Mastering with ONLY Waves Plug-ins...
YRLK
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#1
29th March 2008
Old 29th March 2008
  #1
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Thread Starter
Mastering with ONLY Waves Plug-ins...

I may be recording and mastering a project all on my own soon, and I would be limited to all Waves plug-in's, so what plugs should I setup for acoustic/rock music, and what ratios, thresholds, etc. should I be striving to attain?

Thanks much - B
#2
29th March 2008
Old 29th March 2008
  #2
A) The ones you need.

B) Whatever the mix is asking for - One at a time, and in the context of the project as a whole (at the same time).
#3
29th March 2008
Old 29th March 2008
  #3
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jinksdingo's Avatar
Gee mate, please excuse our responses here but in all fairness there is no magic set n forget for mastering. In fact it is a specialized field much like mixing and takes much practice, good equipment and know-how.
Each song will require its own handling.
I'd recommend you get the mixing right first.
If you really must mess up you mix by mastering it yourself go to The Mastering Tutorial
you'll get a step by step no brainer kinda place to start but your results won't be worth it because it take much much practice to master a quality mix.
Please please concentrate on getting a good mix instead. Really!
#4
29th March 2008
Old 29th March 2008
  #4
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Cellotron's Avatar
If given only Waves plugins I'd probably stick with just the Waves Linear Phase EQ and an L2 for most of it - and maybe use their SSL comp and API 2500 emulations when some compression was needed - and maybe a touch of the API550 emulation when I needed a different vibe of eq. I'd go for the simplest chain as possible with these things - eq, maybe compression and then the limiter, IDR dither - and call it a day.

I can't say that I can imagine I'd be all that happy with the results in comparison to the chain I've assembled for the studio - but as long as your monitoring is very good you should be at least be in the ballpark. I'd definitely investigate other options before trying to do it all with one makers plugins though.

As everyone else noted - there are NO presets in mastering!!!!!! Start with a blank slate and just apply what is needed to the track to get it sounding the way you and the client want it to.

Best regards,
Steve Berson
YRLK
Thread Starter
#5
29th March 2008
Old 29th March 2008
  #5
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YRLK's Avatar
 

Thread Starter
To the three who have commented so far...

Massive Master:

I completely agree. I was just looking for more of a point to start at. For example, I assume eq's and limiting - no matter how good the mix is, but I guess I was just looking to see which of the Waves plugs are best for the very end process. I definitely put a lot of time into mixes, and if something isn't sitting right, I re-record it with a different mic, mic position, different pre, etc. Thanks for the word of wisdom.

Greg:

Sugar or sugar free are not flavors of gum. If they are in your country, I strongly recommend a visit to the United States as I'm quite confident that we have more flavors of everything than anywhere else in the world. And as to why you would consider doing anything with any type or flavor of bubblegum in either of your ears, well... this is completely beyond me, but I wish you the very best of luck. *Also, I advise the following webpage: Ear Plugs Hearing Protection Earplugs Products from Hearos.com

Jinksdigo:

Thank you for your etiquette, sir, and for again stressing good mixes over mastering. I agree that the prior is (for obvious reasons) quite a bit more important, and I will do my best to get the best mix.

Thanks also for the link to the Waves Guide of sorts. If I'm unable to get satisfactory results myself - which may very well be the case, I'll just hire the mastering part out to someone else I can trust. I know two guys who do GREAT mastering, one who's opinions I take more seriously than almost anyone's else when it comes to all things audio engineering related.

...

If anyone else has additional sound words of wisdom and/or recommendations for these plug-in's, please feel free to chime in.

And beware of people who enter conversations with you while wearing bubblegum in their ears; they probably won't be able to hear anything that you try and tell them.
YRLK
Thread Starter
#6
29th March 2008
Old 29th March 2008
  #6
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YRLK's Avatar
 

Thread Starter
And thank you much, Steve. =)
#7
29th March 2008
Old 29th March 2008
  #7
Motown legend
 
Bob Olhsson's Avatar
Just don't do anything that makes things sound worse!

