Well I am lost.
I am trying to master the tracks myself, I had some hurdles I had to overcome but I got fairly far but now I am stuck.
The track sounds fine on a overal lower volume level but when I want to crank the sound up so the music would be the same volume level as professional songs then the problem starts. Everything sounds well, untill the trumpet kicks in. Then it just distorts the trumpet sound completely.
I tried various things, but all that seems to work is to bring the overall volume level down… but then it does not sound as loud anymore as professional songs. Does anyone know a solution for this problem? It would be kind if you would share it with me… I am stuck and lost on the moment.
I do not have a lot of knowledge about the mastering stuff, but I am fairly happy with what I got, but the trumpet makes it all bad… and it just happens to be, that I like to use trumpets… now I start to hate them. LOL
(Not an expert on mixing brass or anything, but some ideas…)
Is it a very dry trumpet sound? If so, it’s pretty much a stream of short but loud transients, which may be clipped or aggressively saturated if you straight try to master it as is.
Brass tends to rely a lot on the room to sound loud and powerful, so that might be the first thing to look into. A very short room reverb would still sound very dry, but would “spread out” the transients, creating a friendlier peak/loudness ratio.
With some saturation, waveshaping, tape simulation or similar, you may also be able to tame those transients, but that will of course also color the sound one way or another. (Typically, a warmer, less bright sound, unless you go for pretty aggressive saturation/distortion.)
Oh, I see…! Do you have bass and other things going on when the clipping occurs? You make need to tame that in the mix before the master bus, and/or use a multiband compressor on the master, so that the bass can be managed without messing up the higher frequencies.
No there is no clipping. The master bar indicator does not go into red. Thats clipping right? When it goes into the red? It does not do that. Everything sounds fine with all effects on (EQ, Compressor) Its when I turn the gain knob on the limiter that the trouble starts.
I will keep this answer to in mind and check it out. Thx again.
I see the multi band compression, I actually put a multiband dynamics thing on each track… did not know it was a compressor… used it to alter the sound, the high and the mids and the low… could that be the problem maybe?
This seems to work on the moment, gonna check if I can raise it far enough. Will keep you all posted. I also changed the reverb just to be sure.
Well, a limiter is technically clipping when pushed hard, though it tries to do it with minimal artifacts by means of compression and (typically for master limiters) look-ahead, to have some time to prepare for peaks. The whole point is to keep the signal below a certain level at all times, and on the master, that’s usually just below 0 dB - so the DAW meter will never indicate clipping.
(“Just below 0 dB” because some DACs and certain audio encoding formats actually clip on the output if you feed them audio that goes all the way up to 0 dB, so you should leave 0.1 dB or so of headroom.)
Anyway, can you post a snippet with the problem? It’s hard to guess what’s going on without hearing it, or seeing the waveforms.
I found full chain master audio effect in the mastering area of ableton. Seems that tool does the job. But I have to mix it so good there that it goes against the clip mark of the masterbuss. Applying the full chain master audio effect then and gaining the limiter to its fullest seems to do the job. I am gonna play a bit with the settings of it and see if this could be the solution I need.
It seems I can gain the lows, mids and highs now without raising the limiter and without going over it. That was the problem probably, I previously had to push the limiter way up to get to the volume level I needed. Now I do not even really need to gain anymore? Is that possible? I put and extra limiter on to see the bar where sometimes it goes above 0 to see if it still does that and gained that limiter 0.30 just to be able to see if it would go over zero, but it does not do that anymore. I do not know what happened but it seems to be resolved with this full chain master audio effect. At least I think. I am not sure yet, still gonna play a bit more with it but I think this fixes the problem I have.
Sorry I did not understand what you ment with the frequencies… I am sorry…
Yeah I am trying to get it as loud as the track was when I mastered it with masteringbox…
Just woke up, literally spend all day and evening untill 2 o clock yesterday trying to figure out how to get to that point…
Need to relisten to it now since I worked yesterday literally all day and evening with only maybe a two half hour breaks, one to eat and one to varnish a gate, so my ears could have decieved me so late…
I am sorry I do not know what LUFS is…
but it was well worth the time because I actually learned something now. I wanted to give up so many times and just go back to the masterigbox website. I am glad I did not do that.
