The long-running archiving project has hit a significant milestone – I’ve now digitised as much of the physical media as I can. Limits are set now by condition of the incoming media, and whether or not it’s really worth digitising 4 or more decaying copies of the same thing when we already have better copies of the same thing elsewhere. The only reel (!) exception is a set of reels for a particular project whose magnetic layer fell off as soon as the reels were unpacked. No way is that worth spending money to preserve further given the age, obscurity and potential value of the content, not least the hardware value to retrieve it once the media itself has been restored. Shame, but commercial sense has to come into it somewhere along the line.
Now have a DIY automated process for holding an in-DAW mix (working in REAPER) at -23dBLUFS or thereabouts, which greatly simplifies things for radio and podcast production. Even if I only use it for monitoring or other less critical work, it’s an amazing time-saving tool.
Obviously this means it can be adapted for -16dBLUFS or any other value as needed.
It’s *really* not pretty for a number of reasons – most bothersome to me is that it presently works in stepped values, somewhere around 10 updates per second – rather than more smoothly applying gain or attenuation.
For high-end stuff, I’m still happy to do final levelling by hand as it does tend to sound better, but that does add time to any given project.