Volume of parts between songs vary greatly. I need more consistency.

Discussion in 'Microphones (live or studio)' started by LChalupa, Jan 22, 2010.

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  1. LChalupa

    LChalupa Guest

    I"m a musician so please bear with me. Our band records midi and/or audio files that musicians subsequently perform with in live performances. For example, we don't have a clarinet player or a keyboard player. I write our songs using Sibelius and then make audio files of each part we are missing. When the band does a live performance, we play with these recorded audio files.

    It works fine except for one problem. The volume of any one of the instruments varies too much from song to song. For example, on song 1, the clarinet is the right balance with the other instruments. One song 2, The clarinet als has the right balance with the instruments on song 2 however, the clarinet part on song 2 is not much louder than it was on song 1 creating problems in the live performance.

    How can I get a more uniform volume level for each instrument from one song to the next (without manually adjusting the part on a mixer board)? I'd like to be able to make this adjustment using objective data and not rely on my own hearing. And if I could make the adjustment using a batch processing scheme that would be great.

    Any ideas?

    Thanks in Advance.

  2. nortstudio

    nortstudio Active Member

    Aug 16, 2009
    brooklyn, NY
    Home Page:
    You could analyze the tracks (say, all the clarinet tracks) using RMS - and check out what the measurement for "perceived loudness" is. That way you would have some type of measurement.

    Regardless, you will need to mix each song's pre-recorded tracks together for each song, because obviously the level of one instrument may seem loud/soft depending on what else is playing in that given song. If another instrument is not taking up part of the clarinet's frequency range, the clarinet may seem loud. In the next song, if there are several instruments all playing within a close frequency range, the clarinet may not pop out of the song as much.

    Unfortunately, there is no substitute for your ears - and more specifically, in a live situation, your ears should be listening from a distance, so you see what the PA is doing to the sound. For example, I have done numerous tours with a band including keyboards. The level from patch to patch can be incredibly varied. But when I stood right next to the key player - the level coming out of his amp was balanced from patch to patch. The differences were more in the house PA than on stage - and we had to adjust them for the audience, less for his stage volume.
  3. LChalupa

    LChalupa Guest

    Good points. You have given me some ideas to think about. I can certainly relate to your point about the PA System's effect.


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    The New AT5047 Premier Studio Microphone Purity Transformed

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