Well, getting things loud without side effects is hard, and while there are a bunch of tools for that on the mastering side, for good results, it has to start with a loud mix. There’s quite a learning curve to it, but I think it’s well worth the investment, even if you plan on leaving the final mixing and mastering to specialists. What you learn here crosses over to sound design and orchestration/arrangement as well.
You might find iZotope Ozone useful for the mastering bit. It can serve as a “quick fix” mastering solution for demos and previews, a manual mastering chain, and a learning tool. The AI assistant analyzes the audio and sets up a chain for you (typically EQ, compressor, dynamic EQ, limiter), that you can then inspect and tweak as desired - so it’s not just a magic black box, although of course, the Assistant can’t explain the reasoning behind what it’s doing; only show you what it came up with.
I used that, I did not like the result. I did not like the assistant either. I will do it the hard way untill I am fed up with it. I did replace the song on soundcloud. It is in the music section in the My first attempt to something classical topic (something like that). Maybe you can take a listen to it, the song is the I Will Prevail song. I honestly think I did not do a too bad job? I do not mind for it to take a long time to be honest, as long as I am able to figure things out, but this learning of reducing frequencies has given me a lot to think about it now. I am doing my second song now and it seems its not limited to mid only. So one set up does not, logically, apply to all songs.
Its a bit of a game to me, a frustrating one at times, but the reward of succeeding then is so big, because you put hard work into it.
Its like gaming and thriller movie in one, will the limiter move on this sound level. Yes it did not or damned it did, okay lets adjust things and look again.
I like it. It can be frustrating sometimes but the most frustrating part was not knowing what I needed to do at all, now that I have learned this valuable lesson (which you all know because its logic but I am a bit stupid) I can continue to be in a thriller movie/game for hours. Yippie… I think…
I would like to do it with the onboard tools of ableton.
Maybe take a listen at the song and let me know what you think. Its just a basic master so nothing fancy I think, but I do think it sound fuller and warmer then the one masteringbox provided…
Well, Ozone just tries to match a reference (which can be any track, with the bigger versions), and it can’t pull off any advanced mastering tricks, so your mix needs to be pretty close to the reference for good results. If you see it doing more than +/- 2 dB here and there, trouble is to be expected - which pretty much goes for manual mastering as well.
I suppose one could argue that when automatic mastering tools do a great job, you’ve already done most of the work in the mix, so you don’t really need any advanced mastering tools anyway!
Anyway, I can only see two (other) tracks on the SoundCloud account I found… Do you have more than one account, or is the track private?
LUFS are a way of measuring loudness. It stand for the overall loudness of a mix. It’s a little different than peak and RMS. peak is the loudest frequency in your track, and RMS is the average loudness. So LUFS compiles the loudness and tells you exactly how loud you are hitting.
This is really useful when mastering because different genres are mastered to a specific LUFS. This genre for instance is mastered to between -13 and -9 LUFS. Have a look if your DAW has a loudness meter plugin and it will tell you on there. If you have logic I know that has a good one. As soon as you are hitting between that DB on that meter you’ve hit how loud it needs to be so there’s no need to get it any louder, even if there’s a track your wanting to match. Something to keep in mind.
Alternatively, if you are struggling to get your track to a specific loudness it’s usually down to an excessive build up of low and mid frequencies as these have the most energy. Try carving out some of the low information you don’t need in your piece. You’ll find that there’s some instruments masking others so as soon as you get rid of some of this unwanted musical information you’ll have a clearer mix.
By doing this you’ll give yourself a lot more headroom to compress your track even further, bringing up the volume even more.
Another thing to help this is to look at the peaks o. Your frequency graph and find the instruments responsible, duck those frequencies by a db or so to match what you seen on your EQ graph and you’ll level out the frequency response of your track, giving you even more headroom.
It sounds like your trumpet was only the very last thing that caused your problem. I’m very confident that if you go through your piece and do what I’ve suggested above, then you’ll get the results you are looking for. Be careful not to carve too much out though.