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 Post subject: Tips on getting the drum levels even throughout a track
PostPosted: Tue Dec 29, 2015 1:37 am 

Joined: Wed Feb 17, 2010 3:51 am
Posts: 4
What's up Ableton people, I have a trancey breakbeat track that (imo) is just about ready for the crucial mixdown stage. There is a part where the drums - kick, snare, clap and hi hat fall into a drumroll in the buildup of the track. Towards the end of the buildup, I put a flanger effect on the drum parts for extra effect. The problem I have is that drums get louder in the drum roll especially where the flanger effect is, drowning out the bass and synths. What would you people recommend to fix this problem? Would you want the drums when they hit the drum roll to be a little louder, or the same level throughout the track? I read that I should hold off on using a limiter until the mixdown stage. The drum parts are all separate wav samples in separate audio channels. I appreciate any feedback, thanks.


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 Post subject: Re: Tips on getting the drum levels even throughout a track
PostPosted: Tue Dec 29, 2015 3:01 pm 

Joined: Sun Feb 05, 2012 10:05 am
Posts: 368
Hi, if you experience that high volume in the drum roll with fx I suggest you to group the drum audio tracks (CTRL-G on pc / CMD-G on mac), then put a limiter in the group track (acting as a submix channel).

If your volumes are too high after that method a good practice could be automate the volume of that group track, making it softer only in the crucial parts.

Hope it helps.

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 Post subject: Re: Tips on getting the drum levels even throughout a track
PostPosted: Tue Dec 29, 2015 7:24 pm 

Joined: Wed Feb 17, 2010 3:51 am
Posts: 4
Ok, thanks for the advice.


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 Post subject: Re: Tips on getting the drum levels even throughout a track
PostPosted: Tue Dec 29, 2015 8:21 pm 

Joined: Wed Jun 25, 2014 11:34 am
Posts: 5731
Unpredictable wrote:
What's up Ableton people, I have a trancey breakbeat track that (imo) is just about ready for the crucial mixdown stage. There is a part where the drums - kick, snare, clap and hi hat fall into a drumroll in the buildup of the track. Towards the end of the buildup, I put a flanger effect on the drum parts for extra effect. The problem I have is that drums get louder in the drum roll especially where the flanger effect is, drowning out the bass and synths. What would you people recommend to fix this problem? Would you want the drums when they hit the drum roll to be a little louder, or the same level throughout the track? I read that I should hold off on using a limiter until the mixdown stage. The drum parts are all separate wav samples in separate audio channels. I appreciate any feedback, thanks.


Ride the fades if it's a volume thing. That's a big part of mixing and making the track real.
There are no rules for having the same volume or variations throughout the track, but base your decisions on the energy and the feeling the music creates in you. If it sounds wonderful to you, how can it be anything but right?

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 Post subject: Re: Tips on getting the drum levels even throughout a track
PostPosted: Wed Dec 30, 2015 5:45 pm 

Joined: Wed Mar 25, 2015 8:45 pm
Posts: 436
Location: Oklahoma City
Yeah, the more energy you have, the louder it's going to be.

Can you try turning down your flanger? Maybe cutting some bass out of your roll (to free up the energy space for your synths)? It does sound like a very practical time to try a limiter for sure.

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 Post subject: Re: Tips on getting the drum levels even throughout a track
PostPosted: Wed Dec 30, 2015 11:13 pm 

Joined: Wed Jun 25, 2014 11:34 am
Posts: 5731
Shift Gorden wrote:
Yeah, the more energy you have, the louder it's going to be.

Can you try turning down your flanger? Maybe cutting some bass out of your roll (to free up the energy space for your synths)? It does sound like a very practical time to try a limiter for sure.


Riding the fades is better and you need to do that anyway plus using a Limiter possibly as well, just for other reasons. There are no magic buttons only hard work.

To qualify what I mean in practice is connecting a fader or knob of a controller (any) to a fader plug-in like Sonalksis FreeG or just for adjustment the Live Utility that can record volume automation. While you can automate the mixer faders it's nice to leave those for overall adjustments in relation to other tracks.

Of course it's possible to turn that on top of it's head and use the volume plug-in for overall volume and use the Volume mixer parameter for volume automation, but the first makes more sense to me.

And it's important to gain stage too to get yourself some headroom to make volume automation into. My choice has been about -18dB RMS into the track adjusting the source volume or via Utility or FreeG and keeping instrument mixer faders at -6dB position and busses/aux and master at 0dB. Returns vary. These are just starting positions of course.

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Last edited by Stromkraft on Thu Dec 31, 2015 1:25 pm, edited 4 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Tips on getting the drum levels even throughout a track
PostPosted: Wed Dec 30, 2015 11:58 pm 

Joined: Mon Jan 22, 2007 1:55 am
Posts: 1035
Location: Atlanta, Ga
Stromkraft wrote:

Ride the fades if it's a volume thing. That's a big part of mixing and making the track real.
There are no rules for having the same volume or variations throughout the track, but base your decisions on the energy and the feeling the music creates in you. If it sounds wonderful to you, how can it be anything but right?



This.

You can either do it by hand or draw in an envelope.


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 Post subject: Re: Tips on getting the drum levels even throughout a track
PostPosted: Thu Dec 31, 2015 1:59 pm 

Joined: Thu Dec 31, 2015 1:31 pm
Posts: 13
while i'm sure that it might sound like the flanger is causing the amplitude level to rise and fall, I doubt there is a big change in the actual signal level. the flanger effect is really just creating the illusion of amplitude fluctuations because of the Fletcher–Munson curve -- when the flanger moves accents the lower frequencies, we perceive it to be lower in volume, but it's probably not. so, limiting probably won't do much here because limiting only deals with amplitude and you're problem is perceived loudness.

so, i'd try volume automation. or if ur feeling lazy, run an amplitude LFO on a gain parameter inverse to the modulation on the flanger. this way, when the flanger accents the higher frequencies, the amp LFO decreases the volume, and when the flanger accents the lower frequencies, the amp LFO increases the volume.

i'd then use a touch of compression (1 - 2db reduction, medium attack and release) just to keep things in line. if you overdo the compression here, you're completely undermining any volume automation or amplitude oscillation.

but who knows, i'm just theorizing, maybe the limiter will do the job :lol:


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