Simplest way to fade out a song?

Eric V

Member
I'm trying to fade out a song, do I just move the master volume slider down ? During the recording of a track, individually ?
 

rob aylestone

Well-known member
You fade out the master, not individual tracks, or if you were me, I do it in Soundforge that I use for final mastering and level tweaking - and just highlight where I want the fade and let it fade it out for me. If It's not quite right, I can tweak and do it again.
 

Eric V

Member
You fade out the master, not individual tracks, or if you were me, I do it in Soundforge that I use for final mastering and level tweaking - and just highlight where I want the fade and let it fade it out for me. If It's not quite right, I can tweak and do it again.
So do I slide the master down during the recording of a given track ? That will affect the volume of all the tracks simultaneously ?
 

rob aylestone

Well-known member
You don't turn anything down during record? You record all your tracks, mix them, eq them add effects - then depending on your software, you automate the master fader, so when you export the audio, it follows that fader - or as I do it, do the fadeout in a different piece of software. The entire point of DAWs is that they are not destructive. The original recordings do not get tweaked at all. Can you explain a bit what you are using and the context, because it seems a very simple solution that isn't working because you've got crossed lines somewhere? I might be misunderstanding what you are doing?
 

mjbphotos

What?!?
As Rob says. you do it on the Master - after rendering the mix down to stereo. But, I also (using volume automation) fade out individual tracks in the mix so that the master fadeout sounds like what I want - in other words, maybe its the strings that carry that final sound, or maybe its the whole 'band', or the long sustain of a guitar chord.
 

Papanate

Active member
I'm trying to fade out a song, do I just move the master volume slider down ? During the recording of a track, individually ?
Fades are the last thing you do to a track while mixing - don't fade anything before you mix.
 

Eric V

Member
You don't turn anything down during record? You record all your tracks, mix them, eq them add effects - then depending on your software, you automate the master fader, so when you export the audio, it follows that fader - or as I do it, do the fadeout in a different piece of software. The entire point of DAWs is that they are not destructive. The original recordings do not get tweaked at all. Can you explain a bit what you are using and the context, because it seems a very simple solution that isn't working because you've got crossed lines somewhere? I might be misunderstanding what you are doing?
Thanks guys ! To answer your question Rob, I am using Reaper with a Scarlett 4i4 autio interface, Windows 10 on a laptop, and I use Audacity to open the mix as a stereo file. Reaper is the DAW that I am using for recording the tracks, I just need to fade the song out for effect. Can I do the fade of the whole song in the last minute in Audacity?
 

spantini

COO of me, inc.
As Rob says. you do it on the Master - after rendering the mix down to stereo. But, I also (using volume automation) fade out individual tracks in the mix so that the master fadeout sounds like what I want - in other words, maybe its the strings that carry that final sound, or maybe its the whole 'band', or the long sustain of a guitar chord.
That's pretty much what I do. I'll render the song to WAV, drop that back into Reaper on it's own track, then add the fade. There is a menu for various 'waves' to be applied to the fade - just choose one, then drag the fade icon from the end of the song back to where you want it to begin sloping.

Hovering the mouse pointer over the upper right corner of the song's track will display the fade icon. Just click and hold while dragging it backwards to define the fade parameter.
 

Eric V

Member
Thanks Spantini and everyone. I figured out how to do it in Reaper by applying the volume fade to the Master channel. All I had to do was create two points representing the fadeout I wanted at the end of the song, and then lower the volume line on the Master channel. It did exactly what I wanted. But you guys gave me the idea how to do it, so thank you ! And I can always undo that action to keep it non-destructive after I render it in case I want to change something after the fact, like a remix.
 

Farview

Well-known member
Yes, there are a lot of different ways to do it.
1. You can select all the tracks and put a fade on all of them at the track level. The problem with this is any level dependent processing will be affected, like compression.
2. You can automate the master volume to fade. This lets all the track processing to stay the same, but can mess with any mastering compression.
3. Mix it without a fade, master it, then take the mastered file and put a fade on it. This keeps all the processing consistent throughout the fade.

Since I tended to do a lot of metal, I had a ton of compression going on, so fading things in a way that the tracks would come out of the compression would mess up the balance of the mix during the fade. So I would always fade after mastering.
 

Eric V

Member
Yes, there are a lot of different ways to do it.
1. You can select all the tracks and put a fade on all of them at the track level. The problem with this is any level dependent processing will be affected, like compression.
2. You can automate the master volume to fade. This lets all the track processing to stay the same, but can mess with any mastering compression.
3. Mix it without a fade, master it, then take the mastered file and put a fade on it. This keeps all the processing consistent throughout the fade.

Since I tended to do a lot of metal, I had a ton of compression going on, so fading things in a way that the tracks would come out of the compression would mess up the balance of the mix during the fade. So I would always fade after mastering.
I see that #3 is definitely the way to go. Thanks for pointing out those different points.

Question, can mastering be done in Reaper, or is a separate, stand-alone program needed to Master?
 
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keith.rogers

Bobby'); DROP TABLE USER
I just automate the fade on the master volume. This would be on the final mix, i.e., just a bounce (single stereo track) of the final mix, along with the rest of whatever you're doing in the mastering (or pseudo-mastering as I call it) step.
 

Farview

Well-known member
Mastering can be done in Reaper. It should just be a separate process from mixing. Just like Keith said, render the song as a stereo wav file, then import that file into a different session of Reaper, do your processing and automate the master volume on that session.
 

spantini

COO of me, inc.
You've opened quite the tasty can-o-worms with that query, Mr. @Eric V. I don't do any real mastering yet, but these guys can help you out there.
 

spantini

COO of me, inc.
Tomorrow, we'll discuss King Lear - his psychological makeup as well as his relationship with his daughters.
 
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