How To Mix And Master Audio Tracks Loud And Not Lose The Dynamics

Posted in Tutorials
30th Apr 2012 - 12 years ago
How to mix and master audio tracks loud and not lose the dynamics

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Comments (19)

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Dablizz1 7th Jun 2017 04:59 -  6 years ago
Please I can't see any of the videos...why plz
KIESERSAUCER 13th Jun 2012 13:43 -  11 years ago
Since 1980 20db has been added to the loud war...In 2020 half of the world population will be deaf lol!!
Boogieskippo 29th May 2012 23:52 -  12 years ago
thanks for the tip I used DR on my master falder on my pro tool RAST VST Mix down etc.
Mahloo13 12th May 2012 09:34 -  12 years ago
Richie made an interesting statement about recording to tape. It is true that back in the days it was necessary to push your levels as high as possible to get a hot workable level and get rid of noise issues and that created a lot of confusion when the digital era came in.

As an advice I'd really like to say that you should keep your levels not so high in the digital world, when you are recording into pro-tools, logic, cubase whatever. Try to keep your peaks bouncing to max -8dB and you should be fine.

This will enable you to use your EQ's and compressors far more efficiently and if you are using external gear it will help you operate those at an optimal level.

Far to many sessions I receive are slammed to the ceiling claiming they recorded as hot as possible. In the 24bit world of DAW's that's not needed anymore.

Thanks Richie for reminding me about this issue.
RichieWinn 12th May 2012 04:41 -  12 years ago
I agree Shan, I think those who have used hardware to mix previously have skills and knowledge that transfers when producing with a DAW. I have experience of recording to magnetic tape too and trying to achieve as much level as you could before it saturated and clipped was always an issue. In those days it really was struggle to get some dynamic range. The noise floor was always high (using budget recording equipment in those days meant it was every thus) together with the limitations of tape provided a constant challenge. Great fun though!
AllenV 10th May 2012 19:05 -  12 years ago
Thanks for the comment and advice's just the "Old dog new tricks" thing,but I know a few other old dogs on the site that use software very well so I know I'll get it..."I'll Get By With A Little Help From My Looper Friends"
Looperman 9th May 2012 21:08 -  12 years ago
Allen, I think if you've used hardware in the past I think you are probably more inclined to make better use of software then someone who has no experience as you tend to have experimented more to get the right sound rather then relying on presets and you maybe get the idea of how things are routed in the real world.
AllenV 9th May 2012 18:16 -  12 years ago
I agree with you PJB,that's what I liked about the Tascam digital 8tr(I know,it's time to grow up now!)But I did enjoy pushing the master record and sitting through the whole song with my hands on the volume knobs of each track and adjusting everything live as the master was recorded.It required you to be more mix conscious than volume.
This does also show how little I know about production also and have a lot to learn now that I'm leaving the 8tr and moving to software.
Planetjazzbass 5th May 2012 08:59 -  12 years ago
Interesting video!.....I hate to be obtuse but this whole 'loudness' thing seems to be objectifying over compressed contemporary tracks played through some sort of 'default' world wide volume level..what ever happened to adjusting your audio levels/dynamics manually during playback!lol...if you really want to get into nit picking subtle dynamics a venture into Classical music is warranted,I'd be very interested to hear what a Classical sound engineer had to say on this subject.
ShortBusMusic 4th May 2012 19:24 -  12 years ago
This was really educational, but it also illustrates just how little I know about production....I feel like the village idiot in the gifted class. Thanks for posting this.

WongKiShoo 3rd May 2012 21:18 -  12 years ago
Nice article :)

Definitely some useful tips to bare in mind for the future..

Screw paying >$500 for a plugin though!!
Mahloo13 3rd May 2012 07:57 -  12 years ago
@Ian - Thanks for tuning in mate! The "Using loudness meters" video is really valuable from my point of view as it deals a bit more with the actual RMS levels you are trying to achieve.

As far as the Chilli Peppers go I must admit I didn't know it was mixed in mono and surprisingly Jim Scott won a Grammy, if I'm not mistaking, for that album.

Anyways the info is welcomed and your page already bookmarked.

ianshepherd 2nd May 2012 23:43 -  12 years ago
Hello Chaps,

Glad you're finding the videos useful, thanks to Shan for including them !

@ Mahloo13, you're absolutely right, the extra stereo width of the commercial tune is another factor - I actually had something in the video about it but edited it out to keep the focus. It's another element of the "loudness potential" that I mentioned.

Which makes it even more ironic that a band like the Chile Peppers chose to mix virtually in mono for one of their loudest albums (Californication) meaning it had to be even more abused in the mastering to get the level so loud...!

treacherousent 2nd May 2012 23:00 -  12 years ago
i loce to watch all the many styles of mixing. these ones are great. thanks for puting them up
yeshintae 2nd May 2012 18:42 -  12 years ago
just finished watching tha videos....

niccce stuff, i've just bookmarked
the blog section now hehehehehe

Peace from LA
Looperman 2nd May 2012 12:39 -  12 years ago
Hey Richie, glad to know that people are finding these useful. As the article says there is always something new to learn
RichieWinn 2nd May 2012 11:40 -  12 years ago
Shan, many thanks for posting this. I've just had an excellent half hour watching these videos and taking notes. I'm off to the Klanghelm site now and download the VUMT! Who could resist?
Mahloo13 1st May 2012 15:49 -  12 years ago
BTW thanks for the share Shan! The new view count is great as well!
Mahloo13 1st May 2012 15:27 -  12 years ago
I agree with what was written above about the videos concepts however Ian didn't mention that the first mix is more concentrated around bass and isn't really wide. The commercial version is louder (and appears way louder) because of the mids and high mids presence, also notice how wide it is thus making it much more impressive.

Rock music sounds way to loud yet it's actually not as loud as a dance track.

I do agree however that electronic music is ridiculously overcompressed nowadays.

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