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Marcello

Dynamics suggestions

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Hi there!

I need some tips about the overall song dynamic.

I have read that dynamic is important, and that the wave image of the entire song should not be flat but change in volume to increase dynamics.

In the song I'm recording I have some clean chilled guitar parts and then some boomy electric guitar parts with powerful drums where the song should explode let's say.

So I have kept the clean guitars bus at -8 volume and set the electric guitars bus at -2 volume.

Now an interesting point of view of a listener that doesn't know anything about recording, my wife in this case, is that the song pass from a low volume to a higher volume too much,  her opinion is that the listener should not have to low down the volume because at a certain point the song gets all of a sudden louder, but should maintain the same volume pretty much.

And when playing live for instance you play stronger but is not that you increase the guitar volume from amp, that make sense.

So is there a way to understand what would be the right dynamic balance? Like for instance the wave image should increase maximum double or a quarter compared to the clean parts? or something like that?

Edited by Marcello

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This is going to sound snarky and unhelpful (apologies for that!) but... what does it sound like to you?

There's really no guide for saying something should be X amount of dB louder or the wave display should look different, it's all about how it sounds in the end that matters, and that'll be subjective to every listener.

Now adding to that, this is all down to personal taste for a start, and - probably more importantly - what's right for the song you're doing. As a good example, if you're doing a huge wall of sound tech death metal song or pumping EDM track, your file is going to look like a solid brick and be utterly slammed - and it should be, that's the intent of those styles (generally). Do that to a folk song or a really dynamic jazz piece and you'll get run out of town by everyone because it'll sound terrible. Those styles need dynamics to work.

Listening context is pretty important here too. If you're sitting in front of your stereo and appreciating all of the dynamic ebbs and flows, that's great - the extra dynamics are probably going to add interest to the song. On the other hand, if you're sitting in your car in traffic you might find that your quiet sections will go away.

This is really a long-winded way of saying "context."  What sounds right to you? How will you (or your audience) be listening to it? What is the goal of your mix? If you can answer those questions, then that'll answer your original question. :)

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The matter is very simple. The overall dynamic depends of the song itself, the kind of music, the tempo, the vaious parts in which the song is structured, how the music is played

 It seems very banal what you wrote.

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1 hour ago, lapasoa said:

The matter is very simple. The overall dynamic depends of the song itself, the kind of music, the tempo, the vaious parts in which the song is structured, how the music is played

 It seems very banal what you wrote.

I have specified the intent  and kind of song, I was just wondering whether there could be some limit, if this is purely subjective fine. I'm new to recording so I just reported what I have read.  I'm afraid there could be too much dynamic in a song?

I was also wondering what do you do to increase dynamics, if it's just the way it's played in terms of strong/delicate hence " velocity" or a matter of "increasing volume faders where the song should sound louder", because that's what I have done, increase the faders volume of electric punchy guitar parts.

Edited by Marcello

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Dynamics begins with your playing technique, then your arrangement.  Forget about setting levels at this point, in fact, turn everything down 10 to 20 dbs to start and use your ears.  Even after lowering your settings, you'll still have plenty of signal to noise ratio to work with.  Some instruments and voices need compression to smooth out the performance, and some don't.  Let your ears be your guide.  Most popular music doesn't have an extremely wide dynamic range, but the overall sound is elevated during mastering to commercial levels.  However, some music, regardless of style, has and needs a wide dynamic range.  That depends on your preference.

There are many good tutorials on this topic available on youtube, so don't be afraid to dive in.

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Keep in mind that some acoustic effects can only be accomplished with the existence of that difference in volume that naturally occurs across instruments in real life. Modern music is often tiresome to listen to because it lacks silent moments and those differences as every instrument has to be massive and occupy as much of the stereo space as possible.

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