Propellerhead Software
  #1  
Old 2012-02-13, 19:38
POPPRODUCTIONZ's Avatar
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Mastering in Reason 6?

Is there a way to master in Reason and take it right to CD? If not anyone recommend any good mastering programs? Thanks.
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  #2  
Old 2012-02-13, 23:12
usaidwot usaidwot is offline
 
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Reason 6 has all the tools required for making a mix ready for release. The biggest question is whether you have monitors and an acoustic space that will allow you to make the tweaks required (and perhaps the ears and experience??).

The rule of thumb is leave mastering to the experts. But, after hearing some current releases with so called 'state of the art mastering', I would say that you could not possibly do any worse yourself. Just remember to keep the bass frequencies under control. Also try listening to your mixes on all your playback gear, so you can hear it alongside commercial material in context.

Also, try to avoid the temptation to push your mixes to maximum loudness.
  #3  
Old 2012-02-17, 19:45
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Quote:
Originally Posted by usaidwot View Post
Reason 6 has all the tools required for making a mix ready for release. The biggest question is whether you have monitors and an acoustic space that will allow you to make the tweaks required (and perhaps the ears and experience??).

The rule of thumb is leave mastering to the experts. But, after hearing some current releases with so called 'state of the art mastering', I would say that you could not possibly do any worse yourself. Just remember to keep the bass frequencies under control. Also try listening to your mixes on all your playback gear, so you can hear it alongside commercial material in context.

Also, try to avoid the temptation to push your mixes to maximum loudness.
Reason 6 Does have a MCLASS MASTERING SUITE. But in order to properly use it, your knowledge has to be ALREADY FIXED IN THE REALM OF A PROFESSIONAL ENGINEER. And unfortunately the realm does not believe in speaking to people OUTSIDE THAT REALM.

Here's my PROGRESS on that so far, in as plain language as I can provide:

NOTE: DO NOT BOOST ANY ONE PART OR YOUR WHOLE SONG LOUDER BECAUSE IT SEEMS TOO QUIET. THE MIX IS WHERE YOU SHOULD BE ABLE TO "LEVEL" YOUR SOUND INTO A BASIC IDEA OF WHAT YOU IMAGINED, WHILE NOT COLLIDING SIMILAR SOUNDS (CLEAN), AND GETTING THE MASTER FADER TO REACH ON AVERAGE, ABOUT 1 TO 2 NOTCHES (DECIBELS MAYBE) BELOW THE 0 DB PEAK.

1. The mastering suite, and reason effect devices, can be added to almost any device (exmpl: redrum, nn-xt and so forth) or mix channel you want, BUT IF YOU ARE A BEGINNER WITH THIS it is best to tweak sound on the device that sound comes from, without using any effects. Leveled, loud, and clean, with no effects is the SAFEST way to go for a final MIX. (BORING, I KNOW!)

2. Once all music and vocals are as BASICALLY leveled, loud, and clean as you imagined the song, you would then start to add basic echo's , reverbs or what have you to your vocals, and or music devices (stay away from compressors if you don't understand them for now). MIND YOU THIS IS WHERE I (non engineer guy) tend to notice where you could loose a lot of Headroom (between sound jumping peaks at this point on main fader, and 0 db peak level on main fader), and you gotta find a nice balance of adding just enough effects to every part that you HEAR THE NEED TO, on your song SEPARATELY. This is where ears and experience begin to factor in.

2. Once you got leveled, clean, and loudness jumpining in the main fader no higher than 1 to 2 little rectangles (lol, again decibels or db maybe) below the 0 db mark in the MAIN FADER, then you BASICALLY (maybe not completely in the professional sense) have you song in the area of a "GOOD MIX".

3. At this point I tend to focus my attention to the rack screen (F6 in macintosh computers). And specifically on the device in the rack screen (F6 in MAC) that represents my master fader. Clicking on "show insert FX" button on her opens up an empty window where we will begin to add MCLASS EFFECTS. (Please remember i am only giving you my progress of what i am still fighting to learn here)

4. I first add an Mclass Eq not to Equalize my mix again, especially if I did the mix as thorough to the idea in my head as possible. It is the 30hz low cut button I use due to its GENERAL EFFECTIVENESS TO cut out those super low noisy sounds that I DO NOT HEAR, NOR WOULD WANT IF I COULD, in my mix. Use other eq functions only if you have VERY SMALL TWEEKS that you just could not get in the mix.

