How do I get the volume like a “regular” song?

curvegxd

New member
I was wondering if i could get some tips on how to get a song to sound loud enough when you play it? I made a song and it’s so quiet. I dropped it bc I love it anyway but in the future i don’t want to have that problem.

here's the link for refernce to what I mean From me to you , thank you in advance for any advice!
 

VomitHatSteve

Hat STYLE. Not contents.
There's sort of two answers here:
1 is "mastering". part of the mastering process is usually adding compression/limiting to get the overall volume of the project to the optimal level for the media it's being released in.

2 is "you don't". From the early 2000s through the late 2010s, the recording industry had what was called the "loudness war". Basically, people noticed that all other things being equal, a louder recording sounds better to listeners than a slightly quieter one. This set off a race to see who could compress and limit their recordings the most, resulting in a lot of recordings with very little dynamic range. Everything was as loud as possible, even the parts that should have been quiet.
But, in the last few years, every streaming service has added their own volume normalization algorithm, which means that mixes that are too compressed just get turned down when they're streamed, and mixes that are too quiet get turned up. So it doesn't really matter how loud your mix actually is; the streaming sites will match it to the professional level.

So tl;dr, do some research in mastering to figure out how to adjust these levels, but you probably don't want to target major label releases because that will result in you over-compressing
 

curvegxd

New member
There's sort of two answers here:
1 is "mastering". part of the mastering process is usually adding compression/limiting to get the overall volume of the project to the optimal level for the media it's being released in.

2 is "you don't". From the early 2000s through the late 2010s, the recording industry had what was called the "loudness war". Basically, people noticed that all other things being equal, a louder recording sounds better to listeners than a slightly quieter one. This set off a race to see who could compress and limit their recordings the most, resulting in a lot of recordings with very little dynamic range. Everything was as loud as possible, even the parts that should have been quiet.
But, in the last few years, every streaming service has added their own volume normalization algorithm, which means that mixes that are too compressed just get turned down when they're streamed, and mixes that are too quiet get turned up. So it doesn't really matter how loud your mix actually is; the streaming sites will match it to the professional level.

So tl;dr, do some research in mastering to figure out how to adjust these levels, but you probably don't want to target major label releases because that will result in you over-compressing
Thank you for this!! I will bw looking more into mixing and mastering this week so hopefully I can pick up some more good tips, I didnt know that streaming services changed the volume, so im glad to hear that too!
 

TalismanRich

Well-known member
Pulling your file down and checking it's specs, you could simply raise the volume by about 7dB. The file is actually just mixed at too low of a level. This wouldn't change the relative sound of the background sounds to the beats, but it would raise your overall level.

From Me To You Loudness Spec.jpg

If you have issues with the relative volume of different parts, then you have a mixing issue. That would need to be addressed at that stage.
 

curvegxd

New member
Pulling your file down and checking it's specs, you could simply raise the volume by about 7dB. The file is actually just mixed at too low of a level. This wouldn't change the relative sound of the background sounds to the beats, but it would raise your overall level.

View attachment 114152

If you have issues with the relative volume of different parts, then you have a mixing issue. That would need to be addressed at that stage.
Oh wow look at y’all 🙌🙌🙌 I’m gonna try that right now, thank you so much
 

TalismanRich

Well-known member
What DAW are you using? In Reaper, you can add the SWS extensions, and there is a loudness tool (that's what I used). If you have Audacity, there is a Amplify function, and you can normalize to a particular LUFS target tool as well called Loudness Normalization.

If you just want to check the final file, you can also use the YouLean loudness meter (free download).
 

curvegxd

New member
Pulling your file down and checking it's specs, you could simply raise the volume by about 7dB. The file is actually just mixed at too low of a level. This wouldn't change the relative sound of the background sounds to the beats, but it would raise your overall level.

View attachment 114152

If you have issues with the relative volume of different parts, then you have a mixing issue. That would need to be addressed at that stage.
Th
What DAW are you using? In Reaper, you can add the SWS extensions, and there is a loudness tool (that's what I used). If you have Audacity, there is a Amplify function, and you can normalize to a particular LUFS target tool as well called Loudness Normalization.

If you just want to check the final file, you can also use the YouLean loudness meter (free download).
Im using Logic Pro right now, I don't have much experience on it as of now so i'm still figuring stuff out. I did learn about certain voice inputs tho but its after I did that song and im not sure how to still have that same reverb effect and do that as well so I left it alone. I did raise the volume on the vocals so im hoping it will download sounding louder this time. Also this might sound dumb but I cant tell if I raised it by 7db but I did raise it, and its not turning red so I figure it might be okay? Im gonna watch some videos to see exactly how to tell when it comes to that, I may or may not have did it right. here's a screenshot so you an see how high up I put it
 

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curvegxd

New member
What DAW are you using? In Reaper, you can add the SWS extensions, and there is a loudness tool (that's what I used). If you have Audacity, there is a Amplify function, and you can normalize to a particular LUFS target tool as well called Loudness Normalization.

