View Full Version : Why is this so quiet?
01-25-2006, 01:48 AM
OK, I'm using Garage Band and EWQLSO Silver. I have written this song but I can't for the life of me master it at any higher of a level than it is right now. What am I doing wrong? Does Garage Band suck that bad or is it me? It's probably me. Anyway, here's the song:
It's probably the song itself that's the problem so any advice is much apreciated. I'm just so sick of all my songs having such crappy volume.
01-25-2006, 02:40 AM
Er... you gotta be kidding me... I just checked it with 3 different RMS (loudness) and a PMM (peak meter) meters. Your track has a loudness of -7dB!!!
You know what that means? Take a chart CD compilation and put it into your CD player - it's as loud as your track (most of them from the last 3-4 years have an RMS level of -8dB to -6dB RMS - -6dB RMS is the absolute maximum without noticable distortion). So it's definitly no loudness issue or an issue of Garage band.
You have other issues:
- mixing (balance in mixing, volume balance of the individual instruments in general)
- and your track clips (digital spikes that go over 0dB peak)
Try to dig out a couple of threads here at OCR regarding clipping (search for "solution to clipping") and balance out your track first. I won't go indepth here cause I'd usually take money from that - but one hint... synths lower, beat louder. This gives you a totally different impression.
In terms of "volume" or in this case "loudness". If you like it that "loud", use at least a limiter at -0.3dB to prevent the clipping. Then again... you squash the life/dynamic out of your mix. "Loud" is not always better.
This is all I can give you on the way.
01-25-2006, 03:34 AM
Thanks I was getting so confused Just like you said, all my meters were close to maxing out but when I played it in comparison to a professional recording it was like half the level! I haven't tried a limiter yet. I've done tons of EQing and that hasn't helped. Compression just kills my dynamics. I always end up making the drums too loud so I tried to back off of them but I'll see what I can do. Thanks so much! If anyone else can give me more tips that'd be great!
01-25-2006, 01:26 PM
You can trust me... it only "sounds" half as loud due to the drums but the meters don't lie. You don't need to push it any further - it's useless. What you need to do is balancing out the instruments. And I guess all others can only tell you the same as I did.
If the compressor kills your dynamics, then use it for "sound enhancing" only... making the sound a bit more even, the drums a tad louder: short said "subtile mixing". And the limiter should be used only to limit the "peaks" in this case. You already pushed the track to it's limits.
The reason why I'm writing this is declared in each of the following articles (I still can't find the original loudness-race.net backup):
Current Trends in the Recording Format Area (http://www.audioholics.com/techtips/specsformats/currentrecordingtrendsP1.php)
Over the Limit (http://www.prorec.com/prorec/articles.nsf/articles/8A133F52D0FD71AB86256C2E005DAF1C)
How loud is it?! (http://www3.telus.net/public/kurekk/content/pages/masterin/faq2q1.htm)
Like I said... loud is not always better. Especially if you want to write dynamic music. Cause you do the exact "other" thing that you intend to do.
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