Loudness War

Quotec

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#1
Sup?

I remember myself when I wasn´t producing dnb and was just a casual dnb-head I could listen to all kind of shiet which had uber horrible quality, it was just all about the vibe and idea, if I liked it I would be happy to listen to it. Now after quite a time of producing I have understood the aspects of track´s quality and if the track is not boasting of good quality I would rather not listen to it. It seems that quality is more important than track itself, lol. More and more pros are getting really clean and loud vibes and so it got me wondering, does a track sound bad to you if it´s not essentially loud? I always try to push my track for maximum loudness but typically I run into 2 errors when doing that: 1)track sounds loud, but there´s some distortion that I can´t take away 2)track sounds quite clean, but can´t make it louder.

Want to hear your opinions on loudness war and overall quality struggles, especially thoughts from pros on this forum are very welcome.

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Also it seems that in dnb the loudness war is the most apparent.
 

Trpt

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#2
I think production standards are at a point where most people become so focused on the technical aspects that they forget they're trying to make music.

IMO loudness as a goal is a distraction from what actually matters. For most of us it should be all about getting proper, breathing dynamics rather than smashing something that already lacks them in the first place.

This is just me ranting and I'm sure someone will post some actual insight but I felt it had to be said.

Quotec, as a tip based on what I'm hearing in your signature track.. Your mix is clear, all of the elements are audible, good job on that. Now try riding faders in real time and get things moving in and out, reacting off of each other. There's not a whole lot of frequency masking going on but that doesn't mean every part is getting the attention it deserves.

Thinking in that way will have your tracks sounding much louder just because of an interesting, evolving contrast between the elements.
 

Verva

Verva Music
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#4
recently my tracks have been getting lower volumes but getting overall better, being variation, quality of sound and more clarity. I enjoy these tracks more than the ones that were louder.
 

Mania

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#5
Clipping, saturation, EQ, bus/multiband compression... blah blah, will get you loudness, just know what you're doing. And if you're getting distortion you're doing things way wrong.
 

D-Jhepz

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#7
i make the tune… then i hate to admit it but i have a subtle compressor, then a mad mutlipressor with bare emphasis on the low end (I push the gain up bare) then just put a limiter…

they say just use your ears and tbh i dnt think it klls the dynamics and shit but it does wonders to make your track stand out
 

Mania

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#8
For me, Teddy Killerz and maybe Hamilton put out the loudest tracks around. Ive been looking into teddy killerz drums which i have a maximizer than gives me a verrrry similar sound, im pretty sure they use a lot pf pre-processing and buss limiting/mb compression. Hamilton on the other hand.... as much dynamics as any other track yet always sounds 2 db louder.
 
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#9
I think a good mix can make your track louder..
for example... same track, the first with a bad mix and the other with a great mix...

after the same maximizer in the master..
1) -4db rms with distortion
2) -4db rms without distortion

that's the difference for me
 

lostnthesound

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#10
I prefer to mix at stupidly low levels (~ -12db) with the headphones extra loud to compensate for the low mix volume. I find that when I slap PSP VintageWarmer2 on the master for testing, I get a nice "loud" and dynamically wide mix where every part is hitting hard sans distortion or mud. There's no bigger turn-off, IMO, then hearing the first kick of a DnB or Dubstep drop sound like shit due to overprocessing/aggressive "loudness."
 

Quotec

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#11
I have rather different problems, my mix can sound decent on low levels, but it´s always clipping on high volumes. Yesterday I messed around and came up with a new WIP that sounds ridiculously loud(I think I don´t want it so loud lol) but there´s some distortion present. I think partly it´s because the mixdown is very unpolished yet, but most probably it´s just not knowing how to limit. I am still convinced clean and balanced mix > loudness. Because you can always turn up the volume.
 
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#12
I always opt for higher quality, lower volume mixes. I feel like there's a sweet spot where the two can coexist though. Anytime I hear an obsessively loud track I get put off, especially when the mix clearly suffers as a result.
 
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#14
Clipping, saturation, EQ, bus/multiband compression... blah blah, will get you loudness, just know what you're doing. And if you're getting distortion you're doing things way wrong.
this is a bit contradictory dude

clipping(depending on where in the chain you mean) and saturation are methods of distortion..
 

Mania

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#15
this is a bit contradictory dude

clipping(depending on where in the chain you mean) and saturation are methods of distortion..
true, clipping is a type of saturation, but distiguishable. Saturation involves any kind of waveshaping, clipping is specifically chopping off the top. When it comes to the relative plugins, they each have different uses.
 
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