At least a dynamic range of 8dB is required
The higher the dynamic range, the bigger the difference between the loud and soft aspects in your music, the better it sounds when it is on air. The following are some of the dynamic range measurement guidelines:
Dynamic range of <8dB = very bad, no appreciable dynamics; definitely not recommended for broadcasting.
Dynamic range of between 8dB and 13dB = recommended balance between loudness and dynamic range. The most recommended is 11dB (average). Or if loudness is really important, you should make sure that it should hit at most 8dB dynamic range.
Dynamic Range higher than 13dB = emphasize dynamic range to the fullest. This is very common in old recordings (70’s and 80’s) as well as classical music.
Mastering Tips for a Broadcast/Radio Friendly
1.) Don’t measure the loudness in terms of average RMS alone but in terms of dynamic range (using the above procedure). If you read this post on the true measurement of quality loudness , dynamic range and loudness in RMS are highly related.
In ultra-loud masters, the dynamic range is nearly around 2dB to 4dB, they also have very high average RMS in loudness.
2.) If the current master has very poor dynamic range. The best solution would be to remaster the work. Reducing the amplitude of the master (using audio editor) won’t improve the dynamic range.
3.) In remastering the work, the most important mastering processor that has the biggest impact on the dynamic range is the brick wall limiter. In the process of knowing how to maximize the volume of your audio , you should also know how to set the limiters properly. In setting the mastering processors such as Waves LinEQ and L2 Ultramaximizer ; be conservative; start with -6dB Threshold and 0.6dB out ceiling, then measure the resulting dynamic range. The good thing is that foobar2000 can play and measure a 24-bit audio (which you use in processing with the limiter).
Aim for around 11dB to 8dB dynamic range. If it is below 8dB, consider making the brick wall limiter less sensitive by setting low threshold values.
4.) Listen for any presence of audio pumping, squashed and distortion. If this occurs, you are pushing the brick wall limiter too hard, consider making the settings more conservative.
5.) As a summary, conserving for better dynamic range does not only sound good in broadcasting but increases the overall recording quality. It makes the music more pleasant to listen.
Content last updated on June 15, 2012