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It seems that our guide to making your music loud rattled a few cages, so - just to prove that we’re not taking sides in this bloody and brutal loudness war - here’s a step-by-step walkthrough that’ll show you how to create a mix with plenty of dynamic range.
If you adopt a full-on approach to your dynamics, to the extent that even the quiet sections of your track are pushed up to match the volume of the loudest, you’re actually likely to limit the musical experience your track could provide. Rather than the dynamic variation we’re looking for, you end up with a loud but lifeless mix.
In this tutorial, we want to make sure the musical parts are set free to do their work, with the quieter sections being used as a means to make us appreciate the louder ones even more.
Step 1: To get started, drag all the AIF files from the dynamic-mix-parts.zip folder (click here to download the 241MB file) into a new arrangement, with the tempo set to 140bpm. Drop all faders to -14dB to prevent the output bus overloading. This is how it should sound: