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Bermuda Triangle



Joined: 23/10/06
Posts: 7
strange db -loudness problem new
      #371388 - 23/10/06 10:55 AM
Hello guys,

I have strange problem. I use Cubase sx3. When i make an audio mixdown of a song I save it as a 24 bit wav file.
I then open it in Wavelab 5 to do my final mastering.

I use a limiter (Steinberg L2) and make sure the master fader doesn't exceed 0 db. The rms levels are also good. It's loud but there's no clipping or anything. When i render the track to a final product everything is fine and it sounds good on my pc.

Now you'll think : Where's the problem?

When i Burn it to a cd and play it on my home stereo or car stereo it sound so soft. I have to open up the volume a lot to play the song loud.

I brought the song to my friends studio and when he opens the tracks in Wavelab all levels are a lot lower than on my pc. I have an m-audio delta 66 soundcard and have all my outs set at maximum.

Does anybody know what the problem could be? Thanks a lot

Edited by Bermuda Triangle (23/10/06 10:55 AM)


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Nathan



Joined: 13/09/04
Posts: 1885
Loc: lincolnshire government experi...
Re: strange db -loudness problem new [Re: Bermuda Triangle]
      #371423 - 23/10/06 11:39 AM
you are about to discover the difference between peak levels and loudness (how fat the waveforms are).

do you use compressors when mixing down?

--------------------
planet nine
lincoln, uk.


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Bermuda Triangle



Joined: 23/10/06
Posts: 7
Re: strange db -loudness problem new [Re: Nathan]
      #371451 - 23/10/06 12:33 PM
Hi Nathan,

Nope, I haven't used compression. That is..i was kind of assuming that the L2 is a sort of compressor.

Thanks again!


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Paul2600
member


Joined: 08/04/03
Posts: 81
Re: strange db -loudness problem new [Re: Bermuda Triangle]
      #371540 - 23/10/06 02:56 PM
Are you converting the file to 16 Bit/44kHz before burning to CD?

Also, how loud is the track? whats it actually peaking at? I often push mine to between -6 and -3 dB.


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narcoman
active member


Joined: 14/08/01
Posts: 8516
Re: strange db -loudness problem new [Re: Paul2600]
      #371667 - 23/10/06 08:10 PM
there is a world of difference between limiting and compressing. Limiting esentially lops the heads off. Compression squeezes all the audio once it is triggered. Also, even bearing this in mind, percieved loudness, actual loudness and quality of mix are not just a matter of strapping an L2 across a mix ! Re-examine your mix and try to acertain what it is you want out of it !!

g'luck !

--------------------
Battenburg to the power of 20 - said by Richie Royale in a moment of genius. 4pm. Wed 16th Nov 2011. Remember where you were....


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Bermuda Triangle



Joined: 23/10/06
Posts: 7
Re: strange db -loudness problem new [Re: narcoman]
      #371773 - 24/10/06 07:34 AM
Hi Guys!

Thanks for all the replies! It's much appreciated!
I'll get into the compressing thing straight away!

But still, everything leaves me with one question. If I render a song to a 'final product' (after I've used the limiter etc) i can see the waveforms nicely reaching 100. After I've burnt it on cd and I would import that same song from cd into wavelab at my friends place the waveforms all of a sudden only reach 50. (so they're basically half as high.)
I must be missing something somewhere.

thanks again


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Bermuda Triangle



Joined: 23/10/06
Posts: 7
Re: strange db -loudness problem new [Re: Bermuda Triangle]
      #371775 - 24/10/06 07:38 AM
@Paul.

It is a good question whether i convert my tracks to 16 bit before I burn them on cd.
Suppose i would leave them at 24 bit.. Do you think that could explain why my songs sound softer once they're burnt on cd?


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Paul2600
member


Joined: 08/04/03
Posts: 81
Re: strange db -loudness problem new [Re: Bermuda Triangle]
      #371803 - 24/10/06 08:46 AM
As far as I'm aware, to burn an audio CD, you need to convert the wave file to 16 bit 44kHz (CD standard)
It could be something to do with that...

