Monitoring and checking levels on master output and individual channels

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#1
Hi all,

I use FL Studio 10. During the mixdown phase, I look at a graphic equaliser (EQUO) on the master channel to monitor the overall level of everything going in, as well on each individual channel. I always try to make sure that nothing peaks too much above the middle part so as not to make anything too loud in the mix. When I first started out, I didn't really do this and let things peak a little more and my tracks sounded a little more punchy.

Now that I monitor things a little more (second to my ears of course) and I'm trying to get everything levelled out, it doesn't sound quite as bright as before. I guess what I'm asking is that is this a case of trying too hard? Am I monitoring the levels too much? I got into the habit of this originally from checking the sub-bass level wasn't too high at first. For example, sometimes the snare is peaking a little more at 160Hz above other channels, but it still doesn't sound bad too my ears.

Sorry if this sounds like waffle but hopefully someone can make sense of it!!

Cheers,

M
 
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D-Jhepz

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#2
its sounds like you are just trying to hard and look more at tech that instinct and ears... alot of what adds to the over sound is the slight overlaps and such if your taking these out then you gonna be left with a weak sound tune
 

Mania

i fukin wot m8
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#3
Also the setup of your speakers and studio could significantly influence the frequency response of you ears, so when you aim at getting a flat output, it's less punchy, but when you used to not check the spectrum, the transient sounds peaked higher and made it sound punchier, which is what you should probably aim for.
 

Mr Fletch

aka KRONIX
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#4
Generally you want your kick drum to peak at around -3db, and everything else slightly under that, you need to gauge an idea between using both spectral analysers and your own ears. You can bring the punchiness of everything up afterwards by using parallel compression.
 

Nucleoid

Nucleoid Drum & Bass
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#7
If you want to send it to a mastering engineer to be mastered, they prefer it if your mix peaks at (around) -6dB
A trick I learned from my friends @ Ordure is to produce your entire tune with a limiter in the master-track which has an input of +6dB.
After you finish, you just disable it, automatically making your tune peak at -6dB and so, being ready for mastering.
 

lostnthesound

Burns Easily in the Sun
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#8
If you want to send it to a mastering engineer to be mastered, they prefer it if your mix peaks at (around) -6dB
A trick I learned from my friends @ Ordure is to produce your entire tune with a limiter in the master-track which has an input of +6dB.
After you finish, you just disable it, automatically making your tune peak at -6dB and so, being ready for mastering.
Now that's a very interesting idea...definitely going to try it out. Cheers!
 

sam the dnb man

Variation
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#9
I don't think its good to mix into a limter though. Unless its fully transparent. Even then it may make it difficult to create a dynamic mix as it will sound squashed all the time
 

h3x0r1t1k

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#11
1.If it doesnt sound bad dont touch it :)

2.You can add a limiter on the kick/snare and the things you want to punch.But dont make them squares!Just lightly boost them to make them stand out.Also saturation and transient shaper.Also dont compress them too hard or you will loose them.

3.Try to mix every sound as you add it.See what generally you set your sounds at(I set my kicks/snares at -10 db bass -13/-14 db hats -16/-18 etc).If you get your song to -6 db before the mixdown and most of the stuff is already somewhat mixed everything will sound clean and kinda punchy.Also you will have alot of headroom for adjustments.

4.You can use sidechain to further make something stand out.
 
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