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Setting master volume????

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w1av
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Setting master volume????

Postby w1av » Sun Sep 15, 2019 5:50 pm

I read somewhere about setting your MASTER TRACK (vol) to -6db for final mastering/mix and adjust accordingly. I dont understand this. It was for "headroom" but didnt go into detail. Since I have been using Mixcraft for the last 12 years I have NEVER touched the master volume. So just for kicks I opened a recent finished project in Mixcraft, turned the main volume fader down to -6db. On the Master effects track all I use is the mid-side harmonic vitalizer (set to default) and the Izotope mastering essentials (set for jazz). What I noticed was the music seemed overly compressed which makes no sense. I use effects VERY sparingly. I do mostly jazzy stuff using Pianissimo, a real electric bass, or MIDI acoustic bass, nylon string guitar and either a drum track or the drum plugins in Mixcraft. I don't play anything loud....mostly easy listening. So is it necessary to fool with master volume?

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Mark Bliss
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Re: Setting master volume????

Postby Mark Bliss » Sun Sep 15, 2019 6:52 pm

People do many different things. For me, the basic answer is no. 8)
I suggest starting here for mixing purposes:

https://forums.acoustica.com/bbs/viewtopic.php?f=4&t=25116&p=126280#p126274
Stay in tune, Mark

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jlouvar
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Re: Setting master volume????

Postby jlouvar » Sun Sep 15, 2019 7:18 pm

So is it necessary to fool with master volume?

FWIW: My answer is also NO.
- Joe -
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Mark Bliss
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Re: Setting master volume????

Postby Mark Bliss » Sun Sep 15, 2019 7:36 pm

There are perhaps many things to consider.

You could feasibly use the master fader to boost or attenuate the output for mixdown.
But if you are inclined to be accurate, and meter.... Any metering plug-in would be pre fader, so to be accurate, it would be best to set levels before any final metering.
Or to use a meter plug-in with gain trim.
Or use a bus configuration that provides a "mix bus" (or whatever you choose to call it) before the native master bus.
(This may, or may not present issues with send returns, but thats a whole 'nuther subject.....)

Of course you could also mix with the recommended headroom, pretend the master fader doesnt exist.... Mix-down a 24 bit "master track" and master in a separate session if you like.

Theres many options. Find what works for you!
Stay in tune, Mark

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trevlyns
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Re: Setting master volume????

Postby trevlyns » Mon Sep 16, 2019 7:43 am

I think what you are referring to with the -6bd headroom is as follows...
IF you intend sending your final mix to a mastering engineer, they will generally require this headroom to make their adjustments without clipping.
But the -6db refers to the master LEVEL - not the slider position. I tend to keep the master fader at unity gain (0 db) then watch the meters to make sure the total mix does not exceed -6 db. If they did, I'd select all tracks and lower their volume until the total mix is peaking no higher than - 6 on the master level meter.
Of course, if you are mastering your own project, you can slap a brickwall limiter as the last plugin on the master track (along with any other compensation - EQ, Compression etc). I set the limiter to -2db as you don't want to risk any clipping.
Keep on trackin'

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