Over To You: How Do I Get My Tunes The Same Volume When Mixing?

Phil Morse | Founder & Tutor
Read time: 2 mins
Last updated 5 April, 2018

The gain controls are designed to let you equalise the volumes of various incoming sources before you mix them using the line meters and crossfader.

Digital DJ Tips reader Krystian writes: “I’m using Virtual DJ Limited Edition which I received with my controller Pioneer DDJ ERGO. My problem is that I don’t know how make my music volume levels the same. I mean that one track is louder than other track and when I crossfade between those tracks, it’s difficult to make it sound good. How I can make the volume levels of the two tracks equal? Does any software exist that can help me in making the volume levels of my tracks balance? How I can use the rising LED light that shows volume level to help?”

Digital DJ Tips says:

There are a few things here. Firstly, the Pioneer unit has “gain” controls (above the low/mid/high EQs) that are intended for you to use to balance the levels of your tracks. Try keeping them at 12 o’clock, then cutting or removing gain from tracks to make them balance each other. Use your headphones for this.

Secondly, Virtual DJ has “autogain”, although I’m not sure if this is a feature of the LE version that comes with the Pioneer unit – try looking in the config.

Thirdly, in theory you should be able to use the VU meters to visually set gains (ie set the gain so the signal is just below peaking in the red at the loudest part of the track). Often, when you press the “cue” button on a channel, one of the meters shows the pre-mixer level of the tune, ie that which is affected by changes to the gain control. Same goes for the other one. Use this to visually balance the tunes. (Again though, we have no DDJ-ERGO here to test that.)

Finally, software such as MP3Gain and Platinum Notes can set your MP3 to “all the same volume” – but if it were me, I’d go down the above routes first, because it’s so easy to balance volumes using gain once you know how, that you may decide you don’t want to go down the path of processing all your files, with its potential pitfalls.

OK folks, over to you. I don’t know if Virtual DJ LE as provided with the DDJ-ERGO has autogain, or whether you can get the unit’s VU meters to show cueing levels, as we don’t have our review unit here any longer. Anyone care to enlighten us? Also, on a more general note, how do you personally deal with tracks with different volumes? Please help Krystian out by commenting below.

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