volume level of mixdown version

why is it quieter than other mp3 files?


surfing the learning curve and have finally arrived at the “mixdown” stage on a couple of covers I’m working on. I’m not using much in the way of compression, etc. and my recording levels all seem to be correct (ie, just below clipping zone), but when I play my songs back on my MP3 player, they seem to be quieter than other MP3s that I have made from my CD collection.

Why is this? Is there something I am supposed to be doing on my “Master Volume” of the computer itself? Have I missed a function when mixing down or converting to MP3 (I am using Music Match for the free “convert files” function).

any help or suggestions appreciated


That’s because commercial CDs are limited all to heck just to sound louder than the last CD you played…seriously. It’s CD playback volume war that’s been going on for the last few years. It is NOT a good thing in general. Trying to compete may be an inevitable step but don’t get too caught up in it. We all get caught in a battle eventually and usually fail because we don’t have the resources good mastering houses do. Then again, the commercial CD guys don’t do a very good job either a lot of the time. Search the internet for crappy sounding CDs and you’ll probably stummble on complaints about many new CDs that are filled with distortion and clipping. I’ve got some examples on http://downloads.phootoons.com

Take a read of this to get you started: http://www.audiominds.com/mastering/

There are MANY other reasons playback will sound softer. Mastering is just the tip of the iceberg that starts with good recording and mixing practices – not to mean you don’t do that already, but all of it goes hand in hand. It’s almost impossible to master a bad recording/mix into a great recording but easy to screw up a great recording in mastering - yet a great mix needs little mastering.

Right – here’s another article, intended for newbies: Mastering 101