Continuity from song to song

Discussion in 'Mastering' started by beagleman2010, Jun 19, 2014.

  1. beagleman2010

    beagleman2010 Active Member

    Hi, newbe here, I have Logic 8 and have been recording original material in the rock genre. I have read a lot of material on recording and mastering. The thing that I can't seem to find any info about is
    How do I make sure the levels on drums/ bass /vocals etc. are at the same levels from song to song on the CD I am putting together? There are different bass sounds recorded at different times and levels, same with drums and vocals, etc. Also clean to dirty guitar sounds.

    Thanks, Scott
  2. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    Welcome Scott.

    That starts in the mix. With exception to freq manipulation, all mastering does is set the overall level and clinical edits. If you are wanting a kick to sound like a DJ beat mix, from song to song per-say, you would mix that kick the same in each song and build the music around it. Same as bass etc. But, it gets more complicated if you are mixing different music with less or more sonic information added to it. And thats what mixing is all about. "carving out the freq so its not all crowded around one area of the song. Mixing per-say, it gets pretty complicated from this point on

    is this what you are asking?
  3. beagleman2010

    beagleman2010 Active Member

    Thanks for responding, the second part of your answer is kinda where I'm at, trying to figure is there an analyzer or something to visualize. I can't just "set it the same" because things were recorded at different levels. Sorry if I'm not clear on what I am asking.
    Let's see if I can't say it another way as well, I think I am asking a question that has to do with mixing, but I have read that part of the art of Mastering is to make one track to another be consistent for the complete CD. Even if getting the levels correct in the mix first is the answer I am wondering if there is a way to to set the levels by a visual plugin etc. rather than just trying to match the levels from one song to the next by ear?
  4. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    Yes, what you are asking is actually done in all area's in music. Consistent tracking with a vision, mixing and mastering with a vision.

    I'm inclined to say, use your ears and this is why we hire mastering engineers and mixers. But, since you are asking and just starting out, lets get you up too speed.

    The mixing part is as described above.
    But, there is the cheap seats to level methods called rider plugins. You turn them on and set the threshold to how much you want them to ride the wave of that track or song. They sound like crap to m, but yes, there are tools that do this. Some better than others I'm told.

    It sounds like you are at the beginning stages of "loving music" and thirsty to learn more. Right on!. Welcome to the nightmare lol.
    The cheap way is automation tools but each day computers improve so.. . The pro way is learning and using less automation as possible for a variety of reasons that are more specific to acoustic performance. In that case, less is more. Less done well, produces bigger fatter greater sounding mixes to me, that go unmatched to electronic emulation. Electronic music on the other hand, thats a different story. Some may disagree.

    The riders sound like a roller coaster and cotton being placed in and out of your hearing vision. To what extent, some don't hear it occurring where others do and its all dependent on how aggressive you use them. The more realistic your music is, the less you want to ^#$% with the performance.

    Its a common thing to miss the detail Pro's hear when you are starting out.
    Here's a lesson I never forgot, that may not seem relevant to this discussion but I assure you it is.
    I was one sitting in a music store playing a guitar. A guy walk up to me and said, hey, you are really good man. We chatted for a while and just as he left he said, you should practice with your baby finger more, it will make your other fingers stronger.
    I took his advice and was playing professionally 15 months later. I was on the AA circuit for 18 years and acquired 7 properties, 3 houses and a recording studio filled with gear from that piece of advice.

    Rock and Roll is all about attitude. Its part of that baby finger getting strong.

    hope that helped.
    kmetal likes this.
  5. beagleman2010

    beagleman2010 Active Member

    Thanks, you gotta walk before you can run, I also play classical guitar, so I realize the value of practice. I do think less is better (in most cases), but I do like effects on guitar and vocal and a lot compression on bass. Would youse guys listen to a drum only track to see if what I could do if anything to improve them?
  6. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

    where you are trying to get to begins at the mix stage. regardless of tracking levels you can start to develop a "system" where you make decisions on where you want to hit the meters with the kick / snare/ bass etc. usually if you set the levels of the drum kit first with the kick hitting -16 (digital) or on analog about -3dB and the snare somewhere in the same area, everything else will fall into place as you mix to taste. bring up the rest of the drum kit, add the bass and guitars keys pads and last vocals.
    kmetal and bigtree like this.
  7. beagleman2010

    beagleman2010 Active Member

    Thanks Kurt, I am gonna go try that right now!
  8. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

    let us know how it goes ....

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