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#175677 - 10/17/12 03:15 PM [RealBand] Re: Mastering [Re: Cerio]
jazzmammal Offline
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Eddie, I'm getting confused between the different threads. Somewhere you asked about why the rendering to audio was so low on some tracks and you were asking about using Gain Change. The answer to that is tricky and totally dependent on the details of your project. Basically, individual tracks need to be kept low so when they are mixed together you don't get massive clipping. Look at that Wikipedia article again and see the picture on the right named Optimum Mix Levels For Mastering. If every track in an 8 track project was recorded at -3db and you combined them together, what would you have? A complete distorted mess. But if it were only 2 tracks maybe not so bad. Why don't you hear that when you playback your project in RB? Because of automatic limiting in the software. But, and this is a big but, you as a true Audio Engineer don't want that. You don't want the software doing that for you. If you were to disable that then you would easily hear the problem. The question then becomes what's the default setting for RB rendering or generating audio tracks? How low is it? I have no idea and really neither do the developers because they have no idea how many tracks will be in anyone's individual project. It could be 1 track up to 48. If you're doing a real, traditional mix then you don't apply destructive Gain Change to a low track, you would lower all the other tracks because without the automatic limiting in effect you're going to clip.

I have the same problem with my new Kurzweil PC3 keyboard. Some patches are much louder than others and it's a problem on a gig. According to the Kurz guru's it's the exact same principle I just described. This keyboard has such a range of available layers of different sounds (16) plus twice the DSP power of the older unit they had to keep certain programs at a very low level to allow for users fattening them up and increasing the output to the point of saturation and distortion. This means users have to figure out exactly what they need for a gig, make all the appropriate adjustments and copy their setups into the user bank. Some people on that forum are not pro's and don't understand that concept and are yelling about why doesn't my Roland, Korg whatever have that problem? The answer is those other keyboards are nowhere near as deep as my Kurz is plus it has always been marketed to true pro's and pro's need and understand that capability. Sort of like someone who has a new Porsche and about dies when he's told a standard brake job costs $2,500 or so because the rotors have to be replaced every pad change. Why? Because the car is capable of going 175mph so therefore the brakes have to handle that. Never mind the average doctor in Beverly Hills will never, ever use that capability. It's there so that's it. Can't have the brakes die coming down the pass at 150, bad publicity and all that.

Even though I have a basic understanding of mixing and mastering do I actually use it? No. The basic defaults inside these programs produce results that are "good enough" and that's true of probably 95% of users. Others really do their Audio Engineering thing properly so since you asked...

Bob
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#175678 - 10/17/12 03:38 PM [RealBand] Re: Mastering [Re: jazzmammal]
eddie1261 - gone Offline
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Bob, that other thread was a little different. And in fact there were 2 threads.

When I finish a recording song and mixing it to where it is good in my ears in RB, I then export all tracks to wav. Then if I import those wav files into Sonar, the levels in Sonar, withough touching the volume on my interface that is feeding my powered monitors, is so low I can barely hear it. That was where someone suggected immediately making an adjustment in Sonar before even hitting the transport.

The other issue is still in RB. If I have a song set up, let's say on 10 tracks, and I decide "I want to add a rhythm piano part", I select the 11th track, click the menu option to generate a Real Track, find my instrument, listen to the audition of it, like that particular part, and hit "ok, generate for me", when that track is done generating it is sometimes SO SOFT that I need to boost it 8-10db just so it matches up to the existing tracks. Ar ethey supposed to generate at a level where they fit the existing tracks? Do I have control over how hot a new track is generated? Someone once said it is based on where the master volume slider is. I never work with the master volume slider completely to the right. It is usually at what would be about 80%. I do that to leave some headroom. When I just start to see some red clipping, that's where I stop. Just like mixing a band. Turn the gain stage until you start to see it go into the red with the channel volume off, THEN use the volume faders to blend the band.

And be ready to pounce on anybody who dares change their stage level and goes red on me.
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#175679 - 10/17/12 07:00 PM [RealBand] Re: Mastering [Re: eddie1261 - gone]
rharv Offline
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I figgered it had to do with the style being used. How that part might generate to fit the mix of that style. Never thought of the master slider being part of it, but I doubt it's the final out slider. Maybe the 'All' Slider toward right of mixer.(?)

