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  • JamieInNC
    Posts: 186
    Joined: Nov 16th, 2009, 01:04
    Levels after mixing/mastering...
    Hi All! I'm not quite sure where I'm missing the point, but when I start mixing tracks together, I'm not able to get the levels to remain within the tight near-clip range like Steve did in the tutorials. Can anyone suggest a series of general steps one would use to get that loud sound? For example, when I listen to a professionally mixed/mastered tune, I can see the levels coming through my Duet as being near-clip almost all of the time, regardless of the musical texture AND the volume of the Duet itself. Of course, I understand volume and incoming signal are two different things. Just wondering how they get this to work properly. Thanks! Jamie
    Reply
  • Rounik Admin
    Posts: 8713
    Joined: Dec 16th, 2006, 08:13
    Re: Levels after mixing/mastering....
    Hey Jamie, Using a compressor / multi band compressor should do the trick coupled with an adlimiter. :) Rounik
    Reply
  • JamieInNC
    Posts: 186
    Joined: Nov 16th, 2009, 01:04
    Re: Levels after mixing/mastering....
    Thanks, Rounik... I understand that much. I'm just wondering how the relationship between the channel strip level, the compressor make-up gain, the input/output/gain on the AdLimiter, and the multipressor controls achieve that sound. For example, when I watched Steve's Mastering tutorials, he increased the gain on each band of "Wheels" and adjusted the threshold/ratio of each so there isn't pumping, et cetera. Then he adjusted the controls on the AdLimiter, the least of which I understand being the input scale. What exactly does "margin" mean above each meter on the limiter? Steve says he's getting about a 12dB range on the input and yet I'm seeing the meter jumping between the range of 3dB and 9dB. Where did the 12 come from? Then I watch Olav, and he is CRANKING the gain of each band within the multipressor display way down and I'm hearing and seeing the levels still achieving a big sound. It's like two completely opposite methods that get the same result. Quite confusing to me! Anyway, I'm off to mess with my new synth. Jamie
    Reply
  • Rounik Admin
    Posts: 8713
    Joined: Dec 16th, 2006, 08:13
    Re: Levels after mixing/mastering....
    Hi Jamie, I see! That's quite a big question to answer here... "The Margin field shows the highest input level. You can reset the Margin field by clicking it." I'd recommend browsing the Logic Studio Effects manual, p.89 for Adlimiter and p.102 for Multipressor (better than me copying and pasting from the manual ;) I can't answer directly on behalf of Steve about the 12dB range... The beauty of Mixing/Mastering, as you pointed out, are the wide variety of techniques used to achieve a 'big sound'. Hey Steve... come and enlighten us :)
    Reply
  • steveH
    Posts: 857
    Joined: Oct 17th, 2006, 05:19
    Re: Levels after mixing/mastering....
    Just getting up! Need some coffee to tackle this one.... Maybe a whole gallon! I'll be back......
    Reply
  • steveH
    Posts: 857
    Joined: Oct 17th, 2006, 05:19
    Re: Levels after mixing/mastering....
    OK! I'm caffeinated and ready to go! [quote:]I'm not quite sure where I'm missing the point, but when I start mixing tracks together, I'm not able to ...[/quote] Mixing and mastering are to separate issues. Are you mixing with mastering plugins in the stereo output channel?. If so, remove them and do your mix first, and then master it. Think of it this way: Mixing while monitoring the mix thru mastering plugins is like painting a picture while wearing tinted sunglasses... [i]see[/i] what I mean? [quote:...I'm not able to get the levels to remain within the tight near-clip range like Steve did in the tutorials.[/quote] [quote:]During the mixing stage (w/o mastering plugs in the stereo output channel!) Individual tracks may need to be either compressed or automated to level out their loudness ranges. Remember, get the cake mix to sound as good as you can and then master to add the frosting. [quote:]For example, when I listen to a professionally mixed/mastered tune, I can see the levels coming through my Duet as being near-clip almost all of the time...[/quote] That is achieved by using a brick wall limiter which in Logic is called the AdLimiter. Review my video on the AdLimiter... everything you need to know is there!
    Reply
  • JamieInNC
    Posts: 186
    Joined: Nov 16th, 2009, 01:04
    Re: Levels after mixing/mastering....
    Thank you, Steve! I don't use any of the mastering tools you survey on the channel strip itself. I actually do place the limiter on the main output channel strip just for added security. I'm still working out the kinks in my own process, but I usually record the tracks and set the levels on the channel strip very low. I figure that if the notes, textures, melodies, harmonies, rhythms and such all work together in the mess of the pre-mix, it will definitely work when everything has been placed in the sound spectrum properly with regards to volume, EQ, compression, panning, any automation, et cetera. I guess I was just asking for help with establishing that process, which you mentioned using the cake and frosting analogy! That makes a bunch of sense to me. Sometimes, I get so involved in the minutiae that I forget the big picture and how sensible things become when I step away from the little things to look at it. Thanks guys! Jamie
    Reply
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