Increasing loudness

Discussion in 'Mastering' started by Dr_Willie_OBGYN, Feb 8, 2011.

  1. Dr_Willie_OBGYN

    Dr_Willie_OBGYN Active Member

    I listen to tracks on SoundCloud and everyone's stuff is really loud. With my stuff I have to turn up my speakers. What are people using? Waves MultiMaximizer? Are they adding C4 compression to individual tracks?
  2. Big K

    Big K Well-Known Member

    They use pro MEs on dope with earplugs and an exhausted credit line.
    Only interesting if it sounds better, too.
    There are a gazillion of plugs that can make it loud. Even at sub sample and above 0 dB...
    Dynamic, ... R.I.P....
  3. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Guest

    I pretty much think you've answered your own question. Many folks hire mastering engineers for just the reasons you observed (heard). And it doesn't come from just mooshing some compressor plug-in on your entire stereo mix. That can make it sound UNloud even more if you don't do it right.
    The mixes you are hearing typically do already have all sorts of processing on all sorts of individual tracks to begin with. That pumps up the level in the mix process alone.

    After it's mixed, you either send it to a Mastering Engineer or you master it yourself. Not all mastering is done in a computer, either. Many of these guys are utilizing very sophisticated hybrid analog/digital pieces and not some popular compressor plug-in at all.

    What you do want to do with your mixes however is normalize your mixes to -.6 DB or 0 DB. The -.6 just gives you an added margin of safety of preventing overloads if you have that option. Normalizing is generally not a compressor nor limiter type function. It simply finds the highest peak in your recording and sets that to 0 DB FS for the entire overall recording or cut.

    Mastering Mastering
    Mx. Remy Ann David
  4. Dr_Willie_OBGYN

    Dr_Willie_OBGYN Active Member

    I never thought to add loudness maximizer to individual tracks but I'm gonna give that a try and see if it measures up to the stuff I'm hearing. These people aren't going to mastering studios. These are just indie trance DJ's with tracks on SoundCloud.
    I'll give it that extra .6 DB of head room.
  5. leopoldolopes

    leopoldolopes Active Member

    Mastering is the right key to those differences! As remy said some use mastering studios, some do their pseudo-mastering totheir tracks which is using a maximizer / loudness plugin and increase the loudness of the stereo track! I often alert on soundcloud some artists, djs etc, that they must pay attention to this major detail! Some ask me what's mastering but they use a maximizer because it put their tracks to 0dbfs! Wrong choice... after that they cry and flame everyone 'cause their tracks are the best (for them) and no one pays attention to it...
  6. stevesmith

    stevesmith Active Member

    George Yohng's W-1 Limiter is useful.
  7. Laurend

    Laurend Active Member

    Any good limiter can do the trick. But you have to find the best balance between pop up volume and distorsion plus dynamic range destruction. Sounding loud on laptop speakers doesn't mean your track is OK on a serious audio system.
  8. nolimore

    nolimore Active Member

    I use FLStudio10Producer.

    Sometimes when I use compression on the instrument channel tracks, I use a tool in FLStudio called 'SoundGoodizer' on the master track. I haven't tried this tool on instrument channel tracks.

    'SoundGoodizer' basically adjusts the peak threshold, EQ, gain structure overall. It has 3 fixed settings (A,B,C,D) and a level setter (dial).

    So far... In a strange way... it works wonders.
  9. ben123

    ben123 Active Member

    I personally think cubase has a high quality mastering suite already built in. So if you have that just tweak the limiter and the maximizer and it does it for you. If you dont have cubase i would say like others have said before, record you mix into a stereo track. Then open it in a different project and add a limiter and a maximizer. You can repeat the process if you want. Thats an inexpensive way to do it or just hire some one with a pro studio.
  10. studiosound

    studiosound Guest

    Loudness Maximizer

    Cube-Tec's Loudness VPI an excellent choice for "loudness" with minimal distortion.
  11. Ripeart

    Ripeart Active Member

    Uhhh.... I would say try that however what I use comps and limiters for on individual tracks is for taming peaks. I leave headroom by sending everything to a 'pre master' bus before it hits the master fader.

    For 'mastering' if can call it that I'll bring the mixdown into a dedicated mastering app such as T-racks and play with EQ, soft clippers, single and multiband compressors, and brickwall limiters until I hear what I'm after.