Or not.
I just gain change and go if I need to. There is a trim dial that may adjust it too.
Click the audio FX area for a track and look in the pop up window bottom right.
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#175680 - 10/18/12 02:09 PM [RealBand] Re: Mastering [Re: eddie1261 - gone]
jazzmammal Offline
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Like I mentioned, I can talk about how the pro's do it but I don't bother with that myself. Doing a quick gain change works for me too but, I suspect that RB is looking at your other 10 tracks, sees the levels and generates a new part low because if your mixing them the correct way you would be lowering all the other tracks not raising the new one.

As to Sonar I suspect it's the same thing. You import your 10 wav files that you created in RB. Say they're all around -3db. Sonar is probably lowering them all for the same reason I just talked about. They have to be low otherwise when you combine them for the mix the final stereo track will be way too hot and clip unless you have it set up to do automatic limiting which a good mixing engineer would not want because automatic limiting just took him out of the equation. Hitting the automatic Merge to Stereo Wav button turns a pro engineer into one of us. A home hobbyist who just uses the defaults and calls it good.

I used to do a lot of live band recording but not lately. I would take those tracks from my Akai DPS 16 HD recorder and import them into Adobe Audition. Audition does not have automatic leveling for a mixdown or if it does I never set it up for that. If I tried to mix a bunch of tracks that were too hot the result would be solid black in the waveform window and the sound would be total distortion. Why? Because Audition is emulating a real studio and if you try that there, that's the result you get. I would then have to go and lower the levels of all the tracks so I would have something useful to work with for my final mix. I might have put some effects on a few tracks but still needed to leave headroom for EQ in the final mix. By that I mean if the initial trial mix gave me a very hot mix up to -1 or 2db that's not enough headroom to apply any EQ. The slightest bit of EQ would push the whole mix over the top. This has nothing to do with me trying to get the hottest original raw recording I could using my Akai. The source recording always is as hot as I can get it without clipping to get the best S/N ratio but when it goes into Audition the levels get reduced for mixing.

Bob
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#175681 - 10/18/12 07:34 PM [RealBand] Re: Mastering [Re: jazzmammal]
rharv Offline
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We're talking realtracks volume, right? A gain change on those is usually pretty painless.
I will say I've heard some interesting things after doing so a few times.
Drummer grunting, etc.
But they are pretty clean.
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#175682 - 10/19/12 11:43 AM [RealBand] Re: Mastering [Re: rharv]
eddie1261 - gone Offline
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Real Tracks, yes. And yes, it is no big deal to select all and do a gain change. It just seems that we should be able to set "make all my additional tracks at X level".

As I have walked down this path I am seeing that my reference monitors are WAY too bass heavy, even with the cut switch enabled. And that gets me back to the studio itself, if my room is giving my ears an inaccurate reading.

I mix something down that sounds JUST RIGHT in my room monitors. I merge it down and make it into an MP3 and test it on a computer, on the main stereo, and in my car, and the bass is always way too loud. So I guess I just need to stay mindful of the end result more than the room and mixing with very low bass levels.

Now someone mentioned Nectar. I grabbed the 15 day trial. Does it work with RB or do I need to use it as a plug in with Sonar only? I tried it with RB and it crashed me, though I may have been using it wrong. Unfamiliar territory for me.
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#175683 - 10/19/12 07:36 PM [RealBand] Re: Mastering [Re: eddie1261 - gone]
rharv Offline
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Unless I read that wrong you might have it backwards.

If your mix is bass heavy everywhere else it means your mixing monitors lack bass (and you turn it up to compensate while mixing) which results in a mix with too much bass everywhere else.
Quote:

I am seeing that my reference monitors are WAY too bass heavy


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#175684 - 10/19/12 08:07 PM [RealBand] Re: Mastering [Re: rharv]
eddie1261 - gone Offline
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Quote:

If your mix is bass heavy everywhere else it means your mixing monitors lack bass (and you turn it up to compensate while mixing) which results in a mix with too much bass everywhere else.




