Last summer, Headhunterz announced that he will stop performing. He wants to focus on what really makes him happy: spending all his time in the studio. In…
WORKFLOW WITH HEADHUNTERZ: LOUDNESS
Headhunterz is very active on Instagram and he likes treating his fans to daily updates. While he isn’t as active in the Hardstyle scene as he is on Instagram, he has been giving extremely valuable studio-tips for a few weeks now.
‘Workflow Wednesday’ as he calls his tips are something that a lot of our readers will find interesting, because many of them have an interest in pressing buttons and turning knobs. That’s why we’ve decided to publish them on our website whenever he decides to deliver a new one. Yesterday he explained something about ‘Loudness’. Read and learn!
“Let’s talk about loudness.
Funny thing about this is that many people think loudness comes from the master chain, but in fact it mostly comes from a good mix.
I only got into mastering after I started to explore outside of the hardstyle genre.
Every genre has it’s own needs when it comes to mastering. Hardstyle needs very subtle mastering because it’s very easy to make it sound out of control when compressed to much because there’s so much reverb and harshness going on in the mid and high freq range. Prog House for example is different. The kick sits differently in the mix and provides a good guideline for loudness. If the kick is good it will be able to sit on 0 db and the rest of the mix can be added onto it, applying sidechain to duck just enough to not clip on the master when the kick hits. This way you’ll be able to get a loud master which is often desirable in this kind of music. Most of the times its too much low frequencies what keeps you from getting a loud master. Practically speaking:
Divide your track in two parts in your mind. Kick+bass and the rest.
Load in track you like, check in an analyzer the volume of the low frequencies, say 0-100 range. Mute all channels but the kick+bass. Make sure you have the same amount of lows in your track in the kick and the bassline as your reference track. Now unmute the rest of your track. Is it clipping? Then start tweaking the rest because you already made sure your lows are not too loud. Try More sidechain so you leave more room for the kick when it hits. Limiters are another one. Try a limiter on everything BUT the kick+bass to even out possible peaks that cause clipping. Make sure you’ve applied enough low cut to your other sounds so you’re not adding more low frequencies. If none of this works then there’s a big chance one or more of your sounds are just wrongly tweaked. Dig into it until you find the problem. But remember, never sacrifice the quality of the mix so that it loses it’s charm. Music after all, even dance music is something people also listen to at home, not just in the club. Good luck!”