A few questions about mastering(beginner)

hello i have any question,i have reduce the volume of my master bus in a track to put the max volume to -3db is it efficient or do i have to use a compressor or limiter(i’m not beginner with music making but i came frome the world of tracker:milkytracker fastracker ,etc)so i had none this genre of things before .
i have reduce all my volume and it’s not clipping anymore in any track

thank’s in advance for your answers :wink:

Hello diig,

if your goal is to avoid distortion, is is sufficient to lower your master fader.

A limiter does only lower very loud signals above a certain threshold. This way, you can increase the average loudness of your song by reducing it’s dynamic range.

Hope this helps.

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I’m not sure what “milky tracker” is but the bigger question is… do you plan on mastering yourself or having someone else master your track? If you are mastering yourself, I would say that mastering is an extension of mixing (Mastering engineers would kill me for making such a comment). If for someone else, I don’t see why reducing the gain on your master fader wouldn’t suffice (as long as you don’t normalize the export). If for someone else, you definitely don’t want to put any processing on the 2bus (compressor, limiter, or otherwise). I hope this helps, if not, please clarify or provide specifics regarding your situation and your goals. Thanks.

Everyone has already given some good advice. I’ll just add in, remember not to have your limiter enabled while you’re still mixing your song. Add the limiter once you’re happy with the levels in general. Then, as @THM mentioned, you can use the limiter to suppress the loudest signals to be able to the song be a bit louder on average when normalized. (you normalize upon exporting generally)

I’ll also add in, try not to touch the master bus volume, but adjust the individual track volumes so that the summed volume hits around -3dB (or around that, it’s not an exact science, anywhere from -9dB to about 0dB is fine, you can adjust the volume in your limiter in the end by adjusting the pre-gain in your limiter), aka check the loudest part of your song and see that the master bus hits around -3dB there.