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Craig Anderton

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Craig Anderton last won the day on October 16 2019

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  1. Spotify has an option to remove their loudness normalization process. I'm not sure, but I think it's available only to subscribers. Don't know if it's a default or not.
  2. A saturator will make the drums seem subjectively louder, but will also reduce peaks. I use saturation quite a bit on bass, and sometimes on drums.
  3. Figuring out how to violate the laws of physics would be a good start 😀 I already gave you suggestions on how to make the softer parts seem louder so that you can retain the dynamics you want. The other option is to have reduced dynamics. You can't retain dynamics while applying a process designed specifically to reduce dynamics.
  4. I didn't see this addressed specifically in the thread, but when a streaming service says its target is -14 LUFS, that doesn't mean your master has to measure -14 LUFS. It can be whatever you want, and the streaming service will turn it down to meet their target LUFS level. Sometimes you want to master "hot" to get a certain character, and that character will be preserved when the song is turned down. One of the main reasons to meet a streaming services specs is because they often transcode to compressed audio. Meeting their specs will usually guarantee the least amount of distortion and other artifacts when the music is compressed. However, for the best transcoding performance, what's more important than meeting the LUFS spec is meeting the True Peak spec, which is typically -1 or -2 dB. The best aspect for me about a streaming service's spec is that it means I can master something like an acoustic or jazz album to -14 LUFS, which is a decent amount of dynamic range, and it won't sound super-soft compared to everything else. (BTW some streaming services will turn up music below -14 LUFS, but others don't. So when artistically possible, I make sure a master doesn't go below -14 LUFS.)
  5. The irony is if you can cut the lows without losing anything, then there probably wasn't anything down there to cut anyway. This has been a controversial subject, because most vinyl cut the lows in order to accommodate bass, so people got used to hearing that sound. However there are many instances where energy exists below notes. Plosives on vocals are a good example, as are vocal wind blasts associated with "f" and other sounds. Often you want to reduce these, but you do not want to get rid of them entirely. If you look at an instrument like guitar on a spectrum analyzer, you can see there's energy happening below the lowest notes. So then you have two issues: Can you hear it? Does it reduce headroom in your mix? Here's an experiment you can try. Do a mix with no high-pass filtering, and see how much you can turn up the master fader before the peaks hit 0. Then, high pass everything, and see how much you can turn up the master fader before the peaks hit 0. Then you can answer those two questions based on data instead of conjecture. FWIW, I high pass tracks rarely, and selectively. There definitely are cases where add a high-pass filter tightens the sound, and other cases where high passing below an instrument's notes takes something away.
  6. As far as I'm concerned, dynamics are a good thing, not a problem to be solved :) In any event, the explosive drum part will determine how loud your master can be, and as you've found, the only way to change that is to limit the explosive part, which you don't want to do because then the overall volume isn't loud enough compared to your other tracks. If you're planning to release with a streaming service, then if the other songs are above their target, they'll be turned down to have the same perceived volume as the song with the explosive drums. So it may not end up being an issue anyway. If not, then you have to resort to workarounds to make the sections with the non-explosive drums sound subjectively louder. One way to do this is to automate EQ on the final mix by just a little bit, around 3.5 to 4 kHz (with a broad Q). Do this only in the parts that are softer, then "fade" it back to normal in the louder parts. The ear is more sensitive to this frequency range, so the music will seem louder. You can also try using a transient shaper on the explosive drums to bring down the peaks slightly, without having to use limiting. This may allow raising the overall level by a few dB. The real problem is that there will always be a tradeoff between dynamics and how "loud" you can make the music. In recent years, dynamics have been traded off for a louder perceived volume, because you can't have both.
  7. Sorry for the delayed response! That was back when Cakewalk used a locking function for the FX Chains. I'm not sure if there's a way to extract it now, but I'll check next time I'm in the studio.
  8. You can also selectively install some things from pre-Platinum versions, like it you really really want the TimeWorks compressor
  9. Check for updates with other programs. I like MODO Drum, but one day (perhaps coincidentally, perhaps not, after a Windows update) it decided to start producing different sounds when I recalled a song. If I dragged over a new instance and fed it with MIDI tracks, then it was fine until the next time I saved and re-opened. I went to the IK site and there indeed was an update. Downloaded, installed, all is well.
  10. I'm not sure I agree...Noel and many Cakewalkers, like Jesse Jost and Jon Sasor, are still involved. Only the company that owned it dropped off the map, into bankruptcy-land.
  11. I think pan laws are one of the main reasons why people conclude that DAWs sound different, because they exported the same file from two different DAWs, and they didn't null. I guess you could always just do LCR mixing and not have to think about it
  12. Hope this helps... Could Sound Centre be the problem? I never use it, so I don't remember if it has some constraint, like 32-bit only or something like that.
  13. Studio USB driver is correct. I use the 1824c with Cakewalk, and it works fine.
  14. I've been sandbagged a few times by media players for Windows that add "enhancements." Sometimes you need to dig deep into the sound settings, and go down the "properties" road until you find something like a check box for "SuperDuper XYZ Surround 3D Sound" or whatever. The resulting processing can be truly horrific. Laptops seem particularly prone to this. A lot of them boost bass, which may be why your file sounds muddy.
  15. It won't take you long to get comfortable with Cakewalk. It's like if you visited a city you were familiar with, 10 years later. Most of the buildings you knew are still there and everybody still speaks the same language, but now there are some new restaurants, the walkway along the river has been spruced up, the movie theater improved their sound system, etc. There is a bit more traffic, but you'll quickly find some side roads that get you where you need to go Besides, you can install the two side-by-side and work with Cakewalk on new projects until it becomes familiar.
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