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philip2637 Offline
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 12, 2008 7:26 am    Post subject: Tips From A Studio Reply with quote

Three or four months from now, I hope to be in a position to send out a CD for mastering. Some people I know with a number of CDs to their credit recommended a mastering studio that they've used. I spent some time last night reading tips from the site and, for all I know, it seemed to make sense. Smile Here's an example page of particular interest since I'm doing my own mixing: http://www.silverbirchprod.com/mast-prep.php I also like the fact that some of the pages on the site give a newbie a step-by-step introduction to what to expect from the process.

This post is for two purposes: maybe some reading it will find the tips useful and maybe some will have comments about other ways of doing things.
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MASSIVE Mastering Offline
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 12, 2008 8:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's all pretty much common sense stuff - Personally, I prefer levels to be even more conservative (a.k.a. "normal") when projects come in. But for the most part, it all makes sense.
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dog Offline
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 12, 2008 9:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm no ME but from what I've read at Johns site (Massive) and a few others, it looks about right.
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philip2637 Offline
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 12, 2008 11:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

MASSIVE Mastering wrote:
It's all pretty much common sense stuff
Mmmm. Smile

As someone with no experience with the process, my first inclination would have been to deliver material that was as close to what I'd want to hear on the CD as I could possibly make it, assuming that would mean less work for the mastering engineer. The whole idea of leaving things a bit raw (in a variety of ways) so the ME has more space to work with probably wouldn't have dawned on me spontaneously.
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MASSIVE Mastering Offline
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 12, 2008 4:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I would say you should absolutely deliver something that's as close as you'd want to hear - with the exception of sheer volume. Too many things can't be tweaked if the recording has gone through 'volume abuse'. And leaving headroom has nothing to do with the crest of a recording.

I'd go as far as to "somewhat" disagree with the buss compression part on the page - If a mix wants buss compression, it gets it. I'm going to do things differently when mixing through a compressor, as opposed to adding it later. Granted - a pretty small percentage of compressors out there excel on the 2-buss. If in doubt, leave it off. But if it's on, you should be mixing through it - not adding it later.

But in any case, the mix should be as "finished" as possible - both in audio quality and dynamically,** before it goes out the door. You're not leaving anything "raw" by leaving some headroom - You're just leaving some headroom.

The "common sense" stuff was really about - well, I guess all of it should be common sense. Headroom = Good room (not that it doesn't still blow my freaking mind when I hear people say "I record as hot as I can without clipping - why do my recordings sound like a$$?"). If a mix is to "fit" a certain dynamic range, that's much more effectively handled at the track level.



** No limiters - I don't care how good it is, a brick-wall limiter, by design, is trashing the audio. If you want to hear something through a limiter, throw it on - Mix into it if need be. Then take it off. A whisker of buss compression is great. Limiting/clipping is damage. And no doubt, it's probably going to happen during the mastering session. Never before.

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philip2637 Offline
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Joined: 09 Jul 2006
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 13, 2008 7:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

MASSIVE Mastering wrote:
You're not leaving anything "raw" by leaving some headroom

I guess I used the word 'raw' in reference not only to his comments on volume headroom, but also other suggestions on the site that mastering could do a better job on final bass or "brightness" EQ, and "top and tail" selection in relationship to inter-track timing.

Thanks for your comments, BTW. My position is that of someone who has written a bunch of songs over the past four years and knows more about computers than is actually healthy. Smile Everything else is part of my learning curve.
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