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View Full Version : Mastering/Compressing in Garageband?




Thrasher11
Jan 15, 2010, 07:05 PM
I have put a song together in Garageband with guitar, vocals, and MIDI drums using ez drummer as a plug-in. I have read many other forum posts and advice articles on how to mix/master in Garageband, but my problem remains. When I exported to itunes for the first time, i noticed a significant volume decrease. I learned about the normalize feature, turned it off, but then had the problem that everything was super distorted and clipping in itunes. I have taken all the levels down so no track is peaking in garageband, but normalize still doesnt work as i thought it would.

So my question is this: Is it even possible for a song created in garageband to have the same volume as professionally produced songs, without the distortion and clipping? any advice on how to use the Peak Limiter or Compressors in garageband would be greatly appreciated.



Luap
Jan 16, 2010, 01:26 PM
I've not really got that stuck into GarageBand, but i'd imagine it's not ideally kitted out for anything that would pass for mastering as I know it. Are you hell bent on doing this in GarageBand? Its ok for putting songs together, but you should seriously consider using something else for mastering.
A large part of what you have experienced, boils down to compression & limiting, which mix & mastering engineers use to get the levels up to the more commercial levels that you are used to. This also squashes out much of the dynamics of the recording, but thats another subject!
It's about so much more than simply normalising your tracks. But it isn't really possible to explain how to do mastering in a forum post or two though unfortunately. It's quite the art form in itself. You might want to hit up Google and do some reading up. Or get Bob Katz book about mastering.

To make a decent job of it will take practice and better software. Any half decent audio editor that can take plugins will do, and then get the Ozone mastering plugin. There's a multitude of pretty decent mastering presets in there that will get you in the right ballpark. And you can nose around the settings to see what makes it all work, and then tweak them more to your liking. If I remember rightly, there is some good guides on the Ozone site too.
It won't be a free solution though, but quite inexpensive for what it achieves. Plus it will be useful software to have around in future :)

zimv20
Jan 16, 2010, 02:10 PM
imho:

1. those who are doing the mixing shouldn't be doing the mastering
2. unmastered songs are better than badly-mastered songs

that said, i certainly don't want to discourage anyone from learning the craft, but if the sole goal is to get one's own songs to the same apparent volume level as released songs, i say either pay to have it done professionally, or simply turn up the volume knob when your song is on.

Thrasher11
Jan 16, 2010, 10:40 PM
Luap- this is what i figured. i hoped there was some way around it, but i guess it is time to step up my software a notch. ill look into ozone. thanks!

mesq
Jan 17, 2010, 09:36 PM
Is it even possible for a song created in garageband to have the same volume as professionally produced songs

No. If you are getting this involved with music try Logic Express :).