I’m trying to create MP3 files using Cubase 9 on Windows 7. Specifically I’m recording rock music from my old collection of cassette tapes and writing it out to MP3 files. First I use my interface (an RME Fireface 400) to record the taped music into Cubase at a modest level, never peaking above -5 dBFS in Cubase. But when I do the mixdown to MP3, the volume level of the created MP3 files is way below the level expected by players like iTunes. They are much quieter than songs purchased from the Apple store for example. If I want the MP3s to be saved at a respectable volume, I have to increase the level of the tracks in Cubase (either by recording hotter or amplifying the wave in Cubase) until the tracks are clipping all over the place. Actually, Cubase TELLS me they’re clipping, with peaks reaching +2 or +3 dBFS, but the tracks actually sound fine. Moreover, when I listen to the MP3s generated from the clipping Cubase tracks, I don’t hear any clipping-related problems. But it concerns me.
I don’t think this is a problem unique to tapes. I get the same problem if I record music from CDs, YouTube, etc. The same phenomenon happens for me in Cubase 6.5 as well as 9, since I have both versions on my computer.
This seems really odd. Any advice is welcome!