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ok, Multiband in Master has no chance :-) so tell me more about singleband in master
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analographi
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#1
12th March 2007
Old 12th March 2007
  #1
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ok, Multiband in Master has no chance :-) so tell me more about singleband in master

Ok, I got it :-)
Multiband seems to be a myth among the unprofessionals. Not like others here I believe what the "mastering masters" say. and don't think they are frightend.


So now, after all I have learned so far. I would love to hear more about singleband compression in mastering.

Only one in the chain? Or two? Why? Which does what?

Which plugins or affordable hardware are of use?

What's the principle behind setting attack, release, ratio for a mastering? What do we aim for?

Do we want peaks (attack 20ms-100ms or what ever) coming trough, even though they keep us from pushing the volume, why?

Thank you very much
#2
13th March 2007
Old 13th March 2007
  #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by analographi View Post
Ok, I got it :-)
Only one in the chain? Or two? Why? Which does what?

Which plugins or affordable hardware are of use?

What's the principle behind setting attack, release, ratio for a mastering? What do we aim for?

Do we want peaks (attack 20ms-100ms or what ever) coming trough, even though they keep us from pushing the volume, why?
"What do we aim for?" is, of course, a personal question whose answer varies from project to project and artist to artist. Ultimately, I would guess most engineers aim for a happy client. Some clients want a heavily smashed, square-wave-of-doom track. Others want a punchy, dynamic, open master. Others fall anywhere in between.

For most recent projects (rock and pop/rock), when it comes to compression I begin with a slow, fattening compressor. Slow attack, slow release, very low ratio, 1-4 dB of reduction throughout. Later comes a limiter - not brickwall, though. I try for a moderately slow attack and moderately fast release to keep some transient definition. Typically only ~1 dB of reduction occurs there, up to 2 or 3 for harder rock. The very end is the brickwall limiter for volume's sake, pushed to taste depending on the project. If I'm lucky, and the mix arrived in good shape, I may not get any reduction at all at this stage, just bringing the volume up to its target. Sometimes things stick out of the mix (clacky snare, resonant tom, sharp plucky bass) and I get a few extreme peaks that get pushed down.

Rap, trance, and certain other genres tend to be harder to pigeonhole, due to the wide variety of quality coming to the engineer. You might need several layers of interacting compression, or might go through the same process mentioned above, or may just hit a limiter for it.

The above is just compression, obviously there is EQ going on as well, but I tried to stay on topic.

Oh yeah, regarding what's useful but affordable? UAD is pretty much a given when it comes to plugins. If you are careful to only hit them very gently, URS compressors can be usable for home stuff. Ozone seems to have a bad rep around here because it's so easy to abuse, but it's probably the most bang for the buck.
#3
13th March 2007
Old 13th March 2007
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Hiya

My personal reflections :

I dont work as ME, but I have equipment to do so. (Except for speakers, perhaps) But no client get hurts from this.

I also develop my own plugs as a complement to the pro audio outboard
gear.

My aim is mostly to enhance the mix in such a subtile way that is sounds
better but not changed.

My goto outboard gear is Manley Vari-Mu, Weiss DS1, Vintage Design HA2-16, Vintage Design CL1MK2, Manley SLAM. And it all depends on what the input is.

I mostly use my own plugs to add eq(clarity)/width/depth/amp to the mix.

All of the outboard gears are awesome and it is easy to tweak them if the mix is sorted out. They can all bring the close up front commercial smack in the face dynamic processing to a mix. Compared to medium 'pro audio'
gear there is a big difference on how they treat the freq spectra.

The attack on a $3000+ pro audio gear does not affect an overall mix in the same dramatic way (negative) as most of the software plugs do, IMHO. On plugs you need to set the attack to slow not to make the
comp destroy vital dynamics. On pro audio gear if you set the attack to
fast you still get a nice respons in the dynamics.

Overall tweaking with pro audio comps is more like selecting the best of the best instead of trying to find something that sounds good.

That might be the way with many comp plugs.

There is also a nice tranparenty & almost built in way the low end gets
a better punch. This can be more easily tweaked than with plugs, IMHO.

