4 Replies Latest reply: Jul 14, 2010 12:45 PM by Foxboy71
Ingason8 Level 1 (0 points)
Hey guys, I'm having a trouble with Logic Express at the moment.
The problem is that when i have finished a song i want to bounce it. Everything OK but when it's done bouncing, the audio volume is much lower than in the project and other songs in my iTunes library.
I have then tried opening a stereo mastering project and fiddling with the EQ but i get a nasty sound.
Can anybody help me?
Thanks in Advance.

Macbook Pro 13", Mac OS X (10.6.4), Logic Express
  • Foxboy71 Level 4 (2,360 points)

    Quick method: disable normalizing in the bounce dialog. Clipping may occur, but the sound will be as loud as you mixed it. I don't recommend this.

    Better method: "playing" with the EQ usually does no good for mastering if you don't know how to do it. BTW: No offense - even the cracks who really know about mastering leave their mastering to the even greater cracks in the big mastering studios because it's an art of itself, so don't be too disappointed if your bounced music doesn't reach the level of commercial music.

    Now what there's to do about it? A quick overview:

    1st: The iron rule: In the Output Channelstrip (where the bouncing occurs in Logic), you must use a limiter plugin as the very last plugin in the channelstrip's plugin chain. The Limiter will help you to raise the overall loudness while preventing the peaks from clipping and distorting. Turn up the limiter's gain until the mix is loud enough.

    2nd: Now a limiter is a very harsh method which messes up the sound a bit as well if you overdo it. So, to reduce the fuzz in the louder peaks, you should establish a compressor before the limiter which lifts the overall loudness of your song while compressing (squeezing) the loudest parts of it. Now theoretically, a limiter is a compressor with a 1:infinite ratio, but we want something like 1:2 ratio - depends on the type of music - and a lower treshold that kicks in comparatively early, like -20db (depends on your type of music, too, but take it as a value to start with).
    Logic Express even has a multiband compressor hidden somewhere in the AU plugins, which comes from Garageband. But there's also a nice freeware, the Slim Slow Sliders's C3 multiband compressor (google for it), which i used often in my "express days". A Multiband compressor treats different frequencies different, which helps if you have a pumping bass which mutes out all other sound with a single band compressor. A Multiband will only compress the pumping bass while leaving the softer mid's and treble where they are (and vice versa if you have a loud mid or treble part).

    3rd: EQ - now that's the tricky part. Assuming you already have a good sound mixed in your tracks, and it sounds good on your computer (btw: Which speakers do you use? The best way would be to use studio monitors, because the integrated speakers, HIFI speakers or headphones don't really give you a clear realistic "picture" of the sound.)
    Use the EQ very, very sparsely identify the frequencies that sound bad or that need a boost, and only just lift or lower gain a little bit. Bounce - compare - correct - repeat as necessary. Experience is the key here!

    Now, you may also visit http://www.tweakheadz.com/perfect_mix.html and the other themes of Tweak's guide.

    Good luck,

  • Ingason8 Level 1 (0 points)
    Wow, thank you so much!
    It worked a wonder.
  • Ingason8 Level 1 (0 points)
    Can you help me with 2 more things?
    I mostly make electronic music and i really want to know how to make a note "rise" like heard in the song learn to fly by micha moor, just before the chorus where the singer's voice and a lead rise up to a certain note.

    The other thing i was wondering if you could help me with is that i have a casio ctk-593 and a m-audio fast track (not pro) and i am not getting any signal with it when i connect it (with a jack cable) and select fast track as my input.
    thanks in advance
  • Foxboy71 Level 4 (2,360 points)
    I really don't like casio keyboards btw... it's something you should get rid of ASAP IMHO.

    however, just load the part of the last sung word into the EXS24, this is: Make it a sample. Now you can pitch bend it, maybe mix it with a synth sound like in the song you mentioned. Make sure you create a looping sample that keeps sounding, maybe with an extra long reverb. Automate the pitch bend to get the rise right.

    Concerning the Jack Cable: Do you get a sound if you plug it into a real amp? Do you get a sound if you plug anything else into the fast track? Narrow your search down by checking which part of the signal chain work okay. Adjust knobs&buttons on the fast track, adjust volume of the casio.

    Good luck.