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Mastering Song-to-Song Levels
Old 13th May 2006
  #1
Gear Maniac
 
tone4407's Avatar
 

Mastering Song-to-Song Levels

I'm putting the final touches on our album right now and I'm at the point where I need to make sure all the tracks are at the same level.

You guys got any tips on making all the tracks sound the same? Is there any tools to help out with this process?

I've used my ears to get them near perfect, but near perfect just won't cut it! heh
Old 13th May 2006
  #2
Lives for gear
 

use the meters.... use some other program if yours doesnt have any meters (it should)... pay attention to peak but more important RMS levels! Or the best option is an analyzer.
Old 13th May 2006
  #3
Motown legend
 
Bob Olhsson's Avatar
 

Verified Member
Just use a volume control to set the level of each song so it sounds right. A good place to start is by matching up the vocal or soloist perspective of each song. Then, and ONLY then check the levels with a meter.
Old 13th May 2006
  #4
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Darius van H's Avatar
 

Verified Member
In matching songs-2-song levels, the meters are irrelevent - just use your ears.....first set the maximum level of the busiest, rockin'est tune, then set the others to match that one......if one song is sounding too limited or squashed, back down all the songs by the ammount needed to make this song ok.......keep doing this (tweaking) 'till your happy........'cause it's your own album, you have the luxury of listening to the whole thing over and over 'till you get it perfect.........don't be scared to automate volume changes during songs to make every section of every song sound right (level-wise)............Good luck!
Old 13th May 2006
  #5
Mastering
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Darius van H
In matching songs-2-song levels, the meters are irrelevent - just use your ears.....first set the maximum level of the busiest, rockin'est tune, then set the others to match that one.....

Let me add that the term "match" is a bit misleading in this context. You don't want the ballads to sound as loud as the rockers. So I would substitute "be compatible with" for "match" in the above sentence.
Old 13th May 2006
  #6
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Jerry Tubb's Avatar
 

Verified Member
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Olhsson
Just use a volume control to set the level of each song so it sounds right. A good place to start is by matching up the vocal or soloist perspective of each song. Then, and ONLY then check the levels with a meter.
What Bob said... it's an ear thing, people are going to listen with their ears, not meters.

JT
Old 13th May 2006
  #7
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I said use the meters b/c he is using his ears. I would just use the ears as well but he is asking for another route!
Old 13th May 2006
  #8
Here for the gear
 
DJ Spinn's Avatar
 

Mastering Song-to-Song Levels

You ever heard how every song that goes on the radio (no matter what style of music) sounds consistant with one another - depite the fact that one may have more bass than another or more highs than another? Ever heard the same consistancy on particual CD's that you purchased at the store? After you've mastered all you tracks follow everything that previous posters said, then apply very, light multiband compression and a light limiting to all songs 1 by 1 (using Waves LinMB compressor and L2, both part of the waves Masters Bundle is the best way to go). Then make adjustments as needed for certain tracks, and you'll hear from that point on they will all be loud and sound consistant with one another. If you're working on a PC, a good program to use is Wavelab. Let me know if this method works out for you.

-DJ Spinn-

Old 13th May 2006
  #9
Gear Guru
 
lucey's Avatar
If you have the right listening level, and the mastering is consistent, the levels will be very close to right without moving them up and down more than a few tenths of a db.
Old 14th May 2006
  #10
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dcollins's Avatar
 

Verified Member
Quote:
Originally Posted by cap217
use the meters.... use some other program if yours doesnt have any meters (it should)... pay attention to peak but more important RMS levels! Or the best option is an analyzer.
The end is near

DC
Old 14th May 2006
  #11
Gear Maniac
 
tone4407's Avatar
 

Thanks for all the great info guys!
Old 14th May 2006
  #12
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MASSIVE Master's Avatar
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by dcollins
The end is near

DC
Beat me to it... Twilight Zone material.
Old 18th May 2006
  #13
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mixerguy's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by lucey
If you have the right listening level, and the mastering is consistent, the levels will be very close to right without moving them up and down more than a few tenths of a db.

correct.
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