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  1. #1
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    Question Mastering? WTF! O.o

    Hey,

    i really like the mastering video alphatonez shared here (Mastering EQ - make music sound louder, with LESS compression and limiting (video))
    Do you have more videos like this? I really want to learn how proper mastering is done. Importent for me is that the Vids/tutorials/readings explain it with electronic 4/4 beat music, since I'll probably understand more whats going on and it seems mastering with analog instruments and voices are somewhat different from mastering electronic music. (I'm correct with this assumption?)

    Thanks in advance

    greetz
    agey

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    Maybe someone can explain to me how importent a good speaker setup is and if it is possible to do a proper mastering with headphones only?
    When done with headphones, which one is better: Sennheiser Pro 280 or Beyer Dynamics DT 770? (My guess is the later one as the mids and highs are better. The Pro280 boost the low frequencies which is not so good)

    Do you use different speaker setups (HQ like a proper monitor setup and LQ like radio alarm clock shit)?

    greetz
    agey
    Last edited by agex; 12-21-2013 at 03:05 AM.

  3. #3
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    "Mastering" of Instruments/Samples: how do you do this? Is this needed/importent?
    Do you "Master" each Instrument/Sample separatly? And if so, in the sequencer itself or wave editing app like wavelab?
    Which Plugins do you use? What do you try to archive?
    Last edited by agex; 12-21-2013 at 03:04 AM.

  4. #4
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    mixing/mixdown: how do you do it?

    Do you export each track and "master" it separately and re-import it in the sequencer OR do in the sequencer only (without exporting the tracks)?
    Do you use plugins for the mixdown (master the tracks separatly). Which plugins are you using?
    Do you do the midown without plugins? Using and adjusting EQ and volumes only?

    Does the Level matter? Which dB should track in a mixdown have before exporting or recording a song?
    Do you finally export to wav or do you record it from your soundcards output or mixers output?

    Recording: what Level should a recording have? (dB)
    Last edited by agex; 12-21-2013 at 03:03 AM.

  5. #5
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    Hey ageX

    Glad you enjoyed the vid...I don't have any other at the moment, but i'll surely post as soon as i run across another good one

    I am not skilled at mastering, but a good speaker setup is indeed important. Mastering with headphones would be possible too, aswell as mastering on cheap monitors... The thing is, you need to know your monitors or headphones very, very well.
    If you can, listen to your mix on many different sources (Monitors, Car Stereo, mp3player, laptop and the hifi from your friends) ... If you manage to get your master to sound good everywhere, then you probably did a good job
    Another good idea is to A/B your track to a mastered one from an audiocd, which sounds similar to the sound you are looking for.

    There is that old "Steinberg Freefilter" or iZotope Ozone, which allow you to "analyze" the EQ settings from one song and apply them to your own. I only tried it once with one of my own tracks and it immediatly sounded much better, that was pretty amazing. Maybe this can also be helpful to you, while learning about mastering.

    Kind regards,
    alphatonez
    There will come a time when you've tried everything you're not and the only thing left will be what you are

  6. #6
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    For all the mentioned steps: Are there some magic numbers for e.g. the level (dB) which should always archive a good result?
    What is the max. level a track/song should have?

    Or does this all do not matter as mixdown and/or mastering is always done by feeling?
    Last edited by agex; 12-21-2013 at 03:06 AM.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by alphatonez View Post
    There is that old "Steinberg Freefilter" or iZotope Ozone, which allow you to "analyze" the EQ settings from one song and apply them to your own. I only tried it once with one of my own tracks and it immediatly sounded much better, that was pretty amazing. Maybe this can also be helpful to you, while learning about mastering.
    z
    Oh, that is interessting. I try to find more infos about this.

    Thanks for you input.

    greetz
    agey

  8. #8
    Senior Member logic's Avatar
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    Pretty much always cut the 250 hz from the song or bass it cuts a lot of the crap out

    analog instruments and voices are somewhat different from mastering electronic music. (I'm correct with this assumption?)
    pretty much because they have better harmonics (the sound has more harmonics its richer in harmonix of course depending on the mic) digital (vst) its digital fixed (not infinite) and because of that, they are much crappier it's like flash animation vs bugs bunny you know...

  9. #9
    Senior Member logic's Avatar
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    ...and about headphones.. if you mastered with studio monitores and you know how it sounds when it sounds good a track/song ..you can do work with headphones also, but in the end you still have to listen the final master on studio monitors

  10. #10
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    @ageX: Your tunes always sound great my friend.

    Here are some strategies to get a good mix I seem to remember reading somewhere :

    1. Once your sounds, arrangement and basic mix is right; bounce all your tracks to audio. This will mean you have to concentrate on mixing and not re-doing stuff that you should have done already.

    tB never does this.

    2. Ensure you have a great listening environment with the best speakers you can afford and a decent sounding room.

    tB never does this.

    3. Spend some time 'tuning in' your ears by listening to reference tracks.

    tB never does this.

    4. Know what you are trying to achieve with your mix; visualize (audialize?) what you want your track to sound like.

    tB never does this.

    5. Mix in 20-30 minute bursts then take a break and listen to something else before coming back to your mix.

    tB never does this.

    6. Get the basics right first before tackling the ear candy.

    tB never does this.

    7. Keep the mix relatively simple and know when to stop faffing about. If it a good arrangement with good sounds then it will work. If not then you are wasting time that should be spent on arrangement and sounds.

    tB never does this.

    8. Don't try to compete with top studios. Your plugins may be similar to the equipment they have in big budget studios but they can spend thousands of man-hours working on a single track. Just mix your song so it sounds 'right' to you.

    tB never does this.


    My advice is... to ignore my advice... but don't make the same mistakes as me... don't mix like a Badger!


    On the subject of Mastering; there is only one rule: Get Someone Else To Do It.


    After you have written, programmed, recorded, arranged, mixed and listened to your track a zillion times in minute detail you are the least qualified person on the planet to master it. Sorry. That's just the way it is. Even if you are a renown mastering engineer with grammys and platinum disks, your sister's boyfriend could do a better job of mastering your own tracks than you can. It's all about familiarity and having a fresh set of ears. If you can't afford a professional then give your track to a mate whose musical integrity you trust and say "Have a go at mastering this track for me."

    Obviously tB never does this either.


    I may be a talentless know-nothing badger but at least I know I'm a talentless know-nothing badger.

    tB.

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