What I mean is that the thing using a MBC in theory should do comes included in the full freq best quality pro audio comp gear.

These are my personal reflections and not the words of a ME. but a full blooded gearslut.

Best wishes

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#4
13th March 2007
Old 13th March 2007
  #4
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Spend a few bucks on the book "Mastering Audo" by Bob Katz and you'll be a new man.
analographi
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13th March 2007
Old 13th March 2007
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thanks again, and, yea just read about it in this forum, and amazon has a job to do... hope it will be here soon ;-)
#6
13th March 2007
Old 13th March 2007
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so many references to mastering and those techniches are in reference to a commercial environment and schedule. It was'nt that long ago that a remix was an incredible hassle !( some one else was using the console and the first thing they did was tear off the masking tape w/ all your levels!!)
mastering should mean polishing and pulling the last once of sparkle and sheen possible out of a mix ( as well as putting all the tracks together in a sonic context).

If your working on your own DAW and you think it's time to master it , maybe you might ask how you can get more out of the mix!

Don't think your going to match the experience , tuned room, and 2k racks of an M.E. at home!




#7
21st March 2007
Old 21st March 2007
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put the compressor in on the mix ... does the mix sound better .. if so use it .. if not take it out ...

if you honestly dont know how to use a compressor then first start by sticking one on a vocal or kick drum or bass line ... learn how to use compression on a single instrument before tryin' it on an entire mix ...
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#8
21st March 2007
Old 21st March 2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by analographi View Post
Ok, I got it :-)
Multiband seems to be a myth among the unprofessionals. Not like others here I believe what the "mastering masters" say. and don't think they are frightend.

I guess ass kissing gets a response- yeah im being a asshole I aplogize in advance......try and laugh with me
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analographi
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#9
21st March 2007
Old 21st March 2007
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hey loydma, why don't you just kiss my ass?

anyways just consider that this really was my opinion, and that I'm a honest person... and now, if that would be the case, just imagine how poor you would look for me, for throwing in such a comment... Just in case.


Anyway compressor, "just put a compressor on the mix, and see if it sounds better" ????

As if a compressor had no settings and couldn't be set up wrong.

As I said before, If I put a compressor on vocals or drums, I know a principle of what I want to achieve to follow. Thats ok.
But once I put a comp on the mix or two in series, I'm lost.
"make it louder", isn't really a help. I would just like to know some points of view for starting.
If I want to make it louder a limiter with gain will do for my logic, I don't see why I should put a compressor, which will always leave peaks through, which are the problem after all... but still people put a compressor, so what do they want with it, what to they pursuit when setting "them" up.

so maybe, if you genuinly want to help and not throwing in useless comments you maybe understand, that I want tun UNDERSTAND, not to try.
#10
21st March 2007
Old 21st March 2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by analographi View Post

Anyway compressor, "just put a compressor on the mix, and see if it sounds better" ????

As if a compressor had no settings and couldn't be set up wrong.

As I said before, If I put a compressor on vocals or drums, I know a principle of what I want to achieve to follow. Thats ok.

I don't see why I should put a compressor, which will always leave peaks through, which are the problem after all... but still people put a compressor, so what do they want with it, what to they pursuit when setting "them" up.

so maybe, if you genuinly want to help and not throwing in useless comments you maybe understand, that I want tun UNDERSTAND, not to try.
i just gave you some of the best advice(that i believe) about using a compressor on a mix ...

if you already know how to use one it doesnt change for a mix ... you still have the threshold .. attack ..release ... ratio... its doing the same thing to the mix as your vocal .. but you have an entire mix hitting the thing now... if your vocal is getting too smashed what do you do ... back it off ... same thing on the mix.. if the vocal isnt being compressed enough what do you do ... it hit it harded ... same thing with the mix... now how you want to do it .. ratio,threshold.. whatever .. its up to you and what you are hearing ... there are no magic settings ...

maybe the reason you are lost is ...when you put a compressor on the mix it doesnt sound good because the mix doesnt need it. i only use a compressor about 5% of the time at most and thats it, honestly i could get rid of mine and really not miss them. Most of the time I never like what it does to the mix when i put one in so i dont use it.

dont think you need or have to put a compressor or two on a mix because alot of other people do, who cares what they do, do what sounds good to you .

