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Be as loud as other (Dance music) Dynamics Plugins
Old 24th March 2010
  #31
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Rainy Days's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by miro View Post
boomy is not "loud"
Bass sucks the life out of a mix before you know what happened. That's just the truth. Sometimes it's subharmonics, sometimes it's rumble, all in and all the low end of your track should be married (and *optionally* pulled to the center).

Boomy is not necessarily loud, boomy describes a characteristic of the frequency spectrum that isn't married with the rest of the track. If something is overly boomy there's most likely an element it's tied to that isn't being represented properly (poorly filtered kick, sub bass patch used to accentuate the main bassline that's not properly group compressed or linked to a fellow member of the spectrum).

To the OP: When it comes down to it, a great master starts with a great mix. You can only polish to a certain point, at the end of the day if you're not mastering from a project with stems it's going to be almost impossible to pinpoint every issue that the track has, and that's why mastering from stems or a good quality mix is always ideal.

It sounds like your issue (aside from proper equalization and compression during the mixing process) is the absence of a good quality Multiband Compressor prior to your Limiter on the master buss to help you tame your peaks before you attempt to raise the overall output with your Limiter.

Best of luck to you.
Old 24th March 2010
  #32
Gear Addict
 

Don't compare always with Beatport tunes,
50% of them are now totally over-compressed, over-limited, distorted as hell, with highs bleeding your ears...
Just for the "I want to be louder than you" thing
Old 24th March 2010
  #33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by XAXAU View Post
OP asked about how to achieve loudness.
Which has nothing to do with which kick drum you use
Old 24th March 2010
  #34
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Verified Member
I master tons of house tracks down here in Miami. Lots of what your probably hearing is the mix. You might want to talk with a friend to review your mix and see what he says about it. Mixes are pretty loud when they come to me. I usually am just fixing room tones from the more experienced guys and adding a very small touch of color with a manley or some sort of tube compressor/limiter.

Heartfelt suggestion:
1. Check with a local mix engineer they can usually help you before you send it off to mastering or master it yourself
2. Check with a friend whose not a musician, they usually have brutally honest opinions. (Listen and don't argue with them they are usually right.)
3. If something doesn't sound or feel right then it probably isn't
4. You might want to check what your using in the song. The samples or the synths maybe weak and you might need to double them up or just out right get new samples or synths sounds.
Old 26th March 2010
  #35
Gear Head
 

+1 to That last post...

A couple of things: I hate to say it, but it's almost certainly your mix.

Frequency distribution, transient levels are your main things to watch for. You can't have a clean hi end if things are fighting for that space.

WORD TO THE WISE: just
because *you* are happy with your mix does not mean that other people would be. At every stage in my life I was satisfied simply
because I didn't know how to do better. Once your bass gets better, your mix gets cleaner you can never go back. A year from now you will listen to this mix and it will sound like crap to you. A good mix has all the power of ANY of the best beatport tracks before a limiter is put anywhere near it. Transients and frequency distribution, everything must have a space.

Good luck, but we fix problems at source, not the symptoms here. And loudness is not one thing at all, so you can't just "answer the OPs original question."
Old 26th March 2010
  #36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lu432 View Post
I usually am just fixing room tones
What do you mean by "room tones"?
Old 27th March 2010
  #37
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Delta Heavy View Post
Which has nothing to do with which kick drum you use
You´re experienced enough to know that it most certainly has.

If I can make a bassdrum that easily cuts through any mix, is snappy & punchy and has a full and round bottom with a simple yet effective technique that sounds like it´s two decibels louder than everyone else´s, what do you think will happen to the rest of the mix when I sink it down 2dB´s?


When you have your monster bassdrum here´s what I think you beginners should try:

Don´t stack a lot of stuff on top of the bassdrum, but if you have to, make sure that they have maximum illusion with minimum voltage, meaning, they should make a lot of sound, but look small on the meters.

