I feel like an old fogey with my attitude here, especially as Live has 64bit internal summing, so in theory you can have each fader as loud as you like, but for me gain structure is the absolute key and I tend to do it the old fashioned way of not letting any track go over 0dBFS. If you can have a limiter on the master track and have it literally only catching the peaks and barely doing anything then it's a pretty good indication that your gain structure is good and you've got a good mix. By gain structure I mean every track sums together properly so that by the time they all reach the master track they are not overloading it.Isturite- wrote:... i'm guessing i need to turn some of my levels down, I cant ever decide which part is most important
But the thing to watch out for is the low frequencies as they will eat a lot of headroom and can drown everything else out if they are not mixed properly.
with house/techno music I have started having a bus track for everything but the kick and then a compressor on it sidechained to the kick. the kick really needs to carry that quarter pulse to hold everything in place, so it really helps to see it as "kick vs everything else", then sidechain 'everything else' so it moves out of the way when the kick plays
I also EQ the "everything else" so it doesn't compete with the kick
it's like the kick is the heartbeat and everything else sits on top of it. Bass also plays a big part, but only so long as it doesn't steal headroom from the kick. Thing with Bass is it can be just as powerful if the 2nd harmonics and upwards are the most prominent - i.e. - the first harmonic (fundamental) may be around the same frequency as the kick's main thud, so cutting that freq. in the bass may not matter as the 2nd harmonic, (or double the Hz) will still carry the "illusion" of maximum bass without fighting with the thud of the kick
Of course this may vary for some genres - drum and bass/dub step might put more emphasis on the sub bass and have higher sounding kick drums instead
ultimately, if you think of every sound having its own space in the frequency spectrum then you're most of the way there.