Quiet Finished Tracks!

Hi y’all, I’m wondering why my finished tracks are so quiet to the songs I listen to daily from other artists and etc. When I’m working on my track in Cubase 6 it say’s my tracks is audio clipping and the red indicator present. When I audio export my track and play it in windows media player or any music player it is always quieter than the other songs that aren’t my own! Any tips would be nice thanks!

Do a research on “Mastering” and “Loudness war” and you will find a lot.

Cheers, Matze!

Loudness war is exactly what you need. On ‘modern’ songs, the engineers compress all the life out of a recording to get it as loud as possible without clipping.

This is a good example: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BPUdiHEJ0EU

the first thing to do is to stop your tracks clipping, aim at about -3 on your master… don’t buy into the loudness war!! turn it up!

put the maximizer and then the limiter from the dynamics plugins on your stereo out bus and mess around with them, and you should get some decent volume then.

Thank you for the feedback!

Thank you for this!

Thanks, but I don’t quite understand what you mean by “don’t buy into the loudness war” when the post above you says that’s what I need. :open_mouth:

I will try this thanks, I have just been using maximizer to increase the volume but than my audio clips.

Here’s how two of my tracks turned out. All of my other tracks are quiet too.


Mixing for loudness is not very easy, and will require some practice and experience. Read up on how compressors work, and experiment with settings untill you get the loudest sound without noticable pumping.

Valerios said you shouldn’t buy into it, because from a musicians point of view, this loudness war is not good for your sound. Modern music is extremely compressed, which means it lacks a lot of dynamics. If you want your music to fit into the current standards, you can’t really get around that unfortunately, unless you have no problem with your music sounding quieter.
As you heard in the video, music that isn’t overcompressed does sound better, but people prefer loudness because in a first impression it makes the music stand out more.

Especially as a beginner it’s irritating having to walk the thin line between overcompression and quiet audio. Many genres, like rock, don’t sound too compressed in my opinion, as normally there isn’t much dynamic variation necessary. It all depends on what kind of material you’re dealing with.

The meaning of dynamics markings in music:

fff - very loud
ff - very loud
f - very loud
mf - very loud
mp - very loud
p - very loud
pp - very loud
ppp - very loud

fp - start very loud and then immediately stay very loud
pf - start very loud and then immediately stay very loud

Remember: variety is the enemy of music.

To reduce variety even more, use only one timbre and one pitch, and make all the notes the same length. It goes without saying that you should never vary the speed.

And don’t forget to shout whenever you speak. ALWAYS.

This guy is a living compressor (not for merely volume either)! :laughing:

lol Chase :laughing:

The most informative post in this forum … EVER!

Thank you for all the feedback (and jokes) haha:P I’m working on a track at the moment and I will be trying more compressors and such make my songs louder. I’m curious though do y’all go for more quiet and more dynamic tracks or do you use compressors to make your tracks louder?

During mixdown I never try to go for loudness. Compressing individual tracks only to make them “sound right” and “sit on the mix”. Then maybe a tiny touch of compressor on master bus.

Then if I master my own mixes, I usually make them a bit louder by using some tape saturator, multiband compression and finally brickwall limiter to cut out the highest peaks. But never push them up to “modern” commercial levels. My goal is usualy having RMS levels at around -14 to -16 dB.

I usually take the middle road. That’s partly because when I try to reach the loudness of commercial tracks, the result sounds terribly squashed, moreso than those commercial tracks. (that’s entirely because I’m not very experienced with that kind of thing). It’s also partly because I do think that having more dynamics sounds a lot better.

Another thing to be wary of is that clipping can be coming from frequencies that are not prevalent in your mixing environment. For example you may be sending drums to a drum group buss where a sub kick frequency is the real culprit of the kick level. With careful EQ, mixing and compression you can increase the perceived volume level, without ever actually increasing the volume. That’s one of the reasons learning to monitor properly on many types of speakers is so important.