#1
I have a track I recorded with my band and the problem is the master volume is at like +18 db but its just as loud as the music in my itunes. Is that a problem or normal or is there something I need to be doing to fix this...
Gear
Guitars-
Paul Reed Smith SE Custom
Paul Reed Smith Mike Mushok Baritone
Squire Bullet
Carlos Acoustic
Epiphone Banjo
Amps-
Mesa Boogie DC-5
B-52 LS-100 and Matching cab
and tons of miscellaneous stuff
#2
Really your master should stay at 0dB, either pump everything up (but compress it a little so it doesn't peak) or mix down your song, open another recording session and open your song then you can boost the volume of the whole track. While you're at it, why not have a final EQ tweak and a touch of compression to get the rest of the track louder.

Very basics of mastering achieved!
#3
I doesn't matter as long as it doesn't peak. If you have headroom so it doesn't peak at +18, no problem. Otherwise take everything down for example 0.5 dB. The only important thing is to take everything down equally much, if your mix is complete.
#4
See when I took everything down to about 0 dB it was just way to quiet. But i will go ahead and try mixing the whole song in another session.
Gear
Guitars-
Paul Reed Smith SE Custom
Paul Reed Smith Mike Mushok Baritone
Squire Bullet
Carlos Acoustic
Epiphone Banjo
Amps-
Mesa Boogie DC-5
B-52 LS-100 and Matching cab
and tons of miscellaneous stuff
#5
Quote by ultimate-rocker
See when I took everything down to about 0 dB it was just way to quiet. But i will go ahead and try mixing the whole song in another session.


Learn to mix. Not saying that to be a dick (that's lockwolf's job), but if you go through and remove frequencies on each instrument you can't hear or don't affect sound you will find that its much easier to gain volume.

A good starting point is kill everything below 35hz on the master.
#6
I'm trying to haha! I don't often get to mix and master songs so when I have everything recorded I just kind of wing it lol. But I will do that also

Heres a screen shot of the mix I have with a frequency analyzer

Gear
Guitars-
Paul Reed Smith SE Custom
Paul Reed Smith Mike Mushok Baritone
Squire Bullet
Carlos Acoustic
Epiphone Banjo
Amps-
Mesa Boogie DC-5
B-52 LS-100 and Matching cab
and tons of miscellaneous stuff
Last edited by ultimate-rocker at Sep 21, 2011,
#7
+18dB what? U? V? FS? SPL?!

You need to be specific here, because the type of decibel you're referring to can make a big difference in solutions, particularly when going to and from the digital and analogue world.

However, I guess you mean dBFS and are on about your track being way above 0dBF to try and match the volume of commercial releases. As said above, this is all about mixing/mastering, and you will need to use heavy compression/limiting and perhaps automation to even try to compete with many modern releases. But the question here is why do you want to? Get things sounding balanced in your mix, without the master fader going beyond 0dBFS (and thus, clipping the waveform) and then go about finding more volume through master processing.

Assuming you have a version of iTunes from in the last few years, iTunes has a built in compensation setting where it will lower the volume for tracks that are higher in RMS value, so that everything has a (roughly) similar average RMS value - that would mean everything else is turned down for you, so there isn't a big volume jump when you play your track in iTunes... or you could just, you know, turn the iTunes volume down and keep your DAW's master volume as it is


Edit: ^ Holy handgrenades, you're clipping nearly every visible track by more than 1dB?! Can you not even hear the bad artifacts in there? Turn all the tracks down, and get a mix that sounds balanced without clipping, and then if you really want a quick fix to satisfy your wishes throw a limiter on the master output channel and pump up the the input gain! It won't sound great, though it won't sound as bad as what that mix must currently sound like either, but it's quicker than you learning how to mix and master (which it would appear is not to your interest ).

