How can I lower the volume of an entire mix while keeping the automations relative to one another?

I exported a mixdown to master only to find that when I viewed the wave that it was too hot. The top and bottom of wave was touching the edges of the box. I read an article someone posted about lowering all of the automation levels simultaneously so you can keep the original relationship of the automated volume levels of the tracks to each other, but it was very confusing. They talked about a value parameter box on the top left, but I could not find that. It would seem the simplest way would be to simply lower the master output fader. Since nobody mentioned that it must not have been a good idea? Is there a fairly easy way to lower automation simultaneously or all volumes while keeping the original relationship of the automated tracks to another? I’ve been using Cubase for just over a year so I’m still sort of a newbie, although I’m learning very quickly. I need some detailed instructions on how to do this. I really appreciate the help.
I am using Cubase 12 pro Mac

Rich

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It’s not really a horrible thing to do, especially if you only need to lower the level a few dB. The “problem” is that as a Fader is lowered it also looses some resolution - but that’s not gonna matter unless the Fader is pulled way down. That said an alternative & probably preferable place you could lower the signal is on the Stereo Out’s Pre-Gain control. I’m assuming you don’t have any inserts on Stereo Out.

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No, I do not. So how would I do that exactly? Still a bit green.

As you are green I marked the spots green for you.

Please remember that you can enter the value with your keyboard if you double-click the Gain field. The most precise way if you know by how many dB you need to lower the volume.

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BTW- I just looked at the other, old, thread. Some of these thought processes seem downright crazy to me. They talk about how input levels for plugins would be affected and therefore alter the sound and some other stuff.

If you just lower the volume at the very end nothing in your mix before that will be altered whatsoever.
Talking about making life hard for oneself…
BTW- that is also the reason why I always have a group track as a “fake” master out. Any master plug-ins and automation is done on this channel. I send this channel to the real Master Out, where I would only insert Dithering and apply volume change.

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I think what is going on is some slight confusion about things where absolute levels are important/make a difference, and relative levels, where they generally do not.

Input levels to dynamics such as compressors and limiters (assuming threshold setting remain are unchanged) will change the sound. This could be an issue if you have a preset dynamics FX chain - you’d need to make sure your input levels are in the range the preset was created for

Ouput level changes won’t change the dynamics - but note the fletcher-munson frequency/loudness contour effect of human perception.

As pointed out by the others, a db or so attenuation is not really going to affect perception wise, so it is not really an issue. Go for it.

Do you know of any mastering plug-in that would semi-automatically compensate frequencies when changing the loudness of a mix?

No - I can’t think of why one would need such a thing, at least from a production standpoint… Basically, we (should be) mixing at a consistent (reference) audio level. In this way, the ‘loudness’ we perceive from one mix to another is rooted to the same output volume.

Unfortunately we have no control over the end user. In the past, a lot of HiFi audio gear would have a ‘loudness’ button - the end effect would be to raise bass frequencies whenever volume levels were down. Equal-loudness contour - Wikipedia

That’s exactly what I would do - lower the pre-gain on the stereo out, provided there are no level-dependent effects on the channel.

Thank you so much, Johnny! I was thinking all along that this was something that was a lot easier to do than was described in that article. I really appreciate your feedback and was laughing at the green circles. I actually knew about that, but just needed to be absolutely positive that that’s what you were talking about. L O L! Thank you so much everyone for your amazing feedback. I’m so glad that this forum exists. I’m getting better!

A multi-band compressor or expander or limiter does that.

EDIT: also Spectral Equalizers, Automatic Equalizers, which do similar things with potentially many more frequency bands.

You’d still need to know the frequency curves, wouldn’t you? I mean, you have to know which frequency bands to compensate by how much?

I am thinking about different platforms having different LUFS requirements. For example a mixdown for Spotify has to be quieter than a mix for Soundcloud.

Kinda sounds like a topic for a new thread with a more specific title. Maybe a mod could break this off.

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From what I’ve read, that’s not something one typically needs to worry about - since those platforms fix the difference on their side. e.g.

And when uploading to a platform that doesn’t fix it - crank it up to a good old fashioned loudness war level! :rofl:

Just use VCA Fader