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Old 12-27-2016, 06:43 AM
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Default Final Compression and Normalization

Ok so if I decide to go with GarageBand for my CD project after I get the tracks laid down and mixed, what's the best program to use to do the final compression on the tracks and normalize them all to the same level. I don't have a Mac so it'll have to be PC based or something that'll run on a iPad 2.
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Old 12-27-2016, 09:30 AM
MikeBmusic MikeBmusic is offline
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If you're going to use a different audio editing/mixing program to do the final 'mastering', then you should consider doing the whole project in that software!
I use Reaper. I render the final mix into a 24 bit master stereo file, then import that into a new master project, add master limiter and slight compression, and very occasionally some EQ if I need a particular song to match up better with the other tunes on the album (but that's usually done in mixing).
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Old 12-28-2016, 09:47 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Elmicko View Post
Ok so if I decide to go with GarageBand for my CD project after I get the tracks laid down and mixed, what's the best program to use to do the final compression on the tracks and normalize them all to the same level. I don't have a Mac so it'll have to be PC based or something that'll run on a iPad 2.
I'd be a little concerned about using Garage Band for PC. Has anyone tried it? I hear MixCraft, which was made for PC users is a better choice, but, as a Mac user, I don't know.

Having been on pro tools for about 18 years now and "playing" with Garage Band sometimes, it's fun, but I wouldn't want to do any serious editing on it.

If you only have a couple of tracks, maybe you'll be fine. Enjoy the ride and do let us know how you liked it!

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Ty Ford
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Old 12-28-2016, 11:18 PM
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I'd be a little concerned about using Garage Band for PC. Has anyone tried it? I hear MixCraft, which was made for PC users is a better choice, but, as a Mac user, I don't know.

Having been on pro tools for about 18 years now and "playing" with Garage Band sometimes, it's fun, but I wouldn't want to do any serious editing on it.

If you only have a couple of tracks, maybe you'll be fine. Enjoy the ride and do let us know how you liked it!

Regards,

Ty Ford
There isn't a GarageBand version for PC. It's completely Apple. I'm just asking if there is a program that I can use to do final compression and normalizing of my songs after they're recorded and mixed.
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Old 12-29-2016, 06:53 AM
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Garage Band for PC.....

https://www.appforpcshub.com/garageb...c-windows-mac/

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Ty Ford

Last edited by Ty Ford; 12-29-2016 at 06:59 AM.
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Old 12-29-2016, 10:12 AM
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Garage Band for PC.....

https://www.appforpcshub.com/garageb...c-windows-mac/

Regards,

Ty Ford
Thanks Ty, but this isn't GarageBand that's programmed for PC. It's a work around that's supposed to let GarageBand run on a PC. I'm going to try it, but I've never had much luck with these work arounds.
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Old 12-29-2016, 11:27 AM
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I'm not an expert in garageband, but I'm pretty sure you can set levels and add compression with it. The controls are maybe a bit limited, since they're going for "easy and foolproof", not total control.

Are you trying to match multiple tracks like for a CD? Other DAWs give you more control, Reaper or Logic, for example. Logic has a normalize option when you save the file, tho that may not be the best idea. For laying out a CD and/or working with multiple files, I use a program called DSP-Quatro. You can put a CDs worth of files on a timeline, adjust spacing, etc, and adjust the overall level of each tune. You can also apply any VST plugin to all tracks, or any individual track.

Another useful program is Adobe Audition, which has a reasonable "match volume" feature, in addition to various file operations like normalizing, aplying plugins and so on.

I'm not clear on what you're trying to do, but my guess is that GarageBand is just too simple to give you the control you want, and it may be time to move up to a more sophisticated program. Logic, Audition, Reaper are all good DAWs that run well on the Mac. DSP-Quatro is the only CD layout program I've been able to find for the Mac (there used to be others). It does one basic thing, but it does it pretty well, providing everything you need to refine multiple tracks and burn to a redbook CD.
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Old 12-29-2016, 10:09 PM
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I'm not an expert in garageband, but I'm pretty sure you can set levels and add compression with it. The controls are maybe a bit limited, since they're going for "easy and foolproof", not total control.

Are you trying to match multiple tracks like for a CD? Other DAWs give you more control, Reaper or Logic, for example. Logic has a normalize option when you save the file, tho that may not be the best idea. For laying out a CD and/or working with multiple files, I use a program called DSP-Quatro. You can put a CDs worth of files on a timeline, adjust spacing, etc, and adjust the overall level of each tune. You can also apply any VST plugin to all tracks, or any individual track.

Another useful program is Adobe Audition, which has a reasonable "match volume" feature, in addition to various file operations like normalizing, aplying plugins and so on.

