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Gain Staging and Organizing a Music Project in Bitwig

Tutorial | Feb 25, 2022

In this video, I demonstrate my workflow for gain staging a track. I start by going to the settings and changing the default new track volume to 0dB. I then select all of the tracks and set them to 0dB in the inspector. I then group the tracks together into meaningful subgroups like drums, bass, and music. I then gain stage all of the tracks, starting with the kick, by using the peak limiter to bring the volume up to the ceiling of the threshold. I then apply different gain staging methods, like limiters and clippers, to the different subgroups. Finally, I bring all of the subgroups together into an "all" group, which is my master chain, and use a track reference track to compare my track to.

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Questions & Answers

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

What is the purpose of setting the defaults for the new track volume to 0 dB?

The purpose of setting the defaults for the new track volume to 0 dB is to prevent the need for constantly compensating for the loss of volume when creating new tracks. This helps to create a more organized and streamlined workflow and allows for easier mixing and mastering. By setting the default to 0 dB, you can ensure that all of the tracks in your project will start at the same level, making it easier to gain stage and mix down the project.

What is the importance of setting all the faders to 0 dB?

The importance of setting all the faders to 0 dB is to make sure that each track is at the same volume, regardless of what the slider may be set at. This allows for easier mixing and mastering, as it makes it easier to identify what's going on with each track. It also ensures that the track is the same volume regardless of any processing that may be applied, such as EQ, compression, etc.

What is the purpose of grouping tracks together?

The purpose of grouping tracks together is to create a more organized and streamlined workflow. By grouping tracks together, it makes it easier


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] So in this video we tried to gain stage this whole track here, this whole project, try
[00:20.160] to bring some order to the chaos that we have after the creation phase.
[00:27.960] And we have also a lot of different data settings, a lot of different tracks without
[00:33.680] the name and it's really, really chaotic, right?
[00:37.320] And it's a mess to mix down and I want to show you how I do this and try to explain
[00:45.280] along the way what my workflow or what my process is exactly.
[00:50.280] So before we start, I encourage you to go to the settings here and then you switch to
[00:55.480] settings, then behavior and set the defaults here for the new track volume to 0 dB.
[01:01.560] That's what I have all the time.
[01:03.480] I think the fault is minus 10.
[01:06.080] And the problem with minus 10 for me is that when you create a new tracks, for instance
[01:12.000] here, audio track, you can see the new created audio track is now minus 10 dB.
[01:17.800] And then you want to group this and the new group is more or less also minus 10 dB, I think.
[01:25.440] And then you group this again and then also minus 10.
[01:29.360] And then you get basically a chain of things that have minus 10 dB.
[01:37.120] And you constantly battling with the gain compensating for the loss of volume.
[01:45.520] So my solution for that is basically going for a new track volume of 0 dB.
[01:53.320] And it's also where I want to end up with my master, maybe not exactly at 0 dB, but maybe
[02:00.600] at minus 0.3 or something like this.
[02:03.960] But you know, this is the main goal.
[02:07.160] Okay, so now that we have this, the next setting for me in this project here is to properly
[02:14.800] set all of the faders to 0 dB.
[02:19.160] So I do this by selecting all the tracks here, first one and then holding shift and the
[02:24.440] last one.
[02:25.440] And then I go left to the inspector here and type in 0 dB and you can see all the sliders
[02:30.960] are now at 0 dB.
[02:34.760] I do this because these sliders don't mean anything in the previous state.
[02:40.320] So when we have like this here, you can see this slider here is or this track looks like
[02:47.200] it's quieter than this one, but it doesn't mean anything because how loud a track is or
[02:54.520] a channel is is not decided by the slider, but what it's on the track itself.
[03:00.200] So let's say you have a Poly sent here and how loud this channel actually is is not
[03:06.200] decided by this slider and also not by this output slider here, which is minus 0.5,
[03:12.240] but also what's on the in the fx box here of the Poly sent to in the fx chain, you can
[03:19.280] also put in here, let's say a peak limiter or maybe a tool device and change the volume.
[03:27.360] So everything what you have inside the chain or how loud the voice is and then how loud
[03:33.440] your instrument is and then what kind of setting you have in this slider here, besides how
[03:39.680] loud the channel is so it's it's basically a mess.
