If you run out of gain mixing tracks , should you compress it for more volume?

mjbphotos

What?!?
My USB Apollo would throw a massive fit. It cannot handle a complex track lay out with multiple effects. It breaks up. I can record with the Apollo ASIO and switch to ASIO4ALL and do a bunch of VSTs. The Laptop does it fine. Most of my recording use a minimum of effects and VST for this reason.

Great idea , I d love to make some sub groups.

Sorry, but that makes no sense. Your interface has NOTHING to do with number of tracks/groups/Plugins/etc unless you are using the built-in FX in the AI itself (just turn those off and use the ones in Reaper!) That's ALL a function of your computer. In Reaper, putting tracks into a group folder uses NO computer resources.
 

Farview

Well-known member
Yeah, but...It all sounds like crap.. So, shut it off? haha.

I turned the make up gain off in the above mix. That didn't help? Not as much as I wanted.

I waited a day, my ears still hear -16Lufs as quiet. Overly so compared to the -8 LUFs mix.
It sounds like you are trying to get final volume during the mix process. The final volume is set at mastering.
During the mix, just get everything balanced and sounding good. Get the final volume in a separate process.
 

rob aylestone

Well-known member
It's not just you Lazer - never has a new system for measuring levels got people so obsessed. I never adjust my monitor volume, and every time when I run the mixes through SoundForge to just normalise them - they hardly move in level. I figure that if itunes, spotify and the others are going to mangle them anyway - I am not going to start chasing LUFS. Although my music is rarely loud and in your face, when it is, the levels seem to just fall in place. If your guitars are not recording well - why not fix that first, then they'd sit in the mix better? compression, for me is a trick to make something work in a mix. I NEVER EVER apply it when it's not wanted - I have friends who work with big templates, and their guitars go on a gitar track with things already in place - same with drums. I just cannot do that.

Have you taken your mix, and switched off every EQ and dynamics processor and removed any distortion or other plugins? That's a huge change in the sound, I expect. Then you go back and try adding things but by bit - but ONLY when you need it. If something makes no difference, leave it off.
 

LazerBeakShiek

AKA Optimus Prime LEGO Vampire
Sorry, but that makes no sense. Your interface has NOTHING to do with number of tracks/groups/Plugins/etc unless you are using the built-in FX in the AI itself (just turn those off and use the ones in Reaper!) That's ALL a function of your computer. In Reaper, putting tracks into a group folder uses NO computer resources.
Edit- It must be the rate. At 196/24 it has 1.6 latency. The instruments line up nice. At the high bit rate it slows down with multiple tracks. So I switch asios and bring it to 48/24 and it works for drums and keys.
. Get the final volume in a separate process.
You sure? Youtube and Soundcloud set the final volume , no? What level for mixing? Then What level for mastering? Then what tool should I use to make that level?
 
Last edited:

LazerBeakShiek

AKA Optimus Prime LEGO Vampire
If I did not have the loudness meter I would have no idea how loud to make it.

I need a spec. Put the guitars at -16. Drums -6. Vocals -8..Then mix them from there. Is that what a template is ?
 

Farview

Well-known member
In the Amazon comments there are warnings about it.

You sure? Youtube and Soundcloud set the final volume , no? What level for mixing? Then What level for mastering? Then what tool should I use to make that level?
Back when cds ruled the world, the mix was just the mix. The overall volume didn't make any difference as long as it wasn't ridiculously low or clipping. You would take all your mixes to a mastering engineer who would put the songs in order, do fades, set the time between songs, set overall eq so all the songs sound like they belong together, and set the final volume for each track so that all the songs flow from one to the other and to the standards of the genre at the time.

Now that everyone is essentially doing singles, album flow is no longer an issue. But the final volume and overall eq needs to be done as a separate process. You have enough to worry about just getting a good balance during the mix, trying to master at the same time will have you chasing your tail forever.

Don't bother looking at your lufs meter during the mix. It doesn't matter at all at that stage. As long as the mix doesn't clip, you should be good.

