Any Kit to sort out volume levels?

Discussion in 'DJ's, MC's & Turntablism' started by jimjimjim, Aug 8, 2014.

  1. jimjimjim

    jimjimjim oldskool

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    Hey there,
    i got a mixer hooked up to active speakers.
    I try an set each track to the same level on the mixer.
    but you get some tunes that sound quieter or louder even though they are hitting the same level on the mixer.

    So either it kills the mix or blows people ears - and kills the mix lol
    is there any kit i can buy to sort that out?
    i dunno like a compressor or something between the mixer n speakers. something to make sure the level never goes over a certain limit?

    p.s im not a pro dj who plays on a club system. more of a mobile back room of a pub shit dj with a pa system kinda thing
     
  2. johneysvk

    johneysvk tnuc

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    compare the tracks in headphones - use gain knobs
     
  3. RUSSLA

    RUSSLA DNBF Monarch

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    ^ This, or you can put any quieter tracks in any DAW, use a limiter to bring it up to 0dB and then they will be the same level as current masters.

    You are over complicating things massively by not looking at whats right infront of you, like the gain knob :p
     
  4. jimjimjim

    jimjimjim oldskool

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    yeah i hear you guys.
    i do that - but sometimes though its tricky. PA system blasting out loud right near me head. trying to match levels in headphones can be a bit hit n miss.
    so occasionally it goes wrong - normally with an older tune.
    Thought there might be something to help - nevermind. maybe just need better headphones.
    i feel a bit of a douche now lol
     
  5. RUSSLA

    RUSSLA DNBF Monarch

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    Hmm sound like you're making excuses dude, i've mixed in every single possible environment going and there is always a way to get your gains right. Level meters on the mixer is another reference whilst comparing in headphones.

    Personally tho you just need to sort all your old tunes to be louder, simplest solution.

    What mixer do you have btw?
     
  6. jimjimjim

    jimjimjim oldskool

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    got a behringer 404 mixer.

    think it must be the headphones - i have it at full volume (the headphones) and when the PA is running loud i can hardly hear whats going on in them over the top of the PA
    got some cheap sienheiser headphones - approx £30 value.
     
  7. RUSSLA

    RUSSLA DNBF Monarch

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    so you are using the main speakers as a monitor and for listening? Cos a PA for home is a bit OTT. Ive had the situation before where the the club is really small so the rig is right next to the booth and the monitors arent good enough; in that case you are pretty fucked. This is why you should just gain all your tracks the same.

    but yeh your headphones arent good enough for loud rigs, definitely.
     
  8. jimjimjim

    jimjimjim oldskool

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    lol no i dont have any probs at home - cos i just use hifi speakers
    but when playing out on my loud pa system. i dont have any "monitor speaker".
    and its not every tune - as i said mainly older ones - they hit the same level on the mixer but dont sound as loud. or they hit the same level but certain frequencies are way too loud
    nevermind - i thought there might be something i could use to set a max level out to the pa is all.
     
  9. RUSSLA

    RUSSLA DNBF Monarch

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    Oh ok i see, again tho, limiting those old tunes will deffo catch peaks and make them more uniform but if the tune is old and has bits that are louder and quieter, then thats the way it should sound.
     
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  10. miszt

    miszt BASSFACE Royale

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    this is the one of the draw backs of modern loudness levels, but rather than trying to mess about with limiters and compressors, just be more pickey with your selection of lead in/out tracks, so that they fit better. mastering is a skill that takes years to develop properly, slapping a limiter or compressor onto a track, without really understanding what you are doing, is almost certainly going to make it sound worse, even if the apparent loudness is closer to tracks that have been mastered louder (as you have alredy noticed, the peak volume level isn't what makes a track seem louder)
     
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  11. sam the dnb man

    sam the dnb man Variation

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    Bare in mind that the tune that is already playing through the system will sound slightly louder in headphones.
    Learn your tunes. There are a few tunes I have that I know need eqing and gain adjustment before I even put the needle onto the vinyl.

    Ram tunes are the main culprit.
    Tunes on Ingredients usually need a little boost as well. That isn't a bad thing though.
     
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  12. Shatner's Bosom

    Shatner's Bosom murder TANMUSHIMUSHI

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    Setting the gain properly is the hardest thing about DJing imo, it does my head in
     
  13. tewky1

    tewky1 Well-Known Member

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    Are you using software? Or just full analog? Virtual DJ does a very good job of auto gaining tunes, to at least give you a better starting point. the older the tune, the higher the gain usually needs to be. Older tunes would seem to run at the same levels, but will need boosting a few db's at least to sound the same.
     
  14. jimjimjim

    jimjimjim oldskool

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    nah m8 just using cdj's.
    will just have to practice moar - though its only really noticeable when blasting out on a 2k PA.
    which to be honest i dont practice on cos i got neighbours lol
     
  15. lug00ber

    lug00ber Active Member

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    I do it like this (with vinyl, but principle should be the same):
    When I put on a new record i put the needle down to somewhere in the middle (a busy section, when the track runs at full volume) and let it play
    I then adjust the gain so that the level meters are the same as the track playing, which usually means the gain is roughly right.
    Then I mix what's playing and the cue 50/50 in the headphones and fine tune the gain until I can't really pick one tune out from the other.
    After that I try to match the treble about right and maybe the mids (although that doesnt always work in headphones). If you switch the balance back and forth between the master and cue mix a couple of times it's easier to hear the difference, because you hear how it's changing).
    This is typically done in a few seconds (as with beatmatching, the more you practise the faster it gets).

    Then I cue up the track and do beatmatching, and when I'm ready to start mixing in the new tune I usually ditch the headphones and listen to the PA while mixing in. I typically mix the tune in with the bass eq at zero (meaning it's cut on any decent mixer), and the mids and treble slightly down. Bring the new tune up, and then start exchanging eqs (turning the treble up on one track while turning the other down). While doing this I usually hear what I need to do to keep the sound pressure at roughly the same level as it was.
    If you mix older and newer tunes (I do) you sometimes need to be quite drastic with the tops and mids to get things sounding about equal.

    And as already stated: know your tunes through practicing at home.
    Recording your practice mixes is a big help here, because then you can listen back later while not stressing on doing the actual mix. I try to record whenever I'm mixing at home, and listen to the mixes while commuting and at work.

    Try out for yourself and see what works for you :)
     
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  16. DEF:STAR

    DEF:STAR Member

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    In instances like these is it safer to trust the level meters/master more than your ears? I run into the same problem and it always wants me to start cranking tunes up as I mix.

    I had read somehwere that MP3GAIN would analyze tracks and set them all to a certain level, essentially what the auto gain does in VDJ and Serato. Have a look: mp3gain.sourceforge.net/
     
  17. Commander

    Commander Well-Known Member

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    I've never really had an issue but then i know my tunes and use the level meters and my headphones as back up. Could just be your mixer mate, the Xone level meters are super accurate imo