Hi All, Newbie here! Pls bear with me.
So I haven’t used a DAW in 15 years since I was at Uni, back then I used Logic Pro but had used Cubase prior to that so am familiar with the ancient version (i think it was 5).
I have spent the past 4 weeks creating a song, agonised over getting the vocals layered and the mix perfect, then I mixed it down and BOOM! It sounds TERRIBLE when played through Media player, I tunes etc.
First the Problem: The mix sounds great in Cubase, but when I open the exported file in a player it is very very loud, almost pop your ear drums loud, and the volume is dipping as if a compressor / limitor is trying to ground the levels… also the volume is fading down and up as if there is automation (but there isn’t).
My set up FYI: So I am using Cubase Artist 9.5, software only no external hardware. I have the maximum 68 audio tracks in the project, which are routed through to 6 separate group channels (drums, strings etc.) which then route through to my Stereo out. The files within the project have already been mixed down separately from a previous project that was very plug in heavy to render midi and amalgamate parts, and then imported back into Cubase in a fresh project for mixing in this current session. I have added a couple of plug ins to individual tracks before routing to the group channels such as Reafir to subtract noise, some compression and a bit of reverb. I have added a compressor on the vocal group track too so there is a little bit of compression, lots of times (as the original files mixed down from a prev session were also compressed).
In this final mix session there is no clips, and the stereo our bus is showing levels at no more than -15db (as I am leaving headroom for mastering). I am mixing down at 24 bit 44 hz, WAVE, and have tested it on Mono Stereo and L/R with same result.
What I have tried:
- Turning the Stereo our Pan law to -6db NO EFFECT
- I have tested mixing down with the Stereo out fader right down so I can just hear it in Cubase - still the mixdown is ear popping loud?
- I have muted all my input channels, checked and turned off all automation (there was none) - NO EFFECT
- I have mixed down bypassing all plug ins: NO EFFECT
- I have tested sperate tracks such as lead vocal only, drum only etc. - The mixdown is still far far too loud.
- Adding a limitor to Stereo out - NO EFFECT
- I have tried Itunes, Media player and Groove sound to play back with same results.
- I have imported the mixdown back into Cubase - SOUNDS GREAT!
So… Has anyone got any ideas? Another point to add is that my laptop has Beats Audio software on it… I have read elsewhere that this can effect mixdown would that be possible? I am thinking of bypassing the audio driver for this software next.
Could there be a problem with the soundcard? Bleeding the output into the input?
Could my mix somehow be doubling or trebling the output on mixdown? Have I messed up by using mixed down files into a new project somewhow? All the audio waves and levels look perfect in Cubase?
Any suggestions are welcome as I am pulling my hair out (and there is lots of it).