Saintpid is in full swing after a well-deserved vacation!

Recently I’ve discussed True Peak limiting in some different contexts, with an interested client, a friend and an upset discussion on Facebook with mastering people who defend their right to have +3dBTP peaks on material “because it sounds better “… Well … I’ll let them continue to commit misconduct, just leave me out of it so that I can do my job.
As more and more streaming services shift to measuring with True Peak, it will become obvious why handling ISP is important. Today, for example, if Spotify gets a file at say -10LUFS, limited to 0dBFS (dB Full Scale) but with +2.5dBTP (dB True Peak), they’ll reduce the gain about -3 to -4dB (with the loudness setting set at normal). When Spotify eventually switches to True Peak, the same master suddenly will drop -5 to -6dB, so instead of being as loud (or louder) than the average track, it will be quieter. Guess whos phone will start to ring when artists and record companies realize that this is the case.

Back in the days, you created a master for a final media, it could be cassette, CD or vinyl. After a CD was pressed, the mastering engineers responsibility pretty much ended. That’s no longer the case, nowadays you have to make sure it’s up for all kind of post mastering processing. A good master should hold up for both fixed media such as CD or vinyl, but also distribution over the internet, where the audio will both go through loudness normalization and conversion to a new format as well as traditional broadcast. Your master ain’t sacred no more and staying under the True Peak zero is one of many things required by a good master today. When I choose myself, I deliver my masters with -1dBTP. It happens quite often that my clients want a louder master, then they get more compression as well as a file with -0.3dBTP. No matter what they prefer, they will sound just as loud online but the -1dBTP file may sound a bit better. However, the -0dBFS master with True Peaks at +2dB, no matter if it sounds good or not, will be quieter and you don’t want that, do you?!