I'm not clear on what you're trying to do, but my guess is that GarageBand is just too simple to give you the control you want, and it may be time to move up to a more sophisticated program. Logic, Audition, Reaper are all good DAWs that run well on the Mac. DSP-Quatro is the only CD layout program I've been able to find for the Mac (there used to be others). It does one basic thing, but it does it pretty well, providing everything you need to refine multiple tracks and burn to a redbook CD.
Thanks for the info Doug. I'm recording a CD and I'd like to record it in iOS because my iPhone 6 and my iPad are pretty capable of recording the individual tracks for each song. The main drawback is my iPad is an older iPad 2 so it doesn't support the more advanced recording software. My iPhone is plenty capable but GarageBand is about the only recording app available for it. The extra kicker is I don't have a Mac, I'm running a windows laptop which has plenty of memory and processor but a crappy sound card.

I'd like to record and mix everything in GarageBand and then import into my computer to do final overall compression of each song to give it a nice finished polished sound and then set levels to get consistent volume across the CD.

Yeah I know I'm asking for a lot and at this point I don't have the money to upgrade my systems.
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Old 12-29-2016, 11:18 PM
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I haven't used Windows in a (thankfully) long time, but I'm sure there are programs that will do this stuff. There tends to be more software for windows. Here's one that looks a lot like the DSP-Quatro program I use:

http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/CDArchitect

note that if you have a bad sound card, and don't have good monitors, I'd avoid making decisions about audio, like compression, and even levels on that. You might be better off spending a few bucks to have someone do it for you. There are inexpensive mastering services that could probably do a simple thing like this for you and at least you'd know someone else had listened to it, hopefully on a better system for listening.
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Old 12-30-2016, 12:05 AM
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Thanks Doug. I really appreciate the advice. What is the best way to pick out a good and inexpensive mastering service.

This is my first CD and I'm having to do it on half of a rotten shoestring.
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Old 12-30-2016, 12:30 AM
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Thanks Doug. I really appreciate the advice. What is the best way to pick out a good and inexpensive mastering service.

This is my first CD and I'm having to do it on half of a rotten shoestring.
That's a little bit hit or miss, tho if you're on a budget that may be the limiting factor. Normally, I'd look for someone who has done some similar music. But if you're just asking for basics, you don't want them to EQ it and improve it, just set levels and lay out the CD, I'd just call around anyone you see advertising and talk to them, see what they'll do and for how much. If you're having it made into a CD, many of the CD houses have in-house mastering (diskmakers, etc.) Musician's Friend used to do some sort of cheap basic mastering.
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Old 01-07-2017, 09:50 AM
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Considering your method and rotten shoestring budget, the freebee Audacity might meet your needs.

http://www.audacityteam.org/about/

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Old 01-12-2017, 01:29 PM
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I'm no expert, but I do know that the following is greatly simplified:

Izotope Ozone is a popular piece of software for mastering. One reason for it's popularity is that all versions of the software include a large set of presets that can then be tweaked to taste. Used tastefully, Ozone can make the process of evening out levels and raising overall volume without crushing the dynamics easier.

It's also possible to the same thing within a digital audio recording/mixing program (DAW) which these days include a good number of limiting, normalizing, EQ, and so on features. One reason folks buy Ozone is that those Ozone presets let them "in the ballpark" quicker than learning how to use those features that are already included in their DAW.

The folks who make Ozone have a useful not-too-long and not too hard to understand guide to the mastering process that is available for download at

http://downloads.izotope.com/guides/...gWithOzone.pdf

Yes, it uses their product for the examples and therefore is a (reasonably gentle) sales pitch, but it's worth looking at.

I have no connection to the Izotope company. I used to use Soundforge for mastering back in the 20th Century and then tried using the built-in components in a couple of DAWs before eventually using Ozone for most of my mastering because I got results I liked better more easily.

If you are just doing mastering of solo acoustic guitar, Ozone may be overkill. When it's recorded well, you're already nearly there. Just a little normalization and taming of peaks in a DAW may be all you need. I use Logic (MacOS only program) and Adobe Audition (either Mac or Windows, but now only sold on a subscription model). Audacity (free, but fewer features) or Reaper (low cost, more features) could be tried first. Both Audacity and Reaper are available for Windows or MacOS.
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Old 01-12-2017, 04:40 PM
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Originally Posted by bcgroove View Post
Considering your method and rotten shoestring budget, the freebee Audacity might meet your needs.

http://www.audacityteam.org/about/

BC

I'd second that recommendation.
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Old 01-16-2017, 02:06 AM
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Default Final Compression and Normalization

Shoestring budget Mastering online: https://www.landr.com/en

I've used it for demos -free runs, and I can hear it work the dynamics (mostly loudness). I might use it for small budget releases, why not. As good as any DIY 'preset' mastering software. Of course, skilled humanoids will provide better results. Offer to do gardening in exchange for real mastering [emoji28]

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