You are right Harv. That's what I meant and worded it wrong. I should have said something more like "When I mix to where the bass is right in the room it is way too loud anywhere else." So I think maybe I should turn the monitor's cut switch back to flat rather than cut, then mix accordingly. Good catch.
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#175685 - 10/20/12 08:17 AM [RealBand] Re: Mastering [Re: eddie1261 - gone]
Joe Gordon Offline
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The pro who does my final mastering, said to me a couple of years ago, ( I had asked him about 'upgradng my monitors)........"Joe, without being cheeky! Think about 'upgrading your ears!" Which I understood to mean..... learning how to "properly use" the equipment I have, & compensate where necessary. Like Eddie........for me a steep learning curve! I was so pleased when I took my latest CD to him, he told me, "Not much to do this time Joe, your best yet!" Joe G.
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#175686 - 10/20/12 11:38 AM [RealBand] Re: Mastering [Re: Joe Gordon]
jazzmammal Offline
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Eddie and Rharv, the reason I'm explaining this in detail is Eddie wants to know how this works in a real studio. For us just messing around at home, letting the software automatically limit your mix sounds fine in a lot of cases. Like anything else it depends on what you're doing, the type of music it is and how critical you want to be.

Example, most strong rock oriented stuff is all mixed hot anyway but a lot of songs still might have an interlude section in the middle that is much quieter than the rest of the tune. When you just listen to your song in project mode, that is in RB's main track window, each track is still individual and if each one is below the clip threshold it sounds good. But, mix that using automatic limiting and the whole thing winds up at the same level and you've just lost those dynamics that you created for the interlude section. I believe it's this that causes people to say things like why doesn't the render sound the same as the raw project?

Without the automatic limiting you're telling the software to do it the old fashioned way. Combine the tracks and after combining that audio data together the levels will be what they actually are and then it's usually way too hot so the whole mix is clipping. That's when you realize you have to go back and lower each track and remix it so you can preserve those dynamics.

Using gain change to raise the level of one track is fine as far as listening to it inside RB is concerned but it will cause you to lose dynamic range in the final mix. If it's a hot song anyway with little dynamics in it, then no problem let the software do it, it's a lot less work on your part.

Bob
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#175687 - 10/20/12 07:55 PM [RealBand] Re: Mastering [Re: jazzmammal]
rharv Offline
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How did you equate Gain Change with Limiting?

Also using Gain Change doesn't make your perceived mix in RB sound different when merged down.
A couple things you said there confuse me ..
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#175688 - 10/23/12 04:17 PM [RealBand] Re: Mastering [Re: rharv]
jazzmammal Offline
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Ok, I'm not an educated, experienced Audio Engineer and I'm probably not explaining this right. When I said Limiting earlier, I'm referring to automatic limiting the software is doing. Think about it, you recorded 4, 6 or whatever tracks at the absolute max level you could get away with without clipping any individual track. How would you mix those tracks down and not wind up with a distorted clipped mess? Just lowering the sliders in RB's mixer isn't good enough. I can't explain it exactly but just that alone won't do it. When you select "Merge to Stereo Wave" RB is doing some automatic limiting to avoid clipping. The best way and the pro way is to not record your individual tracks so hot. They have to be recorded down at -12 or so. It's all about leaving some headroom throughout the whole recording process from tracking individual parts, to the mixdown to the final master. Here's a pretty good article about it:

http://karma-lab.wikidot.com/misc:setting-gain-levels-for-recording-and-mixing

Note what he says here

The executive summary

If you want to avoid reading a lot of details, the short story is this:
•Record at 24-bits. 16-bits is antiquated now and doesn't give you enough dynamic range and headroom to work with.
•The analog input signal from the M3 into your audio interface should be loud enough to start causing red flashes on the peaks (in your audio interface's input meters), and then you should drop the volume just enough to make the red flashes disappear.
•The digital signal from your audio interface into your sequencer's individual recording tracks should be set at -12 to -18dB on the input meters for each track being recorded. Don't go near -6dB and certainly don't get anywhere near 0dB when tracking.
•The digital signal in your sequencer's Master meter should peak at -6dB when creating your mixdown. If you go over -6dB peak on the Master, lower the volume of all your tracks slightly, and equally, to reduce the summed volume of all tracks as needed to keep the Master peaking at -6dB
•Render your mixdown to a WAV or AIFF file still at -6dB because normalization and limiting from within all major sequencers is pretty weak.


I take this to mean if we're trying to do this the correct "pro" way we don't want RB or any other sequencing software to handle any of this automatically for us. This is why I use Audition, I have complete control over the mix down. RB may allow for that too, I just never use it for that.