If you just want to check the final file, you can also use the YouLean loudness meter (free download).
I will download YouLean too, I know logic has a loudness meter but I dont know how to use it yet, I did change the volume from the screenshot, Its at 2.0.. is that a good number?
 
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TalismanRich

Well-known member
If you have already raised the master fader completely and still are too low in volume, then the easiest way to raise the master is to just load the master file into Logic and use the normalize function. That will raise everything up to the maximum level without clipping. That way you also preserve the mix you have.

You can look up normalization in Logic. Its a function built in Audio File Editor: Function.
 

rob aylestone

Well-known member
I really like this track and it has a really nice feel and I think the dynamic range is really matched to the song, so I'd not mess with the mix at all and just normalise it a bit higher, which won't change anything but stop it being 'different'. What I often do is put the new track into iTunes or Apple Music on my laptop, and then when it gets sorted alphabetically, play the track before it and compare that with the new one then into the next one - if you're tempted to reach for the volume, then it needs normalising up or down to sit properly with other similar tracks.
 

keith.rogers

Well-known member
I will download YouLean too, I know logic has a loudness meter but I dont know how to use it yet, I did change the volume from the screenshot, Its at 2.0.. is that a good number?
If you have the free version, just install the AU plugin (for Logic Pro), and then open it while you play your track. The final, "mastered," version's *Integrated* LUFS is the loudness of the track. What you want to do is measure that against your reference track, or make it match the target of the streaming platform you'll distribute to, unless you want to let them adjust the loudness for you!

The paid-for version of YouLean has a standalone app that lets you drop your finished track in it for measurement. Other apps have that capability, and you can use the Logic Pro Loudness Meter (?) plugin, as well. You might see minor differences in their measurements, but, at least on music tracks, they're usually close enough not to worry. (I've seen some have noticeable differences on spoken word/voiceover stuff, because silence "gaps" should be ignored, but the parameters for that don't seem consistent.)

When you submit something to a streaming platform, they will usually adjust what they stream to their LUFS target. Numbers I read long ago were something like -15dB LUFS for YouTube, -17db LUFS for iTunes. Everything else was somewhere in between. Now, I don't know if they bother doing that exactly, on every single track/video or if they just tackle the ones that are way out of range. But, you have to understand they want the listener (i.e., the target of their real customers) to have a consistent experience. Maybe your mix *was* soft and YouTube has bumped it up a bit. You'll never know. But, if you get close to their targets, the chance of a big change that alters the dynamic range is reduced.
 

TalismanRich

Well-known member
Keith, if you looked at my check, the original track was -25LUFS. I normalized it by 7dB bringing the true peak to -0.7dB, and that put the LUFS at -18 which should be perfect for Youtube and I-Tunes.

What I couldn't say was whether Youtube had bumped the track before I downloaded it and extracted the audio. If the OP uses YouLean, or Logic's loudness meter on his master file. he should be able to tell if Youtube did any adjustments.
 

JamEZmusic

Active member
You can normalise it but this is more work because you need to bounce the song down, re-import go into editor and normalise. And then you are left with a project with the bounced down normalised version + original mix.

Or you can go to your Stereo Out, put the (Limiter) plugin as the last plugin on there, leave everything at default but just turn up the gain until you see it start to catch those peaks. Even if it only catches 1 or 2 peaks throughout the entire song you will have got your song marginally louder than what normalising it would. Both methods are good, I just prefer to not bounce down a seperate file.

If your master is at unity, you will see the meter read 0.0db on the loudest part of the song when the limiter engages.

If you are curious how loud your mix is you can put the stock meter plugin on after the limiter and take a reading but make sure you bypass it before you bounce the song down just in-case it adds anything unpleasant.
 

LazerBeakShiek

AKA Optimus Prime LEGO Vampire
If you are looking for Mastering tips, I think pop music has a balance using a compressor and a limiter in the mastering chain.

Or a limiter and clipper.

Hold the compressor output gain at -6 db. Then push the input against that -6 dbd limit to fill up the dynamic..
 

JamEZmusic

Active member
^ Yes but I was trying to keep it simple. Just to turn up the song as loud as possible with zero side effect or mix alteration, what I said above would keep full transparancy much like normalisation would. Ideally there would be no further compression apart from the odd stray rogue transient.

Mix Buss compression might undo his/her already pretty decent mix balance.
 

TalismanRich

Well-known member
If I'm reading the metering right in his screenshot, his output master is at 3.8, which would mean that if he nailed the master fader, he would only gain 3.8 dB when he could use 7. There are obviously a half dozen ways to achieve it, you could normalize all the channels by a common level (like +7dB) and leave all the faders as they are. No change in the mix, just an increase in output volume. He could raise all the faders by 7dB, as long as he does it precisely to not disturb the mix.

l don't use Logic Pro, so I don't know what plug-in options he might have.

Putting compressors and limiters on the track is going to change the feel of the track which is what I was trying to avoid, unless the OP is unhappy with the mix balance. Since he said I dropped it bc I love it anyway , I assumed he wanted to keep everything the same except for the volume. Normalizing the final track is about a 30 second operation.
 
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