Old 07-31-2010, 01:55 PM   #1
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Default How do YOU insure loud mixes?

And by that I mean in relative context of pro recordings on a CD.

What is YOUR secret go to tool.

I like Ozone by izotope, and waves L2.
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Old 07-31-2010, 02:04 PM   #2
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How do I insure loud mixes?....

I don't any more. I'm more into transients, punch, clarity and transparency these days. My days of creating LOUD mixes are over..... for good!

Having said that, L2 and Ozone are still very useful tools. I've switched from L2 to Ozone for master bus now though.
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Old 07-31-2010, 02:08 PM   #3
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End the loudness wars!
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Old 07-31-2010, 02:13 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EvilDragon View Post
End the loudness wars!
But it doesn't hurt noone if it's loud and no clipping.
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Old 07-31-2010, 02:23 PM   #5
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I'm a long time believer in Ozone's Limiter but Slate FG-X is sounding great on the first couple mixes I'm doing. I agree with not making things too loud but sometimes people want it that way and I try and give people what they want.
cam
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Old 07-31-2010, 02:24 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by rohagymeg View Post
But it doesn't hurt noone if it's loud and no clipping.
It does, actually. Continuous loudness will fatigue your ears much faster than having some dynamic range, and can thus start giving you a headache and that sort of thing.
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Old 07-31-2010, 02:28 PM   #7
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Can you guys speak up please. Geez, what is this, WhisperFest?
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Old 07-31-2010, 02:32 PM   #8
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I typically like the way my mixes sound better before they are loudified as you are referring to... but I use a mix of Soft Clip limiters and brickwall limiters... and that is strictly for making it louder... In the Multi Platinum Pro Tools mastering tutorial video they suggest using multiple plugins on the master to help increase volume without totally destroying dynamics.

If you are using L2... try using like... 3 or 4 f them instead of 1.. and instead of putting the single instance at -12.0 or something ridiculous.. put each one down a little at a time to gradually bring up the mix.. and this will also act like a stepping limiter.. like a Master/Slave.. Also.. i prefer to turn shaping off on all steps... and dither only on the last one.

hope that helps some people.
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Old 07-31-2010, 02:43 PM   #9
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Stay away from L2, this is the worst limiter I have ever tried, unless you don't mind losing your snare in the mix... UAD has some great "loudness" plugins like the Precision Maximizer and Precision Limiter, Sony Oxford's Limiter is pretty awesome too. There are a lot more of course...
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Old 07-31-2010, 02:53 PM   #10
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i got my wife the lady gaga - fame monster cd . so friggin loud its rediculous. i guess you can get loud mixes by using compression and limiting.
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Old 07-31-2010, 03:05 PM   #11
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I'm more of a fusion/jazz/prog/classical/crossover kinda guy. I heard this band Animals as Leaders and the composition and playing was awesome unfortunately this is what every single song on the CD had done to it.


Totally can't listen to it. It's not just fatiguing, it has a weird wooshing sound all the time from the compressors that is extremely distracting because it isn't on purpose or part of the music. It also has almost no frequency range either. In order to get the perfect square I guess they hacked either end of the spectrum completely off.
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Old 07-31-2010, 03:09 PM   #12
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How do I insure loud mixes?

Lloyds of London. They'll insure ANYTHING.
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Old 07-31-2010, 03:10 PM   #13
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-and as the saying goes:

"If everything's loud, then everything's soft."
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Old 07-31-2010, 03:13 PM   #14
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Also, instead of just compressing the shit out of everything, one of the tricks is to mix so that your instruments have frequency space carved out for themselves. Carefully control frequency overlap and low end that takes up all the energy. When you can do that the perceived loudness will grow tremendously.
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Old 07-31-2010, 03:15 PM   #15
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Click the image below to watch a video about this loudness madness......