<--- i like this thing
#11
21st March 2007
Old 21st March 2007
  #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by analographi View Post
Ok, I got it :-)
Multiband seems to be a myth among the unprofessionals. Not like others here I believe what the "mastering masters" say. and don't think they are frightend.


So now, after all I have learned so far. I would love to hear more about singleband compression in mastering.

Only one in the chain? Or two? Why? Which does what?

Which plugins or affordable hardware are of use?

What's the principle behind setting attack, release, ratio for a mastering? What do we aim for?

Do we want peaks (attack 20ms-100ms or what ever) coming trough, even though they keep us from pushing the volume, why?

Thank you very much
I had no idea that there were so many rules for mastering..........

Who makes them up?
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#12
21st March 2007
Old 21st March 2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by analographi View Post
Ok, I got it :-)

Only one in the chain? Or two? Why? Which does what?

Which plugins or affordable hardware are of use?

What's the principle behind setting attack, release, ratio for a mastering? What do we aim for?

Do we want peaks (attack 20ms-100ms or what ever) coming trough, even though they keep us from pushing the volume, why?

Thank you very much
Mate if you don't know how a compressor works then you shouldn't be mastering. Sorry I had to say it...

You have to hear and understand what a compressor is doing yourself. It takes hard work and practise. There is no magic setting, just a 'sound' that you want to impart, which once again comes down to listening and more listening. Slight compression may not even sound that different, it can just make the bass sit better or pull the image into focus.
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21st March 2007
Old 21st March 2007
  #13
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A compressor is not for making things louder ... it's for controlling the dynamic range. Not the same thing at all.


Quote:
Originally Posted by analographi View Post
Ok, I got it :-)
Multiband seems to be a myth among the unprofessionals. Not like others here I believe what the "mastering masters" say. and don't think they are frightend.
So now, after all I have learned so far. I would love to hear more about singleband compression in mastering.
Only one in the chain? Or two? Why? Which does what?
Which plugins or affordable hardware are of use?
What's the principle behind setting attack, release, ratio for a mastering? What do we aim for?
Do we want peaks (attack 20ms-100ms or what ever) coming trough, even though they keep us from pushing the volume, why?
Thank you very much

It's not like this at all. If you're looking for hard rules I can name only 4 ...

#1 Get yourself into a well tuned room with some above average monitors.
#2 Learn the room
#3 Use any gear you want, in any way you want, to get whatever you want from the material.

If that's not working for you see #1 or #2.

#4 Listen to what the client wants and give it to them.
If that's not working see #1, 2 and 4.


If you have a good room, and know it well, and are making clients happy, then get any gear you want.
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#14
21st March 2007
Old 21st March 2007
  #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Samc View Post
I had no idea that there were so many rules for mastering..........

Who makes them up?
gearslutz mastering forum
#15
21st March 2007
Old 21st March 2007
  #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by analographi View Post
if you genuinly want to help and not throwing in useless comments you maybe understand, that I want tun UNDERSTAND, not to try.
So..........I have a decent room (bunk bed bass traps) and decent monitors that I have learned to trust. And I have no clients...at least none that pay for my bedroom mastering.

So, analographi, this is what I have learned about the topic of single band compression on a mix.

When I put a C1 on my mix with a moderate ratio (maybe 3:1) and set the threshold for less than 2 db of gain reduction (maybe 8-9 db) I can sometimes hear things 'settle in' a bit and I get the idea that I might be taming a few transients or even tightening things up a little.
If I follow that with an Rcomp set totally differently (deeper threshold - maybe 20 or more db, ratio again set for less than 2 db of gain reduction - maybe 1.5:1) I may hear a bit more stuff emerging from the depths of the mix.

A lot of times that sounds pleasing to me and I feel more confident about boosting the master fader and/or limiting a bit.
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#16
22nd March 2007
Old 22nd March 2007
  #16
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Quote:
ey loydma, why don't you just kiss my ass?
Just ignore loydma, he's a jackass. F'ing idiot. HE'll be "recording" in his bedroom for years to come. Damn loydma, at least he asked an intelligent question. At least he admits that he doesn't know what he's doing yet. I can see how it would be hard for you to land a job at McDonalds because of your ignorance and attitude. If you would listen to just one person that knows something, you might be a little better at what you do.
analographi
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#17
22nd March 2007
Old 22nd March 2007
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Interesting how much the answers differ.. Astonishing how arogant some are.

