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Lum Tham

How to start mixing: volume fader level

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Dear all,

Goodday.

I was watching youtube video and it recommended to set stereo and master fader level to 0db.
My question
1. 
i dont see a stereo fader in cakewalk, i only see a master fader in my cakewalk. Is it necessary to have a stereo bus?

The youtube video recommended leaving enough headroom.
My question:
2. Does it mean the master fader level shouldn't be set at exactly 0db, maybe should set at say -4dB to leave headroom? what is the recommended headroom and how to decide how much is headroom required?

3. To start the volume mixing, does it mean i first set the master fader level to 0dB (or let say -4dB for headroom?) first ? 
And then slowly bring up all other track fader in my mix to achieve the volume mix that i want?

4. In the mixing volume level pane, there are 3 colors, green, yellow and red. Does yellow mean bad? Must we maintain green for the entire track?

Thank you all.

Kind regards,

Lum

 

youtube.PNG

my mix.PNG

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By default all faders are set to 0 in Cakewalk.  The Music Tech Photo - Master set at -12 looks like a project that have several tracks pushing the volume a little hot.  I think this is why they set it that way.  Keep in mine that these are only starting points and fader number are not important.  What is important is the DB scale and the actual volume of the tracks and busses. 

To set master volume correctly you would need a LUFS meter.

Any of there are good - Melda has a bunch of great free plugins.

 

Free

https://www.meldaproduction.com/MLoudnessAnalyzer

(If you don't have it get the full free version - the green button on this screen)

 

Free

https://youlean.co/youlean-loudness-meter/

 

 

There are plenty more! Free and a bunch of paid ones too.

Google LUFS and will get a ton of info on volume.

With LUSF meter you read the actual volume not just looking where the fader is placed. 

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I believe all busses are stereo, regardless of what you name them.
In your second image the faders on the far right look different, but that's not a bus; that's the sound card main out. The busses and tracks all end up there.  That should also be left at 0 dB.

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2 hours ago, 57Gregy said:

I believe all busses are stereo, regardless of what you name them.
In your second image the faders on the far right look different, but that's not a bus; that's the sound card main out. The busses and tracks all end up there.  That should also be left at 0 dB.

In Cakewalk, when you insert a bus, you can choose either a stereo bus or a surround bus.  :)

Bob Bone

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Thanks, Bob. I mainly work in SONAR Home Studio 6 (still!) and the only option is 'insert stereo bus'.
I have CbB, but haven't gotten used to it yet.

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17 hours ago, Lum Tham said:

4. In the mixing volume level pane, there are 3 colors, green, yellow and red. Does yellow mean bad? Must we maintain green for the entire track?

My advice to you on this is not to worry about whether you are printing to hot or to cold. The only thing you should worry about is whether or not your buses are clipping as Digital clipping is not something you want in your tracks.

Others might have different advice from myself....

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Personally I start with all Track Faders and all Bus Faders at -6dB and I leave the Master on 0dB.

That way when I start adding in more and more tracks I still have some headroom left on the Master Bus.

If I don’t start like this then my Master Bus starts hitting the red very early and I have to stop and turn everything down and basically start tracking and mixing again.

Im sure everyone has their own method, that’s mine.

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19 hours ago, spiffo said:

Personally I start with all Track Faders and all Bus Faders at -6dB and I leave the Master on 0dB.

That way when I start adding in more and more tracks I still have some headroom left on the Master Bus.

If I don’t start like this then my Master Bus starts hitting the red very early and I have to stop and turn everything down and basically start tracking and mixing again.

Im sure everyone has their own method, that’s mine.

If the project is very large the -6 is a great idea. I use it too. 
 

Max Arwood

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