Try sidechaining things as well (like anything really, synths, delays, reverbs you name it). Make a copy of the bassdrum and move it -10ms, then set your attack time to 10ms on the sidechain compressor and the release to a minumum and make it pump a lot and close your eyes while decreasing the pumping until it sounds "locked in" with the bassdrum. This could typically be anywhere from -40 to -10dB. Synth sounds can have a little gentler attack curve so that they´re not right on top of the clicky part of the bassdrum. Also, for definition, you can try and route the dry sound into it´s effects sidechain input with fast action so that the effect doesn´t wash over the dry sound. I like that a lot.

The clap / snare is also on top of the bassdrum. My snares really like a superfast attack from a UAD 1176LN or a Softube FET and maybe some other nice distortion. This really makes them huge and they won´t look big on the meter. Claps I process the same way but the UAD Fatso´s clipping circuit is a killer for this. In fact, any percussive element will sound beefier.

Compress the **** out of bass if it sounds good, but I find that the subs sound best when untouched. Try a multiband and disable the sub band.

I know a lot of people think I´m ******** (and I am) when I say I like to have a limiter on the mixbus from the start. It will make the track go *krak* when you´re doing it wrong. You should only be limiting a maximum of 4 dB´s when you´re at Beatport loudness. If the limiter is crushing the mix you sidechain or compress some more.

The arrangement is important but easy, you just don´t pile up loud stuff on top of the bassdrum or a loud subby hit.

This will not make your mix sound good, but will a little practice it will make it "loud".
Old 29th March 2010
  #38
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Romain74 View Post
using especially ozone (eq, multiband,..)
Especially multiband section in Ozone is weak IMO.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Romain74 View Post
if i'm limiting more it sound as crap and not even louder ....
That's the thing Inflator does. A good tip for DAW.
Old 29th March 2010
  #39
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Quote:
Originally Posted by XAXAU View Post
You´re experienced enough to know that it most certainly has.

If I can make a bassdrum that easily cuts through any mix, is snappy & punchy and has a full and round bottom with a simple yet effective technique that sounds like it´s two decibels louder than everyone else´s, what do you think will happen to the rest of the mix when I sink it down 2dB´s?


When you have your monster bassdrum here´s what I think you beginners should try:

Don´t stack a lot of stuff on top of the bassdrum, but if you have to, make sure that they have maximum illusion with minimum voltage, meaning, they should make a lot of sound, but look small on the meters.

Try sidechaining things as well (like anything really, synths, delays, reverbs you name it). Make a copy of the bassdrum and move it -10ms, then set your attack time to 10ms on the sidechain compressor and the release to a minumum and make it pump a lot and close your eyes while decreasing the pumping until it sounds "locked in" with the bassdrum. This could typically be anywhere from -40 to -10dB. Synth sounds can have a little gentler attack curve so that they´re not right on top of the clicky part of the bassdrum. Also, for definition, you can try and route the dry sound into it´s effects sidechain input with fast action so that the effect doesn´t wash over the dry sound. I like that a lot.

The clap / snare is also on top of the bassdrum. My snares really like a superfast attack from a UAD 1176LN or a Softube FET and maybe some other nice distortion. This really makes them huge and they won´t look big on the meter. Claps I process the same way but the UAD Fatso´s clipping circuit is a killer for this. In fact, any percussive element will sound beefier.

Compress the **** out of bass if it sounds good, but I find that the subs sound best when untouched. Try a multiband and disable the sub band.

I know a lot of people think I´m ******** (and I am) when I say I like to have a limiter on the mixbus from the start. It will make the track go *krak* when you´re doing it wrong. You should only be limiting a maximum of 4 dB´s when you´re at Beatport loudness. If the limiter is crushing the mix you sidechain or compress some more.

The arrangement is important but easy, you just don´t pile up loud stuff on top of the bassdrum or a loud subby hit.

This will not make your mix sound good, but will a little practice it will make it "loud".
I do see your point. In house/techno/other 4/4 specific electronic genres, then yes, obviously, a decent kick drum is paramount to the mix of the track and its sense of perceived loudness.

I think we can agree that if you want your track loud and still sounding good, then it's 95% down to the mix, not the mastering.
Old 29th March 2010
  #40
Gear Head
 

Quote:
which speakers are you using? (important question!)
Main : Genelec 8030a + 7050sub
And also : Headphone beyer 880T and public hi-fi speakers (used as ****box)
Trying to have a good balance between these elements.

