1:14:00As the terms ‘dynamic’ and ‘loud’ are subjective, we ask Charlie on specific settings. “I use this RME [Digiface] meter. I can see this track is loud, but not slammed – it’s still got a bit of dynamics. For a nice master, I aim for roughly -5dB RMS on the meter. All meters give different readings, so it’s about getting used to a meter you know, and learning what different music looks like. I’m getting some tracks that are -1dB RMS on these meters, which is crazy loud! But that comes into other things, such as mixing into mastering as you’re making the tune to get that loudness.
“In my circles, everyone’s realising that it’s to the detriment of the music. On a soundsystem that’s already loud, you’re hitting their limiters, so it’s kinda pointless to go that loud. Everyone’s backing off a bit, to get things to sound phat and nice, rather than looking good on the meters. So that’s what I try and do when mastering: not just hit a number for the sake of it, but get something that sounds best.”