Hi...please excuse my newb question ( I checked the archives). I have greatly increased the quality of my mixes over the past couple of years, as well as the levels of my individual tracks (I usually process with the Waves L1 limiter to bring up the levels) but my mixes still sound "soft" (after dither and noise shaping) when compared to commercial tracks no matter what I do. When I try to fix this by applying an Ultramaximizer to the stereo master to bring up the levels, the mix seems to fall apart- the snare and bass drum get sloppy, and the hihats lose their crispness and clarity. Is this a sign of levels being too low at the source, or is most material that you receive for master "soft" like this and I'm just ill-prepared to do anything about it at home (a job that should be left for the mastering engineer)? Essentially, can this be fixed, or is this a fundamental flaw in my mixing / tracking technique? THANKS! p.s. I have good gear, and a decently treated-room so that's not the problem.