So as the title says, just about every time I try to mix a song arranged for a band, the end result is really quiet when I compare it to a professional recording. I just can't get it to sound louder without clipping. I'm not sure why this happens or how to get around it. Anybody else have similar problems? solutions? Anybody even know what I'm talking about?

There's a song I'm working on right now with this problem; I've uploaded it to my profile as Forcefield. I tend to use lots effects so maybe thats where all the space in the mix is being taken up, any insight at all would be much appreciated. Thanks guys
Happens to me all the time, it's called master. Mastering is essentially just making everything as loud as it goes.
yep just as the above user said, master it man and you'll be good to go
Yeah, I've tried mastering tracks but admittedly I don't have much of an idea of what I'm doing.

Any tips on how to master that have worked for you guys? I've tried adding overdrive to the master and that seemed to help, but not as much as I'd like. Maybe I just need to mess around with it some more
Good mastering is extremely hard to do. However if you add a limiter to the main mix channel, it should set the levels to 0.
Most audio programs have a normalize function that brings the loudest peak up to 0 dB or right below it, which is usually good enough.

Either use that on the mix or put a limiter or compressor as mentioned on the mix, it's not real mastering but it will make your songs easier to listen to, and that's all that matters for now.
Last edited by Rakoro at Jun 9, 2010,
Mastering like said is the way to go.

However, there really IMO are two levels of mastering. Basic, mastering, for people like you and I who are only preparing projects, CD's, or the more professional, intense mastering.

Of course, the best way to master a track is really to get it mastered by a professional, but here are two guides that are of great use for basic or complex mastering:



More complex:


I recommend reading both guides, especially the second link. Very informative.
Last edited by DIMEBAGLIVEDON at Jun 9, 2010,
!!!!!!!!!! NEVER just make a song as loud as you can!!!!! i am an audio engineer and anytime i hear that, it makes me mad. mastering is a combination on eq, compressing, and limiting on the final master track. never limit and compress to the loudest you can. if you make an mp3 with it, that compresses it more. you want to leave all of the dynamic change as you can. if a lone vocal track is as loud as the chorus, something's wrong. make it louder, yes. don't cut out any musical elements.
awesome, thanks for the input dudes. Those links are especially useful, thanks a ton
Quote by legallydead
Happens to me all the time, it's called master. Mastering is essentially just making everything as loud as it goes.

if you dont know what mastering is, don't try and explain it.

Fender Geddy Lee Jazz
Warwick Corvette $$
Rockbass Streamer Fretless
Hartke HA5000
SWR Triad

Quote by Victory2134
I happen to enjoy every mankiss from shinhoman.
Basically, don't let this bother you. The reason commercial tracks are so loud at the moment is because mastering engineers have a bad habit of brickwalling everything, by limiting it into oblivion. The end result isn't really a loud track, just a track with no dynamics. Ask yourself a question; what makes something loud? The answer is, the juxtaposition between the quiet parts and not so quiet parts. When everything is the same level because of a limiter, the level of volume you achieve is to the detriment of the musicality of the piece. Human ears just automatically think that louder sounds better, that's why all this has come about; but simply turn your speakers up.
I would just like to take a moment to say it's not really the mastering engineer's fault or habits, most would turn in a much quieter master if they had the choice, but both bands and record labels feel they need the utmost volume in order to get noticed. And since the ME gets paid by both of those in most cases, he does what they say.
Last edited by ColdGin at Jun 12, 2010,