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 What is a "Radio Ready" mix?
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Gil Offline
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Joined: 19 Nov 2008
Posts: 45


PostPosted: Sat Mar 28, 2009 4:49 am    Post subject: What is a "Radio Ready" mix? Reply with quote

I've been contacted by a major FM radio station about two of my songs that they would consider for their weekly acoustic show where they often like to mix in local talent with the usual major label artists.

I was told by the program director they need a more "radio friendly" audio mix. I have done some research on this and the best I can deduce is that radio broadcasters process the audio adding compression and loudness and sometimes reverb. So what I did was go back to my original 24 bit/ 96kHz source recording voice and acoustic guitar into one stereo mic) and I left it dry. I eliminated unwanted noise and then used a touch of loudness EQ but left the recording level as original. So now it sounds pretty natural.

Any opinions on what constitutes radio ready? I read that if you give the broadcaster a normalized, compressed, enhanced audio that it could sound worse.
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dobro Offline
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Joined: 01 Nov 2003
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 28, 2009 8:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've only sent one thing to a radio station, so what do I know, but what I sent was the best mix I could come up with - the song as I wanted it to sound as played on a decent CD player. As far as I'm concerned, that's 'radio ready'. They'll compress the shit out of the song before they play it, but that's *their* job, not yours.
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steev Offline
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Joined: 20 Oct 2004
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Location: Las Vegas
Age: 44


PostPosted: Sat Mar 28, 2009 5:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I agree with Dobro...they'll compress it soooo much it won't hardly matter how much you've done so.

Most likely your mix has problems.

Post in the listening room and you'll get very helpful advice IMO.

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mark4man Offline
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Joined: 19 Mar 2004
Posts: 135


PostPosted: Sat Jun 27, 2009 3:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

radio ready =:

1) max RMS at around -4.5dB to -6dB
2) avg. RMS around -11dB to -14dB
3) harmonic balance for the particular composition (not some auto app, e.g HarBal)
4) bandwith limiting for mid & low-range instruments [for ridding oneself of subsonics on the lows & isolating the true sound of the mids...also provides for the best separation of instrumentation (outside of correct panning)]...[& f the ultrasonics...they hurt nothing]
5) no glitches or anomalies

mf
MoonMix Studios


btw - 1 & 2 acheived by brick walling a semi-hot mix (as opposed to multiband compressing a puny mix)...as has been said...let the station do the smiley comp. thing on the orban
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SafeandSound Mastering Offline
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Joined: 02 May 2011
Posts: 57
Location: London UK
Age: 45


PostPosted: Sun May 08, 2011 6:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

What it should mean is just about the best possible mix you can have created. It is afterall going on the radio !

Other than that, the processing from your average FM Orban Optimod settings are going to bring anything a little on the quiet side up anyway.

Mixes with periods of RMS averages of -12 to -16 RMS (durations of time at this level, discounting periods where the RMS level drops below this as would be natural in music ) will sound pretty good on the radio as a general rule.

cheers

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