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Thread: New Here and could use some advice. Music Volume

  1. #1
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    Question New Here and could use some advice. Music Volume

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    Hi, I'm so happy I found this forum. There is a lot of interesting topics I hope to become part of. I work at a small music studio in Indiana.

    Anyways, I have a new album for a studio band sent to me to publish online (spotify, itunes, etc...) but the songs are not the same volume. They ask if I ( tech geek/video producer/ office manager) could make all the songs the same volume as the main song in the album. I really don't want to send this back to the guy who mastered it originally. I'd rather learn how to do this myself so I have the knowledge in the future. It would just make my life easier.

    I tried to normalize the songs using everything from Audacity to MP3Grain to video editing softwares but all the songs end up being lower volume then the main song.

    Can anyone please advice on how to find a tracks volume then make all the other songs that volume so I can get this project done.

    Thank you for your time
    Kimberly

  2. #2
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    Kimberly, this is a basic function of the mastering process, so if this band paid for mastering, they should get their money back...

    If you have access to a decent two-track editor like Soundforge, you could do it in that program. Better yet, do you have access to a pro CD authoring app? Not something like free Nero, which is great, but with a little more features like CD Architect? You can compile CDs in a program like that, and use the envelope feature to manually adjust volumes.

    If one song is mastered much hotter than the rest, you will probably have to _reduce_ that to match the others, rather than raising the level of all of the rest.

    Use your meters and avoid clipping, but remember to use your ears too (primarily). Be aware of “apparent volume,” which may not always match what you “see” if you are watching the meters; so-called “quiet” songs that are mixed less densely (such as just vocals and acoustic guitar or piano) often sound louder to our ears than more dense mixes and full productions that have lots of instruments and heavy arrangements. So between your ears and your meters, you should be able to make it work. Louder is _not_ always better, and if you haven’t really done this before, it’s probably best to lay off the compression and limiters. Just volume-match manually until it sounds right to you.


    GJ
    Gregg Juke
    Nocturnal Productions
    The Sonic Vault Recording Studio
    Drum! Magazine Contributor






  3. #3
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    Thank GJ. This studios is very small to the point I'm the only full time employee and all that is not happening. Different people have mastered each song separately. The studio owner owns several business and this is all more of a "for the love of music" project. They do come up with some great music but everything ends up with me. I was tried when I posted before the same volume part is for the CD I'm burning before send it to the manufacturer. They are making a bunch of CD's to give away. Anyways, thanks for the input. But over the years I've learned it's best to figure this all out for myself and then I can do it without having to herd the cats (musicians).

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    Sounds like a nightmare. Good for you for taking that on.

    Normalize won't work because it's working off the highest peak of the track (or one of the tracks) if you lay them all out. One technique from back in the day before Ozone and other plug-ins was to lay all the tracks into one file in your DAW and have access to a good meter (built-in / VU plug-in) and automate a good compressor that you know how to work with. If each track was from a different mix-person, they're each going to have worked off their own level (which you are aware I know) but the compressor in your DAW can be set and automate the tweaks you do to level them off. As rhythmgj said, it will require you to use your ears but also knowing your metering well can help and you can balance them all out to your master level.

    Pain in the butt and tedious to do but thats how come of the compilations were done before these plug-ins got advanced in analyzing tracks.

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    YES, this is a nightmare but I get paid to deal with all the nightmares. I'm research CD making software to see if any of them with help make the songs close to the same volume on the CD that I will to send to the duplication business we use. I'm nearly done with their CD cover and making the CD next.

    Thanks for your input
    Kim

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    you may want to look into getting the RMS of each track at the same level, that’ll get you in the ballpark. it’ll make it easier to tweak as you flip thru each track to check if any are noticeably louder/quiter.

    audacity may have a function to process and calculate the rms for each track.

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    lazy & simple way? increase the volume on the quieter songs with a limiter on the master chain

    I love FabFilter Pro-L

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