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Old 2005-02-23, 00:21
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rpugwash rpugwash is offline
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 98
Mastering with the new m-class devices etc...

hi guys,
ive heard it said on another thread up here, that m-class could/could not replace mastering engineers out in the field.

when i studied about Mastering bout 5yrs ago, we were told that the art of mastering is to 'take a production master (green label) and prepare it for its selected market (grey label master - ready for pressing/duplication)'

in other words (and experts forgive me if my colours are wrong... i AM colourblind and its the concept thats important yes!?!)..
yeah, in other words depending on whether you want to press a vinyl dance record, or you might want to make a CD or even have the thing destined to air on the radio or the TV (TV and radio mastering is very different it would seem) determines your approach to mastering your 'product'
then again, if your track will be performed live through a vega rig (to quote someone else on the other thread) then you wont need to compress your mix very much at all

mastering by definition is to make the absolute maximum sonic potential of your chosen medium.. and sound gaw-droppingly pleasing on the listener's/buyer's ears!

this will be different for CD as for TAPE as for VINYL as for RADIO as for TV as for LIVE PERFORMANCE as for MP3 as for anything else... oh yes... SA-CD is another one ;-)

theres really only one way to get to grips with mastering (apart from getting to work with doug sax or someone like that - pmsl we'll be lucky! - altho if youre reading this doug i make superb tea ;-) ..)

you just have to just try stuff out... get your mittens dirty (surgery with mittens on anyone? lol - nahh never mind)

there is an old term called 'fixing it in the mix' for instance, and this means that you dont need to worry too much if youre recording your sources during the recording/tracking process...

this is a falsehood btw, cos no amount of processing will correct a poorly miked up instrument or too much spill from close proximity drums for instance


mastering and getting a superb result in reason... is achievable, but requires observation of your mix from pretty much beginning to end...
il let you know if i manage to do something even approaching this... after ive picked myself back up off the floor! :-P

i think if you asked a top mastering engineer whether they liked the m-class... they would first of all say theyd try it... cos text book facts+figures dont make great records... 'hands' and 'ears' and 'experience' DO imho...

and im pretty sure once theyd done so, most of em would think that this can only be a good thing...

in the right hands;

making it so that several masters of the same track can be sent to the record company (or whoever) ready for minimal adjustment for release...

and in the hands of the rest of us;

and anyone who is prepared to experiment with their sound to any fair degree (the following...)

as others have also said,
'a means to produce superb sounding overall tracks for places like soundclick'

this can only be a good thing for mastering per ce, as this raises the bar..

its still not gonna phase (pardon the pun) a mastering bod one bit if loadsa people can understand a little of what he/she does...

if anything, it makes the amount of tidying up these guys have to do every single day alot more managable id say ;-)

incidentally, a good engineer will have hundreds of approaches depending on the type of product and also on market demands/trends so dont just pick a preset and use it for everything you do... youre not doing your mix any favours...
the m-class that appears in the default layout in R3 for instance is merely to bump up the levels a bit. im sure the props wouldnt insist everybody use this, all of the time...
of course not... hmmmm lol

i personally am looking forward to trying to make sweet as f*ck *smuve* jazzy funk grooves in R3.. (my mouth waters at some of the possibilities) with maybe a touch of sequencing - bit of a lazy so and so tho when making an idea - hence no albums yet...
buy me tons of pure narcotics and we'll see (im kidding of course!)

as long as i love em (my tracks)...
then the mastering is ok with me ;-)
we're all after all our own best critics. yes!?!

i stopped worrying about making a living from music a long time ago... its the best move i ever made
takes the fun right out of it, it does!

how many days left for the new goodies now?!

wont be long now surely (cue leslie nielson from police squad lol)

hope that helps re: mastering
the intent was there
and as i always say to my family, its about what people intend to do, not what they do/have done

look at saddam insane ffs!