Mastering and The Final Mix

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Mastering and The Final Mix

Postby Jaysun » Tue Jun 22, 2004 5:25 pm

Just to query this question to anyone: What are the best methods for completing final mixes and mastering tricks :?:

I will typically bounce to a track and then delete all other tracks except the new mixdown. Then resave the work as a seperate file in order to master the mix. My mastering knowledge is very limited, but I seem to get a good sound in the end.

I'm always trying to improve my sound and get ideas and techniques from others in order to broaden my abilities as a song writer, musician and amatuer producer.

(system info: Sonar 3 Prod, PIV 3.2GHz, 1GB DDR, 200Gb Hdd.)
Jaysun
 

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Postby andychap » Tue Jun 22, 2004 9:25 pm

First thing I would say is never delete any tracks at all. Always archive and hide them just in case you ever need to go back a few steps.

Once you have your final stereo mix just export it as a wave file ready to load into your wave editor. Here I trim and add fades in and out etc and make sure the track peaks at just under 0dB.

I like to use T Racks to master my tracks but it is a program that can ruin you track completely if you are not gentle with it.

I alsways experiment with different plugins at this stage because it is suprising what can sound good on a ceratin track.
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Postby Jaysun » Wed Jun 23, 2004 2:34 pm

I dont actually delete any tracks. This is how it works.

- I create a project and save the finished product.
- Just after that save, I mixdown the audio and delete all tracks except the mix track. Then resave the project under a new name.
- The original project is still in tact under the other project name with all the tracks remaining, while at the same time, I have essetially created a mixed project.

Now, the area I need a lot of help in is actually mastering that mixed track to get a finished, polished product. I basically use a mastering compressor and EQ to polish everything. However, I notice a distinct difference in my work compared to others in that my projects don't seem to have that "studio sound" necessarily. The volume seems to be slightly lower even though my compressor settings are set to maximize the audio. Also, the clarity seems a bit off. It's kinda hard to actually nail down exactly what sound I'm trying to get.

Here's an example of one of my works:

http://www.soundclick.com/util/bandradi ... 66&s=s.mp3

Any and all tips on mastering and mixing are very welcome.

Thanks for the info :D
Jaysun
 
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Postby GretscGuy » Sun Jul 04, 2004 12:23 pm

I use a different program to master. I export my final mix as a wav (2 track) out of Sonar. I re-open it in SoundForge.

When I was in college, I was fortunate enough to attend mastering workshops with Bob Ludwig and Ted Jensen. I remember Bob Ludwig (probably one of the top 2 mastering engineers of all time) saying that if you take your time mixing and tracking, mastering should be a very simple task. Maybe add a bit of compression or eq.

For mastering, I use Waves Platinum Bundle, Sonalksis EQ, a Pultec EQ and (as I said) host everything in SoundForge. Cakewalk is great, but SF is set up as a two track editor and I really find it usefull for working with the stereo mix. Ebay sometimes has versions that are one or two back for really cheap. In fact, I saw several copies of v6.0 last night for about $10.00. I started with v4.0 and am now using v7.0 and there is hardly any difference.

Mostly when I master I will use a bit of multiband compression (Waves C4) which allows you to add slight compression to different frequencies in your mix. I also add a touch of eq to clean up the highs and sometimes add a bit of color with the Pultec.

There was a fantastic article on multiband compression in EM a few months back. You may want to seach the archives on their site.

Good Luck!
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Postby MagusCT » Sun Jul 04, 2004 2:41 pm

Hey, I read these messages and they helped me out too. I downloaded a trial version of SoundForge 7 and I wanted to know what other audio editing software I should try out before I buy anything. I will probably look on ebay as well but I would like to test a few things out. If anyone has ideas they would be appreciated. Thanks in advance.
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Postby GretscGuy » Fri Jul 09, 2004 2:00 am

Magus, when mastering, I use SF becasue it's clean and easy to use. Any two-track editing program should work as well.

I like that you can automate multiband comps in it. I also like the zoom in/out features, again this could be due to the fact I have been using it since v4.

It also has a great batch processor function and the marker.region function is handy for what I do.

As I said, any pro level 2 track program should work for you. Downloading a demo is a good start. I would say try as many different programs as you can and find which one you like the most.

Good Luck!
GG
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