DoubleEdit: Also, why is your snare panned 59% left?
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Last edited by DisarmGoliath at Sep 21, 2011,
#8
Quote by ultimate-rocker
I'm trying to haha! I don't often get to mix and master songs so when I have everything recorded I just kind of wing it lol. But I will do that also

Heres a screen shot of the mix I have with a frequency analyzer



I bet it has alot of nasty clipping, making it muddy. The middle bars aren't as important as the two outside green bars, the middle is mainly your highs, so your highs are clipping massively, and you prolly lack alot of punch in your mix, the outside bars are the beef of the mix, how much volume you are actually pushing, anything over +6 decibels is usually clipping. I tend to keep mine around 0 db or +3 if I can.
#9
Ok so I went ahead and turned everything down. How can I see how loud each track is while its playing. Everytime it just shows the loudest its got to then stays there. I want to see where its at all the time. And i'm having trouble bringing the kick drum out in the mix. I am having to make it clip to hear it at all
Gear
Guitars-
Paul Reed Smith SE Custom
Paul Reed Smith Mike Mushok Baritone
Squire Bullet
Carlos Acoustic
Epiphone Banjo
Amps-
Mesa Boogie DC-5
B-52 LS-100 and Matching cab
and tons of miscellaneous stuff
#10
Quote by ultimate-rocker
Ok so I went ahead and turned everything down. How can I see how loud each track is while its playing. Everytime it just shows the loudest its got to then stays there. I want to see where its at all the time. And i'm having trouble bringing the kick drum out in the mix. I am having to make it clip to hear it at all


Take the compressor off the master, and that should bring it way down...and put your compressor on just the guitars and bass tracks...as for the kick, if you can't hear it, try to mix it down into a single track at your preferred volumes, then import it back in.

Basically, get your drum track sounding exactly like you want it, then mute all the other tracks that are not related to the drums, and export it as a .WAV, then delete all the drum tracks, and import you new .WAV of the drums in, and mix it from there. Simpler is always better.
#11
If im clipping by 1.9 or 2.0 is that still ok or no...

Sorry for the stupid questions but i'm very new to mixing lol
Gear
Guitars-
Paul Reed Smith SE Custom
Paul Reed Smith Mike Mushok Baritone
Squire Bullet
Carlos Acoustic
Epiphone Banjo
Amps-
Mesa Boogie DC-5
B-52 LS-100 and Matching cab
and tons of miscellaneous stuff
#12
Quote by ultimate-rocker
If im clipping by 1.9 or 2.0 is that still ok or no...

Sorry for the stupid questions but i'm very new to mixing lol



You don't want any clipping, at least constant clipping, if it clips once or twice throughout the entire mix, then that's ok, but typically, you don't want any clipping, you introduce clipping, you loose effective volume, clarity, and punch, it also sounds bad, like static. You can't hear the static because you prolly have too much gain going, and it covers it up.

Keep all your guitar and bass tracks under -6 db, and your drums should be around the -3 to 0 area, and that should keep the master around 0 to +6 decibels.

EDIT: When you render it, you WANT to see peaks and valleys, you want to see white spaces inbetween the wave form, that means you are not clipping.
Last edited by ethan_hanus at Sep 21, 2011,
#13
Ok so is it better to compress something down or just turn down the volume
Gear
Guitars-
Paul Reed Smith SE Custom
Paul Reed Smith Mike Mushok Baritone
Squire Bullet
Carlos Acoustic
Epiphone Banjo
Amps-
Mesa Boogie DC-5
B-52 LS-100 and Matching cab
and tons of miscellaneous stuff
#14
Quote by ultimate-rocker
Ok so is it better to compress something down or just turn down the volume


It's always better to just turn the volume down, compressing something down causes clipping, cause you are reducing the clip point, making it clip sooner to bring the volume down.