Again, this is the proper educated way to do this. I suspect most people on this forum including me think RB's automating rendering down to wav sounds good enough and that's the end of it. Eddie has talked about wanting to know how this is all really supposed to work and is talking about going to school about it.

From the quote above:

The digital signal from your audio interface into your sequencer's individual recording tracks should be set at -12 to -18dB on the input meters for each track being recorded. Don't go near -6dB and certainly don't get anywhere near 0dB when tracking.

Here's where my comparison to Gain Change comes in. I've seen the result of generating a RD track in RB. The wave form is so small you can hardly see it until you blow up the track. I'll bet it's down around -15db or so and that's exactly what this guy is talking about. To put it back to Eddie's question, if the RD track is that low, it's because RB did it that way on purpose so no, you shouldn't apply Gain Change to raise the RD track up, you should be lowering all the rest of the tracks down. Iow, those other tracks were recorded/rendered, whatever too hot, not that the newly generated RD track is too low. RB is doing it right.

Hope this makes some sense. If it doesn't then just hit the render button and be done with it.

Bob
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#175689 - 10/23/12 04:55 PM [RealBand] Re: Mastering [Re: jazzmammal]
eddie1261 - gone Offline
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I typically gain change the track to just before it would clip. I can always mix DOWN in the final mix but I can't go past as loud as it will ever get. That's like people who prefer hot to cold. I prefer cold. I can always wear another sweatshirt. When it's hot, there's only so much you can take off and not get arrested.

If my tracks are on the hot side, I can make them softer, but if they are on the cold side, I can only boost so much until I hit 100% and then there is no more boost to boost.

This is where you get into amplitude vs volume. The gain stage (amplitude) has to be strong so you DON'T need to push the track during mix (volume).

That being said, I gain change 2db at a time, and never to where it flatlines against the top and bottom of the track.
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#175690 - 10/23/12 06:20 PM [RealBand] Re: Mastering [Re: eddie1261 - gone]
jazzmammal Offline
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Quote:

I typically gain change the track to just before it would clip. I can always mix DOWN in the final mix




You're still missing the point. What is all this recording software doing when you get down to it? It's trying to emulate a real studio. What happens if you were in a studio 20 years ago recording on that very cool and expensive Studer 24 track tape machine that took up half the control room and you physically recorded to tape 12 tracks with each one up at -2db? How can you possibly mix that? Since what is printed to tape cannot be manipulated the only way would be to apply OUTBOARD compression and/or limiting to each track BEFORE you try to mix it. You have to get the levels down because you're telling the Studer to physically combine all those tracks and bounce the result to a separate 2 track. Being forced to do that is called fixing a bad recording after the fact. This problem would only come up if a second engineer is trying to fix the bad recordings that are too hot done by an incompetent first engineer. Otherwise any good studio would never allow those tracks to be recorded that hot in the first place. You CANNOT mix down PROPERLY just by moving the volume sliders on your mixing console or in this case RB's software mixer. That is merely for you to adjust your monitor mix, it's not physically changing the levels on each track. Therefore all you're doing is, again for the 5th time or so, letting RB do it all AUTOMAGICALLY and from what you've been saying you don't want that, you want to know how to do it right.

IF the results you're getting sound OK to you then don't worry about all the why's and going to school and all that. Just let RB do it BUT as soon as you start asking these sorts of questions...

Just think of me blowing off your IT answers because I won't listen and you don't want to have to write a book about it.

You've got two choices, let the software do it or shut up and start reading and learning. You know me by now, I'm being friendly when I say this.

Bob
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#175691 - 10/23/12 07:04 PM [RealBand] Re: Mastering [Re: jazzmammal]
rharv Offline
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Quote:

You CANNOT mix down PROPERLY just by moving the volume sliders on your mixing console or in this case RB's software mixer. That is merely for you to adjust your monitor mix, it's not physically changing the levels on each track.




Huh? Sliders change the levels of the track that 'get sent to the mix'. That is how both digital and analog work. When you reduce the slider you reduce the signal out to the mix (or more exact, out from that track); what you hear in your monitor mix IS your mix. It isn't compression or limiting that does it. It's a reduction in the volume for the track output. It's digital.

