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FDP Forum / Home Recording Forum / Making a finished track loud enough on playback?

Contributing Member

Salt Lake City Utah

"Hail yeah I had hair."
Mar 3rd, 2015 12:12 PM   Edit   Profile  

So I am back into recording music and also trying to remaster stuff I've been working on for far too long at my brother in laws studio, my question is this, when I record either at his studio with like Cubase and mics, or if I record with my h2n zoom recorder, or even with my phone, how do I get the final mp3's loud enough so you don't have to crank the volume up to eleven to be able to hear it? I always record with the gains or whatever between -18 to -12, too keep from clipping and such, but on playback , what do I need to do to get it loud enough, do I need to use Cubase or another software to just up the master volume of the whole track in editing before processing the song and turning it into an mp3? Any help would be much appreciated!


U.S. - Virginia

Mar 3rd, 2015 02:25 PM   Edit   Profile  

If you don't want to compress/limit in a mastering style of the loudness war, you can simply normalize the finished 2-track wav in your DAW, and mix down again to a 2 track mp3.

Honestly, with 64 bit floating point, as long as you aren't dithering with a plugin on your master bus, just push up the master fader before you mix down. If you have 18.5db of headroom, then push the fader up 18.3 to 18.4db db.

Or leave your peaks at -6dbfs, mix down to a wav, then load in the 2 track and put on a mastering chain. Maybe some EQ, some linear phase multi band comp, and a limiter/compressor with gain. Thats one way they get things 'radio ready' and there are whole books on the subject...

Contributing Member

I am not a complete

idiot - I have several pieces missing!
Mar 3rd, 2015 05:56 PM   Edit   Profile  

"Radio Ready" usually sucks. Record what sounds right to you. Experiment with some compression but keep in mind that compressors can smash all the dynamics out of your work if overdone. Once you have what you want, normalize it to the level you feel is appropriate.

Some normalize to 100% figuring everybody wants loud and won't hear any resultant compromises. My working benchmark is 96%.

FDP Data Goon

When I sin

I sin real good
Mar 4th, 2015 11:25 PM   Edit   Profile  

I have a combo of software and hardware stuff for both personal mastering and clients.

They're happy, I have the late 70s/early 80s cheap studio in Berlin sound down pat.

Contributing Member

Salt Lake City Utah

"Hail yeah I had hair."
Mar 17th, 2015 02:04 PM   Edit   Profile  

Thanks for the replies everyone. I tried the normalizing function on the Zoom, it seemed to work ok, but I will have to mess with it some more to get it right in the future.

FDP Forum / Home Recording Forum / Making a finished track loud enough on playback?

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