Skip to main content

more volume??

Member for

21 years
Hey guys,

I'm just after some tips on how to increase the volume of my mixes. I own a tascam 8 track digital MTR. When micing up my acoustic and vocals i get a lot of hiss from my mic. In order to get rid of this his i have to turn my input level down a bit...when i do this then master it to a stero track its not all that loud. I have played around with my noise gate a bit and this works not too bad but to get rid of all of the hiss it cuts out alot of the quieter sounds coming from my acoustic... my question is this... i also have cubase LE... Is it back to import the finished mix and amplify or normalise the wave until just before clipping? when i acutally see my waves visually in cubase they are ever so small, about 1/4 the size they should be.. any ideas guys?



Member for

21 years

Member Wed, 07/30/2008 - 07:04
Sounds like you need to get Bent.....

....To explain Gain Structure.

Also there is a Sticky around here which says do not ask "how do I make my mixes louder?" which you seem to have done.

This may piss off the natives.

With proper gain structure you shouldn't need to do what you're asking in the last question.

Member for

14 years 5 months

Link555 Wed, 07/30/2008 - 09:07
Hi, Lite. Sounds like your pre-amp may be poorly grounded or shielded. Unfortunately if you turn the initial volume down you’re only masking the hiss. If you then were to normalize the files in cubase you would surely hear the hiss again. The hiss is still there (same proportion) you just turned the overall volume down to mask it.

If you can’t fix your pre-amp, mic, mic cable, or buy new , then you may to try a denoiser plug in. However this will affect your upper frequencies. It is a last resort to save the audio. Best thing you can do is fix your signal chain.

Just a brief review of gain structure. You want the initial gain stage to be as large as possible. This is related to the concept of signal to noise ratio. You want more signal, less noise.

For a simplistic approach, imagine the overall noise of your initial amplifier is relatively consistent (this is not completely accurate, as noise level change with temperature, microphone impedance etc etc).

For a loose example say the noise of the microphone is 500nVrms, and the output signal of the microphone is 0.8Vrms.

In this case the Signal to noise ratio would be:

SNR(dB) = 20log(base 10) ((0.8m)/(500n)) = 124dB

This is noise is pretty small, for this example you can ignore it.

Now when this signal exits the pre-amp, lets say the noise of the pre-amp is 20mVrms, the pre-amp gain is set to one, and the mic signal is about 0.8Vrms

In this case, ignoring a bunch of other possible noise, the Signal to noise ratio would be:

SNR(dB) = 20log(base 10) ((0.8 *1)/(20m)) = 32dB

Now if we turn the gain up to say a gain of 5 we get:

SNR(dB) = 20log(base 10) ((0.8 *5)/(20m)) = 46dB

Now if we turn the gain up to say a gain of 10 we get:

SNR(dB) = 20log(base 10) ((0.8 *10)/(20m)) = 52dB

There are two points:
1) The more initial gain the better the signal to noise ratio.
2) Each additional stages you add to your signal chain, the more noise you add.

If your initial signal is big enough then this additional noise will still seem small in comparison.

However if you have to turn down you initial gain, you a bigger issue with either the noise level of you microphone or your preamp.

Anyway I hope this helps.

Member for

13 years 9 months

Codemonkey Wed, 07/30/2008 - 09:56
Another option is an expander. Search for the "AutoGate" plugin which I think is from Slim Slow Slider (it's a free VST plugin and should work with Cubase).

Basically, you can set the threshold to where the noise level is, and then put the expanstion ratio to as much as you can before the signal clips.

As it's a noise gate as well, it'll cut out the noise when there is no signal.

Member for

21 years

Member Wed, 07/30/2008 - 17:11
Thanks for all the info guys? To answer your question greener i don't have much of a signal chain at all. Just getting starting so pretty much my mic (rode m3 condensor) is plugged straight into my Phantom power on my MTR (Tascam DP-02). I'm hoping to get a nice preamp some time in the future when my finances permit it but for now im just trying to get the best results possible with the gear i have. Thanks heaps guys for the input.