NOT LOUD ENOUGH DAMNIT

Discussion in 'Mastering' started by cyberspoon, Jan 3, 2006.

  1. cyberspoon

    cyberspoon Guest

    im using logic pro 7.1 and i have recently recorded some songs using a grand piano with various mics ect- i have mixed it all but when compared to a track from a 'normal' cd- the level in my songs are way below that of the others- BUT in logic when i was bouncing the song i bounced it at as higher level i could with out it peaking, so how do i do this- its so annoying!!
     
  2. audiowkstation

    audiowkstation Active Member

    What are you considering to be a "normal CD"?

    My feeling is that you are comparing to a CD that is way too loud to begin with. It is a piano..not a 90 piece orchestra or 4 double stack Marshalls.

    A piano Forte is a dynamic percussive instrument

    You should compare to other piano recordings NOT a "normal" (normalized, squashed and butchered) CD.

    Do you want all of the notes of your piano to be exactly the same volume..ppp to fff? Then if so..it WILL BE LOUD.

    Send it to me. I will do 3 masterings. One "just right" One compressed more for volume and one "where you are looking for it to be". Compare the sound quality and then tell me which one you want your customers to enjoy.

    Their is this thing called a VoLuMe CoNtRoL on playback systems.

    Would it not be far easier to just turn it up instead of ruining the piano sound to sound like a childs toy?
     
  3. Cucco

    Cucco Distinguished Member

    compression/limiting.

    This is the biggest complaint or concern I get. 80% or more of my mastering clients who did their own recording complain that their DAW shows clipping or high levels, but it sounds quiet on their CD player.

    When viewing the music in a DAW (or listening to it for that matter) it becomes apparent that, what they were hearing/seeing in their DAW was the occassional peak reaching up high (clip level or darned close) and the program material itself just isn't that high.

    This is real simple.

    1- Hire a mastering engineer. We're cheaper than you think and it's worth it.

    OR

    2 - Us a quality compressor or limiter. (Both will work - both will get you similar but different results.)

    For a limiter - find the average peak level of the regular program material (not the peaked out parts) and set your threshold there. Then increase the makeup gain until you are satisfied with the output volume. Or, if you wanna slam it, push the threshold lower and the gain higher.

    For a compressor - rather than settings and numbers, I use my eyes and ears.

    Put your ratio at something higher than 2:1 (this is just to start, you may/probably will change this soon). Then move your threshold until you start to see the gain reduction meters dance with the peaks - ONLY the peaks. Now, adjust the threshold until you are satisfied with the sound. As for attack and release - well, you're on your own there. Are the peaks HF? Then you need a faster attack and a moderately quick release. Are the peaks LF? Well, now you could use a lower attack and definitely a slower release.

    Or, there's always option 3:
    Hire a mastering engineer - we're cheaper than you think and we're worth it.

    (y) J

    PS - there are different grades of Mastering Engineers. Select carefully. My advice is, I am the lowest caliber mastering engineer you SHOULD go with. There are certainly better ME's with better gear! Just because a guy says he can master, doesn't mean he can. The ingredients that make a good mastering engineer are:

    1. Good ears. Not just to listen to the music, but to you too. When I advertise for mastering, I tout my classical music training. This was my biggest help. Critical listening is a MUST

    2. Good decision making skills. Simply making tracks polished ain't all there is. Laying out tracks logically and spacing them correctly is sometimes just as difficult and often more difficult than getting the polish!

    3. Good equipment. Mastering gear ain't cheap. That being said, I'm willing to bet that some of the big-boys on this board could easily come in and make a great master with my meager equipment. However, an un-seasoned, un-trained "mastering engineer" couldn't make Dave Matthews sound good with a Weiss EQ and a GML compressor/limiter!
     
  4. Jeremy

    Jeremy Active Member

    Or maybe its just me, but if you duplicate the track, or tracks you might get what you want, just dont do this till, it gets muddy.
     
  5. Michael Fossenkemper

    Michael Fossenkemper Distinguished past mastering moderator Well-Known Member

    by duplicating the tracks, all you are doing is raising the volume. You could just raise the fader to achieve the same result.
     

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