Burned cd has low volume

Author
jaydub
Max Output Level: -89 dBFS
  • Total Posts : 53
  • Joined: 2004/11/24 22:03:09
  • Status: offline
2005/03/01 14:20:33 (permalink)

Burned cd has low volume

When I create a beat in P5 export it then burn it to cd, when I play it in my car it is much lower in volume than both the radio and other cds. Any help would be much appreciated.

thanks
jaydub


post edited by jaydub - 2005/03/01 14:28:25
#1

22 Replies Related Threads

    :10:
    Max Output Level: -38.5 dBFS
    • Total Posts : 3678
    • Joined: 2004/10/24 21:31:38
    • Status: offline
    RE: Burned cd has low volume 2005/03/01 15:17:58 (permalink)
    you could either master it in a seperate wave editing program like goldwave(i think its free) or sound forge to bring the volume up for the whole mix.

    or you could master it in project 5 before you export it.

    i preffer to boost the volume up in a seperate program. i have it set so that i dont go over -0:2 db...that way there isnt an noise or cliping.

    sorry...not really sure how to explain it.....someone else will be able to explain it better.

      
    #2
    fac
    Max Output Level: -51 dBFS
    • Total Posts : 2427
    • Joined: 2004/06/15 10:08:48
    • Location: San Luis Potosi, Mexico
    • Status: offline
    RE: Burned cd has low volume 2005/03/01 15:20:55 (permalink)
    Commercial records go through a process known as "mastering". Mastering consists of several things:

    1) Emphasizing each track's harmonic content (according to the style of each track)
    2) Making all tracks of an album sound similar in frequency content and overall volume
    3) Raising the perceived level of all the tracks

    Professional studios use very expensive hardware to achieve these goals, but you can obtain some very good results in a home studio by using a good EQ, compressor and limiter. However, you must have in mind that these processes degrade the quality of your tracks, so there's a tradeoff between quality and loudness. In the last decade, the scale has leaned more towards the loudness side, resulting in records which are too loud and too tiring to listen.

    Anyway, what you must do is find a decent limiter plugin. In the freeware domain there's two I can think of: the Kjaerhus Classic Limiter, and the 4Front W1 Limiter. The W1 is (supposedly) a recreation of the Waves L1, but I never liked the Waves so I suggest you use the Kjaerhus one.

    There are some commercial limiters which will allow you to push them harder (ie.- obtain higher gains) without degrading the quality as much as the free ones. I use the Voxengo Elephant, but there's also the WaveArts FinalPlug, the Waves L2 and L3, the new Finalsis, and others.

    Now, the first step is make your mix sound as good as you can. If you think your mix has too much bass or too much highs, solve it before rendering the mix (ie.- exporting to WAV). Mastering is for polishing, not for correcting.

    Now, assuming you don't have any other software but Project-5, you would insert your limiter plugin as an effect in the Master output section. I'm going to use the Kjaerhus Classic Limiter as an example. It's very easy to use since it only has one knob.

    A limiter is nothing but a compressor with an 1:infinity ratio. It won't let the signal's level go over the threshold. This means that if you limit a signal, it will have a lower volume than before (and also a lower dynamic range). But you're supposed to compensate that volume reduction by raising the "output" knob of the limiter. In the case of the Kjaerhus Limiter, there's no output knob since it automatically compensates for the gain reduction. This means that if you set the threshold to -6 db, the whole signal will be pumped by 6 db. Of course, if the signal was already loud, the peaks will be squashed by the limiter - this causes distortion, so the key is not to let the distortion be too noticeable. This means you must *use your ears* to see if you hear anything wrong (for example, listen to the attack of the drums).

    It is also a good idea to insert an EQ before the limiter, so you have some control over the overall "color" of the track - again, this is not for correction purposes, but to make a group of tracks sound like they belong to the same album. A parametric EQ is ideal for this (if you want a free one, look for NyquistEQ). Some people (ie.- me) also insert a compressor or tape saturator either before or after the EQ to tame some unwanted peaks and/or add some warmth. There are too many options here to mention, so when you're ready, you should experiment with different plugins.

    Anyway, that's the basic idea.... and remember, mastering *is not* about making a song as loud as you can, but about making a group of songs sound as part of a whole.

    Good luck!

    http://facproductions.net

    Lots of gear. Not enough time.
    #3
    :10:
    Max Output Level: -38.5 dBFS
    • Total Posts : 3678
    • Joined: 2004/10/24 21:31:38
    • Status: offline
    RE: Burned cd has low volume 2005/03/01 15:24:46 (permalink)
    yep.....i should have just left it to the pro's.

