Mastered tracks still fall a couple dBs short of professional producers tracks.
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Old 25-05-2012, 06:51 AM   #1
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Mastered tracks still fall a couple dBs short of professional producers tracks.

For my latest track I followed D.Ramirez youtube guide on Mixing down a track. On the master channel with no limiter my track doesn't go past 0db. I add Izotope Ozone 4 limiter and boost the volume up about 6.5dbs and it sounds great but when compared to other professional tracks it's still falls a bit short on loudness. But when I look at the wave from of a professional track most of it looks clipped off. Should push the limiter more, like 8dbs?

Here's the preview I the track I'm talking about soundcloud.com/djfinylfaze/amplify-finyl-faze

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Old 25-05-2012, 08:20 AM   #2
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Re: Mastered tracks still fall a couple DBs short of professional producers tracks.

As much as people would like to think so loudness is not an absolute measurement.just because your track has a big rms read out and doesn't bounce to much from that readout (dynamic range) does not mean your track is loud.

E.g most of the french shit (pre sebastiAn album)has an rms of about -10 and is shit loud especially justice's cross album. the reason for this is the mids are extremely loud but there is an absence of low end,if there was more low end the reading would be alot higher,but mids and highs are what we usually associate with loudness not low end.

Loudness is achieved by playing on how are ears perceive frequencies, making the ones we are most sensitive to more up in your face (800hz ish and up).

Another thing which may give your track a large rms readout is if you have a specific element that takes up alot of headroom in the low end (sustained sine loud) this would make your track readout as having a high rms but,it wouldn't actually be perceived as loud..perceived being the key word.


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Old 26-05-2012, 08:18 PM   #3
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Re: Mastered tracks still fall a couple DBs short of professional producers tracks.

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Originally Posted by TIMT View Post
As much as people would like to think so loudness is not an absolute measurement.just because your track has a big rms read out and doesn't bounce to much from that readout (dynamic range) does not mean your track is loud.

Loudness is achieved by playing on how are ears perceive frequencies, making the ones we are most sensitive to more up in your face (800hz ish and up).

Another thing which may give your track a large rms readout is if you have a specific element that takes up alot of headroom in the low end (sustained sine loud) this would make your track readout as having a high rms but,it wouldn't actually be perceived as loud..perceived being the key word.


TIMT
Thanks for the in depth insite. I'm going to listen to some other tracks and do a spectrum analysis on them with ableton and compare them to mine. To figure out where I can improve to give it that little bit of extra. I must admit on the master channel I cut below 30Hz and above 19KHz but I didn't boost any mids.
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Old 27-05-2012, 12:41 AM   #4
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Re: Mastered tracks still fall a couple DBs short of professional producers tracks.

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Originally Posted by DJFinylFaze View Post
For my latest track I followed D.Ramirez youtube guide on Mixing down a track.
I have identified your problem.

Get a source that is not known for having ghost producers for most of their career. I'm not saying Ramirez doesn't know what he's talking about at all, but he definitely isn't someone I'd ask about mixing from.

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Old 27-05-2012, 01:03 AM   #5
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Re: Mastered tracks still fall a couple DBs short of professional producers tracks.

You should get pro mastering. Seriously it's worth the money if you plan on releasing. Most pro tracks are mastered by someone other than the producer, it has a lot to to with objectiveness.


That being said, boosting more depends on how much gain reduction you are already getting. With ozone you probably don't want any more than 4dB of attenuation. You may get pumping distortion.

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Old 27-05-2012, 03:37 PM   #6
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Re: Mastered tracks still fall a couple dBs short of professional producers tracks.

Since we have no reference, how much reduction (dB) do you have on the limiter? What's the final average RMS? How even, or tilted, is the spectrum curve post EQ and pre compression/limiter? Etc...

Best answer is to send it to a professional ME while you continue to study/work/tweak/learn the art of mastering. There are usually multiple answers to one "simple question".

Also - people, it's dB (after Alexander Graham Bell). Not db.

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Old 29-05-2012, 10:30 AM   #7
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Re: Mastered tracks still fall a couple dBs short of professional producers tracks.

Ozone is for boys. Mastering engineers have better tools and skills.
The previous post about the mids is correct. The 2KHz to 4KHz region is a very sensitive region when searching for high loudness.

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Old 06-06-2012, 10:08 PM   #8
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Re: Mastered tracks still fall a couple dBs short of professional producers tracks.

Here is your "problem," OP. Your track most likely has too much dynamic range, and you need to squash your individual tracks/busses more in order to achieve the loudness you desire. Drop some limiters and compressors on your busses and begin to shave-off a dB or two on each. That could definitely be the key. Then again, people really don't care about loudness as much as you think they do, especially if it is being played by itself and they are not constantly switching back and fourth between your track and his, and even then, The music is really the most important part of your song, not a couple of dBs. But, I digress.

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Old 25-06-2013, 05:48 PM   #9
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Re: Mastered tracks still fall a couple dBs short of professional producers tracks.

Mine is the same way, but I don't have the money for professional mastering, but I think my mastering suffices for now - if someone really likes my music and wants to sign it or something, they can master it them on their own.
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Old 25-06-2013, 08:30 PM   #10
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Re: Mastered tracks still fall a couple dBs short of professional producers tracks.

Any pro mastering engineer isn't gonna slap a single limiter on it and that's all she wrote. Ozone isn't a bad one by any means but it's still going to need some help from another 1/2/3 compression stages to get a decent rms level without throwing a huge muffled blanket over the sound. Not to mention the whole mixing stage which is a huge percentage of how the final product will sound.