[03:43.320] So when we look this up here in maybe in a more like fake environment, so let's let's
[03:50.800] go for Poly-Grid and say you have a volume slider here, there it is, in fact you have
[03:59.000] actually three.
[04:00.760] So this is your main channel fader, this is your output of your instrument and this
[04:04.560] is the gain of your voice.
[04:07.040] So in the main slider here, this one exactly is maybe this and then you have the gain
[04:14.040] of your instruments like this.
[04:16.200] So this tells you nothing because this is important that also this is important.
[04:21.600] So sometimes some setting like this or this or this.
[04:28.760] So this track looks like it's quieter than this one from the arrangement view.
[04:35.480] But maybe the gain on the voice and on the instrument itself is louder than actually this
[04:44.640] one, right?
[04:45.640] So it depends on all of these settings.
[04:48.720] So you have to get this straight first.
[04:53.640] What I do usually is you get all my tracks to zero dB.
[04:59.200] It's the first setting and then I go to all of these tracks and gain stage to correct volume.
[05:08.200] So I know what's going on.
[05:10.200] And for instance here with the bass, I do this with the peak limiter as you can see here.
[05:17.080] So I go with the peak limiter and bring up the volume to the ceiling of the threshold.
[05:25.200] So I know exactly this waveform is peaking exactly at zero dB.
[05:32.800] And also in this, in the same process, I can limit the dynamic range more I push here
[05:39.480] basically into the limiter.
[05:43.120] So all I'm doing is peak normalization.
[05:48.720] So I bring the peaks up to the ceiling of zero dB.
[05:52.280] And then after this here, you can see I'm dialing in minus 4 dB because no, now I know that
[05:59.880] I have exactly peaking this bass here at minus 4 dB.
[06:06.840] Because the slider is at zero, the peak limiter brings this up to zero dB here.
[06:11.720] And when I do here minus four, I'm exactly at minus four and you can measure this also
[06:17.400] here, maybe a little dB meter, switch this to, let's see, mode EPU, RMS.
[06:27.400] You can see here the max peak is minus four dot three.
[06:39.200] Right.
[06:40.200] And now exactly this track here is minus 4 dB in context of my whole track.
[06:48.400] Okay.
[06:49.400] So that's what I'm doing.
[06:50.400] I'm gain stage on the track itself.
[06:52.680] All the faders are at zero dB.
[06:54.320] So I know exactly where my audio material is peaking on all of these tracks.
[07:01.520] So before I continue here with the gain staging, I bring some order to the chaos in terms
[07:07.440] of where these tracks are.
[07:11.680] So for instance, I group together all my drum sounds and I do this here in Bitwig by
[07:17.000] just clicking on the kick and holding control and G for grouping.
[07:22.840] And I name this group drums.
[07:26.840] And I put all my percussion sounds here, percussion heads, right, percussion clap, clap.
[07:33.760] Let's see, a bell sound crash.
[07:39.160] And XO, of course, and put this here into the drum group.
[07:43.040] So now I have my group here, my drums a bit.
[07:46.760] Maybe we can also change here the color of this, let's see, gray.
[07:53.640] And put this here on top.
[07:57.480] And we can listen to it.
[08:04.480] That's fine.
[08:07.480] So now we have the drums together.
[08:09.400] And closer to this, I bring here the bass.
[08:14.280] And we have only one bass sound in here, so I don't really need to group this.
[08:19.280] So when I have multiple bass lines, I tend to group these basses also together, like
[08:23.520] I did here with the drums and call this bass.
[08:28.880] And what I also do is I bring the bass and the drums also together into a group, which
[08:35.520] is called drum and bass group.
[08:37.880] And I do this because the bass and the drums, I usually tend to push much, much harder
[08:43.880] in terms of limits or limiting and clipping and so on.
[08:49.560] So I push this much, much harder than the rest of the sounds, which are more like I want
[08:54.760] to have more dynamic and transparent, right?
[08:58.320] So the rest of the tracks here are usually land in a group I call like music or something
[09:10.680] like this.
[09:11.680] You can also call it atmospheric or I don't know.
[09:14.800] So this group is more like something where I tend to be a bit more gentle with compression
[09:22.000] and I want to keep it more transparent and white and fluffy, you know, keep all the
[09:28.520] dynamics in there.