      
    #4
    Digital Aura
    Max Output Level: -24 dBFS
    • Total Posts : 5118
    • Joined: 2004/01/18 13:30:46
    • Location: Petrolia,Ontario ORIGINAL P5 FORUM JUNKIE
    • Status: offline
    RE: Burned cd has low volume 2005/03/01 15:31:01 (permalink)
    hi jaydub...

    what you're experiencing with commercial CD's these days is the wonderful world of super compressed ultra maximized and uber-limited music.

    If you were to take a song off a commercial CD and open it in your wav editor you'd see something like this:



    The more "green" you see in this picture, essentially the LOUDER the song will be....


    How do I get my track this loud? :
    A good tip is to apply both a multiband compressor and then a limiter plugin on your MASTER channel of your P5 song. (Just click on the Master Aux and choose the FX bin and add each of these FX to it in a chain).
    As a minimum, you need at least a limiter to do this....you can get a great free Limiter HERE!!

    Alternatively, you can open your exported wav in your wav editor and apply some "limiting" from there.

    By the way, if you use the above freebie limiter, (which I use!) try using the PRESET called CD Mastering...it's a great catchall setting!!

    Good Luck!

    edit: wow...I saw no one had responded and by the time I answered I'm the 5th post! LOL
    post edited by Digital Aura - 2005/03/01 15:40:11
    #5
    wrench45us
    Max Output Level: -25.5 dBFS
    • Total Posts : 4991
    • Joined: 2003/11/06 15:57:01
    • Status: offline
    RE: Burned cd has low volume 2005/03/01 15:40:57 (permalink)
    nice job fac and DA

    the only thing that I would add is to get the free Inspector plug and put it absolutely last after the limiter

    then you can monitor graphically and by a few numbers what different settings are doing

    what you want in Inspector is to maintain most of the song in the -6 to -15 db range with the loudest sections reaching up to something like -0.3 to -0.2

    this may not preceived as loud as some CDs but it maintains a nice compromise between 'musical' dynamics and loudness

    when i started in on this I had no idea what any of these numbers people were throwing around meant, until I got hold of Inspector and watched the displays and the warning levels.

    I went through 20-30 CDs experimenting with different combinations of multi-band compressors, tube emulations and master limiters and settings till I got something approaching profesional CD loudness.

    I settled for a while on ddummer's Tube Limit and TLS Maximizer, but he soured on making and providing free plugs. His site is shut down.

    The Kjaerhus Classic series doesn't have quite the push that the above had, but they'll get the job done.

    When I got serious and had some money to spare, I bought Voxengo Polysquasher and Elephant and have had no reason to switch from there. These are really incredibly good at what they do and I've come to rely on them, but things have to be in a good mix/level state before they're applied.
    post edited by wrench45us - 2005/03/01 15:51:20


     


    #6
    Digital Aura
    Max Output Level: -24 dBFS
    • Total Posts : 5118
    • Joined: 2004/01/18 13:30:46
    • Location: Petrolia,Ontario ORIGINAL P5 FORUM JUNKIE
    • Status: offline
    RE: Burned cd has low volume 2005/03/01 16:06:07 (permalink)
    At the risk of Hi-Jacking jaydubs thread,

    I was curious as to "why" someone wouldn't push for the MAXIMUM VOLUME in every song? I've heard people like Wrench say that they like to keep some headroom in their mastering...I dont understand what this achieves other than making it quieter. I've heard that it allows for greater dynamic range in the song but I don't hear it...perhaps its more subtle than I thought, in which case if I can't tell, then 90% of the listeners can't either.

    #7
    wrench45us
    Max Output Level: -25.5 dBFS
    • Total Posts : 4991
    • Joined: 2003/11/06 15:57:01
    • Status: offline
    RE: Burned cd has low volume 2005/03/01 16:24:47 (permalink)

    DA are you talking about preventing clipping or squashing everything up as loud as possible

    if everything is as loud as possible you basically have a flat line where everything is compressed and then gain compensated to raise the volume

    you lose any dynamic range -- so if you have a quieter section, it's not going to be much quieter --so you lose whatever musical effect that volume change would have

    if it's where to clip -- there are various opinions about where the peaks should be just below 0 db. With Elephant there are presets for 1.5, 3.0 4.5 'boost' and it's very easy to see with Inspector what goes on at variosu settings
    maybe 1.5 or 3.0 boost both top out at -0.1 db, but the rest of the output is boosted dramatically -- I'd rather keep some dynamic range

    my CDs are slightly less loud than professional ones -- maybe on a scale of 1 -10 on the stereo, 1 tick away from most pro CDs


     


    #8
    fac
    Max Output Level: -51 dBFS
    • Total Posts : 2427
    • Joined: 2004/06/15 10:08:48
    • Location: San Luis Potosi, Mexico
    • Status: offline
    RE: Burned cd has low volume 2005/03/01 17:07:02 (permalink)
    DA,

