Obtaining consistent volume levels between songs

I have a client who has given me a list of about 20 or so BB songs, some of which I made for him, some may have come from other sources. He wants to have a consistent volume level between songs. My thought is to build a single kit (drums and bass), to handle this issue. I would then go through the songs and using midi editing, essentially compress the range of each midi instrument to minimize the variances across the midi range. Example, kick drum might vary only between midi 50 and 70, bass between 45 and 60, etc.

  1. Have any of you tried to eliminate extreme volume difference by just limiting the kits used?
  2. Have any of you adjusted kits and or songs to achieve this result?
  3. How have the results worked for you?
  4. Do you have any suggestions going beyond the basics I presented above?

Thanks,

Phil

I think your first analysis is perhaps the way to go Phil. I only use one drumkit and bass. I’ve built all my MIDIs from scratch and I make sure the instrument levels are where I want them to be when I initially create them, ie: really soft or really loud kick drum, etc. So I’ve been gigging with BB since 2018 and have never had any volume issues, problems, differences whatsoever. So as you wrote, going through each MIDI file is probably the best—and most time-consuming—way to sort your client’s stuff out.

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It would be a great feature to be able to make every beat the same volume sort of like a Mp3 gain not sure if it could be done

Phil, BBFF software for BeatBuddy has the volume control built right into the software, so you can make changes to the volume of the Beats, I have never used it by from the demo it shows it.

In BBFF Editor you can select all the notes in a track and then adjust the maximum and minimum velocities to control the range of notes.

There are a few places where volume is set on the BeatBuddy

  1. The note velocity (relative to other notes and tracks)
  2. The instrument volume (relative to other instruments in the kit)
  3. The drumset overall volume (adjustable relative to other kits)
  4. The pedal volume (this is the obvious one)

Thanks. I think this confirms the route I was intending to take.

  1. build a new kit, or edit an existing kit to clean up any imbalance issue. This would take care of numbers 2 and 3 on your list. Then,

  2. Work through the songs, developing a range of settings for each kit piece with limited variance between the minimum and maximum levels. Redo the songs applying this formula.

  3. Return song to client with new kit, and the instruction to use just the pedal and amp volume setting to adjust level.

  4. Ensure that any future songs produced follow the protocol set in 2.

Comment - I always thought that a good approach to simulate a backing back was to keep the same kit between songs. You do not see live bands changing drum kits between songs, and a bass player typically only has one rig at a show. This, by design, gets away from the idea of the cover song having to have the same tonality as the original, but as a performance-oriented approach, I believe it should be effective.

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I guess, as an original band, we can get away with a lot. Most of our songs have there own drum kit, either edited or created, and volume isn’t generally an issue though house PAs (and sound engineers) have different ears to the originators and can spoil a song. We have certain “instruments” that are purposefully louder but some engineers just panic and turn down the sound, effecting the whole kit.