[09:30.160] So I create subgroups and treat these subgroups differently or almost like different songs.
[09:38.440] And then when I treat them like I want to, I put them all together into one group, which
[09:44.200] is called all.
[09:49.240] And this all group is basically my master, my master chain.
[09:53.680] And on this master chain that is usually some kind of limiting happening later on or something
[09:58.560] like this.
[09:59.560] So I can move here the master this.
[10:02.600] And I do this here because now I have the possibility to master this, this whole group
[10:09.280] here completely and also have the possibility to use, for instance, some kind of track reference
[10:20.160] track, right?
[10:21.160] You can take your, for instance, MP3, I don't know what's on there.
[10:27.160] Put this on here and then compare basically your track to our reference track pretty easily.
[10:34.840] You have to side by side without going that this track goes into the master and on the
[10:40.240] master, you have like all your compressions and etuing happening and already compressing
[10:48.480] and limiting your reference material to, which is not what I want.
[10:54.200] I want to keep this completely unprocessed and want to compare it to my processed track.
[10:59.960] So that's what I usually do.
[11:01.200] You can also use multiple tracks here and you can switch to this mode, which you can
[11:06.520] use just a tab and activate to the A, B slider.
[11:11.640] Say your track is A and your reference track is B and then you can slide between A and
[11:17.200] B here, maybe also with the control on that's something I do sometimes with drum bass tracks
[11:23.320] where you can just compare two tracks easily and super, yeah, it's, it's basically
[11:30.960] a nice work flow for me.
[11:32.640] So that's what I do sometimes, so let's remove this here because we don't want to compare
[11:37.160] it actually to something and go into the different groups here.
[11:40.560] So now inside the music group, we can also push this a bit further here.
[11:45.520] For instance, I have synths in here where I've also strings.
[11:49.520] Maybe I want to group the strings together.
[11:51.880] We have some pull your synths here, these maybe together, so it's not really important
[12:02.320] that you follow the same rules I do here.
[12:07.320] But you can group these tracks maybe together into more meaningful subgroups.
[12:12.720] This is here, I think, piano, so let's call it this and put this here into strings.
[12:21.800] Maybe call it now, orchestra or something.
[12:28.280] Then we have some arpeggiators here, pull your synth also, these are vocals, I have a bell
[12:36.000] sound, feedback stuff, fade in, this is FX here, this is basically just a noise fade in,
[12:43.320] I think.
[12:45.320] We have here some hardwares synths I sampled, that's pretty quiet, oh there's a filter
[13:06.360] on there, I see.
[13:10.960] There's a filter with automation on there, but okay, so I use different methods of gain
[13:23.200] staging for different instruments, so for instance in the drum bass group here, I treat
[13:29.440] this like a drum bass track, even though it's more like a laid back and chill out tune,
[13:34.760] I treat this whole group like I mix down or master drum bass tracks.
[13:41.440] For instance here, drums are pushed into limiter, drum bass, bass is also pushed into a limiter
[13:47.560] or into a clipper and yeah.
[13:51.560] So let's go for the drums here first, and I start with the kick drum probably because
[13:56.720] the kick drum is always one of my loudest things in the mix.
[14:01.840] So I'm using here no MIDI clips, I use notes from the XO channel, which is this one here,
[14:13.840] so this one basically defines a whole pattern of drums, triggering this drum sample here
[14:22.680] and there's a kick in there, and I take basically the MIDI notes from here and trigger this
[14:28.760] e-kick to lay up beneath this XO drum sampler.
[14:32.960] So what I do here is I have some EQing happening, the output is at 0 dB, of course, then I have
[14:41.920] here a frequency splitter, some processing on the top end, and then at the end here I go
[14:47.360] again into a limiter and you can see I'm scratching here the ceiling of exactly 0 dB with
[14:53.080] a kick drum.
[14:54.080] And I can decide how much I want to compress or reduce the dynamics of the kick drum.
[15:01.040] And I use a limiter because I like limiters on the kick drum, I want to have round soft
[15:05.920] kick drums, that's what I like.
[15:08.160] When I use here a clipper, for instance a hard clip, it doesn't sound very well in my
[15:12.600] opinion.
