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I record via USB with a Mackie ProFx16 with Cubase. You can listen if you like:

https://soundcloud.com/dacsaunders

Now it sounds like the level is too low, is that because I didn't master it? Or should I just try and crank the volume?

If I attempt to master it, can I learn to do it in Cubase? Or is there some other reason why my recording sounds like it has a lower level than a professional recording has?

Why don't I get a professional sound when my gear is almost professional? Is it individual tuning, many variables, or a single most important variable?

Please feel free to comment or answer anything about my jazz/house/techno attempt.

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    How do you check the mic gain on a mixer? – Ruben Kazumov Aug 25 '16 at 1:49
  • @RubenKazumov It's different for different channels. I can set it to "U" or -20, +30 or +50 with a knob. Also, there is a button for 100 Hz "low cut" that I don't use. I can try and raise the gain if I doesn't distort the signal. – Niklas Rosencrantz Aug 25 '16 at 2:17
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From what I can tell your sources sound just fine! You should definitely not record "hotter", i.e. with more gain. And the mixes are in general balanced - I'd be a little harder with compressors here and there.

You should not raise the volume on each track in Cubase either, as that will just lead to channel or bus clipping.

That "professional sound" you refer to typically comes with the mastering process. I will not go into details about that, as it is a huge subject (it can definitely be carried out in Cubase).

For a start try looking into this guide by iZotope. While it promotes their (excellent) tool, it also contain many general tips and tricks on mastering which you can transfer to many other tools, including those build into Cubase.

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    Specifically, I would start with multi-band compressors and get used to using them (iZotope is a good 1st step there). In my opinion, that is one of the the biggest steps between a finished mix and a final master (there are many more steps & factors of course). – user9881 Aug 26 '16 at 3:56

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