best way to boost overall level?

nTrack master or Audacity?

If you go to my songs page and listen to “Redemption” you’ll hear that the overall volume of the entire mix is too low.

What would be the best way to increase it - to do some mastering in nTrack, or Audacity?

I tried to use Audacity’s “amplify” function, but it didn’t seem to have a noticeable impact.

to boost the volume like the mastering houses do, you need to use a compressor. amplifying literally raises the volume, but the peaks are still there and so you can only go so far before it clips the peaks.

Most mastering facilities are going to use a multiband compressor (like the new one in version 4) that allows you to apply compression to different parts of the spectrum in different amounts. The low end will probably get the most compression to tame the bass, the mids less so, and the treble not much at all.

A limiter (compression with a very high ratio like 20:1) is also used to compress ONLY the peaks. This means you can then raise the volume more without the signal clipping like they were before.

If you think the balance of the mix is good, just use a limiter (or a compressor with a high ratio), trim off 3-6dB on the loudest parts with a very short attack and pretty short release. This’ll compress the transients and leave the rest of the signal mostly alone. Then, you can raise the volume by however many decibels you trimmed without clipping the track.

Hi jamesmgregg:
In My Opinion, it’s not what Editor tou use as much as it is the Editor you get used to useing…

IN and With my expirence… I don’t use any Editors other than n-Track anymore… After saying that and sometimes I use an application called PolderbitS… for some small bits of Editing of indidvdual Tracks of Lead-ins and Tail-outs… But, that’s about all…

I have PolderbitS installed as the on-line Editor in n-Track…

O.K. My ears are burning… I can hear someone saying… What does he know… ?? :O :laugh: :p


guitar69 and woxnerw:
thanks for the input!

Yes, limiters are not something I’ve learned much about yet.
I use soft-knee compression on alot of my individual tracks, but never apply any to the master channel.

I’ll have to experiment with the limiter, and read up on their function in my home recording studio books!

Frankly, it doesn’t matter whether you use n-Track or Audacity, it’s the plugins and processes you use that matter: your judgement. But I vastly prefer n-Track to Audacity, because you can change your mind. With a wave editor, once you commit one change and move on to the next, you can’t undo one thing without undoing all the subsequent ones. Far, far better to control each process (plugin) independently than to apply them destructively to the wave file. Undo is not enough.

I’ll put in the obvious plug for the Kjaerhus Classic Master Limiter plugin. It’s just got One Big Knob for threshold, and I haven’t yet been able to set up a compressor or limiter that does any better. Oh, and it’s free :)

and some other fancy plugins!

I’m a fan of the Waves plugins, they have a few versions (L1, L2,…) of their Ultramaximizer. I believe the newest version is multi-band, but I don’t have it yet. It uses look-ahead technology, which is pretty much like setting your Attack knob to negative numbers so the peak of the waveform is scaled down better (no change in shape). And it dithers too, so make sure you turn off n-track’s dithering.