[Compression] Can someone PLEASE help me? Very frustrated.

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En1gmatic
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[Compression] Can someone PLEASE help me? Very frustrated.

Post by En1gmatic » Sun Nov 25, 2012 6:59 am

So I've been working hard on my music lately, went back to the drawing board with mixing/mastering properly and setting up proper gain structure in my mixes.

One track in particular I've been working on bit by bit all week, making sure the levels are all right, getting the mix to sound as dynamic as I can, and ensuring that there was roughly -6 to -3 dB worth of headroom on my master channel before bouncing the mixdown into a new project to be mastered (the mix ended with about -5.5dB worth of headroom, and mastering in my case is simply the use of an L2 limiter to bring up the levels of the mix to 'standard', I believe in getting the most out of your mix before attempting to master)

So that's all good, and I was excited to finish the track finally, but the problem here is that when I went to upload the mastered track to my soundcloud, the wavefile itself (on soundcloud) looks completely overcompressed, when I felt that I took caution in the mix to make sure nothing was compressed too much. There's almost non-existent peaks and valleys. So as frustrated as I was, I decided to compare the wavefile of my mastered track with another professionally mixed track in Audacity... and the wavefiles look roughly similar which now has me confused because every other pro track on soundcloud has clear dynamics in the wavefile, but mine looks nothing like it. What am I doing wrong here? Did I limit too much, or does the wavefile look right?

What software can I use to check if I overcompressed my tracks for future reference?

For the record, I designed the track in Reason 6, rewired it into Ableton Live, and did the final mastering with L2 on the Ableton master channel.

tl;dr: If I had 6dB of headroom in my mix before mastering, why, after applying an L2 maximizer to raise the level to standard does my wavefile look fucked to death with compression?

If this is too hard of a question to answer without a reference, I will include pictures of the wavefile and what I mean.

Thank you! (macc where are you?)

Kit Fysto
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Re: [Compression] Can someone PLEASE help me? Very frustrate

Post by Kit Fysto » Sun Nov 25, 2012 7:09 am

Well for one, I would focus more on how it sounds, not how it looks, but besides that, I think you would be surprised how much composition of the track effects your final outcome. Are you comparing your "mastered" track to something with a similar composition? Meaning like, a similar representation of frequencies and overlapping instruments, layers, etc? How much gain reduction are you applying with the L2? That should answer your question right there possibly
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En1gmatic
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Re: [Compression] Can someone PLEASE help me? Very frustrate

Post by En1gmatic » Sun Nov 25, 2012 7:13 am

True, I agree that the way it sounds is more important than how it looks, but even looking at the wavefile of your soundcloud track in your sig it looks like a proper track... and now compare it to mine, doesn't something look wrong? I thought it sounded good until I saw the wavefile then it made me think that I fucked up somewhere, so I'm trying to fix whatever I did wrong.

Here's a link to my wavefiles for reference:
http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/52 ... ample.png/

En1gmatic
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Re: [Compression] Can someone PLEASE help me? Very frustrate

Post by En1gmatic » Sun Nov 25, 2012 7:18 am

Oh and to answer your question, the gain reduction meter barely hits '3' at it's highest peak in the track. I thought this was right? The threshold is down to about -7, and the ceiling is set to -0.2dB.

En1gmatic
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Re: [Compression] Can someone PLEASE help me? Very frustrate

Post by En1gmatic » Sun Nov 25, 2012 7:45 am

Anyone? I really need to know this

Kit Fysto
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Re: [Compression] Can someone PLEASE help me? Very frustrate

Post by Kit Fysto » Sun Nov 25, 2012 7:53 am

could you upload the track so we could hear it at its current state?
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sketchyderek
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Re: [Compression] Can someone PLEASE help me? Very frustrate

Post by sketchyderek » Sun Nov 25, 2012 8:36 am

Soundcloud adds ten pounds to your track. I find serato is more accurate for visualizing it.

wub
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Re: [Compression] Can someone PLEASE help me? Very frustrate

Post by wub » Sun Nov 25, 2012 10:03 am

sketchyderek wrote:Soundcloud adds ten pounds to your track.

This.

Also, how does the track sound as opposed to look?

mthrfnk
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Re: [Compression] Can someone PLEASE help me? Very frustrate

Post by mthrfnk » Sun Nov 25, 2012 12:54 pm

I find the L2 can sometimes be a bit heavy handed when using it on it's own to bring up a track. You could try using multiple instances of the L2 in series - I read an article in CM a while back, apparently it can sound nicer adding GR in stages. Like others have said - it's probably better to judge how it sounds than how it looks, some of my SC waveforms look really weird but the tracks sound pretty clean to me.
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En1gmatic
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Re: [Compression] Can someone PLEASE help me? Very frustrate

Post by En1gmatic » Sun Nov 25, 2012 4:26 pm

Ok so what I've gathered is that SC adds weight to the track, so not to judge it by the waveform there. Does there look like any significant problems are in the waveform I posted of the mastered project in audacity or does it look relatively normal? I just want to know if I need to re-mix it with less compression/limiting, I don't want the sound to be distorted in a negative way.