5. I then add UNDER THAT a MClass Sterio Imager. A little Youtube tutorial (I wish I found a simple, in-depth reason tutorial on all these Mclass effects) on this particular device will let you know that you separate your Low (bottom range) and Hi's apart with that middle "crossover" knob. The point is to USUALLY make your low sound better with mono and TWEEKING your hi band with usually a little less sterio than mono, but trust your ears with either good speakers and or headphones in the first place.

6. Then comes the blaring reason why propeller head need to focus all their in house talents on creating the most simplified, yet in-depth line of tutorials on THEIR THINKING OF BASIC USE OF THE WHOLE MCLASS MASTERING SUITE. The MCLASS COMPRESSOR. (The more i think I understand how to control my master fader sound image with this, the less I realize I understand about this device.) THE GOAL HERE IS TO GET THAT SOUND IMAGE IN YOUR MASTER FADER THAT JUMPS, TO HAVE LESS DISTANCE OF JUMPING BETWEEN THE AVERAGE LOWEST LEVEL OF SOUND AND THE HIGHEST LEVEL. Thus a "SQUASHED" more controlled sound level. No super low parts, way lower than the average hi levels of sound. (THE AS MUCH AS I CAN TELL YOU FOR NOW.)

7. Finally we have MClass Maximizer. Again there is a bit of confusion for me here as You would figger that the MClass Compressor should already do this kind of job, but the maximizer pretty much is designed to not allow your sound image in your master fader to go over 0 db (clipping) but yet limit (compress) your sound, while at the same time giving you the ability to raise the perceived loudness of your overall mix. It seems this devise is a lot less based on the sound image in the master fader, and alot more about the loudness you hear out the speakers.

MY MOMENTARY DIGRESSION: There would be ALOT LESS COMPLAINTS OF THE "REASON SOUND" IF THE FOCUS FROM PROPELLERHEAD WAS ON EXPLAINING THE FUNCTIONS OF THESE EFFECTS, INSTEAD OF ASSUMING EVERYONE KNOWS WHAT IT'S INTENDED USE IS. I find a lot less people interested with making trance music, and dub-step, which are genre's of music, and more interested in PROPELLERHEAD CONCEPT OF HOW THEY INTENDED THIS OR THAT DEVICE TO BE USED. I'm just saying there are some really great features in this software that is intuitive, it's just a little more in house help on how those END SOUND QUALITY EFFECTS work, instead of just all about dub step and trance music effects during pre production!

************************************************** ************************************************** ***
"The rule of thumb is leave mastering to the experts..." I really believe alot of software designers have that concept in mind when DESIGNING SOFTWARE, THAT THEY INTEND TO SELL TO THE GENERAL PUBLIC! If "The rule of thumb is leave mastering to the experts..." was applicable in this day and time you would not:

1. Have so many people looking to be FREE of the SNOBBISH "PAY ME LOTS OF MONEY, I DON'T CARE ABOUT YOUR CREATIVITY" "BIG TIME STUDIO" engineers. Lot's of em.

2. The record industry wouldn't be imploding due to it's arrogance in building the business around middle men and lawyers who separate artist from their work and money their work brings!

3. Lot's of REGULAR people who have great music in their heads looking to organizations like propellerhead as an alternative to GOING INTO MASSIVE DEBT, just to pay tuition for the sake of learning KEY CONCEPTS of making THEIR IDEAS come to life through software the is ADVERTISED as "User friendly" or "intuitive".

THERE IS DEFIANTLY A VERY BAD CASE OF ARROGANCE AND ASSUMPTION THAT JUST CAUSE I KNOW THIS OR THAT, it's "common sense"! Not so. If it was then there would be no need for the software in the FIRST PLACE! We'd just purchase studio time and FIRE THE ENGINEER.

