I write music using Nuendo 4. I use a Scarlett 2i2 audio interface and Guitar Rig virtual amps.

The problem I have is that when the overall volume of my songs is lower than normal (for example from the mp3 albums that I buy) but if I try to increase instruments or mixdown volume, I get distortion.

I know I am missing something fundamental here but what can I do to get my mixes sound a bit louder?

I try to record instruments as loud as possible without them distorting or reaching red level but again the mix is not loud enough.

  • Do you compress them?
    – bipll
    Commented Aug 9, 2018 at 9:55
  • @bipll no. No compression is applied anywhere.
    – papakias
    Commented Aug 9, 2018 at 10:10
  • Recording individual parts loud doesn't make your overall mix louder. Commented Aug 10, 2018 at 14:43

2 Answers 2


You might want to apply compression to individual tracks, track groups (rhythm+bass) maybe even the whole mix. Compressor is widely used to narrow down dynamic range which, among other things, makes signal percievably louder, as it allows to raise the volume level and, consequently, percievable loudness at initially more quiet segments, without overdriving the peaks.

  • I know how to apply compression to an individual track but how can i apply compression to the whole mix?
    – papakias
    Commented Aug 9, 2018 at 10:56
  • The simplest is you put it on master. Next, master compression is often done with at least four-band comp. As a side note, sidechain compression is useful for the rhythmic group, make bass louder or quieter based on drums level, etc.
    – bipll
    Commented Aug 9, 2018 at 10:57

You can get a decent mastering volume this way.. https://www.waves.com/plugins

  1. Turn your speaker/monitor down and get ready to explode

  2. Put in first slot "Maserati GRP Stereo" plugin and click the master button and adjust the compress knob, at this stage avoid sounding obvious. You need room for next push.

  3. Put in the next slot " IM Pusher"

below is the image of the two plugin

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