Producing Tracks

Consistent Levels for Different songs

Producing Tracks

JohnMatthewWillis

over 4 years ago (edited)

I like to make tracks for each of the songs we do. What is the best way to make the overall volume of each song the same regardless of how many tracks per song and instrumentation. I usually achieve this simply by placing a limiter on the master fader, but when making tracks it is best to put all of the FX on each track rather than putting anything on the master fader. So, how can I achieve consistent/ same levels per song regardless of how many tracks and instrumentation?
JansonRoberts

about 4 years ago

Hey John, In my experience, each song is different. You can throw/take out effects plugins on individual tracks or on the master, and every song might be a little different. I think the BEST option is even before the mixing takes place - at the recording stage. Your recording environment, the mics/interface used, the position of the instruments, amps, or vocals being recorded, etc. will all contribute to a more balanced output for each track that you record. Your goal is bringing everything to "unity", so always use your eyes and ears for sound levels, clipping, etc. It also help to test the output on different speakers (car audio, TV, headphones, monitors, etc.). The more you do it, the better you'll get at knowing your own levels from those speakers. From there, you can throw in auxiliary tracks for all of your effects and have them on a side chain basis. If you do effects for individual stems, it takes WAY longer and you'll be having to record things at different levels to get a balanced sound. Hope this helps!
FrankAragon

almost 2 years ago (edited)

I do not master my tracks near as thoroughly as Janson does in the previous reply. Here is my flow:

In Logic, I get a good mix with no clipping. Reference some other “professional” tracks to make sure I’m not way off-base. Then, I put a limiter on the main output bus, go to the loudest part of the song, and turn the gain up until its squeezing down about 1db. Then in Logic, I solo each track, and bounce it one track or group at a time.

If you depend on your own click and cues, do those separate and make them no-clipping loud!

As I plan every service in Prime, I use my ears and balance each track with the master slider. The master slider saves per song, and does not affect click/cues, which is awesome.

Rehearsal with the band is the true test. We are always tweaking and molding Prime.

VCCDNT

almost 2 years ago

sometimes I try to aim that all my tracks are hitting up about -10-12 DB on each fader when exporting each stem.

mgumwvco

over 1 year ago

Look into LUFS metering, figure out the LUFS level of one of your best tracks and try to match the rest to it. It measures “perceived loudness”, or how loud something sounds regardless of peaks.