Mixing to loud.

Discussion in 'Production' started by IV4, Aug 12, 2013.

  1. IV4

    IV4 Currently a newt.

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    Hello,

    Many time while giving feedback on this forum I suggest people try mixing at lower volumes because their is a lot of clipping going on that creates un-wanted and unpleasant distortion. Usually but not alway they reply back with answers of just trying to keep i loud as the professionally mastered track. Here is a article that can apply to daw user and demonstrates why mixing at lower volumes will not only sound better but eventually lead to a louder better mastering.
    http://www.propellerheads.se/substa...ndex.cfm?article=part3&fuseaction=get_article
     
    tewky1 and Dugg Funnie like this.
  2. Dugg Funnie

    Dugg Funnie Well-Known Member

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    Definitely a high-quality tip! I remember when one of my buddies first showed me some of his mixing that he did quiet and it sounded so ballin'! Here was his method with Live 9 specifically:

    Add a Utility plug-in to the end of all of your channel strips and set them to -25dB; then just turn up your monitor output until you can hear it just well enough to mix. You can get it loud enough to hear the details, and still have endless headroom to fux about with.
     
  3. tewky1

    tewky1 Well-Known Member

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    Cool Article.

    I know I deffo get better results when I mix to lower levels. I usually start off with my drums, that I have gruoped up and mixed already as a loop. Usually I get that hitting at -15db, Add the bass, then looking to have the track around -12db with those elements in, then I try and sit the rest of the stuff on top and aim for around -10db for the full tune. I use Sonalkis FreeG meters on my master channel when mixing down and reference it a lot when adding elements, as well as using my ears, but I mix on shitty equipment, so the meters really help.
    I have found the best thing for me getting to a balanced mix that I can make loud, as well as mixing into a low level, is to abuse the hell out of Reverb/Delay Sends to space out your mix. Since I started to utilize this more, I have been able to mix my stuff and get it much louder without sacrificing by having to compress/limit the shit out of it.
    After that if I want to master it myself I do very little. I add a compressor, with 1.2:1 ratio, and compress it lightly with a bit of attack, try and take of 3db. I usually add an exciter as well, to give the top end a bit more sparkle, then I just stick on a limiter, and have it so its just taking the very tops off, about 1-3 db. Been able to get to about -7db RMS for most of my tunes using these methods. What levels are Pro Tacks hitting in at?

    Leads me to a question. What is acceptable levels for say your peaks and your RMS. Seems to me the key is to get those values to be not too far away from each, but still far away enough to have some dynamics in your piece. So what would be the "acceptable" ranges you should look to be aiming for? What would be too small a difference? What would be too large of a difference between the Peak and RMS levels?

    When I am mixing down, I have been looking at having the peaks around -10db and then the RMS sits in a range between -17 and -23 db, does this sound ok?

    - - - Updated - - -

    All of this is with a view of not destroying the integrity of my sound as well. I use very minimal compression and stuff, just upto -3db reduction if used at all(in relation to mixing)

    - - - Updated - - -

    Also Hi Pass/Low Pass EVERYTHING. I isolate what I want coming through and fliter out the rest of the spectrum range, doesnt need to be there, get rid, it clears more room for sure and gets louder without sacrifice!
     
  4. subprime

    subprime Dysjoint

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    -7db rms is pretty loud. Getting up to -6/-5 gets fatiguing imo. In Voxengo Span you can select the K-14 setting, and then it recalibrates so that a peak hitting 0 on the meter is actually 14 db below that. Quite handy. Also, Chuck some mastered tracks in your daw and look at the meter.
     
  5. Binary_UK

    Binary_UK Binary.

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    definitely better to mix at low volumes, amazing what your ears can pick up.
     
  6. Dark Lizardro

    Dark Lizardro The Lizard that has a hammer Staff Member

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    I produce with FL Studio, and tend to leave the master volume at -6db. This works well for my music.
     
  7. sam the dnb man

    sam the dnb man Variation

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    I mix at around -6. The thing is, my speakers are quiet so I have turn it up every now and then. I leave a gain plug on the master that has around 4 dB of gain and leave it bypassed most of the time.