Volume level on CD

I’ve got a two-track song (both audio tracks) that I recorded in Cubase 5 Studio in a 64-bit Windows 7 environment. I did the mixdown and exported the song as a WAV file (sample rate set for 44.1 kHz and a bit depth of 16), and then burned a CD using Cakewalk Pyro.

The problem is that the overall volume of the song when I listen to it on the CD is really, really low – when I play the CD in a stereo, I have to turn the volume up about twice as high as I normally do in order to hear the song.

The first time that this happened, I went back in and increased the volume of each of the two tracks as well as the volume of the output bus – for the output bus, I’ve now got the slider all the way up. The peak level on the output bus measures -3.4.

Is there some other way to adjust the volume of the file so that the volume is at a more normal level?

Research Mastering.

There’s probably no real reason not to have a final mix with peaks ( at least some) very close to 0 ( eg -.1 )
So you should be able to get at least 3+ db more gain out of it without damage.

The exception is when you are planning to send it to a pro ME , then they like the extra headroom and they will fix it for you.

Either way you can also want to Loudify it to get the RMS level up a bit.

You could also add the Steinberg maximizer plug in included with CB S5… Look under steinberg dynamics and load maximizer plug in on your stereo out buss. This will allow additional gain without clipping… Also Izotope makes a great plug in called Ozone 4…
Good Luck

First step might be (by memory) in the Audio menu at the top > Process > Normalize. You can get as close to -0.0 as you dare, I usually choose -0.2 to be safe.

To understand why yours sounds low volume, it may be helpful to do Audio > Statistics, and note the average RMS. Then do the same for your favorite commercial track, and compare. You probably will be able to see the visual representation of that difference just by looking at the wave forms of the two songs - maybe the commercial one will have very little space if any between peaks (if you use your zoom so the whole song is in one screen), it kind of looks like a fat sausage.

Does your song when zoomed similarly look like a hairy caterpillar?

The big blue sea cucumber of sound… :laughing:

Well the Maximizer helped somewhat, although I could only maximize a little before it started clipping - even though the plug-in reference manual says that won’t clip. I also read somewhere else online that it’s not realistic and maybe not even desirable to achieve the same volume levels on a home setup that you hear on professionally produced tracks, so I don’t know.

On the point about statistics, I’ve got Cubase Studio 5, which appears to lack that feature.

And I wouldn’t say that the tracks look much like a hairy caterpillar, although actually, they’re starting to sound to me like hairy caterpillars. I’d say they look more like nervous sausages. But that’s all I’m going to say about that.

I have CB S5 and don’t have that problem. My guess is that your CB program is probably doing it’s job fine but your anomaly is pointing at Pyro.
Will the wav track play at a suitable volume using an onboard wav/mp3 player? Judge your wav volume before your burning process to ascertain where the volume drop occurs. If CB is showing good master level results, chances are there’s plenty of volume at that point.