Great monitoring, great skills and WAVES is going to trounce mediocre monitors, mediocre skills and the most expensive hardware on the planet.
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1
#8
29th March 2008
Old 29th March 2008
  #8
Lives for gear
 
rolo's Avatar
 

Now that's a great answer to someone who needed help. Way to go Cellotron!

I use a combo of good outboard and plug ins. If it has to be Waves, I agree on just the Linear Phase EQ and the L2. Both will give you good results and get your mix sounding better (if you adjust judiciously). You may also want to download the trial verision of the SONNOX Limiter. I find it to respond better than the L2 and NO ITB master should be without the Massey 2007 Limiter. It's dirt cheap and ( to me) miles ahead of the L2.

You may also want to experiment by using all three Limiters IN MODERATION!!!!!! Perhaps 2-3 db on each plug depending on the mix.

Hope this helps. That said... If you try the mastering thing and don't seem to like what you've done, you may want to get it mastered by a pro with good chops and gear. there are several out there that don't charge Ludwig rates (all due respect). And can really give you a great master.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Cellotron View Post
If given only Waves plugins I'd probably stick with just the Waves Linear Phase EQ and an L2 for most of it - and maybe use their SSL comp and API 2500 emulations when some compression was needed - and maybe a touch of the API550 emulation when I needed a different vibe of eq. I'd go for the simplest chain as possible with these things - eq, maybe compression and then the limiter, IDR dither - and call it a day.

I can't say that I can imagine I'd be all that happy with the results in comparison to the chain I've assembled for the studio - but as long as your monitoring is very good you should be at least be in the ballpark. I'd definitely investigate other options before trying to do it all with one makers plugins though.

As everyone else noted - there are NO presets in mastering!!!!!! Start with a blank slate and just apply what is needed to the track to get it sounding the way you and the client want it to.

Best regards,
Steve Berson
YRLK
Thread Starter
#9
30th March 2008
Old 30th March 2008
  #9
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YRLK's Avatar
 

Thread Starter
Thanks a lot, lads.
#10
30th March 2008
Old 30th March 2008
  #10
Waves plugins are great. You should have no problem mixing a record with them. Pretty much everything you need they make, although their 'verbs aren't the most amazing.

I get a lot of use out of Waves stuff still. I think Ren Compressor is one of the best compressor plugins out there. Ren EQ is great, nothing wrong there. L1 and L2 are classic, get a lot of use out of them.
#11
30th March 2008
Old 30th March 2008
  #11
Gear maniac
 
GILFOIL's Avatar
 

i love what the L2 can do..

i wish i could afford the waves bundle.


(starving artist)
#12
1st April 2008
Old 1st April 2008
  #12
Lives for gear
 
Alécio Costa's Avatar
 

PSP Neon HR, Master Q and Xenon are great tools too.
Try them.
#13
1st April 2008
Old 1st April 2008
  #13
Quote:
Originally Posted by GILFOIL View Post
i wish i could afford the waves bundle.
There are many, many cost effective options out there. The UAD plugins are very highly regarded and excellent sounding. As far as going for a cost effective plugin bundle I could easily get by on a stripped setup by using:

1.) Oxford EQ - definitely a contender for best software EQ out there. Versatile as heck (5 modes, plus the GML mode if you get that option), competes with any hardware analog EQ I've heard. Sometimes I use it over the SSL G's EQ.

2.) Renaissance Bundle - Ren compressor is great! I still consider it one of the best plugin comps out there. Ren EQ has its own character that does feel vintage, good for color. Ren Reverb is probably the best Waves 'verb out there... slightly underrated plugin. RenBass adds another tool in the box.

3.) Cranesong Phoenix - five colors, all useful for adding size and saturation. Excellent for bumping things up a notch.

4.) Massey L2007 Limiter - amazing general purpose limiter. Has four different modes and speeds for tons of combinations. Covers ALL your limiting needs... and you can master with it!

Add into this the standard ProTools Digirack plugs that are free:

5.) Bomb Factory BF76 - like the real thing you can use this on pretty much everything and it sounds great. Set and forget!