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Old 07-31-2010, 03:17 PM   #16
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i mix it until it sounds good, then when i finish the whole record, i just send it to my mastering engineer.
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Old 07-31-2010, 03:18 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jmcecil View Post
Also, instead of just compressing the shit out of everything, one of the tricks is to mix so that your instruments have frequency space carved out for themselves. Carefully control frequency overlap and low end that takes up all the energy. When you can do that the perceived loudness will grow tremendously.
+1. Good engineering, good performance and good production = good mix that maintains integrity and utilises the full spectrum in a frequency AND level sense WITHOUT being killed with compression and brick wall limiting.
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Old 07-31-2010, 03:18 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dannii View Post
Click the image below to watch a video about this loudness madness......

that is such a great, simple demonstration of the problem.
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Old 07-31-2010, 03:28 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by camerondye View Post
I'm a long time believer in Ozone's Limiter but Slate FG-X is sounding great on the first couple mixes I'm doing. I agree with not making things too loud but sometimes people want it that way and I try and give people what they want.
cam
+1 definitely more dynamics and drums left when pushed hard. It lives up to the hype imo (iLok only be warned). Will be purchasing when I can afford it.

My FG-X should have expired a week ago, but I left Reaper on my main daw open and its still working, I just add new tabs...weird but wonderful! Cant update to the awesome beta though like this, its getting down to crunch time unfortunately.

Voxengo Elephant is probably your cheapest option for loud.

Stillwells Event Horizon js might work ok for free, included in Reaper.

Loudness is bad musically but everybody wants it...
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Old 07-31-2010, 03:42 PM   #20
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music and the loudness war is like:

1. buy the best ingredients you can
2. pay the best cook to prepare it for you
3. let it be served by the most skilled waiter for you

4. and finally add a ton of salt to the meal.


Tastes wonderful. Everbody likes it.
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Old 07-31-2010, 03:48 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Phisk View Post
music and the loudness war is like:

1. buy the best ingredients you can
2. pay the best cook to prepare it for you
3. let it be served by the most skilled waiter for you

4. and finally add a ton of salt to the meal.


Tastes wonderful. Everbody likes it.
Exactly, Ketchup on Filet!
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Old 07-31-2010, 04:37 PM   #22
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You might want to have a listen to some albums by The ENID and you'll realise you probably dont need to compress it all.
They dont use master compression on their albums so you do get loud AND soft parts

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Old 07-31-2010, 05:04 PM   #23
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2 instances back to back of g-clip. Both gently clipping peaks. Then tls_maximizer.
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Old 07-31-2010, 05:46 PM   #24
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Default Now tell me true....

When you render, tell me true, does the stereo track image basically look just like a two whay hiway and if you could just paint a yellow broken strip down the center it would be a perfect asphalt depiction?
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Old 07-31-2010, 05:50 PM   #25
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Default Where are your levels......?????

When you track, what levels do you shoot for?

Once finished tracking, where do your levels end up? Which track is loudest usually. (i.e. snare, kick, vocals..)

When you finally get to render where is the master track at and where is the master track hitting throughout the recording process.

Let's be clear, I'm no one and I don't know a thing. I am learning!
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Old 07-31-2010, 11:50 PM   #26
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I can insure loud mixes for everyone, mainly because I like to listen to music loud. So give me a quiet cd, and I will turn it up. Bam, instant loud mix.
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Old 08-01-2010, 12:10 AM   #27
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has anyone heard the new Metallica album Death Magnetic? Apparently it's the loudest album ever made, so loud in fact that the whole thing is digitally clipped.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dyscQ43HEyw
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Old 08-01-2010, 02:25 AM   #28
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It's not the loudest ever made, but it's very loud and sounds horrible. In fact the mastering engineer (Ted Jensen - not a newbie) even refused to have his name on the booklet, explaining that everything was limited and clipping before he got the tracks to master, so he couldn't do much about it.
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Old 08-01-2010, 02:54 AM   #29
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Some useful freeware :

Endorphin is my current favorite to heat up the final mix. It's the closest I've found so far as an alternative to PSP Vintagewarmer. Endorphin is here: http://www.digitalfishphones.com/mai...em=2&subItem=3

Kjaerhus Classic Limiter is known to be a fairly good and transparent limiter. The Kjaerhus website is gone but you can still download the Classic package here: http://www.acoustica.com/plugins/vst-directx.htm

