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Problem with bounce and CD-R burn - low volume levels.

 
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ross
audio school


Joined: 09 Feb 2005
Posts: 2

PostPosted: Wed Feb 09, 2005 5:19 pm    Post subject: Problem with bounce and CD-R burn - low volume levels. Reply with quote

Hi,

Has anyone experienced the following problem and if so how did you solve it?

I've been doing test mixes in Pro Tools LE (Mac) and have been ending
up with low volume levels after bouncing-to-disc then burning to a CD-R.
(not drastically low, but significantly less than a commercial CD)
The master fader has a bit of compression applied and the meter is in the yellow range just before red. "I don't think I can push it much further without clipping, Captain." (in Scottish accent)
I'm not sure about adding more compression - don't want to squeeze the
life out of the piece.


Any ideas?

Much Appreciated,
Ross
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kcrusher
tinnitus


Joined: 09 Oct 2003
Posts: 1200
Location: Location! Location!

PostPosted: Wed Feb 09, 2005 5:39 pm    Post subject: Re: Problem with bounce and CD-R burn - low volume levels. Reply with quote

Yup, this is where a mastering engineer comes into play.

If you want a 'do it yourself' approach, the Waves L1 works pretty well...
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Mr. Dipity
carpal tunnel


Joined: 16 Jun 2003
Posts: 1528

PostPosted: Wed Feb 09, 2005 6:24 pm    Post subject: Re: Problem with bounce and CD-R burn - low volume levels. Reply with quote

ross wrote:

I've been doing test mixes in Pro Tools LE (Mac) and have been ending
up with low volume levels after bouncing-to-disc then burning to a CD-R.
(not drastically low, but significantly less than a commercial CD)



- What does the waveform look like when you have bounced?
- Are you normalizing or adjusting the file, after bouncing?

More than one old school engineer has told me that I shouldn't need to look at the wave form in order to do my job. Personally, and I've been doing this stuff for more than a decade, I think this is bollocks, especially in relation to overall volume levels, and careful mastering. If you are doing a good job with a peak limiter, the difference >should< be hard to hear, but easy to see.

Those commercial cds are, in all likelihood, peak normalled to 0db - in other words, as loud as they possibly can be, without clipping. And limited, and compressed, but that part will be different in every case.
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ross
audio school


Joined: 09 Feb 2005
Posts: 2

PostPosted: Thu Feb 10, 2005 11:25 am    Post subject: Re: Problem with bounce and CD-R burn - low volume levels. Reply with quote

Thanks for the feedback.

It looks like I'm probably not doing anything "wrong" with the mastering.
But you're probably right that I would need to take the tracks to a
mastering pro (or use something like the L1) to get better results.

-Ross
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MoreSpaceEcho
on a wing and a prayer


Joined: 07 May 2003
Posts: 5972

PostPosted: Fri Feb 11, 2005 3:02 pm    Post subject: Re: Problem with bounce and CD-R burn - low volume levels. Reply with quote

you're probably not doing anything wrong. keep in mind that most cds these days are way too fucking loud, and you have to really pound on your mix to get it up to those levels. compare your mix to a shellac record and you'll feel better. about the overall level at least. Very Happy
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mastermind
studio intern


Joined: 07 May 2003
Posts: 27
Location: charlotte, nc., usa

PostPosted: Fri Feb 11, 2005 8:21 pm    Post subject: Re: Problem with bounce and CD-R burn - low volume levels. Reply with quote

Speaking from a mastering engineer's point of view, your mix levels are absolutly perfect - don't change a thing.

Now, *after* you've bounced the mixes.. you have a couple choices: 1) the home mastering route, or 2) take it to a mastering guy.

If you go with option #1, I would suggest the waves mastering package (with the non-linear eq, multiband, and L2 limiter) as a good, low budget, option.

General process order would be eq, compress, and limit to taste. Be gentle with this stuff, and above all, use the bypass button on a regular basis to make sure you are actually improving it and not destroying it!

Obviously the best thing to do is option #2) establish a good relationship with a mastering engineer you can communicate with and trust. If he's cool, he'll even help you out and give you help with your "small/no mastering budget work" (that you master yourself) to build a relationship to get your "actually have some type of mastering budget" work... I do this with many of my clients.

best,
trev
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trevor sadler
mastering & vintage submarine restoration
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maz
buyin' a studio


Joined: 29 Jan 2004
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 11, 2005 9:21 pm    Post subject: Re: Problem with bounce and CD-R burn - low volume levels. Reply with quote

L1+ threshold at around -8 should do it. Don't worry about all that distortion. no one else does!! Laughing
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fremitus
pushin' record


Joined: 30 May 2004
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Location: vermont!

PostPosted: Sat Feb 12, 2005 3:24 pm    Post subject: Re: Problem with bounce and CD-R burn - low volume levels. Reply with quote

i just posted this in the general topic last night for another reason, but here it is again:

just to mention it. The new WAVES L3 multimaximizer is SICK! (it's a mastering plug in, useing linear phase crossovers to split the signal into five bands and then gives you massive control over the peak limiting of each band) They have a free demo download at their website. For anyone on a budget, download it the day you finish mixing. you'll have 14 days to listen and crank it. Very cool...
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mastermind
studio intern


Joined: 07 May 2003
Posts: 27
Location: charlotte, nc., usa

PostPosted: Mon Feb 14, 2005 12:46 am    Post subject: Re: Problem with bounce and CD-R burn - low volume levels. Reply with quote

I'll agree, the Waves L3 is nice....

but it's a limiter... not a "mastering" plug-in....

Mastering is more than just slapping a limiter on the mix... at least it should be.

And watchout for those L1, L2, L3's... they'll zap the life out of your mix before ya know it.

Typically I never use more than 2dB of limiting.. 3 if I'm pushing it. These things will just kill dynamics if pushed much further.

trev
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trevor sadler
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