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Johnbee58

Compression & RMS Volume Standard

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I have several songs that I use the Waves Master Buss Compressor on the entire master buss to add a bit of compression to the overall mix. I'd like to bring them up to RMS volume standard so when I play them in my car they are close to the same volume as the radio stations in my area.  I got Ozone as a freebie a few years back and that will do the trick, but where in the chain should I put them in the master buss?  Ozone first or MBC?

Thanks!

🙂 John B

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Personally I tend to put Ozone Maximizer (i.e. limiter) last in the chain. If you put it before the master bus compressor, it will affect the dynamics going into the compressor, which will result in a less lively output (unless that's the sound you're going for). Putting it last means that you can get the glueyness that you want on the mix using MBC, before upping the loudness as the final stage.

Also, it's generally a good idea to have a limiter as the last thing on the master bus as it will help you to catch any rogue peaks that might occur as a result of any sound processing before it.

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^^^ This is the answer. Assuming you're not going to send your mix to a third party for mastering, the last active component in your master bus fx bin should always be a limiter, followed only by metering plugins. You'll probably want a LUFS meter at the very end, which will do a pretty good job of telling you whether the master is going to be too quiet, too hot, or somewhere comfortably within the Goldilocks Zone.

You'll probably want to import some music from your favorite commercial recordings, anything that sounds particularly good in the car, and use that as your LUFS target.  Setting levels for your car is a tricky business, as the car's player probably has built-in compression and EQ that the owner's manual doesn't mention. Plus the acoustics inside a car are pretty awful. So don't be surprised if your carefully mastered songs sound good only in the car, and nowhere else.

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I THINK you are confusing mixing with mastering.

 

mastering is where you get the playback levels up to somewhere near professional releases.

 

if you just slap compressors and limiters across you 2 buss to get volume,,

it will simply ruin you mix.

how hot is hot enough?

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Depends if it's a one-off single track and ready to go.

Mastering can also be tweaking multiple tracks so they sound like they belong to the same album as a whole. Around -14LUfs is a good level in general for online platforms. If you want to be more specific, there is documentation available as to platforms' target levels. Alternatively, you could get something like Mastering the Mix's LEVELS* and EXPOSE* plugins (MTM are currently having a 25% off sale when you buy 2+ plugins).

* MTM's plugins are apparently spelled in upper case according to their website - I didn't accidentally leave caps lock on.

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