About strings…

This is the video I was *not* waiting for (well actually I was, but then decided that I needed strings, so I’ve bought some already):

PIRASTRO PERPETUAL Double Bass Strings Review (Plus: How do they compare to Spirocore? Hear both!)

Herv̩ compared the two sets of strings for double (or upright) basses I was most interested in Рthe relatively new (invented in 2019 I think) Pirastro Perpetual against the old market leader amongst steel strings, the Thomastik Spirocore Weich.

Both sound pretty good in my opinion. I bought the Thomastik, and have them on my instrument right now – you can hear them on the last two collaborations on Wikiloops, and they made my bass sound way better than it did with the nylonwound strings I had on it when I bought it. And I can also bow it now which is cool 🙂

So thanks again Hervé for that nice comparison, tho I had made up my mind even before you published that video.

See also on TalkBass.

â–¸Vapourisedâ—‚

What a nice ambient chill-out track from DanDiplo and from FrankieJ – couldn’t resist to add both my basses this time, and also with using two different DAWs (Reaper and Ardour):

Thanks to my friends for all the fun, and thanks to you for listening as always 🙂

I’m not my depression

Wonderful track from sami and from mpointon, couldn’t resist to add some upright playing to it:

Thanks to my friends for all the fun, and thanks to you for listening as always.

Bowing and plucking for the microphone

Tried the sound of my new strings on my new (used) instrument yesterday – and Zuleikha took some photos of that:

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Wolfgang bowing his upright bass, Mörfelden-Walldorf 2020
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Wolfgang playing his upright bass, Mörfelden-Walldorf 2020

The first one of these photos is also on my Wikiloops profile in case you’re interested (but the music I played isn’t uploaded there yet).

As always, thanks for viewing.

The new Ardour 6.3 is out, and it has a really cool feature

As you might know in case you’re reading this blog once in a while, my DAW (digital audio workstation) of choice is the free and open source tool called ‘Ardour‘. And almost 2 weeks ago, the project announced its latest release 6.3, with the list of changes here.

And today I finally found the time to download (I’m a supporter, otherwise that would cost you at least 1$) and to try this version, which I did on Windows (I normally use it on Linux, but on that platform I always wait for new software being added to the repositories – too much to explain here and now). And I tested this new feature, the new Loudness Analyser, with a cool song from a few friends from Wikiloops which I had downloaded but not worked on yet (so it doesn’t have a bass) – hear Marc’s original remix and keyboard add here if you wish:

Ok; so I’ve put this track in a shared drive which the machine can “see” both from Windows and Linux, so first of course I started Ardour 6.3:

Then I added the track above (“Sunny Garden”), and checked the tracks loudness with right-clicking on it. Result:

As you can see, the integrated loudness is -15LUFS, and the True Peaks are +0.9dB – so integrated is perfectly fine depending on what you’re about to do with it, but the peaks are a bit hot and even distorted.

You’ll find the new Loudness Analyser tool in the master channel/bus of the DAW, on the right hand in the following screenshot, above the master fader where it says ‘LAN’ and ‘0.00dB’:

If you click on that LAN tool, a dialog with an explanation opens:

And if you further click on ‘Analyze’ it will show you its default setting which is EBU R 128:

Now EBU R 128 is for the European TV standard loudness which as you can see is -23 LUFS (integrated), with True Peaks of -1dB. And while that is perfectly fine and always recommendable in case you want to send something to a broadcasting station, most of us don’t do this, but rather use some streaming services to upload to – all of which have different settings to which they’ll reduce your track in case it’s too loud for them. Here’s a list of choices you have:

You see that for instance Youtube which is currently selected would (and will) reduce such a track to -14 LUFS and to -1dBTP – and under the ‘Measured’ column you can also see that for Youtube the integrated (average) loudness could even be higher, but since the true peaks aren’t -1 but +0.9 it will reduce the total gain by an amount of -1.93dB. If we do that ourselves here we can at least check the result *before* uploading it elsewhere…

I always use -16 LUFS and -1dBTP as my target, which is what the choice of the ‘Apple Music’ streaming service would also do. So all of the tracks of all of my albums in Wikiloops (which *I* remixed last) have that same loudness, and to you, dear listener that means that you won’t have to always look for the volume knob in case you’ll hear one of those in the car or elsewhere… and note that the loudness reduction for *this* track would be absolutely the same as when deciding on Youtube as the ‘target’ – because of that peak of +0.9dB somewhere (and note that peak also shown in both the channel and master strips in this screenshot:

So the reduction in this case is also -1.93dB. So, ok – I applied this as my setting for this song and export, which leads to this changed part in the master channel:

So during exporting of the song, I checked that I want another analysis *after* that export (to see the result), with setting the checkmark here:

And after the exporting is done, I see the new analysis:

So now the track is at -16.9LUFS and -1dBTP which is fine, unless of course you even care for that last 0.9 dB of integrated loudness – in that case you’d have to go back to the channel and find that peak marked in yellow in the left channel of the above screenshot, correct that a bit (like with an automated fader down of a dB or so over it), and repeat – it’s an iterative process if you really want to be the ‘master’ engineer of your track(s).

Anyway, I’ve listened to that normalised track with my calibrated headphones again, and be assured that Marc’s (and Oliv’s and Martin’s) track still sounds wonderful.

And what I also find wonderful is that even in a no cost (or low cost with the 1$ for the download as minimal selectable amount) environment we now have tools like these which really make life a lot easier even for us non-technicians. So for today, thank you for reading, and I’ll let Zuleikha (an older photo of her) greet you from the background of my Windows partition:

Never drink alone

Such a nice track from Cantaloopo and from Pewi, just had to grab my upright bass and play along a bit:

As always, thanks to my friends for all the fun, thanks to Richard and to the Wikiloops supporters for making it all possible, and thanks to you for listening.

Edit, from Saturday Sept. 12th, 2020:

Got an awesome remix of this one by Offfocus (Pat) in his track #198183 which he later had remastered automatically by the Landr service in his new upload #198206). His own one had more dynamics, so I remastered that one again to include it onto my next album like this:

In case you’re interested you can see a graphical comparison of output levels on Flickr or on my upload in Wikiloops.

Again, thanks to Heinz, Peter, and Pat for their wonderful music and for all the fun. And thanks to you for listening.

Tuna & me, working from home…

Mitchie was kind enough to take a picture of Tuna and of me, while working from home today:

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We’re working from home, Mörfelden-Walldorf 2020
photographer: Hamidah Suadi-Lonien

As always, thanks for viewing.

The love we own

Back to my fretless bass for this beautiful track from Erwan & Shi:

Merci & thank you to my friends for all the fun – and thanks to you for listening.

Lonely desert

Awesome track and template from JohnKou, so I had to add some little line:

I think Tuna, our cat liked the sound of my instrument, too – look:

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Tuna beside my Christopher upright bass

So thanks to John for the fun, and to you for listening 🙂

Edit, from after logging off out of Wikiloops: found this remix from Mark who turned the desert into a dessert 😀 :

Very cool Mark, thanks a lot 🙂