Help for Mastering

Music creation & DJ mixing, how tos questions, discussions & help ~~~ Musical Software/hardware/skills etc...
PsyHye
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Help for Mastering

Post by PsyHye » Mon Oct 01, 2007 4:04 pm

So I finished my first track and it turned out ok. Still need to adjust a few things I don't like. Anyway I have no idea how to master and from what I've read it is a complicated process.

So I'm looking for tutorials to help teach myself. I found some good ableton live 6 downloadable tutorials that cover a little of mastering. I'll probably download this for a small fee unless anyone else knows some good reading I could check out to shed some light on this process. Thanks.

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Post by Zero-Blade » Mon Oct 01, 2007 7:56 pm

Here's a couple of things about mastering from MyckapuH from Gain Reduction / Psytechteam:

First, you should work with lower levels of the sound, for example, around -4 or -5 dB.

You should use sidechain compression on the kick and bass, 100%!

After you started low and fixed your kick/bass, you start to increase the volume of the channel steady, on base of the main line, the kick/bassline and hats.

After that, wherever needed you equalize/compress the sound.

MyckapuH said he puts URS Equalizer on the whole mix.

You should also 100% put a limiter on the master output channel, so there are no picks.

And for the end, Waves Multimaximazer L3.

When the mix is ready, its good to export it in max quality (for example 24bit, 44,1 sound) and put dithering on it in any good sound editing software, like wavlab or soundforge.

These are the tips, the other is left in your ears. :P


One rule: It's better if someone else masters your tracks, it's not a very good idea to master them for yourself.


Find this: Bob Katz Digital Recording, The Art And Science Of Mastering Audio

Hope this helps! All tips are from MyckapuH (GR/PTT)

BOOM!

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Post by PsyHye » Wed Oct 03, 2007 4:43 pm

Thanks for your advice. But why is not a good idea to master your own tracks?

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Post by The Andychrist » Wed Oct 03, 2007 8:15 pm

producer's ears are biased ( :music: != :dance )

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Post by PsyHye » Thu Oct 04, 2007 2:54 pm

"And for the end, Waves Multimaximazer L3."


Ugh, so I need a $450.00 software package to finish my first track. OOOF, i was worried about this. Producing seems to just get more and more complicated but in a good way. Back to the drawing board I guess.

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Post by Oxidelic » Thu Oct 04, 2007 6:02 pm

well all this is just one of a milion ways to achieve it.. ;)


first you have to clear to yourself exactly what MASTER you want. If you want mastering as some of your favorite CDs you'll have to make a lot of things. and you'll need to have at least one hardware Compressor, Eq, Limiter and maybe some Tube amplifier. also you'll need everything that a Mastering Studio has. Thats why to be "a mastering engeneer" is a diferent profesion! Without this and without at least 10years of experience you'll never get close to this "mastered" sound.

Something else. MASTERING is not a Magical proces. It all depnds on how you, and just YOU've mixed down your trak. How you equalizaed all sounds in reference to all sounds. ajajaja, the tetris game man. ;)

If you want to pump up the volume of your traks without peaking so taht you can maybe play them on parties, and you dont have a masterig studio or you don have the money to pay for a mastering studio than you can use some limiters on your master chain. You'll hear a lot advices, use, maximizers, use eqs, multiband compresors etc etc.. but you have to know that you're dealing with Digital Sound. Digital sound is more destructive and data loss if you apply alterations (compressors, limiters, blabla). maybe you'll pump the sound up but it will end FLAT!!! cuz the digital sound has RESOLUTION!!!! it has frontiers. the analog sound doesent have this. its not made by bytes, pixels, dithers or some other point like objects. it is mere vibrations!!! so you can alter it a lot without loosing dinamics. cuz a trak that sounds gained but flat is worst than a quiter trak but full of dinamics and air. Also it depends a lot, A LOT of your sound card. You need a good sound card that can really process all the alterations you want to make so that the trak is masered. ;) If its SB16 forget obout it. minimum a m-.audio 24b.

So before "mastering" your trak asure yourself that the same has dinamics, balance, stereo image yet strong mono presence, and of course good equalized sounds. No mastering engeneer can master a trak that is bad, flat, distorted, boosted, ovecompresed.... even if his name is God!

;)
anyway here is a PRESENT for you, this is a fulllenght tutorial by mr. SYNSUN, you'll learn a lot secertes, if you can apply everything that is explained in this tutorial you'll be able to bring your sound and mixing techniques to another level, have fun:
http://www.udma.com.ua/academy/index.ph ... _Tutorial/

:cheers

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Post by RAWAR / BOLENATH » Thu Oct 04, 2007 6:33 pm

well i must say i dont use any limiters and no side chain on the bass kick , i just put the RIGHT EQ on every chanel on the mixer of cubase and work always with an analizer on the master so i can correct the hole track while i´m working on it , my tracks are -6 -7 db on the final render and with no limiters or compressores , all are clean and free of fx .

but like oxi says there are several ways to work and several ways to achive the correct sound .

