I have the stereo mix up to 127 on my 2488 digital portastudio, but the overall volume when burned to cd is still too low. I have to turn it up all the way on the car stereo to hear it-what am I doing wrong? I turned the stereo master all the way up during mastering -ugh
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Re: overall volume when burned to disc is too low
This is a pretty common complaint and not unique to the 2488. The basic idea is that commercial CDs get their superior volume levels through the use of lots of compression which occurs throughout the mixing and mastering process. There are lots of schools of thought on how and when to apply compression during the production of recordings and the only real way to learn is to read up on compression and then to experiment.
Having said that, volume can also be increased by normalizing but many people don't consider that to be a completely legitimate way to increase dynamics and it does require working with wav files on a PC as opposed to the 2488.
I use a combination of external compressors, software applications, and the 2488 onboard compression effects when mixing/mastering (but mostly ouboard compressors). I usually don't burn CDs from the 2488 and choose to instead tweak the final mixes from the 2488 on my PC using various programs which gives me better control over various parameters (such as applying normalization to all tracks at once).
So the short answer is that there a lots of different ways to get there but basically when the dynamic range or your recorded material is large, the main volume of a track is going to sound lower because the parts with the highest levels (peaks) are going to need to fit in the -0 db area in order not to clip. When compression is applied the dynamic range is squashed down so that the peaks are brought more in line with the audio level which makes up the main portion of the track (in the middle of the dynamic range). This then allows the overall levels to be brought up higher without the peaks clipping. This is called downward compression.
Compressors can also be used to bring up the levels of low volume sounds without affecting the middle and higher level audio. This is called upward compression and also compresses the dynamic range in order to raise the volume of lower levels audio. This is called upward compression.
So when compressing and then boosting the main levels, the noise floor can come up with it. That is why gating is also commonly used along with compression and most outboard compressors are gates as well.
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What you need to do is find an option called "normalise" this makes the sound at the same level for all tracks on the CD. However I should point out that even some commercial discs are recorded at much greater levels then are needed. In otherwords they are loud!
You can use a free software audio editing and recording program called Audacity. Using this program load your stereo track(s) into Audacity, then look in the effects menu and select normalize. Make sure to set highest loudness level to 0 db, which is the maximum digital volume level. You can hear the difference in volume when you use the test button. If you can't still get enough over all volume level with the normalize feature then you will need to compress and limit the stereo track, but I don't suggest getting your over all loudness levels that high because it ruins and lowers the dynamics of your music. Another words when you compress and boost the over all loudness of your album then all your music is at the same highest audio level which is very ear fatiguing. It may sound better to you at first at louder volume levels but you will quickly learn to hate it over time because it does not sound natural. That is why most music today is all about loudness and ear fatigue. And because of the loudness wars going on today every Record company is trying to have the loudest album out there thinking it will sell more copies. It is all false baloney, it really should be about the quality and dynamics of your sound instead of how loud it is.
adjust your top knob which is called the gain, this will allow the incoming signal to be muchlouder depending on where you set it , the bottom fader is for playback volume and mixing and you should also a avolume control for your head set , follow also the recording instructions in your manual for optimal settings , there,s no reason that your recordings should come out with low volume other then your gain control being set to low , hope i was able to help , if i was please leave a nice rating ,sincerely glenn mayer
There's not really any magic fix to this as far as I'm aware. I usually don't burn CD's from my Tascam directly, but export the mix to the PC and do final touches and burn from there. I don't typically normalize though and the levels are what has come out of the Tascam. I do however use compression on many of the tracks (and sometimes on the whole mix) before exporting which will squash the peaks and lows together and thus give you an overall higher volume with your level meters peaking in the normal place you're used to.
There are other factors like EQ without which a mix can sound too loud and perhaps cause you to lower the levels when really things in the mix just need to be allowed to sit in different EQ bands.