    A quick shortcut to get your project loud is to set yhe output of a brickwall limiter on the final mix to -.02 db and then pump up the input gain. However you really should make sure the entire range of frequencies is well represented, when and where appropriate.
  12. DrGonz

    DrGonz Active Member

    I think sometimes people are hearing analog compression being sampled into a digital format. Let's say a DJ for example has something that is coming off a mix that used many samples that mostly came from LP records, well then there is a natural amount of coloration and compression. Recently I was transferring old audio tapes to a digital format, and I really love how the mix of signal is warm. Looking at the wave form in an audio editor you can see a solid wave form that is really difficult to match in an all digital domain. It is already driven and compressed not much else you need. However, that is not exactly all this thread is about, but that's about all my 2 cents is worth these days...
  13. DrGonz

    DrGonz Active Member

    Oh one more thought to add... Who cares if something is loud! As long as it sounds good that's all that really matters. Yeah we can all try to maximize the heck out of our projects to make them jump out at the listener. But what ever happened to listening and whatever happened to dynamics? I challenge all to stop trying to be like everyone else and just be what they are... What is that you might ask? Well, it's not a good idea to keep making loud masters anymore. Try to push the noise ceiling back down a few decibels and try push the noise floor up a bit more. I don't even want CD's that were made in the last decade. I really only look for CD's that were made between 1988-1996. Those CD's have much headroom and you can turn up the volume to make them sound loud!!!
  14. x_x

    x_x Active Member

    EQ tip

    Try Boosting a Bandwidth of about 1kHz to 3kHz. Psycho-Acoustically a boost in between these frequencies make our brains naturally perceive this as a louder sound. The type of plug in is never the case it's the users ability to use and understand the effect that make it sound great
  15. Ripeart

    Ripeart Active Member

    Almost. Our ears are physically more sensitive in that range which isn't actually a perceived loudness, it's actually louder. Though there may not be more pressure being exerted, at approx 2kHz to 4kHz our ears are reacting as if there is more.

    I suppose ultimately it's just semantics, though.
  16. x_x

    x_x Active Member

    That makes sense I was just trying to think of something other than over-compression which everyone seems to turn to when trying to emphasize there sound

    I always used 1 to 3k as a reference bc that's what i was told, but now that I think about it it does always seem to end up more around the 2 to 4k region when i get it sounding right.

    Thanks dood
  17. chavernac

    chavernac Active Member

    You re in for a ride...
    Yes it feels frustrating to hear that other people's work sounds louder... but I you take the time to compare at the same volume... it is very much likely to your stuff sounds better.
    If you really want to make thinkgs loud... slam a limiter on it... Anything will do.
    If you want to do it so that it is a bit transparent and the bass is preserved, then multiband compression is the way to go (gentle!) and use compressors that have a key input so that you can tell it not to trigger too much on the bass. Years of practice and listening are required though...
  18. Crystal Mixing

    Crystal Mixing Active Member

    Any high quality limiter can be used to boost the level of your Mixes into oblivion and back! :D
  19. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Guest

    Loudness levels through dynamics processing a.k.a. limiting/compression is more of a factor of the release time utilized. Making your release times faster creates more " apparent loudness". By the same token it will also crush the life out of your mix. That's when you also utilizes parallel processing with the original mix track & the dynamically modified mix track to bring back some of the dynamic kick (an expression that has nothing to do with the bass drum). And over compressing with fast release times also can increase listener fatigue which can be a big turnoff to all lot of people. So it's a careful juggling act overall. That kind of thing affects me just as adversely as fluorescent lighting in a work or living environment. So I guess I'm doomed to spending the rest of my professional career by incandescent lighting that is dimly lit. I mean think about it? How would it feel to try to get that ultimate mix to sound great under blaring fluorescent lighting? Notice how the sound of music changes when you're at the bar and suddenly the lights all go up full for last call. It changes the way everything sounds without changing the way everything sounds even though we perceive a difference. And so, how does lighting affect sound? It's all a part of the ambience that has nothing to do with audio but is influential just the same.

    It's looks too bright in here I can't hear anything.
    Mx. Remy Ann David
  20. Laurend

    Laurend Active Member

    I've never thought to the relation between lighting quality and sound perception. Because sens are subjective, I'm sur you're right Remy. The fluorescent lighting can kill the sound.

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