#1
So how exactly do I go about getting my recordings as loud as professional ones without all of the clipping? I know I need you use compression in some way or form but I'm not sure how. I'm new to this whole mastering thing so any help will be appreciated.
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#2
Not to sound like a jerk, but this question has been asked at least 100 other times before. Do a search and find some of the existing threads that go into detail a bit more.

On a side note, is it really that important that your recordings be loud? Do they sound as good as commercial recordings? If the answer is yes, then good job. If the answer is no, then what good would it be for them to be as loud?

It's just my opinion, but my opinion is that many of today's commercial releases are TOO loud. They're loud beyond what they need to be and it comes at cost of quality with many of the wave peaks shaved off into a square wave.

Like I said, just my opinion. Something to think about, or completely disregard.
#3
^^^ Listen to this guy.

The way I see it:

Good music too loud = crap.
Crap music = crap.
Crap music too loud = who do you think you're fooling?

Now I'm not saying your music is crap. For all I know it may be absolutely awsome, in which case DON'T MESS IT UP BY SLAMMING IT INTO A BUS COMPRESSOR! You probably won't get your music as loud as commercial recordings without destroying the sound, since you don't have the equipment and expertise professional mastering engineers have.

A bit of compression can tame the dynamics, and expensive compressors can work wonders on the sound in certain cases, but far too many people set it to 1:50 and bring the treshold right down. IMO if it sounds good, then don't worry about volume, so long as it's peaking above -15db.
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#4
Quote by Lt.DustyBanana
So how exactly do I go about getting my recordings as loud as professional ones without all of the clipping? I know I need you use compression in some way or form but I'm not sure how. I'm new to this whole mastering thing so any help will be appreciated.

dont join the loudness war!!! but if you want to make your mix a bit louder take a master limiter and slap it to around -15 db to -10db. this wont kill your mix but will make it a bit louder.
#5
Iron Maiden is low and awesome. Music with compression and limiters loses all the dynamics and feel.

GOOD MUSIC >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> LOAD MUSIC.
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#6
we all know about the loudness war. if all he's really working with is a low-level done-at-home mix, there's no way in hell it's close to being loud enough to lose dynamics.

to actually answer your question, OP...well i'm not. because it'd take way too much time and energy. buy a book and read about it, or take a class somewhere. there's a hell of a lot more to mastering than compression and EQ, and you'll be hard-pressed to get good information about any of those 3 things around here.
#7
You get get things plenty loud without compressors/limiters ever you know what you're doing.. try using a high pass filter to cut as much bass as you can on the tracks that don't need it - a lot of the time there are bass frequencies that you don't even want taking up all the headroom.
#10
it depends on what kind of volume i'm getting already. if my recording is already kind of quiet.. then i'll try to mix it better to get it closer to the -3db level. otherwise, boosting it from much lower will result in boosted noise levels too.

with that aside, i usually hit it with a little bit of hard limiting. nothing huge, just a small dose to make it sound saturated.
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