I always notice when I try tone tests and crap and post them on Soundcloud. It sounds OK until I hear someone else's stuff then i'm like "Oh shit that was fucking loud, what gives?"
Is there a vst or something to help gauge how loud the mix is?
I used to go back and forth several times just upping the db until I thought it was loud enough but now I'm thinking maybe theres a better way
also: since I'm shameless, here's what I tried making today
Nyuh by TommyChao on SoundCloud - Create, record and share your sounds for free
Check out this metering plugin, it's free.
Download | DYNAMIC RANGE | pleasurize music!
Standard level is to hit around -18RMS with peaks around -6dbFS. But it's just a technical thing to watch out for because what might appear loud on the meter doesn't accurately reflect how loud the ear perceives it to be.
Getting your mixes loud shouldn't really be a huge concern as long as it isn't too soft. If you're doing it just to showcase or check what it would sound like loud. Try this on your 2buss. Buss compressor 2:1 ratio, 30ms attack, 100-300ms release, around 4-5db GR, increase the make up gain to your liking. Then use a brickwall limiter to stop it from clipping. This should get your mix reasonably loud. If it sound like its clipping when you push the levels, that means your mix probably needs more work.