Always compress things up, like, use compression to bring the volume up, without causing clipping, this way, you maintain the clarity of the track.
#15
Im not sure how to compress something "up"
Gear
Guitars-
Paul Reed Smith SE Custom
Paul Reed Smith Mike Mushok Baritone
Squire Bullet
Carlos Acoustic
Epiphone Banjo
Amps-
Mesa Boogie DC-5
B-52 LS-100 and Matching cab
and tons of miscellaneous stuff
#16
Quote by ultimate-rocker
Im not sure how to compress something "up"


Usually just applying a compressor will compress it up, by compressing all the frequencies to the same volume, thus making it sound louder, without being louder. The closer you get to 0 decibels on the compressor, the more it compresses up, I typically keep mine around -20 db, with a quick attack(.01ms) and a medium release(.182ms).

Try looking up the Classic Compressor VST, I use that one, and it's very very simple to use, compared to the RealComp, which is hard as eff to use.
#17
Ok that has been helping alot. Im still clipping when trying to bring the kick drum up so you can hear it. If its not clipping you cant hear the bass drum at all but I don't know how to fix this either.
Gear
Guitars-
Paul Reed Smith SE Custom
Paul Reed Smith Mike Mushok Baritone
Squire Bullet
Carlos Acoustic
Epiphone Banjo
Amps-
Mesa Boogie DC-5
B-52 LS-100 and Matching cab
and tons of miscellaneous stuff
#18
I usually mix pretty low (around -6db for the highest peaks). Just turn your monitors up and the tracks down and you wont get any clipping.

If you can't hear the kick then try sidechaining it with the bass.
#19
I've gotten it down to +6 dB with a tiny bit of clipping on the kick drum
Gear
Guitars-
Paul Reed Smith SE Custom
Paul Reed Smith Mike Mushok Baritone
Squire Bullet
Carlos Acoustic
Epiphone Banjo
Amps-
Mesa Boogie DC-5
B-52 LS-100 and Matching cab
and tons of miscellaneous stuff
#20
I think that part of the problem with the kick might be that it has a lot of "information" that doesn't need to be there. That frequency analyzer on your master shows A LOT of crap below 100Hz with a minor peak at 50Hz. There's really no need for any sub-80Hz frequencies in your typical pop/rock mix, all that does is eat up headroom. What does the EQ for your kick look like (and what drum plugin are you using).
"If money is the root of all evil, I'd like to be a bad, bad man."

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#21
Heres what my kick eq looks like



And im not using a drum program I recorded them live
Gear
Guitars-
Paul Reed Smith SE Custom
Paul Reed Smith Mike Mushok Baritone
Squire Bullet
Carlos Acoustic
Epiphone Banjo
Amps-
Mesa Boogie DC-5
B-52 LS-100 and Matching cab
and tons of miscellaneous stuff
#22
That boost at 50Hz is completely unnecessary. That and having a dedicated reverb on the kick is making it into a big wooly pillow (which you've tried to compensate for in the 4kHz and 8kHz regions). Unless the system this is being played back on has a sub then anything below 80Hz is useless and eats up headroom. And the golden rule of mixing is to mix for multiple systems; stuff that sounds great on a monitor system with a good sub might sound like crap in, say, a car stereo.

I'd suggest putting a steep low cut around 60-80Hz to clear up the low end. Mute the reverb you have on the kick channel (reverb on bass instruments overall is a losing battle). Try cutting a little around 200-400Hz depending on how well you've recorded and how you tune your kit. For a little extra bite and cut-through boost with a moderate Q setting around 3-5kHz. For compression I like to use parallel compression on the individual pieces of the kit and then add a fairly hard compressor to a sub-mix of the kick and snare (the most important elements in any drum mix).
"If money is the root of all evil, I'd like to be a bad, bad man."

- Huey Lewis & the News
#23
Quote by ebon00
That boost at 50Hz is completely unnecessary. That and having a dedicated reverb on the kick is making it into a big wooly pillow (which you've tried to compensate for in the 4kHz and 8kHz regions). Unless the system this is being played back on has a sub then anything below 80Hz is useless and eats up headroom. And the golden rule of mixing is to mix for multiple systems; stuff that sounds great on a monitor system with a good sub might sound like crap in, say, a car stereo. .


Not true, the body of a kick drum of standard size is between 50hz and 100hz. I boost the 50hz range on a tight band all the time, then cut off around 40hz. They over lap slightly but it does gives it alot of low in punch.

