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Thread: How to Get Better Exported Tracks (Smooth Waveforms)

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    How to Get Better Exported Tracks (Smooth Waveforms)

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    I work on bass heavy electronic music and I'm hoping some of you out there can help shed some light on this topic for me.

    Sometimes I feel like when I export songs it's a shot in the dark how the waveform is gonna look. Sometimes it's pretty nice and smooth, but other times the kick and snare will be spiking out like crazy from everything else.

    How do you keep all the waveforms nice and tight without anything, like the drums for instance, losing its power? Even after EQing and compressing my tracks I still need to go in and normalize and compress the final track so it looks more like the tracks of other electronic artists.

    Is this something I should only be worried about at the mastering stage (Bassnectar songs for example look hard limited) or do these issues need to be addressed earlier on in the mixing stage? Using a hard limiter and boosting the volume gives the song more umph but it makes it a bit muddy, especially the low end, so I would rather avoid such drastic changes to the waves.

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    First I've to say that's totally irrelevant how the waveform looks as long as it sounds right.

    But in most cases it looks like you describe when it sounds right.


    Without seeing and hearing what you talking about I guess your problem is to find the right level of each element/sound of your tracks within the producing and mixing process.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Moke and Eed View Post

    I work on bass heavy electronic music and I'm hoping some of you out there can help shed some light on this topic for me.

    Sometimes I feel like when I export songs it's a shot in the dark how the waveform is gonna look. Sometimes it's pretty nice and smooth, but other times the kick and snare will be spiking out like crazy from everything else.

    How do you keep all the waveforms nice and tight without anything, like the drums for instance, losing its power? Even after EQing and compressing my tracks I still need to go in and normalize and compress the final track so it looks more like the tracks of other electronic artists.

    Is this something I should only be worried about at the mastering stage (Bassnectar songs for example look hard limited) or do these issues need to be addressed earlier on in the mixing stage? Using a hard limiter and boosting the volume gives the song more umph but it makes it a bit muddy, especially the low end, so I would rather avoid such drastic changes to the waves.
    You really don't want to see a waveform flat-lined in the mixing stage, but
    you'll sometimes see some of that once mastered.
    It really depends on the composition, song tempo, frequency content and the desired sound and level that you're after.

    I wouldn't be concerned with the look, because, as mentioned, what really matters is the sound,
    and what can be gleaned by the look shouldn't be a factor or influence on your decisions to make it sound it's best.

    It's good to retain transient impact and punch, so seeing a more spiky waveform is not a bad thing.
    It's also about trusting your monitoring and being able to rely on that and your experience to give you the right info to help make the right decisions.

    Heavy bass/808/sinewave stuff can "look" much different than more straight ahead stuff,
    so there's a lot to be considered, and going by the look to get the desired sound can be going about it backwards.
    Last edited by waltzmastering; 05-24-2017 at 03:00 PM.

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