levels with master or channels?

Discussion in 'Production' started by Fratanize, Jul 8, 2009.

  1. Fratanize

    Fratanize Keepin the jungle alive

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    When eqing. Does anyone keep the master fader at top volume and eq the levels down with the individual channels? Or do you bring the master volume down to stop the levels peaking? This is for fl studio. What is your eq habits, tips and must dos. At the moment, my tracks seem to end up with the master level nearly halfway down. I do tend to send a channel to another when i want to boost the volume. Is this a no no? Should i make the track to the volume of the loudest element?
    cheers peeps
     
  2. subprime

    subprime Dysjoint

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    Not FL, but in general I have the master at -3 or -6db. Then first track I level is my kick so it's as loud as possible without clipping (I do sometimes send this to another channel for a boost). Then I level everything else from that by ear except for sub which I look at the freq analyser for help.
    It's working so far, be interested to hear what other people do tho.
     
  3. T Leaf

    T Leaf Neighbourhood Sickhead

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    i generally EQ everything as i go. i'll start by eqing the drums (kicks, snares, rides, hats, shuffles, crash, chinas, bells breaks etc) mainly to sit in with each other, i then place other intruments around it. i'll keep the master at 0db but take into account all the clipping with a waves req and just use the level slider as i think it is more accurate than just sliding the FL master's gain. i feel spectroman is good as you can see what frequencies are clipping. you also get the choice of pulling them back, or pushing less prominent sounds forward
     
  4. kama

    kama benkama.net

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    Why not try turning everything else down instead of having to boost something by routing it through 2 channels? That way you master level would be under control too.
     
  5. sam the dnb man

    sam the dnb man Variation

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    I turn down each individual channel so that they peak at about -3 it depends though really, I dont really touch the master volume but I adjust everything else so that it peaks at around -3 or-6 but I havent finished anything in a while so i havent really got to the stage of sorting volumes and eqs out because I havent got any monitors atm
     
  6. Fratanize

    Fratanize Keepin the jungle alive

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    I have thought this, the overall result is a very quiet mix. Is this where mastering comes in? Send my tune off to have the levels brought up to full volume? I hope so because this will make eqing so much easier if i'm not chasing volume.
    cheers everyone.
     
  7. kama

    kama benkama.net

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    basically, yes. But mastering isn't meant to do huge changes to the overall tone or loudness, it's not meant to be a fix for problems in mixdown.

    This all boils down to getting your whole mixdown right. I'd suggest while creating the tune and it's sounds, simply ignore the master level, just keep it from distorting (going to red). If you have to turn it down a few dB then go ahead (despite what I said earlier), you're not going to destroy the track by doing so. At worst you'll reduce your dynamic range by a bit or two but there aren't many people who can hear the difference.

    Then when you consider the track otherwise finished, it has the structure you want it to have and the sounds fit together nicely, let it sit there for a few days or even weeks. Then when you open it up again you'll hear things that you might have ignored earlier or spot weaknesses in the mix. This time, focus only on getting the levels right, adjusting EQs, redefine compressing levels etc. Now you could also focus more on getting the master peak within -3dB.

    Practicing some home mastering isn't that bad either if you want to play it out in a club or whatever but don't want to shell out 30£ for getting it mastered. If you're not sure what you're doing, there's nothing bad in using presets for master bus compressors, limiters etc. It's a great way of learning what you're really after.
     
  8. Everyone has different methods of doing this.
    One of my best friends masters and cuts all mine, Andy's, Hype's, Friction's, Break's dubs... And the list goes further than that.

    Every tune that gets cut has an element of inaudible or Audible distortion. It's his job to master a tune to icrease or reduce the overall volume depending on how the tune is submitted to him.

    Your channels should be your main control point for your volume levels of your tune. The master can be pushed up at the end by adding a limiter.

    Alternatively you could add a limiter to every track channel simular to how BREAK writes his tunes.

    Personally I'd keep my channel levels at 0 and boost the master once all the other elements are sitting nicely in the mix. Alot of producers do this
    like Culture Shock, Subfocus etc... This makes the overall result better to cut.