6.) DVerb - surprisingly good for lofi reverb effects. NonLin and plate are excellent on snare. I'll use this freebie over pricey 'verbs on almost every mix.

7.) Digirack Delay - not as powerful or versatile as EchoBoy, but it will do in a pinch. Slap delays are useful for Haas effect techniques.

8.) Digirack Pitch - gets the job done for stereo pitch shifting and other FX. I'll use this on mixes all the time no matter what other tools are available. Simple and works.

So basically, buy the Ren bundle and those three other plugins (Oxford EQ is the most pricey) and you are set to do some real damage. If you've got the tracks and the skill you could mix to any standard.
#14
2nd April 2008
Old 2nd April 2008
  #14
Gear nut
 

If I were going to master using JUST Waves plugs I would do the following:

1. Linear Phase EQ
2. Linear Phase Multi-band Compressor (or C4 if you don't have LinMB, but be careful if you don't understand multi-band, leave it out before you ruin your mix)
3. RComp if more compression is needed. (If you have API or SSL stuff use that instead)
4. L2, but no more than a few dB of Gain Reduction, probably 2dB MAX, any more and it starts sounding squashed.

Hope this helps!

Also, make sure that you compare your master to the original mix...AT THE SAME VOLUME! You have to compare the two at equal loudness to really know what you've gained and sacrificed by reducing peaks and making it louder. Just use the faders to reduce the level of the master and leave the mix at 0dB. The psychoacoustics of our hearing will tell us the louder master is better if it's not at the same level of the mix, even if you've actually destroyed the mix, and it won't matter since the end listener will just turn their volume knob down no matter how hot you get your master.
#15
3rd April 2008
Old 3rd April 2008
  #15
Gear Head
 

The most important thing to think about if you're mastering your own stuff is NOT TO DO IT IN THE SAME ROOM!

If you didn't catch it yesterday because your room/speaker combo was masking it, you're not going to catch it tomorrow.

As far as the plugs, good advice so far- Rcomp, LinEQ, Req if you find you need M/S or some color, and Lwhatever are all tools capable of producing a reasonable master.

I particularly like Rcomp with a very low threshold and a very low ratio. Seems to be pretty good at packing your entire dynamic range in a bit without much negative impact, aside from needing some judicious midrange cuts afterwards, and maybe a touch of air on top.

When I was dabbling in mastering early on, my most common chain (if I used Waves in that particular instance) would probably have been: LinEQ for highpass and any narrow surgical cuts necessary -> Rcomp at 1.2:1 or so and -25 or -30 -> LinEQ or Req (if MS) for any boosts necessary -> L2. I'd use the L2 output to bring the overall track down to the same level as 'bypass,' until the last few minutes when I'd put it back up.

Really, the room has got to be right before you even screw around with any of this stuff.

Jon Best
YRLK
Thread Starter
#16
3rd April 2008
Old 3rd April 2008
  #16
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YRLK's Avatar
 

Thread Starter
Where else can a guy post a quick question and get this much useful information? Thanks a lot guys, truly.

B
#17
3rd April 2008
Old 3rd April 2008
  #17
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sonicdefault's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Olhsson View Post
Just don't do anything that makes things sound worse!



-SD
#18
22nd April 2010
Old 22nd April 2010
  #18
3 + infractions, forum membership suspended.
 

Mastering:

LinEq
C4
API 2500
S1-shuffler
L2 or L3ll-multimaximizer


Depends
#19
23rd April 2010
Old 23rd April 2010
  #19
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Franco's Avatar
 

The only thing I've found that is worth my $ from Waves is the API bundle (I've demoed all of the effects).

Last edited by Franco; 23rd April 2010 at 05:01 PM.. Reason: What I use is irrelevant.
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#20
23rd April 2010
Old 23rd April 2010
  #20
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Jesse Graffam's Avatar
 

The only Waves plugin I own... MaxxBass. Masters I use it on at all... maybe 2-3% if that.

