Mastering loudness and Bass: question

TheBigRagu

New member
Hey guys,

I know there are a million different conversations online about preparing your mix for mastering, the do's and dont's, streaming services and their LUFS recommendations, etc but Im curious about something in particular.

In a recent song I produced (you can check it out if you want on my profile), I tried to pay close attention to the way I processed each element in the mix. Caught the peaks of sounds with extreme compression (only a very small db reduction at certain points), glue comp with subtle attack and release times, thought about placement of sounds within the mix, saturation, tried to give everything space, etc. I thought I captured the "essence" of what I was going for fairly well in the mixing stage.

Got to mastering, applied a chain of subtle processing to further level things out but still retain dynamics and overall "feel" of the song. Fed through an ozone limiter using gain matching, driving the limiter and then backing off once the distortion became too prevalent. Disabled the gain matching and thought everything was fine.

Low and behold, the track is very quiet compared to other tracks on youtube.

The mix is fairly bass heavy, particularly in the 100-300hz region. I have a technoish "response" verb kick sitting in that region along with a synth bass that fades in as well. Im thinking that the low end is maybe too prevalent which is causing the limiter to distort prematurely and not letting adjust the overall level of the mix?

The thing is, I found that removing or eq'ing these bassy elements removed the "heavy, muddyish" feel that I actually want in the low end.

Any advice on how to get a loud master while retaining this feel? Thanks all, sorry for the long post.
 

Storm

Member
I think your theory on the 'why' is probably your case here. It will, as you know, be difficult to investigate with you. You can first experiment with a multi-band compressor and lower the gain on the low-end (or filter it out completely) and see what headroom you have on your output gain with the remaining frequencies.

You could also post an average eq graph of a hot section and maybe some technophiles will 'see' some frequency things you've got going on. It's going to be hard to capture averages in a screen shot of course. Your theory would have to be very prevalent.

Final option, I don't mind looking at the track if you need help. I would definitely go back to pre-master and lower your lower end. You've probably really pushed things too far and not left any room for the mastering to breathe at all.
 

anuniquengineer

New member
Some plug-ins like LEVELs helps a lot, also mid-side EQ and dynamic EQ is my favorite. You have to look to your product like a life changer in the aspect it will adds to someone, so like a musician or engineer you're more, an enterpreneuer, loudness? Hmmmm, I prefer quieter with dynamics and good sense of imaging and the rest... and sure, save for some inter-sample peaks about true range while putting ceiling. Just some advices.
 
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