I’;m going to make this short and simple so that you can fully understand how to not have a distorted final mix in your bounce. Simply ensure that when you bounce that your master track is set to 0 db. If your master rises above 0 db this is when your bounce begins to sound distorted. I understand that you may want your mix as loud as possible but if you haven’;;t done the proper mastering things to get your mix loud and not distorted then whatever content you have at 0 db will be the loudest that mix will be without distorted features. It is times when your master level is raised above 0 db and not sound distorted but technically when bouncing your final mix you should set the master track volume to 0db.
A few tips before I go. Make sure that your bass isn’;;;t too loud. The bass’;;;s low frequency content is very energized and this causes your master level to raise and will cause the entire mix to sound lower when you’;;ve reached that 0 db mark. i know many of you would like for your mix to be boomy but this will make your mix’;;s overall level to increase in it’;;s level. Bass is rewarded according to the listeners stereo system. Don’;;t try to have a bunch of bass on a laptop speaker knowing that the speakers are weak from the start. Typically a laptops speaker wouldn’;;t play too much bass because it doesn’;;t for one, have sub woofers and for two don’;;t play certain low frequency contents above sub woofer level. When mixing try to make sure you have decent monitors that can translate to any speakers. Ask your local music store for assistance on this. A good group of monitors will reveal the frequencies as they are and they will be what they should be wherever they are at (Most of the time). Mixing goes a long way but the better you get at mixing,the more tricks and techniques you’;;ll develop.
Also make sure that any frequencies that you aren’;;;t using is canceled out. This too takes up energy and causes the master level to raise. High frequencies at about 16,000 are seldomly used. Most mixing engineers would high cut these out which will give them more energy to add in important frequencies as the frequency content for snares. kicks, pianos, guitars and strings. There are other frequencies that can be limited as well. This too takes time before you find your style. But once you’;;ve understood the frequency contents you’;;ll understand the mixing game and become a really good mixing engineer.
I know I said I would make it short and simple, I hope i accomplished that if not i apologize. There is tons of more information that you should have but for now this is a start. This should help you put together a decent mix within a 0 db boundary.
Thank you for reading a long and I hope this was a big help for you. I’;;m Jason Dickson, a mastering engineer out of Woodbridge, Va who have studied at Full sail University and I love creating, editing and improving music. You’;ll see more from me. I’;ve been during music for over 20 years and I have tons of work under my belt to show for the progression and quality. Thanks again and mix until you can’;t mix anymore. Oh make sure you rest your ears when mixing. Ears get tired and they too need rest just like any other part of your body.