THANK YOU FOR YOUR TIME AND CONSIDERATION.
  #4  
Old 2012-02-18, 09:42
POPPRODUCTIONZ's Avatar
POPPRODUCTIONZ POPPRODUCTIONZ is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 7blackent View Post
Reason 6 Does have a MCLASS MASTERING SUITE. But in order to properly use it, your knowledge has to be ALREADY FIXED IN THE REALM OF A PROFESSIONAL ENGINEER. And unfortunately the realm does not believe in speaking to people OUTSIDE THAT REALM.

Here's my PROGRESS on that so far, in as plain language as I can provide:

NOTE: DO NOT BOOST ANY ONE PART OR YOUR WHOLE SONG LOUDER BECAUSE IT SEEMS TOO QUIET. THE MIX IS WHERE YOU SHOULD BE ABLE TO "LEVEL" YOUR SOUND INTO A BASIC IDEA OF WHAT YOU IMAGINED, WHILE NOT COLLIDING SIMILAR SOUNDS (CLEAN), AND GETTING THE MASTER FADER TO REACH ON AVERAGE, ABOUT 1 TO 2 NOTCHES (DECIBELS MAYBE) BELOW THE 0 DB PEAK.

1. The mastering suite, and reason effect devices, can be added to almost any device (exmpl: redrum, nn-xt and so forth) or mix channel you want, BUT IF YOU ARE A BEGINNER WITH THIS it is best to tweak sound on the device that sound comes from, without using any effects. Leveled, loud, and clean, with no effects is the SAFEST way to go for a final MIX. (BORING, I KNOW!)

2. Once all music and vocals are as BASICALLY leveled, loud, and clean as you imagined the song, you would then start to add basic echo's , reverbs or what have you to your vocals, and or music devices (stay away from compressors if you don't understand them for now). MIND YOU THIS IS WHERE I (non engineer guy) tend to notice where you could loose a lot of Headroom (between sound jumping peaks at this point on main fader, and 0 db peak level on main fader), and you gotta find a nice balance of adding just enough effects to every part that you HEAR THE NEED TO, on your song SEPARATELY. This is where ears and experience begin to factor in.

2. Once you got leveled, clean, and loudness jumpining in the main fader no higher than 1 to 2 little rectangles (lol, again decibels or db maybe) below the 0 db mark in the MAIN FADER, then you BASICALLY (maybe not completely in the professional sense) have you song in the area of a "GOOD MIX".

3. At this point I tend to focus my attention to the rack screen (F6 in macintosh computers). And specifically on the device in the rack screen (F6 in MAC) that represents my master fader. Clicking on "show insert FX" button on her opens up an empty window where we will begin to add MCLASS EFFECTS. (Please remember i am only giving you my progress of what i am still fighting to learn here)

4. I first add an Mclass Eq not to Equalize my mix again, especially if I did the mix as thorough to the idea in my head as possible. It is the 30hz low cut button I use due to its GENERAL EFFECTIVENESS TO cut out those super low noisy sounds that I DO NOT HEAR, NOR WOULD WANT IF I COULD, in my mix. Use other eq functions only if you have VERY SMALL TWEEKS that you just could not get in the mix.

5. I then add UNDER THAT a MClass Sterio Imager. A little Youtube tutorial (I wish I found a simple, in-depth reason tutorial on all these Mclass effects) on this particular device will let you know that you separate your Low (bottom range) and Hi's apart with that middle "crossover" knob. The point is to USUALLY make your low sound better with mono and TWEEKING your hi band with usually a little less sterio than mono, but trust your ears with either good speakers and or headphones in the first place.

6. Then comes the blaring reason why propeller head need to focus all their in house talents on creating the most simplified, yet in-depth line of tutorials on THEIR THINKING OF BASIC USE OF THE WHOLE MCLASS MASTERING SUITE. The MCLASS COMPRESSOR. (The more i think I understand how to control my master fader sound image with this, the less I realize I understand about this device.) THE GOAL HERE IS TO GET THAT SOUND IMAGE IN YOUR MASTER FADER THAT JUMPS, TO HAVE LESS DISTANCE OF JUMPING BETWEEN THE AVERAGE LOWEST LEVEL OF SOUND AND THE HIGHEST LEVEL. Thus a "SQUASHED" more controlled sound level. No super low parts, way lower than the average hi levels of sound. (THE AS MUCH AS I CAN TELL YOU FOR NOW.)

