CUBASE 4 Volume (Loudness) Problem

i have a problem with the Volume (Loudness) in Cubase 4.
My Mixdowns are allways very very quiet. But not only the mixdowns.

In my new Project e.g. (house music) i use a reference track (Way Out West - Spaceman - Robert Babicz Mix).

Just for the purpose of testing, i mute the reference track and play my own Project (Song) on the Master Channel with 0 dB. It hits the red and starts clipping. But to the ears the whole thing is still quiet.

So i mute my Project and play the reference track solo, on -13 dB and it´s still louder than my Project itself.
If i raise the volume of the reference track it gets very very loud. Impossible to leave it at 0 dB.

Allthough my Project seems to be technically louder, it isn´t.
How can this be?
How can this be solved?

My System:
Cubase 4 + latest updates
Win XP (SP3)
Soundcard E-MU 1820
Anything else needed to know?

Lookup loudness wars.

Aggh, beat to the punch. Why did I spend 15 mins typing up a thoughtful response >_>

Haha… :smiley:

I thought about it, then thought about it some more and in the end finally thought, this has so much already written about it that adding to whats already been written is pointless.

So the OP can just google loudness war and click on the Wikipedia link that pops up top of the list and find out themselves.

Saves a lot of typing :laughing:

try inserting the maximiser -compresor-limiter in the stereo out channel ,that `ll rattle your speakers

thanks for your quick response.

yeah, i know that mastering is the reason four loud music.
BUT, what i don´t understand really (technically) is, how can a track with much lower peaks can still be louder. :slight_smile:

A friend of mine uses Live and his mixdowns (without any compressor, eq, etc. on the master channel) are allways louder then my mixdowns in Cubase. He makes a track and after the mixdown it has a very good and natural loudness.

My mixdowns in Cubase with same dB as his mixdowns in Live, are never that loud as his mixdowns.
Allways much more quieter.

I really don´t get it… :question:

Because human hearing does not measure “loudness” by peaks…

as a matter of interest is the output fader on your emu sound card up enough when you export your tunes.

RMS V Peak not the same.

Its easy to be sloppy with levels in live. Also I bet he has some Processing on the output or other.

thank you very much for taking time to response. (And sorry, i´m a bit late :slight_smile:)


hehehe… :slight_smile: I tried it in older Projects. But even then, i´ve had to pump up the Volume in Soundforge after the Mixdown.

Good question… Hmmm, i think… maybe not. :slight_smile:
(I change it from time 2 time, depending on if i use Cubase or Winamp just for listening)

But the reason 4 this is, if i leave my Soundcard at Standard 0 dB, i have to turn down the Fader on my Stereo Out in Cubase. Otherwise, it would be too loud here in my room.
And if i start to play with the Fader in Cubase, my Mix getting quieter and quieter over the days. So i thought, i better don´t touch the Cubase Stereo Out Fader and change the Volume over my Soundcard.

And i had to admit, i didn´t knew that it will have an effect on the Mixdown. I thought, a Mixdown in Cubase with -3 dB will get out and saved with -3 dB…


Because human hearing does not measure “loudness” by peaks…

Thank you 4 your response.
Maybe i can´t made myself clear enough, because of my english. :slight_smile:
What i mean with Peaks, is the green colored stripe in a Channel Strip, which jumps up and down, when e.g. a bass drum is triggered and moves up to red and starts clipping, when you turn the volume up too much.

It just confused me, that a channel which displays a higher volume (dB), still can be quieter. So, the peaks i was talking about, reffered to the Cubase Mixer Display. Sorry, if i was technically wrong. :slight_smile:


RMS V Peak not the same.

Its easy to be sloppy with levels in live. Also I bet he has some Processing on the output or other.

Thank you. Wikipedia (Germany) explained RMS in a way, which i didn´t get it. Too technically spoken. I am just a simple guy. :slight_smile: But i explained what i´ve ment with peaks just above. Maybe i used a wrong term.

And, you are right. :slight_smile: I asked him today. He had some compressors, etc. on the output. :astonished:

But beside the Mixdown, my friends, internally i don´t get Cubase really, too.
I just started a new Project two days ago.

My Bass Drum, was shown in the Mixer at 0 dB. But as i loaded Massive to play a bassline, i had to turn down the Massive Volume near 50-70 %. Otherwise it´s impossible to hear the Bass Drum.
So i am really confused how to get a good mix.

How do you work with Cubase?
How do you get results, which makes you happy?

Thanks a lot again, for the responses.

The first and last word is to use your ears.