After you render the mix to a file, import that file into a new reaper session. The most common tools are a compressor, eq and limiter. You won't necessarily need all three. The compressor and eq setting should be pretty gentle. The compression is there to glue the mix together, not really change the sound of it or catch peaks. For me, 2:1 is a really high ratio in this context and 1-2db of reduction is a lot. Eq should also be gentle at this point, maybe a wide bell and half a dB or so to shape the mids or lessen a problem area somewhere. The limiter will be the thing that gets you your final volume. It should be placed last in the chain. For maximum volume, you simply turn down the threshold until the mix starts falling apart, then back off a bit. (Auto makeup gain should be turn on for this) That will be as loud as your mix can go, if it isn't loud enough, then you need to go back to the mix and fix whatever the problem is.
 

Farview

Well-known member
If I did not have the loudness meter I would have no idea how loud to make it.

I need a spec. Put the guitars at -16. Drums -6. Vocals -8..Then mix them from there. Is that what a template is ?
There is no formula because there are too many variables. Do you think you could set up a Van Halen mix and replace the tracks with Pantera sounds and it would still be a good mix?

Like I said, make the mix sound good and leave the final volume for a separate process.

Lufs meters are a fairly recent thing. Most of the music you've listened to all your life was produced with slow, inaccurate VU meters. Much of the time, they were ignored as well.

Music production isn't a paint by numbers type of thing. It's interpretive and has many answers to the same problem.
 

LazerBeakShiek

AKA Optimus Prime LEGO Vampire
getting a good balance during the mix, trying to master at the same time will have you chasing your tail forever.\
Tell me about it.
Don't bother looking at your lufs meter during the mix. It doesn't matter at all at that stage. As long as the mix doesn't clip, you should be good.
But thats my gauge.
The compression is there to glue the mix together, not really change the sound of it or catch peaks. For me, 2:1 is a really high ratio in this context and 1-2db of reduction is a lot.
Prolly use slower attack and release to make it smooth, right?
Eq should also be gentle at this point, maybe a wide bell and half a dB or so to shape t
I use the ReaEQ and use the first and last to make the filter set. 80-11,000 seems ok to start for guitars but it depends. Bass gets none.
 
No a template is just where your DAW has all of your reverbs and bussing done for you to save you time, all faders would start out -infinity if I was to use a template. (which I never do) Not unless I am composing an orchestral score in which case I think I would die a little on the inside if I had to set that up each time.
 

Farview

Well-known member
No no no. The eq I'm talking about is on the overall mix, not the guitars. I'm talking about mastering, which happens after the mix is complete. Everything I'm doing is to the overall mix.

You don't need a Guage. You need to listen to what it sounds like. That is the only thing that matters at this stage. Stop trying to get to the end without going through the middle.

Attack and release tend to be medium for me for mastering, but like I said, only 1 maybe 2 dB of reduction at the very most at a very low ratio. Less than 2:1 most of the time.
 

Farview

Well-known member
I use templates when I'm doing albums. Once I get the tracks and all the routing set up for the first song, I save the template so when it's time to start recording the second song all the inputs, tracks and subgroup routing are already set up.
 
I don't think there are any plugins to use as shortcuts. Getting your DAW set up correctly only takes minutes, I do it on the fly. I tried working to some templates once that I got from produce like a pro but I found in the end it actually slowed me down because my average mix is not a pop song. and those templates are more geared towards pop songs so I had to use different verbs, and routings in the end anyway.

I have no idea about EZmix, but from what I understand it's just a bunch of presets. Presets in my experience have always made my tracks sound far worse. Presets are fine for delays and reverbs etc. But not for EQ and Compression, How can a preset possibly know if you are recording a punchy/percussive guitar, or soft sustained chords? And then you will see a preset that is labelled (Bright Acoustic) and all it is, is an 8khz boost to high heaven with a plate verb.

Don't get caught up on this stuff. Just make sure you don't clip at any 1 point in your chain. And that's it. The routings just make your life easier but you will learn all of that as you go, and I'll bet it wont even take you long now that you know about it.

Edit: If you did find a template for your DAW on a typical full band mix. I think you will learn a lot from it and it will all make sense to you with a quick look. So it's worth to try and find a proper one if you can.
 

LazerBeakShiek

AKA Optimus Prime LEGO Vampire
i dont get it.

