Finished levels

Posted on

Member Since: Aug 31, 2011

New to recording and what I am finding is that when I export a copy of my recording, WAV or MP3, it is not near the levels of the other songs in my iTunes.
Looking at the Master levels, they are not maxing out; but are pushed to just below the red levels.

Is this something that usually comes in the mastering part or is there something i'm missing?

[ Back to Top ]

MASSIVE Mastering, LLC
Since: Aug 05, 2008

Sep 02, 2011 10:26 am

It's something that generally happens during the mastering process, yes. But if you're looking to simply make the mixes louder, you can slap a limiter on them and call it a day.

How it handles the abuse is another story.

And keep in mind that the levels on most tunes these days is completely and utterly out of line on what the circuitry is designed to support -- YOUR mixes are probably much closer to "normal levels" than theirs are...

Not like that makes things better. But something to keep in mind.
Since: Nov 27, 2007

Sep 04, 2011 02:50 am

What you can try is, open a new project and import your finished song to a stereo track.
the track that has your song on it you can try inserting a compressor and get some control of the peaks and spikes in the songs audio.

Once you get your waveform a bit more uniformed in volume (less volume spiking/peaks) you can then bring the level of the song up without having to worry as much about it peaking at low levels.

For example, lets say your songs volume level as a whole, is roughly -16 or -17dB but its has audio spikes and peaks throughout the song, and theyre hitting say -11 or -12dB,
sure you still have some room to turn things up, but your peaks are gonna hit the red way before the meat of the song does.
Tis why you then have to have your song at a low level.

If you do turn the song up, it will be fine until it hits one of those peaks and then bam! yucky sound, digital distortion, audio peak.

so now back to the compessor on your song track.

The idea is to compress those peaks as close to the rest of the song as you can without making it too obvious.

so once youve compressed your peaks down to say -16dB or at a reasonable level in relation to the rest of your song, then you can turn the level up again, and keep going up until youre happy.

obviously you'll get to a point where it will peak again, but it'll be alot louder now.

Then if youre still not happy, you can throw a limiter on the stereo master and and get some more vol that way, but again, and like the compressor, you need to be careful to tweak your settings properly or it'll sound crushed, or pumpy, or it'll fluctuate, these are some of the things you'll experience if you dont have your "attack" and or "Threshold" and "Release" times reasonable.

The limiter essentially you set so the vol of the song wont go over the level you set it at.
for example, you might set the output of the limter @ -2 or -3dB.
when, for example some of those peaks you couldnt quite iron out enough with the compressor hit the set level of the limiter,the limiter will brickwall it, by that i mean, just wont allow the vol of that peak go over your setting, which means
1. no peak,
and 2. you can squeeze the song vol up some more knowing that it'll be safe. but too much vol, and you'll hear it hittng the wall and it''ll sound like shizzbert.

If you need a quick few tips on how to go about it let me know, will see if i can explain it more for ya.

mostly tho reading tutorials is the way to learn. Learn what each component on the compressor and limiter does, and then shoot for what your after.
compressing a whole song that has firey peaks and spikes can be touchy. Really the idea is, is to tame those peaks and spikes before you do the final mixdown.
That means guitars drums vox bass whatever. get them under control separately first, in the mix so you dont have to compress too much on your final product.
Things will be alot smoother that way, and really, compressing a final mix FME, you can only really expect to squash it so much, then it becomes noticable.

This is how ive been doing things, whether its all technically correct or not tho im not 100% End of the day if it sounds ok then youre heading in the righty.

Related Forum Topics:

If you would like to participate in the forum discussions, feel free to register for your free membership.