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pro tool- how can you make the overall track louder without-

Discussion in 'Recording' started by pkokkinakos123, May 22, 2009.

  1. clipping and making it sound terrible and muddy. if you want to hear what im talking about go to http://www.myspace.com/athiefinthenightfl
    i really need to figure out this problem cause im going to be recording and EP for my band and i dont want it be be very quite.
  2. hueseph

    hueseph Well-Known Member

    This has been covered many times.

    Louder mixes.

    The other perspective.

    Remember that louder isn't necessarily better. The thing you have to watch out for is a lot of tracks compounding frequencies, preventing you from raising the volume because they start to clip before you can get reasonable levels. This is a sure sign as well that your mix needs work. Once you've worked that out then you can reach for the limiter on the master bus if you absolutely MUST have it as loud as possible. Remember that louder isn't necessarily better.
  3. hueseph

    hueseph Well-Known Member

    Oh yeah. I took a listen. Work on that mix. It's very muddy. You'll never get beyond what you have until you clean it up. If you make it available for download somebody can do a better analysis. Right off the bat I can guess that there's issues around 400-800hz and 1-2kHz. Drums disappear in the mix and sound like you recorded them in a cardboard box.
  4. hueseph

    hueseph Well-Known Member

    Couple more links for ya.

    (Dead Link Removed)

  5. Cucco

    Cucco Distinguished Member

    I also gave it a listen.

    Let me guess - the guy doing the mixing/recording (you?) is the guitarist....
    The track is very guitar heavy - which is ironic since there's no lead guitar sound, just a couple rhythm guitar parts.

    Also, the drums are compressed so heavily (and...sorry...badly), that the cymbals attack is about 10dB quieter than it's sustain giving it a reverse reverb effect, but it sadly throws the rhythm WAY off.

    If your goal is to do all of the work yourself and make it as loud as possible, your best bet is to:

    1 - lower the levels on all of the channels so that your master bus peaks at about -6dBFS or so.
    2 - get rid of all of the excessive compression on each track. Sure, compress the drum bus a little (light to moderate ratios with quick attack and quick to moderate releases). Don't worry about compressing the guitars - they're pretty compressed by their (distorted) nature.
    3 - make the track sound good under THESE parameters (and don't worry about the amplitude/volume yet).

    Once all of the above has been accomplished, then (and only then), place a bus compressor on the master bus set for a moderate ratio (2:1) with a threshold that causes the gain reduction meter to dance on peaks. Use a short attack and a moderate release (if your bass disappears, alter the release time until it reappears).

    Now, bring the amplitude up with the make-up gain - only a coupld dB though.

    Now, here's the critical step - use a brickwall limiter and push the mix into it a little. Get the volume you want here.

    BEAR IN MIND THE FOLLOWING (caps for emphasis) -

    This will NOT give you the "polished" professional sound that most people refer to hear and apparently seek. However, this will get you miles further down the road than simply using compresison the wrong way.

    The key ingredient to this is to make sure your mix sounds GREAT when it's peaking at -6dBFS. Then, and only then, can you bring the levels up and get that bigger/louder sound.

    Of course, the best way to do all of that is to either:
    A - work your butt off for years and learn how to do this stuff one piece at a time.
    B - hire a professional who can do it for you today and you don't have to wait years...

  6. hueseph

    hueseph Well-Known Member

    Well there's some experienced advice. Are you taking notes? I am.
  7. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Well-Known Member

    It's not really distorted as much as it is stuck in the mud. You sound like a bunch of pigs rolling around in mud. You've played with too many equalizers, compressors/limiters STOP IT! Go ahead and remix this with no I repeat no equalization nor compression/limiting. Once you get an adequate mix that way, you can go ahead and start adding small amounts of equalization & compression to some instruments but not all. You need some life in your sound. It needs to have some punch and not the fruit flavored variety. Many of my best mixes are very little equalization and very selective minor compression and/or limiting. I don't care about "bleed", separation blah blah. That's all part of the sound and you want that. This ain't disco anymore. The musicianship is obviously there. It's well executed, well performed. So you should be able to recover from this "stuck in the mud sound" which just as you spinning your wheels. Remember, please remember, LESS IS MORE.

    I take a shower when I get muddy but not my music it's never muddy.
    Ms. Remy Ann David

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