[15:13.600] You can reduce a lot of dynamics with the clipper but you get this distorted kind of hard
[15:28.440] core sound.
[15:29.440] Maybe you want to produce a hard core track, then that's the way to go, right?
[15:33.520] But in my opinion I want to have more like a soft and round kick drum, so I'm going
[15:38.440] here for a limiter, because I'm mixing into a limiter here with the ceiling of 0 dB,
[15:47.320] and now exactly here at the fader, I'm picking exactly at 0 dB, or maybe I go here to 0,
[15:55.520] or maybe minus 0.1.
[16:03.600] So this is my anchor in this mix down, I want to have this kick drum heard in all occasions,
[16:11.920] I want to cut it, that it cuts through the mix, and it should be pretty clearly audible
[16:20.440] at all times.
[16:22.440] So I'm pushing here, of course, also the high end, so I have a lot of frequencies in all
[16:28.200] the important areas here, so below 100Hz for the bass of the kick drum, at 1k, so you
[16:36.480] can clearly hear it, and also at 10k here, to get this click on top, right?
[16:42.240] So you have also, when you hear it on a smartphone or something, you can hear the small little
[16:46.600] click of the kick drum at all times.
[16:50.120] You can make this more clear here with the kick sound, maybe I also have here a small distortion
[17:02.080] on the kick drum at the top end, so I get this click more clear out.
[17:12.840] But not too much, it's not a hard-core track, I want to keep it soft and round, like I
[17:25.360] said.
[17:26.360] Okay, so now that we have this, we bring in here the rest of the drums, and then we remove
[17:36.560] this here, and the rim shot here also scratches the surface, which is okay, and we have here
[17:47.680] a hard clip, probably killing a lot of peaks already, and in my opinion, it's better to
[17:56.880] go with the ears on this one instead of having here a visualizer and using a hard clip
[18:02.560] the visualizer, because it leads you basically to watching what's happening and then deciding
[18:08.600] on that instead of based on what you hear.
[18:12.160] So you can clearly hear when I push this material into the clip, it changes the tonality
[18:17.760] and how it sounds.
[18:32.760] So for me, this is the best balance, that's what I decide based on taste, and also on
[18:38.400] what I know that I hear scratching basically the soft with the rim shot, and it's completely
[18:44.000] fine for me this way.
[18:47.000] Then we have the crash here, the crash is dialed in really loosely here, I don't care if
[18:55.720] it actually scratches the surface of any threshold, I'm just still dialing this in your
[19:01.160] bite taste, okay, so based on all of these different situations, I create your basically
[19:14.320] my mix down of the drums, we have a clip here, bring in the clip, the clip is here at
[19:28.320] minus 7 or 8 dB, so again you have the same process, I'm bringing up the clip to the threshold,
[19:37.640] then again dial in minus 8 dB and now exactly this clip is peaking at minus 8 dB, and this
[19:44.640] way you can remember certain type of numbers, right, you know for the next track, oh,
[19:51.520] when I bring up my clip up to 0 dB here and dial it in 8 dB, it sounds probably fine,
[20:00.360] maybe in another track it's maybe minus 9 or minus 7 or something like this, right,
[20:06.560] but you are on the same range and area and you can remember certain type of numbers and
[20:13.080] they add up so we can build some kind of code struct in your head, what kind of dBs
[20:18.760] you need for certain type of instruments or certain type of frequencies, okay, we have
[20:25.120] a second clip here, don't want to limit too much here just, normalize this a bit, I wish
[20:42.600] we had some kind of normalizer in bit week, like for the big limiter where you can push
[20:46.720] a button then it analyzes for 5 seconds or something and then you can write input loudness
[20:53.200] here but we don't have that, this also minus 8, I have some VST plug instead do this and
[21:06.160] I show you this in a minute here with the music group where I do this all the time, but
[21:11.880] for here I show you this method with using the peak limiter with just bit week only tools,
[21:18.320] we have some hi-ads here, okay, we have some, we have this maybe minus 3 is enough here
[21:43.440] for the hi-ads or minus 4, okay, nice, then we have some writes here and also use your
[21:56.120] peak limiter in this app, we can also basically check if we don't have any drastic changes in
[22:07.720] the material or what time and it also makes us basically safe and keeps our times the
[22:14.440] peaks a lot, we go also your 2 minus 8, again we have another percussion track here this
[22:23.840] one here, so I just use this peak limiter as a visualize now, we can control where I am,
