Tags: posts polarity-music Bitwig EQ-plus Peak Limiter EQ-5 Sampling Mixing

How to Make Your Music Super Loud: Balancing Frequency Spectrum & Dynamics

Tutorial | Feb 22, 2021

In this video, I showed how to make something sound loud and punchy. I explained that you need to balance out the frequency spectrum and reduce the dynamics with a peak limiter. I then explained how to use FX3 to make multi-band limiting easier and showed how to use a hard clip to get a lot of loudness while still sounding good.

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Questions & Answers

Maybe you dont watch the video, here are some important takeaways:

What tool do I need to make something loud as fuck?

You need to use a combination of EQ Plus, a Peak Limiter and the FX3 Moody Band Limiting tool in Bitwig Studio. These tools will help you to balance out the frequency spectrum, reduce the dynamics and make something super loud.

How can I use the EQ Plus to balance out the frequency spectrum?

You can use the EQ Plus to balance out the frequency spectrum by setting it to a pink noise setting. This means setting the tilt to 3dB per octave. This will give you an equal perceived loudness in all frequencies as our brains prioritize high-end content more than low-end rumble.

What is the benefit of using the FX3 Moody Band Limiting tool?

The benefit of using the FX3 Moody Band Limiting tool is that it combines the balancing of the frequency spectrum and reducing of the peaks into one step. It also allows for overlapping of the frequency bands and can give you a smoother sound. Lastly, you can use it to control the relation between the kick and the bass as you can see the kick peeking out above the bass.


This is what im talking about in this video. The text is transcribed by AI, so it might not be perfect. If you find any mistakes, please let me know.
You can also click on the timestamps to jump to the right part of the video, which should be helpful.

[00:00.000] Welcome back to another video today. I want to show you how you can make something loud as fuck if you want to
[00:05.920] I don't say you should but you can and it's just another tool in your toolset
[00:11.400] You can use if you want to and everything you need do this is already available in Bitwig studio with the native tool
[00:20.160] So you don't need to use external VSTs or hardware or you know anything fancy
[00:25.440] It's all in there in Bitwig studio and I want to show you how it works
[00:30.760] I think I already explained it in some of my streams
[00:33.240] But I want to make a separate video for it to explain in detail how it works. So let's start
[00:38.600] So this is a project or drum bass track. I made recently on stream. It's it's a pretty loud drum bass track and it's perfectly nice to explain
[00:49.000] Certain things for loudness. So we have you on the master
[00:52.240] We have an EQ plus and we have a peak limiter and that's all you need to make something super loud
[00:57.240] You need to balance out the speaker the frequency spectrum and you need to kill the peaks or reduce the dynamics
[01:03.720] Okay, but before we tweak these settings here on the master bus
[01:07.600] I want to explain you in a on a different channel here
[01:11.800] Holy grid on it. I want to explain you some things
[01:15.320] So let's let's use you the noise output
[01:18.240] It's white noise and then audio out and
[01:24.080] We use here in the fx box. We use of course an EQ plus EQ
[01:33.360] EQ plus, okay
[01:35.360] So now we have white noise and
[01:38.360] When you select EQ plus and switch your back to till to zero DB per octave
[01:43.480] We have basically reset all the analyzer settings. This is the init setting of the EQ plus analyzer and
[01:51.400] The tilt here basically only changed changes the visualizer
[01:55.960] Not the sound. It's all it only changes basically the visuals that you see here this in a straight line because white noise is exactly
[02:05.680] Every frequency has the same loudness so
[02:09.000] I use your volume in there maybe bring this down
[02:17.000] So now you can see we have plus 10 here plus 10 DB so every frequency is exactly 10 DB loud
[02:25.520] Okay, but when we listen to this white noise it doesn't sound that way
[02:31.480] It sounds like super bright a bright and it also sounds like that there is no low-end at all
[02:43.200] It's only I end frequencies, right?
[02:49.360] And this is completely correct because our ears perceive sound in a different way we
[02:56.680] Prioritize I end content more than low-end content because of voice and speaking of communication because of evolution
[03:08.160] Because our ears basically train to listen to voices better than you know low-end rumble. It's it's just our
[03:16.680] Brain focuses on the top end content around 1 kilohertz because of voice the voice frequencies
[03:23.960] So
[03:27.040] To make something
[03:29.240] sound like equally loud for our ears we need to change this the noise setting here to pink noise and
[03:36.760] Pink noise sounds exactly to our ears
[03:41.240] That every frequency is equally loud even though it's technically not correct
[03:45.920] So you can hear low-end you can also hear the top end it sounds like super flat right what on the graph here
[03:55.520] You can see it's not flat. It's it's a it's a some kind of slope
[04:01.480] Right so it goes from from from this point here back down to this one. So it's not it's not a straight line anymore
[04:10.640] So we need pink noise
[04:12.640] Or pink noise is the exactly to frequency balance we want to use for a drum bass track
[04:20.360] Because every frequency sounds like equally loud even though it's not and on the graph it's a it's a slope
[04:27.280] So what we can do is we can change the slope setting here or the tilt setting for the EQ plus to 3 dB per octave
[04:34.840] And now the analyzer is changed and only the analyzer
[04:39.120] You don't say you don't change the sound at all. It's only the analyzer now the analyzer looks like a
[04:45.960] Straight line again. It's flat and it's a straight line even though technically. It's not
[04:55.200] So we take basically our ears or our
[04:59.120] Brain into account and change the analyzer setting so it matches visually what we hear
[05:06.360] Okay, this is all we do basically with this 3 dB per octave setting here
[05:13.200] So now it's super easy for us to go into the EQ here
[05:19.080] Add some bands and change the frequencies our of our sounds
[05:25.240] To create a straight line. So when we have a you know a random sound and we want to make it more flat to our ears or more
[05:33.600] straight then all we have to do to bring is to bring it basically to a point where it looks like a straight line
[05:42.880] But before you jump into your tracks and make everything look like this here this flat line
[05:48.240] This is not a real life example. This is basically pink noise. This is super perfect right in real life when you have
[05:57.240] a track you still want to have maybe
[05:59.240] Maybe
[06:02.200] To remove some low-end rumble here you want to amplify maybe you're the bass and the kick around this
[06:08.760] Maybe want to amplify around one kilohertz. Maybe want to reduce
[06:13.480] 500 hertz here. Maybe want to reduce the super high-end here
[06:20.720] You know, you still want to have some bumps in there, right?
[06:25.040] Ah
[06:28.640] Maybe something like this
[06:32.720] But you still have a straight line from this bump to this bump, right? You can
[06:38.240] You basically see where the balance is so it makes it easy for for you to balance a stuff out
[06:44.080] So don't please don't jump into your tracks and make everything like super flat like this here. It's just a guide
[06:50.720] It's just a guide to you know get you into the right direction basically of balancing out everything perfectly
[07:01.120] Also, you have to know that this 3db per octave or pink noise setting is already pretty
[07:09.320] Right, so
[07:11.320] It's also not perfect. So when you have for instance
[07:14.500] Not drum bass and not dance lot you want you want to have the super loud you maybe want to produce ambient or you want to produce
[07:23.380] prop and rock and you know some softer things
