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  • coFane
    Posts: 121
    Joined: Jan 30th, 2007, 10:36
    How many dbs of headroom to leave for mastering?
    Rounik (or whoever else), I am now taking your advice to compose and mix my songs with a completely dry output 1-2 channel. Let's say I've written and mixed my song and it doesn't clip. It is sounding just about how I would like the final version to sound. How many db of headroom should I have between the highest peak in sound to 0db? You previously mentioned that headroom should be left for the mastering process. I'm just wondering how much... Thanks!
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  • DJ Coma
    Posts: 5
    Joined: Apr 28th, 2010, 02:02
    Re: How many dbs of headroom to le...
    I think -6dB is a pretty standard level where your mix should peak at for mastering. It depends on who is mastering it and their individual requirements though. I think I have seen some places that say -3db too. If you have it peaking at about 0db without clipping and are happy with your mix just pull down the master fader 6 db's and it should be fine.
    Reply
  • Rounik Admin
    Posts: 8713
    Joined: Dec 16th, 2006, 08:13
    Re: How many dbs of headroom to le...
    +1 with DJ Coma, -6 to -3 should be fine and will give the Mastering engineer (could be yourself) some room to play with when mastering the track. I know some guys that won't peak above -9dB! :) Rounik
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  • coFane
    Posts: 121
    Joined: Jan 30th, 2007, 10:36
    Re: How many dbs of headroom to le...
    So based on both of your responses, it sounds like If I'm completely done arranging and mixing a track but it ISN'T MASTERED the track will sound very quiet if I were to bounce it? If I'm preparing a track to send to a mastering engineer what does that generally mean? Is it normal practice to send the mastering engineer just the bounced AIFF or WAV file of outputs 1-2 or do they generally want ALL of the audio tracks in a project? Thanks!
    Reply
  • DJ Coma
    Posts: 5
    Joined: Apr 28th, 2010, 02:02
    Re: How many dbs of headroom to le...
    Mastering Engineers want a stereo (2 track) mixdown of your song. They don't want the individual tracks and have to piece them together, that is for the mixing process and the mixing process will be concluded when you mix all your tracks down to the one stereo track. And yes it will sound quiet because you are peaking at -6db's and the final master will be peaking around 0 db's. They need it to be quieter so they have headroom to boost some eq's, add multiband compression, harmonic exciters, etc. When all those are done they'll slap a limiter on the end of the chain to bring the level up so it peaks at 0 db.
    Reply
  • Vivisuy
    Posts: 98
    Joined: Jul 27th, 2006, 11:30
    Wow! I have been bouncing my mix at 0 db and the doing all the eq and stuff up against the limiter. This could be why my stereo separation is not as good as I'd like it to be!! I did not know this. Rob
    Reply
  • Rounik Admin
    Posts: 8713
    Joined: Dec 16th, 2006, 08:13
    Re: How many dbs of headroom to le...
    Hi Rob, Would definitely recommend this tutorial on Mastering: [url]http://www.macprovideo.com/tutorial/Logic401[/url] Lot's essential info on Mastering! :) Rounik
    Reply
  • coFane
    Posts: 121
    Joined: Jan 30th, 2007, 10:36
    Re: How many dbs of headroom to le...
    Rob-- I did this same thing for years! My mixes actually sounded very good but I've veered away from doing this recently because pushing everything against the limiter just isn't the best way for various reasons. You're not alone though!
    Reply
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