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My tracks are too quiet...

shomynik

Active Member
@labornvain and @shomynik thank you so much for your added clarifications. Since I started the thread, my understanding has improved significantly and you have just added a lot to it. I am now researching more about Gain Staging and digital gain.

@labornvain I used to increase the gain from the mixer in Cubase, but after your suggestion I am going to do that using the Kontakt Master volume. As for the reverb, I recently bought VVV and Blackhole, so I turn the library's reverb off and use one of the two. Reverb is another area I need to learn a whole lot. Right now I am just using the presets with the exception of the Blackhole reverb where I managed to create a nice "natural sounding" reverb for the piano sound I mostly use.

@shomynik I am researching digital gain right now. What is your suggested amount of headroom, by the way? I mostly write ambient, minimalistic music. So far, I have never experienced clipping even with heavily increasing the gain.

Cheers,
Alex
No worries Agondonter, glad you found it helpfull.

In 32 bit floating point there is no clipping while you are working in a clean daw that doesn't have any analog simulations going on. Cubase is such a DAW. The red channel flashing is just an indicator that you have peaks over 0db digital scale, and you have to worry about that only when bouncing/exporting in order to avoid nasty digital clipping. That is very easily done, you can even lower you stereo master fader in the end until the clipping is gone.

As far as the recomended levels, you got very good advices in this thread, many plugins are balanced to work from -12db to -16db, that would be great if you could maintain that level all the way through. But to make things easier with no consequences, you can only think about levels when:

-you use your plugins: you can adjust input gain of that plugin or if the plugin doesnt have the input control, you can insert a separate gain plugin before it, or use any other level control before the plugin.

-when you bounce/export to audio file, nothing should go over 0db digital scale (which is the scale on the cubase faders). Again, for this you can use plugins on the master channel, either level controls in your existing plugins (eq, comps, limiters, etc...) or a separate clean gain plugin.

Also, you got tons of great info regarding the final track levels as well as many ways how to get to a desired one.

Here is a good pdf on digital audio, it's a very easy read:

https://redirect.viglink.com/?format=go&jsonp=vglnk_155499789167515&key=57ed2afae0b472fc7ec991a58f1b72c9&libId=jucsk43p0102uz1c000MAcb3whibl&loc=https://www.logicprohelp.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=65875&v=1&out=http://www.popmusic.dk/download/pdf/levels-in-digital-audio.pdf&ref=https://www.google.com/&title=Can my low fader position degrade sound quality ? - Logic Pro Help&txt=http://www.popmusic.dk/download/pdf/lev ... -audio.pdf

Milos
 
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Agondonter

Agondonter

Member
No worries Agondonter, glad you found it helpfull.

In 32 bit floating point there is no clipping while you are working in a clean daw that doesn't have any analog simulations going on. Cubase is such a DAW. The red channel flashing is just an indicator that you have peaks over 0db digital scale, and you have to worry about that only when bouncing/exporting in order to avoid nasty digital clipping. That is very easily done, you can even lower you stereo master fader in the end until the clipping is gone.

As far as the recomended levels, you got very good advices in this thread, many plugins are balanced to work from -12db to -16db, that would be great if you could maintain that level all the way through. But to make things easier with no consequences, you can only think about levels when:

-you use your plugins: you can adjust input gain of that plugin or if the plugin doesnt have the input control, you can insert a separate gain plugin before it, or use any other level control before the plugin.

-when you bounce/export to audio file, nothing should go over 0db digital scale (which is the scale on the cubase faders). Again, for this you can use plugins on the master channel, either level controls in your existing plugins (eq, comps, limiters, etc...) or a separate clean gain plugin.

Also, you got tons of great info regarding the final track levels as well as many ways how to get to a desired one.

Here is a good pdf on digital audio, it's a very easy read:

https://redirect.viglink.com/?format=go&jsonp=vglnk_155499789167515&key=57ed2afae0b472fc7ec991a58f1b72c9&libId=jucsk43p0102uz1c000MAcb3whibl&loc=https://www.logicprohelp.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=65875&v=1&out=http://www.popmusic.dk/download/pdf/levels-in-digital-audio.pdf&ref=https://www.google.com/&title=Can my low fader position degrade sound quality ? - Logic Pro Help&txt=http://www.popmusic.dk/download/pdf/lev ... -audio.pdf

Milos

Thank you Milos! The pdf is indeed very easy to understand and informative! :)

Just for clarification, no matter what genre I am writing in the final track should leave a headroom of 0.3 decibels, right?

Cheers
 
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Agondonter

Agondonter

Member
Hmmm I am having a problem with gain staging. I am writing something new and I am at the point where I solo each track and play it where it peaks and adjust the master output from Kontakt so that the VU Meter reaches close to 0. When I play all the instruments together then, they are very imbalanced though. The bass sounds overwhelming, the violas can hardly be heard etc. What I also noticed is that the VU meter peaks usually at the end of the note where the reverb happens.

Something else that troubles me are the C11 and C7 MIDI messages. I am composing in Sibelius and I input the MIDI messages there and then I import the MIDI file in Cubase. I tried using only C11, but the crescendi and diminuendi where really underwhelming and I couldn't balance the instruments with one another. Then I tried using C11 for the initial attack and C7 to do all the cresc. and dim. and it worked much better, but the volume in Kontakt also changes with every C7 change... Is this correct?

I am so lost right now...
 
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Agondonter

Agondonter

Member
Here is the track without any changes, other than some minor tweaking of Kontakt's Master Output for each instrument so that they don't overpower each other...

 
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