At 11/25/10 11:34 AM, Supersteph54 wrote:
At 11/25/10 05:09 AM, SeeD419 wrote:
More dumb questions :/ Sorry guys...It's not such a bad thing that your song is a little quieter than other songs, but if you think it's necessary that your song is louder, then sure, it's not the end of the world if your song reaches the red. This is where EQing comes in - turning down some frequencies while amplifying others. Clipping occurs because of a clash of frequencies that different sounds you're using have, so EQing can help to track these clashing frequencies and turn them down a bit without significantly changing the original sound.
Why do all my songs from FL sound way quieter compared to other artists? I mean, I'm watching the mixer and trying to prevent shit from maxing out in the red...am I supposed to just crank em all to high hell? Or is this due to me having no idea what compression is and never touching it...?
Here's a guide on EQing.
EQing properly is one way to boost volume, but the general theory is as follows:
1) Make sure none of your instruments are clipping, or if they are, it's only the master track and only very rarely. This will help maintain a bit of dynamicism, whereas squashing everything with a compressor is no fun for anyone.
2) Utilize a multi-band compressor (a single band compressor also works but is not as good - FL Studio has a purpose-built plugin for this in Fruity Limiter or, more relevantly, Maximus) as a limiter/maximizer at the END of the master channel effects chain. This will be the last effect in the entire song before you hear it.
3) Tweak it until it brickwalls the song at +-0dB firstly, then apply makeup gain to taste - the makeup gain will increase the overall volume of your song. It is very important that you make certain the makeup gain doesn't push too many peaks into the red, or you'll get a very squashed sounding song! (The graphic display on Fruity Limiter/Maximus is very helpful for this reason).
4) If you want a louder song without it sounding squashed at the end, you need to squash it the right way at the beginning - if you use a bit of compression to help control peaking you can boost the sustain level of the track farther without the peaks clipping. Be warned, this will hurt dynamics!
Between removing unneeded sound during the body of mixing (through EQ, volume sliders, and splitting up the sound using panning), minimizing the impact of peaks on clipping (through compression primarily), and applying a judicious amount of makeup gain at the end of the process, your song can ride the 0dB line as hard as you want. The key is to show some restraint in just how loud you make it, because the louder it gets, the more chance there is that you're squashing your dynamics to get it there.
An additional tool to increase volume is sidechaining, which will help the kick cut through at a lower volume than it would otherwise need. It's the volume equivalent of a frequency notch except automated.