I believe the unusablity of some answers come from the fact that some people (that's not negative) just do what they do, but do not really "understand" it, therefore can not explain.

"learn you room"... come on? what should that help me with that question? I have a nice room, a couple of BM6As, know room and speakers very well, master my own stuff for years by "just by trying around etc." but always used multibands and never "knew" what I was doing.

I just do not believe that all what one can say about singleband compression for beginner is "try around, know your room"
imagine one is in school for engeneers: "Hello everybody, just try around, now go home" Thats just so ridicolous.



What I can derive from the other posts (especially Chi-squared and unclenny, thanks guys, this was really helpfull!):


Some guidelines

- Use only little compression (in case I want to compress of course bla bla)
- Gain reduction per stage around 1-3 dB
- Compress with higher threshold and higher ratio
- Compress with lower threshold and lower ratio
- Slower attack and release is more "fattening"??
- Faster attack and release is...??

For the "everything is always different" guys. Of course this is not always true. But for a beginner it is at least SOMETHING. Just one point, some thought to try out.
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22nd March 2007
Old 22nd March 2007
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It's not arrogance to state the essentials in a kind way. For example you have BM6As ... those are not "above average monitors" ... my #1 . I had them with a sub for a couple of years, so I know. They are not enough for mastering... period. so STOP. Dont go further. Wasting your time there.


The point is that if your room is not good enough all the tips in the world are worthless. And if your room is great, you'll hear anything you need to hear by turning the knobs and can easily find your own "tips"

analographi
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#19
22nd March 2007
Old 22nd March 2007
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so bourgois....

ever heard from "do the best with what you have" ??

if I have not your equipment all tips wont help... ?

try me, dad! Let me gather my own experience. give me tips, I will try them, if I hear nothing I give up. Just assume i had different speaker and room.
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#20
22nd March 2007
Old 22nd March 2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by analographi View Post
so bourgois....
ever heard from "do the best with what you have" ??
if I have not your equipment all tips wont help... ?
try me! Just assume i had different speaker and room.
Mastering is firstly and mostly about great monitoring ... the rest is skill. The tips you want are not going to help you, so it would be wrong to hurt you by pretending there are 'tips' like those.

Tip 1. Make it translate - by balancing the eq (this means your monitoring is very good, and that you understand it very well)
Tip 2. Make it more musical - with anything you have that helps (this means you understand musicality and can manipulate it)
Tip 3. Good communication with the client is key (this means there is no one way to do anything and that you're a service provider)
Tip 4. Do not discount monitoring as the key to everything in mastering.
Tip 5. Re-read tip 4 if you're work is lacking and you think it's a gear or 'tips' issue.


'Do the best with what you have' does not apply to mastering, because no one can tell what the best is unless they have a great room and a great ear. That's all it takes. BM6As dont give enough low end to fix 90% of the inevitable low end issues on all mixes so you're wasting time on tips.


Tip 6 ... use your ears and stop asking impossible questions.
analographi
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#21
22nd March 2007
Old 22nd March 2007
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There is only one client, it's me, so communication shouldn't be a problem...

lucey, tell me one thing... Why are you hanging around in the mastering forum? Just to tell everybody to buy better speakers?
Did I get something wrong? Is this part of the forum only form people with gear above 50000?

I mean, where is the point for anybody with gear below that border to hang around here anyway, since we will not be able to hear anything anyway?


Look, I'm not part of the world you live in. I don't have money like that to spend, I'm producing music which will never makes it to print, and if,with a maximum of 2000 pieces.
What I do is just for my own and the people around me's pleasure.

All I want (and can) do is get the best out of what I have, with what I have.


So I think it's time to make it clear lucey: I'm not allowed to do mastering and asking questions in this forum if I do not have spent a certain amount of money for speakers and room designers?