Quote:
Having mastered some Major Label Dance projects myself, I will say that you'll need to send it to a pro in order to get it sounding right. It takes a decent amount of EQ, compression, leveling etc etc to get it to compete with other dance songs.
You're probably right, but when i'm looking famous dance artist video "in the studio" as steve angello, laidback luke, ian carey, etc... they say that they're doing their mastering themselves. (and they don't have necessarly mastering outboard).

Quote:
Don't compare always with Beatport tunes,
50% of them are now totally over-compressed, over-limited, distorted as hell, with highs bleeding your ears...
Just for the "I want to be louder than you" thing
I would say you're right, but i don't think that labels would say "it's different and i like it", i think it would be "it doesn't sound like beatport, make it better !"

Quote:
Just capture tracks that sound good on clubsystems. Apply the curve to your own track und you are halfway there. Fiddle and twiddle a little and check your "masterings" against other tracks. This works pretty well for me.
Good idea, i'm gonna try this !

Quote:
then...you say you're happy with your mix but when you compare to top notch reference tracks you notice your mix/master sucks.
this means: you can't be really happy with the mix! IF your mix is "ok" and not THAT far from your reference: you're maybe close enough that the rest can be done in mastering...
Yeah, in fact, as i said, the mix sounds ok for me, it's just about loudness (because i've alway a headroom on my master something around -3 dB).

Old 29th March 2010
  #41
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how "loud" do u want it?
Old 29th March 2010
  #42
Gear Head
 

Quote:
how "loud" do u want it?
Enough to if someone play a track (for example from beatport top 10, i mean, a good quality track) and play mine after, he doesn't need to adjust volume, it sounds as loud or almost (even if there is a little difference it's not really important).
Old 29th March 2010
  #43
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well thats real easy....might be a good idea to go to an attended mastering (for ones or twice..see it as an investment) and see whats being done. the fact that steve or luke do their own mastering doesnt mean u should/can. those guys have been playing the game long time. like i said before practise practise
Old 2nd April 2010
  #44
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XAXAU's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Delta Heavy View Post
I do see your point. In house/techno/other 4/4 specific electronic genres, then yes, obviously, a decent kick drum is paramount to the mix of the track and its sense of perceived loudness.

I think we can agree that if you want your track loud and still sounding good, then it's 95% down to the mix, not the mastering.
Agreed.
Old 2nd April 2010
  #45
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toolskid's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian Cares View Post
For mastering your own stuff i´d recommend the DynamicSpectrumMapper.

Just capture tracks that sound good on clubsystems. Apply the curve to your own track und you are halfway there. Fiddle and twiddle a little and check your "masterings" against other tracks. This works pretty well for me.
shhhhhhhh........
Old 2nd April 2010
  #46
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I can tell you have I manage to get it, and my main trick to get mixes that are fully undistinguishable from commercial ones...

I think that in order to get such RMS volumes in dance yet sound full you need to use multiband compression, not so much on the bass, but mostly on low-mids, mids & highs. I know plenty of you will jump saying that if you use MB compression there is something wrong with the mix, but my experience tells me it is not so... the RMS volumes you need to get is sound "full" compared to commercial records make you need it (take an analyser like Waves PAZ and compare RMS of your song vs. a commercial one across the whole energy spectrum... you'll probably do fine on some bands but not on all).

What I do and that I propose you to try:
- Use good samples for kick & bass (essencial!)
- Use some compression on the 2-bass (I use Waves API), no more than 3-4 db to achieve glueing
- Use then some multiband compression (I use Waves Linear MB), but I generally apply hardly no change below 250kHz, and give quite a lot of gain on the upper bands... no need to overdo it, but you will see how full you track becomes, and interestingly if you do it right, you won't kill the transients
- Some subtle stereo enhancement (if needed)
- The limiter, just use it to clip 1-2 dbs, but not more since you'll loose transients and some of them introduce artifacts (I use Sonnox Limiter)

With these "weapons" I have been able to achive loudness while preserving transients and sounding full. Hope you find it helpful.

