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Master db. boost and reduction Option in prefrences

PostPosted: 31 Jan 2017, 15:49
by Activated Soundwave
It may be a nice touch for some, but still overall a valuable option to have in the background if needed, as in this case I now find in relation to the Denon MCX8000,the evidence points that a db. boost and reduction setting could be warranted for some audio devices.
Adding a Db Gain and reduction selection in Preferences options
going up too +8db. from -8db should cover all scenarios, this option will give room to have the gain much more centred in relation to the general average of the channel (deck) LED peak and especially I find in the case of myself as a denon MCX8000 user.

Reasons for suggestion being:
In all my DJ experience where possible best too have the gain set at about half way (12 o'clock position) for a average mastered track maybe a little more for my personal preference, so the head room for mixing drawing frequency elements out from the EQ back up and out in a mix, also many technical DJs use the gain frequently and consistently every single song in one way or another many times each song mix, depending on what they wish to achieve while mixing and the technique on all the faders).

In the case of us Denon MCX8000 Gain is at say 7 too 9 o'clock position on average at the same time our Channel LED are way up really high' meaning if we where to turn the gain up by a few marks it would most probably be banging into the red. So we just don't have any headroom for utilising the gain for all the purposes I already mentioned above, and this is a major disadvantage for me personally and overall we need this logic to be a perfect DJ if we want that smoothness and level balence in our mixing.

Here is how I Personally like to work:
a) deck LED Peak from 1 too 2 yellow on average maybe 3 [/b] on the Denon MCX.
b) 1-3 LED marker range that I personally keep within for the main parts of a song.
c) Gain at the 12 o'clock too 2 o'clock position to start off with in relation to my Deck LED.
D) Master never more than 3db over although preferable 00db only in the green or one deck LED over,

Obviously all these things are subject to the devices/audio/software we use and meter indications chosen by these, not forgetting how the music we use has been mastered.

Just one other note regarding implement of this request :

I personally think it would be better to have settings in increments of 1db instead of jumping In say 3db. increments like one or two of our DJ software contenders.
And I personally don't think their is any need to have this function on the GUI only in preference settings, as this function would only be needed as a pre setting for individual taste or for certain controller audio drivers.

Thanks for considerations.

Re: Master db. boost and reduction Option in prefrences

PostPosted: 31 Jan 2017, 16:16
by RoJeC
Might be I'm missing something, nevertheless will try what I've learned on Cross audio.

When Main is max open is delivers Line level output. More than this is not good, as equipment following this may not be build to receive more than Line level.

However if you disable the Limiter you can add more gain in the steps prior to Main. Being Deck Gain as well as Track Gain.

If you really want to you can even use the EQ's as gain.

The Track Gain analyses normalizes the track volume to Line level. You can adjust this if you like (or ignore by Preferences)The deck fader when max is Line level. The Cross faders when Full Left/Right are Line level. Positions inbetween may differ somewhat depending on the setting, but generally remain close to line level.

Basically only the Amp prior to your speakers should add the energy boost from Line level to output volume.

If you reduce volume(s) in early steps this (somewhat) decreases audio quality, depending on characteristics of the fader algorithm. Same applies for amplifying. So usually it's best to have steps at line level where possible and only in a late step reduce or amplify volume.

Re: Master db. boost and reduction Option in prefrences

PostPosted: 31 Jan 2017, 19:03
by Activated Soundwave
Hello and thanks RoJeC,

I normally do not use the limiter and not at present so its not applicable,

I really do not wish to be Using the EQ for gain that would contradict the correct use of the EQ and destroy my whole way of thinking and idealism and my mixing precision / ability.

I have a song that with Gain analyses normalizes was 2.8
I set my song back to 00db. in the browser whilst my controller gain was half way and to be honest their is not much noticeable difference only a small fraction.

so to play devils advocate I will turn the gain more for that song via the Hidden browser icon I just find! too see what happens, I had to turn my track down by as much as 6-8 db. on testing to get a perfect balance with deck level at 2-3 yellow, I could push one more yellow too the max 4 before it hits red but I choose not too as that is my extra marker if a track should go any louder and having this failsafe also helps me keep my master out of the Red when two tracks are blending hence another reason why I always mention about consistently using my deck gains, a mix within a mix is what I always call it and that which also includes consistent EQ movements maybe up and down again is probably the most volatile at keeping balanced for a extremely perfect mix, and the myriad of fader movements all factors that may contribute to going into the red, and why I like to stick to my rules of mixing and not pushing that fourth yellow in my case but also similar with every other controller or digital mixer I have ever used.