    On the flip side - Distorted minds push most of their levels in the red which defines their sound but can sometimes be almost impossible to cut as the top end stuff is so pushed the it makes the cutting amps cut out on the lathe - hence why it's advisible to keep levels at 0 if you can.

    The mastering engineer can turn down you tune also if needed. It works both ways.





    On the
     
  9. Fratanize

    Fratanize Keepin the jungle alive

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    cheers fellas. excellent advice as always.
    mucho respectos
     
  10. RevTech

    RevTech Butthole=output transduce

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    I keep the master a bit down from the norm and I EQ to cut out things mostly. I search for resonant peaks that I like, and boost a bit and peaks I dont like and cut them, all with a short bandwidth. I try not to make everything clip so minimal limiters are needed.
     
  11. Ketz

    Ketz Thinkin outside the box..

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    when dealing with levels always remember that u don't need to push em THAT hard right from the start, you can always turn them up later anyhow, the key really is to get a well balanced mix so that when it comes to mastering u don't have too much work on ur hands going back and adjusting things, so i would recomend u pay attention to individual channel levels so ur master isn't being pushed too much in the red.

    with eq cut everything that you don't need (for example unnecessary low end in everything from kicks n snares to synths etc) and boost the frequencies u want to bring out, just use ur ears really :D
     
  12. GiDriK

    GiDriK Lost in jungle

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    actually i too thought bout puting a limiter on each channel but it will make my pc explode from a 110% load.
     
  13. DJ Wizz

    DJ Wizz Bless, Union, Force FM

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    yer when i start makign a tune i turn all the channel faders down about half way or so and then try and get the master to be loud but not peaking in the mix. i then add a limiter to my master channel. similarly i only add compression at certain stages ass i dont like to overdoo it with compression.

    i have a limiter on my master, a brick wall compressor on my drum bus, and a side chain compressor on my sub routed to the kick... i hardly ever use compression on my leads and samples unless its specifically called for...

    recently ive been making some dubstep which is releaving to mix when u have so much space in the tune... compared to dnb which u have no space at all! lol
     
  14. Fratanize

    Fratanize Keepin the jungle alive

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    nice one guys. I used to put a soft clipper on most channels. It just used to make everything sound dull.
     
  15. kama

    kama benkama.net

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    soft clipping everything eats out the transient peaks from drums pretty effectively, making them sound soft. but as subsonic said that might work to some end if you're after that kind of really squashed sound.

    I've gotten a whole new kick of finishing older, forgotten projects by bouncing the FL mixer tracks into Reaper and "remixing" them. Gives a whole new dimension to audio editing. It goes a little further than setting the levels right, but it comes out as a work phase similar to mixing.
     
  16. Fratanize

    Fratanize Keepin the jungle alive

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    gonna try something similar with bouncing fl files to ableton.
    WHen bouncing files to wav in fl, what settings do you use? interpolating, quality, bit rate etc? Do you lose any of the quality in the equing? or do you get an exact copy of what you had?
     
  17. subprime

    subprime Dysjoint

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    I'm not that familiar with Reaper, just wondering what the advantage is in doing this.
    Is Reaper really that much better for mixing?
    Or is it just a way to get a fresh perepective?
     
  18. Fratanize

    Fratanize Keepin the jungle alive

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  19. kama

    kama benkama.net

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    Just a fresh perspective, since I've stopped working on those particular projects ages ago. I'll hear something that I hadn't even noticed before, and stop weaknesses in a new way.

    And it's not better in mixing, only the audio editing is miles ahead.
     
  20. kama

    kama benkama.net

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    I export 32 bit, (I would do 24bit but there's no option for that in FL, pretty stupid IMO :confused:),maximum sampler interpolation , sampling rate normal 44100, dither.

    EQing doesnt affect "quality" in any way but excessive cutting or boosting will affect the phase of the sound. This can be avoided by only cutting/boosting as much as needed. For example, nowadays I rarely do any highpassing or lowpassing as processing (apart from filtering FX), just low shelf or high shelf as much as needed. To be sure I go maybe 1-2dB beyond that since my monitoring is not that good.

    tbh it doesnt matter if it's an exact copy of what you had, since you're going to mix it again anyway. You can even try to export without EQ's and compressors active to really mix it proper. Takes a good bit of work tho...