I know some of you will not agree at all with my approach, but I found it to be the most natural way to help me be up to par on RMS across the whole frequency spectrum.
Old 3rd April 2010
  #47
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XAXAU's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by fantomen View Post
I can tell you have I manage to get it, and my main trick to get mixes that are fully undistinguishable from commercial ones...

I think that in order to get such RMS volumes in dance yet sound full you need to use multiband compression, not so much on the bass, but mostly on low-mids, mids & highs. I know plenty of you will jump saying that if you use MB compression there is something wrong with the mix, but my experience tells me it is not so... the RMS volumes you need to get is sound "full" compared to commercial records make you need it (take an analyser like Waves PAZ and compare RMS of your song vs. a commercial one across the whole energy spectrum... you'll probably do fine on some bands but not on all).

What I do and that I propose you to try:
- Use good samples for kick & bass (essencial!)
- Use some compression on the 2-bass (I use Waves API), no more than 3-4 db to achieve glueing
- Use then some multiband compression (I use Waves Linear MB), but I generally apply hardly no change below 250kHz, and give quite a lot of gain on the upper bands... no need to overdo it, but you will see how full you track becomes, and interestingly if you do it right, you won't kill the transients
- Some subtle stereo enhancement (if needed)
- The limiter, just use it to clip 1-2 dbs, but not more since you'll loose transients and some of them introduce artifacts (I use Sonnox Limiter)

With these "weapons" I have been able to achive loudness while preserving transients and sounding full. Hope you find it helpful.

I know some of you will not agree at all with my approach, but I found it to be the most natural way to help me be up to par on RMS across the whole frequency spectrum.
Have you tried to do multiband compression in parallel? If not, you should. Disable the low band, smash and blend. It sounds damn nice and full. The UAD MBC is my go-to tool. Try and compress the highs a bit more than the rest of the bands and boost the highs with the UAD Massive Passive into the Fatso and bring down the highs again with the warmth. Yum yum (Thank UBK for that trick)

Another cool mix trick is to send to early reflections reverb pre-fader and sidechain compress the dry sound a lot. Use some transient designer on the wet sound and give it less attack. It will sound full and won´t interfere with the bassdrum as much. I love smashing the room reverbs with the UAD 1176LN on fast settings.

Happy easter, I´ve already worked 80 hours this week
Old 3rd April 2010
  #48
To me, multiband compression is not the key... It makes the mixes sound bland and lifeless. I usually compress elements within the mix. If the kick and bass needs compression, buss, if the synths need compression, buss etc etc. I do my mixes with the Waves SSL on the master, at 10:1 and using enough threshold to glue all the tracks together. But yeah a lot of it has to do with ears, experience, monitors, room AD/DA etc etc. Still waiting on that track of yours my friend
Old 3rd April 2010
  #49
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Quote:
Originally Posted by XAXAU View Post
Have you tried to do multiband compression in parallel? If not, you should. Disable the low band, smash and blend. It sounds damn nice and full. The UAD MBC is my go-to tool. Try and compress the highs a bit more than the rest of the bands and boost the highs with the UAD Massive Passive into the Fatso and bring down the highs again with the warmth. Yum yum (Thank UBK for that trick)

Another cool mix trick is to send to early reflections reverb pre-fader and sidechain compress the dry sound a lot. Use some transient designer on the wet sound and give it less attack. It will sound full and won´t interfere with the bassdrum as much. I love smashing the room reverbs with the UAD 1176LN on fast settings.

Happy easter, I´ve already worked 80 hours this week
thanks for the tip. I'll try that soon
Old 3rd April 2010
  #50
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Lago View Post
To me, multiband compression is not the key... It makes the mixes sound bland and lifeless. I usually compress elements within the mix. If the kick and bass needs compression, buss, if the synths need compression, buss etc etc. I do my mixes with the Waves SSL on the master, at 10:1 and using enough threshold to glue all the tracks together. But yeah a lot of it has to do with ears, experience, monitors, room AD/DA etc etc. Still waiting on that track of yours my friend
in my experience it's the exact opposite, always makes my mixes fuller and with more life.

