Ok, my problem is volume, I have a wee 8 track for demos etc but when i put them to cd the volume is always too low. On the 8 track the volume is fine. Is there any sorta average db to keep everything at when recording. It's doing me nut in.
The 8 track is a zoom mrs something or other
Commercial CDs are usually mastered at around -10 or -11db at total RMS power. If the recorder gives you the option, normalise it as close as possible to this volume.
You could also use your computer to increase the gain using a program like Sonar or Cubase. Of course you'll have to apply some sort of compression and perhaps some high or low passes but you will be able to push the volume to a much louder level.
It may seem like a strenuous task but hey, that's what mastering is about.
What are you burning your CDs with?
It's just the inbuilt cdr thing on the 8track
Does it have any 'mastering' tools, or inserts across the final mix, or any kind of processing across the final mix before the audio reaches the CD? Or, does it allow you to process your final stereo mix before burning? If it does, then try to 'squash' the track using compression/limiting and pushing the output gain (how much squashing is down to you - there's a tradeoff between loudness, dynamics and what I would call basic sound quality).
The old-school method, which you might like to consider, would be to route the final mix through a hardware comperssor/limiter on it's way to another mastering device, e.g. a minidisk, to increase the loudness. Obviously, this would require you to buy/acquire the compressor and mastering device in addition to the zoom. I have found minidisk recorders to be fantastic in terms of quality.
Other than that, you best bet is to put your final mix onto a computer and apply some processing to the mix. On the PC you could try freeware programs like Goldwave or Audacity, both of which contain some kind of maximising/compression/limiting which can help you to increase the overall gain (loudness) of the audio. Unless you have a decent soundcard you are best ripping your own CD from the zoom onto the computer. On the PC, there are many programs that will allow you to do this - just don't rip it to WMA/MP3, rip it as a 16 bit/44.1Khz wave.
Don't be surprised if your quest for loudness leads you to spend many hours mixing and remixing your tracks, since the mastering process can highlight flaws in the original mix!
Hope this helps.
If you would like some one-to-one help, drop me a PM.