Leaving Some "Breathing Room"?

Discussion in 'Production' started by Mason John, May 21, 2013.

  1. Mason John

    Mason John 21st Junta

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    I'm currently working on a track right now and just more recently ran into a thread here about someone talking about improving their mixing skills. One of the posters there (can't recall their name, sorry) was mentioning about leaving some breathing room on their racks for their instruments when making their master cut, and so forth (?)....

    Just curious, but when you're building your instruments and stacking them and your effects on the racks, do you leave the master out gain below 0 (to, say, -3dB), or do you lower the gain for each instrument below to that point? Is this supposed to be done during just the mastering phase?

    To give some insight on how I do things, I've not done any compressing yet and don't have any compressors/limiters on my racks. I've only started equalizing some sounds. B/c my system isn't exactly a beast, I'm forced to do a lot of mixdowns and cutting w/ custom-made samples I record in other sessions, so I tend to do equalizing in "steps" (after figuring out just about where I want the instrument to sit at on the frequency range, padding room aside) i.e do a loop, mix it down, import it, cut it, throw some effects on it, equalize, and repeat (maybe). I'm not bothering with compressing and limiting until most of the track is set in place. I always keep the volume on each instrument on their racks @ 0dB, in case you're wondering.

    But back to my original question....given the way I have to do things, when I do have to push for the final equalizing and compressing/balancing etc., with my final samples all set, do I set their rack gains individually to around -3dB or so, or do I just do that for the master rack and leave the instrument racks at 0dB?
     
  2. SuBKA

    SuBKA Member

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    It kind of depends of the DNB style you're doing. I set my Instruments to a lower level but make them louder in the mastering process.
    If you do Liquid or Chillout DNB, you should have more dynamic range, while as a Jump Up DNB producer like me (well im still a n00b but I know some theoretical stuff) I only put some dynamics into the parts before the drop and leave some room to make the boom effect in the drop better, where I try to max the volume.
    Depends on what you do. I hope I didn't answer something you didn't ask for. :D
     
    Last edited: May 21, 2013
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  3. EvezDroppin

    EvezDroppin how to change name,......

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    not sure on numbers, but i turned audio lane and instruments volume down a fair bit to leave room for transient shapers etc so im not driving the channels.

    I usually set out my drums first, get the hits sounding nice with compression if needed and transient shapers. then bring up the levels on the channels so theyre pushed but knowhere near clipping, then when i put everything in ontop its all at abut the right level.

    I think I've read you should have your kick hitting about -12db? could be wrong though
     
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  4. ScourgeAtl

    ScourgeAtl New Member

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    your master output should peak at -3db with no mastering effects on it. i usually set my kick/snare channels to -10 and mix around that
     
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  5. Mason John

    Mason John 21st Junta

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    Re: Leaving Some "Breathing Room"?

    Thnx SuBKA; the main part of the track is turning out to have a liquid dnb/atmo jungle kind of vibe, but the intro is more atmo-jungle (haven't gotten to the drum lines yet). Guess I'll try little adjustments depending on where the track needs to go.

    Wouldn't worry much about answering unasked questions; I'd end up asking it eventually!

    - - - Updated - - -

    On that...I'm trying to tighten my bass line up right now. The filters are on low hZ (btwn 100-300hz depending on the oscillator), but on the rack the dB is kinda high and sometimes (for one hit) pushes into the red. But I'm liking the feel it gives right now. Is there a way to keep it deep (or get it deeper) but where it's not so loud, or is it supposed to be that way?

    - - - Updated - - -

    Thnx man; so I'm gonna have to listen to the pre-master cut and make sure no parts of the track go over -3dB. Can do.
     
  6. SuBKA

    SuBKA Member

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    Just keep the intro quieter than the liquid part, it should work well.

    You could try limiting/compressing it softly so it gets a bit quieter but doesn't lose the effect you want, I hope that works.
     
  7. subprime

    subprime Dysjoint

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    Re: Leaving Some "Breathing Room"?

    Is there any resonance on the filter? That would cause some notes to spike a bit. Also, if you have Voxengo Span, put that on the master channel, click the 'metering' button and set it to K-14. Start with your kick and have it peaking at zero (in Span) then bring everything else up. It will sound really quiet but you will have plenty of headroom and loudness can be added later.
     
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  8. Mason John

    Mason John 21st Junta

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    @subprime: Yep, I got the q factor raised on at least two of those filters. I guess I'll lower it a bit on them and see how that pans out. I don't have that program tho; is it free (or if not, how much does it cost)?
     
  9. Sulihin

    Sulihin Active Member

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    It's free. http://www.voxengo.com/product/span/
     
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  10. Mason John

    Mason John 21st Junta

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    Thnx man; bookmarkin' that for l8r.