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

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

Post by ross » Wed Feb 09, 2005 1:19 pm

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

Post by kcrusher » Wed Feb 09, 2005 1:39 pm

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

If you want a 'do it yourself' approach, the Waves L1 works pretty well...
America... just a nation of two hundred million used car salesmen with all the money we need to buy guns and no qualms about killing anybody else in the world who tries to make us uncomfortable.
- Hunter S. Thompson

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Mr. Dipity
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Re: Problem with bounce and CD-R burn - low volume levels.

Post by Mr. Dipity » Wed Feb 09, 2005 2:24 pm

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.

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

Post by ross » Thu Feb 10, 2005 7:25 am

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

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

Post by MoreSpaceEcho » Fri Feb 11, 2005 11:02 am

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. :D

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

Post by mastermind » Fri Feb 11, 2005 4:21 pm

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
trevor sadler
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maz
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Re: Problem with bounce and CD-R burn - low volume levels.

Post by maz » Fri Feb 11, 2005 5:21 pm

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

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

Post by fremitus » Sat Feb 12, 2005 11:24 am

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

Post by mastermind » Sun Feb 13, 2005 8:46 pm

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
trevor sadler
mastering & vintage submarine restoration
mastermind
charlotte, nc., usa

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