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I have a song which is (imo) well balanced at the moment. I have the mid and high volume levels organised, however the quieter parts are way too quiet. I'm trying to boost only those quieter parts, and keep the louder parts at the level they are. Iv tried playing around with compressors and maximisers, but that screws up the mid-high balance. Anyone have any idea how to fix this (without automating volume levels, and preferably using things available in Reason 3 [with bloody no VST bloody support :evil: ])

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Well, honestly, while you could use multiband compression, I would simply adjust the levels of the parts as required. If the highs are too low (or whatever) then boost them! Compression in that case is almost like the lazy way out.

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Ummm I don't think he is talking about "mid" and "high" frequency ranges...I think he's talking about overall volume of the song.

What is so hard about automating the final output volume level?

Reason's crappy compressor does expand too, but I wouldn't mess with it.

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Ummm I don't think he is talking about "mid" and "high" frequency ranges...I think he's talking about overall volume of the song.

What is so hard about automating the final output volume level?

Reason's crappy compressor does expand too, but I wouldn't mess with it.

No.. you wouldn't want to expand the dynamic range, you'd want to compress it and then normalize or apply gain. That's the whole point of compression. If he IS talking about the overall volume of the song, then the compressor threshold is not being set low enough so as to equalize the volume levels.

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I think he only wants to increase the volume of the low volume parts. And he doesn't want to change (destroy) the mid and high volume parts of the song.

I'm not sure if you can do this with a compressor though. Compressors affect the high volumes always and not just the low volumes... right?

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Uhhhhh.... I think he is talking about volume when he says "high" and "mid". I think he wants to make the quiet bit louder. In which case, he has a few options:

1) Leave it alone. Depending on style, mood, etc, it could still be good quiet. But it is, of course, your own choice.

2) Automate the Volume. Just crank the volume up during the quiet bits. Easy.

3) Compression. This is really, really easy. Also, its not reverse - what you want to do is just normal compression. Lets revise a little, hmmm? Taken from Zircon's mixing tips part 5:

A compressor works like this. You set a THRESHOLD volume level. When the waveform reaches this threshold volume level, it is reduced in volume. You control how MUCH it is reduced in volume with the RATIO control. 1:1 means that for every dB of sound above the threshold, 1 dB of sound will go through - in other words, no effect. 2:1 means that for every 2 dB of sound above the threshold, only 1 dB will be heard. 5:1 means that for every 5 dB of sound above the threshold, 1 dB is output. And so on and so forth. Thus, if you only want to compress something a little bit, you wouldn't use more than 3 or 4:1 compression. Finally, the compressor has a GAIN knob to increase or decrease the overall volume of the sound AFTER the limiting.

So what you want to do is LOWER the THRESHOLD value so it is beneath the level of the quiet bits, and then SET the RATIO so that the louder bits are still noticably louder, but not too much louder, and then BOOST the GAIN so everything sits at a nice volume.

Easy. I'm not familar with the Reason compressor, as its new to 3.0 and I'm only a little familar with 2.5, but the knobs shoud still be called the same thing.

EDIT:

I think he only wants to increase the volume of the low volume parts. And he doesn't want to change (destroy) the mid and high volume parts of the song.

I'm not sure if you can do this with a compressor though. Compressors affect the high volumes always and not just the low volumes... right?

yes, compressors always effect the high volumes - but thats the point. By making them quieter, you bring them closer to the low volume parts. Then you boost the whole lot by increasing the gain.

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Release maybe, but not the attack, or do you want to produce pumping and fades?

Before we go all haywire on "compression" in the master chain, I'd mix it porperly at a decent volume "first" (below 0dB peak), then push it into the right loudness level with soundshaping and proper limiting.

But that's just me.

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Release maybe, but not the attack, or do you want to produce pumping and fades?

Before we go all haywire on "compression" in the master chain, I'd mix it porperly at a decent volume "first" (below 0dB peak), then push it into the right loudness level with soundshaping and proper limiting.

But that's just me.

can't argue with a pro

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I have a song which is (imo) well balanced at the moment. I have the mid and high volume levels organised, however the quieter parts are way too quiet. I'm trying to boost only those quieter parts, and keep the louder parts at the level they are. Iv tried playing around with compressors and maximisers, but that screws up the mid-high balance. Anyone have any idea how to fix this (without automating volume levels, and preferably using things available in Reason 3 [with bloody no VST bloody support :evil: ])

Use the compressor on the quiet part, save it to wave, then replace the quiet section with the wave file. Just temporarily erase the other sections in Reason to make the wave, or chop them off later in Sound Recorder. You can just add the wave sample to an instrument in the Redrum or something, then hit it once when the quiet part is supposed to play. Or make two wave files, one compressed and one not, then slice and blend the parts together in Sound Recorder / new RNS file. Tada!

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Reason's crappy compressor does expand too, but I wouldn't mess with it.

I have to stick up for Reason's compressors. The normal half rack compressor is awesome when you set everything to the max (low threshold, high ratio, fast attack, fast release).

One time I exported a live drum track from Pro Tools, squashed it in Reason, and set it behind the uncompressed drum mix in the track.

I still get complements on the drum sound after two years.

Scream 4 is also super for compression on the tape setting.

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