[22:44.760] yeah this is fine, minus 3, maybe minus 4, minus 5 should be good, we have already low
[22:55.200] cut on there and it sounds okay to me, so now that we have here the drums mixed or well
[23:05.680] balanced kind of, we have now the track or the bus itself and we can see we surpass here
[23:15.360] 0DP of course because we are mixing together certain frequencies and the frequencies overlap
[23:21.160] and then add up and we end up above 0DP, so what we can do here is just put a hard clip
[23:28.600] on there, it's probably just some things here, let's see with the peak limiter, it's
[23:40.760] basically just the kick drum and the rim shot picking a bit here, but we get rid of this
[23:47.000] here with the hard clip, just putting this on, input at 0, output at 0, it's just you
[23:52.720] know clipping at 0DP, that's it and now we basically pioneer, what we also can do is
[24:02.360] and I showed you in the other videos, we can use ozone to balance this out and maybe
[24:14.040] watch the frequency balance video or the generic overview video of this mixed down series
[24:20.200] here to get more information about this, but you can use the matching algorithm, so we
[24:26.840] analyze here the drum bus, let's see, maybe go over here, we analyze, enough, then we
[24:41.800] use 60b guide or pink noise here, match the curve 10%, it's enough and then we go into
[24:50.280] the clipper, so this is something you can do, like I said also in the other video you can
[24:58.400] use my FX3 tip here, if you don't use ozone 8, put the limiter in each of these boxes
[25:05.400] here and basically drive it up until you hit the ceiling, or you use ozone 8 or you can
[25:12.320] use unfilter by synaptic, it's also a nice plug-in, which basically analyzes here a learning
[25:21.600] process, it's happening all the time and it's matches basically to a pink noise curve if
[25:28.880] I'm not wrong, and then you can choose with the intensity of muffled or how bright you
[25:35.320] want to have your material, and I think here around 0.4, it's a sweet spot for me I think,
[25:48.240] so I have this also as default preset when I load this plug in here, so I only need
[25:52.160] to put it on the track and then it everything figures out itself, the problem with unfilter
[25:57.960] is for me that it sounds in certain occasions, or when you have it on drums you can hear
[26:03.960] that it's a spectral type of tool, you can hear the spectrals much and smearing sometimes
[26:13.040] in certain frequencies, so I usually try to only keep it to the master bus of this thing
[26:19.960] here and when I want to do some quick master rings, okay, the ozone 8 is nice for me, it's
[26:27.080] the best plug-in to balance this out here against pink noise curve, so we have did this,
[26:32.760] we also get rid of some peaks here on the drums, and again how much you drive the drums
[26:39.160] into the clipper here is basically decided by how loud you want to have your material
[26:43.960] on what kind of goal you're aiming for, for instance this is more of a late backtrack
[26:48.720] here, it's 105 BPM, it's more like a chill out tune with a lot of pads in the background,
[26:55.720] so I don't want to drive this like a hardcore drum bass track, right, so I could do this,
[27:05.160] but I don't want to, so it's a rate of decision basically, but now we know that the drums
[27:15.360] are peaking at 0 dB, that's important, now we go to the bass track here, and the bass
[27:21.360] track here I've already dialed in minus 40b, but I'll show you, we have this here peaking
[27:26.680] at 0 dB again, like all the other drum tracks, and because I know this is a bass here and
[27:37.320] we have a lot of frequencies down here, I usually go for minus 4 or minus 3 dB below the drums,
[27:49.040] this is what I meant with, you can remember certain type of numbers, and it's probably
[27:53.560] okay to dial in minus 4 or minus 4, minus 3, sometimes you have to go lower or sometimes
[28:02.200] the bit higher depends on what kind of notes you are hitting, which keys you are on, you
[28:08.360] know different frequencies need different loudness levels, so, but I can remember a certain
[28:14.880] type of numbers here and I know exactly minus 4 will be fine, okay, so when I mix together
[28:20.480] the bass and the drums now, it's probably okay, maybe I have too much overtones here,
[28:30.280] but I can clear this out with any cue, but the sub bass should be fine, and we couldn't
[28:44.520] put here also, also an 8 on it, maybe something, something with some overtones in it, stop it,
[29:13.800] pink noise, matching, and it even wants to reduce the certain type of low end, it's probably
[29:19.600] because also of the kick drum, but you can get rid of this in a moment.
