Volume question

The problem I have on my EDM tracks is keeping the volume at the right level throughout the track. For example when I drop an instrument out, the overall volume goes down. That’s obvious I suppose, but I don’t want the volume to go down at that point. So what’s the best way to control the volume. is it simply to ride the faders, or should I be more sophisticated? Thanks if anyone can help!

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This could come down to mixing and frequency balancing. Make sure there isn’t too much of a frequency range filling up the core of your mix from a supplementary part. I’d say to pay particular attention to bass but its the case across the whole range.

Perhaps the part you’re dropping provides some of a frequency range, say bass, and is being relied upon for some meat of the energy that you should be getting from dedicated bass parts, for example.

EQ out unnecessary frequencies from supplementary parts. Listen and perhaps look at that part in a visual EQ or spectrum analyser if you can, checking it solo and with the mix.
Think about what that part really provides to the mix in terms of frequency range. If it’s interest and usefulness to the whole mix is coming from say, it’s high mids, then cut unnecessary bass and check if you can reduce some low mids and treble on that part to allow other main parts to continue providing the core energy in those other frequency ranges.

This way you will better set the volume of your core elements so that when you do drop such a part the mix doesnt seem to collapse.

If you have a kick and bass part filling the bass and percussion in the highs, the volume of those elements should then stay consistent if you drop say a midrange synth part. Though we are quite sensitive to the mid-high range and it can add a lot of perceived loudness - so you can fill that with another part if you are wanting to keep the track energy up.

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That makes a huge amount of sense. Many thanks. I have been just piling everything in and then seeing how it turns out, but I now see what I need to do. I realise that a lot of the body in my tracks has been the pads, when they’re only really intended as background. I’ve then probably compounded the problem by EQing some of the bass unneccesarily.

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Hi there @drrkbeats

Sorry for the very late reply, hopefully it gave you some time to watch the tutorials I mentioned in my PM, I list them back here for other members as well.

  • Understanding Mixing Fundamentals with Phil Johnston

  • Loudness and Metering with Kirk Degiorgio

    @big_phil touches great points in his reply, so that already helps, basically it will have to do with gain staging and balancing your sources, the point with metering is that there’s a huge difference between the RMS and peak levels that the DAW meters can pick up and display and the perceived loudness depending of your audio source, so that’s where using a VUmeter can be handy, or any other meter that provide a loudness measurement.

Levels are building up, per channel and per track and depending of your audio source and especially if you have low end frequencies, you can quickly end up with faders all over the place to compensate inside the DAW.

So next to using a VUmeter or other loudness measurement solutions, it’s a good habit to start controlling your levels right at the source : so that could be the output of a soft-synth or effect plugin, or placing a utility device right after the plugin when you don’t have direct control on the plugin output itself. But yes, anything that lets you control the source level, before it reaches the track output and fader.

The idea is to have your faders quite balanced against each other, it makes gain staging and re-balancing the all mix much more easier then. Let’s say you have a soft-synth output peaking close to 0 Dbfs ( in peak and RMS ), if your only control is to reduce the track fader to compensate, you’re gonna end up with faders all over the place with huge differences and it quickly becomes hard to Mix because of perceived loudness, tiny adjustments for some sounds with low frequencies will reflect as huge boost for example, so it’s better when you can have more even faders levels across all tracks before hitting your Busses and Master.

Hope this helps :wink:

Cheers !

Thanks, it helps a lot. I think I’ve already made some progress with big_phil’s suggestions too.
I used to adjust ll the vst’s at source so that they hit the DAW at around -15db, but I’ve got out of the habit. I’ll revert to doing that as it sounds like a great recommendation. I’ll let you know how it goes!
Cheers again

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thanks for the awesome information.

thanks my issue has been fixed.

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