Getting your tunes to sound as loud as other artists is always a more complicated process than it appears. There are many means and ways to up the overall volume of the track. If you are going to have your track mastered by a mastering studio as is the case when you sign your tune to a record label then there is little point in trying to boost the overall volume of your track. This is the primary objective of a mastering house, not to mention the fact that the good mastering houses utilise equipment way out of reach of the average producer.
If you plan on cutting directly from your own CD or DAT or plan on giving your tunes directly to producers then you will want to have the tunes as loud and heavy as possible. The process of compression and multi band compression in combination with limiting and maximising is the sure fire way of ensuring your tunes are as loud as possible. Good outboard gear or software plug ins are essential. The Waves Renaissance Compressor, C4, L1 Limiter and Loudness Maximiser are the ideal tools. The inbuilt Multipressor and Adaptive Limiter built in to Logic 7 are also powerfull plug ins. The TC Electronic Finalizer is also a prime piece of hardware which will boost your overall mix. Multi band compression followed by limiting is a more effective way of boosting the overall volume of your mix down. Multi band compression will split the frequency range in to three or four parts and compress them individually allowing for a much more even mix to be fed to your limiter or maximiser. Maximising or limiting a mix which is unbalanced will only further exacerbate the problem so always ensure you are feeding your limiter or maximiser a well balanced mix. Normalising as a final process is not a good idea. Normalising is a destructive process and will boost your low level noise levels. A good mix, a good compressor over individual parts of your mix such as bass and beats, a good compressor over the entire mix followed my multi band compression and limiting will allow your tune to stand out as the loudest of the bunch.