    It's not only about losing the dynamic range (although that's already bad enough). Overcompressed music is very tiring for the ears. I have quite a few CD's which contain some good songs, but I can't stand listening to them for more than five or ten minutes. They make my head hurt. Some examples are the latest Outkast CD (The Love Below/Speakerboxx) and Radiohead's Hail To The Thief. IMO, these albums have been ruined by trying to achieve the loudest volume.

    http://facproductions.net

    Lots of gear. Not enough time.
    #9
    :10:
    Max Output Level: -38.5 dBFS
    • Total Posts : 3678
    • Joined: 2004/10/24 21:31:38
    • Status: offline
    RE: Burned cd has low volume 2005/03/01 17:13:29 (permalink)
    wrenches tracks amazed me when i first got them for the darkerproject compilation cd.
    i tried to base all the tracks around his, because they were loud, but wernt over compressed.i was surprised at how the wave files looked....they were very clean. i know a lot of my tracks sometimes get that way...but i tend to have a lot of low end noise and sounds. i am trying to clean most of it up from what i have read on this forum.

      
    #10
    blipp
    Max Output Level: -5 dBFS
    • Total Posts : 7006
    • Joined: 2004/11/22 17:43:50
    • Location: UK
    • Status: offline
    RE: Burned cd has low volume 2005/03/01 17:29:27 (permalink)
    I've definitely gotta side with fac on this one. I despise compression. When you listen to say, any Beatles or Zeppelin album the dynamic range is wonderful. Listen to some of the albums from the 80's onward and they are unlistenable to me due to their over compressed nature. I could quite happily live without it altogether on complete mixes.
    #11
    fac
    Max Output Level: -51 dBFS
    • Total Posts : 2427
    • Joined: 2004/06/15 10:08:48
    • Location: San Luis Potosi, Mexico
    • Status: offline
    RE: Burned cd has low volume 2005/03/01 17:52:53 (permalink)
    I used to master my stuff at -12 db to -10 db RMS, which is IMO pretty loud. Now you have records that go up to -8db or even further.

    After I finished my latest CD, I decided to stop following the loudness race. Now I aim for -14 db to -12 db, and I actually find my mixes more pleasant to listen to. They sound as loud as any CD ten years ago. If I weren't so lazy I would remaster all my stuff.

    Wrench, I've heard good things about that Inspector plug. I guess it's time to try it out. So far I rely on Elephant's meters and CurveEQ's spectral analyser (besides my ears, that is).


    http://facproductions.net

    Lots of gear. Not enough time.
    #12
    wrench45us
    Max Output Level: -25.5 dBFS
    • Total Posts : 4991
    • Joined: 2003/11/06 15:57:01
    • Status: offline
    RE: Burned cd has low volume 2005/03/01 19:07:26 (permalink)

    i love those Voxengo plugs
    when bubblefish took that piece 'Fallen Snow' he was amazed too how loud it was and still how much range there was
    it's all Voxengo transparency
    the sound just has this rich, clear quality

    Inspector just lets you see what they're doing

    i just wish i could figure out how to use the Sonicformer
    until I can figure that out I can't justify buying CurveEQ
    but someday





     


    #13
    Digital Aura
    Max Output Level: -24 dBFS
    • Total Posts : 5118
    • Joined: 2004/01/18 13:30:46
    • Location: Petrolia,Ontario ORIGINAL P5 FORUM JUNKIE
    • Status: offline
    RE: Burned cd has low volume 2005/03/01 19:10:25 (permalink)
    I just dont hear it. I mean what does overcompression sound like? I think I understand what you mean about dynamics and losing the quiet sections if you overmaximize them. But Overcompression is something I've never understand -- any practical examples? Can you show me a good vs bad compression treatment...maybe a before and after applied to the same song?
    #14
    fac
    Max Output Level: -51 dBFS
    • Total Posts : 2427
    • Joined: 2004/06/15 10:08:48
    • Location: San Luis Potosi, Mexico
    • Status: offline
    RE: Burned cd has low volume 2005/03/01 23:17:20 (permalink)
    It's a bit late now, DA, but I'll try to make some examples tomorrow. In fact, the WAV file you showed in a previous post looks pretty square (ie.- overcompressed) - is that yours?

    http://facproductions.net

    Lots of gear. Not enough time.
    #15
    jaydub
    Max Output Level: -89 dBFS
    • Total Posts : 53
    • Joined: 2004/11/24 22:03:09
    • Status: offline
    RE: Burned cd has low volume 2005/03/02 00:41:16 (permalink)
    Thanks everybody, this will indeed prove to be some useful information... I can tell. I learned some new things and, I learned about some new programs.

