My latest mixing problem - peak at -6db.

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AlexRusin
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My latest mixing problem - peak at -6db.

Post by AlexRusin » Fri May 18, 2012 4:26 pm

Hi guys!
I've been recently working on a trance remix and I came across with few mixing problems(i'm not enough experienced). I've read that it is good to have a track peaking about -6db after mixing down part. That helps mastering. But I've been trying hard to do it and I managed to have about -5db peak. But my problem is: I had kick -6db(the loudest thing in my mix) and other parts(pads, bass, percussion, lead) aren't enough loud, especially snare. I've tried to make them louder, but peak was about -3db. So my question is: how to achieve good result with nice bright and lively sound? What's your volume of kick and other parts?
I'll be so grateful if someone could help me :)
Thanks.
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Da hand
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Re: My latest mixing problem - peak at -6db.

Post by Da hand » Fri May 18, 2012 4:28 pm

lower your kick volume

ttilberg
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Re: My latest mixing problem - peak at -6db.

Post by ttilberg » Fri May 18, 2012 4:38 pm

Also keep in mind that a lot of the perceived loudness of your track will happen during that mastering stage -- as long as things sound fairly "balanced" at -6 db, it should sound pretty sweet once it gets freshened up in mastering.
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patrick.olson86
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Re: My latest mixing problem - peak at -6db.

Post by patrick.olson86 » Fri May 18, 2012 5:31 pm

Hey man, yeah you don't want EVERY TRACK to peak at -6db. Just the MASTER track. You mix each track separately until it sounds pretty good (DON'T TOUCH THAT MASTER TRACK FADER YET!). Use each track's faders to bring up or down the volume, you don't want these to peak or clip into the red, above 0db. Again, a safe bet here is -6db max on each track. Then use the pan knobs to move the audio left and right. When it sounds good then look at the MASTER track. Is it clipping? That's bad! Is it staying under 0db? That's good, but you want to aim for that -6db to -12 db range. Obviously the dynamics of your song will have the meters jumping all around, but you want to use the master track's fader to find this range. That's it.

And as someone said above, the mastering stage is where the perceived volume comes into play. In fact, the mastering stage is why you want your mix to be in this -6 to -12 db range. This gives mastering engineers more headroom to work their dark art (and it is a dark, arcane, art). It's basically taking the road you drive your car on and expanding to twice the width. Gives you more room to wiggle around the lane/gives the mastering engineer more room to apply EQ/Compression/Limiters/etc..

AlexRusin
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Re: My latest mixing problem - peak at -6db.

Post by AlexRusin » Fri May 18, 2012 5:50 pm

patrick.olson86 wrote:Hey man, yeah you don't want EVERY TRACK to peak at -6db. Just the MASTER track. You mix each track separately until it sounds pretty good (DON'T TOUCH THAT MASTER TRACK FADER YET!). Use each track's faders to bring up or down the volume, you don't want these to peak or clip into the red, above 0db. Again, a safe bet here is -6db max on each track. Then use the pan knobs to move the audio left and right. When it sounds good then look at the MASTER track. Is it clipping? That's bad! Is it staying under 0db? That's good, but you want to aim for that -6db to -12 db range. Obviously the dynamics of your song will have the meters jumping all around, but you want to use the master track's fader to find this range. That's it.

And as someone said above, the mastering stage is where the perceived volume comes into play. In fact, the mastering stage is why you want your mix to be in this -6 to -12 db range. This gives mastering engineers more headroom to work their dark art (and it is a dark, arcane, art). It's basically taking the road you drive your car on and expanding to twice the width. Gives you more room to wiggle around the lane/gives the mastering engineer more room to apply EQ/Compression/Limiters/etc..
Okay guys, so when I set up my tracks and master peak is under 0db, but for example -1db, I simply must lower the volume on master about 5db(to achieve the goal: i.e. -6db)? This is how it works? Seems like I misunderstood the tutorials and I thought that the master must be untouched with the peak must be about -6db :P
Honestly I tried some mastering and the elements were quite ok(kick and bass, pads not bad), but snare was as quiet as before, so I asked you :) Thanks for tips :)

This is what's inspires me: some years of experience, but I can still learn from others. I love computer music :)
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acidpenguin
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Re: My latest mixing problem - peak at -6db.

Post by acidpenguin » Fri May 18, 2012 6:25 pm

AlexRusin wrote:Okay guys, so when I set up my tracks and master peak is under 0db, but for example -1db, I simply must lower the volume on master about 5db(to achieve the goal: i.e. -6db)? This is how it works?
No. If after you've balanced all the tracks with each other the Master is peaking too high then select all tracks and lower them until Master is peaking at -6db. Don't touch the Master fader. Simples :).

patrick.olson86
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Re: My latest mixing problem - peak at -6db.