If I had a bundle, my first step in mastering only with Waves plugins would be to get someone to buy my license.
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#21
23rd April 2010
Old 23rd April 2010
  #21
Lives for gear
 
Table Of Tone's Avatar
Linear phase mulitband comp is, for some reason, a hidden gem! (24 bit fixed, If I remember right?)
Forget the software lookahead limiters! (not just waves)
Ye olde hardware L2 was better! (24 fixed again)
I don't use one anymore though!
#22
23rd April 2010
Old 23rd April 2010
  #22
Still occasionally use the Ren Eq, LinB and De-esser...old habits die hard.
#23
24th April 2010
Old 24th April 2010
  #23
Gear maniac
 

Most Waves plugs are totaly useless. A few are good for mixing. I woudn't master anything with waves (aside from Api 2500) but if thats all you have than maybe this:

-RenComp(which is the only Waves plug that's truely amazing) at gentle settings to catch some peaks

-LinPhaze - strange, it's not the best EQ of its kind but has some desireble color great for smooth, sleek pop music, at least that's how it worked for me

- RComp at ratio 1.02:1 and thresh -40 - that's always a nice trick and/or API 2500 - this emulation is amazing

- Folow by L2 but doooon't push it. Use Xenon instead.

Save yourself truble and skip on the Multiband - that thing makes everything sound bad! Very bad!
#24
25th April 2010
Old 25th April 2010
  #24
Lives for gear
 
Jerry Tubb's Avatar
Successfully put all Waves products to bed here (although I won't be selling them off).

Replaced my L2 Hardware (broken again!) with the PSP Xenon limiter.

Replaced the Ren DeEsser with the Sonnox SuprEsser (HR mode).

Replaced any Waves EQs with the PSP Master Q or Flux Epure II,
(the RenEQ is still occasionally useful tho' for quick fixes).

Replaced the PAZ with the RND Inspector XL, if I use one at all.

Not really interested in their emulations, as I use hardware.

Although they've been the baseline for over 15 years, I think there are better tools out there these days.

Never been fond of their rigid WUP and iLok policies either.

Can't imagine spending thousands on Waves bundles.

Cheers, JT
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#25
25th April 2010
Old 25th April 2010
  #25
Gear Head
 

Have mastered lots of stuff with waves, lin eq, l2, renn comp etc successfully. Just use your ears and as the previous poster said, don't do anything that doesn't make it sound better. Compare processed audio with the original track at equal listening volume or your smoking crack. That being said, I've been happy to move on and find better tools.
When you have to do the inevitable "make it louder" PSP Xenon will perform much better than the L2. I personally prefer it to the elephant and sonnox limiter as well. Tle L3 multiband makes too much of a change in sound for my taste (unless you specifally want what the l3 does).
All in all, know your tools, figure out how to use them to your best advantage. If you have the luxury, listen critically, then come back another day, and listen again to be sure.
Too often in audio, people change something just for the sake of changing something. IMO mastering should not be like that.
#26
26th April 2010
Old 26th April 2010
  #26
Lives for gear
 
Alécio Costa's Avatar
 

I also agree with Jerry.
The only plug-in that I still use is PAZ!!!!
#27
5th June 2010
Old 5th June 2010
  #27
3 + infractions, forum membership suspended.
 

Im not really down with the l3 either.. Its usefull for somethings, but I definately don't throw it on everything

#28
24th July 2011
Old 24th July 2011
  #28
Gear addict
 
Razik's Avatar
#29
24th July 2011
Old 24th July 2011
  #29
Gear Head
 

It would be interesting to hear the original track.
Even on my USB headphone I can hear the typical distortion on some places in the track.

The L2 is doing this really fast. Thats why I dont use it.
I also think you use a bit too much of saturation stuff.
There is happening a lot in the track and it doesn't come out because of this probably. M/S can do the trick.

Anayway, nice from you to put the track here.

_______________________________
Errol Lem
Clearmastering (by Cut n Clear Music)

Last edited by errollem; 24th July 2011 at 12:27 PM.. Reason: forgot to put my name
ORC
#30
24th July 2011
Old 24th July 2011
  #30
ORC
Gear addict
 
ORC's Avatar
 

Razik, You need to find a mastering engineer, and fast!
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