[07:28.420] You probably want to use instead of the 3db per octave you want to use a 4.5 db per octave
[07:35.580] And you can see even though it's still pink noise. It's now a slope in the opposite direction
[07:40.740] So to use for 4.5 db for rock you probably want to reduce here the top end of your of your sound a bit softened out
[07:52.740] And make it a straight straight line again like this, right?
[07:57.180] So for that 5db per octave is a bit more softer on the high end. It's perfectly nice for pop and rock and all the
[08:05.180] radio music I would say
[08:07.180] But for drum bass or dubstep, you know, it's it's it's super loud super bright and
[08:14.380] You want to go maybe for 3db. It's it's kind of a taste thing. It's very want to you know
[08:23.620] What you want to how you want to sound basically?
[08:26.660] So this is just a technical aspect of this so when we use this knowledge now to
[08:31.740] To our track here on our track on the master bus here. We have the EQ. We have an peak limiter
[08:39.300] How we need to do is
[08:41.060] Balance out the spectrum until it looks like
[08:44.100] Closed or comes close to a straight line with the 3db per octave
[08:50.140] Slope setting
[08:52.140] Then it's we should be fine
[09:07.500] The can hear it already sounds super right
[09:11.700] So
[09:13.140] You don't want to have a straight line. It's more like a guide. You want to go in this direction, right?
[09:19.100] So maybe we still want to have some kind of bump in here
[09:23.100] And then we just, you know, take care of the peaks here
[09:51.100] The peak limiter works like a bit but not too much I would say
[09:58.300] But you can also try out how much difference the
[10:04.420] Spectrum balance makes with the limiter when you change the EQ setting. So now we have basically a straight line here
[10:10.980] Kind of roughly. So maybe we switch it to freeze. Now we can see it's super, you know, it's super super flat
[10:28.300] You don't need to do to bring us in this, you know, in this straight line, but you can
[10:34.100] Maybe it's too bright for your for your song. You have to decide you make you have to make some decisions, right?
[10:41.420] Also some it's also
[10:44.140] Kind of a taste preference, I think
[10:47.900] Not every woman wants to have your their drum bass track sound like this
[10:53.780] But for this tune, I think it's okay
[10:57.260] But yeah, when we basically in balance this frequency spectrum
[11:01.900] You can see how much this peak limiter is is is rocking then
[11:14.060] So maybe you mix down your track and the kick drum is too loud or the bass drum is too loud, right?
[11:19.260] You have to limit other or maybe reduce the input here of the peak limiter until it's not limiting any more that hard
[11:37.260] But now it doesn't sound that loud anymore because we have now a lot of low-end
[11:42.060] So maybe use a selector as you can which between different
[11:45.900] Different settings maybe you remove the oscilloscope maybe duplicate us here switch back to this
[11:54.500] So this case this sounds much much brighter you don't need to limit that much because the balance is better
[12:18.860] And this one here it sounds quieter, but you also have more low-end
[12:25.340] It sounds more warm
[12:27.940] Yeah, it's it's kind of a taste taste thing
[12:31.620] What to come back to the topic of the video to make something as loud as fuck
[12:38.900] You have to make it super bright
[12:40.900] You need to reduce the low-end to make it a straight line with the 3D beeper octave setting
[12:48.900] And you need to crush the peaks then with the peak limiter and therefore you get it super nicely loud
[12:57.060] So now at the end of the video now comes the real tip I wanted to share with you
[13:05.700] Because now I explained what the problem is and what and how we get something super loud. I show you how I do it
[13:16.900] When I use here an fx3
[13:20.900] And go into each of these bands and I put usually just the peak limiter in there, right?
[13:31.060] Okay
[13:33.060] So now we switch to this and all I do to basically balance out the frequency spectrum of a bus or a channel
[13:43.620] And also take care of the peaks is by using the setup here
[13:47.700] So now I have to do is to go in each of these bands and amplify the input until we scratch the ceiling of the threshold
[14:17.860] Okay, that's all I do basically at the end then
[14:22.100] After this we need again another limiter because we
[14:26.500] Amplifier these these bands a bit and then we get the you know some kind of
[14:33.140] Loudness or
[14:35.300] Kind of in peak
[14:37.300] Above zero db, but this so we have to reduce here. Maybe input to minus 2db
[14:57.700] So this is basically what I do the balance is out this frequency spectrum to exactly pick noise
[15:03.220] And it takes care of the peaks. It's kind of a multi band limiter
[15:07.460] But you don't limit that hard on each of these bands as you can see it's just a touch
[15:13.460] It's more like a balance and you know cut off some peaks at the top
[15:19.140] Instead of hard multi band limiting
[15:22.260] And even though it sounds the best of these three I would say
[15:34.020] So um
[15:36.740] Why why is this walking right so I tried this out here with the
[15:43.060] With the Poly-Grid and I show you this again with the
[15:45.460] Uh with the pink noise setting here. So when we use pink noise. What's noise?
[15:52.420] Pink noise
[15:54.660] out
[15:59.700] Oh, and then we use your
[16:02.420] um fx3
[16:17.540] Use the peak limiter each of these bands
[16:20.660] Maybe reduce here the volume
[16:34.580] Maybe like this so you can see on the low end the pink noise scratches just the surface in the input is at zero
[16:41.540] And the midband it almost scratches the surface here in the input is at zero
[16:46.180] So in the high end you can see it almost scratches the surface in the input is at zero
[16:52.100] So all these three boxes basically
[16:56.740] um
[16:58.420] Need to be or you can bring up the volume basically and to scratch the surface of this threshold setting here
[17:05.620] And you get a nice pink noise uh leveling
[17:09.940] For free you don't need to care so much or using the EQ
[17:13.620] Just you know like I did here
