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 Post subject: Re: Levels
PostPosted: Wed Nov 26, 2014 10:16 am 
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Smore
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I think that you guys instead of trying to help calum are presenting your views (which are often opposite) and then proving who's wrong and right.
Voidloss, first you say about 0dB on master and then this:

Lost to the Void wrote:
Everything is relative to everything else.


common man, there is no rules. you can set kick -20dB and mixing it, I really don't understand what's all this fuzz about.
I have similiar technique to Planar, but I accept that there are others who mix to 0.
You said it yourself, ears are most important. But it is hard to rely on ears when beginning and it takes time to learn how to use them.

Calum: I would advice you to experiment. Set your master to 0db and make a track. Then set your master to -10db and make a track. See how differently you're going to mix it. I think its the best way to perceive it.

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 Post subject: Re: Levels
PostPosted: Wed Nov 26, 2014 10:44 am 
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Thanks krypt I will give this a go. I have always just left my master at zero but I will try it with master at -10. See the difference


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 Post subject: Re: Levels
PostPosted: Wed Nov 26, 2014 11:45 am 
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Kick @ -12db.

No need to mess with the master leave it at 0.

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 Post subject: Re: Levels
PostPosted: Wed Nov 26, 2014 1:00 pm 
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krypt wrote:
I think that you guys instead of trying to help calum are presenting your views (which are often opposite) and then proving who's wrong and right.
Voidloss, first you say about 0dB on master and then this:

Lost to the Void wrote:
Everything is relative to everything else.


common man, there is no rules. you can set kick -20dB and mixing it, I really don't understand what's all this fuzz about.
I have similiar technique to Planar, but I accept that there are others who mix to 0.
You said it yourself, ears are most important. But it is hard to rely on ears when beginning and it takes time to learn how to use them.

Calum: I would advice you to experiment. Set your master to 0db and make a track. Then set your master to -10db and make a track. See how differently you're going to mix it. I think its the best way to perceive it.


The fuss is that music should be made with your ears and with nothing else. Yes in the beginning its hard but that is why Calum should start out learning it that way first, then, when he gets more experienced he probably knows how he does things and then he can set dB levels. But he will be the one that created those levels, thats what counts. Because at the end of the day we are all doing this shit to express in a certain kind of way, if not. You should not be making music.

And Steve is right, because every project is a different one, so everything is relative.

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 Post subject: Re: Levels
PostPosted: Wed Nov 26, 2014 1:57 pm 
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yeah man, whatever. i dont wanna argue with you, because its not the point of this topic (but you're still inside a small frame who's right and wrong). I suggested calum to get his master -10db because through the experimenting he gets the perspective of different balance and learns how to create levels. saying that 'he is the one who should create those levels" and "everything is relative" is so obvious that it doesn't take a topic to know it. pointing a way to experiment and gain knowledge is at least some starting point for further development and realising the relativity on his own. sorry you didn't get that in the first place. cheers!

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 Post subject: Re: Levels
PostPosted: Wed Nov 26, 2014 4:02 pm 
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krypt wrote:
I think that you guys instead of trying to help calum are presenting your views (which are often opposite) and then proving who's wrong and right.
Voidloss, first you say about 0dB on master and then this:

Lost to the Void wrote:
Everything is relative to everything else.


common man, there is no rules. you can set kick -20dB and mixing it, I really don't understand what's all this fuzz about.
I have similiar technique to Planar, but I accept that there are others who mix to 0.
You said it yourself, ears are most important. But it is hard to rely on ears when beginning and it takes time to learn how to use them.

Calum: I would advice you to experiment. Set your master to 0db and make a track. Then set your master to -10db and make a track. See how differently you're going to mix it. I think its the best way to perceive it.



Master should always be 0db, gets you into a good gain staging habit.

http://www.wiretotheear.com/2008/01/25/ ... er-at-0db/

I generally always know when I have a mix to master that has not been done this way, and they nearly always get sent back to be re-levelled

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 Post subject: Re: Levels
PostPosted: Wed Nov 26, 2014 4:23 pm 
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If you want a technical explanation as to why you should mix in to zero on the master it is that if you don`t you can overload the summing buss of your DAW (which is why I send mixes back to be remixed when mastering).

Overloading your summing buss and then turning down the master does not fix the problem, the buss is overloaded at channel, all you are doing by turning down the master is turning down the already fucked bussed audio.



So.

A guide to simple mixing.



Set master channel fader to 0db because of above.

Begin making your tune, as you add channels you will eventually have to start bringing levels down (easy to do in ableton, just highlight all channels and then bring one down, and they will all come down together and proportionally to each other). The reason I say setting kicks to -12 or any level AS A RULE is that, unless you are using the same kick every time, the audio content is changing and therefore the relevant level is different, so that -12 has no real meaning. A simpler method is simply, don`t overload the channel, don`t overload the master.

As you add plugin fx keep an eye on the inter plugin levels, you don`t want these to be redlining either, so control this with the output dial of each plugin going in to the next.

As a general rule if you try to peak at no higher than -6db on the master you`ll get in to the practice of good gain staging and also will avoid inter sample peaks on the master.

If you find you master level rising to the point where all your channel faders are crazy low, go back and look at your channels and pay attention to the amount of low end in the mix, you can be pretty brutal at removing low end from sounds that don`t need it.

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 Post subject: Re: Levels
PostPosted: Wed Nov 26, 2014 4:33 pm 
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Cool tip Steve. Thank you! :)

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 Post subject: Re: Levels
PostPosted: Wed Nov 26, 2014 4:43 pm 
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non reader
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For anyone using Ableton you can set it up so that the default fader level is low so that every time you create a new channel you don't have to remember to turn down the fader before you do something and blow your ears/speakers (I would imagine you could do this for other DAW's also)


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 Post subject: Re: Levels
PostPosted: Wed Nov 26, 2014 5:13 pm 
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Smore
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now it gets meritoric and therefore interesting. thanks for that!

