keeping levels down in ableton for producing

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ctdf
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keeping levels down in ableton for producing

Post by ctdf » Sun Dec 13, 2009 12:35 pm

hi,

i know for producing to keep things crispy in ableton to keep the levels down in the -12 ish region

but whats the best ways to bring them back up for the mixdown within ableton?

gncgry
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Re: keeping levels down in ableton for producing

Post by gncgry » Sun Dec 13, 2009 8:07 pm

i'm also suffering the same thing atm. everything is too loud and a limiter on the master channel is killing the sound. currently i grouped tracks as "drums" "pads" and such, then use the utility thing with gain around -5 on every group and tweak around.

let us know if you come around with a handy trick.

cheers.
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gunforhire
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Re: keeping levels down in ableton for producing

Post by gunforhire » Sun Dec 13, 2009 10:07 pm

Isn't keeping the mix channel levels at about -12db adequate to keeping them at 0db and lowering the master output by -12? Just a question...

marcoskohler
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Re: keeping levels down in ableton for producing

Post by marcoskohler » Sun Dec 13, 2009 10:45 pm

Most people I've talked to who Master prefer a lot of headroom (-6 to -12dB)...So if you are mixing your music so the Master channel only peaks between -12dB and -6dB that is good. What's the problem? Are you trying to Master/Finalize it yourself? If so, and don't have access to professional hardware, use a mastering suite like Izotope Ozone for now. That will (with some tweaks) bring up the levels of your entire track and make it sound much more polished and professional.

ctdf
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Re: keeping levels down in ableton for producing

Post by ctdf » Mon Dec 14, 2009 2:07 pm

izotope ozone 4? looks crispy

with that though if mastering in ableton still keep the channel levels low?

ianomurchu
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Re: keeping levels down in ableton for producing

Post by ianomurchu » Mon Dec 14, 2009 2:32 pm

Ozone 4 is indeed as you say 'crispy' :)

Even just flicking through presets you will find your tracks sounding better, louder with better seperation. Tweak to taste and you're done!

Yeah still keep the levels low, headroom is needed! I have tried to pass tracks through izotope ozone 4 with high levels, sound good in Ableton but prove to be way over cooked when rendered out!

rbmonosylabik
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Re: keeping levels down in ableton for producing

Post by rbmonosylabik » Mon Dec 14, 2009 3:38 pm

Lately, I find myself pulling the drums down so they peak at or around -6, then mixing everything else around. Starting the mix like that gives a lot of headroom to play around, and if it starts to look like I'm running out of it, it usually means I have to pull something down.
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mrideas
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Re: keeping levels down in ableton for producing

Post by mrideas » Wed Dec 16, 2009 1:51 am

rbmonosylabik wrote:Lately, I find myself pulling the drums down so they peak at or around -6, then mixing everything else around. Starting the mix like that gives a lot of headroom to play around, and if it starts to look like I'm running out of it, it usually means I have to pull something down.

Yep, good advice. Set a 'ceiling' with the 'louder' elements in the track and mix to match those. You can then boost the whole deal later on the master out or resample your stems and push everything up later. Dont try to 'gain' it too far though, that has inherent problems as well.

supamonsta
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Re: keeping levels down in ableton for producing

Post by supamonsta » Sat Dec 19, 2009 5:14 pm

don't stick with something like "set all tracks peaking at -12db",

better monitor your master meter and here keep things peaking at -6db max.

and yes, read Tarekith's tutorials, it's greatly informative :wink:

I'ts generally more easy to render all your tracks and mixdown them in another set.

Zoosh
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Re: keeping levels down in ableton for producing

Post by Zoosh » Sun Dec 20, 2009 10:37 pm

Use a limiter on the master track along with a good compressor before it, it works wonders

Trypset
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Re: keeping levels down in ableton for producing

Post by Trypset » Mon Dec 21, 2009 1:00 am

Zoosh wrote:Use a limiter on the master track along with a good compressor before it, it works wonders
gonna have to completely disagree....if you are playing tracks out that are not all the same volume or are going on after a vinyl DJ, this might help. It will kill ALL of your dynamics turning your set into one loud noise.

His question specifically ask for producing tips....this is about the worst advice possible. Leave the compressor and limiter to a ME in the mastering stage. I like to leave the master untouched, at 0db. Keep EVERYTHING from clipping it and your mix/produciton will be way more solid. It will be easier for a masterer to master a well mixed track than to do anything with pre-compressed/limited stuff.

If you are purely trying to get volume, do whatever you want. If you want a solid, clean, dynamic mix....don't compress or limit the master.

also, think of it as two seperate steps....getting a proper mix, then mastering the rendered wave.
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gncgry
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Re: keeping levels down in ableton for producing

Post by gncgry » Mon Dec 21, 2009 6:54 pm

ok this topic really helped me out to try new things.. heres how i master my tracks now:

first i listen to the loudest part of the song and check the meters. lets say the song peaks at +6db when master fader is at 0db. then i bring the master level down to -6db, so practically song is now around 0db with enough headroom, cool.

i then EQ'd and -if needed- compressed all the tracks,

heres my setup at master channel:

1 > Reverb: yea, why not? dry/wet at 6%-8%

2 > EQ: to have a nice "loudness" feel, boost mid freq slightly,

3 > Compressor: to warm it up, really little compression.

4 > Vinyl Distortion: why not? really slightly,

5 > Sonalksis FreeG: this is a free level tool, it helps me meter my output. i put master fader back at 0db and check the meters, lets say now it's around +11db, i bring freeG down to -11db

6 > Metering: spectrum device or any other,

7 > Limiter: with this setup youll see that youll still have some headroom even with the limiter, it's up to the song if you use it or not; if it's a prodigy-like track, you might need it, though it is bad if you have soft vocals and such,

thats it, tell me how i'm doing so far?!?
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nezzyidy
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Re: keeping levels down in ableton for producing

Post by nezzyidy » Tue Dec 29, 2009 1:03 am

gncgry wrote: heres my setup at master channel:

1 > Reverb: yea, why not? dry/wet at 6%-8%

2 > EQ: to have a nice "loudness" feel, boost mid freq slightly,

3 > Compressor: to warm it up, really little compression.

I highly recommend not adding a reverb to your whole mix.
Instead add an aux send and only add the reverb to the tracks that need it.
Also, when you do you can add the reverb in various amounts per track.
YOu don't want your tracks to come out sounding muddy.

I also highly recommend being careful with the EQ. If you mix your track well
you wont need to eq afterwards.
Why not boost the mids of only your important instruments? that way you gain clarity.

Lastly I really am getting tired of the overuse of the term "warmth".
The compressor is adding "warmth"? really? What does that sound like?
The compressor is not for warmth, it is for dynamics. I recommend using it
for it's intended purpose because you can really fuck up the mix if used
improperly.
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