Why do my tracks sound quiter than everyone elses?

Hey everyone…whats been goin on here lately?, iv been away for a bit.

Its possible someone may have asked this before but i cant see where.

Anyway, when im making a track i often put it on cd and listen to it on the soundsystem at work to see how its going,

when i export the wav i make sure im not clipping any red on the master out or individual tracks in ableton but also trying to keep the volume as loud as i can

but when i play the cd i have to crank the volume of the cd player way up and on the same point when i upload a track to soundcloud or whatever everyone else’s tracks seem to be much louder than my own even mates of mine with track that i know have had no proper mastering…is this just an ableton think or what am i doing wrong…il post a link to the last track iv loaded up and you can see what I talking about…

cheers everyone…any help at all here would be much appreciated

[soundcloud url=“http://soundcloud.com/bubble-sweetman/water” params=“show_comments=true&auto_play=false&color=ff7700” width=“100%” height=“81” ]

Hey Bubble, thats because your track isn’t mastered. What you can do to remedy this, is to get Izotope Ozone and stick it on the master bus. You can then lower the thresh hold to get a little gain reduction and then jack the input up as far as it can go without clipping.

If you cant afford Ozone, you can stick a compressor on the master bus. If I were you, I would just stick the mastering preset on it and jack the output up just before it clips. Then it will be louder for you. I do this to get a general idea what my song will sound like once it gets mastered.

cheers Howie,

il look into it,

but basically your saying what im experiencing is pretty normal and doing these things will bump it up a bit.

If you use ozone, use the ‘cd master’ preset, there are two, just decide which one you prefer then edit as required.

In my master bus i first have EQ to take out everything under 30hz so that it doesn’t disrupt my compressor, which i have to mildly gel all frequencies together. Then i have ozone on CD master preset enhancer and edit to my requirements.

That’s about it for me usually.

[quote]bubble sweetman (28/03/2010)[hr]cheers Howie,

il look into it,

but basically your saying what im experiencing is pretty normal and doing these things will bump it up a bit.[/quote]

It is for everyone. Even the best sounding songs, sound quiet before mastering.

You should be able to get the “loudness” by adding a compressor at the end on your master bus. This should only be done to get an idea of what your stuff will sound like after mastering. I don’t believe you should add EQ on the master bus. This will change your sound completely, and if you are getting things mastered, should be not done. When sending to mastering, you should put NOTHING on your master bus and leave everything up to the engineer. Personally, even the stuff that does not go to mastering does not get EQ. The reason??? I know jack shiz about mastering and what does and does not sound good. This is something that takes alot of practice and is not for a novice. And I will make an assumption that EVERYONE on this site, including the majority of the Sonic Academy administrators are not mastering engineers.

yeah i was always under the impression i shouldn’t put compression on the master…but it all kinda makes sense to me now that you say it…

stuff for my own personal use like playing out/giving to friends i can compress away but if i wanna send to an engineer “JUST LEAVE IT”


I would get ozone. Its great for just that. Throw it on the master to test out on a crowd.


nice track!!!

this guide can be useful for ya: [url=http://www.musicradar.com/tuition/tech/how-to-make-your-music-loud-236398/15#content]http://www.musicradar.com/tuition/tech/how-to-make-your-music-loud-236398/15#content[/url]

It’s in logic but all effects are available in live 8 as well