Louder Please?

Discussion in 'Production' started by ManuForti, Apr 18, 2014.

  1. ManuForti

    ManuForti Detached Audio

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    Ok so ive seen various threads about this but still not come to a definite conclusion on what is acceptable/correct. i have been aiming for a volume of -10db since i first asked myself this question (after looking into it 3 years ago)... But after a friend was mixing some of my tracks he said he had to push gain right up on his dj software? and thus losing the sound i had produced in first place... further more to this i notice everyone elses songs are louder than mine anyway. so obviously im not doing it right. And jsut on a side note if there is any ableton users out there? why does sampler, simpler and drum rack default at -12db this just further adds to my confusion.

    Anyway my question would be what volume should i be aiming for? And is it genre specific? i do tend to work with a more down tempo sound than dnb these days so thats why i ask about genre.
     
  2. DYSRUPT

    DYSRUPT Active Member

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    -10 is ridiculous. I can see maybe -10 before master, but not finished. Finished should be limited at -0.02 or -0.03.

    All Ableton instruments and fx can be saved as a default. I did the same thing with the sampler, bring up the db to like -6, left click on the top of the instrument and "save as default".


    I hate to say it, but if you can't get a track loud after 3 years, maybe you need to research more. A lot more.
     
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  3. Yukon

    Yukon Yukon

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    You do know that 0db is the industry standard peak volume right? or?
     
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  4. tewky1

    tewky1 Well-Known Member

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    Easy boys, he is talking about RMS, obviously.

    A friend of mine sent me a track he had mastered and it was peaking around the 6-7db mark, although I would assume some released tracks are louder than this even.

    Have you got any limiting on the master? If your tracks are getting to 10db, you could compress and limit, and get it to -7db without too much degradation.
     
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  5. ManuForti

    ManuForti Detached Audio

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    Ok guys first off thanks for the advice.

    alright i can take that on board sounds right to me anyway my confusion is that if i load a boards of canada track into sound forge it tells me -8 this could be as said genre specific... due to lack of heavy kicks in ambient style music.

    lol you misunderstand i only asked myself the question 3 years ago and come to conclusion that -10 was acceptable at that time. ive been working full time since then and not been producing till January this year. i now have a job where i can work on music while being paid... security)) so after i asked friend to mix some tracks for me and he told me the problem i wasnt aware there was one until now. you see? but you do have a point im good at experimenting with my DAW but not so good at sitting learning it properly so ill do a little more research especially given that i didnt know i can default the sammpler at 0db lol... (still why have it at -12 absolute mystery to me) thanks again for the advice on that though.

    is it? For jump up dnb or minimal or dubstep... because i hear a difference in volume from say something from instr:mental as apposed to something from sub focus... i know your right though im just messing :D oh and i notice you said peak volume are you looking at a spectrum analyzer to find the peak... its just i use sound forge and it tells me average volume.

    Regardless sure ill take all this on board and aim for 0db

    thanks again

    - - - Updated - - -

    Thats what ive been doing past few weeks tewky and im hitting -7 -8 now on average volume in soundforge and yes i do think it refers to it as rms volume

    - - - Updated - - -

    Ok teawky ive just checked i meant -8 -7db in spectrum anylyzer on sound forge its way down and this is after setting sampler to 0db and tweaking from there.... see image

    [​IMG][/IMG]

    but if you listen to track it doesnt sound all that low



    se i got serious problems here lol
     
    Last edited: Apr 20, 2014
  6. Yukon

    Yukon Yukon

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    OH that makes so much more sense!

    I had a feeling you were talking about rms but then, when does anyone ever talk about volumes in rms? to my knowledge, barely but my apologies. And I never knew that about soundforge, which is interesting.

    In terms of master, 0db peak is industry standard but personally I make the final output level at -0.3dB just for that extra reassurance of it not clipping.

    Back to what you were really asking though. I try keep my RMS between -8 and -10dB but because of loudness war it's not surprising for tracks to be squashed to like -5 db RMS.
     
