that you have to be aware of, but that tools in
visualization help you realize is happening.

By the way, this is also part of why standards in monitoring levels exist
when mixing, and part of why the above described standard in mixing is
being adopted.  Because frankly if you mix your material to have dynamics
because you as the engineer, or the artist, or the audience, WANT to listen
to things with dynamic range, it will be inaudible next to the 90s pop/rock
music that was mastered to 0dBFS for the entire track because it was so

Visualizations are tools, our ears are easily tricked, and marketing
doesn't stop with the artwork.  Standards like these improve the audio, not
destroy it.  There is a point that visualization goes overboard, and yes
skeumorphic design can be a pain as you get visuals for the sake of
visuals, but just getting rid of it is no good either.  Instead replace it
with something that provides at least as good visual feedback/tools as the
thing it is replacing, something I have often seen debated on Ardour's IRC,
and why I am happy with where it is going.

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