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-   -   Can anyone help me with the mystical art of mastering (https://www.propellerheads.se/forum/showthread.php?t=148222)

MAV42 2011-10-14 12:49

Can anyone help me with the mystical art of mastering
 
Hi, I've got a few questions about mastering in general and i wondered if any experienced studio engineers can shed a bit of light, i'm going to explain my situation so you guys understand the stage i'm at.
I'm an avid user of Reason / Record and have been trying my best to learn as much as possible regarding mixing etc. both in Record and my other system Cubase 5.. I've spent alot of time reading up, watching tutorials etc. both on here and other sites regarding the importance of getting a good mix prior to Mastering etc. Using your ears correct monitor position etc. etc. so im not a complete noob. My question is this
I have used the Reason Mastering suit in Record and tried my best with the tools i have and also i've looked at whats possible with regards to Mastering in Cubase etc. Which kind of leads onto some of the Mastering VST plug ins that are available from companies like WAVES and many others to be honest and its a massive subject in itself.. I'm not a pro musician and im not doing this for a living but i'm extremely interested in digital recording and want to get as good a results as possible and also learn. I've been looking at a minefield of plug ins and systems like Wavelab and thinking i should perfrom my Mastering and track organising in this enviroment.
Is this necessary to take this process out of Record? Is the Reason Mastering set up equal to what i've been looking at? Any advice would be much appreciated.
Sorry about the novel!!

DanaAdalaide 2011-10-14 13:41

Don't approach each piece of music with the one-size fits all default mastering suite, otherwise you will end up with something not very special in most cases.

The word you should focus on is ART - which means you have to be creative with the output of your song. Should it pump or be silky smooth? Does the bass want some extra thump or does it need some cutting?

One song might need a bit of Pulverizer to add some harmonics and pump but the next may just need some eq'ing and stereo widening.

Another song might need different compressors in parallel with the original signal to make it pump but still have the original dynamics intact.

One thing that I always do is use the soft clip on the final stage. A lot of the time, less is more - maybe the mix is the problem...

Fix in the mix! Saying that there is a difference between altering the mix to fill space in a frequency band, compared to using eq on the master bus to boost that range.

Keep it fun and remember to not overdo it, try things experiement then remove what is not necessary or isn't adding anything.

Trust your ears but always come back the next day to something with fresh ears since your perception of sound is always changing.

I don't find its necessary to master outside of Record (now Reason 6) since all the tools you need are there, its how you put them together that matters. Some people want a certain result and find it easier outside using plugins, but remember whatever you use there is no magic plugin that does all the mastering for you.

MAV42 2011-10-14 14:14

Thanks very much for this im a firm believer in one size doesn't fit all, i've really been listening to alot of music mastered in various ways from people that are following me or i'm following on soundcloud and the biggest thing that i've noticed is that alot of the initial quality of music is very good but the final result sounds very over compressed and to processed, lots of volume but a real lack in the dynamics and natural punch.. Alot of people are achieving almost broadcast quality but its just to squashed and doesn't really compare to a big studio sound. The closest track i've heard recently that i think has that lovely warm polished sound done in Record is by Adam Fielding (Where is this leading me) so i know it can be achieved. Any other examples would be much appreciated with a couple of lines regarding how the final sound was achieved..LOL Is that asking to much ;-P

dioxide 2011-10-14 14:20

There's a book by Bob Katz that is held in high regard:
http://www.soundonsound.com/sos/oct0...es/bobkatz.htm

I haven't read it myself, although I think I should as I've had to do some stuff like this recently and it would probably help.

henrichagelberg 2011-10-14 14:36

Quote:

Originally Posted by MAV42 (Post 944220)
Thanks very much for this im a firm believer in one size doesn't fit all, i've really been listening to alot of music mastered in various ways from people that are following me or i'm following on soundcloud and the biggest thing that i've noticed is that alot of the initial quality of music is very good but the final result sounds very over compressed and to processed, lots of volume but a real lack in the dynamics and natural punch.. Alot of people are achieving almost broadcast quality but its just to squashed and doesn't really compare to a big studio sound. The closest track i've heard recently that i think has that lovely warm polished sound done in Record is by Adam Fielding (Where is this leading me) so i know it can be achieved. Any other examples would be much appreciated with a couple of lines regarding how the final sound was achieved..LOL Is that asking to much ;-P

I can highly recommend you to try some of the tutorials on Macprovideo.com. They have really helped me. Maybe you've already seen them?

DanaAdalaide 2011-10-14 14:45

Ok, here's my latest track which mainly uses the new Reason 6 sound library.

http://sampledsounds.com/props/maste...urve-Cubed.mp3

I've mastered it using only the Pulveriser, a bit of EQ and the soft clip.

http://sampledsounds.com/props/maste...-Mastering.png

Sounds good to me on my VXT8 speakers and my HFI-780 headphones.

The distortion adds a bit of nice colour to the sound. Notice how i've turned the tone knob down on the dirt, so that it adds some warmth to the distortion?

Then there is the master compressor, which barely does anything, just adds a little bit of compression:

http://sampledsounds.com/props/maste...aster-Comp.png

MAV42 2011-10-14 14:52

Quote:

Originally Posted by henrichagelberg (Post 944232)
I can highly recommend you to try some of the tutorials on Macprovideo.com. They have really helped me. Maybe you've already seen them?

I've seen a few vids from them, i think i'll devote some time and give them a real look.. I've also seen a ton of absolute crap on You Tube of people demonstrating techniques that are just plain wrong of multiband compressors squeezing the life out of everything, topped off with a little volume boost at the end..LOL

MAV42 2011-10-14 14:58

Wow thanks so much for doing this, im listening to this at work!!LOL i might get the sack...Lovely panning and subtle ambient sound. The simplicity of the Mastering effects are sounding good, im printing this page for the future.
Cheers

fieldframe 2011-10-17 19:18

Nice Solar Fields sort of vibe to that.

FrankieFiveFingers 2011-10-17 20:58

Quote:

Originally Posted by MAV42 (Post 944193)
Hi, I've got a few questions about mastering in general and i wondered if any experienced studio engineers can shed a bit of light, i'm going to explain my situation so you guys understand the stage i'm at.
I'm an avid user of Reason / Record and have been trying my best to learn as much as possible regarding mixing etc. both in Record and my other system Cubase 5.. I've spent alot of time reading up, watching tutorials etc. both on here and other sites regarding the importance of getting a good mix prior to Mastering etc. Using your ears correct monitor position etc. etc. so im not a complete noob. My question is this
I have used the Reason Mastering suit in Record and tried my best with the tools i have and also i've looked at whats possible with regards to Mastering in Cubase etc. Which kind of leads onto some of the Mastering VST plug ins that are available from companies like WAVES and many others to be honest and its a massive subject in itself.. I'm not a pro musician and im not doing this for a living but i'm extremely interested in digital recording and want to get as good a results as possible and also learn. I've been looking at a minefield of plug ins and systems like Wavelab and thinking i should perfrom my Mastering and track organising in this enviroment.
Is this necessary to take this process out of Record? Is the Reason Mastering set up equal to what i've been looking at? Any advice would be much appreciated.
Sorry about the novel!!



Reason 6 gives you vintage emulation of ssl desk, there really is no excuse as to why you cant do great mixes in reason.


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