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Re: my tracks, have a listen...

Postby cpwade » Mon Aug 08, 2011 6:32 pm

Thank you. The simplest and most obvious solution. I will do that moving forward. As usual I want to over think it.
Last edited by cpwade on Sat Aug 13, 2011 2:14 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: my tracks, have a listen...

Postby thebliss » Wed Aug 10, 2011 11:54 pm

8-)
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Re: my tracks, have a listen...

Postby richie43 » Thu Aug 11, 2011 3:09 pm

Personally I never normalize, I just work the final mix until I like the levels. And I never use a limiter anymore, I am choosing to take the time to get it right and let the song breathe and have dynamics-REAL dynamics (I am also in my 40's and from years of all analog!).
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Re: my tracks, have a listen...

Postby yr » Thu Aug 11, 2011 3:34 pm

Normalizing has no effect on the dynamic relations within a song (unlike comps/limiters). You are simply making sure that your loudest peak reaches a certain (specified) level. It can be very useful when you end up with a mix that has very low maximal peak levels (you could also apply gain manually of course). It's also very useful when you are working with very dynamic material and want to preserve as much low-level detail as possible before dithering and converting to 16bit.

As long as you are working at 32/64bit, normalizing is fully reversible.
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Re: my tracks, have a listen...

Postby cpwade » Thu Aug 11, 2011 3:55 pm

Although I am not fearful of normalizing, it has never been a practice.
Like Richie, I go "commando" and let it flap in the wind a bit. I suspect a new habit, developed out of fear of hitting the neb plugs too hard. Everything seems to sound better -18/20 db with my new workflow.
I guess I could slam it in the 2 buss, but I don't.
I could be going deaf though.. :P
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Re: my tracks, have a listen...

Postby yr » Thu Aug 11, 2011 4:19 pm

Of course- if you decide to Normalize you should do it just before dithering and bit-reduction. Don't forget that when you convert your files to 16bit you are reducing your dynamic-range/resolution. If your maximum peak level is for instance -12dBFS, you end-up with 14bit resolution/dynamic-range. It doesn't make your track sound better, just decreases the S/N ratio...
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Re: my tracks, have a listen...

Postby cpwade » Thu Aug 11, 2011 4:49 pm

Great points and thank you. There is nothing stopping me from mixing down and then treating the stereo track. (Normalize, Dither)
I will do this moving forward, it's clearly a missing step. Quiet is NOT the new loud, yet anyway.

Perhaps my motive is intangible.. I feel that during mixing, when I get it loud, the rear wall of the soundstage (image) seems to pull forward and become 2 dimensional. At -18bd it seems 3d and spacious, and the rear wall falls back to my ears. I need to focus more on gain staging.

Once I learn to get the frequency spectrums of my mixes correct, this wide low headroom mix style would be candy for an ME. Lots of options. (Although, a good ME may just find my mix style utterly annoying as well.)

Cheers and thank you all for the feedback, I'm paying attention and still have 30 mixes to go.
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Re: my tracks, have a listen...

Postby richie43 » Thu Aug 11, 2011 8:07 pm

I keep my mixes at -18-ish db as well. I think that us older analog dudes are so used to needing to really saturate tape, teetering on the edge between really full sounding and "burying the needle" that we tend to scale back with digital audio. But I think that this is a good thing. There is no reason to push levels with digital, it doesn't give it any more harmonic distortion or "vibe" like pushing analog does. And leaving more than enough headroom in digital audio is much much better than not enough. Any good ME will confirm that. That final level boost should always be the last thing before any dithering. And on that subject, with trends of music distribution leaning more and more toward digital distribution, I have been doing final mixes at 48/24. If I really need to put it on a CD (How antiquated....lol) I can always dither then. Just my 2 cents worth.
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Re: my tracks, have a listen...

Postby yr » Thu Aug 11, 2011 9:29 pm

Hello richie(43)- we seem to be discussing different things. If the tracks are still going to be mastered, then of course there is no point in bringing the levels up. If, on the other hand, the tracks are going to be converted to 16bit and posted for playback/download, then it's advisable to bring up the levels before dithering to minimize the loss of resolution.

I also think that more then a few consumer 24bit D/A converters have a relatively poor S/N performance. In such case, keeping your max peak levels very low can result in fine details getting lost.
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Re: my tracks, have a listen...

Postby richie43 » Thu Aug 11, 2011 10:44 pm

yr wrote:Hello richie(43)- we seem to be discussing different things. If the tracks are still going to be mastered, then of course there is no point in bringing the levels up. If, on the other hand, the tracks are going to be converted to 16bit and posted for playback/download, then it's advisable to bring up the levels before dithering to minimize the loss of resolution.

I also think that more then a few consumer 24bit D/A converters have a relatively poor S/N performance. In such case, keeping your max peak levels very low can result in fine details getting lost.


We are actually on the same page. Yes to what you are saying. I was just getting a bit OT. My fault. No harm intended! :arrow: :mrgreen:
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