LEVELS – Dynamic Range Tutorial
Download 15 Day Free Trial – https://www.masteringthemix.com/products/levels The Dynamic Range section in LEVELS displays an oscilloscope visual that will immediately show you how dynamic your music is. If your music has a dynamic range above the set threshold, the oscilloscope will glow green. If your music approaches the threshold it will begin to turn orange. If your music breaches the threshold, the oscilloscope will turn red. Great songs will often have interesting changes in volume between the verse and chorus or between the buildup and drop. This builds tension and release and adds energy and drama to the music. This is dynamic range at work. A small dynamic range can come about from over compression and limiting. This can suck the life out of your music. It can also reduce the clarity and punch of the transients in your music. So to get a punchy and exciting final mix, you’ll need to make sure that the dynamic range in your track is on point. LEVELS creates a ratio of the ‘short term LUFS’ to ‘peak level’ of your track and gives you an easy to read DR reading. The DR stands for Dynamic Range. The lower the number, the less dynamic range your track has. The dynamic range reading in LEVELS is not affected by the volume of your music, so if your music is over compressed the oscilloscope will turn red regardless of how quiet the track might be. The default dynamic range threshold is set at 12DR for mixing and 9DR for mastering. These settings are there to preserve the transients in your mix and promote audio quality. But you can change the thresholds in the settings to whatever suits your style. To get a more dynamic mix, look at the compressors and limiters in your session and make sure they aren’t working too hard. A ratio of 4 to 1 would be an example of a compressor thats not working too hard. If things sound too quiet in parts of your mix, you could automate to balance your levels and then apply lighter compression. Mastering can lower the dynamic range of your track so it’s better for your mix to be over dynamic than not dynamic enough.