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Thread: when mixing, does the master level have to hit exactly -6 db the entire track?

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    when mixing, does the master level have to hit exactly -6 db the entire track?

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    I'm trying to mix my track down to -6 db but i'm not too sure if I'm doing it right. The beginning of the songs master hits around -15 to -12 and the drop hits around -6 but not exactly and will peak up near -3 for a slight second then go back down to around -6 db. I compressed my lead somewhat but I don't want to lose the sound too much. Should I keep adjusting the volume till it hits exactly at -6 db? Should I also raise the volume of the intro so the master hits exactly -6 db? I tried raising the volume of the intro but it sounded a little louder than the drop. I suck at this man

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    It would sound f'n terrible if it were at -6dBfs the whole time. Mixing ain't a numbers game; just make sure it stays under it.

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    Nahh don't worry about it. The ideia of mixing at -6 is to give you headroom for the mastering.

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  5. #4
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    It's mainly a mixing guideline to allow mastering engineers room to work. Just make sure there's no clipping.

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  7. #5
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    Yeps... just make sure nothing clips on your channels or master and that everything sounds good in relation to each other. That's the main thing, really.
    I've always learned that you want to give -3db of headroom for the mastering. -6db seems awfully low these days, but then again if they want it it softer.. they can turn the gain down and presto..

    Personally I mix into my compressors and limiters and get my peaks up to -.01db. Now I wouldn't advise that if you're getting started and before you have a good feel for what each does to/for your sound,
    but my idea behind this is that because it's all digital signal, I want as much resolution and scale for my dynamics as there is available.
    Keeping them at -6db means everything else needs to be -6db softer as well. I work with 3d graphics too, so I'm kinda obsessed with maximizing resolution, lol.
    Not because I want maximum loudness, but I want as much definition as I can. You shouldn't need the mastering to get everything nice and loud if you mix it right.

    The other advantage is that, while you can't afford expensive masters, your stuff will still be relatively loud compared to the commercial releases... and won't fall flat in comparison, sounding all amateurish and boxy.
    You also don't need to rely on what I call pseudo-mastering.. or the process of smacking some end-all mastering plug-in preset on your master bus, which will always mess with the sound, levels and dynamics you just spent hours crafting. Once you get to the stage where you have your stuff professionally mastered, they'll ask for your project files and stems anyway... the less time they have to spend on getting it loud, the more time they can spend on getting it beautiful.

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  9. #6
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    they actually teach between -9 and -12 as -6 is pushing it but acceptable - according to industry standards I guess. Thats for "average" volume. But just make sure it's not clipping as others have mentioned.
    Last edited by alienaircraftmusic; 04-18-2017 at 07:43 AM.

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  11. #7
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    I think you're confusing RMS value with PEAK values here

    -6db RMS is indeed loud as hell, and sounds nasty and flat... you definitely don't want to aim for that in your mix. I think mine hit about -8 to -10db after the final processing now.

    The way I interpreted the poster's question he was talking about his peak values, so that's how I answered it.

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  13. #8
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    As long as your mixes don't clip you are okay (assuming it SOUNDS okay). The headroom thing is a bit silly because all mastering engineers can easily turn your mix down a few dB. The issue is that it's fairly difficult to make a mix that gets close to zero without OTHER stuff in the mix being out of whack due to lousy gain structuring.

    FWIW, my mixes usually peak somewhere around -10dBFS to -8dBFS. I honestly don't really look at the meters much. If I used no compression on my 2buss they might peak slightly higher.
    Chris 'Von Pimpenstein' Carter - Major label mixer/producer
    http://www.vonpimpenstein.com

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  15. #9
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    No it doesn't have to hit -6db the whole entire time. That would sound weird. That is more like a guideline so the track has enough headroom for mastering. Check out my beats and lemme know what you think!

    Last edited by MassOccurBeats; 04-29-2017 at 05:06 AM.

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    Maintaing good balance is important.

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