Mixdown practicing&learning

MAGGHY JI

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Nesor B
Sep 19
Hello guys. Yesterday
I posted in a wrong space, so I repost here today.
Here my version of Actions - One minute smile.
I tried to get consistency in the lows using dynamic EQ and saturation.
I mastered at 5.5LUFS, as I think is the standard for this style today, and it was a hard battle trying to preserve dynamics.

https://soundcloud.com/nesord/actions-one-minute-smile/s-4IBpaRbWkWb?si=5f8d893e187c4e368f68b59e07f57a6b&utm_source=clipboard&utm_medium=text&utm_campaign=social_sharing
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Cool mix! And great job. But to my mind you should focus on kicks transient. try to push your kick more deeper in the mix. you can use any transient designer or transient EQ.
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Nesor B
Sep 19
Thanks Dzianis. I have to try eht transient EQ, I never used one before.
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J N
Sep 22
Hey Nesor, I'm not sure that your standards for mastering are really existent. You can practise mastering to a target of -5.5dB LUFS, but I think you'll find that this is less and less the case, and it's bloody hard to keep a solid low-end that loud.
Most people are listening on loudness-adjusted streaming platforms, which usually pull things down to -14dB LUFS. The mastering engineers I work with now aren't usually pushing things further than -11dB (admittedly more in art-pop and jazz-derived music).
I think that there will be nothing mastered to -5.5dB LUFS within 3 years, as I daresay, it doesn't do anything beneficial for the integrity of the music, and we aren't mastering primarily for CDs anymore.
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Nesor B
Sep 22
Hi J N.
Loudness war is a controversial topic. I agree with you in many aspects. -5 LUFS is too much loudness and songs sound squashed and distorted, approaching square waves. I based my -5.5LUFS assumption on analysis of several reference tracks of a similar style. All of them reach -5.5 LUFS.
I got the flac files of the songs, but I'd say that on streaming platforms they are the same mixes but with less volume, since they sound just as compressed..
I hope you are right and this will be reversed in the future.
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J N
Sep 22
Yes, they are the same masters on the streaming service. I mean that I think that due to streamers setting the default to normalising to -14dB LUFS, there will be a shift in the market norm. Maybe I'm wrong, but that's what I'm being encouraged to believe!
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Hi J N
I love it. It sounds aggressive, with character and punch. Only comment would be vocals might sound little uncontrolled on mid part. Other than that hell yeah sounds amazing.

Regarding loudness (oh god here we go again)
I tend to have a point of view that most purists are against and try to lynch me whenever I say it LOL but here it goes.

F*ck -14 lufs. Really. Turns out that every popular song on spotify doesnt follow that rule. Why? Because it is nonsense. Only a way to normalize every song just so that you dont have to change your volume everytime the next song plays (and that is even if you have that option turned on, anyways. If not, other songs will eat up yours as it is way quieter)

Yes, -5 lufs is a bit overboard because it is achieving the limits of physics of what sound can do. But if it sounds good (to me at least) then do it! Dont be afraid to push it. Certain genres need that aggression to work. (Check new muse album)

I 100% agree that other genres certainly dont go well with loudness eg classical music or jazz lol

But then again, if you want 100% pure signal without any kind of distortion then -14 is actually loud and introducing distortion in some cases as you have a limiter acting there. Go for -24 lufs and be a TV / film industry audio engineer instead for pure pure pure signal!

So please no hate I repeat its only my opinion if you disagree then keep doing what you do :)
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Nesor B
Sep 26
Thank you so much Adrián.
You are right about vocals, they need a bit of control especially in the chorus.

For me the ideal level of loudness for this genre would be something between -6 and-7dbs LUFS. It doesn't seem like much of a difference, but there is. I agree with you that when you squeeze a mix, although you lose dynamics, you gain power, agression and fullness. It's a trade off. For me -5db LUFS is too much because at these levels, when the drums hit, the instruments are at almost the same level, so there's no headroom for the punch of the drums to stand out above the instruments.
Either way. I think the rol of mixer is to materizalize what the artist has in mind, so in most your are going to be asked you for the standard sound of the top notch productions in the genre. Today is -5dbs LUFS of loudness and what I think no matters 😃