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How to get a constant volume level

Discussion in 'Recording/Live Sound' started by UMT, Mar 11, 2008.

  1. UMT

    UMT Member

    Messages:
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    Jan 2, 2007
    Location:
    Northwoods WI.
    I used to be a midi nut back when the stuff first came out and used a bunch of it to do a solo act for awhile. Got away from it but now am back to it in concert with the new digital recorders, etc...

    So, I've done a bunch of backing tracks for my band and I'm wondering from a technical standpoint how to get all of these tunes at a constant volume level so I'm not trying to turn up/down depending on the song. Some songs are hard rocking and tend to be slightly louder. Some stuff is softer and the volumes and dynamics aren't as loud. I don't want to have to use a volume pedal to make minor adjustments while playing...

    Tell me what I need to do here.

    Thanks,
    UMT
     
  2. Sunbreak Music

    Sunbreak Music Member

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    Location:
    Scottsdale, AZ
    You really have to do it by ear. Line up all the tracks in your daw, and move through them adjusting the volume to as close to a constant level as you can....

    You can use a limiter to increase the volume of the more "quiet" tracks, but only a little--esp. w/ midi tracks.

    You might hear "normalize"--ignore that advice.
     
  3. E-Rock

    E-Rock Member

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    Location:
    Seattle

    Normalizing can help if you use the RMS, or 'average' method. Peak mode will not work at all.

    But, as Sunbreak said, you pretty much gotta go by ear.
    What you are trying to achieve as kind of what mastering is all about, using multiple sources and trying to make them match in level and tonality.
     
  4. Sunbreak Music

    Sunbreak Music Member

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    That is an important distinction--thanks for pointing it out.

    Yes--don't normalize to peak @ 0dbfs. If you have an rms function, it can get you close, but you'll still need your ears.
     
  5. loudboy

    loudboy Member

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    I would just take the tracks and compress/limit them heavily. Not a lot of room for subtlety in a live performance, especially with a band.

    Then I'd just put 'em on a disk and play 'em. Always worked just fine.

    Loudboy
     

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