[29:25.960] So we have here a bass, and we have here a side-chaining, getting information from the
[29:30.800] kick drum, and we're doing here the kick drum, also every time the kick drum comes in,
[29:35.960] we reduce here by, I don't know, 4 or 5 dBs, we can push this even further, and this also
[29:43.640] depends on how fat or how many low end your kick drum has, right, so if there's a lot
[29:49.680] of low end in the kick drum then you probably need to reduce this even more, if you have
[29:55.560] a more like a high-pitched kick drum then you maybe don't need a side-chain at all, so
[30:01.760] we have to decide on this, and yeah, so 10% is perfectly fine, and then we go again into
[30:28.400] a clip here, up clip, maybe put a peak limiter on there so we can see what's going on, and
[30:36.160] see the drums are peeking out here, still, and maybe you can push this here with 3 dB,
[30:45.120] about 6, depends on how much dynamic you want to have in there,
[31:02.160] so we basically have now here a drum bass track without any melodies or pad sounds or anything,
[31:30.160] and if we put here the b-meter on that, we can measure, so if you're short on the maximum
[31:42.920] of minus 10 laughs, and push this a bit more, that's maybe too much, so minus 4, and we
[32:04.640] can also go here maybe to the drums and use here the trans-in-shaper trick, I showed you
[32:09.880] also in the initial video, trans-in-control, and maybe push here by 10% to sustain it,
[32:20.280] we get more of this pumping effect here with the trans-in-control, I also made a video
[32:24.400] just about this trans-in-control trick here, that's also on my channel, maybe 20%, so this
[32:52.120] is perfectly fine, I don't want to have this at minus 6 dB, minus 6 laughs, because it's
[32:57.160] a late back tune, I want to keep some dynamics in there, it's already pretty loud, but you
[33:01.720] can see you can drive this pretty easily to any parameter or to any value you want,
[33:08.760] okay, so now we have the drum bass bass kind of ready, and it sounds okay to me, I mean,
[33:14.400] I can't hear it at the moment over my speakers, so I'm only using my headphones, so I'm
[33:20.240] not sure, but I think it sounds okay-ish, but this is also something you have to do,
[33:26.120] you have to test it on multiple speakers, right, and make some changes to hear it here
[33:31.960] and there, and also maybe try out different methods, maybe try out different loudness
[33:38.800] levels, sometimes certain songs sound better with more dynamic, or most of the tunes,
[33:48.720] so now that we have this here made our drum bass, bass bass is pretty clean, and it works
[33:54.160] great, we go over here to the music group, and there are a lot of tracks actually in there,
[34:01.120] and what we can do is we can use here, instead of using the string of using a peak limiter
[34:09.440] and driving everything up to zero dB, what we did here with the drum bass tracks, we can
[34:16.000] do something like using a dB limiter, like this one, and a dB limiter here basically analyzes
[34:24.880] your track, and you can put in a reference level you want to have your volume at, and
[34:30.040] then you push a button and it changes the volume to match that level, and what you can
[34:35.840] do is maybe let's dial in here minus 40, 14 dB, and put this on all these tracks here,
[34:46.320] like this, you can remove this here, it's over here, and we can push this to the dB, it's
[35:00.920] over here, and when we have this on all tracks, and then easily just let the track run analyze,
[35:14.760] analyze all the tracks, and then we normalize to match minus 40 dB, so we have if x here,
[35:26.200] put this on fx, or so on here, okay, so maybe we have to listen to the whole track because not
[35:40.120] on every occasion, everything happens at the same time, you can see here, I feel certain instruments
[35:46.920] only playing at certain sections, so you have to be aware of that, put this plug in, I'm using here,
[35:55.880] basically uses the short-term loudness max, and you remember the maximum peak, or loudness peak,
[36:03.960] happening on that track, no matter how often you play it, and you can reset this only by clicking on
[36:11.400] reset, but for instance, let's see, this one here is playing, you can see here it says short-term
[36:22.760] loudness max is minus 11, but we want to have minus 14, and we can do this by just clicking the small
[36:29.400] little button here, it says match short-term loudness max with reference level, the reference level
[36:36.360] is minus 14, so changes then the gain, when I push this button, and increase this here a bit so you
[36:42.680] can see it, and see it subtracts basically minus 2.2 dB to bring it to minus 14, it also resets the
[36:52.760] short-term max volume here again, and starts to measure, we can do this over and over,
[37:08.680] what's this down, let's see what we have here, you can see we have also some
[37:17.320] bad ends happening, so it's better to just listen to the whole track before you start to
[37:25.400] match basically, or use this button here, to match the loudness.