TT Dynamic Range Meter is a tool to keep an eye on the dynamic range of your mix. You can find the download and lots of discussion on the concept here: http://www.dynamicrange.de/es/es/download

And for those looking to restore some of the dynamics back to a over-compressed mix, there is Terry West's ReLife. Haven't tried it myself but from discussions on other forums it seems to work at least to some extend: http://terrywest.nl/utils.html
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Old 08-01-2010, 06:01 AM   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dea-man View Post
When you render, tell me true, does the stereo track image basically look just like a two whay hiway and if you could just paint a yellow broken strip down the center it would be a perfect asphalt depiction?
You tell me:


And the sound of the 2 instances of g-clip and tls_maximizer:
http://www.box.net/shared/7iek1xs37o

Quote:
Originally Posted by dea-man View Post
When you track, what levels do you shoot for?

Once finished tracking, where do your levels end up? Which track is loudest usually. (i.e. snare, kick, vocals..)

When you finally get to render where is the master track at and where is the master track hitting throughout the recording process.

Let's be clear, I'm no one and I don't know a thing. I am learning!
First off its okay to ask noob questions... thats how I learned.
Any ways when tracking guitars and vocals, I usually try to get as hot as I can without clipping. When mixing, I usually compress the living shit outta my bass tracks (thats right... I have 2 tracks) and set them to where they peak at -18db AND NEVER TOUCH IT AGAIN. I then mix around that track... most of the time, everything else winds up peaking at/around -6db.
Then the 2 g-clips and tls on the master which I then mod and adjust till the master meter peaks at about -0.3db.
There you have it.
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Old 08-01-2010, 06:08 AM   #31
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In all cases, never get fooled by graphics. Depending on how close or far you zoom you might end up with a square while your mix is still very dynamic. If it sounds good to you, and doesn't clip when you listen with headphones, there you go. But it's totally different from one style of music to the other.
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Old 08-01-2010, 06:30 AM   #32
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I just loaded a track from Rush's Vapor Trails album into Reaper. The production of that album is completely destroyed dynamically and it doesn't look nice as a wave, zoomed or not. I never could listen to this album because the over-compression is tiering my ears within seconds.

So I slapped that Relife-plugin on it and it does indeed do magic; it restores quite a bit of dynamic range. I can listen to the track now but before I might really like it there has to be done more to it (mainly EQ I think). I might go for a full restoration of the album, might learn me a lot I guess.

EDIT: went a bit further with this, two instances of Relife in line. I get a very nice dynamic range but it also squashes quite some of the high frequency content of the track, resulting in quite a dull sound. So now I found another (free) 'secret weapon'; BuzzRizer2. Using a preset (Classic 3) it instantly restored the track into a very polished sound without sacrificing the dynamic range I just got back with Relife.

Get it here: http://www.trifex.de/buzzrizerlight.html

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Old 08-01-2010, 06:41 AM   #33
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I use Voxengo SPAN to analyze quality commercial mixes to see how they differ from mine. I consistently notice that the waveform is much more 'dense' than on my finished mixes. Not necessarily louder (as in loudness wars), but more of the gaps between the peaks are filled in.

One day I had my bass plugged in and it happened to have old strings on it. The waveform displayed in SPAN for just my bass was pretty close to a simple sine wave. I changed my strings and all of a sudden, there are many more peaks displayed in the spectrum... more harmonics, duh!

After a while it dawned on me. More harmonics equals more sound which equals more of the peaks filled in. So my rule of thumb is to use fresh strings. I'm guessing that this same applies to drum heads, reeds, etc.

I don't think this will necessarily make things louder, but it should record a more quality, fuller sound - which should translate to a fuller overall mix. I'm starting to think that this approach is better that 'artificial' means to make a mix louder, since you can't really amplify a sound that wasn't recorded in the first place.

I have a guitar-player friend who insists that older strings sound better. After seeing the evidence in SPAN, I can't agree.

Does anyone else have an opinion or experience with this?
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Old 08-01-2010, 06:44 AM   #34
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This is totally off topic but yes, clean new strings (bass and guitar) and drum heads are a must when recording. BUT some might find new strings to have too much of those harmonics, they sound brighter, which might not please everybody.

