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PostPosted: Sat Jun 06, 2009 8:43 pm 
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Greenhorn

Joined: Fri Dec 26, 2008 4:31 am
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Machine type: AW16G
I need help with something. I have figured how to burn the disc and all, but when I burn it it is extremely quiet! I have tried making the stereo level higher but its still very quiet! help please!

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PostPosted: Sat Jun 06, 2009 8:50 pm 
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Robbie The Botkiller
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Joined: Sat Jun 19, 2004 12:46 pm
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Machine type: AW16G
There are several things to look at.

First of all, how are the levels of the recorded tracks? Press the view button to get a level meter for every track, and look at it while the project is playing.

Then, how were the volume faders on mixdown? You might have to slide them up a bit. Be careful that the mix won't clip (go over 0 dB).

A little compression on each track will enable you to make the mix somewhat louder.

Some mastering may involve some compression, too.

These are things that come with experience. There's no fixed recipe. If you have a result and you don't know how to improve it, post something here on the forum for us to listen to. this might result in further valuable pointers that add to your experience (and not to forget, fun).

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 30, 2009 1:23 am 
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Tenderfoot
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Joined: Wed Aug 25, 2004 11:37 am
Posts: 516
Location: Australia
Machine type: AW2400
The reason your CDs sound quiet is that most commercial ones have the life compressed out of them using professional multi-band compressors to make them louder. If you put a commercial chart CD into your machine and play it you will probably find that the stereo meters start at zero and stay there the whole time.

The loudest you can get yours is by getting the meters to zero at their loudest point. It is very easy to go over and ruin things so you may like to try the following.

Mix one of your songs without a lot of unnecessary compression.
Put your machine into stereo playback and set the meters to post fader and PEAK. With the stereo slider up to zero, play the song through and see what the highest peak is. If it is, say -8db then you can safely add 4 or 6 dB of gain ( I wouldn't suggest going higher than -4dB on the master meters as some fast transients such as snare hits may not register correctly on the meters).

To add the gain, copy the stereo track to an unused pair of virtuals, say trks 15/16 VT8. Go into the Dynamics page, set the compression ratio to 1:1 and set the gain knob to +4dB (for the example above). Play these tracks back with the meters on PEAK and the meters should have moved up by 4dB. If you're happy with what you hear, go into MIXDOWN and mix just these two tracks back to another STEREO virtual track (retain the original) and make that saved ST track your current track when you burn your CD.

This way, you have your original stereo mix untouched. I work this way all the time now.

Hope this helps.

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 30, 2009 3:38 pm 
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Marker Magician
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Joined: Tue Aug 01, 2006 4:20 pm
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Machine type: AW2400
Once you have a (quiet) mix that is working for you, gain can be added with the attenuator dial. You can see this at the left end of the signal chain seen in the VIEW screen for the Stereo Track. On the tracks themselves the Attenuator only cuts gain, but on the stereo track it can boost too. If you have previously set any compression on the stereo track, a boost of the mix prior to the St Track's EQ and DYN will of course require you to adjust the Threshold levels. the opportunity to boost gain on the way in to the Stereo track is another reason why leaving yourself lots of headroom in your tracking is not a horrible mistake. Of course if you track too quietly, there are another set of issues that will pop up. but that attenuator dial is handy. The makeup gain in the DYN settings is post compression (also post EQ).

Moving the track for a second mixdown, as described by guitarman works too.

Commercial tracks are compressed for a reason. The sound is tightened up and our perception likes that (akin to the "warmth" of analog gear, that is actually distortion/compression). The use of gentle compression on the stereo track helps many final mixes IMO. The fact that commercial music came to be engaged in a loudness war is unfortunate - and compression/ limiting is the "fallguy". Used with discretion, a bit of compression is very useful.

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