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Same sound level on a mix in GarageBand

1264 Views 4 Replies Latest reply: May 16, 2013 12:51 AM by Christoph Drösser RSS
Jerry Dammers Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
Currently Being Moderated
May 15, 2013 11:25 AM

I am mixing about 100 tracks from a playlist in GarageBand.


The tracks are from various sources, then transferred into iTunes.


As they are from various sources, the volume level differs quite significantly between each track.


When I've mixed the playlist, I want it to play back at the same volume level.


Does GarageBand have a way of ensuring the same volume level across the whole playlist once mixed?


Thank you.

  • Edgar Level 3 Level 3 (965 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    May 15, 2013 12:17 PM (in response to Jerry Dammers)

    Do you want the tracks to have the ame volume or the same loudness? These are two completely different things



    You achieve maximum volume by "Normalizing" the song during export. This ensures that the peak level of each song reaches (the same) 0dBFS. You can set that in the GarageBand  System Preferences





    This is the "percieved" volume/loudness of a song. Two songs could have the same peak level but one may sound much louder than the other. This is part of the art of mixing and mastering, to know how to use compressors, limiters and equalizers on single tracks and on the master track.


    Hope that helps


    Edgar Rothermich

    'I may receive some form of compensation, financial or otherwise, from my recommendation or link.'

  • Christoph Drösser Level 6 Level 6 (11,270 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    May 15, 2013 1:02 PM (in response to Edgar)

    Normalizing doesn't help a lot in the case of a "mixtape" since it increases or decreases the level of all the tracks in the same way.


    I see two ways to achieve what you want, assuming you put each song on a different track:


    1. Adjust the individual track volumes, trusting your ears.


    2. Leave the iTunes step out altogether (what is it good for anyway?), collect all the audio files in one place, open them one by one in an audio editor, and normalize them to 0 dB. That way you assure at least that they all have the same peak level (not necessarily the same perceived loudness, see Edgar's post.) Then grab all the audio files at once and drop them into GB's timeline - they will all end up on separate tracks.

  • Christoph Drösser Level 6 Level 6 (11,270 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    May 16, 2013 12:51 AM (in response to Jerry Dammers)

    You can do it with your iTunes tracks too - hit cmd-shift-R to locate a song's audio files in the Finder and normalize it. Afterwards, you can use the Media Browser in GB to import all your songs.


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