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  #1  
Old 11-02-2001, 12:48 AM
Hardnox Hardnox is offline
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Default Peak levels on Master fader during mix.

How consistent should my master peak levels be. I'm doing this mix and my peaks fluctuate between -6 and -2 on my meter. I will be sending it out to master, so I have heard from mastering engineers that they like to have room to raise the level. Any takers? Yes, another mixing question from the Hardnox guy... I'm sure it won't be my last.
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  #2  
Old 11-02-2001, 02:07 AM
Hardnox Hardnox is offline
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Default Re: Peak levels on Master fader during mix.

I'm very tempted to put a maxim on the mix, but people in here have told me to leave the mix bus alone for the mastering engineer. Then again, a seasoned veteran engineer told be that "the only f**kin rule is that there are no f**kin rules...do what you think sounds good." Any takes on this. I know there's some seasoned vets out their ready to school me. I'm 22 years old and own a studio along with my brother. (We have a Control 24, Mix Cubed, 888, 1622...). I just read a post from 2 year's back talking about mixes getting too squashed, too loud, no dynamic range, etc. Then I thought...That's all I've grown up with. I mean, I DJ and listen to plenty of old records, might be more well rounded than some of my peers but the music of my generation, what I'm growing up with is the squashed sound. Now I'm getting off my own topic, but that old post just go me thinking. Come school a student of the game.
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  #3  
Old 11-02-2001, 02:46 AM
CCash CCash is offline
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Default Re: Peak levels on Master fader during mix.

Why not make two versions, one with your limiting and one without so they can choose (of course then they'll use the one without).

As for peak levels, I recall the mastering folks here saying to leave at least 2 dB.
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  #4  
Old 11-04-2001, 01:32 AM
GT40sc GT40sc is offline
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Default Re: Peak levels on Master fader during mix.

Most mastering engineers are happier if you bring in a mix without the stereo bus compression. And yes, please leave a little headroom. Give us some space to work in.

Think about this. A "raw" mix, something a little bit fat on the EQ and a little bit loose on the compression, is MUCH EASIER to tweak into shape at the mastering studio. It's almost like the engineer can "reach into" the song and move the parts around, if necessary. These are the kind of mixes that really "bloom" under the touch of the mastering engineer, and leave the studio with more energy, sparkle, and emotional impact than you ever knew they had.

On the other hand, sometimes you get songs that have been EQ'd and compressed to within an inch of their lives. Most of these mixes are not even worth mastering. Too much stereo bus compression (as applied by the mix engineer) is like pouring concrete over the top of the entire mix. All of the "dynamic spaces" have been filled in, and the surface is completely flat. The mastering engineer will have a VERY HARD TIME trying to dig through all that with an equalizer, and the end result will be a bad compromise. Sure, you can make it louder, but it still sounds dead. The new Aerosmith record is a perfect example of this tone.


Anyway, when it comes time to mix, try to do more than one of each song. Some "loose," some "tight," some "raw," some "cooked," etc. Take them all into mastering and pick the best ones...

There are no rules. Only suggestions.

hope this helps,

SC
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  #5  
Old 11-04-2001, 01:56 AM
Philthy Philthy is offline
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Default Re: Peak levels on Master fader during mix.

I agree with what the others said- if it's not a rule but just a suggestion, hopefully a lot of people suggesting the same thing will become a rule! If the project is truly going to a mastering facility, don't squish the master fader with maxim.

On the other hand, if you want to give a client a CD to groove to before the project is mastered, it might be OK to throw maxim on. This depends on the client. You'll get clients who freak out because their pre-mastering mixes sound low compared to the Kid Rock CD. Burn them a CD with maxim cranked and patiently explain to them that they are f%&king stoopid. And send the mastering house a clean copy with some headroom. I would say let only the HIGHEST peaks approach -2 db... I usually try to have the average sum of the mix running at about -6 to -8 db. [img]images/icons/smile.gif[/img]
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  #6  
Old 11-04-2001, 09:45 AM
Larsfrommars Larsfrommars is offline
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Default Re: Peak levels on Master fader during mix.

I was given the advice by a mastering engineer to sort out the loudest peaks in my mixes by mixing into a compressor or taking care of them one by one on the tracks in order to be able to raise the average loudness of the master without squishing the living S### out of the music. We're talking loud rock n' roll here.
As i see it you should use any mastercompression with care so that the mastering engineer can do his job, thats what you pay him for, isnt it?
As far as the costumers, you guys are the ones who are in the know of the process. If your customers panic, you forgot to discuss the issue with them. Don't think that they'll find out what to do. They'll probablysling mud at you until somebody else tell them that they're wrong

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  #7  
Old 11-04-2001, 08:32 PM
Hardnox Hardnox is offline
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Default Re: Peak levels on Master fader during mix.

Thanks for your responses. I think part of the issue I face is that a lot of the music I mix is my music that myself and my brother wrote, produced, and performed and I start to have this muliple personality where part of me is the mixer while the other part of me wants to hear it rock in my car and hold up next to the other "smashed" CDs. So the senario that many of you descibe above between you and your clients, for me in this case is the same damn person. Well at least I don't have to be careful in telling myself that "I'm f@#king stupid. Next... Thanks for all your help, I can never get enough of the posts on this site.
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  #8  
Old 11-05-2001, 09:59 AM
Measuring Man Measuring Man is offline
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Default Re: Peak levels on Master fader during mix.

I personally used to compress the **** out of my mixes. In recent years I have backed off, mainly because my mixes do go to some top notch mastering engineers.

However I still compress my mix, a little bit, up to 2-3db on loud parts, with a manley variable-MU. I still do this because the effects that a compressor has on a mix, sonically, is something I want/need.

I also use a Wave L@ hardware limiter for a little, (I'm talking 1db MAX!!!) of limiting. And besides I love the sound of that box.

So I still advocae a moderate ammount of compression because then you know now to fit pesky instruments like Bass and vox better after hearing what they do to the mix.

Note, I use no multiband compression as my mastering engineers would shoot me, and I don't particularly like what they do to a unmastered mix.

My two cents

Measuring Man
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