7. Finally we have MClass Maximizer. Again there is a bit of confusion for me here as You would figger that the MClass Compressor should already do this kind of job, but the maximizer pretty much is designed to not allow your sound image in your master fader to go over 0 db (clipping) but yet limit (compress) your sound, while at the same time giving you the ability to raise the perceived loudness of your overall mix. It seems this devise is a lot less based on the sound image in the master fader, and alot more about the loudness you hear out the speakers.

MY MOMENTARY DIGRESSION: There would be ALOT LESS COMPLAINTS OF THE "REASON SOUND" IF THE FOCUS FROM PROPELLERHEAD WAS ON EXPLAINING THE FUNCTIONS OF THESE EFFECTS, INSTEAD OF ASSUMING EVERYONE KNOWS WHAT IT'S INTENDED USE IS. I find a lot less people interested with making trance music, and dub-step, which are genre's of music, and more interested in PROPELLERHEAD CONCEPT OF HOW THEY INTENDED THIS OR THAT DEVICE TO BE USED. I'm just saying there are some really great features in this software that is intuitive, it's just a little more in house help on how those END SOUND QUALITY EFFECTS work, instead of just all about dub step and trance music effects during pre production!

************************************************** ************************************************** ***
"The rule of thumb is leave mastering to the experts..." I really believe alot of software designers have that concept in mind when DESIGNING SOFTWARE, THAT THEY INTEND TO SELL TO THE GENERAL PUBLIC! If "The rule of thumb is leave mastering to the experts..." was applicable in this day and time you would not:

1. Have so many people looking to be FREE of the SNOBBISH "PAY ME LOTS OF MONEY, I DON'T CARE ABOUT YOUR CREATIVITY" "BIG TIME STUDIO" engineers. Lot's of em.

2. The record industry wouldn't be imploding due to it's arrogance in building the business around middle men and lawyers who separate artist from their work and money their work brings!

3. Lot's of REGULAR people who have great music in their heads looking to organizations like propellerhead as an alternative to GOING INTO MASSIVE DEBT, just to pay tuition for the sake of learning KEY CONCEPTS of making THEIR IDEAS come to life through software the is ADVERTISED as "User friendly" or "intuitive".

THERE IS DEFIANTLY A VERY BAD CASE OF ARROGANCE AND ASSUMPTION THAT JUST CAUSE I KNOW THIS OR THAT, it's "common sense"! Not so. If it was then there would be no need for the software in the FIRST PLACE! We'd just purchase studio time and FIRE THE ENGINEER.

THANK YOU FOR YOUR TIME AND CONSIDERATION.
I really enjoyed your take on this, very informative and so true. You made me think of a time we all had no choice but to spend all of our money taking our ideas to a studio engineer. Technology really has put the power in the artist/producer's hands. I do believe every one is not equipped to endure this process because it does take a lot of time, listening and trial and error. Everyone is not cut out to be an engineer and producer. I do understand the statement " leave mastering to the experts" because I feel as a producer/musician who started out as a rapper/poet (myself) I have to separate the engineer/producer from the artist (me). I personally find it very difficult to produce myself because my technical anal ness gets in the way of my creativity at times. Every one that posts on this board should give your self a round of applause for perseverance and endurance in learning the craft of producing/engineering because it's not easy. For anyone to say this all is common sense belittles the intelligence of everyone that took years to learn this craft. I bet many people hear had porta studios in the 80's and 90's... yeah me too Tascam 414 1996. P.O.P.
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  #5  
Old 2012-02-19, 01:09
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Inthusiast Inthusiast is offline
 
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i have been using the master compressor on the SSL from start to finish of my initial mix ( very little make up gain) with mastering bypassed...once my tune is finished i bounce it 24 bit @ 48,000 hz and create a new project, import the 24 bit wav, then experiment with mastering inserts, normally just a limiter, eq, stereo imager, maybe tape saturation. once i get it sounding crisp i listen on at least 3 mediums before bouncing.

