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Tascam 2488 Neo MORE VOLUME!

Discussion in 'Recording Gear and Equipment [BG]' started by Kyle Olin, Mar 11, 2009.

  1. Hi, my band has invested in a Tascam 2488 Neo recorder so we can get our stuff on CD. We love it, but can't figure out how to get more volume out of our master recording. We are recording at maximum capacity (individually), everything sounds great in the initial mix, but the master is too quiet... Is there any way to fix this on the recorder itself, or do we have to get a computer??? Is it in the ratios and compression? Anyone's help would be greratly appreciated!!! :confused:
  2. Nick Kay

    Nick Kay

    Jul 26, 2007
    Toronto, Ontario
    If you want to get as loud as a major label record, you're going to need to send your mixes to a damn good mastering house. Try not to compare your mixes to those done by professionals, though - it's very discouraging.

    First off, prep your mix by high-passing it at 30 or 40Hz. Anything below that just wastes headroom that could be used for more musical information. Make sure you're getting pretty close to peaking out on the loudest parts, but don't worry about hitting right on zero at the biggest hit. Go for 3dB below zero, because we're going to bring up levels with outboard gear anyway.

    What you're going to need is a good master bus compressor and a brick-wall limiter. Depending on the mix and how 'gluey' you want it, I like attack times around 15-50ms, release times about double that, a ratio between 6:1 and 20:1, with a 3-9dB knee. Drop the threshold until you hear the pumping on loud parts, then bring it back up 3-9dB. If you have a multi-band compressor, use softer ratios and slower attack times for the treble band - it'll keep the top-end of the mix nice and snappy, which is a big problem for a lot of amateur engineers. Settings in this range will lead to fairly heavy compression that isn't as noticeable as it could be, due to the soft knee, and you should retain quite a bit of transient punch, depending on how you set your attack and release times.

    After that, throw on your limiter and bring the threshold down until you start to hear distortion artifacts on the loudest parts of the song, then bring it back about 1-3dB above that. Once again, the speed and character of the song will determine your release time. I have an unhealthy habit of defaulting to exactly 42ms, and I have no idea why, but you could go anywhere from 3ms to 3000ms and still come out okay. Experiment!

    After all that's said and done, you should be able to bring your mix up to ungodly loud levels (assuming your limiter doesn't do it for you). There ya go, extremely basic bedroom mastering, strictly for loudness.
  3. Thanks, that's just what I was lookin for!

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