There are some basic processes that remain firmly in the "jargon category" to some beginners. Although Normalization is available as a feature in just about every DAW (and Audio Editing software) some  


Hopefully this Quick Tip will go some way to clarifying when to apply normalization techniques to your music.














Mo has been a professional in the music industry for around 15 years. He has released material with the world's leading record labels and also produces music for TV and Film. Mo is also a prolific writer and is a regular contributor to magazines such as Music Tech, Future Music and EQ magazine. There isn't a piece of music software tha... Read More


Victor Mason
Great article! When you're doing your own work and Logic is the final and finished output, normalizing is a nice way to top it off. I agree, back it off of 0db. I use -1db down because Most internet downloads come out louder. Sometimes it helps.

It might be worth mentioning that if the final mix is heading to a mastering house, they prefer it not be normalized and like their track levels left with at least 6-9dbs of headroom.
Is it okay to normalize the output of the project in the bounce section ? any advantages/disadvantages of doing so ?
Mo Volans
Victor... 100% agree with your comments there ;)

and Harmonik, yep you can normalise in the bounce section. This is exactly the same as normalising using any other method.
Victor Mason
Logic has so much headroom it is quit literally impossible to overload it internally. If any track were hitting 0db or higher, the beauty of Logic is you can simply lower the level, even at the output. If the level is goin into a plug in, that is another story and clipping or overload can occur. Logic is able to Handel incredibly diverse levels. Normalizing works well to balance up tracks in the mixing stage without leaning on compressors. I liked the part in this article where Mo points out, the ideal time for normalizing is after putting some processing on the track. That is a great tip to keeping you mix in "homeostasis"... So to speak.
This article got me thinking...
When recording music (as I understand it) there's three phases (recording, mixing and mastering). You guys have plenty of tutorials on each of these, but I'm not sure how one blends into the other. Victor mentioned that mastering engineers like a few db of headroom. This was news to me, but obviously, a very important bit of info. Any thoughts on a tutorial where you follow a song from microphone to iTunes (or CD)? Just a thought. Thanks for all the great content!
Victor Mason
There are a lot of good mastering facilities which usually specify what they like for file format and so forth. I would do some checking and get a feel for what you're looking for answer wise. Each facility will want something specific but almost all need some headroom to treat the material so 6-9 dbs as a good rule of thumb but not written in stone.
Do mastering engineers allow clients to sit in sessions ?
Victor Mason
Do magicians allow customers to sit in during rehearsals?
What happens to the quality of music that's been normalized twice. For example: I'm ripping and recording old disks and tapes I have and saving them as WAV files. Sometimes the volumes don't come out the same even though the burning program is checked to normalize. Separate programs for ripping or recording have a normalize feature, so it could be done once there and then again in the burning program, but does this make the music sound a bit flat or odd ? Thanks ....

Want to join the discussion?

Create an account or login to get started!