I Need Help, Maximizer

Im doing some basic mastering to my songs, I use a Maximizer in the master track, boosting it to 18 db, because all the music in the net is to loud. Before that, I mix each track, and the final mix peaks at -4 aprox. If I understood right, the dynamic range of the song its not altered by the maximizer, I’m right?
Is a 18 db boosting too loud? I dont hear distortion.
And finally, what is the difference between a maximizer and a limiter?

18dB boost? OH gosh… It shouldn’t be neccessary really if you mixed it well. This isn’t going to help it to sound better. Only effect you’ll going to get is that the track will sound squashed and lifeless.

I know, 18 db seems a lot to me too. normally I boost to 6 db in the maximizer. I dont use the maximizer to help the song sound better, I’m only use it to get a higher volume.
My question was, how it (the maximizer) affect the dynamic range?

It can reduse dynamic range but what does it matter? Trust your ears. They should be your best friend.
One rule i use which may apply here too is that if you are not sure if you need it, leave it out.

Basicly, maximizer is a limiter. You can also use gainer to bring up the level that you don’t need to boost it too much with the maximizer.

One thing to make your mix louder is that you should eq your tracks that they don’t have too much frequencies overlaping. For example you can make a cut to bassline to the frequencies of your kick. You can cut all the frequencies you don’t need. Just make sure it’s not too much.

Exactly. now, i’m no mastering pro or anything, but this technique works very well. just think of the different sounds as puzzle-pieces. each sound needs some space… EQ a bass-sound so that it is mostly low-frequency. EQ high sounds by removing the low frequencies. that way, each sound has their own place in the mix, and it should all sound pretty clean. ofcourse you should let them overlap to some extent, but just look at the visualization-thingy to see where your peaks are to find out where you might need to make some room. also, as said before, use your ears for this.

Thanks.
I use my ears, but I want some technical knowledge. I´m sure I need something, the volume is to low, and that is normal without mastering. Im learning the differences between Maximizer-Limiter-Gainers, how they affect the mix, the dynamic range, when I need one or the other, etc.
Mi bass and sub bass is Equalized, but the EQ of the other instruments is more difficult, the sound can change a lot, I try to use instrument with different frequencies.

You didn’t mention what kind of music you are working on. You are right about that most music is too loud and compressed.
In my opinion that actually works for dance and electronic music for example but not that much to classical music or something with acoustic instruments.
Now that mainstream have a lot of different kind of music and some of it can handle lot of compression, that gives pressure for others to make their music as loud as other ones.
but that’s just my view.

What it comes to orginal post…
Basicly maximizer is limiter and if you know how limiter works, you know how maximizer works. Different maximizers have different characteristics and you just need to find the one you like.
Easiest way in my opinion to master when you don’t have much experience yet is that eq your tracks well and use limiter on master. I also use eq10 in the master as well. I also use hp-filter on most tracks to elminate unwanted frequencies. (Lp-filter for bass sounds) That way you can have good output level and not ruin your mix that easy. Even tho limiter is like compressor, it’s a bit easier to handle. Compressors, especially multichannel ones can give the final touch you may be looking for but without experience you most likely ruin your mix if you want to make it loud as possible.

Im working in sample based & electronic music (hey!, we are in Renoise forum : )
You can hear an example hear, Im working in this song right now:
first version, with a maximizer (ozone) at 12 db:

http://soundcloud.com/capitan-mission/sueno-lucido-1

second version, with Renoise maximizer boosting at 18 db:

http://soundcloud.com/capitan-mission/sueno-lucido

The first version has a Dynamic Range of 9 & the second one of 5, more maximizing, less dynamics.
Sometimes its OK to compress and maximize a song, but the music that I like has a very large DR (9-19).
Besides that, I want to learn.

Im working in sample based & electronic music (hey!, we are in Renoise forum : )
You can hear an example hear, Im working in this song right now:
first version, with a maximizer (ozone) at 12 db:

http://soundcloud.com/capitan-mission/sueno-lucido-1

second version, with Renoise maximizer boosting at 18 db:

http://soundcloud.com/capitan-mission/sueno-lucido

The first version has a Dynamic Range of 9 & the second one of 5, more maximizing, less dynamics.
Sometimes its OK to compress and maximize a song, but the music that I like has a very large DR (9-19).
Besides that, I want to learn.

Yup, the second one is way too compressed. The first one doesn’t have so much visible compression but dynamics are a bit flat. I think this kind of music works best if there is a lot of DR. Of course you can compress individual elements instead of master. That could actually give more depth to whole mix.

Get a RMS level meter. Voxengo have a useful free tool called SPAN that can do this (handy visual analyser too). The basic approach to loudness in mastering is to get the material to a standard RMS level relative to an industry standard like K-14. So if you’re going for K-14 that means that your song’s average output is around -14dB RMS. Of course for many reasons these days there are louder standards like -12dB RMS, and I even think that if you can do a good enough job you can get -10dB RMS sounding very good.

If you’re getting a muddy, warped and or puffy sound with your mastering limiter it is probably due to your mix being a mess and having an untidy low frequency presentation. If you reference back to professional sounding mastering you’ll often find that you need a whole lot less bass presence than you think. Volume placement, filters and EQ will allow precision shaping down there. If you achieve focus, you’ll have a whole lot more headroom in your mix, and hence will be able to get more boost. This will make material that is -14dB RMS sound a lot more brighter and louder than muddy sloppy material.

That’s just a general overview to master limiting.

Hi mark, I started my learning about mixing & mastering with your article : ) I’m using the TT Dynamic Range meter, it gives me the DR and the RMS levels, its very useful.
You are completely right about the low frequencies, & I’m trying to chose complementary sounds (instruments) that dont overlap the frequencies to much. My songs peak about -6, -4 before the “mastering”.

Awesome!

I find most of the time I’ve got a enough room for a punchy kick, a phat bass, and maybe an additional two phat-ended sounds (like heavy guitars or synths) out on the sides. It should be possible to balance them all without even needing to go to measures like side-chained compression. I’d only use that technique for stylistic reasons - if I felt I needed it for mix reasons I’d say my mixing is sloppy.

Yeahhh, and some money. :blink:

Yes the frequency response of money is very linear :P

Read the Trackers Handbook… theres some good tips in the last chapter about this kind of thing =D[center]
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What tracker handbook?

I know very little about Jamin. My processing chain on PC for mastering uses other 3rd party tools and analogue hardware.