Output: volumeForTrack=(TrackVolume-slider setting)(if TrackVolume not null)

Slider setting is always a negative number (which is what makes the subtraction symbol safe), meaning compression/limiting requirements drop, if anything. Sliders only 'cut' volume.

So you lost me with the whole sliders thing. Am I supposed to record all tracks at ideal mix volume?
What about signal to noise then?

That's the whole issue with Gain Change; you do boost the noise floor for the track if you boost it using Gain Change. Usually the need to boost it means there is enough signal in the mix already that the noise level is negligible. Depends on need I suppose.
Mixing at -6 is a concept I support.
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#175692 - 10/23/12 07:11 PM [RealBand] Re: Mastering [Re: rharv]
silvertones Offline
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Many years ago I posted something similar on the old Syntrillium Forums. Here it is.
Something you are missing, except Bob at this point, is that "0" on a digital meter is IT."0" on a pro console still has 26dB of headroom left before clipping.Thus the theory of mixing at around -12bB or less.
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#175693 - 10/23/12 07:55 PM [RealBand] Re: Mastering [Re: rharv]
eddie1261 - gone Offline
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Quote:

So you lost me with the whole sliders thing. Am I supposed to record all tracks at ideal mix volume?





I join you in the land of the lost there Mr Harv. Isn't that why there ARE sliders on channels on a mixing board if you are working in analog, or the little graphic slider you move with the mouse if you are digital?

If you could record at the perfect level for a song, where would dynamics come from? The fading in of a sting line and the crescendo of a vocal line?

I am completely lost by that comment about the sliders.
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#175694 - 10/23/12 08:16 PM [RealBand] Re: Mastering [Re: eddie1261 - gone]
yjoh Offline
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Posts: 191
Loc: Australia
A quick add to this post. (busy day ahead)

I was confused about levels as well when I started learning about this and I'm am certainly not an expert but Bob and John are right, you have to mix lower than the old analog console way.

Eddie, go to the website I put up in the other thread and have a read on the "Mastering & Gain Staging" section. 0db on the analog scale is equivalent to -18db digital. If you are working with the analog levels on a digital system, then all you levels will be too hot.

On the videos I bought,the mixing engineer,(a pro with 30 years experience,the audio engineer at Columbia Records, etc, etc) had all his levels as he was mixing low. Around -18db, -12db even lower in some cases to allow for further processing. It was an eye-opener for me.

This is the link for the article on mastering & gain staging (not to the recording school where I get my videos from)

http://www.independentrecording.net/irn/resources/index.php


If you are interested in the videos I use, here is the link (I'm not trying to push this on you, it's just there if you want to have a look)

http://recordingschool.biz/homerecording/index.php
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#175695 - 10/23/12 09:24 PM [RealBand] Re: Mastering [Re: yjoh]
rharv Offline
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Bowing out, too much 'splaining required to even address.
Analog and digital are different animals.
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#175696 - 10/23/12 11:17 PM [RealBand] Re: Mastering [Re: rharv]
yjoh Offline
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Registered: 11/08/10
Posts: 191
Loc: Australia
You're right Rharv, they are completely different. It took me much reading,study and web articles/info including the threads on this great forum to final realize it.

Still along way to go.
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Page 2 of 4 < 1 2 3 4 >


PG Music News
RealTracks Patch Update for Windows Users

Band-in-a-Box® 2018 for Windows users can download the latest RealTracks update patch (519) here.

This patch includes some RealTracks audio updates we have made since the release of Band-in-a-Box 2018. 2018 users should be sure to download the latest Band-in-a-Box 2018 update patch (519), as that patch includes the bulk of the fixes for RealTracks released with 2018. This is a larger download than typical because it updates the Vocal Oohs and Aahs RealTracks audio files. There is more information and Audiophile patches available here.

Summary of RealTracks Audio updates:
Improved: There were small issues with the tuning of several Bass styles. This has been fixed for both the original mix and the direct input mix. This affects the following RealTracks:
- Bass, Acoustic, AmericanaSlow16thsByron Ev16 060
- Bass, Acoustic, AmericanaSlow128Byron Sw 040
- Bass, Acoustic, RockabillySwingByron Sw 190
- Bass, Acoustic, BluesyPopByron Ev 100
Improved: Audio glitches have been removed from the ends of phrases in the Vocal Oohs and Aahs RealTracks.

Band-in-a-Box® 2018 for Windows Patch Update Available!

Band-in-a-Box® 2018 for Windows users can download the latest (free) update patch (519) here.

Summary of changes:
Added: Additional dialog available for detailed information in the StyleMaker (fields for memo, examples, and other parameters). These are set in the StyleMaker (more dialog, a button called "Style Memos etc").
Added: Help Video button Added to the Audio Harmony dialog.
Improved: ABC opening improvements with some accidentals, and leadin bars that occur in middle of song.
Improved: Audio harmonies now used Improved algorithms, and can be easily set using N voices above, M voices below (and have additional functions like duplicate melody, and dup. melody octave below).
Improved: Lyrics will be now read from .mid files that used to be karaoke files (.kar) and got renamed somewhere along the line.
Improved: Support for RealTracks that should be transposed only lower (ie heavy metal guitars) and for future Improved metal guitar comping.
Improved: The Audio Harmony Dialog has been rearranged to be more intuitive when using Band-in-a-Box Intelligent Mode.
Fixed: Audio harmonies might be missing some notes.
Fixed: Audio harmonies would be generated with the wrong notes if selecting a range of audio in the middle of the track.
Fixed: Band-in-a-Box might crash on bootup with error "Read Beyond end of file".
Fixed: Band-in-a-Box should show message if the latest VJT application is not installed when the user tries to render videos.
Fixed: File > Open Special > Open Audio was importing audio instead of opening it in a new song.
Fixed: In the Bar Settings window, "Chordsheet and Notation - Start a New Line" should say "Notation - Start a New Line".
Fixed: It was not possible to record audio using WAS audio drivers if "Output always on" was disabled.
Fixed: Misc. RealTracks updates.
Fixed: Quicklist drums picker sometimes showing too many drums in the list.
Fixed: Redundant flash messages were showing.
Fixed: Removing a custom drums from a track would still display Drums as the name of the loop in the track.
Fixed: Rendering audio while there is a region of bars highlighted in the chord sheet might cause a crash.
Fixed: Saving a MIDI file would fail unless saving as type 1.
Fixed: Some 12-key RealTracks were incorrectly set to allow transposition.
Fixed: The Audio Harmony dialog needed some hints.
Fixed: The Audio Harmony dialog was missing the new Band-in-a-Box Intelligent Mode.
Fixed: The VJT application should print out its version number in log files.

Tutorials - How to Install Your Band-in-a-Box® for Mac Hard Drive

When you have your Band-in-a-Box® 2018 for Mac UltraPAK shipped to you on a portable hard drive, there are a few different options for installation. We go over these 3 options with our latest video series:

Option 1: Run Band-in-a-Box® directly from the USB drive only: click here to view.

Option 2: Install Band-in-a-Box® on your computer hard drive, but leave the RealTracks & RealDrums on the USB hard drive: click here to view.

Option 3: Install Band-in-a-Box® and the RealTracks & RealDrums on your computer hard drive: click here to view.

Check out all our Band-in-a-Box for Mac videos here.

Video - Downloading and Installing RealTracks Sets for Band-in-a-Box® for Mac

Have you purchased your Band-in-a-Box® package, and want to make sure you're downloading and installing the RealTracks Sets correctly?

Well, we've created just the tutorial video you're looking for! Band-in-a-Box® 2018 for Mac® - Downloading and Installing RealTracks Sets.

Video link:
www.pgmusic.com/?vid=QndXu8H_IwM

Thoughts on Band-in-a-Box® 2017 - Mac Power Users Discussion

David Sparks and Katie Floyd discuss a variety of topics in their recent episide of Mac Power Users: https://www.relay.fm/mpu/432 - listen all the way through (and laugh along with them - it was a very entertaining episode!), or jump to 1:37:40 where David shares his thoughts on Band-in-a-Box® 2017 for Mac!

Thank you David and Katie!

Polish New Features Video for Band-in-a-Box® 2018 for Windows

Our Polish Distributor, Sound Station, has finished their Band-in-a-Box 2018 New Features summary video (in Polish!) - click here to watch.

We hope all our Polish Band-in-a-Box users find this video helpful - thank you Sound Station!

YouTube Find - Love it (with Band-in-a-Box 2018)

YouTube channel EmtpyHallToones uploaded a video of their guitar performance using Band-in-a-Box backing tracks!

Click here to watch.

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