volume too low after mix
Old 20th April 2009
  #1
Gear Head
 

Thread Starter
volume too low after mix

i always use cubase to record & mix my songs, but when i export them the volume is always way lower than that of other mp3 files, the worst part is, how can i boost the entire audio level without losing quality? because when i try to just turn up the volume in cubase or wavelab i notice the audio hits the limit at some parts.
Old 20th April 2009
  #2
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Never1's Avatar
 

Professional mixes all suffer the same problem, sort of.

This is where the track will usually get sent to a mastering engineer who, besides doing some minor eqing to ensure it sounds as best as it can, will also use what is called a limiter to raise the volume up against a preset "ceiling".

A limiter is like a heavy duty compressor. You set the output ceiling to just below 0db. (say -0.3db) and then as raise the volume going into it via an input knop of some sort, the volume will go up and the limiter will squash any peaks and keep them below 0.3db.

You usually can get 2-4db of gain reduction without it sounding too bad. Be careful with it because too much limiting can distort and really screw up the sound of your mix. Use your ears and set it up so that it sounds right. that part can take time.

You should have a free one within your cubase plugins.

Put it across you master buss and mess with it to see what I mean. If you were to send the tracks to a mastering engineer, you wouldn't have the limiter on there but for rough mixes at home, there's nothing wrong with it.
Old 20th April 2009
  #3
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mdoelger's Avatar
That's something everyone runs into at the beginning. Don't worry!

You compare the mix to already mastered material. Thats simply wrong! loudness-wise.
What you should do is don't care about loudness! Have the mix like you want it to be and be happy! Then send it to mastering.

Costs a bit of money, but is woth it in the end!


If you don't want to pay, set up a brickwall limiter on the master fader and push it until you feel it hurts the song then back off a little!

I like to make sure you understand, that this has nothing to do with good mastering. Mastering isn't just pushing loudness. But for a start, the limiter method will most likely be ok!

There is a good freeware plug called TLs pocket limiter!
Also try out stillwells event horizon. Absolutely woth its money!

cheers!
Old 20th April 2009
  #4
Gear Head
 

Thread Starter
i first figured the loudness wasn't such a big issue until people on my myspace page startet complaining about my songs not being loud enough.
since it's only for myspace songs i don't want to spend money on mastering it.
thanks a lot for the breakdown it's pretty insightive and makes sense. i'm not sure I know how to get that to work though. because i don't know how to set an output ceiling.
my neighbour has the wave diamond bundle and wavelab, maybe somebody can explain to me how to do this with one of those plugins and in wavelab.

that would be amazing!
Old 20th April 2009
  #5
The output ceiling is simple the maximum output of the limiter - all limiters have an output level control, and it normally defaults to "0" - actually the top of the scale, since it's "maximum loudness". Set this to -0.3 instead, and you protect your music from something called "intersample peaks" which will make it sound worse on less well designed systems.

Also - unless your neighbour is an audio professional, it's highly likely his "Waves Diamond" bundle is a hacked copy. I'd politely suggest you follow Lunale's advice, and look into freeware options (of which there are many). Not only will you learn better for yourself and in your own time, you'll receive good karma by not stealing from hard-working developers, and all your music will sell millions. Well, maybe not that last bit, but you get the idea.

Good luck with it!

Quote:
Originally Posted by urbangermany View Post
i first figured the loudness wasn't such a big issue until people on my myspace page startet complaining about my songs not being loud enough.
since it's only for myspace songs i don't want to spend money on mastering it.
thanks a lot for the breakdown it's pretty insightive and makes sense. i'm not sure I know how to get that to work though. because i don't know how to set an output ceiling.
my neighbour has the wave diamond bundle and wavelab, maybe somebody can explain to me how to do this with one of those plugins and in wavelab.

that would be amazing!
Old 20th April 2009
  #6
Gear nut
 

Also, normalizing will boost the overall loudness, but you can clip if you're not careful.
Old 20th April 2009
  #7
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mdoelger's Avatar
Ok, I help you to set it up. (Since I don't want you to visit your neighbor )

Download TLs Pocket Limiter heer:

http://hem.bredband.net/tbtaudio/arc...miter_v1-2.zip


unpack the archive and copy the dll-file TLs-Pocket_Limiter into your cubase vst plugin folder. (I'm assuming you are on PC).

Start cubase. No you have the plug available. Insert it on the master fader.

When you higher the input, your mix will get louder. So higher your input

insert the HR22 dither plug which comes with cubase right after the limiter and set it to 16 bit.

then back off the master fader by 0.3 db.

Now output your file at 16bit.

done.
Old 20th April 2009
  #8
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mdoelger's Avatar
Old 20th April 2009
  #9
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Darwin James's Avatar
 

Why would he output at 16bit if its for myspace. He can use 24bit.
Old 20th April 2009
  #10
Quote:
Originally Posted by Darwin James View Post
Why would he output at 16bit if its for myspace. He can use 24bit.
Once it's been through the myspace compression, I don't think anyone would be able to tell the difference.
Old 20th April 2009
  #11
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The Listener's Avatar
Has anyone visited this guy's myspace?

