Levels in DM and Cubase


Oct 12, 2012
The Hague, Netherlands
Gear owned
Hi everyone! Great to have the forum back!

I have a question about the levels in the DM4800 and Cubase. I record at safe levels to avoid clipping, mix out of the box in the DM and record a stereo track back into Cubase. I then normalize that track to -0,3 dB and export to wave file. This master track however appears to have a lower level / sound softer than 'normal'. There seems to be a -6 dB difference. Am I overlooking something?

Seems like something goes wrong during your "master track" export process. Chek exporting options in Cubase. Set mix track and master channel fader in Cubase to unity (0dB) etc ...

And of course, bring your master track wave file to Cubase (or another audio editor) and check if the levels really are wrong, or is there some problem with your playback chain, which makes you think it's not loud enough.
I then normalize that track to -0,3 dB and export to wave file.

Therein may lie the problem. Normalizing isn't an optimal way to increase volume on a mix. Essentially, it's an arithmetical process that acts like a sort of peak limiter, while doing nothing good for the more important RMS level.

My suggestion: export your stereo track as is - don't normalize it. Then, 'master' it to -.3db using a mastering limiter/compressor - such as an L3 or something like it.
If you can, run a statistical on the mastered track; average RMS should be somewhere around -13 to -15db (depending on genre and density of the mix).
If you've applied the limiter correctly, I think you'll find the results should be equal to 'commercial' levels.


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