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  #1  
Old 01-16-2010, 08:19 PM
Mattitude Mattitude is offline
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Default Bouncing song - too quiet, sounds rough, plain,etc...Should I do something different?

Hey everyone,

So my song sounds great played in Pro Tools. All the tracks are there and sound great. I bounce the song either as a .wav, .AIFF, or .MP3 file. I play the song back in something like iTunes and it just sounds really bland, plain, rough and boring. It's never as nice and punchy like it is when played it Pro Tools, before the bounce. Also, when I have bounced the song, it is pretty quiet! I'll listen to a professional recorded song and then play mine to find it is way too quiet! I even have to put all the levels really high up and all the volumes and the master level ends up going way over... and this is definitely not the right way to get it sounding more professional, it just kind of distorts it sometimes. But I just do it to make the track louder when bounced.

Should I be doing something else here? I'm quite confused. Should I bounce the track and then import the single, bounced track into Pro Tools and do something with it? I definitely know the volume bars shouldn't be way over!

Anyway guys i'd really appreciate it if you let me know what I need to do! What do professionals do in studios when using Pro Tools? I mean, Pro Tools is industry standard software so I've got to be able to get it to sound good, like when played in Pro Tools!

Cheers,
Matt.
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  #2  
Old 01-16-2010, 09:11 PM
BlueThursday BlueThursday is offline
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Default Re: Bouncing song - too quiet, sounds rough, plain,etc...Should I do something differ

Being significantly quieter than a pro song is normal since your song has not been mastered. My mixes usually peak at -3 to -6 and live around -10. Mastering brings up the volume in a proper manner and adds the final touches to the song as a whole. Squishing the volume to compensate won't sound as well, and probably not even as loud despite the bars being the same.
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  #3  
Old 01-17-2010, 07:21 AM
Mattitude Mattitude is offline
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Default Re: Bouncing song - too quiet, sounds rough, plain,etc...Should I do something differ

Hey BlueThursday,

Thanks for your reply!

Ah i see! I'm still kind of new to recording you see... I am able to record everything and use some plug-ins. I've used things like EQ and compression already on certain tracks. But now i've come to finally wanting to get my song out of pro tools and onto a CD / play in iTunes etc... and it's a new thing I'm learning :) I always thought mastering was when I was adding things like EQ and compression to certain tracks.. but I'm gathering that mastering is after all this?.. on the final track?

Would you (or anyone else) be able to just give me a little talk through how I go about doing it? Here are a few questions...

1. Do I bounce the track and import the bounced track into Pro Tools to be mastered?

2. What should the final master volume be at when bouncing the track?

3. What must I do to master the track (what do I use? :S)?

4. What else do I need to know?

I've looked for tutorials online but I can't seem to find any!.. all I can find is teaching us how to bounce the song.. which i've already done!

Anyone else with anything to say, please say!

Thanks again,
Matt.
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  #4  
Old 01-17-2010, 09:11 AM
L-Dogg L-Dogg is offline
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Default Re: Bouncing song - too quiet, sounds rough, plain,etc...Should I do something differ

This might be the wrong answer because I think you need some work on your mix as fas as compression/limiting to get the overall mix a little hotter and that is something for the experts to chime in on.

However, get Ozone 4 from Izotope and place it across the Master and for starters choose a preset you like. Later you can learn to tweak it.....it's very deep. It will get the mix where you want it, for posting at Soundclick etc and you will competitive with the other mixes out there level wise.

It will be a band aid to better mixing but it will jump start you. Actually, for the price it is very good Mastering software and you will not regret having it, it will serve you well.

There is other software like this, I happen to like Ozone.

At first I noticed the same thing as you about the levels. I also initially thought that since my Master levels were nice and high, not clipping but up there, that it would be good only to find in iTunes it was WAY lower than everything else.
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  #5  
Old 01-17-2010, 10:48 AM
BlueThursday BlueThursday is offline
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Default Re: Bouncing song - too quiet, sounds rough, plain,etc...Should I do something differ

Mastering is the last step in the food chain. Once you are completely done with mixing the songs are they mastered and usually they are sent out to be mastered. Only amateur's (like us), with a very rare exception in the pro level, would ever master their own mixes. You want a different set of expertise and different ears to validate your music. But one tip: never rely on mastering to fix your songs. Always fix things as early on in the process as possible.

Ozone is widely regarded as a good home/self mastering tool for beginners.
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  #6  
Old 01-17-2010, 11:10 AM
L-Dogg L-Dogg is offline
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Default Re: Bouncing song - too quiet, sounds rough, plain,etc...Should I do something differ

Yes absolutely BlueThursday, that is why I said " for posting at Soundclick etc" or in iTunes for reference purposes, maybe burning a CD for the band to learn etc etc.

However Matt, if you are doing a CD for serious release commercially or whatever, then the untreated Master mix should be sent to a proper Mastering house/engineer.

This will require research on your part to learn how to create a proper mix that a Mastering engineer can work with.
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  #7  
Old 01-17-2010, 11:43 AM
Mattitude Mattitude is offline
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Default Re: Bouncing song - too quiet, sounds rough, plain,etc...Should I do something differ

Hey guys,

thanks for your replies :)

Right! It is so much more clear to me now! You see before reading your replies I didn't really know that special mastering software had to be used. I thought that you just mixed everything in Pro Tools, bounce your track to .wav or .mp3 or whatever and that's it!

I totally understand what you guys are saying about getting a professional to master it.. it's always best to get another set of ears to do it! But say I want to do it on my own.. what would you guys (or anyone else) say is the bestest of best mastering software out there!? I looked up that Ozone 4 and it does look pretty good!

Thanks,
Matt.
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  #8  
Old 01-17-2010, 02:58 PM
ManhtnProjct ManhtnProjct is offline
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Default Re: Bouncing song - too quiet, sounds rough, plain,etc...Should I do something differ

Hey,

i'm no mastering engineer by any means but I have done quite a bit of "budget mastering" myself using pro tools. I'll start by saying that though I can get tracks to sound hot and in your face using these techniques, I can never get it to the level of some commercial releases. Do a search on "Loudness Wars" for an interesting read.. Also youtube has some things on it.

Without getting to complicated:

Mix your song, pay attention to stereo image, don't over compress (unless it is desired). Get the main outputs nice and hot but not slammed. I like to peak somewhere in the -10 range. I don't like to insert anything on the master fader at this stage, but that's subjective.. Now I bounce the song down at the same bit depth and sample rate as the multi-track session in split stereo (Dual Mono). Once that is done I make a new session for mastering. Import the split stero tracks into the session. I make 2 audio tracks and 1 master fader. Pan the audio tracks hard left and right.

Now here's where some new plugin software will be usefull for you.
On the master fader I use an EQ / Multiband Compressor and a limiter or maximizer.

Check out these:
Waves C4 Multiband Compressor
Waves L1 Ultramaximizer
Digidesigns Maxim
Ozone / Isotope

hey guys, chime in if you feel the need..
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  #9  
Old 07-20-2016, 06:00 PM
mrathke78 mrathke78 is offline
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Default Re: Bouncing song - too quiet, sounds rough, plain,etc...Should I do something differ

Great info, manhtnproject! Thanks :)
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