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Thread Loudness from workflow

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1 Loudness from workflow
Hi everyone, I've been producing remixes for some time, but I'm a complete amateur in reality. Mostly I'm happy with my productions but I always seem to lack the loudness. Others seem to acheive beautiful clarity and peak volumes. Or perhaps it's in my head... either way, I think my issues are in work flow...

In a nutshell:
1) mix the track together with a little compression and EQ
2) bounce the each track to wav
3) limit the track on the master bus
4) heavier multi band compression on the master bus

My setup I consider to be poor, completely software driven with no dedicated sound card or hardware.

Please share your workflows, tricks and tips. Any defo wins/fails
Here is a my remix for reference if you need it
https://soundcloud.com/finishingmove-1/adam-lambert-another-lonely-night-finishingmove-remix
Thanks
2
Mix tracks together and glue them with a bit compression in one or several busses.
Mix to stereo with a compressor on the main bus. The limiter will be added as last effect module...

Do not place the limiter before master compression.

Do not push it to hard. Be shure to keep a few dB for mastering your tracks. ( -2 or -3 dB).

Render it to stereo...

In the mastering stage you can add some eq or light compression as stereo or as m/s.

With m/s in mastering you can control width by eq highs in S , solid mono by adding bass in M and make your final product and control it with 2 compressors.

With mastering in stereo you add eq to both tracks ( left / right) and use a stereo compressor for your final product

Remember that both methods have there pros and cons....

And if you need to add more then 3 dB eq while mastering you need to go back and mix your music again.

Note: keep in mind that there are more then one method. There are no rules only guidlines...

Oh a try to keep your compressors transparent. Watch out for extreme pumping

- Angelie

It's not about what you got to use ....    but how you use what you got...

[ Post last edited on 12/01/2015 at 09:39:03 ]

3
Angelie,

Thanks for all your guidance, really helpful.
Going on what you said I have some obvious issues before getting to the loudness. When I render it out before mastering stage, my mix equates to about -30db average volume. I think this happened as I added many volume maximise plugins on my master bus while mixing then, then switched them off to render out.

Once I have that sorted I while attempt the 2 mastering techniques.

Onwards and upwards! Thanks again
4
Quote from Finishing:
Going on what you said I have some obvious issues before getting to the loudness. When I render it out before mastering stage, my mix equates to about -30db average volume. I think this happened as I added many volume maximise plugins on my master bus while mixing then, then switched them off to render out.


I think that right there is your biggest issue while mixing.

By adding volume maximizers or limiters on your main bus while mixing, you're misrepresenting the mix from the get-go, and as one of the main objectives of a mix is getting good balance between the instruments, making sure each track has it's own place in the mix, this is a pretty big deal.

In fact, the only reason that I personally would add a limiter or maximizer on the main buss (and, as Angelie said, as the last effect on the main buss), is for some shortcut faux-mastering so that when I listen on my phone or in my car, the levels won't seem outrageously quiet compared to professionally mastered commercial music.

So I would not even touch the main buss with a limiter, especially while mixing. If you absolutely must have loudness and won't get your mix mastered, then add a limiter on the main buss after all mixing is done.

Also remember that, while mixing, gain staging is an important piece of the puzzle. Don't just look at your DAWs meter. In fact, these usually just show peak volumes, which don't have nearly as much an effect on perceived loudness as the average volume of your tracks. Personally, I like to use the Klanghelm VUMT. It's cheap, easy to use, includes a trim function, and shows average volumes.

I would recommend that the peak volume of your entire mix be no higher than -6dB, and if possible, keep it closer to -12dB or even lower. And while using a meter that shows average levels, make sure all of your tracks are at reasonable levels and above all don't clip (obviously).

Keep in mind, I'm by no means an expert mixing engineer. I've had similar issues as you when I first started with Garageband about 10 years ago. But keeping in mind the above information, as well as (ideally) getting a fully-functional DAW and dedicated sound card/audio interface (you can get Reaper for 60 bucks, and find a 2i2 for around a hundred bucks brand new, for example) will go a long way in improving the quality of your mixes.

But one thing's for sure, do NOT use a maximizer on your main buss while mixing :-D

[ Post last edited on 12/02/2015 at 05:22:40 ]

5
Yeah for calimoose

Better mix right then " kill " it with effects :-D

It's not about what you got to use ....    but how you use what you got...

6
Quote:
Better mix right then " kill " it with effects

Amen to that. :bravo:
7
Quote:
But one thing's for sure, do NOT use a maximizer on your main buss while mixing :-D


Great, I'm beginning to understand.
So my first task is to head back to mixing stage, drop all these plugins and get it balanced with peak volumes no more than -12db.
Then I will read up on the gain staging stuff you provided and attempt that process.

I have to say the free information on this forum is great, thank you for all the expertise and guidance. You guys are very kind to take time and explain to amateur like my self.

Oh and one other thing, If any of you guys listened to my track, I apologise for the genre, it's just the stuff I enjoy creating.
8
Don't worry...
We are here for both beginners and professionals with any type of music ;)

- Angelie

It's not about what you got to use ....    but how you use what you got...

9
Quote from Finishing:
Quote:
But one thing's for sure, do NOT use a maximizer on your main buss while mixing :-D


Great, I'm beginning to understand.
So my first task is to head back to mixing stage, drop all these plugins and get it balanced with peak volumes no more than -12db.
Then I will read up on the gain staging stuff you provided and attempt that process.


I would look at gain staging before anything else. It'll help make sure your tracks are all recorded at the optimal level. Also, the -12db is more for the mix as a whole. If some individual tracks i.e. lead parts peak at more than -12db, that's totally fine, as long as they don't clip!

Quote from Finishing:
I have to say the free information on this forum is great, thank you for all the expertise and guidance. You guys are very kind to take time and explain to amateur like my self.


Dude, it's our pleasure! I still have SO much to learn, myself. If people snapped at beginners for asking beginner questions, then no one would ever learn anything!

Quote from Finishing:
Oh and one other thing, If any of you guys listened to my track, I apologise for the genre, it's just the stuff I enjoy creating.


NEVER apologize for your music! Make what you like, and just focus on making it sound as balanced and clean as possible.

Quote from angelie:
Don't worry...
We are here for both beginners and professionals with any type of music ;)

- Angelie


Exactly!
10
Quote from CaliMoose:
Quote from Finishing:
Going on what you said I have some obvious issues before getting to the loudness. When I render it out before mastering stage, my mix equates to about -30db average volume. I think this happened as I added many volume maximise plugins on my master bus while mixing then, then switched them off to render out.


I think that right there is your biggest issue while mixing.

By adding volume maximizers or limiters on your main bus while mixing, you're misrepresenting the mix from the get-go, and as one of the main objectives of a mix is getting good balance between the instruments, making sure each track has it's own place in the mix, this is a pretty big deal.


Yeah, I would be very careful about adding a limiter (or even a compressor on the master channel. You can destroy your mix, and based on what I've heard that seems to be what's going on. the dynamics of the song are being squashed. I always try to fix issues within the mix before I even think about doing anything to the master channel.

Check out my blog at musicrecordingcenter.com.