Compression Cheat Sheet

SOLVED: Live Stream Not Loud Enough

Kade Young
Kade Young
Chief Audio Guru

One of the biggest challenges with a live stream mix is that it is not loud enough. You’ve likely dealt with this problem, so let’s solve it once and for all.

Get Access: Live Stream Sound Made Simple Course

What you are looking for is a limiter. This allows you to bring up the volume of the mix while at the same time making sure it doesn’t end up distorting.

Most digital mixers allow you to use one of the effects as a limiter. I'll walk you through how to get it all set up.

To make things easier, I also created a Limiter Settings Cheat Sheet. Download it for free:

Download: Limiter Settings Cheat Sheet

Setting Up a Limiter for Your Live Stream

Let me show you how to set up a limiter on the X32.

(If you are not using the X32, you’ll still be able to use these settings as a starting point with the limiter on your mixer.)

Step 1: Set Up the FX

On the X32, tap the EFFECTS button and navigate to the home tab.

  1. Select an effect slot you are not already using. For this example, I’ll use FX8.
  2. Set the first insert to your first live stream bus and the second to your second live stream bus.
  3. And then make sure “insert” is selected for both.
  4. Change the type to LIM, which is the precision limiter.

Step 2: Limiter Settings

Next, navigate to the FX8 tab (or whatever FX you are using).

  1. Make sure “Stereo Link” is selected and “Auto Gain” is deselected.
  2. Set input gain to 12dB. This will boost the volume of your live stream mix by 12dB. We’ll come back and fine-tune this later.
  3. Set output gain to -1dB. This simply makes sure that the output will never exceed -1dB, which is what keeps it from peaking.
  4. Set squeeze to 20%. This will give your live stream mix a little more punch, but if it’s too high, it can add a bit of distortion. So you may need to come back and experiment with this one.
  5. Set knee to around 3. This is what determines how hard or soft the limiter responds, with 0 being hard and 10 being soft. 3 is a good moderate starting point.
  6. Set attack to around .5ms so that it responds quickly but still sounds clear.
  7. Set release to around 150ms so that it releases fairly quickly but still sounds smooth.

Download: Limiter Settings Cheat Sheet

Step 3: Fine-tune Input Gain

Now it's time to fine-tune the input gain setting. This is kind of like adjusting the threshold on a compressor.

When the full band is playing during a loud moment of a song, adjust the input gain so that the gain reduction meter on the limiter reads no more than 3 or 4 dB.

If you go higher than that, you’ll start to notice the limiter kind of sucking in during those loud hits, and you don’t want that.

Final Step

Once you find the right placement for your input gain, there’s one more thing to check.

  1. Select your live stream bus and press the HOME button.
  2. Navigate to the CONFIG tab and set the insert position to post.

This makes sure that the signal is limited as the very last step in the signal chain before being sent to the output you are using for your live stream mix.

Now you should get a solid volume for your live stream mix while not having to worry about it peaking.

Keep in mind, this is something you’ll want to check every Sunday to make sure you are not limiting more than 3 or 4 dB. The only setting you’ll need to adjust is the input gain, as needed.

Importance of the Room Mix

Using a limiter is going to make a huge difference! But keep in mind, the live stream mix is a reflection of what’s going on in your auditorium, so you’ll want to make sure your room mix is the best it can be.

That’s what Church Sound Made Simple is all about.

Get Access: Church Sound Made Simple


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8 comments on “SOLVED: Live Stream Not Loud Enough”

  1. I've been looking for a solution to this problem for years! My issue now is I have a Presonus Studiolive 32.4.2 AI and it doesn't seem to have a lot of the buttons and menus listed. If someone could point me in the right direction it would be appreciated.

    1. Hey Marti - I've not used your mixer before, but you should be able to use one of the FX as a limiter and then insert that into your live stream bus/aux.

  2. I can barely hear the Bass Guitar on live stream. I've tried to turn the player up with the fader but nothing changes.

    1. Try boosting slightly in the 400-900Hz range on the bass. This can help it cut through on the live stream mix.

  3. With the input gain set to 12 dB, my gain reduction is greater than 4 dB regardless of where I put the output gain and when I solo my livestream bus, my meter shows the output is clipping. Should I adjust my input gain lower until my output meter is where it should be?

  4. I've been trying to use this limiter on my master but I don't know how to route it on an X32.

    1. On the EFFECTS screen, you can assign it to your live stream bus.

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