Forum - Banjo Ben Clark

Fine tuning a Mix

So, I’m still working on my backing track. I noticed that on about 30 percent of the 1 beats, the master track red lines.

Is this where compression will come in to fix, or is it something else?

Lot of learning yet to do. Really enjoying it though.

In my experience (and I don’t consider myself a pro by any means) if my track is red lining, it means my mic was too hot during recording, and it will end up sounding over driven in the mix.

It’s always going to be best to get the initial recording levels dialed in rather than try to fix them in post. The overall quality will be better. If that’s just not an option, you can play around with the levels in Audacity, possibly compression, and I think there’s a Normalize feature that might help level out the volume in the track… but I might be thinking of a different app.

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Two nights ago I watched a live Q&A on YouTube called String Theory by J.P. Cormier. He strongly suggested doing your best in recording as to not need compression. He likened it to a pinch of salt on a well prepared meal. Only noticed if you were focused on finding it.
Easy for him to say after 45 years of perfecting his touch on 5 instruments and the perfect mic/setup for recording those instruments for his style of playing, so many variables.
It’s a necessary evil without the time and money to eat/breathe/ live music.