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Getting the volume back up after mixing at -18dB

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Getting the volume back up after mixing at -18dB

Postby powderfinger » Mon Jul 05, 2010 8:11 pm

So, all of the Nebula console and tape programs recommend mixing at -18dB levels, so my question is, how do you guys get the levels back up to a commercial level after mixing at -18dB?

At the moment I'm using UAD's Precision Limiter and adding the volume all back at the end of the chain. How do you guys do it?
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Re: Getting the volume back up after mixing at -18dB

Postby everbeatz » Mon Jul 05, 2010 11:33 pm

Sonalksis FreeG
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Re: Getting the volume back up after mixing at -18dB

Postby RJHollins » Tue Jul 06, 2010 12:43 am

same here.
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Re: Getting the volume back up after mixing at -18dB

Postby scooter » Tue Jul 06, 2010 4:48 am

Why not just work at that level with the necessary dynamic range for the piece and then normalize it to (-.1) , after you bounce it and before you convert it to 16bit?
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Re: Getting the volume back up after mixing at -18dB

Postby paulrussell » Tue Jul 06, 2010 7:42 am

Commercial levels for current pop/rock music is around -0.1dB peak, -10-12db RMS

The traditional process is to export your mix at between -3dB and -6dB peak (about -18dB RMS) and then Master it using compressors, EQ and limiters. At the same time you may need to downsample to 44,100Hz, dither and change the bit depth to 16bit.

Check out the Ozone mastering guide on the Izotope site. It's free and it gives you a starting point of reference.
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Re: Getting the volume back up after mixing at -18dB

Postby RJHollins » Tue Jul 06, 2010 8:15 am

That pretty much is it.

Mastering ...
I use FreeG as 'bookends' to NEBULA ... it is much more convenient than adjusting NEB itself.

But as mentioned ... with an -18dB [RMS] level, the peaks are ~ -6dB.

Aiming for an average of -12dB[RMS] for a release, I go to compressor and/or limiter with final output 'make-up' gain.
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Re: Getting the volume back up after mixing at -18dB

Postby paulrussell » Tue Jul 06, 2010 8:33 am

-12dB RMS is so 2004 :D
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Re: Getting the volume back up after mixing at -18dB

Postby RJHollins » Tue Jul 06, 2010 8:48 am

yea ... livin' in the past :lol:
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Re: Getting the volume back up after mixing at -18dB

Postby Barendse » Tue Jul 06, 2010 9:06 am

RJHollins wrote:That pretty much is it.

Mastering ...
I use FreeG as 'bookends' to NEBULA ... it is much more convenient than adjusting NEB itself.

But as mentioned ... with an -18dB [RMS] level, the peaks are ~ -6dB.

Aiming for an average of -12dB[RMS] for a release, I go to compressor and/or limiter with final output 'make-up' gain.


-12dB RMS for me also!
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Re: Getting the volume back up after mixing at -18dB

Postby Grim » Wed Jul 07, 2010 1:09 am

Now using the new Slate Digital FG-X & liking it a lot....I also use HarBal pre compression & limiting to tame any frequencies that might cause problems & fill out any holes but that's just me....not everyone is a fan of it. Often if the HarBal frequency plot shows problems & I have time I'll fix them in the mix first. If it need too much change then it's obviously not right

I personally aim for around -10 but only on louder parts not an average of the whole song which will push your chorus way too loud

I find that doesn't sound too crushed but it's competitive enough that my band have stopped complaining things are quieter than commercial tracks.
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