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Mastering Get your stuff to sound right on your target medium

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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 4th July 2008 , 09:28 PM
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Default who's good and who's not?

how do you recognize a good mastering engineer? It's not like you can A/B a track which has not yet been mastered and which HAS been mastered by (professional) sound engineers. Or am I mistaken?
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Old 7th July 2008 , 11:10 AM
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You can usually recognise the difference, especially if you're using purely software and they have a much better hardware-based studio.
Your mix will be clear yet bassy, test it on a couple of different things like huge speakers, crap 1 headphones, a small hi-fi, car stereo etc and you should still be able to hear everything well.
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Old 7th July 2008 , 12:23 PM
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Cool

I know who's not, Vlado Mellor!
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Old 8th July 2008 , 10:31 AM
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oh theres miles difference between a good and bad mastering engineer.but neither can turn a bad song into a good song..you need to give them something they can add subtle changes too that make it sound more professional.

a good masterer can instintivly know when certain frequencys need boosting or cutting also there not like us using speakers which cost a few hundred pounds they use speakers costing more than a car or a house in some cases.
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Old 8th July 2008 , 11:28 PM
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Vlado can turn a good song into a bad one!
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Old 24th July 2008 , 10:32 AM
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Do you think is possible to successfully master at home if you check your mix on loads of different systems over a period of weeks and tweak it? or will I never be able to do what a professional does? or is it less to do with equipment and more to do with ears?
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Old 24th July 2008 , 01:08 PM
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I would say all 3, to be honest people rave about mastering externally, which if you want to sell your CD's is probably the way to do it.


But this is also a hobby for some of us, you have train spotters and train drivers, do you need to drive a train just to be interested?

I like playing with Izotope ozone for mastering, you get an idea of whats going on once you get used to it, and you can add a finished touch to a mix.



One thing I would suggest it getting a graphic eq (sound forge has one) pop your fav songs in it and tweak each band over the course of 30 hours or so untill you really get a good ear for whats going on.

One thing I notice with a lot of basic home mixes is that a lot of the presence (10-15k ish) is lacking, because they spending long time trying to get good bass for example.

But how much of your kick drums volume comes from 80-120hz? How can much of it come from there on tiny headphones? These sorts of questions help you to have a good ear and potentially can help with some basic home mastering.


Also a really good treated room is a must - however plenty of monitoring enviroments is the only alternative until you appreciate the problems with your room.


As for good kit, you can get nto wasting lots of money on this hobby, you cant just shove a mix through a magic piece of kit.

However you can master with cheaper alternatives and do a better job if you know what you are doing than spending 5 grand and just going mad at it
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Old 24th July 2008 , 02:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by waxxy View Post
oh theres miles difference between a good and bad mastering engineer.but neither can turn a bad song into a good song.
lol, 100%. the term i would use is that you can't polish a turd
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Old 24th July 2008 , 04:15 PM
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Cool Mastering at home...

If you have had a good 10 years of mixing, recording and mastering experience in both cr*ppy and excellent environments, you have a professionally treated room , an excellent pair of small to medium sized loudspeakers & subs (calibrated & positioned correctly..were talking PMC, Adams, B&W...) excellent amps if not active, and extremely good DAC's if working only in the digital domain (Stello/Russ Andrews/Lavry Black/Benchmark) and excellent software from companies such as Sonnox, Waves, Algorithmix, Voxengo, Timeworks...Then you have the necessary tools to create excellent masters, as long as the source mixes are of a standard that any sane mastering engineer would work from. As someone already pointed out..you can't polish a turd (but depending on the consistency of it, you may be able to spraypaint it silver)
There are plenty of mastering studios in London (and probably other places no doubt) that you would be able to sit in on a session or two and have a yarn with some of the engineers for some advice. There is no substitute for ears however.
That was an absolute mouthfull, I do apologise
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Old 24th July 2008 , 04:32 PM
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Bob Ludwig did a great job mastering Frank Zappa's "Sheik Yerbouti". This is a live album with lots of overdubs and 'xenochrony' - a technique executed by extracting a guitar solo or other musical part from its original context and placing it into a completely different song.
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