Drum Mixing/Mastering:

Discussion in 'Mixing & Song Critique' started by Sable, Jan 15, 2010.

  1. Sable

    Sable Guest

    I'm using Garageband v 5.1, with Addictive Drums for drums; here's the process I got through with the drums:

    Create an Addictive Drums software track [MIDI], program the track, and then export MIDI track to iTunes to create an audio file.

    Import the created audio file, mix said audio file.

    Once I've mixed this audio file and exported the audio track to iTunes, the volume is wrong: with normalization [Garageband auto-normalizes it], it's too quiet; without normalization, the volume is fine, but it's "crunchy", and the quality is horrible. Here's how I mix the audio drums file: divide cymbal, snare, and kick audio files into separate tracks, adjust the EQ of each track [kicks and snares give the most trouble], limit each track, etc. I've tried compressing and not compressing, limiting and not limiting, equalizing and not equalizing; I've tried every combination of mixing techniques I can think of, and I'm really out of ideas. I've read online articles, and tried to apply what I've understood [I'm sure I've missed some technical stuff], but nothing has worked. The worst part is, I can record and mix the songs within the DAW; there's no quality loss prior to exporting the audio. I can hear the finished song, but I can never finish the song. If anyone has any advice, I'd really appreciate it, because this inability to record anything will eventually kill my desire to have anything to do with music.
  2. Jeemy

    Jeemy Well-Known Member

    Sep 19, 2003
    Erm.... Dirty White Boy - Foreigner tells you exactly how on page 10, to get the drums from Addictive to Garageband. Bear in mind I don't use either piece of software you mention, I'm just trying to help.

    Does this not work?

    Why are you using iTunes for anything?

    Assuming all things work the same as other software, you eventually need to ensure that your maximum peaks do not exceed 0dB on the scale, so there is no digital clipping, which is the horrible crunchy noise you are hearing. It physically cannot get louder than this - the perceived loudness could be increased by compression, but you say you've tried that.

    I haven't bothered listening to this for you but here is a tutorial on exporting audio from Garageband. http://www.ehow.com/video_2375362_export-files-garageband-tutorial.html

    Basically it sounds like either the normalization you have is funky, or there is a peak somewhere in your music which is much louder than everything else. The normalisation process would set this peak, to say, -3dB or whatever, and if the remainder of your material is incredibly quiet compared to whatever this peak is, that is the reason for your perceived low volume. Compressing so there is, say, instead of 30dB between our lowest and highest peak, only 6dB, would then 'squash' the track so the normalization brings its range up from -30 to -24, to -9 to -3.

    But it sounds like you understand all this. Some more information might help. Like what the meters say in terms of peak level before and after these processes, and what you are actually doing in terms of keypresses or workflow.
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