Originally Posted by djfresha
Personally I think you might find this a hard task, especially if the sounds used are percussive.... what you might be confusing the 4dB level with is apparent (aka RMS) volume, copared to peak volume (instantaneous, think front sound of a kick or snare as peak type, while a pad sound may be considered in the smae way as what RMS would be).
The only way you would keep sounds at a constant level would be to either compress the life out of the channel / sound, or ride the faders (you can CTRL-click a control or right click 'edit automation' on that specific control / fader) and manually control the levels by drawing in the automation. Automation can be copied in their own clips and repeated. Also depends on what audio content you have... if minimal you'll find it quite hard, plus you want to have some dynamics in there to make the loud poarts loud and the quiet parts quiet. To bring up the RMS you can try broad compression, but if you aim for a 'constant' 4dB on the output you will get tired quickly and may suffer from ear fatigue.
On one respect (purely theory) if all the levels were perfectly kept at 4dB, yes bussing all to the master fader would make life easier, but the feel and 'reality' of the sound would, to me, sound 'mushy' and 'fake', but again, I'm talking theory here
The big Meter at the top of the Rack, use this as your main guide, have set to 'peak' and VU mode, so you can see the loudest peak and where it hits, while looking at the view which tells you how loud the total content would appear to be
Peaks may hit quite high (up to digital 0dB if you like), but their apparent volume may not seem that loud because they are quick and the ear can't compare fast enough.
What I would do is watch this vid (posted it on another thread earlier) which may help you out. James from Freemasons is not using Reason in this, but you can adapt the same approach.
What style you producing / making?
Thank you for the really detailed and long response, I can see you really want to help me out here =) All of your information you gave to me would make sense to me if I was mixing and mastering the music myself.
I am having a sound studio mix and master my music to make it CD quality. So he needs me to export my individual-instrument tracks between -4db and -12db at the very lowest and then have the master output at 0 db. So that when it comes to mixing and mastering he will have significant "headspace" for compression and EQ; atleast that is what I understand, and he's mixed 1 of my songs already...but that song had no volume fading automation and i made it in Record 1.5 so I only had to make the master fader for each individual to -4db and it was as easy as that......But now... I have these really old songs I made in just Reason and there is ALOT of volume fading in and out and sounds fading in and out, to an amount that i wouldn't be able to explain to anyone how to recreate that effect.
So I was wondering if there was a way I could just simply make the sounds at or around -4 db, and let the volume-fading-automation do it's thing. To me, volume and DB are the same.....only with adjusting DB I can't hear the difference, unless it's really low like -10 or -12. But adjusting sounds to -4db in record, I can't really tell.
On the mixer in typical reason, it goes from level 0 to 100 on the faders, is that volume or DB? because I notice that the "volume switch" on Thor says DB values when it's moved. So with Thor I can have it's knob at -4db, and use the mixer channel automation or fade it in and out and pan it, without messing with the db.
I'm not a technician, and I'm retarded when it comes to technicality with music...but I understand basic concepts and fixes to these problems. I'm just a composer literally, and Reason is very easy for me.
I make New Age/chill out/Ambient-electronic music. If you can help me with this, I'll put a great thanks to you in my album with contact information to you!! because it's absolutley nessisary that I am able to do this.
So I'm just preparing my tracks for mixing. and want to retain all my volume automations but not have the wrong automations so that it's impossible to mix and master.
I hope I didn't confuse you
Really. Thank you for responding to me