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Old 06-10-2011, 03:50 PM   #1
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Ableton Live export volume

hey there,

I noticed that the volume of my finished songs in Ableton Live are way lower than all other songs, while I keep the volume way up so it's just a few dB from clipping. How do you guys handle this so the songs won't turn out as quiet as mine do?

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Old 06-10-2011, 08:05 PM   #2
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Re: ableton export volume

Mastering.
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Old 06-10-2011, 08:55 PM   #3
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Re: ableton export volume

well what do you do in the mastering stage to pump up the volume then? i wanna make clear it's not just the audible volume but really the output level
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Old 06-10-2011, 09:06 PM   #4
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Re: ableton export volume

use a limiter for your own needs
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Old 07-10-2011, 12:01 PM   #5
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Re: ableton export volume

Quote:
Originally Posted by abel420 View Post
hey there,

I noticed that the volume of my finished songs in Ableton Live are way lower than all other songs, while I keep the volume way up so it's just a few dB from clipping. How do you guys handle this so the songs won't turn out as quiet as mine do?


i really wouldnt worry its about getting a mix with a lot of dynamics, now days there is no need to push right up to 0dBFS since we have 24Bit audio, that was only necessary with 16Bit audio due to the increased noise floor.


also remember that the tracks you are comparing them to have been mastered. Your unmastered music should not sound as loud as a master piece of music or there is nowhere else to go.

Sticking a limiter on the output is a big mistake. You wont have a lot mix you will have a crushed mix.

If you maintain full dynamic in your mix your track will have a far better perceived loudness once mastered.

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Old 07-10-2011, 12:09 PM   #6
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Re: ableton export volume

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Originally Posted by anmlsrmnml View Post

Sticking a limiter on the output is a big mistake. You wont have a lot mix you will have a crushed mix.

If you maintain full dynamic in your mix your track will have a far better perceived loudness once mastered.

what do you think would be done in a mastering process? they wouldn't use a limiter you think? Just because a limiter is put on the master (as suggested - for his own purposes) it doesn't mean the track will be slammed, infact if used correctly you can preserve the dynamics almost fully and still bring up the perceived loudness rather nicely..........
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Old 07-10-2011, 12:21 PM   #7
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Re: ableton export volume

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Originally Posted by benwaa View Post
what do you think would be done in a mastering process? they wouldn't use a limiter you think? Just because a limiter is put on the master (as suggested - for his own purposes) it doesn't mean the track will be slammed, infact if used correctly you can preserve the dynamics almost fully and still bring up the perceived loudness rather nicely..........


of course its used in mastering but not mixing.

If yours right up and over 0dBFS on your master channel or any channel or plugin, simply sticking a limiter on the master does not solove the problem it only makes things worse.

So in mastering do you think they use tracks that have no headroom that are over or close to 0dBFS.
no they use tracks at -6dBFS to -3dBFS.


so when mixing it is best to check your levels low bellow -3dBFS.
This will help insure you have dynamics. And this will give the master engineer a lot to work with, Means they can actually do there job.
It is nearly imposible to fix a over compress mix in mastering. So why do it. Yours only contributing:comando: to the loudness wars.

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Old 07-10-2011, 12:35 PM   #8
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Re: ableton export volume

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Originally Posted by anmlsrmnml View Post
of course its used in mastering but not mixing.

If yours right up and over 0dBFS on your master channel or any channel or plugin, simply sticking a limiter on the master does not solove the problem it only makes things worse.

So in mastering do you think they use tracks that have no headroom that are over or close to 0dBFS.
no they use tracks at -6dBFS to -3dBFS.


so when mixing it is best to check your levels low bellow -3dBFS.
This will help insure you have dynamics. And this will give the master engineer a lot to work with, Means they can actually do there job.
It is nearly imposible to fix a over compress mix in mastering. So why do it. Yours only contributing:comando: to the loudness wars.

ok - to stop you in this "argument" i am a mastering engineer - i've even mastered work for the forums netlabel if you want to hear some of my work

The OP ws saying his tracks are below clipping, and sound quiet - so tell me then, why wouldn't he use a limiter to bring up the sound WITHOUT CLIPPING and when used in a respectful fashion to the piece of music will not squash the dynamics to shit - infact the 3 most common hings in a mastering chain are EQ compression and limiting - so how could it be bad for this particular guy to use a limiter considering all the info provided?
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Old 07-10-2011, 12:46 PM   #9
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Re: ableton export volume

ok i mis read thought he said he was clipping,
i wasnt agreeing (sorry if it seemed that way) i was merely stating a few points that a lot of top mastering and mix engineers make.

surly you as a mastering engineer dont want a bit of audio that already has a master on the master buss

ok yes in mastering use a limiter but mixing.... why? (on the master buss)

Im sure you agree that with 24Bit there is a lot lease need to push close to 0dBFS in mixing.


If it is just to see what it will sound like ok... But using one just to use one isnt the best .


to me it seems he is going the right way.

But of course it would help if we could hear some examples

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Old 07-10-2011, 12:53 PM   #10
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Re: ableton export volume

read the OP again - he wants his tracks to sound perceivably as loud as other tracks once he's exported them out of live..... Evelon gave him the first and correct answer of mastering, i also gave him a DIY suggestion of Put a limiter on the track.
I understand what you are saying and don't disagree - i disagree though when it has regards to the OP
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Old 07-10-2011, 02:52 PM   #11
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Re: ableton export volume

okay thanks but I think the subtle use of a compressor and a limiter kinda solved my problem
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Old 07-10-2011, 02:57 PM   #12
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Re: ableton export volume

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Originally Posted by anmlsrmnml View Post
ok yes in mastering use a limiter but mixing.... why? (on the master buss)
So you think limiters are only used for mastering?
A good mix is very important, in order to get a good mastering job done. Processing individual elements (taming dynamics, shaping the tone with EQ, filtering out shit not needed, etc) per channel is what some people is considering good mixing. They usually go hand in hand.
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Old 07-10-2011, 03:03 PM   #13
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Re: ableton export volume

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Originally Posted by abel420 View Post
okay thanks but I think the subtle use of a compressor and a limiter kinda solved my problem
cool

but i would advice to make sure none of your plugins or channels are in the read before you do this

good luck

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Old 07-10-2011, 03:04 PM   #14
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Re: ableton export volume

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Originally Posted by Evelon View Post
So you think limiters are only used for mastering?
A good mix is very important, in order to get a good mastering job done. Processing individual elements (taming dynamics, shaping the tone with EQ, filtering out shit not needed, etc) per channel is what some people is considering good mixing. They usually go hand in hand.
mmm not what i said, i said on the master buss.

why are you taming dynamics thou you want dynamics in a mix?

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Old 07-10-2011, 03:11 PM   #15
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Re: ableton export volume

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Originally Posted by benwaa View Post
read the OP again - he wants his tracks to sound perceivably as loud as other tracks once he's exported them out of live..... Evelon gave him the first and correct answer of mastering, i also gave him a DIY suggestion of Put a limiter on the track.
I understand what you are saying and don't disagree - i disagree though when it has regards to the OP
sorry thought i got back to u


yeah i agree that is the best answer mastering.
But i was trying to say achieve a great mix before you give it to a mastering engineer other wise there is nothing he/she can do with it

I dont agree with the limiter on the master buss in the mix. Due to this can give a false image of the track. Maybe in the mixdown stage yes.

But i guess in the end of the day ..... it is the end result.

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Old 07-10-2011, 03:13 PM   #16
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Re: ableton export volume

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Originally Posted by abel420 View Post
hey there,

I noticed that the volume of my finished songs in Ableton Live are way lower than all other songs, while I keep the volume way up so it's just a few dB from clipping. How do you guys handle this so the songs won't turn out as quiet as mine do?

just to clarify the original question.......
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Old 07-10-2011, 03:15 PM   #17
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Re: ableton export volume

Why you want to tame dynamics? To keep things even and audible. Parallel compression can be used, for example. Limiter can be used on dynamic drums/percussion/kicks/etc. It's all very individual. Sometimes you have a very dynamic loop/drummer/singer/whatever.

Problem with strapping a limiter on the master (if you overdo it), when everything is unprocessed individually, is that the more elements that you "squeeze" through the limiter, the harder it cuts everything off. The kick that was loud in the beginning is turning into shit when there are pads, stabs, vocals, bass, other drums along with it.
Just an example.

edit: i should have written mixing AND mastering in my first reply. nm.

Last edited by Evelon; 07-10-2011 at 03:19 PM..
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Old 07-10-2011, 03:21 PM   #18
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Re: ableton export volume

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evelon View Post
Why you want to tame dynamics? To keep things even and audible. Parallel compression can be used, for example. Limiter can be used on dynamic drums/percussion/kicks/etc. It's all very individual. Sometimes you have a very dynamic loop/drummer/singer/whatever.

Problem with strapping a limiter on the master (if you overdo it), when everything is unprocessed individually, is that the more elements that you "squeeze" through the limiter, the harder it cuts everything off. The kick that was loud in the beginning is turning into shit when there are pads, stabs, vocals, bass, other drums along with it.
Just an example.

edit: i should have written mixing AND mastering in my first reply. nm.

no i agree with the paraallel compression.

Thought you ment using a limiter for taming the dynamic. As in squashing it

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Old 25-04-2012, 10:07 PM   #19
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Re: ableton export volume

ableton sum is ridicolous. go analog!
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Old 26-04-2012, 09:22 AM   #20
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Re: ableton export volume

Also, a quick point about not needing to get close to 0 dBFS as we use 24 bits now, that's true when recording, there's much less technical need to compress while tracking these days to try and get as hot as you can to improve the SNR, but you still want the end product (post-mastering) to be close to 0 dB (allowing some space for cheap DACs which could introduce intersample peaks and for mp3 encodiing). If you don't, your listeners are going to be constantly adjusting the volume if they're listening to a mix of tunes...

I see the OP has said that he's fixed the issue, but I'll just add my process here for getting the volume up a bit for personal use: 1. compressor set to a ratio of about 1.1 or 1.2 :1 and the threshold pulled right down; 2. SSL-style buss compressor at about 2:1 giving about 2 dB GR; 3. limiter to taste.

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