Mastering Process

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Recently, I've been puzzled about how my masters always sound so quiet. When I turn up the limiter's gain, it sounds squashed but if I lower the gain, it sounds too quiet. It sounds loud enough to me in LMMS but upon uploading it to Soundcloud, it sounds way more quiet than literally everyone else's work.

The waveform of my latest track: Voleur de Coeurs (https://soundcloud.com/fena900/voleur-de-coeurs)

Image

I have always assumed that it was because I didn't compress enough before putting the limiter's gain up but I wouldn't want to sacrifice what little dynamic range electronic music has. (The loudness war, etc.)

Just how do I master properly? Or is it a problem in the mixing stage?
FenA wrote:
Sat May 12, 2018 6:31 am
it sounds way more quiet than literally everyone else's work.
To me the linked song sounds fine
A lot of the tracks made with lmms, are generally too loud. If the spectrum is cut flat, it is clipping!
Image
Here there is two wave-spektrums of the same sound.
To the left the spectrum is normal, to the right, it is way too amplified.
Remember, that a listener can amplify the piece, by turning his volume up. I find that you get better and cleaner loudness that way!
In the picture, we do not necessarily have distortions! It may be that the over-amplified frequencies (right) , does not compete with other frequencies, so apparently the gain is ok, but it is not! It is indeed the normal (left) gain that should be sought for.
Besides that -Mastering is mostly understood as being a process where all pieces of an album, are 'tempered' up against each other, so that a listener can play the whole album without having to change settings on the listening equipment. Very often, Pros have mastering done by sound-technicians, and not done by them self. (others here disagree, with that pow :')
FenA wrote:
Sat May 12, 2018 6:31 am
Voleur de Coeurs (https://soundcloud.com/fena900/voleur-de-coeurs)
Some ideas (maybe relevant):

Maybe you can gain a few dB by attenuating the low frequencies where they are not needed (track by track), so below 100 or 150 Hz, via high-pass filter, or via low shelf filter (if you have LMMS RC5 or an EQ VST).

I would also say to use some notes or sounds that play above 1kHz (notes above C6), especially for the most intense moments, the climax (well, this does not concern mastering).

May also review the EQ of each instrument, and bring a few small dB between 1 and 5 kHz (eg for kick and snare). Or you can double some tracks with instruments or sounds that complement the frequency spectrum of the doubled track (for example the clap can be doubled).

And readjust the values of your compressor / limiter according to the changes made.

I would say you can still compress the peaks a little more.

You can also compare the waveforms + frequency spectrum of your track and a track of reference (e.g. on Audacity).
FenA wrote:
Sat May 12, 2018 6:31 am
It sounds loud enough to me in LMMS but upon uploading it to Soundcloud, it sounds way more quiet than literally everyone else's work.
Believe it or not, sometimes soundcloud causes that. :P

Also, check out the good advice, the others have posted above. :)

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