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CD levels

Discussion in 'Recording Gear and Equipment [BG]' started by MrBungle3, Jun 4, 2002.


  1. MrBungle3

    MrBungle3

    May 16, 2002
    Dallas
    I am having some problems getting a good level from my recorder to a cd. I know it cant be like a 'signed' band's cd quality, but I know there has to be something better than what I am getting. I normalize the tracks after putting the songs into my computer, but it doesnt help too much, but then again I dont have the best software. How can I better improve my sound levels?
     
  2. Compression, compression, compression. Then normalize it. That should definitely help. I've had the same problem, and compression makes it better.
     
  3. Oysterman

    Oysterman

    Mar 30, 2000
    Sweden
    If you compress, be careful not to make it sound like ass in the process. It's easily achieved if you're not sure on what you're doing. You shouldn't need to normalize after compressing (raising the gain with the make-up control will be handy, though).

    There is a tool that does the job much better than simple compression and/or normalization. This is where we go into the professional's realm of loudness maximizing: a sophisticated form of combined limiting, compression and gain increase which works wonders at taming the spikes on an overall mix and making it seem "louder". I personally only have experience with the Waves L1 Direct-X plugin, which is a superb tool that sounds VERY nice if used properly. It costs $300, though (if you choose to pay for it of course... hm.).
     
  4. LowEndRider

    LowEndRider Guest

    Mar 4, 2002
    Australia
    Theoretically zero on a peak digital meter is the Industry standard for Red book CDs although a lot of Commercial music I transfer from CD to DAT has to be attenuated by at least 4db to stop clipping and still tops out at -1db! (the old My CD is louder than yours war).
    A loudness maximiser is the way to go - Multi frequency hardware compressors such as TC Electronics DBMax are excellent but costly.
    My personal favourite is T-Racks, a software "Tube" multi-band compressor/Limiter/EQ - I always get a great sound from it. (T-Racks.com for a demo)
     
  5. Josh Ryan

    Josh Ryan - that dog won't hunt, Monsignor. Staff Member Supporting Member

    Mar 24, 2001
    Don't make it too loud, it tires people out and they get sick of your CD.
     
  6. LowEndRider

    LowEndRider Guest

    Mar 4, 2002
    Australia
    I think a volume control would cure that.......
     
  7. Oysterman

    Oysterman

    Mar 30, 2000
    Sweden
    It won't cure fatigue one can get from total absence of dynamics. A volume control can't remedy a "squashed"-souding mix either.

    But people seem to be used to ultra-compressed mixes these days so it doesn't really matter, does it?
     
  8. Philbiker

    Philbiker Pat's the best!

    Dec 28, 2000
    Northern Virginia, USA
    God I find this depressing. Almost all the new CDs I've bought in the last few years have sounded like total fu*kstick because of the "louder is better" megacompression mastering mindset. :mad: :mad: :mad: I can't stand to listen to much of it.

    Good thing CD has such a wide dynamic range, huh?:rolleyes:
     
  9. LowEndRider

    LowEndRider Guest

    Mar 4, 2002
    Australia
    I had a Britney Spears song I needed to edit at work last week - when I ripped it to a WAV it came out as bloody near a square wave without being a straight line!
     
  10. Josh Ryan

    Josh Ryan - that dog won't hunt, Monsignor. Staff Member Supporting Member

    Mar 24, 2001
    Then you know why a volume control would not cure a cd mastered like that now don't you.... :D
     
  11. MrBungle3

    MrBungle3

    May 16, 2002
    Dallas
    I'm not really trying to make my sound wav a square and at -3db or anything...I just want a decent sounding mix where you dont have to crank your sterio half way just to hear the song. I have found that some limiting/normalizing affects some of my dynamics in songs too... I am trying to find ways around that.
     
  12. LowEndRider

    LowEndRider Guest

    Mar 4, 2002
    Australia
    Are you suggesting I actually LISTENED to the Britney Song???????
    Thank god for Wave form displays........

    Seriously, I think the absence of real dynamics (i.e. the musicians actually playing quieter during the soft bits) is long gone and I do mourn it.

    Let's get back to real music - No overdubs, no compression or fancy bits.

    (Derek Smalls)...Rock and Roll!!!!!!!!!!!!!