How to make my tracks louder?

Discussion in 'Mixing, Post-Production, and Effects' started by sIR dORT, May 8, 2019.

  1. sIR dORT

    sIR dORT Member

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    So I have noticed for a long time now that my tracks (even at their loudest moments) are quieter then others'. If you have listened to any of my pieces, you will know what I mean. So how do I make them louder? Is it as simple as boosting the db on each individual track to the max it can go without going over the line, or does it have to do with something else?
     
  2. tack

    tack Damned Dirty Ape

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    That's one way to create a wall of noise. :)

    The most basic ways are some combination of:
    1. Limiting
    2. Compression
    3. Saturation

    Compression lowers the dynamic range so the overall gain can be increased (via a limiter, typically). Saturation can thicken the sound by adding harmonics to create the illusion of higher levels.
     
    Robo Rivard and sIR dORT like this.
  3. OP
    OP
    sIR dORT

    sIR dORT Member

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    Ok, in my limited knowledge of that stuff, I'll try it.
     
  4. visiblenoise

    visiblenoise New Member

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    I'm new to the loudness thing too, but another thing I know that might help is reducing frequency overlap between different instruments by attenuating from the one(s) that need those frequencies less. Otherwise your frequency buildup will waste headroom that could have been used to bring the full mix level up a bit.
     
  5. Phil81

    Phil81 Active Member

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    What are you trying to mix? I avoid using compression, limiters, and saturation in orchestral recordings/mockups unless I want to colour the sound.
     
  6. OP
    OP
    sIR dORT

    sIR dORT Member

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    Orchestral mockups. I do want to be careful of using too much compression (been there, and wow it sounds bad), but my tracks are still too quiet compared to similar style mockups.
     
  7. artomatic

    artomatic I Compose With My Ears

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  8. OP
    OP
    sIR dORT

    sIR dORT Member

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    Did, and it smashed it way to much with compression. For mastering, its great, but most settings that didn't use too much compression didn't boost the gain that much.
     
  9. artomatic

    artomatic I Compose With My Ears

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    You can control the maximizer within Ozone.
    And compression...
     
  10. OP
    OP
    sIR dORT

    sIR dORT Member

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    See my above post about my knowledge of that stuff (effects) :grin:
     
  11. tack

    tack Damned Dirty Ape

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    Possibly the problem isn't so much with mixing but with the orchestration?
     
  12. OP
    OP
    sIR dORT

    sIR dORT Member

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    Probably both given that I'm mostly self taught, but I do think it is mixing more than orchestration. But curious to see what you think based on this track.
     
  13. TimCox

    TimCox Active Member

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    I really don't see a big issue with the loudness (honestly with orchestral music too much loudness just becomes a brick wall of overly compressed noise anyway)

    Compare the volume to one of mine:

     
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  14. OP
    OP
    sIR dORT

    sIR dORT Member

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    I totally agree, but the louder moments of your track are still louder than the loudest of mine, so my issue is still there.
     
  15. JT

    JT Senior Member

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    But this is exactly what you need to learn. Izotope has tons of educational videos about mixing and mastering. Focus on the maximizer (limiter), not the compressor.
     
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  16. tack

    tack Damned Dirty Ape

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    Also, there's nothing wrong with regular ole automation. If you're happy with the quiet parts but want the loud parts louder, you can automate the gain during those moments. You'll still want a limiter at the end of your chain with a bit of headroom to avoid clipping though.
     
    Wally Garten likes this.
  17. chillbot

    chillbot Sock Muppet

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    For what it's worth, I listened to some of your tracks and I did not find them unduly quiet. In fact most of them I thought were just fine. It depends on context, for library music they are probably a bit soft but for dramatic/film music they seem ok to me.

    I have found a lot of commercial samples to be ridiculously soft out of the box, even if you max out every CC available. I have to go into the wrench --> instrument options --> controller --> and set the MIDI controller 7 range to +6 or +12db in order to make them usable for me. I would rather them peak and distort at max volume so that I can back off. It's no good and rather frustrating if you keep turning everything up and it's still not loud enough.

    It's funny because I generally run into the opposite problem. Everything is too loud. If I have a piece with taikos and orchestra and synths and maybe guitars or sub bass, by the time I put it all together I'm red-lining and clipping like crazy. So with this problem I generally advise to mix at a LOUD level because if you have the volume up you will tend to keep the track levels lower thereby maintaining headroom. I recently made this switch a while back (turned everything down significantly in my template and turned the overall listening level up), I think it made a huge difference for me. So for you, I wonder if it would help to do the opposite and turn your overall listening volume down significantly so that you turn the levels on everything else up. At least until you go too far and run into the problem that I had and everything is too loud.

    And at that point all the other advice about limiters and mastering is great. But I think maybe it starts with the way you write and listen while you're writing.
     
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  18. TimCox

    TimCox Active Member

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    While the loudest part (near the beginning, aka where I completely ripoff Jupiter, however subconsciously) is louder than your track it’s also important to note that I have a full brass section blaring fanfare-esque throughout. There’s a lot going on related to writing (neither is better, just different).

    I SHOULD mention because I meant to do so in my first post that I’m actually using Ozone for mastering. I only use the “Loudness Maximizer” to give a slight lift, but not much.
     
  19. GtrString

    GtrString Active Member

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    Its very easy. Use the level meters in your daw. Have all your tracks at about -10dbfs when recording (the actual clip, not your faders). Mix as you please. Eq some of the bottom off of your mix, and use a limiter to bring up the level. Use a reference track to compare your levels to. Done.
     
  20. Meetyhtan

    Meetyhtan Noise Maker

    Definitely get a (free) loudness measuring plugin if you don't have one yet, like Youlean or MLoudnessanalyzer. Learn the basics of how momentarily, short term and integrated loudness works. Sounds more complicated than it actually is. Basically you want to adjust your tracks loudness to the more or less unique loudness standard every online platform has (YouTube, Spotify, etc.), mostly around -13dBFS.
    Bevor you go crazy with compression and limiting, be sure to know where your goal is.
    And always remember that if you have a clean mix and good sounding musical elements in general, people will always increase the volume without thinking about it. Loudness never was the #1 key to great music and will never be, in fact the trend seems to go back to more dynamic range. The loudest part of you track should never be louder than 0dB of course, most people recommend a headroom of -0,3dB to -1,5dB, to not get any clipping when the track is converted by an online platform later on.
     
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