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Starship Krupa

Really fundamental question about exporting

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I'm also looking for some mixing advice/tutorials (specifically Cakewalk if possible) on mixing/normalizing/compression if you have any suggestions?

Just not sure what kind of levels I should be aiming for to get my track similar in level to a radio/commercial track without clipping.

E.g. do you suggest normalizing tracks then adjusting gain (or the fader)?

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My apologies for getting off topic here.

Personally I never “normalize”, but Craig Anderton (I think) talks about quite a bit. Gain is a great tool, but generally pre effects, so you have to be careful. If your tracks are peaking about-18db, you’ll have some headroom to work with. Generally, I find most VSTi come in peaking in the -6 range and I have to pull the faders down. Load EZD, (I think you mentioned you have it) start auditioning some of ezd midi, and I’m clipping; consequently my Toon templates pull the internal levels well down.  As to matching “commercial” levels, I’m not a Masterlng engineer. You’re holding yourself to an impossible ideal. Ozone is popular, but there are numerous cheaper limiters that will get you close. Mixing is like playing guitar or keys, it’s something you have to “practice”. Wish I could tell you there’s a “Silver Bullet”. 

Tom

Edited by DeeringAmps
Added apologies
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3 hours ago, DeeringAmps said:

Personally I never “normalize”,

+1

I don't either. I really frown upon destructive editing. Normalizing changes clips to something I can not return to the default if I choose so. unless of course the project is open and I have enough Undo's left in the tank.

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11 hours ago, DeeringAmps said:

My apologies for getting off topic here.

Personally I never “normalize”, but Craig Anderton (I think) talks about quite a bit. Gain is a great tool, but generally pre effects, so you have to be careful. If your tracks are peaking about-18db, you’ll have some headroom to work with. Generally, I find most VSTi come in peaking in the -6 range and I have to pull the faders down. Load EZD, (I think you mentioned you have it) start auditioning some of ezd midi, and I’m clipping; consequently my Toon templates pull the internal levels well down.  As to matching “commercial” levels, I’m not a Masterlng engineer. You’re holding yourself to an impossible ideal. Ozone is popular, but there are numerous cheaper limiters that will get you close. Mixing is like playing guitar or keys, it’s something you have to “practice”. Wish I could tell you there’s a “Silver Bullet”. 

Tom

Thanks Tom.

As one example I have a drum track that is peaking around -18db and at the start of the mix process it's far too quiet. Turning the fader up doesn't make a big enough improvement so would you adjust the gain knob? Or use a plugin to increase volume? Or go back to the original MIDI track and increase the volume?

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There is nothing wrong with normalizing. However, in Cakewalk there is a trim control for each track, with it one has the option to adjust the input signal as one wishes. 

Keep in mind that each track adds volume to the mix.  Lowering the faders so that the cumulative volume is not clipping may be the best way to get a good sound without distortion.  I have routinely placed my faders at infinity and raise one at a time readjusting as more tracks come on line for a preliminary mix. Also if you did not record the project it may be useful to raise and then lower each track to see what it has in it.  On occasion I have found tracks that were so low in a mix that they were unheard. When brought up they added greatly to the overall sound.  I guess I'm saying use the luxury of a real multi-track DAW to its fullest.   It beats a four track hands down.  

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14 hours ago, CDK said:

As one example I have a drum track that is peaking around -18db and at the start of the mix process it's far too quiet. Turning the fader up doesn't make a big enough improvement so would you adjust the gain knob? Or use a plugin to increase volume? Or go back to the original MIDI track and increase the volume?

instead of increasing the drum track gain, try decreasing all the ther tracks' gain, then increase the master (or bus) fader to bring them all up together

11 hours ago, John said:

There is nothing wrong with normalizing.

beware that it will also increase the level of any background noise, noticible in the quiet bits especially compared to using a compressor... having said that, i quite often normalise tracks ;)

/fwiw/hth/nap

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On 10/15/2019 at 8:55 AM, Chuck E Baby said:

I really frown upon destructive editing. Normalizing changes clips to something I can not return to the default if I choose so.

I hope that non-destructive normalization comes along someday. I'm of the opinion that as few operations as possible in a DAW should be destructive. That's what freezing is for.

Along those lines, I'd also like to see Undo cover everything, including console adjustments like faders, pan, muting, etc. I've slipped with the cursor during a mix and was dismayed to find that my unwanted knob adjustment wasn't in the Undo list.

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6 hours ago, Starship Krupa said:

I'd also like to see Undo cover everything, including console adjustments like faders, pan, muting, etc.

I would as well, but imagine the data needed to be stored in memory to do this. A lot of destructive editing was put in place years ago when the software was trying to save on resources. Now that technology has grown with RAM sticks at 16GB im sure more will be possible in the future.

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