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  1. #11
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    oh thanks! I shall check out Pultec!

  2. #12
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    You're track is unavailable, so I couldn't listen. In any case, don't shy away from getting closer to 0dB, even before mastering. Having headroom is great, but when you're compressing your track (which I'm assuming you are), then there's no reason you can't have it under control and inch it a bit closer to the ultimate goal anyway.

    My cool suggestion is to go back and work on individual elements before doing any stereo bus EQ-ing/Compression. Listen, listen, and listen again until you know exactly what isn't gelling well. Even with the most basic DAW tools you can achieve good results if you simply apply them correctly. It's also often a matter of doing less, than doing more.

    I've always considered the bus compression/EQ-ing sort of like putting a cherry on the cake. It'll make a good cake all that little bit better and more presentable, but can't mask the flaws in a crummy cake.

    Despite the Pultec EQ (which is a great suggestion Nick V!) being a fantastic EQ (if you use attenuation *cough*), I dare you to work with general, non-specialized tools to get your mix sounding exactly the way you want it. I dare you, because you learn best through limiting yourself, and still making it work. Because what kind of point do you make when you have access and use amazing gear (we're really spoiled with plugins) if the same (if not better) mix can be achieved with stock DAW plugins? My 2 cents.

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  4. #14
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    Hey thanks for your response.

    So when you say don't shy away from getting closer to 0db what do you mean? I mean to say, i've always read everywhere that you should like have a general headroom of 6db before mastering and then let the limiters/compressors etc come into action. Thats how i i generally mix my track, i keep the aim of a 6db headroom(not my ultimate goal but just kept in my mind). Because if i would cross 6db i wouldn't know how much is enough and where to stop and leave how much headroom for mastering. My general aim is balance all the elements, make sure no frequencies are clashing and its sounding nice and cohesive but at a low volume. If I'm wrong or should add some things please correct me.

    Maybe it's just the lack of experience talking on my part but i'm curious and getting my basics right.

    Yes i completely agree on making each element as strong as possible. Now i focus on that every time. And yes indeed we are really spoilt with plugins.

    Thanks for you help.

    Btw yeah sorry pulled it down and re-uploaded the track here:

    https://soundcloud.com/sagar4848/code-x

  5. #15
    Tech Guru Tarekith's Avatar
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    Nothing wrong with aiming for -6dBFS, it's what I generally recommend too. But it's not a hard and fast rule either, if you're absolutely sure you're not clipping anywhere in the song, there's really no reason you couldn't mix to -0.1dBFS to be honest.

    Most people recommend -6dBFS as a guide simply because it's a simple way to add a bit of a safety net when it comes to headroom. If you're generally around that point with all your mix elements playing, then you can just focus on doing the mix and not have to pay constant attention to your master meter.

    Other than expending a calorie reaching for the volume knob to turn your studio monitors up a bit because you're mixing with a goal quieter than the usual 0dB, there's really no downside to leaving a few dB's headroom when you're working at 24bit or above. At the same time, if you're bus compressing and it the master level creeps above -6dBFS, like R01 said, don't stress it too much if you're not clipping anyway.

  6. #16
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    Tarekith explained it well, so I have no need to repeat the same stuff.

    I personally don't stick to -6dB headroom (or even less for that matter) when it makes sense. You can always count on the mix peaks hitting 0dB after mastering, so I choose to maximize signal/noise when possible.

    Context is super important, which is a shame because it's rarely stressed next to generally basic techniques. That being said, you won't catch me compressing a classical recording, and I probably won't even care if there's a difference of 10-20dB in dynamics. But we're talking about electronic music here, so obviously compression is needed, and I'd do everything I could to push the volume without killing the dynamics. Complete opposite aproaches if you ask me, but it works based on context.

    I could outline "mixing through a bus comp", (which is also context dependent) but that's probably beyond the scope here. The only other crucial tip I can give besides listening is reference. The biggest favor you can do for your ears is pulling a similar song, import it into your DAW, set the volume to the same as your mix and A/B-ing. Instead of thinking about what to adjust based on your own reference, it'll hit your ears like a smack in the face. It's also an important part of developing your own reference, so don't underestimate it.

    Not in a spot where I can listen easily, but I'll throw your track on when I get home.

  7. #17
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    Alright guys, thanks for you inputs. They've been helpful and i'll keep these pointers in mind the next time.

  8. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by R01 View Post
    [..] so I choose to maximize signal/noise when possible.
    This really doesn't make sense in the digital domain...

    Even 16 bit gives you 96 dB of dynamic range, 24 bit give you 144 dB, and even the calculator Bill Gates uses to count his money wouldn't be able to show you the dynamic range the 32 bit floating point algorithm of your DAW has to offer.

    So even with 16 bit, leaving 6 dB headroom would mean reducing your dynamic range to 90 dB, which is way more than even classical music has, let alone electronic music that usually has a dynamic range of less than 20 or even 15 dB even before mastering...

    Plus, where analog gear and microphones actually produce noise, the noise floor of productions that are created strictly "in the box" is a rather threoretical thing...

    So basically mixing closer to 0 dBFS instead of -6 dBFS to maximize signal/noise in a DAW with digitally created instruments in 24 bit is like putting on a rain coat in Death Valley to make sure you don't get wet...




    The only other crucial tip I can give besides listening is reference. The biggest favor you can do for your ears is pulling a similar song, import it into your DAW, set the volume to the same as your mix and A/B-ing.
    +1 on this.

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