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Help With Mastering Research For Uni Please?
View Poll Results: Do you think there is a need for some form of information aimed at people wanting to
Yes, I think there is the need/market/area for this information
1 Votes - 14.29%
No, I think there is already information/no need for people to master their own music
6 Votes - 85.71%
Voters: 7. You may not vote on this poll

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johnashmore
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#1
7th February 2007
Old 7th February 2007
  #1
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Help With Mastering Research For Uni Please?


Hi all,

I’m working on a dissertation project for University, studying the Mastering workflow and processes and techniques used. This is then intended to be used to create an instructional/educational package aimed at musicians and producers who want to attempt their own mastering in their own studios and try and achieve acceptable results.

I’m doing some research into whether there is a need or market for this kind of product and what other information is available. The package would be in the form of an interactive, instructional DVD much like “<a href=” http://www.harddisklife.com/>”Mix It Like A Record</a>” by Charles Dye.

So my question is, "Do you think there is a need for some form of information aimed at people wanting to attempt their own mastering, or just more information in general?"

I found resources like Bob Katz's excellent book, i've read it several times, and articles in Pro Audio magazines/online which have all been part of my research, this project being done to extend on that.

While I understand and know from first hand, nothing beats the skill and experience of a real mastering engineer in a properly calibrated environment, the University feels that this is a good project for me to undertake, and by doing it and posting this message I do not intend to offend or belittle the work and amazing skills that mastering engineers have by suggesting anyone can master at home. I have the utmost respect for these amazing individuals, and this project just serves as an experiment and project to meet the needs of my course.

I'd like to thank you for reading this rather long post and I look forward to hearing from you all.

John Ashmore
Riccardo
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#2
7th February 2007
Old 7th February 2007
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In my personal an humble opinion and with due respect there is a basic flaw in your assumption.

Self mastering defies the very object of mastering.

Now if you people want to self master and somebody wants to teach/show them or if such a product will be appreciated is not to me to say.

can we please at least before embarking on these type of adventures explain to the people what mastering is......

Done that whoever wants to self master can do that.

I am not against it or the people that do it but I'd like to see somebody mentioning the fact that it is not only the skills, the experience, the gear and the room:

It is somebody else other than you!

Get the picture?
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#3
7th February 2007
Old 7th February 2007
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Chris Bellman is offline
Exactly my thoughts as well






Quote:
Originally Posted by Riccardo View Post
In my personal an humble opinion and with due respect there is a basic flaw in your assumption.

Self mastering defies the very object of mastering.

Now if you people want to self master and somebody wants to teach/show them or if such a product will be appreciated is not to me to say.

can we please at least before embarking on these type of adventures explain to the people what mastering is......

Done that whoever wants to self master can do that.

I am not against it or the people that do it but I'd like to see somebody mentioning the fact that it is not only the skills, the experience, the gear and the room:

It is somebody else other than you!

Get the picture?
#4
7th February 2007
Old 7th February 2007
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ericdomk is offline
hi John,

I'm doing something a little bit similar myself at my university, so if you'd like to discuss some of what I've found out, PM me, or e-mail me at domkowskie@pop.belmont.edu, I'd be happy to talk about it.
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jamesp
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8th February 2007
Old 8th February 2007
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It appears that this seems to be a fairly standard university dissertation subject - I remember helping a guy with exactly the same idea last year. While I like to try and help it gets a bit much doing the same thing every year. Maybe your university should employ a mastering engineer as a consultant.

Cheers

James.
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#6
8th February 2007
Old 8th February 2007
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First of all, the chosen syntax of your poll just made my head hurt.

Second of all, there is not a lot of info out there on mastering because, well, you don't need a lot of info to master!

Mastering is a second opinion. The mastering engineer is just doing what you would do to a mix. Only they have much better gear and much better rooms and much better ears (most likely.)

They apply EQ, compression, limiting, etc. Are you looking for a page that says "Always cut 6dB at 200Hz when mastering?"

There isn't any info because there isn't any to be given.
johnashmore
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#7
10th February 2007
Old 10th February 2007
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Thank you all for your responses.

I can't express how annoyed I am at this project and how much I agree with you all. My inital idea for this technology project was to research mastering but at the request of the university I have to also create an end user product and to meet certain requirements, a multimedia project.

I wish I could just answer my research and say, "Get a professional to master your music" but I have to go against my instincts and play into the hands of my examiners to get the grades.

Thank you all so much for your comments though and I will definitely use them as an arguement in my project.

John
#8
10th February 2007
Old 10th February 2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AlexLakis View Post


Mastering is a second opinion. The mastering engineer is just doing what you would do to a mix. Only they have much better gear and much better rooms and much better ears (most likely.)

They apply EQ, compression, limiting, etc. Are you looking for a page that says "Always cut 6dB at 200Hz when mastering?"
Sorry bro i disagree with this.

This what mastering or the the real term should be "pre" mastering has become. Mastering is the process of cutting a master for duplication. Believe it or not in the old days there were straight transfers no processing.

The specialty of "Pre" mastering as we know it today is a modern thing that came about because there were some guys that could cut hotter vinyl than others(sounds familiar?) in the 70's.

There are no rules against a person mastering for themselves. Just like there are no rules about a person mixing for themselves even though its become an unwritten rule that if you want to put out a record it has to be mixed by a select few for it to be deemed viable.

And lastly since when is it only mastering engineers with the expensive gear and great sounding rooms? Alot of our favorite older albums didn't have a ton of processing on it and weren't mastered in these beautiful top built rooms you see today. They were either in the basement, office or in a room that looked like a living room.

All i can tell is that even though the technology has advanced and you have all of these specialty "pre" mastering places that today's CD's sound worse than ever(and of course we know the reasons) than when it was only a small few. People here are buying the gear and building these super expensive rooms but the quality of sound out there is so bad you can't even enjoy it.

To me its a misnomer that i just don't get. So if someone feels they can do better with their own music let them. In some cases they may actually be right.
#9
10th February 2007
Old 10th February 2007
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I agree in theory, Thrill. I was commenting in what I thought the terms of the original posters thinking was. Obviously, if I had said "Mastering is putting tracks on a CD" it wouldn't have helped at all.

I was speaking in generalities, which is the only way you can speak in a thread like this. Obviously, not every given mastering engineer has a better room than every given mixing engineer. However, I have found that to be -> (most likely) <- in my experiences.

When was the last time you got an album you mixed "mastered" and the "mastering engineer" didn't use some kind of EQ or limiting? Perhaps I should call my mastering engineers and tell them they're "pre-mastering engineers?" Or maybe I'm just a "pre-mixing engineer?"

So, Thrill, I have a question for you. If you are a mixing engineer, and you have a great room, and a boatload of outboard gear, should you smash the 2-bus on our latest rock/metal mix before it gets to the mastering engineer? Would you run it all thru a series of stereo EQs before you send it out?

Obviously "if I thought it needed it" would be the answer here. I guess I just don't have that kind of faith in my abilities yet?

I think I see the purpose of your post now. I think you are saying that decades ago, "mastering" used to be something that it isn't now. Rather, it involves a little more than what it used to. Is this a result of progress (Together Everyone Achieves More,) or anti-progress (the quality of mixes sent out for mastering is lower so more must be done to them?)
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