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I am working on a personal music album in Ableton Live. All my tracks (9) have been recorded and mixed inside one Ableton live file and 30 channels (audio and midi). In some tracks, e.g. guitar leads for Verse or backup vocals, the levels of recording among songs differentiate: I have been recording them for months so their volume might have differences from track to track.

How can I set them all at the same level? Ableton live does not have a normalizer effect and I am working from a MAC computer. Also, I hate normalization because I believe it kills dynamics. What choices do I have? I tried to alter their level one by one but it appears that their level varies again. Somewhere I read I could use a hard limiter for that job.

What choices or alternatives do I have ?

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Normalisation does not reduce dynamics. It makes the file as loud as possible -> Peak at 0dBFS. So is you have one little Click in your recording it might not get louder with normalisation.

The solution might be the clip volume. Just doubleclick a clip to open the clip Editor, then use the volume slider to adjust the waveform by eye. This Way you can bring the Clips to the rougly same rms level (average volume not peak).

The to make the volume more consistent -> use compression. A slight very subtle compressor (soft knee. 1.5 ratio) with high attack (50ms) and short release (30ms) will smoothen the volume. Adjust the treshhold so that you get a gainreduction of -3 up to -6 dB. After that you will have a smoother Overall Level.

Good luck!

  • the problem is that the track might have 50 recordings at the same channel, so eye-adjust is what I do right now but it's a lot of work and finally there are still issues. Otherwise I could consolidate the whole track in the album and change it there which won't solve the problem also. The only solution is an effect that could normalize the audio pieces "live" when playing and have a hard limit to catch the peaks to prevent clipping. – Radolino Feb 22 '14 at 8:27

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