To low volume in Ableton?

Discussion of music production, audio, equipment and any related topics, either with or without Ableton Live
123ndy
Posts: 12
Joined: Sat Aug 09, 2008 12:16 pm

To low volume in Ableton?

Post by 123ndy » Fri Aug 22, 2008 11:57 am

Hi, the volume at everything I make in Ableton is to low - when I listen to one of my creations after I have rendreded it, and then listen to some other song/creation, my creation is at a much lower volume than everytihng else. I have tried to drag the master volume, and the volume at each channel higher, but when I do that it does not sound good - and it does not get at the same volume level as other songs I have bought...

Summary: I just want my projects to be at a normal volume level.

Anyone knows what I can do? :roll:

Regards me.

UKRuss
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Post by UKRuss » Fri Aug 22, 2008 12:10 pm

This is mainly to do with the current trend for over compression and the so called "loudness wars".

Producers (rightly or wrongly) are using compressors/limiters on the master channel to increase volume at the expense of dynamics.

have a look at your wave form and compare it to that of one of these other tracks and you'll see the tops of the waveforms missing in the louder track, clipped off by the limiter.

So, you too can slap a limiter on your master channel and increase your volume without distortion but take care not to crush your dynamics all to hell. (Lives native compresor has brickwall preset that'll do the trick)

Those opposed to the loudness wars would say, when you want your track louder, then just turn it up on your playback equipment.

123ndy
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Joined: Sat Aug 09, 2008 12:16 pm

Post by 123ndy » Fri Aug 22, 2008 12:42 pm

UKRuss: Thanks for the tip, I will try it now, but the things I make in Ableton has a lower volume than anything I have "played it against". It seems a little strange.

The problem is, if I import one of the songs that have a "normal" volume, into Ableton and then render it, it will get a much lower volume. It must be something Ableton do, that makes the volume lower then the original song...I dont understand.

anyone?

Pepehouse
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Post by Pepehouse » Sat Aug 23, 2008 12:27 am

The answer is that Live sound quality sucks, I have to use a maximizer even for my DJ mixes.
A day without House Music isn't the end of the world but is so damn close.

http://soundcloud.com/pepehouse
http://www.myspace.com/pepehouse
http://www.worlddj.com/pepe-house

fishmonkey
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Post by fishmonkey » Sat Aug 23, 2008 12:51 am

here we go again

leedsquietman
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Post by leedsquietman » Sat Aug 23, 2008 4:03 am

If Live's quality sucks then go with something else and get off the pot.

We all know through exhaustive evidence and testing that this is false. I own Cubase SX, run Logic Pro 7 at my work and the rendered audio is the SAME in these and Live - no difference.

Learn how to mix and master and your volume/dynamics should get better, or send your track off to be professionally mastered.

Some good references are Bobby Owsinski - 'The Mixing Engineer's Handbook (2nd edition)' and the mastering bible is 'Mastering Audio - The Art And The Science' (second edition) by Bob Katz. This requires some experience and background knowledge.

Making quality records is not a 'magic button' business. It takes work and knowledge. Read up and educate yourself.
http://soundcloud.com/umbriel-rising http://www.myspace.com/leedsquietmandemos Live 7.0.18 SUITE, Cubase 5.5.2], Soundforge 9, Dell XPS M1530, 2.2 Ghz C2D, 4GB, Vista Ult SP2, legit plugins a plenty, Alesis IO14.

pilgrimomega
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Post by pilgrimomega » Sat Aug 23, 2008 6:11 am

For most people it's easier to complain than to learn the craft, though.

I'm reading Katz's second edition right now. I think for the next little while it's going to be my bible.
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Undercover Soul
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Post by Undercover Soul » Sat Aug 23, 2008 9:16 am

To be fair I am fairly new to this game. I have done a spot of reading, books, internet and magazines and a bit of fiddling around.

The loudness thing I found an issue, especially people worrying me talking about over compression, and the likes, to get a louder sound, so in my very short production experience I have learnt that the sound that comes from Ableton can be quiet, especially if you leave a bit of room to work with.
However I tend to render my track out, then normalise it to increase volume, listen to it a bit then go back into Ableton and make the necessary changes (eq etc..) then go through the same process again. This way it still keeps the dynamics of the track and increases the volume without squashing the juice out of it.

Seems to work OK for me, and generally they sound alright when I play them out. Not that it's any substitute for getting them professionally mastered. But it's a quick fix without spending ya money.

leedsquietman
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Post by leedsquietman » Sat Aug 23, 2008 6:11 pm

it's not an Ableton issue. The issues you mention with volume are universal, bring your file into Cubase or Logic or Sonar or whatever else and you will realise this soon enough.

Using professional CDs as a reference is not feasible. This is how professional Mastering Engineers make a living, they get big volume increases for minimal sound quality degradation. Normalizing it is not a one button solution to fix this issue. Normalizing very often degrades the sound quality. Learn how to use compressors and limiters properly and you won't need normalization for anything.
http://soundcloud.com/umbriel-rising http://www.myspace.com/leedsquietmandemos Live 7.0.18 SUITE, Cubase 5.5.2], Soundforge 9, Dell XPS M1530, 2.2 Ghz C2D, 4GB, Vista Ult SP2, legit plugins a plenty, Alesis IO14.

Pepehouse
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Post by Pepehouse » Sat Aug 23, 2008 11:35 pm

leedsquietman wrote:If Live's quality sucks then go with something else and get off the pot.

We all know through exhaustive evidence and testing that this is false. I own Cubase SX, run Logic Pro 7 at my work and the rendered audio is the SAME in these and Live - no difference.

Learn how to mix and master and your volume/dynamics should get better, or send your track off to be professionally mastered.

Some good references are Bobby Owsinski - 'The Mixing Engineer's Handbook (2nd edition)' and the mastering bible is 'Mastering Audio - The Art And The Science' (second edition) by Bob Katz. This requires some experience and background knowledge.

Making quality records is not a 'magic button' business. It takes work and knowledge. Read up and educate yourself.
I don't need to read a mastering book to know what my ears tell me, even Traktor sounds louder and better, I think some people at this forum are too in love with Ableton to admit the truth. I have tried Cubase and sounds much better, I use Soundforge regularly and sounds also better, trust your ears instead of believe that you are using the best software in the world just because you paid for it and don't want to feel you are ripped off. Live is not in the same league as Cubase or Logic is in the league of Fruity Loops and Reason that's all.
A day without House Music isn't the end of the world but is so damn close.

http://soundcloud.com/pepehouse
http://www.myspace.com/pepehouse
http://www.worlddj.com/pepe-house

fishmonkey
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Post by fishmonkey » Sat Aug 23, 2008 11:51 pm

you're not listening....

the sound "loudness" and quality you hear depends greatly on how you are using Live... but if you can't get that into your head, this argument is completely pointless...

Johnisfaster
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Post by Johnisfaster » Sun Aug 24, 2008 12:29 am

Pepehouse wrote:
leedsquietman wrote:If Live's quality sucks then go with something else and get off the pot.

We all know through exhaustive evidence and testing that this is false. I own Cubase SX, run Logic Pro 7 at my work and the rendered audio is the SAME in these and Live - no difference.

Learn how to mix and master and your volume/dynamics should get better, or send your track off to be professionally mastered.

Some good references are Bobby Owsinski - 'The Mixing Engineer's Handbook (2nd edition)' and the mastering bible is 'Mastering Audio - The Art And The Science' (second edition) by Bob Katz. This requires some experience and background knowledge.

Making quality records is not a 'magic button' business. It takes work and knowledge. Read up and educate yourself.
I don't need to read a mastering book to know what my ears tell me, even Traktor sounds louder and better, I think some people at this forum are too in love with Ableton to admit the truth. I have tried Cubase and sounds much better, I use Soundforge regularly and sounds also better, trust your ears instead of believe that you are using the best software in the world just because you paid for it and don't want to feel you are ripped off. Live is not in the same league as Cubase or Logic is in the league of Fruity Loops and Reason that's all.
if you drop a loop into ableton at the original tempo and then render it and you do the same in ANY other daw out there you're going to see that there is absolutely no difference in the rendered file. what you're seeing is differences in audio because you're using different tools in each program and using warp modes and what not, which is obviously going to sound different than other daw's. the problem is not the program but the fact that you haven't taken the time to figure out how to get a good sound out of it.

for instance, a lot of people do something silly like this. drop a loop in ableton using beats warp at half original tempo, then they compare that sound to a loop in another daw at original tempo or close to it and think "wow that sounds way better"
It was as if someone shook up a 6 foot can of blood soda and suddenly popped the top.

JJarvis
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Post by JJarvis » Sun Aug 24, 2008 12:36 am

I can't understand why people have to judge the quality of a recording based on overall loudness. Whatever happened to composing music? You can crank the output of your compressor or complain about a certain software 'not being loud enough' but in the end it still comes back to the music. This seems to be a problem mostly with DJs. Ableton is not a DJ program. Go back to Traktor and your CDJs if Live isn't club worthy.

leedsquietman
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Post by leedsquietman » Sun Aug 24, 2008 3:21 am

I trust my ears, my experience of working with several different daws, including Cubase, Logic, Reason, Sonar and Soundforge. And in my experience, Fruity Loops rendering is also no different in the last 2 or 3 versions.

This and my 22 years recording experience and the several certified engineering courses I have done over the years. I am not a fanboy for fanboyism sake.

If you are so disappointed with Live then you should go with another application. Live's poor audio is merely down to misguided articles such as musictech mag's review of Live 6 when the author expressed his opinion that Live didn't sound as good, yet he forgot to consider the effects of warping,

If you are getting louder mixes elsewhere, it is probably down to the plugins you are using or possibly the pan law settings, but I have tested as have many others on this forum which disprove the myth about Live's audio quality.

And yes, JJarvis - if your recording was well done, good gain structure, good transients and such, loudness issues are easily corrected with gain, or compression/limiting.

Read the books. Do the courses. Learn. If that is too much work, get someone else who's experienced to master your work so the volume compares to your mastered references.
http://soundcloud.com/umbriel-rising http://www.myspace.com/leedsquietmandemos Live 7.0.18 SUITE, Cubase 5.5.2], Soundforge 9, Dell XPS M1530, 2.2 Ghz C2D, 4GB, Vista Ult SP2, legit plugins a plenty, Alesis IO14.

UKRuss
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Post by UKRuss » Sun Aug 24, 2008 10:05 am

For me, the whole argument is strange because i just don't find the same problems.

I get the quality i want at the right loudness form Live, I've never had a problem with Live's quality.

I've also never seen any solid evidence that Lives quality is any worse than any other DAW, however i have seen plenty of evidence proving that actually there is no difference.

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