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Old 2013-01-03, 15:24
lemec's Avatar
lemec lemec is online now
 
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Question Compression settings for an entire album mastering

Hi everyone...

How you can make mastering an entire album? It takes many different compressors as there are songs, or you need to use the same chain with common settings for all tracks?
or even better automate these parameters?
I tweak a lot for a single track techniques combined with the mid-side parallel compression and I can not imagine an album of 10 songs. you have any suggestions? thank you very much
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  #2  
Old 2013-01-03, 16:45
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RandyInLA RandyInLA is offline
 
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I am not experienced with mastering, but have been curious about learning basic mastering techniques over the last few months. There are a bunch of videos you can find on youtube that deal strictly with the mastering process, completely separate from the final mix process. There are some Reason-based videos out there, but most of the ones I found were VST/AU plugin related. Some VST/AU ideas can be applied using devices in the Reason rack. Some cannot. The Ozone5 Advanced mastering suite plugins come to mind. Not only are they beautifully designed and well thought out, but the extra visual feedback is amazing. There are plenty of other plugins you could use. The Ozone ones are the last ones I viewed, so they are fresh in my mind.

The types of youtube videos you will find will take you through different approaches to compression for mastering, EQ, stereo imaging, matching levels between songs etc. From what I've seen, you pull all of the final stereo mixes of songs for your album into one new "song" so they are either lined up one after the other, daisy chained (but on separate stereo tracks) or just lined up on top of each other. Depends if you want to hear one song fade out and into another or not. You can then compare EQ, loudness, tempo flow etc., between all of the songs. So spend some time searching youtube for mastering, mastering plugins, mastering albums etc.

I would think that yes, you would have a different compressor for each song as well as separate everything else. Each song would have to be tweaked independently of the others to get them all to flow together better. Automating any changes you want to make to these mastering effects would, of course, be a good idea.

Keep in mind, you should not be using mastering techniques for making stereo mixes of your songs. I started doing this a while ago and learned the hard way that it makes actual mastering MUCH harder, if not impossible. Only after you have mixed your songs to stereo, final tracks, do you then pull them together and switch gears into mastering mode.

Hope this helps point you in the right direction. As stated, I am a beginner when it comes to mastering.
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Last edited by RandyInLA; 2013-01-03 at 16:48.
  #3  
Old 2013-01-03, 21:45
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QVprod QVprod is offline
 
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I'm no experienced mastering engineer, but from the little bit I learned while in school, the main compression you apply will be a multiband on the master insert, The idea is to get all the songs for a project to flow together well as they would on a cd and sound like they were done in the same place, on the individual songs in the mastering project the main thing being applied is EQ and or mulitiband compression (used sparingly of course since there's one on the master fader/insert) on each song so yes a compressor for each song. what ever the settings are going to be on the master I would leave set. I would suggest against automation of the master section imo since you're pursuing some slight sonic uniformity of the songs. The settings for the chains on each track may vary based on the track, as some tracks may require more or less bass...etc... to match up with the other songs.
  #4  
Old 2013-01-04, 16:58
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sh73888 sh73888 is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by QVprod View Post
I'm no experienced mastering engineer, but from the little bit I learned while in school, the main compression you apply will be a multiband on the master insert, The idea is to get all the songs for a project to flow together well as they would on a cd and sound like they were done in the same place, on the individual songs in the mastering project the main thing being applied is EQ and or mulitiband compression (used sparingly of course since there's one on the master fader/insert) on each song so yes a compressor for each song. what ever the settings are going to be on the master I would leave set. I would suggest against automation of the master section imo since you're pursuing some slight sonic uniformity of the songs. The settings for the chains on each track may vary based on the track, as some tracks may require more or less bass...etc... to match up with the other songs.
If you dont know how to use compressors, much less multi-band compressors, the odds are that using a multiband on your master will completely rape your track. Considering a multiband compressor divides the final sound signal into 3 or 4 (essentially brickwall divided) sources, then individually attenuates them with compression values, then recombines said 3 or 4 sources into one, using the same divisions and settings for one song on TEN songs is a recipe for utter disaster. You would want to differentiate your chains per song - perhaps you have like the same general chain for all ten to give them the same overall sound, but individually you would want to tweak the chain parameters per song. and you could add an individual multicomp into the chain for each song with separate settings for each track. but there is no cookie cutter implementation of mastering. And frankly, great tracks dont really require much, if any mastering. If youre affecting more than 2db of gain on any sound of a track, its time to go back to the mix ideally.
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  #5  
Old 2013-01-04, 00:51
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lemec lemec is online now
 
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thanks to all.
great advice. video I've seen plenty of them but I've never seen a mastering done on several tracks, but only one at a time. but I figured that there were custom settings. the 'phase equalization or corrective surely must treat the individual tracks as a master compressor could take all the tracks cumulatively. of course I will experiment with the 'discretion of my ear
Cheers
  #6  
Old 2013-01-04, 07:21
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ENJOY !

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