Software Mixing

Discussion in 'Mixing & Song Critique' started by lytener, Apr 3, 2005.

  1. lytener

    lytener Guest

    Hello all,

    I'm a beginner at recording in general. I'm doing it as a hobbyist. I've been learning a lot about sound in general working PA's at church, but this particular problem I think it's how I'm using the software. I use Sonar 4 with an M-Audio Firewire Solo w/ a Audio Buddy Mic Pre. Works very well for me as I am learning.

    This is probably a stupid problem but here it goes:
    I put down a few tracks and I try to record as closest to 0 level as possible (that's what your supposed to do right?). I export on either the "entire mix" or under the "what you hear" settings. When I go to playback on Winamp the "bars" look low. I'm not sure what those bars really monitor. Can anyone give me some idea? I look on WMP and it looks fine... sort of.

    I guess my question could be what would SOP (Standard Operating Procedure) be for recording on Sonar be? I've read-the-freaking-manual, but I am skeptical of my abilities being a newbie. I don't know if I'm doing things "right." What should I be doing?

    I should probably state what I'm recording exactly. Typicall it's:
    Lead Vocal
    Backup vocal
    Acoustic Guitar
    Electric guitar (crunch, overdrive rhythm)
    Electric guitar (lead)
    Piano (or low organy, violin, cello ambient type of sound)

    No drums...yet. I have to find someone to play or learn =[.


  2. eBrown100

    eBrown100 Guest

    Hi Lytener. I'm new to recording just as you are so I don't know exactly how to solve your problem. But some of things that I think about when trying to help you with this problem:

    1. Maximize your stereo mixdown before you bounce or export.
    2. You may be able to maximize while exporting depending on if your exporting from Sonar as a wave or if you are using an independent MP3 encoder of some type. FruityLoops' MP3 encoder allows this.
    3. Your volume settings may need adjusting, either on WinAmp or on your computer.
    4. Try auditioning the file in other programs like, Windows Media Player, or Nero Media Player. This will help you isolate the problem so that you will know that the problem is in Sonar.
    5. Before bounce or export in Sonar, solo all the tracks that will get bounced/exported and listen to see if you can detect something.

    I hope this helps out.
  3. Opus2000

    Opus2000 Well-Known Member

    Apr 7, 2001

    I'll start off by talking about recording levels. Back in the days of 16 bit converters you indeed had to record the signal as hot as possible in order to truly take advantage of the full resolution of the converter chips. Nowadays with 24 bit converters this isn't the case. Sure, you want a "hot" signal but it doesn't need to be as close to 0dbFS( NOT 0dBU) as possible.

    Mixing...every one has their own way of going at a mix. Some start with drums and bass then move on to vocals then go to the rest of the instruments. Some start with the vocals and meld the music around the vocals. Me, I start with the beat/drums then bass, then the instruments and put the vocals.

    As far as the output levels, this is quite normal as the output isn't mastered like commercially made CD's. All songs are mixed then sent to a mastering facility in which the song goes through a series of signal processing/dynamic processing etc etc etc to get that in your face levels.

    You could add a limiter/compressor on the master fader to boost the output levels but becareful of how you use it.

    Hope that helps some

    Opus :cool:
  4. lytener

    lytener Guest

    Thank you

    Thank you, all. You guys are great!


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