Post by patrick.olson86 » Fri May 18, 2012 6:27 pm

Again, mastering is a dark and arcane art. I always recommend people bringing their mixes to experienced mastering engineers if they want to take it seriously. They just have magic ears that 99.99% of all people involved in music do not have. I mean, definitely give it a shot if you want. But, for me, it's worth paying $40 - $50 per track to have a professionally mastered song. Just make sure you're completely satisfied with the mix and arrangement.

patrick.olson86
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Re: My latest mixing problem - peak at -6db.

Post by patrick.olson86 » Fri May 18, 2012 6:35 pm

I'm pretty sure you can mix so that all your individual tracks are not clipping and hitting peaks at -6db. If your master track is still clipping then you can bring that down. I mean, the master fader is there for a reason, it's not meant to never be touched ever. I think bringing it down a few decibels (if everything else is set correctly) will do the trick. Don't use any limiters if you're planning on getting your track mastered externally, it just strips headroom. Limiters are basically a mastering tool, so doubling them is kind of a waste.

Where's tarekith when we need him?

AlexRusin
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Re: My latest mixing problem - peak at -6db.

Post by AlexRusin » Fri May 18, 2012 6:50 pm

patrick.olson86 wrote:Again, mastering is a dark and arcane art. I always recommend people bringing their mixes to experienced mastering engineers if they want to take it seriously. They just have magic ears that 99.99% of all people involved in music do not have. I mean, definitely give it a shot if you want. But, for me, it's worth paying $40 - $50 per track to have a professionally mastered song. Just make sure you're completely satisfied with the mix and arrangement.
Dear Patrick, my tracks aren't good enough to pay for mastering. I'm poor 17th years old producer, so I put every my earned money into studio gears :) That's the reason why I want to do everything by myself :)
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patrick.olson86
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Re: My latest mixing problem - peak at -6db.

Post by patrick.olson86 » Fri May 18, 2012 7:05 pm

I totally understand. I personally haven't read enough into it to say one way or the other, but there is a fella out there called Bob Katz who supposedly has some pretty good advice to offer on mixing/mastering. Give it the ol' google search and see what you can find.

mharris
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Re: My latest mixing problem - peak at -6db.

Post by mharris » Fri May 18, 2012 7:08 pm

acidpenguin wrote: No. If after you've balanced all the tracks with each other the Master is peaking too high then select all tracks and lower them until Master is peaking at -6db. Don't touch the Master fader. Simples :).
This gets said fairly frequently, but I have yet to see anyone give an acceptable explanation as to why..
How is lowering all tracks -6 any different to lowering the master -6?

patrick.olson86
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Re: My latest mixing problem - peak at -6db.

Post by patrick.olson86 » Fri May 18, 2012 7:20 pm

^^ from the little I've read on the topic, that basically goes back to the old analog days of mixing. From what I currently understand, digital mixing doesn't matter. Again, Tareketh, where are you?

AlexRusin
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Re: My latest mixing problem - peak at -6db.

Post by AlexRusin » Fri May 18, 2012 7:24 pm

patrick.olson86 wrote:^^ from the little I've read on the topic, that basically goes back to the old analog days of mixing. From what I currently understand, digital mixing doesn't matter. Again, Tareketh, where are you?
I'm sure he'll come. We must wait a moment :)
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Tarekith
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Re: My latest mixing problem - peak at -6db.

Post by Tarekith » Fri May 18, 2012 7:34 pm

In the past I used to be pretty adament that people not touch the master fader, as lowering it could lead to a loss in resolution. Or so I thought. The maths involved are beyond me (I hate math), but the loss in resolution from lowering the master fader I've been told is so damn small that's it's not even worth worrying about unless you're lowering it many tens of dB's.

So these days I generally tell people do whatever they find easier, either lower all the tracks by the same amount, or lower the master fader. Personally, I'm still old school I guess in that I never touch the master fader, I just select all the track headers in session view and lower the track volumes until I'm around -6dB. And it's worth reiterating that -6dBFS is only a rough guideline, you don't have to be at exactly that value. Anything between -12 and -3 is probably fine.

ttilberg
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Re: My latest mixing problem - peak at -6db.

Post by ttilberg » Fri May 18, 2012 7:42 pm

Again, Tareketh, where are you?
Agreed. He's pretty boss at helping people with threads like this.



Edit: Woah. And just like that, he appeared. 8)
Thanks T
Last edited by ttilberg on Fri May 18, 2012 7:50 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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2011 13" MBP w/8GB ram | Live 9 Suite, Reason 6.5, FXPansion DCAM/Etch/Maul, Izotope Ozone 5

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