Gainstaging and Mixer Volumes - if i like the sound should i just lower Mixer Volumes?

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hi, im struggling with some tracks i made in the past where i really like the squashed sound sometimes :D, the thing is it isnt consistent when i want to make a playlist as tracks with LUFS about 5-6 compared to tracks with 9-10 LUFS are not fair ;). so i know that if you change the GAIN(Volume in the Channel Volumes you alter also the FX sounds as you change the input to them. but if i for example JUST lower 2-3 db the volume on all mixer channels shouldnt the overall sound (FX Sound of course unaltered as the channel volume/gain stays the same stay the same (minus the Limiter sound of course) and just get a bit quieter and reach my 9-10 LUFS?

this is just an example pic not a project :D

example settings:
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to keep the sound but just make everything quieter i just lower all mixer channels? and let the channel volumes (upper part) unchanged.
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thanks!
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I hope I understand what's your goal? If yes then ...

... get Melda Free Bundle with included MLoudnessAnalyzer for creating an audio file playlist with constant LUFS 9-10.

Drag and drop all the too hot master audio file bounces on its GUI (Batch auto-gain).

MLA, with your target LUFS setting, changes files' loudness accordingly.

https://www.meldaproduction.com/MLoudnessAnalyzer

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Don't mess with any of the channels. I bet you have a Master fader. Just pull it down 3dB.
Or use an audio editor.
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thanks a lot guys, the master fader doesnt help cause when i turn it down i dont get lower LUFS.
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Caine123 wrote: Thu Jun 20, 2024 7:17 am thanks a lot guys, the master fader doesnt help cause when i turn it down i dont get lower LUFS.
I'd assume this is because the fader comes after everything else on the channel, including your LUFS monitoring solution. Inserting a simple gain device as the second-last thing on the master chain (with your LUFS monitor being the very last) and using that rather than the master fader strikes me as the easiest way to get a 'safe' volume change that you can actually monitor in the context of a DAW project.

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cron seems to be right. Place any gain plugin after all other plugins on the master channel and load LUFS meter you use after it.

You may use any gain plugin (like DMG audio TrackControl or Gain by kilohearts, there are plenty of free options) or any plugin with gain knob. Fruity Balance is good (for example). Don't touch "Balance" knob, adjust "Volume" only.

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thanks a lot guys, i will try it out later!

but theoretically am i wrong with the following?
1. i know that when you change the volume gain faders (here the channel volume upper part) you affect of course the sound if there are saturation plugins etc. in the mixer inser channels.
2.but shouldnt i keep the same sound when ONLY changing the mixer channel faders? as i get the previously effected sound out? i will make a video later.
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With a non-empty master fx chain, it does not work like that.
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My MusicCalc is served over https!!

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i uploaded a video which shows a quick project i made just now where you see following steps but i also added pics here if you dont wanna see the video:

Video
https://www.dropbox.com/scl/fi/97u9eqbp ... at4xa&dl=0

1. i mostly have a limiter on master at 0db to have no clipping and have no mixer channel changes, i throw in samples, synths etc to taste and adjust the channel volumes mostly then.
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2. then i start of course EQ etc. mostly also reverb, comp etc. but not here.
3. i start to sidechain/layer . would you do the same as i do here? for lazy layering i just sidechain the desired kick (mostly i also eq a but seperately) and add the layer until im satisfied volumewise. then i route them to a bus with a comp.
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4. same with the basses, i mostly eq them and sidechain these, a main bass + bass layers then to a bus with comp etc.
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5. the bass BUS is sidechained by the drum bus
6. then im mostly (not here) at a stage when i add my master preset that my limiter is a lot of times at -7 db or so :D.
7. so before i proceed there i still have everything on master switched off only the limiter on. and NORMALLY after many tutorials you mostly rebalance your mix/adjust, mostly i put all mixer channel faders down and go through each by each until im satisfied with the sound
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8. i enable the effects on master and thats it.
9. when im at around my desired LUFS im happy.
10. if it exceeds my LUFS i normally would turn down some Mixer channel Faders?
11. with the bass i normally reference to some reference tracks but here i also added 2 examples for the Bass and the Kick where i thought Bass XXL would enhance the low end a bit more, any tips here also welcome :).

Again this is a simple and quicker mix and master but maybe you got some tips?

thanks a lot!
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Adjusting for loudness is a Mastering thing.
It's not recommended to "just pull some channel faders a bit down". That's Mixing!

Stop confusing yourself and us. Split the process:
* Mixing: make it sound good on its own, export to stereo
* Mastering: make it sound compatible with your other tracks
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My MusicCalc is served over https!!

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BertKoor wrote: Fri Jun 21, 2024 9:14 am Adjusting for loudness is a Mastering thing.
It's not recommended to "just pull some channel faders a bit down". That's Mixing!

Stop confusing yourself and us. Split the process:
* Mixing: make it sound good on its own, export to stereo
* Mastering: make it sound compatible with your other tracks
thanksa lot Bert, i think in the digital mixing in the box gainstaging etc. isnt as important as with analog gear anymore but yeah i mean mixing
- gainstaging - bring all volumes to the mixer not clipping (only if for some sound design or whatever) mostly at around -9 db to -6 db
- check if the sum of all signals is not exceeding -6 db to -3 db overall to give mastering headroom
. if you got this and it sounds well why use mixer faders at all then? this is the part i still dont get. if you can mix with channel volumes why use mixer faders?
i see so many tutorials where the people show how they gain stage everything and then have all the elements in sum at around -6db and then set all mixer faders to zero and put each up mostly starting from kick, to percs to bass and the rest.

overall from my view i think i slap in my concept hase too fast the master preset and dont do gain staging before ;D
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Hi,

thanks for all the replies again :)!

so i summarized my main problems now in a structure and hope some can help me out here:

1. i always mix this up but which is now more important? Afaik LUFS integral is the way to go isnt it?
e.g. the following example where top is -7.0 LUFS int what seems kinda critical normally and short term is -5.7 LUFS and my track bottom is -8.1 LUFS int and -5.6 short term.
So my int LUFS is a bit better ;D but my short term seems still critical?

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2. i dont really care much when i start a song, i mostly adjust some elements around the kick etc. mostly at the gain volume and later adjust a bit the mixer fader in mixing and mostly only the percs clip if desired and in sum i often have no headroom, it peaks at around 0dB. But it sounds well when having eg. Only a limiter on master (mixing process). BUT would you ALWAYS say that you need 3-6 dB for the mastering stage? No exception?

3. what if i got a track which i really love from the hitting percs etc. and am e.g. at -7 LUFS int and it still sounds well but i want to be sure for streaming etc. and dial back so it hits -8 LUFS or even 9 LUFS int. Is there any non damaging way to keep the sound but having it around 2 LUFS switched back?

Afaik there is only one way to lower gain e.g. in Audacity? Or is there any other way to keep the same sound but just a vit lower in volume?

Afaik everything will change the impact/sound:

a) lowering all mixer fader volumes eg 3dB would hit the Master Bus differently

b) when i lower the limiter 3dB it will hit the wall of the limiter as well different and alter the sound.

4. what would you do to number 3 if you would be in this step?

Many thanks!
DAW FL Studio Audio Interface Focusrite Scarlett 1st Gen 2i2 CPU Intel i7-7700K 4.20 GHz, RAM 32 GB Dual-Channel DDR4 @2400MHz Corsair Vengeance. MB Asus Prime Z270-K, GPU Gainward 1070 GTX GS 8GB NT Be Quiet DP 550W OS Win10 64Bit

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