While the quest for flashiness international relations and security network ’ t the craze it once was, knowing how to get there still matters. If you ’ re trying to make music brassy without sacrificing shock, clarity, and dynamics, the follow tips will help .
I spend very fiddling time worrying about volume, and it ’ s been ages since I ’ ve had a mix rejected because it was excessively tranquillity .
besides, I rarely master my own mixes. I trust the dominate engineers I work with to achieve competitive levels. Most of the time, they do a fantastic job. sometimes, they go besides far. In cases like these, I partake my thoughts with the client and let them make the final examination predict. At the end of the day, it ’ s their record.
If you ’ re trying to make music loud, keep these things in mind :
The loudness war is ending
As we continue to race towards a stream world, the quest for uber-loud is quickly becoming uber-pointless .
Most streaming services—including Apple Music, Spotify, and YouTube—now automatically adjust the volume of different tracks so they play at an equal level. This way, listeners don ’ t have to adjust their volume knob when switching between songs .
This sport is a flashiness war killer whale. quietly tracks get turned up, and loud tracks get turned down. The effect ?
loud tracks end up sounding worse than those that were mastered more conservatively .
To learn more, watch the television below :
Every mix has a unique loudness threshold
People often ask, “ How do I make my mix deoxyadenosine monophosphate loudly as the [ Insert Band Name here ] record ? ”
Attempting this is a bad idea .
Because every mix has a singular flashiness doorsill. This is the furthest you can push a track before it falls apart, and it varies based on many factors—including placement, instrumentality, and frequency contentedness .
Since every mix has a different doorway, comparing the volume of one racetrack to another is otiose. alternatively, evaluate each path on its own terms. Yes, you still have to be competitive. But if you ’ re a few decibel placid, it ’ sulfur approve. There ’ s no point in ruining a mix just to make it louder .
Loudness will always be a sacrifice
While the tools we have to achieve volume are better than always, music hasn ’ t changed. You can only push a mix so far before destroying punch and adding distortion. Be aware of these downsides. Is volume actually worth the sacrifice ? If not, let it go .
With that being said, here are the best ways to make music brassy, while retaining a much affect and clarity as possible .
1. Fill The Frequency Spectrum
loud mixes have an evening distribution of energy throughout the frequency spectrum. Every nook and crevice is filled. Peaks and valleys are avoided .
Peaks are parts of the frequency spectrum with excess energy. These bottlenecks will limit your ability to make music forte. ( This is one reason why excess bass is frequently a problem. )
Valleys are parts of the frequency spectrum with dips in energy. These are miss opportunities to make music loud. ( Imagine filling a dressing table with clothes, but leaving the bottom drawer empty. )
Follow these steps to determine whether your mix has any peaks or valleys :
- Add a frequency analyzer to your mix bus (I recommend Voxengo’s free SPAN plugin).
- Set the analyzer to respond slowly. (If using SPAN, set the Avg Time to ~6000.)
- Play the densest portion of your mix (usually the chorus).
- Observe the shape of the spectrum analyzer’s curve.
In general, you ’ re looking for an even curve with no adult bumps or dips. If you don ’ thymine see this, try making EQ or fader adjustments .
Take this proficiency with a grain of salt. The shape of a mix will vary based on musical arrangement and instrumentation. No mix will be perfectly flat—it ’ mho normal to see a few bumps. however, in most cases, bland mixes can be pushed to louder levels without distorted shape.
2. Cut Low End
If you ’ re trying to make music brassy, you ’ ll likely have to get rid of some deadweight .
low end is the first thing you should throw overboard .
While it takes up the most headroom in a desegregate, low end contributes the least to the sensed volume of a chase. In the quest for flashiness, it ’ s your ultimate foe .
You can frequently nix everything below 40 Hz without drastically changing the phone of your mix. This will free up headroom and serve you achieve louder levels without distortion. Be careful though—in some mixes, there ’ randomness stuff down there that you won ’ t want to get rid of .
3. Do It In Stages
Don ’ metric ton expect one limiter to do all the shape .
alternatively, try to achieve flashiness in stages. Add 1 – 2 dubnium of limiting at several points in the chain—both on individual tracks and busses. It ’ s like applying respective coats of paint to a wall, rather of trying to coat it in one fell pounce .
This approach will lead to much more musical results .
Some mastering engineers apply this technique to the mix bus besides. rather of trying to achieve flashiness with one limiter, they use several in series. Try it !
4. Level Match Your Limiter
Overlimiting is one of the easiest ways to ruin a great blend .
The problem ? It ’ randomness much arduous to avoid .
As you drive most limiters harder, your track gets louder. Louder normally sounds better. This makes it difficult to determine when enough is enough. You can easily make a mix bad without realizing it .
fortunately, most modern limiters include a feature that automatically turns the end product down as you crank the stimulation. This way, you can hear the effect of the modification without being fooled by an increase in bulk. This have makes it easy to know when to back off—you good have to remember to use it !
here ’ s how to enable this sport in FabFilter ’ s Pro-L :
5. Experiment With Clipping
In the mix global, clipping is a dirty son .
The truth ?
In some cases, it can actually be useful .
In fact, it ’ s the secret weapon of choice for many mastering engineers .
Clipping can add volume and energy to tracks. It ’ south frequently a capital option to limiting. Try both—some tracks will benefit more from one over the other. You can even use them together .
To learn how to use clipping effectively, watch the video below :
What are your favorite ways to make music louder without sacrificing impact and clarity? Let me know by leaving a comment below!