I am not an expert on mastering but have been working/learning alot a lot through trial and error. you gotta to get your hands dirty!

if anyone has feedback on this method id be stoked to heAr!
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  #6  
Old 2012-02-19, 01:46
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Danoc Danoc is offline
 
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I listened to your sound in your sig and that was nice man I like that track alot, and the sound of it sound clean yet a warm lush punchy sound to it. I love that kick crashing down, it sounded like Optimus Prime walking through glass and metal lol that was hot. Where did you get the tape saturation from bro?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Inthusiast View Post
i have been using the master compressor on the SSL from start to finish of my initial mix ( very little make up gain) with mastering bypassed...once my tune is finished i bounce it 24 bit @ 48,000 hz and create a new project, import the 24 bit wav, then experiment with mastering inserts, normally just a limiter, eq, stereo imager, maybe tape saturation. once i get it sounding crisp i listen on at least 3 mediums before bouncing.

I am not an expert on mastering but have been working/learning alot a lot through trial and error. you gotta to get your hands dirty!

if anyone has feedback on this method id be stoked to heAr!
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  #7  
Old 2012-02-19, 14:46
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Bonkhead Bonkhead is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Inthusiast View Post
once my tune is finished i bounce it 24 bit @ 48,000 hz
You work for the tv/movie/game industry ?
Audio standard is 44.1 khz.
AV is 48 khz.

I always work on 44.1
Less converting (= errors), less loss of original signal.

Just a tip.

I master realtime in cubase (masterbus rewired), EQ and limiting.
  #8  
Old 2012-02-29, 02:11
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Sounds like the bass keeps saying "WHAT?".... really cool.
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  #9  
Old 2012-02-13, 23:43
thezakker thezakker is offline
 
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Well I have always exported my file at top quality, then brought it into ableton on my pc... logic on my mac... If you have a mac, I'd suggest logic, because of it's ease of use and superior mastering effects that come with the program. On pc, I used mix craft for long time. Very inexpensive and I always yielded positive results... I did have a few experiences of it "quitting unexpectedly" and thats why I've since switched to ableton. I'm still newb with ableton so I could not tell you about their mastering presets, because I keep it basic with T-SLEDGE and Volume. T-sledge is a free, very, very, useful vst. It makes your song pop, and if you sit down and mess with it and learn to use it, it can totally transform your sound... As far as mastering in reason, well I've used 4-6 and I can say that none of them, especially reason 6 can produce an exported sound with the right volume and umph without clipping in the program... I don't know why this is, but it's annoying when you hear your song sounding good, then export it, compare, and it sounds like shyte. They should probably work on that for 7... but ya T-Sledge, Volume, another good free vst that will help with your mastering is Volcano limiter. simple to the point, prevents clippage. If you just wanna get your tunes on a cd for now and listen to them in the car or whatever until you get a program, switch audio converter will turn it into an mp3 for you. its free too. Oh, reaper is another low-budget DAW that's supposed to be good. I trialed it and went with mix craft, but eh, you might like it.
  #10  
Old 2012-02-14, 00:28
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EpiGenetik EpiGenetik is offline
 
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Smile

Quote:
Originally Posted by POPPRODUCTIONZ View Post
Is there a way to master in Reason and take it right to CD? If not anyone recommend any good mastering programs? Thanks.
Izotope Ozone get's good reviews, as does T-Racks.

Reason can do it, but it depends on what style of music you are doing, i.e. are you a loudness war participant or not? If yes, then yes Reason will do it well. If no, then the tools it has are good but it's not a full set just yet, most specifically there is nothing akin to the Aphex Aural Exciter, an old hardware unit that "fixes" harmonic distortions in some weird scientific way.

Another big factor is that many people choose to have their tunes on websites which kick the crap out of the sound, and Reason only does pro quality. Whilst an audiophile such as myself who insists on premium sound quality at all times will find this to be preferable, some younger folks who "grew up" with mp3's seem to get ticked off by this. So whether you're aiming for CD/DVD pro-quality or just YouCloud et al as your main broadcast medium has a lot to do with it these days.

I'm not well versed enough to continue this conversation any further than this I'm afraid, as I don't know enough about the rest of the tools a real mastering engineer would use. Hopefully one of the mastering engineers on here will chime in at some point and give more specifics on this.

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