In the last couple years, there’s been a ton of conversation about loudness in audio.
And while today’s post is all about how to maximize the loudness of your Logic Projects, we have to ask ourselves –
Is there such thing as too loud?
It turns out we humans tend to perceive louder as “better.” And with the proliferation of CDs in the 90s, music was pushed to the loudness limit. Dynamics were obliterated. And the industry at large was on a runaway train that crushed music.
The result was a dark era in music that many refer to as “The Loudness Wars.”
In the last several years though, the loudness landscape has been changing.
Streaming services like Spotify have set loudness standards for music. Which means that if a track is “too loud,” then Spotify simply turns that track down.
And some very vocal mastering engineers have been speaking out against the ills of loudness maximization.
But where does that leave you?
The unfortunate truth is most music is LOUD. And when you’re mastering your own Logic Projects, it’s hard to not feel stuck between a rock and a hard place.
And we really do believe louder to be better. For better or worse!
So we know music suffers when we push loudness. But we also can’t help but feel like we screwed up when our tracks aren’t as loud as other professional tracks.
Even if you’ve followed my 6 Life Saving Tips post for mastering your music in Logic, you may find they’re still not enough. You try to crank up you the volume, but your songs just can’t handle the crush of the Adaptive Limiter. Leaving your tracks squashed and distorted like a bug ran over by a Hummer.
Today’s post should help with all that.
I can’t take the credit for this one though. In fact, I found today’s post in an old 2008 Gearslutz post.
Simply put, the set-up looks something like this:
- Load the stereo bounce of your track into Logic
- Send your track to an Auxiliary Channel to use in parallel
- Load the Multipressor on the Auxiliary Channel
- Set the Multipressor to “Smash”
- Blend the parallel Auxiliary Channel to taste
And just like that, you can add volume to your mastered track. All without having to shred your tracks to bits with heavy limiting.
Sound interesting? You can download the preset right here:
And follow the procedure in today’s video. The results might just knock your socks off 🙂
To be clear though – mastering is a delicate procedure. Mastering is not about adding volume, but about balance.
If your track isn’t well balanced at the mix stage, no amount of loudness is going to make it better.
So get it right at the mix stage! And with the new Loudness Standards, more volume might hurt your tracks instead of helping them.
Not sure how to navigate the new world of loudness standards?
Try out the fantastic (and free) Loudness Penalty Analyzer website. Simply upload your mastered track, and the Analyzer will show you how streaming services will respond to your tracks loudness.
With both the Multipressor preset and Loudness Analyzer website you can rest easier. Add loudness without the costly side effects!