Peak metering is only useful for checking you don’t go near or over 0dB (cubase meters are peak meters)

Just because one sound hits the top at 0 and another is at -6 doesn’t mean the -6 is not louder.

Thank you Split.
Ok, so in Future i will trust more my ears instead of my eyes, while i mix. :slight_smile: Thanks 4 this advice.

But the Mixdown Problem is still same.
Even if i have used Comps, EQs, Limiters, Maximizers and turned the volume up to 0 db on my Stereo Out, the mixdown is still quieter compared to the tracks of my friend or professional tracks.

So, is there no chance to mixdown a track and upload it to e.g. youtube, without Mastering or using any external Audio Software to make it louder?

Any video or site recommandations on this topic? I surely have a lot to learn. :slight_smile:

Google Bob Katz.

Your soundcard´s Master volume won´t have an effect on the Cubase mixdown levels, whereas your Cubase´s Masterfader volume will. A mixdown with -3dB in Cubase will get saved with -3dB, given you´ve got the correct meter view selected.

If by external software you mean plugins the the answer is no.

Even then slapping a volume maximiser over the output will still not get you all the way there. You need to mix with the end result in view, this takes experience which can only be got by practicing and knowledge.
Bob Katz is a good place to start with.

Remember increasing the overall volume of your mix to current levels is playing the volume war game, and it entirely depends on the style of music you are producing.

Just about all commercial music you hear these days has been mixed with volume in mind and then volume maxed to extreme measures in the mastering process. There is a lot of info on the web and a lot of anti volume war posts, never the less if you want your music to compete with modern loudness you will need to do your research and will need the tools to do the job. Raw mixes from any systems will always be a lot quieter than the final mastered mixes you are comparing too.

Wow, thank you a lot guys.
It feels good, to know, there are some helping souls out there. :slight_smile:

Thank you, sir. I will. :slight_smile:

Thank you. But what is the correct meter view? Which do you recommend?

Thank you. I ment Software like WaveLab, SoundForge, Audition…

Actually, i experiment with a lot of styles (Hip Hop, Progressive House, Chillout, Experimental), cause i love music.
But since a few months i stick with different house styles, so i guess, i am in the volume war game, too. :slight_smile:

Ok, I will start with Bob Katz doing my homeworks.

I really appreciate your help guys. Thank you very very much. I think i´m getting it even better. I will do my homework and practicing.

I hope you bear with me, when i ask another question. Just for the overall understanding.

I am using the KRK Rokit5 Monitors, without any Subwoofer.
So, as i know, for a good Mastering, the track itself needed to be good mixed before.

So i watched the “Hands on Cubase” Video about Mixing, maybe a year ago, before i did this track, but it seems, that it didn´t helped me a lot:

Beginning at minute 1:05, there appears a slow Bass Drum, which is too loud on my HiFi Speakers, but on my Rokits they have the exact level i want, coming smooth and soft.
And this type of thing happens nearly in each of my tracks. Sometimes it is the snare, high hat, crash, etc. which is too loud or to quiet, when i listen to it on different speakers.

So i am really afraid, to let my Tracks be mastered professionally and pay a lot of money, just to hear in retrospect, that e.g. the hihats or shakers are to loud.

I know, that different speakers, will give different results and hearing pleasure, but can this problem be avoid with using any Analysers or Meters?

Do you have any recommendations (thoghts, sites or videos) on this topic for me, how to mix best?

Thanks in advance.
Be blessed

The correct view is the one that shows what you need to see. Mixdown takes place after the master fader, so in that case, I recommend “post fader” view.

i did as you said. thank you very very much.

hmm,… it seems i asked one question too much, huh? no response on my last question… :slight_smile:
thank you anyway guys. you helped a lot.


Ok, your last question is a biggie…

Lots of things can affect the perception of levels in a mix, the two big ones are the monitoring chain (speakers) and environment (room), these two cannot be separated. So treating the listening environment and getting accurate monitoring is paramount for repeatable accurate mixing.
The only other way of achieving the desired result is to listen to the mix on different systems outside the main mixing room and compensate for the discrepancies, after a while you may well find that certain items/frequencies are always over/under pronounced in your mix/room and can learn to compensate.
Having more than one set of speakers to listen through can help but will always be influenced by the room there in.

This is a problem for most home studios where the budget and space for a treated room is limited.

i didn´t expect any further response. so, that´s a nice surprise. :slight_smile:
thank you very much.

actually the speakers i listen to compare are in the same room, but my HiFi Speakers are under my table, cause they are too big to put´em on the table. hmmm,… so this could be the problem…
ok, soon i will move to a new appartment. i will take care of this issue then and do my researches till then.

thanks again.