[37:37.000] Okay, so we have the complete track here analyzed, and we can now step here to each
[37:42.600] little thing, and push here the normalize button, we have increased here of 10 dB, and this one,
[37:58.200] minus 4, 3 dB again, and loves is basically not analyzing only the peak, it's also taking into
[38:20.360] account how your ES work, the flanger mentioned, months in curve, so it should be fine,
[38:31.000] orchestra, so we have these three, a pretty quiet, oh there's no track on this one,
[38:51.800] we can remove this, nice, okay, so we have basically gain stage now, all the musical tracks here,
[39:05.480] we have basically now a nice space for dialing in things that we want to change, or creatively
[39:22.360] creative changes, or changes based on taste, so sometimes you don't want the strings not too loud,
[39:30.920] you know, more on the background, so you have some creative changes to do, but it's a nice
[39:35.960] base to actually use the sliders now here to offset certain type of sounds, let's see,
[39:43.560] I probably want to have the feedback down here much, much quieter than it actually is, it's way too
[40:02.120] much of a, orchestra, maybe minus 4,
[40:14.680] maybe minus 5,
[40:44.680] maybe this is also too loud, minus 4,
[40:59.480] so on the bus of music we can put here a queue, maybe low cut a bit of the stuff,
[41:12.680] because we have a lot of kick drums and you know this big fat bass, the low end here, so we need to cut
[41:21.720] something out, I put the limit on there, low release, just in case,
[41:34.440] so yeah I think the rides are too loud, I pull this down, minus 12,
[42:04.920] we can see now these sliders have some kind of meaning, you can see that we offset here basically,
[42:15.080] the orchestra, we made this quieter, we also did here the M32 a bit quieter, now all these sliders
[42:22.920] have some kind of meaning to it, you can also sort this now by how much you offset these sliders,
[42:31.000] and then you have more control, better overview of what's happening in your mix down,
[42:39.160] what did you change, and yeah that's how I approach it mostly, most of the times,
[42:49.960] I also think this one is way too loud here, I push this way too much in the clipper, probably,
[42:55.400] maybe go back to 15,
[43:25.400] still too loud,
[43:32.840] this is the bell sound here, maybe also a bit too loud, I don't know,
[43:50.280] oh let's use here this one, minus 3,
[44:05.720] so now that we have this, we can go to the all track here, which is our main master,
[44:24.360] and usually I tend to track here with the ozone, and you can put all your nice little
[44:31.960] mastering tools on there, in use all your available VSTs, let's analyze here a bit,
[44:47.400] stop it, ink nice, you can see the kick drum still goes into the ceiling,
[45:06.680] so maybe you can use a clipper here too, maybe go a bit more gentle with minus 1 dB in there,
[45:36.680] so
[45:56.360] If it's feedback, it's a bit too loud, minus 6, and it's 10.
[46:26.360] Music
[46:48.360] So I basically try to reduce the dynamics, but not too much and I don't want to limit
[47:05.360] of letting all these small little pads here too much, but I try to increase the volume,
[47:13.360] or decrease the dynamics a bit here with the limiter, but you can see I don't
[47:20.360] drive too much into the ceiling here.
[47:46.360] What you can also use for VSTs here is, I think it's called signed minor,
[47:53.360] but it does, it basically reduces the wideness when there are some problems
[48:01.360] in the stereo phase distortion field here.
[48:05.360] As you can see, we can move this up, so make the track wider,
[48:10.360] but when there are some phase issues or everything below a certain frequency here,
[48:16.360] bass mono at 90Hz, so you have no widening below 90Hz.
[48:22.360] I think everything below 90Hz is mono with this plug in.
