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Do you do mastering of your DJ mixes?


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#1
Gagarin

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i mean after the mix is done, do you process it with audio editing software? 

Is it all about putting levels up or there are other advantages?

 

A for now, i have never done it for my mixes.

 

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#2
Trala Lama

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I use Soundforge to create the fade-in and -out and if needed I correct the audiolevel.



#3
Gagarin

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I use Soundforge to create the fade-in and -out and if needed I correct the audiolevel.

 

i imagine that you fix audiolevel on the "low volume" part of the mix?

i heard there are plugins that will automatically "maximize" the volume of audio, but i am concerned if it won't change the dynamic of the mix.


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#4
Trala Lama

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yes, sometimes some low volume pieces need a bit more volume, and sometimes the whole mix needs a litte more volume if recordinglevel was low



#5
Mønsterhed

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Nah, never. I make sure to keep the records at the same gain when recording the mix. The tunes are already mastered. No need to twiddle with that.



#6
Trala Lama

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i imagine that you fix audiolevel on the "low volume" part of the mix?

i heard there are plugins that will automatically "maximize" the volume of audio, but i am concerned if it won't change the dynamic of the mix.

Yes some volumefixing or 'normalize' function, as I do not always make my own recordings and 'autolevel' does not always understand psybient music.



#7
peres

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I personally don't master mixes, however I modify some missing frequencies and volumes of the tracks. Some labels still prefer to stick "more volume - more density" rule, that's why it's always a headache dealing with those kind of tunes.

By the way, a plug-in Gagarin mentioned before (that normalizes volume level for all tracks) called Platinum Notes.



#8
Gagarin

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i have never used platinum notes, as i know "Platinum Notes" will modify the files. i prefer to modify volume by ears, to keep the files "original". But i have to say that with "ambient" music the sound volume differences could be not easy to notice. 


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#9
unknown music

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the past few years a very interesting discussion has emerged around loudness normalization. with the emergence of the EBU R-128 loudness normalization standard an official tool exists for measuring and quantifying the loudness of a an audio sequence relative to the digital full scale. originally meant for films, radio, and television; however musicians, DJs, and listeners ought not to neglect. https://www.youtube....h?v=iuEtQqC-Sqo

 

some media players work with replay gain and can utilize the EBU R-128 loudness standard for analysis. when the mp3 stream or audio file gets played back, it is first multiplied by the embedded gain and then re-truncated

 

this new standard uses a weighting curve determined by the sensitivity of human hearing at different sound pressure levels and frequencies

 

unfortunately, I do not know of any DJ software that incorporates it as of yet

 

my music is mastered with loudness normalization in mind as it can be disappointing when listening to excellent music that has been squashed in dynamics instead of being enhanced

 

in the past I have arranged a few DJ mixes before as well. when I look back at the mixes today I notice the lack of attention I had towards managing the relative loudness of the songs. today I pay much attention to loudness normalization and relative loudness using measurements and listening from the ear when mastering an album to attempt to reach an optimal sound level ~



#10
neil (spatialize)

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i wouldnt do that if i were you.  you could in effect be limiting a track twice.  where this may not be a problem if youre just feathering the peak of the audio with one db limiting with already sympathetically mastered material, the modern trend for overly limited mastering might create one or two really nasty sounding tracks if you limit again.

 

just work around the lowest volume track in your list.  if this track is way lower than the rest and if you look at the waveform and its not squashed by li,iting at all then you could normalise this track and work around it.



#11
unknown music

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I also forgot to mention that the recommended loudness relative to full scale using the EBU R-128 loudness normalization is -23 db. The reason for this is so that music, movies, commercials, and just about any other material can be played together at the same loudness without having to worry too much about how much head room you have. This is so that highly dynamic content can be played along side with squashed/compressed audio, including movies; without having to fiddle with the volume knob between songs, movies, commercials, etc. For music it's only about necessary to go to about -16.5 db in my experience, and also leaving a 1db peak limited headroom and resulting in -15.5 db of average loudness to peak range... it's a good compromise, if it checks out with the material

 

it is always best to work at -23 (not have to worry about headroom), have your reference speakers calibrated to that sound pressure level too, then when you make the final "master" of the mix you can pull up the loudness to an acceptable level (perhaps -16.5 ish) and put the peak limiter

 

of course, you'd also want to make sure to set the level so that you can keep a transparent sound, instead of pushing all the tracks near 0db, pull back, because mp3 conversion for online streaming is going to alter the peaks of the recording and you may get distortion. that's why it's recommended to put a peak limiter at -1 db tru peak

 

