Mixdown and/or Bounce: Setting the resulting track's level ?

Discussion in '2488 and DP-24/32 Digital Portastudios' started by 2807, Jun 10, 2021.

  1. 2807

    2807 New Member

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    Ok, so I need help here. I watched the videos, more than once, and read up. But, I cannot figure this one out. I apologize for this being so long.

    My bounce of multiple tracks to one stereo track works fine. I do see I need to increase the output of the faders in the mix to boost the overall recorded level on the destination track. Upon successful bounce.. I have one stereo track with my desired mix. I like bouncing, I am familiar with the concept from my old days on a similar machine (Roland VS 1680).

    Then, my normal SOP would be to take my newly "bounced and mixed" stereo track ... and I EQ it a little.. then I bounce THAT track to another with the EQ of the entire thing. I also push up the level of the "sending" fader so that the destination stereo track meter shows it getting a nice strong signal... at or slightly above 12. (aka "the poor mans mastering" I am not good at the dB stuff, so have mercy). I just know to get it up there, not too high, not too low, and no red.

    Ok... so, now I have the "final" bounce on one stereo track.

    Enter...MixDown stage.

    Somehow, my nice final track is mixing down very very low on the master file.
    I believe (after further review of Mr. Tipping's material) that the main stereo fader controls the level that the master file during mix down is recorded at?

    **** Question 1: Is it correct that the stereo master fader controls the recording level of of the "master file" made during mix down? (and of so, what is the remedy if the level remains too low) ?

    Ok.. assuming it is. If, once you get to this stage, you are not getting a loud enough signal, I guess you have to go back, and remix/bounce the tracks "louder" or... can I use the trim level in the "mixer" view to bump up my bounced final mix?

    Basically... I am just trying to get the master file, via mix down, as loud as reasonably possible.

    The things I am reading are really directing folks to the mastering, and compression, and normalizing, and all that. I understand that step is out there.... but this process is before that and a bit more elementary. Basically, what precisely is driving the level at which the master file in mix down is recorded ?

    So.. I made a mix down, and the volume was ridiculously low. I went to the videos, and this site, and went back...using the master stereo fader to control the volume/level for the mystery master file....

    It worked. It is much louder. So far so good. But, I still want it louder, so I may try the "trim level" option in the "mixer" view of my bounced mix.

    Lastly, if you are even still here with me !

    As the song was mixing down to the end, I wanted a master fade to silence. I dont know what happened, but it did not work. So, just to review...

    **** Question 2: Does the master stereo fader control the volume for a "master" fade-to-silence at the end of the song (yes, just prior to where the "end" mark is set, I would like to slowly drag down the fader and the recording level).

    Well, that was a lot. I apologize to anyone who fell asleep while reading this.
    But, If someone out there has a moment to read this, and help me, that would be great.

    I just could not glean the answer(s) from the video/material yet. I do see that the videos are so more and more helpful as I learn/practice more, the advice makes more sense.

    Thanks everybody !
    Last edited: Jun 10, 2021
  2. Felonious Punk

    Felonious Punk Member

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    Hi 2807. Personally I would try bouncing it louder to another stereo track. Maybe compress a little with some makeup gain. Phil has a video that shows how to use the effects sends to send the signal from a track back to one of the Inputs A-H and using the Insert effects Dynamic Compressor to affect that signal.

    FP
  3. Felonious Punk

    Felonious Punk Member

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    The Master fader should control the volume as you describe for mixdown (not to be confused with mastering).

    FP
  4. 2807

    2807 New Member

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    Thank you for your help. I know I am so close to getting my first final product done (haha, "done" is all relative).

    The issue is trying to figure out the interplay between the level of a recorded "bounced" destination stereo track, and the final level for that same track if it is used as the only track for an actual Mixdown procedure.

    I see myself as bouncing everything down to one final stereo track that I am happy with... then using the "mixdown" feature to create that bounce-mix track into a wav.File.

    It is that moment from bounced-mix.... to.... Mixdown wav.file, that I am trying to solve the "level" of the mixdown final wav.file. What controls THAT ! ! ! ? And, is "that" control the stereo fader , and useable for a master fade-out?

    I am aware of the little pop-up screen in mix down called th "stereo master" or something like that...but when I watch the videos... I just cannot grasp what is going on.
  5. Felonious Punk

    Felonious Punk Member

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    Technically once you have bounced your track to one stereo track you already have a mixed down WAV file. You can fade your tracks during the bounce process if you wish. The Mixdown WAV file won't change much unless you add additional effects or fader movements then. Or things such as panning.


