How Loud Should a Mix Be Before Sending to Master?

Discussion in 'Mastering' started by Roswell-CS, Jul 1, 2005.

  1. Roswell-CS

    Roswell-CS Guest

    Quick question...

    How many db's should a final mixdown usually be around before sending out to be mastered? Should it be mixed as hot as possible? Like just before clipping?

    Or should there be a fair amount of room left so the mastering engineer has alot of space to work with...

    Any suggestions would be great! Thanks!
  2. iznogood

    iznogood Guest


    and no limiting/eq or compressor on the master bus
  3. Most of the ME's I've worked with like as much as 12-18dB of headroom. The more headroom, the more that can be done without killing your music.
  4. Massive Mastering

    Massive Mastering Well-Known Member

    I'm a "-6dBfs" guy for everything up until the final mastering pass (tracking, mixing, etc.).

    It's solid in 24-bit, and it has very little to worry about as far as D-A reconstructive distortion (as it's pretty rare that I don't use analog processing).
  5. iznogood

    iznogood Guest

    that's insane.... if you have files with 18dB headroom you shaved off 3 bits from the d/a's s/n ratio.....
  6. Files? I don't do digital. Anyway, I was also talking RMS. I don't know if you mean peak. But RMS, I told you what I'm used to being asked to do if I am converting right (-6-12 on the VU meters). The guys I've worked with most seem to like my absolute highest peaks around +3-6, which gives them plenty of room to play with. I also tell them that I like to retain a lot of dynamics too. I'm not a big fan of "squeeze me til I die" (a.k.a. "louder is better").
  7. iznogood

    iznogood Guest

    oh i see......

    i took for granted that we were talking about peak levels in a daw.....

    as 99% today use them....
  8. CoyoteTrax

    CoyoteTrax Well-Known Member

    I'm nobody, but I push all my final mixes up close to +3. I feel that way I'm getting all the harmonics I want in my mix at lower volumes and it doesn't leave too much room for the mastering process to f&*k it up. A little loudness maximizing maybe a little multi-band compression if the bass is bumping too much or whatever and the master should be there. Pretty much sounding the way I mixed it.

    But what do I know?

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