Other than that, what do you guys use to check your waveform for when you finished to make sure it's not over compressed? And how can you really tell (visually, not audibly) if it is?

mthrfnk
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Re: [Compression] Can someone PLEASE help me? Very frustrate

Post by mthrfnk » Sun Nov 25, 2012 4:53 pm

En1gmatic wrote:Ok so what I've gathered is that SC adds weight to the track, so not to judge it by the waveform there. Does there look like any significant problems are in the waveform I posted of the mastered project in audacity or does it look relatively normal? I just want to know if I need to re-mix it with less compression/limiting, I don't want the sound to be distorted in a negative way.

Other than that, what do you guys use to check your waveform for when you finished to make sure it's not over compressed? And how can you really tell (visually, not audibly) if it is?
It really would help if you just linked the track rather than asking people to guess about waveforms.
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Tracks To Wax
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Re: [Compression] Can someone PLEASE help me? Very frustrate

Post by Tracks To Wax » Sun Nov 25, 2012 7:29 pm

En1gmatic wrote:Ok so what I've gathered is that SC adds weight to the track, so not to judge it by the waveform there. Does there look like any significant problems are in the waveform I posted of the mastered project in audacity or does it look relatively normal? I just want to know if I need to re-mix it with less compression/limiting, I don't want the sound to be distorted in a negative way.

Other than that, what do you guys use to check your waveform for when you finished to make sure it's not over compressed? And how can you really tell (visually, not audibly) if it is?
Soundclouds visual is a bit small to really see what you have done to your audio. You could always try smexscope for realtime visualisation of what you are doing as you process your stereo file http://bram.smartelectronix.com/plugins.php?id=4
Last edited by Tracks To Wax on Mon Nov 26, 2012 12:29 am, edited 1 time in total.

skimpi
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Re: [Compression] Can someone PLEASE help me? Very frustrate

Post by skimpi » Sun Nov 25, 2012 10:13 pm

To me, it just looks like you have a bassy kickdrum, and you dont have a moment in the song where its not playing. The bass frequencies are usually the most powerful, and if you look at track that has dips, its cos thats most likely a point in the track where the bass drops out, if you have no dropout of bass, its going to end up being a phat line of a wave form.
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En1gmatic
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Re: [Compression] Can someone PLEASE help me? Very frustrate

Post by En1gmatic » Sun Nov 25, 2012 10:24 pm

mthrfnk wrote:
En1gmatic wrote:Ok so what I've gathered is that SC adds weight to the track, so not to judge it by the waveform there. Does there look like any significant problems are in the waveform I posted of the mastered project in audacity or does it look relatively normal? I just want to know if I need to re-mix it with less compression/limiting, I don't want the sound to be distorted in a negative way.

Other than that, what do you guys use to check your waveform for when you finished to make sure it's not over compressed? And how can you really tell (visually, not audibly) if it is?
It really would help if you just linked the track rather than asking people to guess about waveforms.
Here:
http://soundcloud.com/en1gmatic/all-i-need-1

Note- not a dubstep track. I'm actually a hiphop/rnb producer but I really enjoy dubstep, and I find that the community here is very knowledgeable. Either way, listen to the track... Might be a bit too bass heavy, but I mastered it after a full day of mixing so my ears were fatigued to say the least.

Anything else sound wrong? Does it sound over-compressed or what?

Thanks again.

Artie_Fufkin
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Re: [Compression] Can someone PLEASE help me? Very frustrate

Post by Artie_Fufkin » Sun Nov 25, 2012 11:41 pm

sketchyderek wrote:Soundcloud adds ten pounds to your track. I find serato is more accurate for visualizing it.
I uploaded a track of silence and it had a waveform. And soundcloud doesn't do stereo waveforms. This is extremely trivial btw.

En1gmatic
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Re: [Compression] Can someone PLEASE help me? Very frustrate

Post by En1gmatic » Mon Nov 26, 2012 6:12 am

Does it sound overcompressed?

En1gmatic
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Re: [Compression] Can someone PLEASE help me? Very frustrate

Post by En1gmatic » Tue Nov 27, 2012 9:36 pm

Bumping..

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OfficialDAPT
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Re: [Compression] Can someone PLEASE help me? Very frustrate

Post by OfficialDAPT » Tue Nov 27, 2012 10:07 pm

Sounds completely fine to me.
7 year old BROstep/Trapstep/Chillstep producer from India. Young. Talented. 7 Years Old. Super skilled for age. Signed to NOW22. Biography written in 3rd person on soundcloud OBVI. The next Skrillex. Wait I don't even like him anymore LOL. Super talented. Only 6 years old.

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InternetSlaveMaster
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Re: [Compression] Can someone PLEASE help me? Very frustrate

Post by InternetSlaveMaster » Tue Nov 27, 2012 10:17 pm

Yeah man it's fine, it's just the composition of the tune that's gonna give you a 'brick' look.. if you want more variety in your waveform, you'll need more sonic variety in your tune (ie, have more minimal/quiet parts, etc.)..

Even your unmastered WAV still had the same look, just the peaks were lower.

Nothing to worry about.

En1gmatic
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Re: [Compression] Can someone PLEASE help me? Very frustrate

Post by En1gmatic » Wed Nov 28, 2012 2:22 am

Alright cool, good to know cuz I'm gonna be doing some limiting to my other mixes soon.

Thanks a lot dude.

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