In hindsight I could go and adjust each song individually but it would be much simpler to just set all db.peaks in relation to the gains starting point obviously gains may have been predetermined in other software as in many cases so they are no longer set to a 00db not that all track are mastered equally adding the other equation in. Being able to reduce the overall song gain structure as a whole before master would be a nice touch
( AH!! okay I see a little error on my part here possibly, maybe my title should read pre master db. I think maybe but not sure how to word this under the hood change, when it is technically a db. reduction I get a little confused here, so input is again welcomed ?maybe some more time would help me think about ) .

See this is what I do know before I over complicate things too myself too, I have not experienced as much a problem from other hardware audio before, maybe a little but it was manageable, this time for me its more of concern in relation to my mixing styles , in Serato DJ you have a long list of pre determined db. setting to choose from and I just dropped down about 6-8 db.. approx. from what they suggest and its turned out perfect in every way,
I mention so on the presumption their are no under the hood things they have done but db. reduction should be just that, not sure how they work this, so it may conflict with how I describe things although I can only go off what I am used to from my past and then this controller on the 2 different software but what i ask is doable maybe I am just overthinking this last part that I mentioned that did confuse me a little at this time.

I hope you understand where I am coming from a bit better.

Re: Master db. boost and reduction Option in prefrences

PostPosted: 31 Jan 2017, 22:04
by RoJeC
Still not fully sure what your objective is. So let's keep the thread going..

If you play an analysed track in Cross and record it it will by default be recorded at Line level. Only the quality of the algorithm for track analyses could make this different. (if e.g. to much silence in a track, like beginning or end) the analyses result can be off.

Same if you send to master out.. What I think you're doing somewhat wrong is reducing volume to much. There is absolutely nothing wrong with the reds. As long as this is dynamic. Clipping should not occur in Cross (especially with limiter enabled :biggrin: ). Only in tracks which have non music related trouble (like instruments plugged in live).

If you setup the audio you should set all faders to max/neutral. This is the line level you need. With this level you adjust the Amplifier(s/PA) to the max volume the floor/room needs. So taking into consideration the expect crowd.

If the needed volume is there you're fine. If not you need more speakers/amps.

Once setup you periodically adjust the Amp to the actual crowdiness.
Your software/controller/mixer combination is used with reduction of the volume relative to the max volume, being Line level. So no chance of clipping...

In your setup you (over)reduce volume early. Next you have to compensate(create) extra volume later. If then you increase your early volume you will get audio trouble.
This can be explained by the way the (most) faders work. The (db) volume is logarithmic. So if you e.g. move deck fader 1 cm volume doubles. 2 cm is 4times, 3 is 8 etc.
If your fader is lowered from 4cm to 3cm the db volume is from 16 to 8. You compensate this at the amp to create 'normal' volume by a similar oppossite change from 8 to 16. In both setups the default is 16*8 ==8*16. For 'me' this is the max. And if I would need more volume I increase the amp by e.g. 1; a minor step. You likely have the issue that you adjust the fader, which is way harder to control. And when moved to the top you have the overall volume has blown to 256 (which might explain why you feel the need to play safe..., but actually causes the problem).

Please consider this as general/summarized as both real life as technical info has some more details.. I hope it helps to pinpoint your needs/wishes to describe the actual change you're chasing.

Re: Master db. boost and reduction Option in prefrences

PostPosted: 02 Feb 2017, 18:42
by Activated Soundwave
will get back too this tomorrow, had a lot to write so need to go back over it, I hate writing and typing lol but I do get myself in such situation without effort lol

Thanks and for sure I got a bit to say, and share or/and learn
so guess the thread will stay alive for a little while longer, or until I have to run away and hide :lol:

Cheers RoJeC .

Re: Master db. boost and reduction Option in prefrences

PostPosted: 03 Feb 2017, 16:21
by Activated Soundwave
I will try and sum it all up :

limiters are best used for reducing peaks or spikes in the recording we can agree on.
In my entire 30 years a vast majority of DJs constantly go into red and max the red out so I have no point of reference and to me it seems like its pointless then to having or needing master Meters/LED why abuse the going into red rule I don't get it.

pushing a limiter too hard can cause a variety of unpleasant effects on the audio:
•Blunt, flat sound
•Loss of impact
•A dull, “airless” mix
•Gritty, fizzy distortion

The DJ before me is playing ,only a few People dancing on the dancefloor or jigging here and their the dance floor was far from rocking .
My understanding was that the life was squashed out of the music.
I would go on and immediately start to lower the master back to meet my red for danger rule, before me the music would have been getting hammered by the clubs system limiting or compression or attenuation circuitry or what ever the club amp or add on box would have been set too do. (and this is not including todays software),
anyhow need to say I have never failed to get people on the floor and to be honest rocking their socks off.
Time and time again I turn the levels down come on with my intro song, and I manage to get away with what may sound extremely low by comparison at first, but the situation always changes soon after their ears adapt from being destroyed.
providing I stick to my rules I do fine, people start pouring onto the floor and I get feedback from random people in the venue about how much better the sound was and they enjoyed my set whether it be house, breaks, progressive, trance, d&b etc. always the same outcome, I had to trusts my rules, from my on the job experience and also home mix tape clarity and emotion I make happen, I can here every detail in my woven mix .