  7. ManuForti

    ManuForti Detached Audio

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    thing is you were right though yukon (twaeky also right i was thinking RMS in soundforge just not using it recently to master) i just hadnt tested this track in soundforge because i had been using spectrum analyzer and seeing where it was peaking and happy at -7... im unsure of RMS but i did learn 3 years ago -10 RMS was acceptable but i just assumed both were the same lol. ok so as you can see in image its only at -17db rms so what the actual fuck it sounds similar volume to other tracks i just dnt get what im doing wrong. this whole rms thing has got me real confused now. i think i need to look into this in great depth soon before i through something valuable at something hard lol.
     
    Last edited: Apr 20, 2014
  8. tewky1

    tewky1 Well-Known Member

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    Download FreeG by sonalkis. a great metering plug, stick it on the master channel in ableton. Gives you Peak levels, and RMS levels.

    As far as I was aware, Peak values are the highest values of the sound, the "peaks", and RMS is the average value of the sound. The Higher the RMS value the higher the perceived volume is. Someone please correct me if I am wrong here.

    Interesting discussion, one that never gets any real proper answers, we hear about the loudness wars, but what parameters outline the conditions, what is too loud? What is acceptable ranges of Dynamic range? If I am not mistaken, the Dynamic range is a function of the Peak and RMS value, the bigger the range the more dynamics you have in your music.

    In my own learning, I figured that getting my tracks to have about 10db between Peak and RMS, was a good thing to shoot for. You can then add some light compression, and some light limiting, and get your track to -6-7 DB without comprimising the sound too much with master processing.

    I think the trick to doing this somes from multiple avenues. First of sound design, you need to make good quality sounds, with intent and purpose of where it fits in the spectrum. Too Many things in one place can start eating up your head room pretty quick, and make a weak sounding mix. Arrangement is key, making sure your sounds dont clash, and can pop out the speakers, listen to every sound you add, in the mix, then listen without it, does it fit? Does something else mask it at all? Then you start on your mixing, can you do anything to rectify these clashes? Sidechaining? EQ? Compression? Panning?
    I found that when mixing my ultimate goal is clarity of all sounds, and by working on getting everything as strong as possible in its place, you start seeing improvements on getting the sound up to decent volume levels.
     
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  9. Mania

    Mania i fukin wot m8

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    Kinda, yeah. Actual loudness is determined more than just by average volume, like stereo spectrum fullness, freq spectrum fullness, and lots of other stuff.
    RMS is a decent gauge of loudness, but is definitely not to great at measuring perceived dynamic range.
    You can have a minimal and loudly mixed dnb track with a lot of of dynamic range, and compare it to a normal mixed ambient orchestral piece with less RMS, but also less dynamic range. Things like percussion and reverb can kind of blur the relevance of RMS when measuring dynamic range, so your better off getting a proper loudness meter (from toneboosters or melda) to actually measure it properly.

    Loudness is one of those super complicated things with heaps of variable, so you're better off just comparing to commercial tunes
     
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  10. ManuForti

    ManuForti Detached Audio

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    will check those plugins guys... and just aim for louder by learning to eq better and compress aswell as filling track out more that could be a big problem thats hindering me. really appreciate the feedback because its been annoying me this last fortnight. An yes an intresting topic indeed in my opinion because i never seem to get a definative answer... Ever but your replys all guide me in right direction.
     
  11. Serum

    Serum Well-Known Member

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    There are loads of ways to make a track loud. My rule is that as long as it sounds alright anything goes. There's no such thing as the correct level.

    If you send a track off for a vinyl master then the engineer might want the track to be at a lower volume but when you're making a track to play in a club then most are made as loud as they can get without it sounding like turd.
     
