Beginner mixing and Mastering

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PolarBearAssault
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Beginner mixing and Mastering

Post by PolarBearAssault » Tue Dec 06, 2011 1:55 am

Hi,
So I'm a really beginner producer and all I've learned is from reading stuff like these forums online so I thought I would see if anyone can give me some specific advice:

I've been making tracks in ableton for several months now and liking what I do and now I'm trying to figure out this whole mixing and mastering business and had a couple questions:
How do I get my final song to be a comparative volume to other EDM tracks? I know that some of the artists I'm influenced by do there own mastering because I've asked them, and I want to understand how. I've got my songs to a point where they seem finished, they sound well mixed to my ears, and the master is peaking well below the red zone. Then what I've done is throw an eq 8 and a limiter on the master. The limiter I cranked up until the track peaked just at 0 decibels, just before going red. This definitely helped it be a bit louder with no loss in quality that I could tell, but when rendered it was still quieter than what I was hoping for.
I wasn't sure whether it's okay to push the limiter further even if the master starts to clip?
If that's not good to do, then how else to I add some volume? I've read about making sure each sound you use is in its own frequency but I don't really understand how to do that. I've tried putting the spectrum analysis thingy on each part and studying that to change eq, but I'm not sure I'm doing it right. If anyone has any sort of advice that would be amazing thanks.


also if anyone wants to view the work in question or give other production tips (or rip stuff to shreds with criticism as the case may be):
http://soundcloud.com/alec-mcgovern/stupid-drunk

dokx
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Re: Beginner mixing and Mastering

Post by dokx » Tue Dec 06, 2011 10:27 am

What kind of limiter are you using?

Because with a brickwall limiter (hence the name) you can crank up the volume (gain knob on the limiter) insanely without ever getting the infamous red signs (though it will sound terribly distorted at one point.)

synnack
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Re: Beginner mixing and Mastering

Post by synnack » Tue Dec 06, 2011 1:28 pm

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Dr. Fluffenstein
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Re: Beginner mixing and Mastering

Post by Dr. Fluffenstein » Tue Dec 06, 2011 2:08 pm

You wanna get things as loud as possible before sending them through the limiter, that way you'll minimize quality degradation/distortion. The limiter is just there to squeeze out that last bit. Make sure your waveform has no phase cancellation or too much frequency clashing because that seems to make the distortion more noticeable.

You shouldn't be pushing the limiter any higher than 6dB of gain reduction. I usually only go as far as 4dB, any higher and things start to sound like crap.

You can get the sounds a bit louder with a tiny bit of distortion (big emphasis on tiny). You don't want to be audibly distorting anything, you just want to give it a bit more presence. And don't do it on every sound, adding it to the kickdrum always works nicely. And you can also apply a bit of limiting on the individual sounds. Check out SVD's studio sessions for an example of how you should do this. There are also plugins like the oxford inflator that add loudness without changing the dynamics too much.

Another thing I read from laidback luke on some forum is that he produces in mono and with the limiter already on the master channel. That way you immediately know if something will sound good/clean after being limited. Producing with a limiter on the master is generally regarded as a bad idea, but if you get some benefit from it than why not.

PolarBearAssault
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Re: Beginner mixing and Mastering

Post by PolarBearAssault » Tue Dec 06, 2011 6:57 pm

I'm just using the limiter that comes with live. I thought it was a brickwall but if I crank it past 6 the track peaks in the red.
.. but apparently I shouldn't be putting it that high anyways is that true?
Thanks for the links

Tarekith
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Re: Beginner mixing and Mastering

Post by Tarekith » Tue Dec 06, 2011 7:25 pm

Are you putting the limiter before or after the EQ8? IF the limiter is the last thing on your master channel, you should never be seeing the master meter turn red.

PolarBearAssault
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Re: Beginner mixing and Mastering

Post by PolarBearAssault » Tue Dec 06, 2011 8:25 pm

ahh that's why. Yea the eq was after the limiter. Switched them and now its not clipping at all. thanks

Ged Leitch
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Re: Beginner mixing and Mastering

Post by Ged Leitch » Tue Dec 06, 2011 10:10 pm

honestly its all about the mix - you should try clipping the master fader about 3db and see if it distorts - if it does - time to remix!!
this is how alot of acts get the very loud sounding masters - limiting too much removes punch - clipping, if done moderately is more transparent - they did a blind test in LA years ago and the clipped master won as there were no limiting artefacts and the cliped version kept the punch intact.

that said - the mix should sound amazing before you even think about level.

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