questions on volume, mastering, things sitting in the mix

Discussion in 'Production' started by Groovestick, Mar 30, 2011.

  1. Groovestick

    Groovestick Member

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    so i'm interested these days in getting better at producing a good final mix and the whole mastering process of songs.

    i've found the main difference between my tracks and pro produced tracks from noisia, rockwell, spor etc is that their mixes are, obviously, way huger. also, what dictates how loud a song will be once it's mixed down?

    when we produce tracks (friend and i) we limit almost every track so that they don't peak over 0db. i understand the general way to do it is to have different levels for different elements of your song? eg. kick doesn't peak above -15db for example or whatever.

    what's the deal with this and your end volume? i guess it doesn't really matter, just that your master shouldn't be over about -2db or something.

    let's take another example. say you have a part in your song in the drop where your drums cut out for 1-2 beats to showcase a huge reese. nevermind what the reese actually sounds like but how do you really bring it out and make it sound huge? obviously the actual sound is a big part but i'm talking more about compression and stuff.

    and finally, how do you get subbass lines to sit properly in a tune? obviously you can make them play the same stuff as your midrange reese sounds but if you just want a night fat smooth subbass to glue everything together, how do you do that?
     
  2. dexter

    dexter Member

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    ummmmm...

    someone im sure can get more indepth but ill be brief and say check out your spectrum analyzer, watch a pro track through it and note down some levels, ie the bass and kick, where shits sitting, and general slope it all has, youll find there are certain guidelines dnb tracks tend to follow, that can help a lot.

    you can get shit pretty damn loud through simple mix down techniques without the use of effects on the master.
     
  3. Groovestick

    Groovestick Member

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    i'm not talking about putting effects on the master.

    i'm wondering why say, 2 songs that are both 320kbs, 44khz quality mp3s, and are of similar quality, say 2 noisia neurofunk tunes or whatever could have very noticeable different volume levels?
     
  4. richie_stix

    richie_stix gomby plz

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    you gotta imagine digital sound as a box (the 3 dimensions being loudness, frequency and strereo)... a good mix down means you can cram 'more sound' into this box, thus the tune sounds louder, whilst still being at the same negative decibels as a quieter, less well produced tune.

    wheni first started getting decentish at producing, i was all 'waa waa, whys my mixes so quiet!?'... now they are much louder. Am i doing anything majic to achieve this? nah, my skills at mixdowns and the like have gotten better!

    ps. limiter on every track, are you mad! what a waste of CPU! your tracks shouldnt be clipping, so shouldnt need a limiter (y)
     
  5. BLoodstaiN`

    BLoodstaiN` Member

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    these days i'm using pretty compressed samples, so i don't even compress them anymore, just equalize, and my drums are at 0db
    My synths are at -4 to -6 db
    and my sub is around -8db, found that a pretty good mixdown, even though my synths are sometimes too loud, i compress them a bit more :)
     
  6. richie_stix

    richie_stix gomby plz

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    also should point out that when sending a tune for mastering... most studios like about -6 to -12dB headroom. So long as you tracks are not clipping, its simply a case of turning the master down or all of the tracks to the desired level (y)

    however, its better working practise to have the loudest element hitting around the -6dB mark...
     
  7. InvadersOfNine

    InvadersOfNine Member

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    You can't really say that your kick and bass ect will sit at -7db as it will vary with what sounds you are using just make sure your master is not going above -6db before sending it to get mastered
     
  8. richie_stix

    richie_stix gomby plz

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    well, you can... look at the peak of the channel and then set the gain accordingly (y)
     
  9. Subsequent

    Subsequent New Member

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    It might seem annoying as a producer struggling to get the best sound, but a lot of this is down to COMPOSITION, not any kinda of production tricks as such. Some people have it, some people don't, some people will find their way to having it with practice, there is no easy answer!

    What may be a good way of hearing how it ends up sounding mastered would be to take the offer of "first track free" that some online mastering houses do, I often find with my clients a few things need moving about a bit, and we both learn and get better from the experience :)