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mixing/mastering question bossbr1600 etc



ok, i have a "FEW" newbie questions.... i have a boss br1600. I am about to start mixing my new batch of songs. The process goes: record the tune-adjust your levels- bounce the song down to 2 tracks(stereo).
The next step in the boss process is to bounce your final mix into the mastering tool kit so you can adjust your overall volume. I am choosing to turn the mastering tool kit off so that I can have it professionally mastered. Now as for my final unmastered tracks......
The screen has 2 level meters- You control the volume for the bounced tracks as well as the overall master volume for the bounced tracks..

0 (being the loudest)





Should i keep both volume levels at about the same number(a little below the 12 area?) or should the bounced tracks be a little higher than the master volume(or vice versa)?
Last time around i kept both levels the same, turned on the mastering tool kit and cranked up the levels to a little over 4. Mastering became a joke because my levels were so high. It sounded like over processed crap.
At the same time I'm afraid I might now be keeping my final levels too low. I can barely hear it when i pop a burned CD into my headphones. It sounds rather flat as well. Is this something i should be concerned about?
I think I'm just paranoid because I was so used to keeping the mastering tool kit on. It gave the songs some volume and punch. When i turn it off they just sound dull and low.
Should i even be worried? Will mastering bring this thing to life? Should i go easy on the EQing and let the mastering process do it job? Should i be compressing my vocal and guitar tracks or again, will mastering smooth everything out??? Damn I'm confused....i hope this makes sense

Michael Fossenkemper

Distinguished past mastering moderator
Well-Known Member
Sep 12, 2002
NYC New York
I'm not familiar with the boss mastering thing, but I would make it sound good with or without it. don't worry about level, the mastering guy will do that. just make it sound great. If you have to turn you volume knob all the way up, that's ok if you if like the way it sounds. don't mistake level for good.