By the way, I don't think you need more than 3:1 ratio for the glueing, your 10:1 sounds extreme to me for that purpose
Old 3rd April 2010
  #51
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XAXAU's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Lago View Post
To me, multiband compression is not the key... It makes the mixes sound bland and lifeless. I usually compress elements within the mix. If the kick and bass needs compression, buss, if the synths need compression, buss etc etc. I do my mixes with the Waves SSL on the master, at 10:1 and using enough threshold to glue all the tracks together. But yeah a lot of it has to do with ears, experience, monitors, room AD/DA etc etc. Still waiting on that track of yours my friend
If MBC makes your mixes lifeless and bland then maybe you´re doing it wrong? (I´m not trying to "noobify" you here) Just try it in parallel to the mixbus, fastest attack, 50-100ms release, disable the low band, low ratio, smash to taste and blend in, you won´t need much. Just close your eyes and pull up the fader slowly until it thickens up like a good sauce It will do pleasant things to the mix that no other process can. I use a few dB´s from the top (singleband) on buses (drums, synths, bass, reverb/delay) for a bit of glue. UAD Fatso on the mixbus, clipping algo only to shave off a dB or two into UAD SSL, 30ms attack, 100ms release, 2:1, a few dB´s then into UAD Precision Limiter. UAD Multiband in parallel to the main bus to fatten the track up. It honestly sounds good and clean together with a banging bassdrum.
Old 3rd April 2010
  #52
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u b k's Avatar
 

Smash the living pants off your whole mix, pancake it until it's a square wave with zero movement and a decent amount of harmonic distortion. Hipass the whole affair somewhere around 150, either before or after the smashing, whichever feels better.

Blend that back in parallel with your uncompressed mix, just a kiss.

Instant +3db loudness with no rms increase on the meters. If you see the meters going up, you're blending too much in.

If you just want Beatport loudness, Ozone can do most of the work from there.

Hint: Loudness lives in the midrange... 1k-5k is your friend.


Gregory Scott - ubk
Old 3rd April 2010
  #53
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MBPMSMDE

Multi Band Parallel Mid Side Micro Dynamic Enhancement

It's easier than it sounds.
Old 4th April 2010
  #54
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Now that just sounds like some sort of crazy kung fu!!!! But the wonderful I ideals that come to mind!!!!
Old 4th April 2010
  #55
Dos
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Lago View Post
Let us hear one of your House songs, just for kicks heh Prove us all wrong if you will!
Old 4th April 2010
  #56
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dos View Post
heh
Old 4th April 2010
  #57
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XAXAU's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by u b k View Post
Smash the living pants off your whole mix, pancake it until it's a square wave with zero movement and a decent amount of harmonic distortion. Hipass the whole affair somewhere around 150, either before or after the smashing, whichever feels better.

Blend that back in parallel with your uncompressed mix, just a kiss.

Instant +3db loudness with no rms increase on the meters. If you see the meters going up, you're blending too much in.

If you just want Beatport loudness, Ozone can do most of the work from there.

Hint: Loudness lives in the midrange... 1k-5k is your friend.


Gregory Scott - ubk
So true Greg, but that midrange boost isn´t necessary, as you can get there with a balanced mix too if you know what you´re doing.

Disabling 100Hz and down sounds great to me, when doing PMBC. Or you just do it on everything minus the bassdrum and bass within the mix

Chris, did you try out my bassdrum trick? If you have a function called "snap to zero crossing" in your DAW you activate it and just chop up the first 32nd of the bassdrum and normalize to -0,1dBFS. Some cycles will sound bad, especially the ones in the beginning of the sample and "in front " but just pull them down manually until you have the sound you´re looking for. A little eq shaping does wonders. Make sure you´re using a bassdrum stright out of a synth, clean and single layered. The thump you get from this process is crazy.
Old 7th April 2010
  #58
Hey I retract the comment I did on Multiband Compression, since I actually use it on Dance music a lot. I actually like LinMB for this. Listening back to some of the Dance Releases I worked on, I definitely notice that MultiBand Compression is the way to go. Sorry everyone
Old 7th April 2010
  #59
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Sorry for what? We´re happy that you have found a long lost friend

I love the UAD MB, you can come in super hot and still not clip it

Gain staging is for Waves users
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