Levels when finishing DJ Set in Ableton

Discussion in 'Production' started by ChekOneTwo, Jun 22, 2011.

  1. ChekOneTwo

    ChekOneTwo Member

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    Hey everyone,

    Just want a bit of advice. I'm currently finishing off my first Ableton Mix, coming to the final stages but noticed something funny. If you have a look at the following png:

    Mixing Levels.png

    The levels are on the right hand side obviously, I've got my two tracks playing with each other, nicely leveled and clipping just into the orange but on the master below its pushing it over and well into the red.

    Now this sounds fine in the ears but I'm concerned when listening on other sources. Obviously it will only take a bit of tweaking if necessary but I'd rather get it right first time round.

    1stly: Why does two levels clipping nicely combined push Ableton into the red?

    2ndly: The compressor isn't on (ignore the pic) but if I compress the master track it takes a -15db threshold to push it back down into the green/orange....

    Any help welcomed.

    Thanks
     
  2. StrifeII

    StrifeII Member

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    because that's how mixing works, to be blunt. The more sound there is, the higher their collective volume will be - if you have two sources that both have data at 5khz (which is entirely likely,) it will push that volume higher, so you need to knock them down. Getting it to sit perfectly just below 0db on the master channel shouldn't be your concern when balancing your separate sources - getting the levels balanced against each other and well below the 0db peak is. Don't let them clip when you mix - work in the minus db's at all times.
     
  3. miszt

    miszt BASSFACE Royale

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    dont automate channel volume, its a royal pain in the arse, but as you have done it already, put a Utility plugin on the master, and reduce the gain, then you can use a gentle limiter to bring it back up without clipping

    use the Utility plugins if you want to automate volume on a channel, and set your channel volumes to about -6 and leave it there, so that you dont get any clipping on the master
     
  4. ChekOneTwo

    ChekOneTwo Member

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    Thanks guys, the automation of the channel volume I found actually really easy, I used it like I'd use my channel fader on my mixer, why would you advise against it? And how would using the utility plugin and automating that make any difference?

    Ok so I'm cool with putting a limiter on the master to bring the mix down, can you explain how you would set up a limiter to bring the mix back up?!

    Thanks

    ---------- Post added at 07:36 ---------- Previous post was at 07:08 ----------

    Also, slightly confused, I thought a limiter was used for limiting the volume going over a certain level, not to "bring it back up" like you said?!

    I'm Confused?!?!?!
     
  5. StrifeII

    StrifeII Member

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    channel volume is generally quite dodgy because you can't set the volume levels of the tracks manually using the sliders - once it's automated, it's there. using a plugin (most compressors with no compression settings on will have an "output" knob you can automate) will mean that you can still set the overall level and automate the volume at the same time.

    as for a limiter, you can again use the input and output gain to maximize/normalize the volume of your mix, once you've done it manually as best as you can. slight limiting will mean that you'll also get a louder pumping effect - It'll crush the highest points of the waveform - don't use it to bring volume down, because you'll just over-limit everything, and they should be used sparingly. Just use the input gain until the compression of the limiter is working, then use the output gain to set it close to 0db.

    [​IMG]

    notice how in the output section, out is set to 0db - the volume that you want - and input gain is set to +8.6db, meaning that the limiter is working.
     
  6. miszt

    miszt BASSFACE Royale

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    if you automate the channel volume, and then discover that your Master output is clipping, you cant simply turn down the channels, without fuking up your automation, thats why i dont automate the channel volume, and keep the channel volumes at a level where it will never clip on the master

    the reason i suggest reducing the volume with Utility and then increasing it slightly with the Limiter, is that you will avoid clipping and help smooth out transitions between tracks, obviously you do not want to do allot of limiting on mastered tracks, however its advisable imo to have a limiter on your master output when you are djing/performing with live
     
  7. ChekOneTwo

    ChekOneTwo Member

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    SO a limiter is actually very similar if not the same as a compressor? I'm slightly confused on the difference.

    The settings above Strife would be suitable for a mix of previously mastered tracks I'm assuming? quick attack, middle release, ratio of about 3:1?

    Ok se heres a question, on that limiter, the output is set to 0DB, that would tell me that the max output would be 0DB, how comes the output is clipping up to what looks like +2DB?

    This really is starting to get noob question-esq but is something I've not been clear on for a while now. I was always taught to have the volume of a track whatever it may be sitting nicely below 0DB but clipping into the orang/red...is this not the case with Electronic Music Production?

    ---------- Post added at 14:18 ---------- Previous post was at 12:57 ----------

    Is there a limiter in Ableton already? I type these messages from my desk at work so I'm not able to go and check unfortunately.

    Also I've review my mix on a few sources now and whilst on the master in ableton when 2 tracks are playing alongside they are in the red on the master, in the ears it sounds ok. I like to trust my ears so why does it need tweaking further. Why should it not be in the red on the master if it sounds ok....? I need to justify the re-edit if you catch my drift...?