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Topic: Recording level for Finale

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  1. #1
    Senior Member sosmus's Avatar
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    Recording level for Finale

    I continue to fight the good fight but still can't seem to post my stuff that is at a normal audible level. I use Finale, Kontakt2, GPO, GJBB and notation instruments. Cubase Studio 4 is still a mystery so I would like to know if there is a formula or system for making mp3's with my present set-up, and without Cubase tweaking, that can be heard by all without having to fully crank up your sysytems.
    Any help will be greatly appreciated.

    sosmus (Steve)

  2. #2

    Re: Recording level for Finale

    My first question is - what process are you using to create the mp3's? Is it being done withing Finale or by another program? Is there any reference to "normalizing" in the process? If so, turn it off (or on) and see if that makes a difference. What are you using to hear your Finale playback? Do you have the volume of that system turned way up (thereby compensating for low output from Finale)?

    Within the Kontakt Player, each instrument has a volume setting that can be adjusted. Also, although I'm not a Finale user, I assume there is a mixer function of some sort somewhere in the program. You can try adjusting the volumes there, too.

    If you absolutely had to use Cubase, the general process would be to import your audio file, select it (highlight it), and then utilize Cubase's options for increasing the volume of the entire file.
    Paul Baker
    Baker's Jazz And More
    Austin, Texas, USA
    www.bakersjazzandmore.com

  3. #3
    Senior Member bigears's Avatar
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    Re: Recording level for Finale

    Hi Steve, A couple of things you might want to check out are:
    1. In Finale, when you have your song file loaded, click on "View"/"Studio View" and then make sure the volume sliders for each track are at a good level.
    2. There must be a mixer for your sound card, where there should be sliders to adjust the system volume or output for your soundcard.

    If these are both up at good levels, at least then there will be a basis to find your problem.

    What method are you using to take the wav files and convert to mp3's?

    Good luck, John

  4. #4

    Re: Recording level for Finale

    As I have advised you before...eschew your headphones and use speakers. When you wear headphones, the perceived volume is much louder that it actually is because the sound is being directed straight into your ears with no intervening air space. You therefore turn the gain down to compensate for this.
    Larry G. Alexander
    www.alexandermusic.com

  5. #5
    Senior Member sosmus's Avatar
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    Re: Recording level for Finale

    Paul, John and Larry:
    (Sounds like a new vocal group)
    I'll try to 'splain what I do with what I got.

    2 Yamaha power speakers,2 M-Audio Studiophonic power speakers
    Bose headphones plugged in to an NI Audio Kontrol 1. Due to my lack of techno-skill, the speakers are not working, but the head phones are. I like the headphones because of my worn out ears, but I'm willing to try the speakers if i ever get them to work.

    After getting a Finale score (using Notation instruments) to where I want to make an MP3, under FILE, I go to EXPORT TO AUDIO FILE. Save to the desktop as an AIFF AUDIO FILE.

    I click on it to play and it comes up and plays in iTunes. While the AIFF file is playing I pull down undew the ADVANCED FILE to create an MP3 version. The MP3 is usually louder than the AIFF file and it sounds fine to me through the ear phones (Larry tells me I shouldn't listen this way.)
    I post it and then everyone says they can't hear it.
    I thank all of you for your help and am now ready for any more advice as to what I am doing or not doing.

    Steve

  6. #6

    Re: Recording level for Finale

    Steve,

    I know you said you wanted advice regarding your current setup, however,

    one thing you could try is downloading the free program Audacity. It's a very small file, and a pretty useful tool.

    In Audacity, open up your audio file that you exported from Finale. Then go:

    Effect-Amplify

    which will bring the volume of your track as high as it can go without peaking.

    In this, you can then export to mp3. Just make sure you download the "LAME" encoder, which is all available at the audacity website:

    http://audacity.sourceforge.net/

    EDIT: Since I am a Sonar user, I also put a VST on my master track called Classic Limiter, which is a free VST plugin to boost the level of the track. I read somewhere that Finale 2009 adds VST support so, I am guessing you could use this free plugin if/when you upgrade to the new version of Finale.

    Chris

  7. #7
    Senior Member bigears's Avatar
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    Re: Recording level for Finale

    Hi Steve, Thanks for the rundown on your set-up and routine. The Audio Kontrol is your audio interface or soundcard. Your speakers should be able to be plugged into the output of the Audio Kontrol and then controlled from it or a software mixer.
    When you listen on your headphones, is the volume comfortable to you? Is there plenty of volume available if you were to crank it up more? It just sounds like you are starting out with low volume, which then follows on through the different conversions.
    The Audacity software would be a good way for you to maximize your volume and it also offers choices when converting to mp3 for the bit rate. I think the consensus here is that 192 kbps is probably a minimum, with many of the mp3's being 320 kbps for a higher quality sound. John

  8. #8

    Re: Recording level for Finale

    Steve, if you can do a test,,, make a final mix of something like you usually do, then send me the AIF file via box.net or yousendit.com.

    I will look at it and see if the problem is with the aif.
    Let's get to the end of this for you.
    Dan

  9. #9
    Senior Member sosmus's Avatar
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    Re: Recording level for Finale

    Chris:
    one thing you could try is downloading the free program Audacity. It's a very small file, and a pretty useful tool.
    I downloaded it to find that I can't open it because my Mac not does not have 'intel,' neither could I find LAME on that website.


    http://audacity.sourceforge.net/
    I read somewhere that Finale 2009 adds VST support so, I am guessing you could use this free plugin if/when you upgrade to the new version of Finale.
    I have Finale 2009b and do use VST when I load through Kontakt 2.
    Thanks,
    Steve

  10. #10

    Re: Recording level for Finale

    Steve:

    Your said,
    "While the AIFF file is playing I pull down undew the ADVANCED FILE to create an MP3 version."
    I don't think you select ADVANCED FILE while the AIFF file is playing. But, I
    know that's what you do AFTER you hear the AIFF file to see if it is playing
    at the your desired level.

    Before you leave the ADVANCED FILE, you click on CONVERT SELECTION to
    MP3. That's what I do also and it plays back at the SAME level as the AIFF.
    I check its playing level before I export it somewhere just to check its VOLUME
    validity.

    The first thing I would check in your current setup is: Do your headphones
    have a volume knob or some way of increasing volume when you are listening
    to playback? Headphone volume can be a very SEPARATE THING. You could
    be hearing playback at normal volume set by your headphones and have a
    LOWER VOLUME output on the actual file. This is something to check and could be
    checked if your SPEAKERS worked. If your headphones and speakers were
    about the same level, then I would go from there to further troubleshoot
    your problem.

    Just a few thoughts, Steve.

    Jack
    Jack Cannon--MacBook Pro (2015, 13") GPO4/5, JABB3, Auth. STEINWAY, YAMAHA CFX, Gofriller CELLO, Stradivari VIOLIN, COMB2, WORLD, HARPS, PIPE ORGANS, FINALE 2014.5, Mac Pro 2.66 GHz CPU, 8 GB RAM, DP 9.5, MOTU Traveler, MOTU Micro Express, MacBook Pro (2012, 13") 2.2 Ghz CPU, 8 GB RAM.

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