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mix level issue

Discussion in 'Recording' started by horzman, Jun 20, 2010.

  1. horzman

    horzman Guest

    Hi, I am having trouble getting my mix to be at 0db without making the whole mix way too low.

    I have all the tracks directed to a master fader... and I have an eq and a limiter asigned to that master... on the limiter plug-in the level seems to be around -1 at it peak, but on the fader the level goes above +3 although the fader is set to 0db... when I bring the fader down to keep the mix below 0. and I bounce it to MP3, it comes out really low... and when I keep fader at zero and bounce it, it clips.

    I am using digital performer6
    any suggestion.
  2. rfahey86

    rfahey86 Guest

    I would remove the EQ plugin completely from your master fader first off, you shouldn't need one there(if you do, check your mix.). Secondly I would bring the levels of all your tracks down so that without the limiter the tracks are hitting somewhere around -10db rms. If you still want it louder after that that then put a multi-band compressor on it and then use the limiter (not the professional way, but it will make it louder)
  3. thatjeffguy

    thatjeffguy Active Member

    Oct 31, 2009
    Vashon Island, Washington
    Home Page:
    Not sure about Digital Performer, but in most DAWs your Master Fader (and others) can be switched between input metering and output (post-fader) metering. Could be you're meter is showing you the input (pre-limiter). Worth checking, anyway.

  4. horzman

    horzman Guest

    my problem is making it loud enough..... when I burn it to CD or mp3 and try to play it on a different sound sys, it sounds low..
  5. HaHallur

    HaHallur Active Member

    Dec 31, 2007
    Isnt the problem that it doesnt sound as loud other professionally recorded and mastered songs.

    The loudness you hear in commercial songs is achieved with mastering.
  6. bouldersound

    bouldersound Real guitars are for old people. Well-Known Member

    Jan 23, 2010
    Boulder, Colorado
    I think you need to be more clear about the limiter settings and meter readings. The word "fader" tells nothing about the function of the control to those who don't know that particular plugin. What are all the controls on your limiter and where are they set?

    If you want louder mixes you need to lower the peaks so you can raise the average levels. A "mastering" limiter is the usual tool. Some limiters have two main controls, threshold and gain. You lower the threshold to reduce the peaks, then raise the gain by a similar amount to get the loudness. Other limiters have one main control that drives the signal into a fixed threshold. You just push the level to the desired loudness and the processor lowers the peaks appropriately.

    There is nothing technically wrong with doing the "mastering", including eq, right on the master bus as you are. Don't put anything on the master bus until late in the mixing process and you've checked your mixes on various systems and against other recordings you like. The other option is to bounce/render your mixes to a stereo file and apply the "mastering" at that stage, but you want to do it on high resolution files before bouncing/rendering to 16/44.1. The main disadvantage to "mastering" your own mixes is perspective. A dedicated mastering engineer will have a more objective view of your mixes and probably better processing and monitoring.
  7. ochaim

    ochaim Guest

    Just to make sure we're on the same page you have the eq before the limiter in the chain? if not that might explain why you're getting peaking at+3 on the master level.

    are you using anything to see what kind of RMS levels you're achieving with the mix/limiter settings? I wouldn't go higher than -12dB with RMS. You can run a commercially released song through an analyzer to see what its RMS level is like to get an idea.

    Limiters usually have a ceiling value which is the maximum level it'll output. This is often in the range of -0.1 to -0.3 as a guideline

    But I think the main problem is why you're getting +3 on the master meter. You shouldn't have lower the master fader from zero if the last plug in in the chain is a limiter with a ceiling of zero or less.
  8. Laurend

    Laurend Active Member

    Mar 23, 2010
    Home Page:
    Do you have the same problem when redering to wave or aiff? Most serious mp3 conversion requires to turn the level down of some dB to prevent clipping.
  9. horzman

    horzman Guest

    i didn't try it with other format, I only did it with MP3.... I ended up lowering the master level a little to keep it below 0.

    here is the mix, it's very frustrating that I cannot seem to get right, but I will keep testing and trying different ways.


    if you can listen to it and tell me if you can pin point what I am doing wrong, I would greatly appreciate it.
  10. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Guest

    Sep 26, 2005
    Okay. Here it goes. Beautiful pictures of babies don't require extensive drums. Heavy electric guitar fuzzing also isn't nice for babies. Your vocal, while rather bland and benign offers no real color or phrasing. And your high pass filter was not engaged which it should be. Plus you have no actual melody which helps to bring a song together. So steal someone else's melodic progression and modify it to suit your needs. Nothing wrong with stealing a little Brahms, Mozart, etc. Remember, if your vocals sound great on headphones, they probably don't sound great through speakers. So think of the lullaby song by Brahms. Soup it up a little and you'll have it.

    Otherwise good recording technique on your part. Know that loud drums for babies usually don't make them happy. A beautiful melody does.

    I've never have any babies
    Mx. Remy Ann David
  11. rfahey86

    rfahey86 Guest

    Sounds like everything is in each others way. For example if you have too much piling up in the 300hz range and nothing in the 1k range the peak on the master is going to be lower because the 300 hz range is hitting the limiter first and lowering the volume of the whole mix, so it is going to sound lower. If you import a commercial audio track into your DAW and look at it through an Analyzer you can see how uniform most commercial tracks are. You have to clear a path for everything in your mix. This will make your whole mix louder while staying at the same RMS levels that you are already at.
  12. horzman

    horzman Guest

    Remy, Thank you very much for your constructive criticism, in my original Mix the drum wasn't as loud, the E guitar was also much lower but when making it into a video, they get louder and they seem to ride over the vocals.
    To tell you the truth, I am not happy with this song, I know I can make it better, but i had to hear it through someone else's ears.
    I am probably going to keep away from it for a while, then start again with a fresh idea.

    Again, thank you very much.

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