    thanks
    jaydub
    #16
    Digital Aura
    Max Output Level: -24 dBFS
    • Total Posts : 5118
    • Joined: 2004/01/18 13:30:46
    • Location: Petrolia,Ontario ORIGINAL P5 FORUM JUNKIE
    • Status: offline
    RE: Burned cd has low volume 2005/03/02 10:47:57 (permalink)
    ORIGINAL: fac

    It's a bit late now, DA, but I'll try to make some examples tomorrow. In fact, the WAV file you showed in a previous post looks pretty square (ie.- overcompressed) - is that yours?


    no..its not my wav sample, but it is typical of what I try to achieve...thats why I would like to know why some people say its not good.
    post edited by Digital Aura - 2005/03/02 10:55:52
    #17
    Bob
    Max Output Level: -89 dBFS
    • Total Posts : 98
    • Joined: 2004/05/29 07:53:34
    • Location: Oslo
    • Status: offline
    RE: Burned cd has low volume 2005/03/02 11:27:54 (permalink)
    If you have any classical music on cd.s or in your hard drive, take a look how those recordings look on wave editor DA.
    Limiters are absolutely not used in that kind of music.
    Listen some symphony and you´ll hear what is this dynamics stuff.
    #18
    fac
    Max Output Level: -51 dBFS
    • Total Posts : 2427
    • Joined: 2004/06/15 10:08:48
    • Location: San Luis Potosi, Mexico
    • Status: offline
    RE: Burned cd has low volume 2005/03/02 11:37:11 (permalink)
    thats why I would like to know why some people say its not good


    Well, the thing is, "good" depends on the context. If you tell me that WAV file corresponds to a dance or heavy rock track, then I would say it's probably ok. Those genres, almost by definition, try to achieve the loudest levels *at all times*, since you don't want people stop dancing or whatever. In the case of rock music, well, limiters always cause distortion, but since the original sounds are already pretty distorted, most people won't notice an overlimited track ;)

    But if that song corresponds to a slow ballad or an evolving electronica piece, then it's probably too compressed. There are absolutely no level transitions (ok, maybe you just displayed the loudest part of the piece, but you get my point). All the transients are pretty squashed which might have messed up the percussions. Unfortunately, since you don't have the original, un-mastered mix, you'll never know what you're missing (that's why I asked if it was yours).

    I'm at work right now, but in the afternoon I'll take one of my songs with plenty of dynamics and I'll post the original mix, the mastered mix as I have it, and an overlimited (but certainly louder) mix.

    Oh, and just to clarify, I'm not an audio pro, by any means. I'm just a hobbyist, like most of you, but I enjoy the technical side of things, even though I don't always apply it to my tracks (as I said, I'm too lazy and I just want to make music).

    http://facproductions.net

    Lots of gear. Not enough time.
    #19
    Digital Aura
    Max Output Level: -24 dBFS
    • Total Posts : 5118
    • Joined: 2004/01/18 13:30:46
    • Location: Petrolia,Ontario ORIGINAL P5 FORUM JUNKIE
    • Status: offline
    RE: Burned cd has low volume 2005/03/02 22:17:52 (permalink)
    Im VERY interested in hearing this FAC.
    #20
    fac
    Max Output Level: -51 dBFS
    • Total Posts : 2427
    • Joined: 2004/06/15 10:08:48
    • Location: San Luis Potosi, Mexico
    • Status: offline
    RE: Burned cd has low volume 2005/03/04 10:37:27 (permalink)
    It took a bit longer than expected but here are my experiments:

    http://www.cimat.mx/~falbac/music/limiter

    Please have in mind that this is the school's server and it might be pretty slow at some hours. I probably won't keep those files online for long (a month, maybe).

    Anyway, the page is (I hope) self-explaining. The examples should also show how good a limiter Elephant is. I crushed the hell out of those mixes and they still sound pretty clean.

    http://facproductions.net

    Lots of gear. Not enough time.
    #21
    jaydub
    Max Output Level: -89 dBFS
    • Total Posts : 53
    • Joined: 2004/11/24 22:03:09
    • Status: offline
    RE: Burned cd has low volume 2005/03/13 22:57:55 (permalink)
    Yeah man, I'm sold.

    Pentium 4/3.0GHz
    Project5
    Sonar4
    1Gig RAM
    Intakt Soft Sampler
    Presonus Firebox
    jaydub
    #22
    Digital Aura
    Max Output Level: -24 dBFS
    • Total Posts : 5118
    • Joined: 2004/01/18 13:30:46
    • Location: Petrolia,Ontario ORIGINAL P5 FORUM JUNKIE
    • Status: offline
    RE: Burned cd has low volume 2005/03/14 09:40:41 (permalink)
    hey FAC ... thanks for doing that! I've been soooo curious..I'll check these out tonight when I get home!

    #23
    Jump to:
    © 2014 APG vNext Commercial Version 5.1