Re: How to maximize loudness without crossing the red zone
☄ Helpfulby chuckebaby 2018/07/19 22:33:08
As mentioned above, there are thousands of articles about loudness/mixing/mastering on the web, but anyway.
The simplified route to a loud song is:
Arrangement (that, for example, doesn't include too much frequency overlapping of instruments)/per track volume automation/Equalisation/Compression (per track and master) / limiter.
Use commercial songs of your liking as reference, and compare their frequency curves to those of your projects with an analyzer like Voxengo SPAN (good and free).
One common mistake is to leave "unnecessary" lows in the mix. These are often almost inaudible, but do push the meters to red. Many dance/hiphop/whatever producers say they put an EQ cut at about 40 hertz on the master.
Also, for example power guitars or vocals don't need the low end hums and booms to sound right, so they can be cut higher. The low end/left hand of a piano/organ easily collides with bass guitar, so you must often give the room to either one of them. Etc. etc.
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The benefit of being a middle aged amateur is the low number of years of frustration ahead of you.