What you could try, just as a very rough test, is 'normalize' the file to its peak value (loudest), and convert to 16 bit.
Then try burning the audio CD.

Also when you take the audio CD round to your friends system, take the original wave file on a data CD. You can troubleshoot further with the master copy.


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Richie Royale



Joined: 12/09/06
Posts: 4402
Loc: Bristol, England.
Re: strange db -loudness problem new [Re: Bermuda Triangle]
      #371885 - 24/10/06 11:41 AM
Hi Bermuda, I suspect that your getting a low average volume, compared to the peaks? Import a track that you like the sound of into your DAW and compare the peaks and average volume with your own track. Depending on what music you are making, you may find that the waveforms look quite differant. Especially in this day an age where average volumes have been pushed louder and louder by more advanced compressors and limiters.

The limiter will stop any peaks clipping your system, but you could probably do with some compression experimenting to bring up the average volume.

Regarding the change to 16 bit before burning, I find I can burn straight from 24 bit without any problems, but other more technically minded people may tell me this is wrong.

--------------------
http://soundcloud.com/richie-royale
http://www.mixcrate.com/richieroyale


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Bermuda Triangle



Joined: 23/10/06
Posts: 7
Re: strange db -loudness problem new [Re: Bermuda Triangle]
      #371888 - 24/10/06 11:44 AM
Hmmm..much options to think about!
I'm at work at the mo but i'll try the ideas you guys have given me. Thanks a lot for all the help!

I'll let you know how I went!


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TAKEN.BALL.GONE.HOME
posting's fun


Joined: 16/09/02
Posts: 1638
Loc: Manchester, UK and Den Haag, N...
Re: strange db -loudness problem new [Re: Bermuda Triangle]
      #371911 - 24/10/06 12:19 PM
Quote Bermuda Triangle:

I use a limiter (Steinberg L2) and make sure the master fader doesn't exceed 0 db. The rms levels are also good. It's loud but there's no clipping or anything. When i render the track to a final product everything is fine and it sounds good on my pc.



Do you really mean master fader?

Are you using a meter to display the signal level on the track? Your use of the term 'master fader' just makes me wonder if you are basing your judgement of track level partly on gain in the monitoring path?

Aside from careful control of your gain structure, the actual set point of the master fader is not wholly important - it's the track level. Likewise it's not the level coming out of your monitors while mastering - it's the track level.

Once you have the track level where you want it, the difference in playback level between the various systems you describe should simply be determined by their respective monitoring levels / volume controls...

--------------------
TAKEN.BALL.GONE.HOME


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Bermuda Triangle



Joined: 23/10/06
Posts: 7
Re: strange db -loudness problem new [Re: TAKEN.BALL.GONE.HOME]
      #371938 - 24/10/06 12:57 PM
Hi Jimi,

With master fader I meant the control of the track volume, not the output to the monitors.
To put it simple : If I lower the volume of the output to my monitors, or even put it to zero, the master fader (as I call it)still has the same signal level.
To put my problem really really simple The visual waveforms that you see in Wavelab reach 100 (the number on the left side of the screen next to the visual waveforms) and at my friends place the same track reaches 50.

I'm quite confused about these numbers anyway. I know what db's are but not what the other numbers next to the waveforms mean.

Edited by Bermuda Triangle (24/10/06 01:03 PM)


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Bermuda Triangle



Joined: 23/10/06
Posts: 7
Re: strange db -loudness problem [Re: Bermuda Triangle]
      #372156 - 24/10/06 08:39 PM
Right,

Thanks to some excellent tips i got a bit further.
I've used a loudness maximizer and it's really bumping now.
The waveforms are a lot fatter and it sounds a lot louder while db is still perfectly at 0db max. No clipping or anything. I'll test it in the car when i drive to work tomorrow.

Thanx again for all the input guys!


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