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maharzan
To all pros,

I am trying some home recording and I have tried my best to mix the song. While I have recorded all the audio within the 0db level, all the combination is throwing some really high RED zone (over 0db) in the master track. How do we go about solving this? I don't seem to get the clipping sound but I better keep it below 0. I have tried to go through each track and automate the volume (lower) on that particular area but its becoming tedious. Plus, the whole song sounds so low in volume now.

Any help is greatly appreciated. I will also post the song and perhaps get some feedback about the mixing once this is fixed.

Thanks,
Chandra
PosterBoy
Not sure this helps at this moment, but in digital recording the rule seems to be to keep around -12Dbs. This allows headroom for compression and other effects and mastering.
Darius Wave
Remember that most of the recordings You know are mastered - compressed with multiband compressors, boosted by limiters, maximizers etc. Your low mixing volume is nothing bad and unusual. It's better to keep the mix absolutely safe from clips and then just make some simple mastering to add some compression / volume. This way You will "save the sound". Also - You don't have to keep that close to 0dB while recording each track. If You're recording in 24 bits it might be easy create clips even with lower max input level. If my single track recording level is close to 0 dB I usually go for even - 10 to -14 dB down on each track, before starting to mix.
maharzan
Thanks guys. Darius, Indeed, all my instruments are about -10db.. Vocals is at 0db. Vocals is little low even now. smile.gif I will try lowering further and see if it helps. The clips are happening mostly after using Compression and Other effects (Delay/reverb/EQ).

What does Limiter do? Does it bypass certain volume/frequencies?
Todd Simpson
I can't believe TONY MIRO has not seen/responded to this one as it's right up his alley! You may want to PM him. But here's a quick and dirty fix list smile.gif

1.)Do what lots of folks do and put a limiter/compressor on the master bus. Done. smile.gif

2.)Bus the drums, guitars, vocals to their own invidual bus and pull them down as a group till you get under the red line.

3.)Put a compressor on the most transient tracks.

There are many ways to skin this cat, but those are some easy starters smile.gif

Todd








QUOTE (maharzan @ Jun 18 2013, 08:37 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
To all pros,

I am trying some home recording and I have tried my best to mix the song. While I have recorded all the audio within the 0db level, all the combination is throwing some really high RED zone (over 0db) in the master track. How do we go about solving this? I don't seem to get the clipping sound but I better keep it below 0. I have tried to go through each track and automate the volume (lower) on that particular area but its becoming tedious. Plus, the whole song sounds so low in volume now.

Any help is greatly appreciated. I will also post the song and perhaps get some feedback about the mixing once this is fixed.

Thanks,
Chandra



Just saw this after my post smile.gif Yup, a LIMITER does what it says and LIMITS the amount of sound coming through. It just sets a cap and nothing goes above it in general terms.

It doesn't kill certain frequencies really, just sets a max level for your mix. So putting it on your master 2 bus will prevent over modulation of the signal smile.gif

QUOTE (maharzan @ Jun 18 2013, 12:25 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Thanks guys. Darius, Indeed, all my instruments are about -10db.. Vocals is at 0db. Vocals is little low even now. smile.gif I will try lowering further and see if it helps. The clips are happening mostly after using Compression and Other effects (Delay/reverb/EQ).

What does Limiter do? Does it bypass certain volume/frequencies?

maharzan
Thanks Todd. I have done those already. Thanks to all YouTube videos I have watched till date. All guitars, lead, clean, vocals, drums have their own aux tracks so I can control the finetuned (automated) volume from their respective tracks. All the effects are in place except for the master track limiter/compressor you are suggesting. I will try that today. I was just worried how low the mix volume has been and was worried how do we pull them up to "original/commercial" level. Is that all mastering?
Darius Wave
QUOTE (maharzan @ Jun 19 2013, 06:24 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Thanks Todd. I have done those already. Thanks to all YouTube videos I have watched till date. All guitars, lead, clean, vocals, drums have their own aux tracks so I can control the finetuned (automated) volume from their respective tracks. All the effects are in place except for the master track limiter/compressor you are suggesting. I will try that today. I was just worried how low the mix volume has been and was worried how do we pull them up to "original/commercial" level. Is that all mastering?



I do believe and always try to draw the volume if only possible. It helps to keep the natural breath of Your record. Compression always adds some noise cause it just cuts the louder notes and insreases overall level of the track.
also...if some onte has at clip at precise freq (very often around 1kHZ) compressor will hide the "body" of this instrument for a while...to fit the clip freq level to the overall signal level.

As for the mastering....I truly don't like to do it. I feel like most of modern recordings are over-compressed. I do it but usually try to adjust the bottom end level and compression and the nasty, hight midrange, comparing to reference songs.
maharzan
So, how would you increase the over all volume of the mix? Its really really low even at this time almost like 50% of the "commercial" levels.
Saoirse O'Shea
QUOTE (PosterBoy @ Jun 18 2013, 02:16 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Not sure this helps at this moment, but in digital recording the rule seems to be to keep around -12Dbs. This allows headroom for compression and other effects and mastering.


This.

Assuming you are using 24 bit digital you have a dynamic range of nearly 144dB and so do not need to approach 0dB. Mixing with a target of about -12dB will result in a much cleaner mix and you will avoid digital clipping. It's a simple form of digital gainstaging. Try setting the focal track at -12dB and balance to it. Then your final stereo out will probably peak somewhere between -12 and -6dB. If it's higher pull the faders down so the 2 bus is again around -12 to -6 dB. If you do this properly you shouldn't need to put a limiter or comp on the 2 bus just to brickwall.

All processing adds noise by the way. What a comp does depends on how it is set up. The normal role is as Darius describes but they can be used in other ways, including making quiet elements louder and so on. If you have time and are interested I wrote a couple of forum articles about using comps creatively for upward compression etc.

Level is brought up at mastering and even then will not be 0dB unless it's been 'bedroom mastered' and/or (deliberately) butchered. Getting 'commerical volume' is a function of mastering. You shouldn't worry about the mix being a bit quiet at this stage, the issue here is to produce a clean and properly balanced stereo mix.
maharzan
Thanks tony. smile.gif Do you mean the master volume should be between -12 to -6db? I will definitely try loweing all the tracks in that case.
Saoirse O'Shea
Yes Chandra, I tend to refer to master volume instead as 2 bus/main stereo out , just a habit of mine from using mixing desks/consoles :-).
Darius Wave
Like Tony Miro said - 24 bits recording is more sensitive to digital clips. Remember - watch the master volume level of the mix not just the dB scale on the fader. If You have all tracks set to 0 dB than playing them all together can cross the border of 0 db even if The fader is moved to the point "-12" dB. We have to consider the volume metters. It's ok when Your final mix will show max peak at -12 to -6 dB. You'll be shure there is no distortion / clips and then You can add some volume while making the mastering. Make a new session, import audio mix file and then work on it to get best compromise between volume level and the natural sound of the mix.

I useually use - multiband compressor, Eq and than 4 exactly the same limiters but with soft limiting knee.
maharzan
Thanks Tony and Darius. I will try one and perhaps post it for review. smile.gif
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