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Post by PsyHye » Thu Oct 04, 2007 7:21 pm

Well as always thanks for your thorough responses. Although I don't have the music knowledge yet to completely understand everything you're saying I'm taking it all seriously and trying to read and absorb as much of it as I can. I'm working on a piece of crap windows XP laptop
with integrated sound card. It's just on-board intel sound or some crap.

But I do have a benefit from work where i can apply 600.00 on a new computer and it seems that a lot of musicians really like MAC apple better. My friend uses an apple laptop and says he likes it so much better than PC. Anyeone can reccomend good laptop for producing for me? Or guidelines as to what a good soundcard is and I assume you just want as much RAM as possible and a fast processor and just the best sound card you can get i assume.

And thanks again Oxi, I'll check out that tutorial when I get home from work.

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Post by Oxidelic » Thu Oct 04, 2007 7:21 pm

exactly man, what u make is a clean MIXDOWN. mine are -7-8 even -12db in some cases with no peaking above -3db! so that all the dinamics are not saturated. also the kik and the bass is a big game. wow.. uhave to know exactly on what freqs your bass is hiting. and they are A LOT. ordered in harminic way. so i cut the same freqs (but carefully) on the kik so both fit togather. its not nesecarry to use sidechain if the kik and the bass are equalized perfectly one with another and of course if the first nore of the bass doesnt hit with the kik ;)...

But if lately you want to pump the trak you put this 24b mixdown render and put a limiter (with no laterations) on the master. volume up the master to 0db, the limiter to -0.1db and voila! :D if the mixdown is good, and well balanced you'll have nice, clean yet pumping sound... :D

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Post by somarobotics » Fri Oct 05, 2007 1:18 pm

Mastering certainly is a very complex process, its the final thing to do before going on record. It's always recommended that mastering is made by some one else, a proffesional. Why do you want to master your first track ever? I'd suggest you go on producing and leave mastering for a sound engineer when you get to release ! Many things are more important previous to mastering, especially mixing down, where my current problem is right now! If you want to master to listen your track on a CD, just pump the gain and see what your mixing is all about, else you will have confusion between process... imho! 8)

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Post by PsyHye » Fri Oct 05, 2007 7:36 pm

Well I guess I just want to know everything so I can maybe one day become good enough to make songs and master them and put a CD out. But I don't have any friends to master any tracks so I have to learn myself.

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Post by somarobotics » Fri Oct 05, 2007 8:10 pm

Yes, I understand you friend, we all want to know about the whole thing! its only my suggestion to focus on mix down as a first step, a lot (if not most) psy trance artists are excellent at making tracks (creative process) but do not master (mostly technical knowledge). Anyway, the very best source I agree is The Art And Science Of Mastering Audio by Katz. There are also a lot of articles af Future Music mags and web page. Good luck! :cheers

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Post by RAWAR / BOLENATH » Sat Oct 06, 2007 1:27 pm

dont try to rush things up bro , let the music flows good first , then you can think on mastering after you know all you need about productiion and final mix. :roll :roll

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Post by The Andychrist » Sat Oct 06, 2007 2:25 pm

fantastic thread!! Thanks guys for the helpful words! :cheers

and thanks to PsyHye for asking lots of questions! 8)

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Post by Sandy Klaus » Sat Oct 06, 2007 7:14 pm

somarobotics wrote:Mastering certainly is a very complex process, its the final thing to do before going on record. It's always recommended that mastering is made by some one else, a proffesional. Why do you want to master your first track ever? I'd suggest you go on producing and leave mastering for a sound engineer when you get to release ! Many things are more important previous to mastering, especially mixing down, where my current problem is right now! If you want to master to listen your track on a CD, just pump the gain and see what your mixing is all about, else you will have confusion between process... imho! 8)
you're right, papi! it's always better to give your music to somebody else for mastering...


Well, first focus on the mix of the track. this is the most important thing in production process. leave enough room for the person who will master your music, try to keep dynamic as much as possible because when mastered, it will lose a little bit of dynamics. Mastering is kinda destroying this since you compress the track.
also try to get the largest frequency spectrum possible. that way, on the mastering, the person won't have to balance any lack of treble, middle , bass, whatever. do it when you mix! for example, once you bounced your track, it would be sad to change the sound of a synth well EQed because the hihat sounds too much in the high freqs!

One motto: everything in its right place before mastering. as Oxidelic said, mastering is not a magical process. :)


afterwards, once your track is ready (bounced, rendered, mixed down or exported). put a limiter, set it up to reach 0 dB peak. analyze it with a spectrum analyzer, (and listen to it of course), see and hear what is missing and what is too much present, and start with an EQ. (URS are very good by the way, Waves as well) try to rebalance, to fill in the holes etc. and then, use a multiband compressor. this part is a little bit delicate. you have to find the parts of the spectrum that really need to be compressed (for example, i rarely compress the bass freqs, to keep the dynamic in the kick and bass mainly)
and find how much you have compress these parts. and this is very personal and depends on the track itself.

and also, mastering is a matter of tools. Logic Pro basic EQ, limiter and Comp are good for correct home mastering for example. If you work on cubase, prefer other units like URS or Waves which are very good. But if you want to get a very professional sound, check out TC electronic Powercore device or UAD... but better.... analogic processors... but of course, it's expensive.....



hope i answered a little bit to your questions.

:bub

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