This site is supported by the advertisements on it, please disable your AdBlocker so we can continue to provide you with the quality content you expect.

Welcome to Our Community

Wanting to join the rest of our members? Feel free to sign up today.

What level do you have your mix sit at before mastering?

Discussion in 'F.O.H.' started by Pursuance, Sep 27, 2012.

  1. Pursuance

    Pursuance AKA Kylezan

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2012
    Messages:
    140
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    16
    Location:
    Houma, La
    I've seen a few people talk about having the mix sit very very low before mastering to give you more "head room."

    So what do most of you guys do?

    Let the mix sit at very low volume, very high, or somewhere in between?
     
  2. pikachu69

    pikachu69 mixomatic 2000

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2010
    Messages:
    593
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    16
    Location:
    New Zealand
    depending on style of music but some where between -18 and -22rms for me.
     
  3. Pursuance

    Pursuance AKA Kylezan

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2012
    Messages:
    140
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    16
    Location:
    Houma, La
    Is there any reason or is that just what you have found to work best?
     
  4. pikachu69

    pikachu69 mixomatic 2000

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2010
    Messages:
    593
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    16
    Location:
    New Zealand
    No reason other than it just works out that way 9 times out of ten. It has to do with overall balancing of tracks and frequency energy and if you get that to a consistant level within your mixing style you will see a consistant level of your final mixes emerge as a result.
    Keeping your tracks at a level most comps, eqs etc are calibrated to is important to be able to get the best results from them.
     
  5. Pursuance

    Pursuance AKA Kylezan

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2012
    Messages:
    140
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    16
    Location:
    Houma, La
    Right that makes sense.

    So focusing on actual loudness is completely pointless before mastering. Getting everything to sit and mesh with itself is the only thing one should be worried about when actual mixing.
     
  6. heshian46

    heshian46 Member

    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2009
    Messages:
    658
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    16
    Location:
    Northwest Burbs of Chicago, IL
    There is a difference though on mixing for loudness before mastering and mixing for loudness after mastering.
     
  7. pikachu69

    pikachu69 mixomatic 2000

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2010
    Messages:
    593
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    16
    Location:
    New Zealand
    Mixing into your master buss for and using that for loudness is pointless but you still need to make sure your tracks are able to be made loud. Controling transients and low end build up being of most importance here. Mastering is for loudness yes, but the prep im mixing is the key.
    Check out Pensados place on Youtube. He just did a couple lessons on this subject, really interesting stuff.
     
  8. thefalloftheheretic

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2009
    Messages:
    629
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    16
    I try to make mine sit at about -15.
     
  9. Pursuance

    Pursuance AKA Kylezan

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2012
    Messages:
    140
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    16
    Location:
    Houma, La
    This mix ended up sitting at around -16 so it looks like ill be alright.

    Thanks for all the quick responses guys :Spin:
     
  10. Pursuance

    Pursuance AKA Kylezan

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2012
    Messages:
    140
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    16
    Location:
    Houma, La
    Wow i am forever in your debt. Pensados Place is a treasure vault of information.
     
  11. XxSicRokerxX

    XxSicRokerxX Gabriel R.

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2010
    Messages:
    1,032
    Likes Received:
    4
    Trophy Points:
    38
    Location:
    Orange County, CA
    Yes, you want to have headroom, that way the masterer has headroom to play with. You want to be at -18 dbRMS which is 0 dbVU in the analogue world. Get yourself a plugin like Satson or klanghelm, or figure out how to set this up in your DAW, the needle should tell you when you are hitting 0dbVU which is theoretically what you want to hit. A trick, some people do, is load up a limiter plugin in the masterbus, something like Elephant, give it a gain boost like +7 from the getgo (that way its loud which causes you to mix at lowers volume on the tracks), then remove this plugin at the end and stage it at 0dbVU when being sent to be mastered, some people like this some are against it because boosting can add color. Also, you want your source tracks when you record to be at -18 RMS thats the average of course, usually -21 RMS to -18 RMS. Hopefully this makes sense.
     
  12. bryan_kilco

    bryan_kilco Member

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2007
    Messages:
    4,623
    Likes Received:
    19
    Trophy Points:
    38
    Location:
    Poconos, PA
    Hmmmm. I'll have to check, but I'm pretty sure that if I have all my tracks sitting around the same level (say -18dB), my master usually reads around -6dB....Is that considerably loud for just a mix, before mastering?
     
  13. Mashreef

    Mashreef New Metal Member

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2012
    Messages:
    805
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    Chittagong,Bangladesh
  14. waltz mastering

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2010
    Messages:
    281
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Location:
    3rd Stone From The Sun
    Peaking around -6dBFS is a good level and even lower is fine.

    The reason being is if the ME is using an analog chain, .. feeding it a signal close to full scale (digital zero) is to much and would need to be lowered anyway.

    It depends on how the converters are calibrated but typically 0 dBFs will be around +18 to 20 dBvu which is generally to hot for analog gear. .. so having a lower peak is preferred.

    [​IMG]
     
  15. pikachu69

    pikachu69 mixomatic 2000

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2010
    Messages:
    593
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    16
    Location:
    New Zealand
    Your welcome.
    It is a great thing alright. sounds like your on the right track m8.
     
  16. crillemannen

    crillemannen Member

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2007
    Messages:
    3,320
    Likes Received:
    4
    Trophy Points:
    38
    Nothing wrong with that but it seems a bit low. Damn you need to mix the tracks to -30rms kind'a. I usually aim for -18 on the tracks themself and that usually adds up to -12 to -6rms on the master.

    I think the rule in the digital domain is that the master just shouldn't peak then you're fine.
     
  17. Uros

    Uros Sonic Incision

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2007
    Messages:
    1,209
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    36
    Location:
    between sine waves
    ^you must be the best engineer in the world, 'cause no engineer ever has succeeded to have mix level @-6dB RMS :D!

    Jokes aside, in the end the most important thing is to not clip your dac, so any level bellow 0 will do.
    But I do shoot for roughly -6dBFS peak on 2nd buss (meaning around -18dB RMS), especially because if I am using master buss comp which I mix into, I always calibrate it with pink noise @-18dB before I start any mixing, so I know how it'll behave during mixing.
     
  18. Eduardo Apolonia

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2002
    Messages:
    983
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    16
    Location:
    Algarve, Portugal
    Gonna receive a lot of criticism for this:

    -0,2 dBfs (peak of course) :lol:

    :popcorn:
     
  19. Mikaël-ange

    Mikaël-ange Member

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2008
    Messages:
    2,374
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    36
    And as you probably already know it it's really rare to hit at 0db VU mixing on a board. I hit around +3 db VU all the time on a 4K. And for my first time on a J I have my mix hitting even hotter:devil:


    Rant for manufacturer: can we have a less gain make up knob on every unit please?:D
     
  20. crillemannen

    crillemannen Member

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2007
    Messages:
    3,320
    Likes Received:
    4
    Trophy Points:
    38
    When i was an intern at studio Fredman they actually limited the mix before sending it to mastering haha. THe mastering house mailed and complained but Fredrik just laughed and said that that's how its gonna be :D
     

Share This Page