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 Post subject: Re: Levels
PostPosted: Wed Nov 26, 2014 5:16 pm 
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krypt wrote:
yeah man, whatever. i dont wanna argue with you, because its not the point of this topic (but you're still inside a small frame who's right and wrong). I suggested calum to get his master -10db because through the experimenting he gets the perspective of different balance and learns how to create levels. saying that 'he is the one who should create those levels" and "everything is relative" is so obvious that it doesn't take a topic to know it. pointing a way to experiment and gain knowledge is at least some starting point for further development and realising the relativity on his own. sorry you didn't get that in the first place. cheers!



Hey man, I dont want to argue either. I thought we just had a good musical discussion going. I have my point of view and you have yours.

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 Post subject: Re: Levels
PostPosted: Wed Nov 26, 2014 5:22 pm 
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Void is right. It's just a habit to get into proper gain staging. You have to start somewhere with your volume, an -12db is a good place with a kick. Balance it with your bass which is generally slightly lower, then fit everything else around it.


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 Post subject: Re: Levels
PostPosted: Wed Nov 26, 2014 5:38 pm 
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Whilst I may be contrarian in my opinions over subjectives such as "good" or "bad" music, when it comes to production (something I have been obsessed with for a long long time) I try to only give practical, objective advice based on sound theory and good practice, and as much as possible I try to dispel useless or confusing falsities.

There is enough disinformation, bad advice and just plain technically wrong crap out there already, I don`t wish to add to it.

My essentially philosophy is a reductionist one, simplicity, directness and minimal fuss in production allows you to get on with the job in hand without getting bogged down.

Production can be very confusing for anyone entering its labyrinth, so many perceived Laws and Rules, when really everything is much more fluid.
this is why you get questions like

My kick is at -12db is this correct?
Or
What is the best setting for bass compression?


These questions would never arise if there were only sound pragmatic advice out there, so I try as much as possible here to be very "clean" in what I advise.

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 Post subject: Re: Levels
PostPosted: Wed Nov 26, 2014 5:46 pm 
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Pig
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Lost to the Void wrote:
Everything is relative.

There are no "this setting always" for anything in mixing.

Have your master set to 0db and mix in to it.


totally agree. also +1 on on putting a compressor on the master bus and mixing to that. you don't have to use the compressor on the master bus when bouncing tracks for mastering but it helps you get an idea where you're at so you can have headroom for later.

i'd like to add that if you find yourself getting too far into the red it might be helpful to take all your levels and simultaneously pull them down in 3db increments. if you're doing this too much you might want to see where your levels wind up at the end of a mix down so you can learn to keep them there when you start.

though busing out tracks to other groups panning and pulling things back and around the stereo field can also help reduce your levels. i only know this because i'm constantly jamming shit into the mix and that's just not healthy. best to only have a set number of tracks.. possibly up to 16 at max which might hark back to 1604 as the standard.

i think it was mentioned in the thread that doing things the oldschool way was more legit. and i have to say that once i started mixing in a desk after being consumed by a daw, i started learning more about why things were the way they were in the software realm.. so i think it's helpful to see the daw having the same limitations as a real mixer. there are so many things you can do with the mixer in logic or ableton, it's easy to think that, 'well i could totally fix this if i just do this.' but if you start with the idea that you only have so many channels and only so much room to fit things in, you'll spend less time trying to repair a mix and making music instead.

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 Post subject: Re: Levels
PostPosted: Wed Nov 26, 2014 6:09 pm 
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Lost to the Void wrote:
My kick is at -12db is this correct?


A good post as ever. I think what I and others do with the kick at -12db guideline is that it acts as an anchor for the mix. You have something to work around that will naturally end up with you peaking around -6db when you're done if your mix is ok.

The problem with making everything relative to everything else as advice means you're constantly levelling if you take that at face value. I.e. Your kick peaks at -6db by itself, but then you add the bass and, shit, it's over that now. So now you have to worry about levelling 2 channels where the -12db anchor gives you 6db of room to play with and you only have to level the bass. Add more channels and the first method becomes a nightmare.

At some point you decide the level of the kick needs changing, buts it's fine because the rest of the mix was levelled against a consistent marker and you'll probably have the headroom for it.

It's probably something you need a lot less once you become very skilled at mixing, but for those of us that aren't it's a helpful framework to mix around.

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 Post subject: Re: Levels
PostPosted: Wed Nov 26, 2014 6:47 pm 
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Well my point is really, that kick at -12db is not wrong,
but also it is not right

The question need never arise if there was more pragmatic information available.

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 Post subject: Re: Levels
PostPosted: Wed Nov 26, 2014 7:26 pm 
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Gain staging is just a habit. It helps you deal with the rules of physics that deal with sound. I guess those are the only rules that count.

Simplicity actually is better in so many cases. You can focus more on detail, you make less errors, and things are easier to understand.

Void, I look forward to getting back to a computer and checking out your music, good sir.


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 Post subject: Re: Levels
PostPosted: Wed Nov 26, 2014 7:52 pm 
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Digging your stuff Void.


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 Post subject: Re: Levels
PostPosted: Wed Nov 26, 2014 7:57 pm 
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You fellas covered my thoughts here as well.

However, I'd say that while getting into everything it can be a good starting point for the aspiring producer to set the kick at -12dbFS.
Doors tends to open themselves, and tons of them, as soon as some exploring gets into work!

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 Post subject: Re: Levels
PostPosted: Mon Dec 08, 2014 4:44 am 
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http://35hz.co.uk/topic/177/macc-words-of-wisdom


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