audio mixdown low volume

i cant figure out how to get the volume higher when i use the audio mixdown, my mp3s always get very low.
i tried using a compressor on each of the vst channels in the mixer.

thanks for your help!
simen :slight_smile:

Play through the song and watch your meters, the idea is to make it peak just below zero. You can also use a limiter to tame some of those peaks, and get a louder exported track. Be careful and listen for any artifacts though.
Also, you can go through your tracks, see if any of them have significant peaks, some individual compression/limiting could help a lot.


please check your output channel regarding the levels



I tend to mix at well below 0db depending on the material and added FX. I have to remember though, to set the output to 0db on exporting.

Well, I’d say it depends on what you’re comparing to. I don’t know you’re ability but here’s some explanation which may or may not help.

If you compare with commercial tracks then you need to consider that they’ve been mastered after the mix is finished. One thing this usually does is make the track louder and potentially more exciting by further compressing the whole mix and then seiously brickwall limiting. Put simply the volume is turned up but peaks which would be too loud for digital are limited continually by ducking the volume quickly - a Limiter does this (Cubase has one).

If I’m sending demos out then I routinely add rough mastering FX to the output buss but if I’m expecting someone else to master then I’ll leave them off, or turn them off for that export.

For example I’d add a low ratio compression (e.g. a vintage compressor to gently smooth any oddities) followed by some general smooth EQ (e.g. UAD Trident or Cambridge, to correct/adjust the overall mix balance) followed by a more active compressor (e.g. SSL buss compressor, to add some pumping excitement as needed) followed by a brickwall limiter (to avoid digital clipping and maximise the volume).

Mastering is a big subject… The loudness war is a hot topic… And it also depends on the type of music you’re dealing with. Compression and limiting is frowned upon in jazz and classical circuits but a necessity for dance music.

Note that you can always look at the dB numbers in the channel to find out the max peak volume because one of them gives you the max peak value of everything you’ve played since you last reset it (by clicking it). If you then add this value negative to the fader after playing through the song then you would in theory be guaranteed to peak at 0dB, which is the ideal. Although I’d recomment peaking at say -1dB for safety.