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Old 15th May 2020
Gear Head

Hey man,

Just listened to your remix, and the other tracks. There is a distinct lack of dynamics in both your own and the other, so it gets me thinking:

"If everything is loud, is anything loud at all?"

Humans don't have an RMS meter in our heads, we experience 'perceived loudness' and one sure fire way to have elements appear loud is to arrange them alongside/within elements/musical passages that are not so 'loud'.

I reckon the way is to make friends with dynamics rather than squash every peak in sight.

Particularly when working ITB I find the way to massive mixes is to keep your channel levels low and turn your monitors up - with no noise floor you aren't losing anything when it all gets turned up at a later stage but I find it allows you the headroom to really play with dynamics.

That said, I recognise that within the genre you are working, scalping the waveform is standard practice and competitive loudness exists.

To my ears the tracks you envy have been hard limited and maximised a little more aggressively, most likely at the mastering stage.

To limit every channel would choke your mix and actually have a detrimental effect on 'perceived loudness' - turn your channels down, have the 'loudest' elements of your mix (kick?) bouncing around -18dbfs, turn your monitors up if you need volume, and get back all those precious dbs after mixdown.