C:12 - Vocal and Drum Tracks Are Too Hot

On the left are the individual tracks, on the right are FX tracks that I use as Group tracks (they have “G-” in their names). The vocal is named VOX and pink, the drum one DRM, in red. At the loudest part of the chorus, they are are they clip - not by much or for long, but I don’t like having such tight headroom.

I’ve used Q-link to pull down the faders on both the other individual and group tracks, and they are way too low. The lower the faders, the less proportional room to fine tune.

The vocal is the only audio track, all the rest of the tracks are VSTi. While it’s new that I am recording myself singing, this issue with the drum track needing to be so much higher then other tracks is a constant that I’d like to solve.

On one earlier project, I used a VCA channel link to try to bring everything down, but that turned into a mess in its own way.



Solution 1:
Use the VCA Channel (properly).

Solution 2:
Use the Gain in the Pre section.

1 Like


Not sure I used the right terminology in my OP of the situation, so here is another way of putting it:

Both the vocal and drum tracks need to be boosted that high to sound right in the mix, and even though they don’t clip all of the time, it’s obvious they are way too high in comparison to all the other tracks.

Visually they are like skyscrapers compared to the far lower height of all the other channels. But looking at the Volume and Pre-Gain of some of the other tracks, it’s all over the place too:

Strings and keys are normal, but NI Sunburst Deluxe Guitar has Pre-Gain of +46.1 db(!??), and Volume at -20.5 db to also fit in the mix, but acts “normal” in the Meter. This is the result of on-the-fly mix adjustments to have the tracks sound balanced between themselves.

Maybe I should save the project to a new copy and reset all track Volume and Pre-Gain to 0, and hopefully come up with a saner mix? But I’m concerned I’ll end up back where I am now…

I really don’t want to have to resort to VCA if I can help it. In this situation it’s basically a band-aid fix, not a good solution IMO. I should not need it for such a simple project.

Any other suggestions or ?

I’d recommend watching some videos on ‘Gain staging’ if you are not already familiar with the concept. :slight_smile:

may not be relevant but have you got things in pre and post on the inserts of each channel and bus?

Sometimes the pre and post matters on how it outputs vs how it sounds to the ear

Hola,veo que hablas español. Usa la función NORMALIZAR (Normalize) y usa por ejemplo -8 o -10, así tendrás un volumen saludable.hay muchas teorías sobre ésto,pero creo que te funcionará…como te recomiendan más arriba, unos vídeos sobre gain staging te vendrán bien.