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Old 27-06-2013, 12:14 AM   #11
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Re: Mastered tracks still fall a couple dBs short of professional producers tracks.

Despite what many people will tell you (and I'll probably get attacked for saying this) professional mastering is completely overrated in electronic music. It is all about the mixdown. Want proof? Go listen to LuckyDate's music, he has never sent a single song to a mastering engineer in his life (according to him) yet his final product is near flawless. He says that he just gets his mix down right and then cranks a good limiter up to taste.

ITS ALL ABOUT THE MIXDOWN!!!

A clean mix is everything, from there your Ozone Limiter will do the trick you just have to put it to taste. I've run a really good mix through Ozone, I squashed it to a brick just for fun and it still didn't even sound bad just really loud (don't do this though lol).

Another important factor is sound selection. Are you filling out the frequency spectrum? If you aren't then you won't get your volume up to a professional level without having to completely ruin the sound because you are having to bring up extremely subtle frequencies in order to close the dynamic range and bring up the overall volume and that means HEAVY limiting is needed which is rough. Also don't pay too much attention to RMS. Numbers mean nearly nothing, what it sounds like is what matters. If it sounds good to you then it doesn't matter if the RMS is 20, 10 or even 1 for crying out loud all that matters is that it sounds good!
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Old 29-06-2013, 03:45 PM   #12
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Re: Mastered tracks still fall a couple dBs short of professional producers tracks.

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Originally Posted by CallAndResponse View Post
Despite what many people will tell you (and I'll probably get attacked for saying this) professional mastering is completely overrated in electronic music. It is all about the mixdown. Want proof? Go listen to LuckyDate's music, he has never sent a single song to a mastering engineer in his life (according to him) yet his final product is near flawless. He says that he just gets his mix down right and then cranks a good limiter up to taste.

ITS ALL ABOUT THE MIXDOWN!!!

A clean mix is everything, from there your Ozone Limiter will do the trick you just have to put it to taste. I've run a really good mix through Ozone, I squashed it to a brick just for fun and it still didn't even sound bad just really loud (don't do this though lol).

Another important factor is sound selection. Are you filling out the frequency spectrum? If you aren't then you won't get your volume up to a professional level without having to completely ruin the sound because you are having to bring up extremely subtle frequencies in order to close the dynamic range and bring up the overall volume and that means HEAVY limiting is needed which is rough. Also don't pay too much attention to RMS. Numbers mean nearly nothing, what it sounds like is what matters. If it sounds good to you then it doesn't matter if the RMS is 20, 10 or even 1 for crying out loud all that matters is that it sounds good!
this. it's all in the mix.
also, take a reaaaaaally good listen to professional music and analyse the frequency spectrum properly. for example, an hihat usually doesn't take up much frequency range at all, yet still sounds incredibly clear and right up to you as it should in the mix:

you might want to take a look at frequency masking and read about subtractive eq and similar subjects. a high RMS means nothing.

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Old 29-06-2013, 03:45 PM   #13
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Re: Mastered tracks still fall a couple dBs short of professional producers tracks.

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Originally Posted by Numerical View Post
Any pro mastering engineer isn't gonna slap a single limiter on it and that's all she wrote. Ozone isn't a bad one by any means but it's still going to need some help from another 1/2/3 compression stages to get a decent rms level without throwing a huge muffled blanket over the sound. Not to mention the whole mixing stage which is a huge percentage of how the final product will sound.
also, this.

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Old 02-09-2014, 09:11 PM   #14
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Re: Mastered tracks still fall a couple dBs short of professional producers tracks.

Why do you want it so loud?
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Old 02-09-2014, 09:59 PM   #15
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Re: Mastered tracks still fall a couple dBs short of professional producers tracks.

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Why do you want it so loud?
Because transients makes the volume knob seem farther away than we are willing to reach and turn up.

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Old 02-09-2014, 11:55 PM   #16
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Re: Mastered tracks still fall a couple dBs short of professional producers tracks.

When this happens it usually means that you should go back to your mix and do a better job.

Good composition = Good Mixing = Good Mastering

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Old 05-09-2014, 01:15 PM   #17
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Re: Mastered tracks still fall a couple dBs short of professional producers tracks.

Also depends on what kind of compressor and or limiter you use, the brainworx XL is pretty good
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Old 05-09-2014, 03:59 PM   #18
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Re: Mastered tracks still fall a couple dBs short of professional producers tracks.

The settings are much more important than the gears you're using.

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Old 10-09-2014, 07:33 PM   #19
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Re: Mastered tracks still fall a couple dBs short of professional producers tracks.

I try to keep as much dynamic range as possible when I tweak my levels, I dont want to bury a sound I spent a long time tweaking. I dont have a professional mastering suite, but I do listen to how each instrument sits in the mix, before I finish a project.

Its not always about loud, would you want a chillout track to be as loud as a big room hard house track? NO! or a vocal trance track to be as loud as a brostep track?

I learned my lesson in levels when I did my track called subliminality. I still feel its too loud in places compared to he track that inspired it.
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Old 10-09-2014, 07:48 PM   #20
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Re: Mastered tracks still fall a couple dBs short of professional producers tracks.

Also look into using Mid/Side compression instead of one setting for the entire mix. Really helps to compress the middle a bit more than the side since generally the bass frequencies take up more center space (and also your drums are pretty much centered and those quick louder transients are what the compressor sees the most). I even add another compression stage and compress the Left/Right separately when it calls for it. Shave off a dB or 2 at a time on each stage at the most and there will be less audible pumping since each compressor in the sequence has to catch less and less dynamics, yet still retain most of it's original clarity.

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