I use cubase 5 and some vst's like nexus, silenth1, battery, etc.

I have an HS50M yamaha monitor speaker and 2 Beyerdynamic monitor headphones and a Motu track 16 as my sound card.

My problem is when I finish mixing and mastering everything sounds good on my monitors on high or low volume. It is good on low volume on my car stereo but on maximum volume it gets so bad and distorted. My car stereo volume goes to 50 and when I play other songs I can raise the volume to max without any distorting but with my songs, I can only raise the volume to 45, after that I feel like my speakers might explode.

As suggested on another post on this site I cut the frequencies. My songs audio statistics (volume average) is -8,-9 , so I dont know why it gets so loud and bad on high volumes.

I dont know what am I missing.

  • It seems that you might be clipping in your session. If you use EQ to boost your master, your monitors might accommodate it and another system might not. Do you have a way to monitor the peak & RMS levels while you mix? An audio sample usually helps as well if you can provide one. Mar 9, 2014 at 15:50

2 Answers 2


That means you are on the right track. On high volumes our ears have a flatter response. That means that on higher volumes, we start to hear more bass and more highs.

So a very simple solution to your problem might be a wrong gain/frequency structure in the bass and highs which can lead to extreme imbalances on higher volumes. Since your song sounds good on lower volumes you are on the right track, and the imbalances might be very small.

One of the most important things that leads to mixes that transition to loud volumes is:

  1. Check that you do not have too much aggressiveness in the 4 kHz area and be very cautious with the elements that dominate this are. Usually lead sounds and vocals.

  2. Be sure to highpass everything, so that the bottom end (roughly 120 Hz downward) is only occupied by kick and bass. And be sure to really make them work. A beginner mistake is, that they have a bass and then make the kick unnaturally loud to cut trough the mix instead of finding a kick/processing a kick to make it work with the baseline -> On louder volumes your kick seams to really jump out and destroy the mix.

  3. Be sure to lowpass everything at around 12-18 kHz but the most important high elements. This is very important since if you have a lot of toped, then you mix your cymbals and stuff a lot louder than the mix needs. Then on higher volumes the cymbals jump out and become dangerously loud.

  4. Wrong utilisation of Dynamics. Think of it like that. If on very little volumes you hear a good bass and then you make it louder -> bass will become louder than the rest of the track -> If your balance works at low volumes the balance becomes unnatural at higher volumes. So be sure, that you have a great compressed bass signal that does not jump in volume then mix the bass as low in gain as possible. usually it is a very good idea to mix the bass at a volume that is a bit louder than you normally mix, then reduce the volume of your monitors again, to se if the baseline looses to much energy... A good mix level for bass is around 80-85 dB SPL (careful these is the range where the pressure starts to hurt and destroys your ears if you listen for some time). The ngo back to a volume that represents a normal conversation around 60-70 dB SPL. This tactic works for me. If one or two notes jump out then use compression or eq, but be careful that those notes are no room resonances of your room!!

I Hope this helps a bit.

Good Day


-8 average volume sounds like you're waging the loudness war. Try -12 : you will lose some loudness but you will gain dynamics, better bass response and a better overall feel. Do not compete with high grade commercial tracks on loudness, those are sound-designed for loudness from the start, and mauled in mastering for that extra "radio-ready" dB. You'll recognise them by the frequency content - more mids, aggressive highs, compressed bass, and likely a very controlled 200-250Hz area.

Meters being pretty one-dimensional, it could be that you're feeding yours with different frequencies than those of the other tracks you're trying against. Hook up a spectrum analyser, that should help.

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