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  #61  
Old 02-17-2012, 09:02 PM
vbakh vbakh is offline
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Getting your track to release levels can be as simple as pushing up the volume until your loudest peak hits 0db.
Hi!

When would you recommend to use "Normalize" feature found in many DAWs vs. pushing up the volume?

THanks!
Vladimir
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  #62  
Old 02-17-2012, 09:14 PM
rick-slo rick-slo is offline
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Hi!

When would you recommend to use "Normalize" feature found in many DAWs vs. pushing up the volume?

THanks!
Vladimir
For a group of songs (say on a CD) depending on normalizing is a rather unsophisticated approach, especially without controlling for unintended peaks. Listen to the tunes and adjust by volume levels by ear.
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  #63  
Old 02-17-2012, 11:14 PM
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Hi!

When would you recommend to use "Normalize" feature found in many DAWs vs. pushing up the volume?
If you're just trying to get 1 track set to the max volume, that will work. And by "max volume", I just mean your loudest peak is 0 db. As Rick says, if you're trying to make several tunes, or a whole CD have consistent volumes, there's more to it.
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  #64  
Old 02-18-2012, 12:41 AM
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Thanks!
Vladimir
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  #65  
Old 02-18-2012, 05:22 AM
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Fantastic information, Doug. Great asset to have your thoughts on this whole process.
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  #66  
Old 02-18-2012, 08:29 AM
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As far as normalizing multiple songs, as already stated your ear ,or better yet a pro mastering engineers ears is still the best bet . For home mastering, there are of course several brick wall type look ahead Mastering plugins that if not abused can help bring the level up and still prevent clipping ( going over 0db ) one that IMO does this without sound too much harshness or artifact is the Waves L2, another really good one ( unfortunately only available in RTAS format ) and the one that I use most is the Massey L 2007, very smooth and transparent ,depending on settings of course. You can hear it in action on this clip In these clips the L 2007 is set to a gain of about 7 db. With the brick wall setting of - 1. 8 db http://soundcloud.com/ kevwind/the-question
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  #67  
Old 02-18-2012, 08:40 AM
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I want one of these.
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  #68  
Old 02-18-2012, 09:06 AM
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Looks interesting , haven't used any Charter oak stuff however for those dollars or a few less ! I would also look into the A Designs Nail compressor not a brick wall but a highly acclaimed mix bus comp none the less and two channel also. I use A Designs MP2A two channel tube pre and can unequivocally state it is an excellent piece of gear solid heavy duty build etc. Its also in use on the soundcloud clips.
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  #69  
Old 02-18-2012, 10:03 AM
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Doug, out of curiosity, when you have the mikes as close as you did for your test recording, how do you minimize string noise (and heck, breathing and clothing-on-guitar noise)?

I just recorded a tune with close miking and because the tune involves a lot of movement up and down the neck and some difficult fingering positions I got more string noise than I like. I dislike coated strings, so that's really not a solution. I use a spaced pair setup as your picture shows, so I do have a mike pointed directly at the fretboard. It's a Peluso P28 and it's quite sensitive. I can kill some of the string noise artifacts with the Audition "heal" tool, and Bill Wolf nailed some more when he mastered my CD, but not all....

Any tips?
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Old 02-18-2012, 10:11 AM
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Unless some open strings are ringing out while you move hand position, string squeaks happen during a brief moment of silence so you can surgically cut them out in the DAW completely transparently.
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  #71  
Old 02-18-2012, 10:20 AM
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Unless some open strings are ringing out while you move hand position, string squeaks happen during a brief moment of silence so you can surgically cut them out in the DAW completely transparently.
Sometimes...sometimes not. Depends on one's style, I guess (or one's surgical skills!). This tune has a lot of half-step slides, in a jazzy mode, and those are the worst offenders.
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Old 02-18-2012, 10:33 AM
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Newtone masterclass double wound strings might help a little. Only a little though.
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  #73  
Old 02-18-2012, 10:47 AM
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Newtone masterclass double wound strings might help a little. Only a little though.
Excellent thought - and I just happen to have some here! I had forgotten I had them. I will try that. Thanks....
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  #74  
Old 02-18-2012, 11:19 AM
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Originally Posted by KevWind View Post
As far as normalizing multiple songs, as already stated your ear ,or better yet a pro mastering engineers ears is still the best bet . For home mastering, there are of course several brick wall type look ahead Mastering plugins that if not abused can help bring the level up and still prevent clipping ( going over 0db )
That's different than "normalizing" or just setting the levels to the natural maximum, bring the highest peak up to 0 db. Now you're talking about deliberating reducing the dynamic range in some way so you can raise the overall listener-perceived volume of the track. That's basically a part of the mastering process, and if you're self-mastering, you may want to do this - but with acoustic guitar, a little goes a long way. Overdo it by even a hair and you'll hear it, and people will be saying "wow, listen to that compression" instead of "listen to that great music". There are lots of situations to deal with here - for example, you might have a track that peaks out quite low, -10db, say, and somewhere there's a single spike that goes to 0 db, a string squeek, a click, percussive hit, etc. If you "normalize" that, nothing's going to change because the loudest peak is already 0 db, but overall the recording is soft. So you have to do something to reduce that peak before you can do much. A limiter is one option, manual editing is another.

I think the important thing is to not get obsessed with "louder", that's the current volume wars mindset, and a maxed out, heavily compressed track might work for heavy metal, it's not going to sound attractive on an acoustic track - certainly not solo guitar. Keep the levels at a nice moderate range until you get to the mastering stage (even if it's you who will be acting as the mastering engineer), and don't worry about them. If you're doing a single track, like a you tube video, when you get to the final stage, put your mastering hat on and work on making the levels appropriate for release. If you're doing a CD, you want to listen to the levels in context with all the other tunes, not just pushing each individual track to max volume.
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  #75  
Old 02-18-2012, 11:30 AM
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Originally Posted by zenpicker View Post
Doug, out of curiosity, when you have the mikes as close as you did for your test recording, how do you minimize string noise (and heck, breathing and clothing-on-guitar noise)?
Mostly this is a matter of practicing, I think. I keep some Elixers around with the idea that I can use them in the worst case, but I don't like the sound. I never ended up using them on Closing Time, tho I was tempted on one tune. Often the 1st stab at recording a tune reveals the awful truth ;-) Squeaks and noises everywhere. In some cases, I can deal with them by editing, patching in a section of an alternate take where the squeak didn't happen. But often, if I squeak, I do it every time, which tells me I need to go practice that passage and see if I can reduce it.

Rubbing noises with clothes is hard. I was just playing the other night while wearing a new pair of corduroys, and wow, it was awful. So I won't be wearing them while recording. But finding clothes that don't cause problems, and then trying to keep the guitar as still as makes sense, all help. Breathing's also hard. I hear it a lot on my 1st CD, less on this new one. I think I just tried to be more relaxed on the recording. Maybe the mic positioning I used was less sensitive to breathing.

And finally, the ultimate cure is iZotope RX (or the light version in the window's Adobe Audition). As long as a noise is sharp and well-defined, RX can nuke it completely. Some sounds are nearly impossible to fix, but the most obvious sharp jump-out-of-your-chair squeeks are usually really easy, just select it, click "repair" and it's gone.
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