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Old 2012-10-30, 12:04
sh73888's Avatar
sh73888 sh73888 is offline
Join Date: Sep 2012
Posts: 296
House/Trance Mastering & Mastering Effects Chains - Advanced Users

Hey guys,

I am at a crossroads of sorts, as I have been doing things one way or another for a long time now, but realize now that since I have adequately upgraded my studio gear, its time to become much more proficient in my mastering know-how.

That being said, prior to now, I have done various things for "mastering" using sonar/cubase/audacity - and please dont have some one rant and rave about how mastering is for engineers only yadda yadda I DONT CARE WHAT HATERS HAVE TO SAY AND I AM NOT GOING TO SPEND GOOD MONEY FOR THIS WHEN I CAN DO IT MYSELF.

My interest in knowledge here is specifically to mastering chains, choice of plugins, steps in the process, this kind of thing. OBVIOUSLY every track is different - so please refrain from this kind of bullshit throw away commentary too - I have been producting for 12+ years so save the b.s. I need some new insight and unless you are an industry professional at this point, in music production school, or a released Trance/House producer, odds are I probably know what you are about to tell me. SO... That being said, I would like to open up a healthy discussion on the topic of Mastering & Mastering Effects Chains.

Up until recently, my "mastering" has always leaned on the light side, with minimal effects - equalization (I now prefer using the SSL mastering bus in Reason 6.5.1 with the ReQ-131, MCLASS, and occasionally Uhbik Q for this stage... as many as needed to shape properly), then exporting to 192000 wave/24bit, followed by a hard limit in Audacity (up to 6dB thresh but usually less - like around 1.7 - 3.5dB once I get the final mix levels just right), and then amplifying to -.3dB for safe clearance.

I brickwall filter each individual sound in my mixes, so dealing with highpassing the main mix wasnt even on my radar until recently, as it seems like a safe bet, and maybe im dealing with placebo, but it seems like even if I set my lowend limit in Reason manually to say 24hz at the low, still using a highpass filter on the end mix at 24hz in Audacity seems to clear the slightest tint of low end rumble. Or I am totally buying into b.s. there IDK..

I have read countless forums and sites on the topic - I am not sold on the normalization process, as it may or may not cause minimal undie distortion during its processing, which I would love for someone who actually KNOWS to clarify.

I have read the horror that entails from levelling type plugins and the distortion that ensues - obviously not in the cards, but worth mentioning as a bad idea for anyone reading who isnt up to speed on this stuff.

I understand the concept of hard vs. soft limiting - and I get that in this industry hard limiting seems to be the way to go - EXCEPT the hard limiter in Audacity for instance seems to cause a tinny distortion that The softclip limiter does not - Or is this my brain telling my ears something that isnt really there.


So please share your successes, failures, tips, suggestions, etc etc. And Keep the Condescending to a Minimum, oh wait.. this isnt yall are actually cool!

Cheers, Hope anyone on the eastcoast survived Hurricane Sandy btw.

Disregard the hostility above - I pasted this thread from my TA acct so I can get the most out of this topic and the people on that site are a. ignorant b. rude c. nevermind... haaha anyways looking forward to hearing from yall

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