Let me preface this by saying that I'm aware of the issues of maxing things out but at the end of the day the folks paying me want things to be bassier, punchier, fuller and ultimately LOUDER. This is mostly for fight scenes which usually have heavily compressed music layered over them as well...

So far I've been using combinations of layering and compression, as well as sidechaining the music track with the SFX so they push through it. Essentially I'm mixing as if it were a music track rather than a film, and I was wondering if anyone had any thoughts on this, or better ways around it? I've tried mixing normally but I just get comments back from the client asking me to give it more bass / punch. It'd be lovely to have breathing room in the mix and for everything to have its own place, but YouTubers seem to love it when levels are maxed out.

Any thoughts, hints or tips are all welcome!

2 Answers 2


Try putting a bit of distortion on your FX. Psychoacoustically, pure, clean tones always sound quieter than more complex sounds (no matter how loud you are actually playing it). So a bit of distortion will make every punch sound like it's breaking a face.

Oh, and tell your employers that I dislike their aesthetic choices immensely.


The only real solution is to include more quiet sections, just before you want to hear the punch dip the music so that by comparison the contact is much louder. Another trick is to emphasise any grunts or breaths so that it sounds like the actors are really exerting themselves, that way the force can be communicated.

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