Help With Audio Levels
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  1. #1
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    Default Help With Audio Levels

    Lately, I've been wondering how loud other Ableton Dj sets are compared to mine, and it got me thinking is my set loud enough? My tracks are on average -7.5dB RMS. I have them reduced around -1dB to -4dB. I have two two decks, which are then bussed to two audio tracks where they get eq'd. Should I have them reduced, but how do I know when it's too low? Out of curiosity should I use limiters on the audio tracks?
    Last edited by xstevenx; 07-12-2012 at 04:16 AM.
    15" Macbook Pro (2.0 GHz Core i7, 16 GB) Mac OS X 10.7 Ableton Suite 9. iPad (Liine Lemur).

  2. #2
    Tech Guru deevey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by xstevenx View Post
    Lately, I've been wondering how loud other Ableton Dj sets are compared to mine, and it got me thinking is my set loud enough? My tracks are on average -7.5dB RMS. I have them reduced around -1dB to -4dB. I have two two decks, which are then bussed to two audio tracks where they get eq'd. Should I have them reduced, but how do I know when it's too low? Out of curiosity should I use limiters on the audio tracks?
    I generally run all my clips at -3db, run them (8 decks) into 4 x sends (2 ch per send) which have my EQ/Gain/Filters on them and out to master. I throw light side chain compression onto the low end and then a limiter to gain up the master to just almost just about -.99db levels and make sure I don't spike.

    I wouldn't bother with limiters on the audio tracks themselves unless you are contsantly clip triggering with the fader up (at which stage it makes sense), no harm in adding a gain on the channels (or to sends) imho.

    On a pioneer mixer I need to gain to about 1 o'clock (CDJ's @ 11 o'clock) - but its going to depend on your soundcard output... my old Numark I/O for example had ridiculously low levels in Ableton.
    Last edited by deevey; 07-12-2012 at 07:02 AM.

  3. #3
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    You can always expand the Volume area to fine select your audio level. This so helped me out when balancing my mixes and production channels.

  4. #4
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    Well, I want a louder, punchier set, and with what I am doing in Live...sounds quiet. I guess I need a better eq. This is what I have on all my track busses for my dj set. So, for example my Deck A gets bussed to track one, and Deck B to two track 2...and so on and so forth, then the bus sends the audio externally to my sound card. For the record, yes I am using Apple's Audio Unit Graphic EQ.
    http://i.imgur.com/4qKit.png

    My Audio Effect Rack begins with the EQ Eight minor boosting the lows, mids, and highs from the incoming signal, following that is the utility device which lowers the audio -2dB and another one adds more stereo to the mix which is sent to the eq, and then to a limiter. However, I feel that with this setup, I am doing something wrong.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by xstevenx; 07-22-2012 at 02:31 PM. Reason: picture
    15" Macbook Pro (2.0 GHz Core i7, 16 GB) Mac OS X 10.7 Ableton Suite 9. iPad (Liine Lemur).

  5. #5
    Tech Guru deevey's Avatar
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    My Audio Effect Rack begins with the EQ Eight minor boosting the lows, mids, and highs from the incoming signal, following that is the utility device which lowers the audio -2dB and another one adds more stereo to the mix which is sent to the eq, and then to a limiter. However, I feel that with this setup, I am doing something wrong.
    1. Well that would be an issue right there, things start going weirdly out of phase when you start screwing with stereo imaging its just not needed when you are playing pre-mastered audio tracks, most venues do not even utilize stereo speaker setups so it will be redundant anyhow.

    For the record I use -6db in a rack before the EQ and after effects, my eq's are on 4 Return tracks while effects are on each individual track which are also lowered to -3db.

    2. Smiley faces on EQ's is never a good thing and from your screenshot all your doing is boosting the low and high and going to lose most of your "audiable" bits (low-mid/mid) to over enhanced bass and high.

    3. I never see any reason not to keep EQ's completely flat on a completed full audio track, unless a particular track is severely lacking in the first place, at which stage tweak the area its lacking using a 3 band same way DJ's always have on DJ mixers.

    The tracks have been mastered already so all you should need to concentrate on is the levels, not the eq's - throw a limiter on the master to boost your master output gain

    4. If you want a lil more punch try adding a lil light sidechain compression to the low end on the master followed by a limiter to take everything to the desired output level, you really should not need much more than that.

    If you get your master right you won't need much on the individual tracks whatsoever apart from basic functions so concentrate on stripping unnecessary stuff out rather then adding more in.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by deevey View Post
    4. If you want a lil more punch try adding a lil light sidechain compression to the low end on the master followed by a limiter to take everything to the desired output level, you really should not need much more than that.
    How do I achieve this?
    15" Macbook Pro (2.0 GHz Core i7, 16 GB) Mac OS X 10.7 Ableton Suite 9. iPad (Liine Lemur).

  7. #7
    Tech Guru deevey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by xstevenx View Post
    How do I achieve this?
    Click here ..

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