New Computer Headaches, first try…
Well from my topic in the main forum regarding volume being too low this is the song in question:
Basically I’ve put together a new computer, new soundcard and everything and now I’m having a hard time getting back into the right sound. Any of my other songs on mcallister-productions.com were done before the computer change and you can hear the volume difference etc…
This isn’t a great song but just something quick I put together this past Saturday afternoon trying to work bugs out of the new system, Everything is a first take so I know there could be improvments on the song being tighter and better written but any thoughts on things I can do to improve would help.
I am using the new Soundblaster X-Fi Audigy Platinum
N-Tracks, Goldwave wav editor and classic vst plugins
Drums done in FL Producer (Fruity Loops)
There’s nothing wrong that a bit of mastering can’t take care of…except for a pop here and there.
I have a feeling the overall volume issue is a combination of two things. The overall EQ is not quite flat enough. There is wide hump around 230 hz, and two narrow peaks at 510 and 650. These need some controlling. Also, overall, the highs above 1 khz and higher could use very wide boost to bring out the air. Doing this by ear may be challenging or impossible, depending out your monitoring system. I noticed these by looking at the spectrum in Har-Bal, then using Har-Bal to smooth them out. After not listening to it for an hour an A-B between the original and the Har-Bal EQed version it was much better post Har-Bal. The original sounded muffled by comparison.
That’s not all. There are many very sharp peaks from the drums that could use GOOD mastering hard limiting. Needing this for this reason is generally a good thing actually. I say GOOD mastering because simply hard limiting will probably make it sound hard limited, while mastering limiting should not change the sound much is any. It should allow the volume to be raised without changing the sound. This gets into the “my stuff is louder than your stuff” problem which is best to avoid.
I experimented at work on cheap speakers so anything said here may be baloney on good speakers. And because I’m at work and can’t upload anything to show you what I mean. I’ll redo this at home if you want. A screen shot of especially the EQ in Har-Har will go a long ways towards showing you what I mean in that department.
So, the lower volume you are seeing could be a good thing since your recording seems clean and not over compressed for the most part.
I couldn’t tell what the pops I heard were from. There is one between 1:02.5 and 1:03 on the left channel only (might be the only one…I didn’t go looking for more). Unfortunately, the bit of mastering I experimented with made it much more audible.
I have not listened to any of your other stuff yet, so I can’t make any comparisons there.
I say don’t worry about the lower volume.
wow thanks so much for taking the time to give me this great feedbzck. on the EQ are you just looking at the main chnl eq in the eq window on the right side of screen? This always seems flat unles I change it…
Maybe I’m looking at the wrong thing?
EQ? No. I’m looking at the spectrum analyzation of the whole song as done in Har-Bal. It will show the peaks and dips in a way that most spectrum analyzation doesn’t do since most is a snapshot of shorter samplings. It’s great for finding overall EQ issues in a way that is hard to do when using just ears. That said, using just eyes and Har-Bal can really screw things up.
Oh man, another great item I have to save up for now
I finally got the screen shots and a quick remastering done and uploaded. (before and after MP3s)
There are two sets of three pictures: original - EQed - and EQed and master limited with a 6 db boost.
EQ was done TOTALLY by eye in Har-Bar (remember I said you can screw up by doing this, and doing by eye only can be a real disaster maker). Since the EQ raised the peaks, and really brought them out, there needed to be a -2 db overall lowering in volume before saving. This was discovered by seeing the peaks hitting 0 db in Audition. Har-Bal has a built in limiter, but I avoid it. I’ve seen it add flat spots to the top of peaks…not a good thing. This is one thing the using eyes for is wonderful.
The screen shots from Audition are nearly full screen at 16041144. The peaks are so thin they may not show up unless you view the picture full sized. The Har-Bal shots are 1200832…similar problem, but not nearly as bad.
Mastering limiting was done in Audition unsing the Classic Master Limiter. A 6db boost was applied by the Classic Master Limiter. No other editng was done there.
My feeling is that’s the EQ done in Har-Bal was over done making the song too bright overall. I didn’t do anything to fix that since this was an experiment to see how Har-Bal could be used to solve your original issue. I think in that sense it did well, even if itwas way too much. If this was a real mastering job there should probably be some de-essing added, and for sure a less overall EQ change on the high end. Regardless, an A-B of before and after is VERY dramatic.
Anyway, the mastering was done in 10 minutes without really listening. You know how we always say “listen” …well… what can I say? I didn’t listen until it was a done deal.