Garageband: sound not the same when imported to MP3, help

Discussion in 'Digital Audio' started by yoe91, Aug 7, 2011.

  1. yoe91 macrumors member

    Aug 7, 2011
    Hey guys, my first post here.

    I've worked my butt off on 3 different songs this week, and my supreme satisfaction is taken away from me when I click "export to MP3" and hear just a different mix.

    It's all bassy, and other things change too - when I put so much time and effort into taking care of volume, EQ, etc...

    Why can't GB just give me exactly what I've worked for on GB, into MP3 ?

    Pleaaase help urgently, I NEED to get this done.

    Many thanks.
  2. Papanate macrumors 6502


    Jul 21, 2011
    North Carolina
    Are you exporting at the highest bit rate possible?

    And are you exporting a multiple track mix or a summed to two track mix?

    Part of your issue could be that when summing multiple tracks you are getting
    Conflicts...or comb filtering oe other anomalies.
  3. newuser2310 macrumors regular

    Feb 16, 2010
    You probably have some of your tracks clipping(going above 0db)

    Garageband will alter your final mix to make sure it doesn't clip(using compression/limiting)

    Thus altering your mix and making it sound different.

    You need to have headroom in your mix and have no clipping.

    Try reducing the volume by the same amount on every track to the point you are well under 0db on each track(I have my drums at -8b or more depending on the track and its complexity for example)

    As a rule of of thumb you should leave the master track alone.

    If your track seems quiet you can always turn your speakers up!

    You can always bring up the volume up on a later date once you mix sounds good.
  4. yoe91 thread starter macrumors member

    Aug 7, 2011
    Thanks for the free help !
    I'm exporting at the standard rate - the middle one, coz there's 3.
    "Multiple track mix" ? All I can say is there's around 8-9 tracks...

    Yeah I'm sure it's due to too many tracks at the same time, GB even stops me occasionally to let me know when there's too many at the same time. I then remove one and it's fine.
  5. yoe91 thread starter macrumors member

    Aug 7, 2011
    Yeah I don't hear any 'clipping' though I'm not sure 100% what that is...but yeah my vol. nods are way up in the 3's, 4's....I've got a small minority of tracks below 0 for the volume.

    What do you mean leave the master track alone ? And btw, I'll bring all those volumes down but, of course I can raise the master volume though, right there at the bottom ?

    Many thanks,
  6. Papanate macrumors 6502


    Jul 21, 2011
    North Carolina
    Clipping is when you push the audio over zero and it distorts. In the digital realm this sounds really bad...

    If your tracks are all hitting at 3db - 4db above zero your mix will not sound good at all. You may like the volume but the quality will be terrible.

    I shoot for -2 - 3db or more depending on what is going on. Doing so gives your tracks room to the ears time and space to hear things. In your case listen to the tracks critically...really dig in. And compare the sound to other people's songs you like. But keep in mind a whole lot of mixes these days are slamming the zero point and don't leave much headroom for dynamics. That is not a sound I would try to emulate personally.

    To sum up it reads like you've left zero headroom ... At which point different elements in the mix will start fighting each other - the end result will be a mix like you are hearing ... It just doesn't sound good. Google 'headroom' and read up on it.
  7. yoe91 thread starter macrumors member

    Aug 7, 2011
    Man that is a lot of very valuable information, this really helps a lot. I do hear better with everything proportionally down a notch...all under 0 volume.
    I wonder why GB doesn't just tell you that from scratch, I mean, everybody should know this I'm pretty sure that's not the case !
    Thx for the taking the time.
    P.S.: oh and, I'm not comparing my quality to the bands I like coz then I feel depressed !!
  8. WashingtonF macrumors newbie


    Jan 6, 2019
    I want to really thank you guys for this information. All the contributions on here are invaluable and have explained something that I fundamentally had no idea about; "headroom" and "clipping", which has made a HUGE difference to the mix now that I have tried your advice! And I have been having this issue for months not knowing what to do. But having applied this information all of a sudden the song feels finished or nearly there! Seriously, MASSIVE THANK YOU.:)

Share This Page