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Hi there guys,
I need some advice on getting louder masters. I use the Elephant for limiting and normally limit to 0 db (so just before clipping). I also limit with a max RMS gain reduction of between 0.05 and 0.10 (so just before you get "audible limiting artifacts" - according to the manual)
When I view the wav file through a wav editor after limiting, the waveform is nice and "flat" (peaks and troughs are flattened out ).
My problem is that I find many "amature" tracks (in my dance music genre) posted on music production sites - say like MP3.COM that are at least 2-3 db's louder than mine (and most of these are produced with "amature" applications like Fruityloops and nothing else)
1) How can this be if the track is limited to the max ?
2) How do I get it louder without artifacts ?
Many Thanks for your help.
(I use Emagic Logic 5 - UAD-1, Voxengo soniformer, Curve Eq and Elephant)
You can simply use the 'Clip' mode (make sure you are using HQ version of Elephant). Clip mode can work pretty nice for Dance type of music. Of course, always look after the actual sound, and with the 'Clip' mode you can skip checking the average gain reduction counter - just check what you are hearing.
Or you can use AIGC mode and drive the In Gain until you hear something wrong (i.e. excessive pumping), then lower the In Gain a bit. Make sure output is not clipped.
The question is, are you using a compressors etc...
FL Studio has a nice Overdrive which can add quite a bit of percieved volume, whist adding some harmonics and slightly compressing a mix. Also, FL Studio has a sterio widener, which may also add volume (I guess) if a lot of the mix is spread out throughout the stereo field. Not that this is always a good idea, but clearly an instrument which is centrally place can only be so loud, but if that same instrument is spread accross both speakers then you could get more volume that way.
Anyway, as much as I love Elephant, making everything 'Loud' all the time is not necessarily a good thing.
stereo wideners won't add percieved volume, they will add signal level though.
Best avoid them if you're after a punchy mix - they screw your phase up too if you're not very careful.
"the waveform is nice and "flat""
uh... flat is not nice 8-(
Anyway, use your ears while alternating between limited and bypassed signal (make sure you lower the output of the limited version to match the volume levels of the bypassed signal). Pump the input gain up until you hear artifacts or distortion (compared to the bypassed signal), then lower it a bit. There you go, now you can raise the limiter's output level.
Inserting a mild compressor (ie.- no more than 3db of reducion in peaks) previous to the limiter might give the limiter a bit more headroom to do its work.