I'm really fresh on this forum, but in few days I heard a lot of user's productions here. I see a lot of "EDM" (what?) fans there and ok. But I will be honest - I think that more than 90% producers here sounds like a garbage. And I don't hate on ideas, compositions or arrangement couse I can hear a lot of nice work here. But I'm really disgusted of sound.

The biggest problem of many producers is compression and limiting. I really don't know why You all making everything so damn loud, couse of what?! You really should take care of dynamic of Your song - not loudness. If listener thinks that Your track is too quiet, listener can make turn volume up ON HIS speakers. But everybody have more fun from listening nice and clean and DYNAMIC music. If You want listen what I'm talking about, check this:
1. https://youtu.be/jNF6lNfw160
2. https://youtu.be/KMNJEC1G-fE

First thing You need to do before putting compressor and limiter on the master You need to check if ANY channel is not to loud. It's really important to watch a signal. Most mastering engineers will tell You that mix need to be quiet. It's nice if Your final mix (NOT MASTERING) is going up to -6dB - it leaves a lot of space for nice equalization, compression and limiting. So try to finish your whole track at -6dB and don't put any garbage on master channel. Try to make Your song the best sounding as it's possible without compression and limiting on master. Equalize every single track and put it in the best place in the mix (the best for You). If You'll make a nice sounding track, which You feel that is finished and everything is really nice mixed together and the level is not louder than -6dB it's great! This is making music.

If You don't sending Your track to anybody for mastering and You want really put it on Your Soundcloud or You want make everything by yourself, now You can try to make your own pre-mastering. For the simplest mastering You need only EQ, compressor and limiter. I will not write how to make all of them couse You can find everything in the Internet. But if You don't know the basics:

0. Before You put anything on the master make sure that Your song sound like finished, great production which don't need ANYTHING to be showed. If You think it's to quiet - You got volume too low on YOUR SPEAKER. Turn it up. Now is ok? You think that sound is perfect? Ok, so it's moment to make it just MORE perfect ;) Put your volume down and go to next step.
1. First You put equalizer on the master. Cut the lowest frequencies and try to make your work better sound. Make it clean as possible You can. Remember - watch the signal, still leave a lot place for next steps, don't event try to make song going to -0dB!
2. Now put compressor. If You're using compressor I think that You know how to use it. I won't write it. But still watch to loudness - after compression Your track shouldn't be louder in ANY PLACE, and make sure of it, than -0.5dB. It's safe value, later I will write why. Compression on the master should be really gentle. You should only SMOOTH the sound, not make a garbage. COMPRESSION ON MASTER SHOULD BE SMOOTH!!!!!! Don't forget about dynamic!
3. You still should have some place, so You want make Your sound little bit louder? Put limiter. And it also should work only little bit. If Your limiter is working by whole track in EVERY SINGLE moment - You're lousing a lot of dynamics! Be careful. It should work only in the loudness parts of Your song, not whole time you bastard! And still - Your track should have some place. I making it on -0.5dB, some people make it little bit louder - -0.2dB etc. But remember, that You work on wav. You can't know what mp3 compression, radio compression, or Youtube compressor will do with Your track. Be sure that it still have some place and will not overdrive in any case.

Remember, that everybody can make music louder if they want. Every person, who is listening to music has volume control in his iPod, mobile, computer, radio etc. Let'em free to decide how loud they want to listen. Couse everybody want to listen nice and clean music, not a noise (ok I know that some people like noise).


Look at the image. If Your track looks like the second - You did nice job. If Your track is like the third - go and kill Yoursefl before You show Your music to anybody or change mix and mastering. Remember about dynamics. Look at the gif:

Some stuff to read:
http://www.npr.org/2009/12/31/122114058 ... unds-worse