Obviously in the club we can all get away with poorer mixing nothing will ever be quite as good! unless? - you like to be technical with following the meters and not just trusting the ears in some club situations this metering etc is a god send around bad monitoring or sound system etc.
If using Cross all the other added visual aids and markings etc ) are the icing on the cake and my techniques and rules again prevail.

All I can say is when it comes to my actual DJing things sit nice for me until the denon MCX 8000, because for the first time my rules have gone out the window now I have not got enough equal movement on my gain, I would have wanted to pull my gain up more around half way + as an average or their about each way depending on song being played, and with movement to bring my gain up high or completely out (Depending on my fader techniques and EQ movement).

One example from many :
All EQ centred, Start bringing second track in,then as I mix I decide what parts of EQ to play with etc. (forget what ever I may have done with the low ) as I fade the first track I may want to say for example bring more mid or/and high back in the background / linger it on, but doing this could and does make things harsh ( okay the limiter may help) but I don't want this its not natural,(Transparency in Cross is open for debate as I obviously did not create this ) but as the tutorial says and others practical learnings high levels can cause these artefacts'
We will get drastic unpleasant artefact especially if we are creative and experimental with all the aspects of the GUI mixing tool and ever changing meter levels, so its extremely important as you know to make sure you got the best matched hardware for the job.
Their are so many factors in the equations in being creative in the mix, that's before the sample decks too.

My gain is central for me , my gain allows me to utilise everything and keep all levels in check or even bring quiet background back up to linger more, its the hub and the equilibrium' so to speak.
The only good thing to come out of Serato is the ability to bring the overall master DB down, so in essence I can bring my gain back up more centred anywhere approx. 11oclock too about 2 o'clock is perfect whilst keeping my levels/meters down and matched so master does not clip Red. if its that simple in Serato setting things as I like then why not ? my MCX certainly needs this db. gain reduction option, doing without is not going to ruin my mixing but it will prevent me the scope to achieve much more and hence make me Sad :cry: and probably get bored with my djing.

always glad to learn and improve my understanding of such things we chat about here, so please don't take mistake me and my passion for being an arrogant no it at all type :neutral: its not what I wish to express, I only share my passion and love for this, so in essence I just have passion along with some high personal standards / rules lol.

Hope you get me now ?

thanks for chat and any correction in the theory much appreciated any learning,
but trust me when I say the practical is all good :mrgreen:

Re: Master db. boost and reduction Option in prefrences

PostPosted: 11 Feb 2017, 16:15
by Activated Soundwave
Found this today and again agreement !!!! ... mixer.html

This was posted at one of my stores I use on their tips and advices post about pushing the Red etc.

Re: Master db. boost and reduction Option in prefrences

PostPosted: 12 Feb 2017, 11:12
by RoJeC
Pretty logic to agree to 'it sounds wrong so it's been setup wrong'. This however doesn't tell how Cross contributes.

If translated to Cross.. Cross delivers 0db by design. Track analyses and gain settings are tweaked for this. So when Main is max you get best quality sound.
There is some room left for adding some gain. However if you need to change this balance then you have to be aware to reduce Main.

In my opinion the limiter of Cross does a decent job without distortion. By this it protects all hardware in the succeeding setup.

The result of Cross is what is being send into the soundcard.

Cross does NOT control the internal volume settings of the soundcard. We haven't mentioned this before. But also here is a potential trouble maker. As some soundcards have no tweak options at all where others have both volume control and/or boost option.

And to avoid minunderstanding... Fully subscribe reducing volume where possible to have the loud music sound loud without having to experience the limitations of the hardware...

Re: Master db. boost and reduction Option in prefrences

PostPosted: 27 Feb 2017, 14:41
by Activated Soundwave
Agreed that the limiter is off great use and for sure can help with keeping things balanced, I guess its all on personal preference.

I will look into what you mention about soundcards when I have a little more time, I have a couple of mixes too do with Cross then will get back on this post soon.