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  12. miszt

    miszt BASSFACE Royale

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    if he is having trouble pushing the gain, it probably means that your mixdown isnt quite balanced right, most mixing desks have more than enough power to deal with a track at -10db and put it out at a reasonable volume, but if the mixdown is wonky, it is difficult

    first revist your mixdown, get it more balanced, perhaps the sub is too loud? or the snare isnt sitting in the mix quite right?

    once you have that sorted you can use a gentle limiting amplifier to increase the volume (ie an L1 or L2 maximizer), but be gentle with it, you dont want much more than a flicker of compression going on, and be careful you dont get any distortion esp in the bass end
     
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  13. ManuForti

    ManuForti Detached Audio

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    sound advice form a top man much appreciated i might stop loading songs into random programs and making random decisions on on their statistics and leave that to my studio guy.


    funny that you mention distortion... right your gonna laugh here but i actually barely use an EQ dont ask me why but i like the ohmnicide disto plugin and i use that as an EQ. (tbh i get some interesting sounds this way) this could be a major cause of my issues huh.
     
  14. miszt

    miszt BASSFACE Royale

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    definitly, distortion is for texture, best not used for anything volume related imo - EQ is a fundamental part to a good mixdown, you dont need to do lots of it, just give each sound its own place in the spectrum, use gentle wide-band boosts and cuts so that sounds dont overlap one another to much and you are good to go, once you have that down, gentle compression, and then L2 limiter/maximizer will give you all the volume you want :)
     
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  15. ManuForti

    ManuForti Detached Audio

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    so where does that leave me with my favorite VST? still use it on high end stuff mabye and use an EQ aswell be ok?

    can anyone recommend a decent EQ im not keen on ableton one i dnt mind paying if itl help
     
  16. miszt

    miszt BASSFACE Royale

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    yeah exactly, my usual chain of FX goes something like this:

    Synth > Filter > Texture (chorus/phase/distortion/etc) > EQ > (gentle) Compression


    most distortion only needs to be on the top end of sounds, so if it has bandpass settings, get it around 5khz and you will get plenty of tasty distorted harmonics, without messing up the balance to much, if it doesnt have bandpass settings, then use EQ to make sure that the rest of the sound is well balanced especially around the Kick, Snare and low-mid region.

    and of course dont over do the distortion, the harder you push it, the more bad harmonics you get low down, I frequently only use 5-10% wet/dry, and a couple of db drive only, a little goes a long way, and most good distortion plugins will start working first on the top end, and only mess with the lower sounds as you drive it harder (not all of course, i dont know your particular plugin)
     
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2014
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  17. ManuForti

    ManuForti Detached Audio

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    nice one mate... i see what im doing wrong now im all about 100%wet disto wise. and layering them lowering volume on some changing disto on others i just realise how disorganised i work.
     
  18. Mania

    Mania i fukin wot m8

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    As long as it sounds good and doesnt kill the sound. Remember to continuously A/B to make sure its changing the sound in a good way.

    If you dont like EQ8, a good free one is Melda MEqualizer in their free FX bundle. Arent to many 5+ band free EQ's out there though.
     
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  19. miszt

    miszt BASSFACE Royale

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    if you like the heavily saturated sound, trying doing multiple layers of distortion, sandwiched between other effects like chorus and phase, FX chain might be something like...


    synth > filter > chorus > overdrive > phase > amp/tube > chorus > saturator > EQ > compress


    keep the wet/dry low and dont drive the distortions or other fx to hard, as the layers build, some filthy sounds will open up nicely for you - its worth doing a little bit of gentle EQ in between each distortion layer too, but dont over complicate things for yourself to quickly

    edit: hi-pass all the mid bass sounds @ 100hz, and run the sub as a clean sine wave on a separate channel, you can also bus/route the mid and sub layers together and gently compress after all the processing is done, then put your kick side chain in if you use one
     
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2014
  20. ManuForti

    ManuForti Detached Audio

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    A/B? like try with and without keep checking sorta thing? SOund ill check that EQ the now cheers...i see A/B on melda i got ya man cheers again


    ive got a shit load to work on like but i wanna get my ideas sounding a bit better and that helps Miszt but yeah i dnt wanna over complicate things for me it fucks up my workflow. and i have a mate who has a proper studio so im pretty lucky in that respect, but thats for my ambient hiphop stuff i need to learn this so i can send some drum and bass out when ive learned how to do it properly.
     
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2014