2 Replies Latest reply: Jan 30, 2013 1:07 AM by Cristofer Jamz
Cristofer Jamz Level 1 (0 points)

How can I export an MP3 from Garageband with an acceptable volume? I have done basic compression on each track but when adding

a peak limiter int the mastering phase as some threads suggest, the tracks get messy (over-compressed) sound. How do commercial studio's do it?

MacBook Pro, Mac OS X (10.7.5)
  • Edgar Level 4 (2,785 points)

    There is no "industry standard volume" besides 0dBFS for digital signals. The highest level of a single sample is 16bit, all bits set to 1s. But that is just a mathematical number and has nothing to to with perceived loudness.

    I think what you are referring to is, how do I make my tracks "sound" as loud as what I'm hearing on commercial tracks or on the radio. You are on the right track with compression and limiting but there is much more to. This is a skill that is performed by mastering engineers and the more you know about that the louder it gets without sounding "compressed".


    Just two hints:



    This splits the frequency band into multiple sections and compresses/limits them separately. So every beat of your drum bass doesn't pull down the high frequency of other instruments.



    There is a thing called "Isophones" (you might have heard of it in acoustic or physics in college). That describes the different perceived loudness depending on the frequency. If you understand that concept how your ear works, then you understand how two signals (mixes) with the same signal level sound different, one is louder than the other.


    As you can see, there is much more going into it than just plug in the magic box, hit a button and everything sounds great. Unfortunately this seems to be the concept nowadays.

    Instead it is "learning, understanding, practice and experience". You did the right step by asking the right question.


    Hope that helps


    Edgar Rothermich


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

  • Cristofer Jamz Level 1 (0 points)

    Thanks Edgar! Appreciate it:)