If you play metal, change your strings. If you play blues rock, don't. If you play punk, you don't even know how to tune them so... who cares?

Apples and oranges...
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Old 08-01-2010, 07:15 AM   #35
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Is it really off topic? My point, and I didn't do a good job of conveying it, was that source material with more sonic content helps to ensure a louder overall mix.
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Old 08-01-2010, 09:03 AM   #36
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Quote:
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This is totally off topic but yes, clean new strings (bass and guitar) and drum heads are a must when recording. BUT some might find new strings to have too much of those harmonics, they sound brighter, which might not please everybody.

If you play metal, change your strings. If you play blues rock, don't. If you play punk, you don't even know how to tune them so... who cares?

Apples and oranges...

I think this is exactly the perfect answer to the thread actually. In the context of some music, it's supposed to be loud and some music should never ever be clipped and touch 0. Now do things need to be butchered like Death Magnetic...I don't think so but their opinion said it should and it went at least Platinum so who knows. Chinese Democracy was a beautifully recorded and mastered reasonably and it didn't sell nearly as well.

This is the great thing about music, it's up to the people making the album to make it sound like they want it to. It's a confusing and great thing. I think that mastering plays little part on sales and it comes down to good songs, writing, and performing....and unfortunately marketing. Bruce Springsteen's Nebraska is one of the worst sounding things ever, but it's the only album of his that I can listen to and enjoy all the way through and I think it's amazing. There is no perfect answer and people are going to keep mastering this way, some will lower it a little, some will keep all their dynamics, but we'll never ever know if it makes a difference and can only guess. The best thing to do is make your music sound like it sounds in your head and be happy it's out of your head and on something other people can appreciate.

Me personally, if somebody wants what's in their head brutally loud...who am I to say it's not supposed to sound that way. This is an art and the mixer isn't the main artist and I think that some of us forget that sometimes. If the musician is the painter, we are no more than the paintbrush or the canvas. If you are upfront that you won't squash the music and the artist doesn't leave, maybe you brought a little more sensibility in this world and maybe you made his music worse.

I agree with not killing dynamics, but unfortunately just about everybody who walks through my door has a different view.
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Old 08-01-2010, 09:38 AM   #37
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I think that recording with new strings for a sound is just a matter of taste. There are some songs that I have recorded where I thought a dead guitar sound was called for, and so I used one with old rusty strings. It really just depends what you're going for.

If you need a really nice guitar sound, I would definitely reccomend using new, or relatively new, strings.
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Old 08-01-2010, 10:21 AM   #38
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EvilDragon View Post
End the loudness wars!
http://www.dynamicrange.de/
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Old 08-01-2010, 11:31 AM   #39
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I already mentioned that one
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Old 08-03-2010, 04:43 AM   #40
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Quote:
Originally Posted by technogremlin View Post
I just loaded a track from Rush's Vapor Trails album into Reaper. The production of that album is completely destroyed dynamically and it doesn't look nice as a wave, zoomed or not. I never could listen to this album because the over-compression is tiering my ears within seconds.

So I slapped that Relife-plugin on it and it does indeed do magic; it restores quite a bit of dynamic range. I can listen to the track now but before I might really like it there has to be done more to it (mainly EQ I think). I might go for a full restoration of the album, might learn me a lot I guess.

EDIT: went a bit further with this, two instances of Relife in line. I get a very nice dynamic range but it also squashes quite some of the high frequency content of the track, resulting in quite a dull sound. So now I found another (free) 'secret weapon'; BuzzRizer2. Using a preset (Classic 3) it instantly restored the track into a very polished sound without sacrificing the dynamic range I just got back with Relife.

Get it here: http://www.trifex.de/buzzrizerlight.html
This isn't just an issue of dynamic range.
Those extremely squashed tracks are also distorted in the process.
Vapor Trails sounds distorted.

Even with something like TL Maximizer, which shapes the peaks instead of chopping them off, you will get distortion if you push it hard enough.

Someone needs to end this idiocy.
Why not home producers?
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