Perplexed still re final volume level

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Starship Krupa
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Re: Perplexed still re final volume level

Post by Starship Krupa » Fri Jan 19, 2018 5:40 am

Mark Bliss wrote:I have always left the master fader at unity and adjusted my mix down levels pre meter plug in, either with a gain plug or in other cases, linking submix bus faders. (This is problematic for a somewhat unrelated reason having to do with send returns.)

Using the Hoffa plug in, I could adapt to adjusting its fader for tweaking the mixdown level if necessary, (still assessing) but I would still leave Mixcrafts master fader at unity. No gain, no cut.

If I understand what you are doing, you are essentially turning it down, then back up. I don't see the necessity.
Nor do I now that you put it that way. I'll start nudging my Master fader down to 0dB and see what I get.

Mixer routing has always, even from when I first started trying to get my head around it 40 years ago, been such a difficult thing for me.

Aux busses, effects busses, sends, returns, pre fader, post fader, all that. And then we put it in the virtual domain, where we're not bound by what's possible in the physical world.

Anyway, that is what I do, set and forget Mixcraft's fader.

Here's where I will ask you a question regarding routing: that "somewhat unrelated reason" having to do with send returns you refer to, does it have to do with lowering the level of submixes not lowering the level of what's going to the send tracks from tracks inside the submix tracks? So for example, you wind up with your reverb balance getting out of whack if you're using a send track for reverb?
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BillW
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Re: Perplexed still re final volume level

Post by BillW » Fri Jan 19, 2018 9:18 am

Ask a "simple" question, you get pages of incredibly useful responses.

I understand things are not as simple as "turn it down" or "turn it up". But when I listen to a final mastered professional CD (or wav file ripped from such) - it IS that easy. My final file sounds either too loud or too soft or just right in comparison. to my ears, it's volume. to others who are kind enough to listen to my work, it certainly is just volume (as in "turn it DOWN! It's too loud!" - quoting my lovely wife.)

And to my ears - the master fader "solution" acts to do what it seems is needed. While technically all the pre-effect, post-effect considerations certainly make a difference somewhere - to the ears the final result is either too loud, too soft, or just right.

I'm sure someday I'm get the meters and Magic A/B etc and learn how to use them. But for today I'm good with producing the best mix I know how - and then now adding a new step (mastering) and "volume matching" with a professional wav file using a fader. It may not technically be the best way - but to my ears it works as a very last step.

Thanks MUCH guys - and I'm glad to see my question triggered such a healthy and helpful discussion for more than just me.
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Re: Perplexed still re final volume level

Post by Mark Bliss » Fri Jan 19, 2018 11:21 am

Yeah, sorry for hi-jacking your thread Bill. Should have broke it off to a new thread, but you know..... Sometimes its just too late for that! :lol:

But hopefully it helps someone somewhere. And Its my hope it might help the future of Mixcraft as well.......

And Erik, yes, you have the basic concept of what I was alluding to.
I use the example of a drum mix on a drum submix bus.
I use a mix template structured with various sends, including among other things a plate and room reverb.
If I get my drum mix right where I want it, very carefully setting the various sends for various elements where I want- for example various amounts of plate on things like the snare etc and a sense of a drum room on the group, then move a submix fader to tweak the group level, it changes the balance relative to my sends because the returns are routed past the submix faders straight to the master bus.
Its not a huge problem for the most part, but its less than ideal.
Stay in tune, Mark

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Re: Perplexed still re final volume level

Post by trevlyns » Sat Jan 20, 2018 1:17 am

Bill!

I found this video for you which may be helpful - it's a prelude to a mastering course I did last year.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mPhOH05EDMg
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Re: Perplexed still re final volume level

Post by msnickybee » Sat Jan 20, 2018 4:52 am

Mark Bliss wrote:move a submix fader to tweak the group level, it changes the balance relative to my sends because the returns are routed past the submix faders straight to the master bus
Yes indeed!!!

