Author Topic: Struggling with dB levels!  (Read 1958 times)

RosC

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Struggling with dB levels!
« on: February 05, 2016, 01:08:15 am »
Hey, so I'm learning mastering but before I start the mastering process I'm struggling with a concept I cant seem to find an answer to. I know you need some headroom on all your tracks, I use logic and I set the dB to -6 on every track. Most often the synth or whatever sound I use will still shoot the dB level up over 0 dB on that track. Should I adjust the dB slider to whatever keeps the dB level around -6 when the sound is played at its loudest? or just make sure its set at -6 dB?

I feel like after typing this out I know the answer now but just to be sure... any thoughts? Tips? My last track had portions that were too loud when I tried to master it.

Also, before mastering the master track at -3 dB, can I make it -3 dB by adjusting the master slider or should the master slider be at 0 dB and the all the tracks feeding into it sum up to - 3 dB
« Last Edit: February 05, 2016, 01:10:38 am by RosC »
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Scribit

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Re: Struggling with dB levels!
« Reply #1 on: February 05, 2016, 01:37:11 am »
Well, first off I'll quote (without using the quote function as I can't find the thread!) one of the most beloved sentences in this forum. 90% of mixing is simply adjusting each tracks volume level.

The following is just my two cents. When it comes to using the sliders on the in DAW mixer, they may not be entirely accurate as you have volume functions elsewhere, e.g. the synths themselves. Therefore, never trust that the volume slider being at -6dB means the volume has been reduced that much.

I'm a big fan of mixing around a focal point. So, for most of my tracks that is the kick drum. Therefore, I'll set my kick to -6dB or -10dB or whatever you want, then mix everything around that without thinking about every volume level. That way, I've effectively got the headroom I need as the focal point brings all the other levels down.

Final note. Never adjust the master slider. If you're looking to boost volume more overall, look through the sound wars and mastering topics. The only time I'll adjust it is with automation in order to make a small section of my song, with lots of layers, intentionally quiet.

Hope this helps!  ;D
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RosC

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Re: Struggling with dB levels!
« Reply #2 on: February 05, 2016, 01:42:27 am »
Thanks! It did a lot
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Marrow Machines

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Re: Struggling with dB levels!
« Reply #3 on: February 05, 2016, 03:43:15 am »
I think what you're describing are peaks.

You'll have an accumulation of sound that will often times go beyond, or get very close to, 0db on the master fader.

As mention above, mixing is 90% volume adjustment on the individual channels (it's my go to before i do any,light, additive eq). I might add very clever in explanation.

If you keep the master fader at 0db, you can see when Your entire song, peaks or clips.

At that moment of clipping, you'll have to discern what is happening so that you can adjust. This skill takes some time to get but eh. If you've rendered it out from the master, you can look at the entire wave form and see what's happening. This also works if you bounce the master track and look at the entire wave form to adjust or make automations at the correct time location.

In all honesty, your average volume, might be where you need it to be in terms of mastering. This tends to happen frequently if you're aiming to not have any peaks at 0. I tend to run my mixes hotter where they do peak at 0, some times, but that's a recent trend of mine.

So it sounds like your mix might be to hot to begin with and lowering the master isn't helping, because that information is clipping already.
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