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#507157 - 06/07/06 07:16 PM Mixdown Woes
Hook Administrator Offline
Planeteer/Admin Artist # 34
Planeteer


Registered: 01/03/01
Posts: 6481
Loc: Mansfield, OH
Jamie wrote:

Hi Laura,

I have been recording for 5 years on a VS 1880. I have recorded, mixed down, and made CDs of several songs, and nearly everyone of them has the same problem: When I play them in context of other songs on my iPod, they're always much lower in volume than the other songs. Also, I have compared my stuff to other's here on VS Planet, and most everyone else's sounds louder than mine as well. Assuming we are all using VS machines, I must be doing something wrong.

Let me add a little detail here: When I mix them down, they all peak at or around 0 without going over. However, since I sometimes fall victim to "fader creep" (i.e., the tracks all creep up in volume the longer I mix something) the master level creeps up past 0dB. So when I mix down, even if the meters show peaks at 0, the fader itself is at -4 or so. I wonder if this is an issue. I read some literature saying how important it is for the master fader to be at 0 when mixing, so maybe this is the culprit.

Otherwise, is there some simple but highly important thing I'm forgetting to do that would solve this issue? I want to master my tracks as well, and while I'd like louder, strong tracks, I don't want to lose the entire dynamic range of the music either.

Thanks Laura!
_________________________
Hook

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#507158 - 07/01/06 10:42 AM Re: Mixdown Woes
Laura Tyson Offline
Planeteer


Registered: 11/02/00
Posts: 1093
Loc: Germany
Here are my suggestions:
1) Keep your Master Fader at 0 dB! Use your individual Track Faders to make sure you're not overdriving the Master (Stereo) mix.
2) USE THE MASTERING TOOL KIT! Dial in your favorite MTK preset and INSERT it in the Mastering Room so your final stereo bounce has the MTK printed.
3) Here's my "Extra Loud" trick: GO into the EDIT page of the MTK (Mastering Tool Kit), and F2 (NEXT) all the way down to the final page which has the "CLIP" setting. (I believe the CLIP setting defaults to ON for nearly every MTK preset.) Turn that sucka OFF! This will make your mixes nice and hot.

4) Experiment with pushing the Levels envelope. Chances are - you're being too conservative with how loud (hot) you're letting your Mastering mixes get. On the 1880, when you bounce down in the Mastering Room, you get all those nice Virtual Tracks to work with: Try doing a stereo mix at your "normal" level. Then, try doing a stereo mix at an obscenely hot level. Then cut the difference between the two. Take those 3 mixes and burn them to an audio CD and rip them into your Ipod. You'll likely discover that the "obscenely loud" mix actually sounds great (no distortion) and matches the levels of other commercially released songs.

5) Use your EARS during mixdown, not your eyes. I think the meters on the 1880 are very conservative. Don't panic if you're bumping the top of the levels. (Now, on the other hand, if the meters are "pinned", well, that won't sound very good.) But don't panic if the meters are hitting the top. Ultimately, do a stereo bounce, then go back and listen to the whole thing to make sure you're not hearing any distortion. And of course, using the MTK will help a TON.

If you've got 2 Effect Cards in your 1880, you can use Effect 1 and 2 as normal Track type effects (i.e. Reverb, Delay, etc.) while Effect Card 2 functions as the MTK as Inserted in the Mastering Room. So you can do your Stereo Mixdown *and* apply the MTK at the same time.

Keep in mind: if you've got Effect 3 already busy on one or some of your Tracks, then you cannot also use it to be the MTK in the Mastering Room. In that case, you'll need to do a Stereo Bounce first, then take that bounce and re-bounce it with the MTK turned on. I hope this makes sense.


Laura Tyson
Roland Corporation
_________________________
I no longer work for Roland and I no longer have access to any VS documents or materials. I have not worked for Roland for over 4 years.

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