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How to make your mix not sound bad on the radio...

Discussion in 'Recording' started by dissinagrace, May 3, 2003.

  1. dissinagrace

    dissinagrace Guest

    i'm curious as to what i can do to make my recordings not sound like crap when they go through the radio's compressors and limiters and whatnot. i want to keep my mixes dynamic, but what can i do to the whole thing to make it not sound like crap when it runs through those compressors? should i fight compression with compression? and if so how?
  2. paul lani

    paul lani Guest

    when you hear your mixes on the radio - it should
    sound amazing to you no matter how it sounds. i love to
    hear my mixes on any radio, it can be a kitchen radio,
    or it could be a radio playing in a store while im shopping, or a radio from someone elses ca rwhile at a stoplight. if its on the radio, it sounds great no
    matter what it sounds like.
  3. Brent D

    Brent D Guest

    Interesting question. Why do you want your mix to sound good on the radio anyway? If you have a well-balanced mix, it should work well. You can't fight compression with compression. It is just a property of radio that you'll have to get used to. Songs that are made for radio are highly processed, and are in a way designed to suit the environment.


  4. Devin DeVore

    Devin DeVore Guest

    "Songs that are made for radio are highly processed"
    Not really. It is a good idea to take a look at your RMS level for the whole mix though. The more dynamic the song is the more you will hear radio comp leveling. Things that get too outside the pocket can trigger the radio comps too. Just need a smooth mix with the vocals up front and clean. A smashed mix won't sound to nice on the radio either.
    Each station sounds different and has different gear. If your mix translates good ... which all mixes should ... then your are all good.

    Devin DeVore
  5. dissinagrace

    dissinagrace Guest

    man radio sucks. why can't they just let the natual song come through!
  6. digdug

    digdug Guest

    Because of the many varying levels that people record there music at. Commercials etc...
  7. by

    by Guest

    there's other reasons, like keeping a certain bandwidth (or something) so the signal doesn't die across the air...
  8. falkon2

    falkon2 Well-Known Member

    Mar 17, 2003
    I thought with FM modulation, the amplitude of the carriers aren't affected by the amplitude of the music signals (as they are in AM). Anyone care to clear this up?
  9. soundfreely

    soundfreely Guest

    Yes, you are right about the carrier.

    As far as compression--radio cannot be transmitted with the same dynamic range as other mediums and therefore signals must be compressed before broadcast.
  10. vinniesrs

    vinniesrs Active Member

    May 12, 2003
    Maybe the real question here isn't "how to make a song sound good". It may be more like what did we do to make the song sound bad. If there is some thing you don't like about a mix, you have to put a finger on it somehow. Then deal with it in context.

    Tell us what you didn't like about your mix. :p
  11. dissinagrace

    dissinagrace Guest

    well, the mix sounds perfect, but it's not squashed to hell with compression like linkin park's cd or the used's new album, so it will sound different on the radio. the mix sounds great, i was just concerend about radio compression making it sound squashed over the air.
  12. falkon2

    falkon2 Well-Known Member

    Mar 17, 2003
    I recently heard Creed's Sacrifice again over the radio. You know the insanely huge volume jump between the intro and the meat of the song? Well, it was still an insanely huge jump when I heard it over the radio. Then again, equipment might differ from station to station.
  13. mattssons

    mattssons Guest

    I know what you mean. In Sweden they have this current tradition of mixing the vocal way load, with less level on the music.Loads of top end, I call this radio mastering. They do sound good after all radio processing but as i'm a struggling engineer/part time Dj i play a lot of thoose records in clubs(big speakers) and they suck, no music and loads of harsh vocals.Anyway a lot of records such soundwise these days, perhaps 192 can help out in the future but i'm heading for a 2" 16 track and i'm from the digital generation!!Perhaps you can try the Mutt Lange trick and insert a Graphic on the bused backingtrack and cut around the lead vocal region.
    Gives load music and clear vocals at the same time.
  14. dissinagrace

    dissinagrace Guest

    i like to try to satisfy everyone: vocals, guitar, bass, and drums. too much vocal sucks, yet too little sucks too lol. too too t-too. :)

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