Compression is the key though. Unfortunately even well recorded instruments and vocals naturally contain wide fluxuation in terms of lows and highs and these need to be smoothed out in order to obtain anywhere near the volume of a commercial CD. With compression alone the result may still fall short as the use of pro quality mastering effects can really make a world of difference to overall percieved volume as well.
There are a couple of places to look; I'll assume you have a decent input level near -12db average without peaking. First, ensure during playback upper right meter labled MST is near peak without going over, if you have room push the master level above 0db to +1 thru +6db and recheck for peaks above 0db. (You never want digital recordings to hit above peaks, you lose quality or resolution of the sound)
As you find the sweet spot, master rec to 23/24-16 using the elevated level on the master fader. The manual suggest editing and mastering with the master fader at 0db however if you don't compress your tracks individually or reprint them at higher levels, you may have a great mix at an overall lower volume, pushing the master fader should help for a quick fix, but if this cures the level issue, try compressing and leveling each track to peaks prior to the first mix only lowering tracks which are too loud, when you get to mastering, all your signals are at their top potential for the CD.
Spend a few minutes burning samples at low, just below peak, and just above peak levels on separate tracks and playback in your boombox for reference to a commercial CD. You'll find little to no difference when you are in the sweet spot.
Another trick is to mixdown to a separate pair of tracks (not 23/24-16) and compress again during master mixdown rec. (ultimately 23/24-16)
Jeremy Yates, Radio World LLC.
The 788 can be used to play music from a SCSI attached CD-RW drive, but the record (and all other mixing functions) are disabled so you are not able to record the CD output onto a track using the SCSI attached drive.
Your options are:
1.) Rip tracks files from the CD onto you PC as wav files. You'll have rip (or later convert) those files to mono 16 or 24 bit wav files at 44.1kHz, use the old dos 8.3 naming convention for the filenames, and them burn them onto a CD-R or CD-RW as data files which can then be taken and imported into the 788.
2.) Play the CD through with an external CD player or stereo and route the output into an input on the 788. Assign the input to a track and record. Be careful to use a line level output, like an aux out (or try the CD player's outputs directly into the 788) if you are using a stereo. Avoid using a speaker output as the signal from a speaker output will be too strong and can damage the 788.
Can't help you with any books for the DP 02, but I can try to assist you in doing what you'd like to do.
The way I would attempt to do this, and there may be other ways but this is really the cleanest in my opinion, (assuming you have access to a computer) is to first rip the CD onto your computer into a series of wav files. Then you'll want to work with one song/CD track at a time. Then you'll need to use a WAV editor (Audacity is a good free one) to convert the wav file from STEREO into MONO wav file. You can then (using the USB import function on the DP-02) import the mono WAV file into the DP-02's fat partition. From there you can load it into the DP-02 by choosing which track to load it into. You'd then be able to play this track while recording your voice overdubs onto another track.
You'd then mix your song and you could burn onto a cd right from the DP-02 (or do as I do and export the mix as two mono wav files back onto your PC and, then convert them back to stereo and when you have all the songs you want for the CD burn a new CD from your PC).
You may have to consult the manual for how to use the USB import/export as well as how to record and mixdown, but I've tried to outline the basic process to do what you want which wouldn't be discussed int he manual.
This answer assumes you have the 2488 mkI and not the newer mkII because the process may differ slightly on the mkII.
To premaster you first have to set an out point for the end of your pre-master (the start point is always zero). Go to the 'Audio CD' menu item and choose 'pre-master' under that. You'll see the word 'mastering' appear in the top left of the screen to let you know you've entered mastering mode. Make sure you have the tracks unmuted that you want to mix into the pre-master and have all of your eq, panning, etc set the way you want. Then hit record and play. The pre-master records to a stereo pair of dedicated internal tracks. You can redo the premaster as many times as you like which will overwrite those internal premaster tracks. You can clone the premastered tracks to a stereo pair of tracks, export them as waves or burn them to a CDR.
fnawesomewes - You have to press record and play to record your premaster.