Loudness matching built into every effect

A toggle to check loudness matching between the dry and wet signal of any effect. This toggle could be placed in the inspector panel, available for devices, modulators, and VSTs. This would allow the user to hear the effected and dry signal at equal loudness.

What problem(s) would this feature resolve?

Some effects alter the signal loudness and make more difficult to compare the effect with the original sound. Louder sounds generally are perceived as “better” sounding, and with loudness matching you can hear more accurately how the effect is altering the sound. Especially when adding compression or saturation to a sound, it is important to be able to compare the effected signal to the dry signal at equal loudness.

How does this feature fit in Bitwig as a product?

Bitwig aims to streamline your creative process. Having to manually match the loudness of dry and effected signals gets in the way. When you are mixing, you want to move quickly. Matching loudness can be done programmatically, and the inspector panel already hosts similar specialized options.

Is there already an alternative way to achieve this on Bitwig?

Gain Staging to achieve Unity Gain: manually adjust the Output to compensate for the Effect on the Input, keeping their levels very similar.

Could it be implemented using Bitwig components or APIs, without Bitwig team’s support?

Not that I’m aware of.

Could it be provided by a VST or something else reasonably integrated with Bitwig?

There are already VSTs that provides this such as MAGC but it is cumbersome to set up.

Are there other products that offer this feature?

Relevant links (optional)

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3 posts were split to a new topic: [Draft discussion] Loudness matching built into every effect

So, when I use MAGC with, say, a saturation device. To the right of the saturation I place the MAGC vst, to the left, I place an empty Chain device. Then, on the MAGC, I select this empty chain as “sidechain”, to send the audio before saturation into MAGC. MAGC can then compare the loudness of the audio both before and after saturation, and adjust the “after” signal so that it is as loud as the “before” signal.

What I think would be elegent is instead that when I click on this Saturation device there is in the Inspector panel a toggle to turn loudness matching on and off (it could go underneath where it says “Active” and “Enable” , because Bitwig could easily compare the loudness of audio before and after a device without the need for users to place extra devices and set up sidechaining.

It would be great if this option was available on both internal and external effects.

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The primary way of doing this in Bitwig, and I think every other DAW (and outboard gear), is essentially modern Gain Staging to achieve Unity Gain: manually adjust the Output to compensate for the Effect on the Input, keeping their levels very similar. It’s so fundamental and important, that I’d assume the vast majority do it without even considering the time/effort on it, and have become pretty quick at it.

I’d also point out that the ideal solution - given the information linked earlier - is that Bitwig would adjust the Effect’s Output Gain Parameter; not what seems to be implied by the description where there’s some sort of Bitwig-internal wrapper/insert that can alter the Audio after it’s left the plugin.

Of course, this complicates the UI implementation (while saving on the technical) by forcing the User to choose which Parameter is responsible for the Output Gain, so that Bitwig can solve the Optimization Problem presented here. Without doing this, according to the problems caused by ignoring Gain Staging, you can deteriorate the Audio Signal.

Then, I question when that Optimization Problem is solved, because it’s going to cost resources. All the time? Once? Once over a 5-second interval?

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@here In Bitwig 5.2 beta the Chain device got a “Learn” function that automatically modulated the Wet Gain to match the dry signal. Although this isn’t “built into every effect”, you can insert any native effects device and any plugin inside a Chain and use that learn function. Besides, the new Compressor+ device comes with this Learn function as well, so maybe we will start seeing this little function added to more devices.

@adrienne.teicher do you think this is good enough to consider this wish implemented?

That’s great. Yes I think that you can say the wish is implemented.

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