At Lake St Studios , I would agree they used something like a template. Each band record their singles and , in and out in 30 minutes. If you were playing the same style, it would sound similar. Same microphones. Same reverbs. The songs could be played back to back on the radio and sound nice.
 
Last edited:
it's just the electric guitar, it's stopping me from literally hearing anything else. A MASSIVE cut is needed with EQ in the highs, could be 4khz, could be 8khz. I am not so sure. It could probably do with both? Maybe even by as much as 10dbs or more? if you like that fizz you can easily keep it there but just turn it down. It's dominating the whole mix

I'm listening on the laptop so it's probably sounding worse to me that if I was in the studio.

You definitely should forget about loudness for now. You will forever be stuck if start that process right now. Bypass all of your plugins, start over. I do it alllll the time.

EDIT: ok do you have match EQ? reaper might have one in the stock plugins? get a mix you like the sound of that sounds similar, and run a pass with Match EQ on that, and then leave it on your song. Use this to guide you on your way, you will then see that you have far too much buildup in the high end. maybe just turn your vocal up to where it sounds similar to the reference even if you don't like it and use match EQ to pull your mix into roughly where it should be. Don't rely on match EQ and never leave it on. but use it to put you on the right path.
 
Last edited:

Farview

Well-known member
Where can I get some templates that sounds helpful?

There is EZ drummer and EZ keys. Would EZMix help me? Could it do all this for me?
You make the templates yourself. Only you will know how you want things routed.

I would only have templates for albums, where the band is using the same instrumentation on every song. I would set up the first one, save it as a template, Then call up the template in a new session when it was time to record the second song and so on.
 

Farview

Well-known member
i dont get it.

At Lake St Studios , I would agree they used something like a template. Each band record their singles and , in and out in 30 minutes. If you were playing the same style, it would sound similar. Same microphones. Same reverbs. The songs could be played back to back on the radio and sound nice.
The trick to templates is you have to have the same inputs in order to get the same outputs. If a studio was cranking out the hits like this, they were probably making the bands use the same drum set and amplifiers. That is the only way it could work.

You have a couple things working against you
1. your monitoring system is suspect.
2. you are trying to mix with your eyes, not your ears (the meters won't make anything sound better)
3. you have a knack for focusing on the least important thing
4. you always want to get to the end without going through the middle.
 

rob aylestone

Well-known member
I think he's got totally confused. You set up a 'template' - it's nothing clever, maybe just an empty song with all the things you do frequently ready for you to hit record. Maybe you have a favourite go to reverb, or maybe you ALWAYS record three identical guitar tracks and pan them left, right, middle and have different delays - it's kind of like your signature - so you set these up and save them - so your next project gets you going quicker. Maybe you ALWAYS need a certain EQ for one of your guitars that always needs perking up? That's what templates are for.

On the volume front - I get the idea you are watching the meters and trying to keep within certain settings - so you poke faders to make it louder or quieter because the numbers say they need pushing. I never ever do that - my ears are my volume meter. I use my ears when tracking and I use them when mixing - if the mix ends up a bit quieter than I thought - fix it. Did you also say you are recording at 192KHz? why? Clearly we cannot hear it? It stresses the machinery and is, in my humble view - totally and utterly pointless - even more so on your loud wash of sound music. There is no subtlety where the supposed benefits of crazy sample rates might, just might, be heard.
 

LazerBeakShiek

AKA Optimus Prime LEGO Vampire
The trick to templates is you have to have the same inputs in order to get the same outputs. If a studio was cranking out the hits like this, they were probably making the bands use the same drum set and amplifiers. That is the only way it could work.
It was for the radio stations local music showcase on Sundays. At the time there was a contest type thing. Apocalypse Hoboken was there and other bands. These weren't hits per say, just local bands recording for a radio show. Q101 played alternative music in Chicago, circa 1990.

Our drummer brought the set. We didn't know how to set up drums mics, so we wasted time, and had to let them do it.

Due to past relationships I lost it. I lent my CD to a woman in 2000' and never got it back. I know of anyone that saved it to mp3. If you know how I could get a replacement from the Local Music series from Q101 in the 90's let me know. A station manager or something.
 
Last edited:
Top