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Duplicating an entire song to fix volume?

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Duplicating an entire song to fix volume?

Postby xtratorque » Sat Nov 02, 2013 10:40 am

Hi everyone I'm about to begin mastering an EP and I'm having a problem with two of the songs. The mixes are fine but they're both very low in volume, I'm talking aroud -40. The first one is a piano ballad with vocal, piano and strings, no drums. The second is a synth based like soundscape with electric guitar, bass, a kick drum and synth. In order to get up to a target volume of -14 or -12 should I double the entire song in Pro Tools and place a Lo Pass Filter on of them to get rid of any rumble? I'd go back and increase the output for the virtual instruments but the mix files have been lost? Any thoughts?
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Re: Duplicating an entire song to fix volume?

Postby Exalted Wombat » Sat Nov 02, 2013 11:15 am

If it's still in multitrack you can normalise the audio tracks up (or use the track Gain controls, which does the same thing) then remix against the MIDI. If it's already mixed, just normalise the whole thing to a suitable level - is there any reason why peaks shouldn't approach 0 ? - and see what it sounds like. You could also try raising the level using a compressor - but use the gain control more than the compression ratio!

Noise floors on today's digital systems are pretty low. But it still IS possible to record too far down. If bringing up the level increases noise unacceptably you'll have to decide whether you want to start turd-polishing or admit you botched the session and start over. It may be inconvenient, and you'll look bad. But do you want the best result or not?

We've all spent hours trying to rescue our own recording cock-ups. Sometimes it works... :-)

Remember that 90% of the work was deciding WHAT to do. Re-doing it, at the right levels, won't be that hard.
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You don't have to write songs. The world doesn't want you to write songs. It would probably prefer it if you didn't. So write songs if you want to. Otherwise, dont. Go fishing instead.


Re: Duplicating an entire song to fix volume?

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Sat Nov 02, 2013 11:46 am

xtratorque wrote:...should I double the entire song in Pro Tools and place a Lo Pass Filter on of them to get rid of any rumble?

Don't understand the thinking behind 'double the entire song'. If you mean copy it to another track and running it alongside the original, that will only provide a 6dB increase in level. The better plan would be to simply use the normalise tool to raise the level of the entire track to something more appropriate.

If, having done that, you feel that there is excessive rumble or other unwanted background noise then you'll have to think about using filters or some form of single-ended noise reduction scheme to improve things.

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Re: Duplicating an entire song to fix volume?

Postby xtratorque » Sun Nov 03, 2013 3:58 am

Thanks for the great responses everyone. I just decided to normalize the tracks. When I wrote the original post it was very early in the morning and I'm still new at this. I appreciate the help a lot.
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