Oh, and has anyone tried this Youlean Loudness Meter? It *looks* ok, I've just tried it, but I'm far from expert.
I wish one of these would show old-fashioned DR levels... I know R128 is the thing, but, commerical records are always talked about in DR...well, at least the places I hang around like the DR Loudness War album website.

Did I mention it's free? The Hoffa one looks cool, but isn't it payware? (I'm from an area of the UK called Yorkshire...some might understand)

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Re: Perplexed still re final volume level

Post by Mark Bliss » Sat Jan 20, 2018 7:14 am

Hi Nicky!

The Hoffa is free (so far anyway) as is the TB meter I showed previously.
I have the Youlean meter, and DR meter, (and BX meter and various K-weighted variants).....
I like the Youlean meter. I like the way it shows the momentary data graphically, and the way you can review that.
Simple answer, I had been using the TB analysis for a long time and like I often recommend, tend to stick to what I am familiar with unless something really "wow's" me as something new and better.
So far I am likeing the Hoffa meter/fader, simply becaause it integrates several features that eliminates two other plug ins on my master bus. The fader and the ability to toggle to mono for checking my mix, etc.

With all this being discussed, I feel the need to point out something.
You dont need all this for typical mixing purposes. I use this stuff primarily for the needs of "mastering" and (hopefully) consistant mix down results.
The same goes for my use of spectral analysis. Sometimes its to "look" at something I cant hear. For example: My hearing is off a bit due to age and damage. I cant hear squat over 13K, so there could be stuff going on I am missing. A quick peek at a meter helps me verify I am not missing something I cant hear. It also helps me make sure my bass isnt fubared due to monitoring limitations. I use it to double check myself primarily, making sure I am not way off on something.
But the spectrum analyzer doesnt work quite like we hear, so:

Use your ears. First and foremost. You can NOT mix well using your eyes and meters. And hyperfocusing on this stuff will at best cause it to take longer to get decent results.
Close your eyes. Toggle plug ins on and off enough times to not be sure if its on or off and decide which is better. If its on when you open your eyes, and that's not better, don't do that!
A/B reference material that is loudness matched. Loudness match it by ear.
Practice.

End of todays sermon. 8)
Stay in tune, Mark

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Re: Perplexed still re final volume level

Post by comedians » Sun Jan 21, 2018 5:09 am

Did I mention it's free? The Hoffa one looks cool, but isn't it payware? (I'm from an area of the UK called Yorkshire...some might understand)
Hi Nicky
As a born & bred Yorkshireman I completely "get it". :D

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Starship Krupa
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Re: Perplexed still re final volume level

Post by Starship Krupa » Sun Jan 21, 2018 10:09 pm

This thread has been very helpful for me in getting this stuff straight, especially the nuts and bolts of it.

When I first started looking into "the loudness wars" and metering and all that, these sites recommended metering plug-ins, but remained vague about exactly how to use them. Put them on your master bus last with the fader at unity? Fine, why not tell the noobs that straightaway? And how about some target readings? The documentation seemed confusing to me about just what I should be shooting for. :roll:

Also, here's another track comparison plug-in, from my favorite plug-in house, Meldaproduction: https://www.meldaproduction.com/MCompare

Same price as A/B Magic, and if you wait long enough, Meldaproduction rotates their entire catalog through their "Eternal Madness Sale," where they make 4 of their plug-ins at a time half-price. So if you wait a few weeks, it's $30 or so. Vojtech packs an incredible number of features into every one of his plug-ins, and you can usually try before you buy.

I've given Youlean Meter a try a few times and found it crashy with Mixcraft, at least on my system at the time.

The aforementioned Meldaproduction also have a comprehensive meter as part of their pretty amazing free bundle. Anyone here who hasn't tried it might like it. The Yorkshiremen and those such as myself of a like mind should get over there immediately and download that bundle. It's mind-boggling what they put out at no cost to the user.

And I am good about posting the latest free deals in the "Plug-ins, Plug-ins, Plug-ins!" forum here, so anyone looking for sweet deals should check there from time to time. I monitor various sites for introductory offers from commercial developers, new freeware, etc.
-Erik
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