[48:27.360] Music
[48:47.360] Okay, so this is how I would approach to mix down basically a messy track
[49:16.360] or project.
[49:17.360] As some of these tracks I already balanced out pretty well in the beginning,
[49:23.360] so it was again a bad example because most of these things here I did,
[49:28.360] I do while I'm creating the song, and when you watch sometimes my streams,
[49:34.360] I do this on the fly, so I group everything together into groups,
[49:41.360] level out everything the best I can, and that's why I don't have to do that much anymore in the end,
[49:48.360] so it's pretty rarely that I have a messy project to begin with.
[49:54.360] But sometimes I get projects from different people, they send me over that stuff,
[49:59.360] and ask me what would you change, and then I start over and do all these things here I did to this project,
[50:07.360] and try to bring in some order, and yeah, basically start at the ground,
[50:14.360] and then build upon that, start with the kick drum as my anger in the mix down,
[50:19.360] and then level everything below the kick drum, bring in dynamics here,
[50:26.360] dynamic limitations to the drums, to the bass, to the drum bass group,
[50:30.360] treat us like a whole different track here, treat us basically like a drum bass tune,
[50:35.360] that's why I called also here this drum bass, to get the dynamics out and up front everything,
[50:45.360] and then the music bus here is also a different track, it's more like an ambient tune,
[50:49.360] and then I bring this ambient tune together with the drum bass tune,
[50:54.360] so I treat everything basically like a subgroup or sub mix,
[50:59.360] and then you can basically step from track to track, and from bus to bus,
[51:07.360] and implement all the changes, and yeah, it's not like you're jumping from one track to the other track,
[51:14.360] and you know, it changes everything all over the place all the time,
[51:18.360] which makes it pretty chaotic and takes a lot of time.
[51:22.360] So in my opinion, this is a quick rock flow to do.
[51:27.360] The thing with the DP meter is something you don't need to do,
[51:31.360] you can also do the same thing like I did here with drums,
[51:35.360] where I use a limiter, a peak limiter, and bring everything up to the ceiling,
[51:40.360] and also the thing I did here with the DP meter, you can also do with drums if you want to.
[51:46.360] You have like more like a jazzy dynamic drums, and you want to keep the dynamics,
[51:52.360] and you want everything, and yeah, not so pushy, not so flat,
[52:00.360] then you can use just the DP meter here.
[52:04.360] By the way, it's a free plug-in.
[52:06.360] Don't cost you anything.
[52:09.360] You can switch here to the RMS mode, which is the old measuring method
[52:13.360] by using the peaks, and RMS is basically peaks over a certain time window.
[52:19.360] Yeah, it's 600 milliseconds, so basically peaks measured over a time of 600 milliseconds.
[52:25.360] And then you have this eBoo mode, which is more like a standard,
[52:28.360] where you have defined standard, standardized measuring methods,
[52:34.360] and also the frequencies are taken into account,
[52:38.360] so how many low frequency are in there?
[52:41.360] So the much better method of measuring loudness, the eBoo mode,
[52:47.360] and I only use eBoo in most of my cases.
[52:51.360] I don't want to measure RMS or peaks or anything.
[52:54.360] I just go straight for eBoo and use these numbers.
[52:59.360] And yeah, you can put this on all the tracks.
[53:02.360] Use it to normalize.
[53:04.360] You can not only normalize here to short-term loudness max.
[53:07.360] You can also, as you can see, to true peak max here,
[53:10.360] and momentary loudness max, and integrate the loudness.
[53:14.360] You have everything here, you have this button below.
[53:18.360] You can use to match against your reference level you put in above.
[53:24.360] Okay.
[53:26.360] What else?
[53:28.360] Yeah, this tutorial is basically based around gain staging.
[53:32.360] If you want to learn more about frequency balance and how I mix down,
[53:38.360] then there are also two different other tutorials on this channel.
[53:43.360] You can link them down in the description.
[53:45.360] You can watch these.
[53:47.360] And there are probably more tutorials about this whole mass ring thing I do in the future, in the near future.
[53:55.360] Thanks for watching, guys. See you in the next video.
[53:58.360] I hope you learned something.
[53:59.360] Please leave a like if you liked the video, and I'll see you next time.
[54:02.360] Bye.