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How To Make Recordings Louder And Not To Clip?!


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#1 ChaserHUN

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Posted 20 April 2014 - 07:36 AM

I don't know why, but my recordings doesn't sound loud enough. I mean I have to turn them up 100% in the player aftter the mixdown and in cubase it's almost close to clipping. But the same in Ableton Live 9 so I don't think the DAW is the problem.

 

Here is the recording:

http://www.filedropper.com/podtest28_1

 

Here are my settings on the POD and in cubase, you can see the indicator i pretty close to the red zone

 

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pod3_www.kepfeltoltes.hu_.png
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recording2_www.kepfeltoltes.hu_.png
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Do you feel that the recording is loud enough? Because there are recordings that just blow out the windows.

 

Little help would be great

 

 

 


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#2 duncann

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Posted 20 April 2014 - 07:47 AM

It sounds fine to me. I loaded it reaper and you have an RMS total loudness of about -16.5 dB, which doesn't seem bad because it's only guitar. When you start adding other tracks it will get louder. I've read that most professionally mastered tracks aim for a loudness of around -14 dB.


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#3 Brazzy

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Posted 20 April 2014 - 07:54 AM

It sounded good through a Vaio AR630E into Beyerdynamic DT990 (600 Ohm) headphones at max volume. Nice playing!!!! Way to go!!!!


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#4 ChaserHUN

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Posted 21 April 2014 - 11:48 AM

Cool!

 

How much db should individual tracks be?

 

What do you think about the tone? Any ideas how to improve it?


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#5 duncann

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Posted 21 April 2014 - 02:32 PM

For individual tracks, it's really hard to say. It would depend a lot on what type of music it is and how many simultaneous tracks there are. Guessing from your sample clip, there would be at least a bass track and drum track? So you might even find yourself lowering the level of the guitar track from what it currently is. In other words, I wouldn't worry about it, if at all, until you have at least a rough draft of a part of the song that has the maximum simultaneous tracks. Once you get such a part sounding good to yourself, you could go back and see what the loudness is for each individual track. But that sort of information doesn't really seem useful. A good target to try and hit, though, is somewhere around -14dB RMS total loudness for the master track (that is -14dB for each channel, left and right). Take a song you think sounds good to you, plop it in your DAW (make sure no processing is going on) and see what the value is (I'm not at all familiar with Cubase so I don't know how to do this in that DAW). Do the same thing with lots of songs to get an idea of what seems to be a standard for your chosen type of music. Plus scour the internet for information on mastering. Keep in mind, I'm no sound engineer and I'm learning new things all the time, so please forgive me if I've dispensed any inaccurate information.

 

The tone you made sounds good to me. I like it. It's very clean, clear, and concise. Good stereo separation too. I can't really think of anything I'd do to improve it.


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#6 still_fiddlin

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Posted 22 April 2014 - 05:46 AM

Well, to do the least, you can always "normalize" your audio file which will just raise the levels uniformly.  But, in most studio output, and particularly anything destined for CDs/radio play, they apply compression and limiting to push everything up.  That will change the relative levels, and at some point it's all the same, but it depends on the style - some music is just produced that way, while other types will do very little of the maximizing.  You can be sure that all of it is done to some degree, except possibly some classical recordings, because most listening environments aren't going to let the quietest parts come through without some compression, i.e., the sound will just "go away" in the softer parts when listening in your car.

 

I've taken that .wav file and loaded it into Audacity and did a Normalize effect to 0.0 db - it only clips in one spot near the end, so you could probably fix that by normalizing a bit less, or touching up the volume right at that spot before normalization.  (normalized.jpg attachment shows the original and normalized waveforms - just a bit, and I included the clipped portion).

 

I also applied a "Loud Brickwall" preset from iZotope's Ozone5 plug-in, minus the EQ, to show what a pretty maxed out version would look like - this pushes everything to the max and doesn't introduce clipping.  Of course, it will sound quite a bit different than the original, but there may be somewhere in between that gets you where you want to be. (maximized.jpg - original and maximized wafeforms)

 

P.S. Audacity only allows 3.0 dB of gain without clipping, so your record level, at least as that .WAV would indicate, is more than high enough for mixing.  I applied a slightly less aggressive Ozone5 preset though to see what some middle ground might sound like - MP3 attached.  There you can hear the compression and limiting - but the added volume is deceptive so you'd want to normalize to get them closer.  The "n" is normalized, while the "m" version is "pseudo-mastered" with a Rock-Indie preset.

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