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Loudness and Buss Compression... What am I doing wrong? See waveform.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #1
Gear Nut
 

Loudness and Buss Compression... What am I doing wrong? See waveform.

I am certainly no expert on loudness, but even I can tell I am missing the boat by looking at this file. Also, if I compare it to a known good track, it sounds much quieter.

The problem is that if I go any louder, I clip.

I believe what I'm seeing is from the drum bus, but how do I stop whatever it is from doing this to my track? AT the same time I don't want it to sound super squashed. I know both loud and the illusion of sounding somewhat natural have to be possible.

Thanks in advance for any tips!
Attached Thumbnails
Loudness and Buss Compression... What am I doing wrong? See waveform.-screenshot_2020-05-05_21-49-59.jpg  
Attached Files

njs_live_the_life.mp3 (1.01 MB, 486 views)

Old 3 weeks ago
  #2
Gear Maniac
 

This sounds very good but the drums are too loud and forward, killing the imaging. There's some clipping. Maybe due to the MP3 codec? There's no depth in this MP3 but it is an MP3. Why not compress this slightly to put the drums in their place behind the guitars? You need to create some staging and depth so you need more gain reduction or better compressor. SSL bus comp style with sidechain to retain some low end. A clean mastering compressor or not too nasty Vari-mu plugins will do too. Kotelnikov and The Glue are good. Density will do what you need too. MJUC for more warmth. You don't need a look ahead limiter, you just need to let the listener raise the volume without the drums becoming painful and hurting their ears. Why sound as flatlined as everyone else?
Old 3 weeks ago
  #3
Lives for gear
 
SmoothTone's Avatar
 

Nice sound. The difference between this and mastered tracks you might be comparing it to is limiting (primarily).

If all you're wanting to do is bring the loudness up a bit, then put a brickwall limiter on the stereo mixdown and increase the gain until you start to hear unwanted artefacts then back it off a bit. Alternatively, since you have access to the mix, you could put the limiter on the drum buss and control the transients there without affecting anything else in the mix.

Don't do any of this if you're planning on sending the track for mastering as this is a perfectly acceptable mixdown for that purpose.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #4
Gear Maniac
 

What are your bus compressor settings, on the drum bus and the master? Is the mix at 100% ?
Old 3 weeks ago
  #5
Gear Nut
 

All good tips and thanks!

So if I sidechain, I suppose the overheads should be controlled by the kick? Do I sidechain the drum bus only or the whole mix?

As far as what I did so far at the time of this mix, I just took a few dB off of the drum bus and also the main mix (a multiband compressor into a mastering compressor into a brickwall limiter set to 0dB). I figured since the guitars are all overdrive, they're plenty compressed. Also the bass has pretty heavy compression on it (tracked and duplicated 2x with different settings).
Old 3 weeks ago
  #6
Gear Nut
 

I was able to get it pretty loud. I just squashed it with a bunch of stacked compressors and multiband compressors and brickwalls on the drum bus and the master until it was loud but without too much objectionable (to me) pulsing going on. It doesn't sound quite the same and maybe the eq shaping is a little different as well. After I listened to it on laptop speakers, I think the drums need to be a little lower still.

It's tricky becuase it's mainly the snare that's the big offender... but I like the sound better from the room and overhead mics than without them. So you can't have one without the other... maybe shaping the snare out through notch eq??

I don't want to lose the kick for sure.
Attached Files

live_the_life_louderer.mp3 (1.02 MB, 246 views)

Old 3 weeks ago
  #7
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by 777funk View Post
I was able to get it pretty loud. I just squashed it with a bunch of stacked compressors and multiband compressors and brickwalls on the drum bus and the master until it was loud but without too much objectionable (to me) pulsing going on. It doesn't sound quite the same and maybe the eq shaping is a little different as well. After I listened to it on laptop speakers, I think the drums need to be a little lower still.

It's tricky becuase it's mainly the snare that's the big offender... but I like the sound better from the room and overhead mics than without them. So you can't have one without the other... maybe shaping the snare out through notch eq??

I don't want to lose the kick for sure.
This "louderer" mix has the kick distorted and bass harder to hear while snare lost its weight and is too smacky. Why not just let the mastering engineer do his work?

The original file you post was a hundred times better. If you had a limiter on the 2 bus of that one, that's what was probably making the drums too forward and squashing the depth. Whatever you just did made everything worse. Don't doubt yourself. If you want an improvement in depth, why not just replace the limiter with a good bus compressor to add some depth? SSL bus comp plugin, an RNC, Density, or Kotelnikov tweaked right are all fine.

Something basic like this wouldbe a tiny improvement. the kit is behind the guitar a bit now. no sidechain here. the sidechain separated the kick from the kit. otherwise, your original mix was fine.

https://we.tl/t-EwljDK5VI5
Old 3 weeks ago
  #8
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by To Mega Therion View Post
This "louderer" mix has the kick distorted and bass harder to hear while snare lost its weight and is too smacky. Why not just let the mastering engineer do his work?

The original file you post was a hundred times better. If you had a limiter on the 2 bus of that one, that's what was probably making the drums too forward and squashing the depth. Whatever you just did made everything worse. Don't doubt yourself. If you want an improvement in depth, why not just replace the limiter with a good bus compressor to add some depth? SSL bus comp plugin, an RNC, Density, or Kotelnikov tweaked right are all fine.

Something basic like this wouldbe a tiny improvement. the kit is behind the guitar a bit now. no sidechain here. the sidechain separated the kick from the kit. otherwise, your original mix was fine.

https://we.tl/t-EwljDK5VI5
That sounds like the original in tone quality and liveliness but louder. I think where I went wrong is in playing with a multi band (first time to try it). Reaper has great stock plugs limited only by the user... And... I'm definitely the limiting factor there. Lol.

Density is a free plugin isn't it?
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