I don't think you have to worry about loudness, mixing, etc. I wonder why are you still without a record deal and a bunch of r'n'b producers behind your back.

Otherwise - videos - especially the voice - sound loud enough.

YouTube - Urban - By my side (original song)
Old 20th April 2009
  #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Listener View Post
Has anyone visited this guy's myspace?

I don't think you have to worry about loudness, mixing, etc. I wonder why are you still without a record deal and a bunch of r'n'b producers behind your back.

Otherwise - videos - especially the voice sound loud enough.

You know, when you posted this I thought you were cracking on the guy and checked out his myspace assuming he'd be freakin god awful. I was very pleasantly surprised with his work. He's really talented. I also agree, no reason to try to make your tracks louder, they're plenty loud enough. Just keep doing what you're doing and get signed to a record deal. Let the label pay for your mastering.
Old 20th April 2009
  #13
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The Listener's Avatar
No, no, I would never make such low cynical fun out of someone asking for help even if they would really suck.

This guy has real talent - I wish he gets noticed and record a great record...

And I don't even like r'n'b much - except Erykah Badu...

But this guy has such a nice tone of voice. It sounds pure and honest. I hope they manage to preserve that in the album versions of songs.

Go check it:

Urban on MySpace Music - Free Streaming MP3s, Pictures & Music Videos

YouTube - urbangermany's Channel
Old 20th April 2009
  #14
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mdoelger's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by The Listener View Post
No, no, I would never make such low cynical fun out of someone asking for help even if they would really suck.

This guy has real talent - I wish he gets noticed and record a great record...

And I don't even like r'n'b much - except Erykah Badu...

But this guy has such a nice tone of voice. It sounds pure and honest. I hope they manage to preserve that in the album versions of songs.

Go check it:

Urban on MySpace Music - Free Streaming MP3s, Pictures & Music Videos

YouTube - urbangermany's Channel

When I read his posts I thought it's another beginner asking basic questions about loudness.

He's REALLY talented. Hope he gets noticed. What I believe is his tracks just don't sound pro or wide enough for others. Loudness wise I'd say they are godd in the ballpark.
And as psycho monkey mentioned, who cares about quality on myspace. Who cares about pro mixes?

This guy has a wonderful voice. Hope he will get signed. Else would mean just another talent wasted for the sake of hot looking bitches who cannot hit a single note!

Cheers!
Old 21st April 2009
  #15
+1 on the nice music front - well done! Although going under the "urban germany" tag thing makes it sound like you're doing german hip hop or something.....!
Old 21st April 2009
  #16
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rcb4t2's Avatar
 

I've been really psyched about the W1 Limiter plugin - free and I really dig it - goes a long way before hurting the track (although I'm no mastering engineer at all at all, so what do I know?)

yohng.com' :: W1 Limiter
Old 23rd April 2009
  #17
Gear Head
 

Thread Starter
Quote:
Originally Posted by lunale View Post
Ok, I help you to set it up. (Since I don't want you to visit your neighbor )
Download TLs Pocket Limiter heer:
http://hem.bredband.net/tbtaudio/arc...miter_v1-2.zip
unpack the archive and copy the dll-file TLs-Pocket_Limiter into your cubase vst plugin folder. (I'm assuming you are on PC).
Start cubase. No you have the plug available. Insert it on the master fader.
When you higher the input, your mix will get louder. So higher your input the
insert the HR22 dither plug which comes with cubase right after the limiter and set it to 16 bit.
then back off the master fader by 0.3 db.
Now output your file at 16bit.
done.
this is truely helpful! thanks a lot for taking the time out to break it down.

thanks a lot to everyone else who liked my music. naturally i want my music to be heard and appreciated by as many people as possible. so if some say my volume is too low, that seems like something I could work out fairly easily.
im about to begin working on a mixtape/album and don't have money for mastering. but want it to be all it can be. thanks for helping me step it up another notch.
Old 23rd April 2009
  #18
Gear maniac
 
nine99nine's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by urbangermany View Post
this is truely helpful! thanks a lot for taking the time out to break it down.

thanks a lot to everyone else who liked my music. naturally i want my music to be heard and appreciated by as many people as possible. so if some say my volume is too low, that seems like something I could work out fairly easily.
im about to begin working on a mixtape/album and don't have money for mastering. but want it to be all it can be. thanks for helping me step it up another notch.
don't have money for mastering?...nonsense! Send me a private message and I will cut you a great deal for some truly great music.
Old 23rd April 2009
  #19
Lives for gear
 
WunderBro Flo's Avatar
Hey urbangermany, can you please enlighten us and tell us why the urbangermany on youtube wrote me am email saying you are a faker stealing his online identity?
rock!
pat
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