[17:16.420] I'm going each of these bands pull up the input until you scratch the surface
[17:47.380] We get here a minus six point seven db loves short term loudness max is this is the setting um
[17:57.140] So you can also go here for instead of a limiter you can
[18:01.300] Use a hard clip and we use your minus two db. So maybe use this here two minus two db
[18:08.180] To cut off the peaks
[18:10.180] So you can see it's it's now not even touching this the threshold anymore because the hard clips cutting everything away
[18:18.500] It sounds cleaner because it takes care of the percussion sounds or the drum sounds
[18:24.180] These are basically the peaks that peeking out here uh much much more than anything else
[18:28.900] So the hard clips perfectly fine here
[18:43.780] You can even push this to db more you get to minus four point eight
[18:51.140] Minus four point eight db loves so it's super loud actually
[18:55.700] But without getting too much distortion no
[19:02.660] So
[19:04.180] The frequency balance is super important for this before you go to the clipping stage or the
[19:09.780] The peak limiter on on the full range of of the of the frequency spectrum
[19:15.140] So my tip would be to you will see at the fx3
[19:18.740] And the benefit of this is also that you have overlapping here. So when you see your the frequency bands
[19:29.700] So when you push the mid band you also have a slope a slow slope decay here into high and low
[19:35.780] So it's not like you have
[19:37.540] really separate bands. They're also kind of cross over a little bit
[19:42.580] So it makes this super
[19:44.740] Yeah, super smooth actually
[20:01.940] Uh, the funny thing is I tried out also some VSTs some multi band limiters by event height and
[20:09.140] You know, all kinds of multi band limiting solutions
[20:12.500] And for me this sounds
[20:15.380] Still better than any of these solutions. I don't know why
[20:19.940] What it is like it is and
[20:22.660] I'm not only using this here on the master bus sometimes. I also use it for drum bass here on drums bus
[20:28.580] And on the drum and bass bus where I combine basically the drums and the bass together as you can see here
[20:46.180] Maybe bring this down here. You can see in the drum bass bus here. I
[20:50.340] Basically have the low end with the limiter and you can see the kicks peeking out above the
[20:56.020] Uh
[20:57.380] Above the bass and this is also something I really like you can see what's going on you can see in the range of
[21:05.220] zero hertz to
[21:07.460] 228 hertz
[21:10.820] The kick is still above
[21:14.420] The bass line that's probably what you want right you want the bass the kick drum
[21:19.940] Uh, peeking out a little bit above the bass right because some people or like myself sometimes I have the problem that I don't know if
[21:30.500] If my is my sub actually too loud or too quiet
[21:34.900] So with this I can control this a little bit. I can see the kick is still peeking out above the sub
[21:41.700] Which is nice
[21:43.700] It's also dependent on your kick drum right so when you have a super high a super high kick drum
[21:48.340] Uh, the the the knock frequency is super high. I might be 200 hertz. I don't know
[21:54.420] Um, then this is probably gonna not giving you the right answers
[21:58.820] But for me my kick drums are basically peeking around 200 120 hertz around this frequency
[22:05.300] Um, so I can use this here to basically control my bass
[22:10.420] Bass kick relation
[22:12.420] So to summarize this video how to make something super loud you need to take care of the balance or the
[22:19.140] The frequency balance and you can do this in a lot of ways. You can mix down your track pretty well
[22:24.420] Which is probably the best option or you can use an EQ with the
[22:29.140] 3db slope setting or tilt setting
[22:32.340] To balance everything out
[22:34.100] And then you need to take care of the peaks or reduce the dynamics with the peak limiter or with the hard clip device
[22:39.860] Or you can use my fx3 moody band limiting tip
[22:44.420] Um, to make basically these two things in one step and
[22:49.780] um, it's also advice to try out instead of a limiter at the end
[22:55.780] Uh for the whole four frequencies spectrum
[22:59.140] Uh to maybe exchange it for a hard clip and the hard clip
[23:04.100] Uh can get you a lot of loudness
[23:06.260] But it sounds only good on drums and percussion sounds
[23:10.580] So when you have a track it or a master bus where you have a lot of piano sounds peaking out or peaking above the
[23:17.860] drums
[23:19.380] It's it's probably sounds shit
[23:22.260] But when you have a dance floor track where the kicks or the snares are basically the most peaking elements in your
[23:29.940] In your channel
[23:31.060] Then you can use the hard clip pretty nicely
[23:34.180] That's it for this video
[23:36.820] And I want to say it again. I said multiple times throughout the video
[23:40.420] Um, please don't make everything loud as possible
[23:44.180] And everything into a straight line on your spectrum analyzer
[23:49.140] um
[23:50.820] And I say this because I was there and I know that the brain always prioritizes what you see instead of what you hear
[23:58.260] So it looks maybe super satisfying on an analyzer when you have a straight line
[24:02.100] Or it sounds like super shit, right?
[24:05.060] So at the end of your decision chain that should always be your
[24:10.420] brain or your your hearing
[24:13.380] Decision sound is this sounding good or is this sounding bad?
[24:17.940] Instead of prioritizing is this a straight line or is this not a straight line, right?
[24:22.660] So all I want to give you with this video is basically a guide rough guide
[24:26.740] By a new one-to-approach loudness when you when you want to go into one direction and you should always use these pink noise curves and
[24:35.700] Analyzer settings only as a rough guide
[24:39.620] Not yourself in the right direction. Okay. That's it for this video. Thanks for watching
[24:44.340] Please leave a thumbs up if you liked the video subscribe to the channel and maybe also think about subscription or one pattern helps me a lot
[24:52.260] And um, I see you in the next one
[24:54.420] Bye