But honestly OP, I think you're in no way ready to really be mixing if you don't even understand how to get the volume levels right... sorry to be an ass.
All I want is for everyone to go to hell...
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Quote by DisarmGoliath
You can be the deputy llamma of the recordings forum!
Last edited by ChemicalFire at Sep 22, 2011,
#24
I will go ahead and get rid of the reverb. And ChemicalFire I feel like I need to start learning sometime. I've been recording for a couple years but I haven't had a set up for recording a full band and then mixing a full song. And I will try eqing like you said
Gear
Guitars-
Paul Reed Smith SE Custom
Paul Reed Smith Mike Mushok Baritone
Squire Bullet
Carlos Acoustic
Epiphone Banjo
Amps-
Mesa Boogie DC-5
B-52 LS-100 and Matching cab
and tons of miscellaneous stuff
#25
I'd recommend looking at some youtube videos, I highly recommend this guy http://www.youtube.com/user/recordingrevolution

He's taught me a lot when it comes to mixing.
All I want is for everyone to go to hell...
...It's the last place I was seen before I lost myself



Quote by DisarmGoliath
You can be the deputy llamma of the recordings forum!
#26
Thanks I will defiantly check him out
Gear
Guitars-
Paul Reed Smith SE Custom
Paul Reed Smith Mike Mushok Baritone
Squire Bullet
Carlos Acoustic
Epiphone Banjo
Amps-
Mesa Boogie DC-5
B-52 LS-100 and Matching cab
and tons of miscellaneous stuff
#27
Heres the mix as of now

mix
Gear
Guitars-
Paul Reed Smith SE Custom
Paul Reed Smith Mike Mushok Baritone
Squire Bullet
Carlos Acoustic
Epiphone Banjo
Amps-
Mesa Boogie DC-5
B-52 LS-100 and Matching cab
and tons of miscellaneous stuff
#28
Now that we have something to go by (audibly)...

No presence in the mix whatsoever - most things need more high end, and better frequency balance between instruments.

Guitars: HPF at around 125-150Hz at 12-18dB/Octave. Boost at around 400-450Hz by 1.5-2dB ish (experiment), cut upper mids between 600-800Hz a little, and then boost highs around 1.2-2kHz and another little shelving boost at 8kHz (ish) by 2-3dB.

Drums: Cymbals/OH's need all low end HPF'd at like 500Hz minimum, and a scoop around 750Hz. Boost them at 1.5kHz lightly (max 1.5dB) then a shelving boost at 6.5-7kHz onwards by 2-2.5dB. Snare needs to be louder in mix, less low end (HPF at 150Hz, boost the strong resonant frequency a little with a narrow Q at, probably, 400-425Hz by a few dB, then cut all of midrange, particularly 500-750Hz, and boost the high end - 2-4kHz for more rattle, 1-1.5kHz for more crack). Kick needs heavier compression, HPF at 40-45Hz with 24dB/Octave or more, then scoop all the mids and add a wide Q boost between 2-4kHz - may be able to keep the low boost where you have it, as compression will add to it).

Bass: HPF at 35Hz, boost at second and fourth harmonics (probably 65-80Hz and 130-160Hz, judging by the note choice) then add another sharp Q boost at low midrange (250-300Hz) at a point where guitars are just starting to be audible as guitars. Boost at 1-2kHz for more string attack/presence, and cut most of midrange beyond 400Hz.

Vocals: Lots of compression/automation, need more warmth (with low boost), maybe scooping some upper mids will get rid of the 'honky'/nasal quality a little, though the singing style probably didn't help there, and then boost a lot for more presence in the mix,


Then you just need to do some research on using reverbs well, for the last bit of polish, and in the process of doing all that you'll hopefully hear what different things do and learn a bit more about how to plan the 'balance' of a mix more.


Sadly, can only give the above as guidance because without seeing the tracks it's hard to be precise with these things anyway.
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