For radio production, you would typically use loudness normalization after mixing to make sure the final product hits the target loudness exactly. Meters, Presets and Hitting Target Levels. Mixing and mastering engineers have always liked things loud, but with the advent of digital lookahead limiters in the CD era, loudness became an arms race. If you mix under these conditions, your music will sound incredible — until you turn down the volume. Let’s look at the recommendations for commercials (short-form content) vs the TV shows we are mixing and watching (long-form content). The A85 document focuses on commercials in no uncertain terms: “For short-form content, A/85 recommends that the average loudness of the full mix be measured over the entire length of the item.” By contrast: You would want to mix towards the target anyway, but the loudness normalization step afterward would put you spot on. The question of how to get impact and loudness in production and mixing seems to be a returning one, so I've written some tips here. That’s why everything sounds better loud. Increasing volume, however, accentuates lower and higher frequencies. It is a must-have visual tool for every producer and mixing engineer on a budget as it will help determine the proper amount of loudness without … You could also use it to normalize individual elements in your piece prior to mixing. Listen to your favorite song and make a list on a piece of paper of all the instruments and different vocal tracks. The Arrangement With a real life band playing in front of you, the more instruments you add to the band, the louder the music will be. The only way to know how to set your volume levels for each instrument in the mix is to analyze and learn them by listening to songs in your genre. Then your mix will sound puny and midrange-y. As recording and mixing engineers for albums and singles most of our dealings with mixing and “loudness” is “how loud can you make this track without clipping or squashing it too much”. There are plenty of decent (and free) loudness compliant meters (a Google search away), so shifting to LUFS and dB TP measurements is not a financial obstacle. For mixing, set your target level to -23 LUFS, and for “mastering”, set it to -16 LUFS . In order of importance: 1. Alternatively, if you didn't want to change the compression you could lower the overall volume of the mix using a gain plugin on the output bus. This is a freeware loudness metering plugin featuring four metering modes (LUFS, LRA, DR and true peak). This flattens out the listening curve, creating an illusion of power and clarity. The Target Loudness (5) on some meters can be set. Fixing LUFS during Mixing If your track is breaching the threshold during mixing you could reduce the amount of compression or limiting to both reduce the loudness and increase the dynamic range. Dedicated loudness and mastering plug-ins — such as the Slate FG-X, pictured here — are best left to the mastering stage for actually processing your sound, but they can be incredibly useful on the mix bus as a means of previewing what loudness processing will do to the tonal balance of your mix. Every band wants their song to be as loud or louder than everyone else’s.