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How Loud Should a Mix Be Before Sending to Master?

Discussion in 'Recording' 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 Distinguished Member

    Jul 18, 2004
    Chicago area, IL, USA
    Home Page:
    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

    May 25, 2005
    Home Page:
    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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