I don't know if you'd consider it mastering or not, or what you'd call it, essentially all I'm recommending is to work at a low volume with lots of headroom and then to to adjust the entire mix in loudness to the desired peak level and slap the limiter on top for safety ~ I consider this an approach to mastering (in final stages)



#12
Alchemist

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I don't know if you'd consider it mastering or not, or what you'd call it, essentially all I'm recommending is to work at a low volume with lots of headroom and then to to adjust the entire mix in loudness to the desired peak level and slap the limiter on top for safety ~ I consider this an approach to mastering (in final stages)

 

That's the sensible approach that I also take: just record the mix in low volume, and boost the volume afterwards (without clipping) via Audacity. Normally I don't fiddle with any of it except for the general volume.
 

When doing a recording of a 'live' gig it can be a bit more tricky since normally I only record internally (in Traktor), which means you lose all the adjustments done via the main mixer.



#13
Gagarin

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That's the sensible approach that I also take: just record the mix in low volume, and boost the volume afterwards (without clipping) via Audacity. Normally I don't fiddle with any of it except for the general volume.
 

can you tell what you do step by step to maximise volume in audacity?  do you add on the equal gain all over the track or you adapt  to different tracks in the mix different gain?

 

When doing a recording of a 'live' gig it can be a bit more tricky since normally I only record internally (in Traktor), which means you lose all the adjustments done via the main mixer.

 

 

i also record internally on traktor with a use of S4 controller, so all the mixing EQ are recorder. and i use external mixer to adjust EQ to the soubdsystem (basically i try not to touch eq on master, it is sound ingeneer job to keep things adjsuted).  As for S4 EQ i also try to keep them "neutral", producers know better how it shall sound. Exception is Tecno music, where i like to play with EQ to make live remixes of 3-4 simultaneous tracks.


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#14
ancientrealms

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I don't know if you'd consider it mastering or not, or what you'd call it, essentially all I'm recommending is to work at a low volume with lots of headroom and then to to adjust the entire mix in loudness to the desired peak level and slap the limiter on top for safety ~ I consider this an approach to mastering (in final stages)

 

I take this approach. My mixes are usually recorded in Ableton with low volume settings. After .wav file is generated I put into soundforge, run ozone 5 on the whole mix to bring up the levels. Then I convert to .mp3.

 

I've tried many different ways over the years but I find this the best result so far. Whether its "correct" is another matter. ;)

 

Pax!



#15
Alchemist

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can you tell what you do step by step to maximise volume in audacity?  do you add on the equal gain all over the track or you adapt  to different tracks in the mix different gain?

 

 

1. I Import the track. I always try to use the same 'Project Rate' as I recorded themix in (44.1, 48k or 96 kHz probably). You can select this in the bottom left corner.

 

2. Select the whole track (CTRL+A) and click on Effect --> Amplify. Here you can fill in the 'New Peak Amplitude', most of the time I just use 0 dB.
This amplifies the volume equally over the whole track, with the highest peak matched to 0 dB. Most of the track will obviously still be well below the 0dB limit.
 

3. I check if there are parts that need extra adjustments.

For example in the picture below I would select the left part of the mix and increase it's volume a bit (or decrease the volume on the right hand side).

NTgMEam.jpg

 

 

Sometimes I do adjust the volume of smaller fragments. It's the same method but this time only select the fragment that you want to adjust.

You can also zoom onto specific parts by selecting them and pressing CTRL+E (or regular zoom by holding the CTRL key while scrolling withyour mousewheel). This makes it easy to do some finetuning.

lANjyKY.jpg

 

4. Repeat step 2 when needed.

If the volume is still too low, you can start looking if you went 'into the red' during your initial recording. Select  your loudest peak and adjust the volume of it manually down a bit. There are plugins to found the loudest peak but doing it by hand works just fine. Then again Amplify the whole track to the desired level.

 

That's it, really easy actually :P


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#16
=ҒLΦɎD=

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No, I have never used mastering-gear after a record-session.

If it's not good enough just mix it 'till you get it right :)

 

But i must say, i've bin looking at some mastering programs and some look OK, but than again, nah, thank you very much :)



#17
Hermetech Mastering

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I used to after the fact, but now I just have the chain and signal flow so sorted that it's being "mastered" (well, not really...), as it's being recorded. 



#18
Gagarin

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a simple video about mix mastering, basically to keep level same.


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#19
=ҒLΦɎD=

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thanx for this vid, think i'm gonna give audacity a go :)


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#20
Gagarin

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thanx for this vid, think i'm gonna give audacity a go :)

 

levels are very important and if you have them equal is a professional way :)


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