My friend TD requested beat 88 for one of the mixes he regularly makes. I was extremely honored, but I realized I would have to mess with it a bunch to get it to sound as loud as the songs it would be alongside on the playlist. Like a lot of wannabe producers, I was initially quite surprised and frustrated by how hard it is to make things sound as loud as real music, but after a few months of extra practice things went pretty smoothly for this song. While it’s still somewhat softer than legitimately produced music, the difference isn’t distracting, and I can safely say that this is the loudest song I’ve made yet. Yeah! I also added a bit of bass.
I mostly used compression to make the song louder. For those of you unfamiliar with what audio compression is, it’s basically like an income tax on sound amplitude: the louder parts get reduced in volume by more than the softer parts, which makes everything more equal and allows you then go back and make it all louder. It is good to a certain extent, but here is an interesting article about why compression makes our music bad. I also used “ducking” to make the main instrumental part very quickly get softer every time the drums hit, then come back immediately after the drum hits stopped. Finally, I went ahead and amplified everything a little bit extra, which made it clip slightly, but it isn’t very noticeable. This might be cheating, but Prefuse 73 does it all the time.
Here is the old, soft version so you can compare: