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Please help me figure out why my tracks are quiet.

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Discussion related to installation, configuration and use of MOTU hardware such as MIDI interfaces, audio interfaces, etc. with Windows

Please help me figure out why my tracks are quiet.

Postby jackasspenguin » Wed Jul 12, 2017 7:45 pm

I can't figure out why my tracks aren't as loud as everyone elses. I've uploaded a test example here. https://soundcloud.com/jackasspenguin/test/s-QMFde

I don't know if this is hardware related It can't be specifically related to my recording software. If this is the wrong forum section....please forgive!

When I listen to my test example...then to something else on sound cloud. I have to turn that track down. When I come back to mine I can tell it's much quieter and I have to turn the level back up.

I have the master fader and main out meter not steady in the red. I just don't understand. Does Cuemix have anything to do with it? I'm tried to normalize a mix and then export it. I'm using Sonar Platinum. When I export audio I do 44.1k at 16. I don't know. I've been dealing with this for a long time now. It's driving me crazy.

Someone told me to go buy some mastering software. Really? I need other software just to get my stuff loud? There has to be something going on here that I'm not getting. Uhg. Thanks for any help. Cheers!
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Re: Please help me figure out why my tracks are quiet.

Postby HCMarkus » Wed Jul 12, 2017 8:50 pm

You need a mastering limiter. I bet Sonar has a stock plug in just waiting for you use it.

Look for it, then apply to taste. Careful not to oversquash! :banghead: (brick wall limiter)
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Re: Please help me figure out why my tracks are quiet.

Postby FMiguelez » Thu Jul 13, 2017 7:37 am

What HCMarkus said...

For this style, you'll also need lots of individual track compression applied tastefully.
Your master will probably end up looking like a squared sausage, if you want your track to be loud and competitive.... But don't squeeze the life out of it :mrgreen:
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Re: Please help me figure out why my tracks are quiet.

Postby jackasspenguin » Thu Jul 13, 2017 11:31 am

Great! I'll experiment with that. Yes Sonar has the Sonitus suite that has a compressor limiter as well as others.

The audio I imported into each track was from a suite I bought online called beatservice. They seem to be very loud and limited. When I play the track the meter slams up to 0 db. It's super loud already. So, I guess I'll work on using a limiter on the master buss....But.....I got that meter up to 0db as well or whatever and it's still really quiet. I guess I'll compress it more. Thanks. Perhaps there is a mastering template inside Sonar Platinum I can look for. Or maybe someone has created one I can check out. Thanks a bunch!
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Re: Please help me figure out why my tracks are quiet.

Postby daniel.sneed » Fri Jul 14, 2017 6:35 am

Just 2 cents:
As Bob Katz suggested in his book, you may find liberating to use a calibrated monitoring level.
Following his advices, I use SMPTE RP200 standard level for tracking and mixing, which I call, and label, my 0dB at listening position.
And a different and lower gain, usually -12dB, whenever mastering or listening to already mastered audio.
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