    FP
    Last edited: Jun 10, 2021
  6. Felonious Punk

    Felonious Punk Member

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    You shouldn't be experiencing volume degradation though. Maybe start again and pay close attention to the levels.

    FP
  7. 2807

    2807 New Member

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    Hmm. I think the bounce does not create a stereo wav file. I think it creates two mono files that do not help me make a cd. I understand the process requires the mix down process to get the true stereo .wav file for for a CD or iPod or moving in to mastering too.
    Is this correct ? I will have to get back into the machine. At work now, so, a bit limited doing this from memory.
  8. Felonious Punk

    Felonious Punk Member

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    Stereo is stereo. You can simply export your bounced track via Audio Depot and you will have a "true" stereo WAV file. You must go through the Mixdown process if you want to use the Mastering process on the DP. If you don't intend on mastering on the DP, you can skip it.

    FP
  9. 2807

    2807 New Member

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    Thank you. I will look into that. It’s all very awesome, just frustrating at this step…so close to getting it to a CD where I can test it out, but I just can’t get it! I must learn the last step! Then, I will slowly learn to do it better. One step at a time…

    Thank you.
  10. Felonious Punk

    Felonious Punk Member

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    You'll get there. It's more of a marathon than a sprint. Watch those videos a few times. Phil also sells a step by step guide.

    Read those sticky threads too!

    FP
  11. 2807

    2807 New Member

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    Thanks. I have the guide, and I do see a few good stickies that should help.
    Onward!
    dctdct likes this.
  12. Phil Tipping

    Phil Tipping Moderator Staff Member

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    As FP said, but just one small correction. If you export a stereo track, you'll get 2 files in AudioDepot, regardless of how the stereo track was created. The only way to generate a single stereo file is via mixdown.

    The stereo track used as the target for a bounce operation is no different to a stereo track created when recording in multi-track mode. That's the beauty of bouncing - the mixed result is just a regular track. Once you've created it, the machine has no knowledge that you made it by bouncing.

    Re. the master stereo fader, as FP says it controls the final level coming out of the stereo bus (which is where all inputs and playback tracks are mixed together - the block diagram shows this quite clearly). The output of the stereo bus goes into the master file when you are in mixdown mode, so you can use this fader to fade the mix in and out.

    You can only hear that master file when in mastering mode - very non-intuitive but that's how it is :)

    When in mastering mode, the stereo fader has no effect - check out the block diagram - the signal loops round from the master file, through the EQ and compressor, then back into the master file - it doesn't go through the stereo fader. The only level controls within mastering mode are in the mastering EQ and compressor effects and these only affect the master file if they are on when you press record. The normalise function also affects the master file, but you do not (must not) press record for this operation.

    In bounce mode (section 6 in the guide), the equivalent of the stereo fader is the pop-up 'bounce-master' F4 button.
    You can fade in/out during bouncing by using this single control, or the individual source track faders. If you only have 1 or 2 sources, the latter may be easier to use. Either way, you can still run the bounced track through the mixdown process and apply the fade at that point using the stereo fader as normal.
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  13. -mjk-

    -mjk- Moderator Staff Member

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    The way I read the OP's questions, the bounce stuff he described has nothing to do with the issue. He's asking the age-old question "Why aren't my mixes loud, like the songs I hear on [streaming service]?"

    Mastering. But first of all, when mixing, the Stereo fader should be all the way up. After that use the compressor makeup gain to make the Master as loud as you need it.

    There are lots of posts about Mastering in the stickies.
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  14. Phil Tipping

    Phil Tipping Moderator Staff Member

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    Good point MJ, in which case yes, the stickies or section 3.23 in the guide have the answers.
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  15. 2807

    2807 New Member

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    Thank you everybody. This will all be my homework for the weekend. Much appreciated.
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  16. Felonious Punk

    Felonious Punk Member

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    Yes. Sorry, I forgot that I have to render the 2 tracks into 1 using my DAW. My bad.

    FP
    Phil Tipping likes this.
  17. -mjk-

    -mjk- Moderator Staff Member

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    Let me just say this: Don't waste your money on those online mastering services. There are people right here on this forum that will do it for you.
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