BTW; Dynaudio lack of bass, thats why I have a subwoofer, and you surprise me again, is only the bass important for mastering... really? I didn't know...
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#22
22nd March 2007
Old 22nd March 2007
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I say do whatever works for you. Learn how your room translates. If you cut records people like, you're doing fine, but always strive to do better. The tools are just tools - they make your job easier or harder but do not count more than your skill. Never let the gear (or lack of) stop you from trying and growing. It's about you and the music...
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#23
22nd March 2007
Old 22nd March 2007
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I've changed my mind ... we need a newbie forum

Low end issues are always there from 2 ways and mix rooms. Again, this is why you'd want to send it out as opposed to using the same room twice. Focus on the mix, not mastering. That's a good tip.

What you're asking for re: mastering wont help you. What will help you is to understand what mastering is and is not. It's not "tips" and it's not gear, and it's not mixing... it is monitoring and making things better with you ears by turning knobs in a very good room. Period. it's not as important as mixing, especially for your situation. You have more mixing tools and mixing power than mastering potential by a mile. Use that mixing power first, and then again, and again. Dont rely on mastering.

If you have a few plugs and a pair of small 2 ways then go for it. But asking for tips is not going to help you to start to trust yourself. Use your ears. Make it sound good on your system. Then take it to 5 other systems until you see what needs to be done. There are no principles except the ones I gave, balance the eq, make it translate and musical. There are no mastering tips except the ones I gave. Room, Ears, Music. It's not about tips or principles or attack and release times. That is all wrong. If you want mixing tips I have a webpage that might help a little.

If you have actual mixes and masters you can post them both on the mp3 forum and get feedback there.

If you ask a better question you'll get a better answer ... these questions are not going to help you at all.

Quote:
... singleband compression in mastering.
Only one in the chain? Or two? Why? Which does what?
Which plugins or affordable hardware are of use?
What's the principle behind setting attack, release, ratio for a mastering? What do we aim for?
Do we want peaks (attack 20ms-100ms or what ever) coming trough, even though they keep us from pushing the volume, why?
Use your ears and stop looking for answers in other people... so far you're going about it all backwards. Make a great mix and then use the mastering tools you have and see what happens. There are no rules and nothing works everytime.

Eveything you're asking has been answered 100 times in great detail ... so use the SEARCH function.

#24
22nd March 2007
Old 22nd March 2007
  #24
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Hey analographi,

I can understand why you feel that some of the replys here can seem pretty cocky and useless.

Your first responder was pretty genuine and helpful.

Remember, some of these guys MAKE THEIR LIVING from mastering. It's in their best interest to discourage others from doing this kind of work themselves.

That said, it might be in YOUR best interest to hire a professional as well. The importance of monitoring and experience are key to great mastering. These services are valuable, and there's a lot of affordable ME's who do great work.

It would be a good idea to hire an ME, and either attend the session, or ask them how they achieved some of the results that you liked. That would be better experience than you could ever get sitting at home, and it could be a real eye-opener as far as what's most important in the mastering process.

I like to think I'm a good Mix engineer, and I understand how all of my tools work in the tracking/mixing process. I almost never master my own material. Some ME's have made it sound WAY better, and some have just sucked.

Build a professional relationship with a good ME. You'll never regret it!
#25
22nd March 2007
Old 22nd March 2007
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Also, you might consider posting a thread asking mixers how they approach 2-bus compression. Or do a search. There's tons of info out there!
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#26
22nd March 2007
Old 22nd March 2007
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I once hired a ME, one of the most famous, if not the most famous in switzerland. Most of the time he listened on his small Dynaudio speakers which were way worse than my own. (he also had two really big dynaudios in the walls of his really weird room... but only used them rarely.)

I went to him twice, since I didn't like his first master, he did me another one for free.. in the end I used my own one, put 1000USD into the sand.

It's not that his masters didn't sound technically brilliant. It's just that my music didn't have the same "feel" anymore. It just lost on genuinity, emotional transparancy or whatever I could call it.

I'm just a guy with a hobby, and if I would hire a ME, I wouldn't know which one, because they are all into popular kinds of music, and those into electronic stuff are mostly on the "smash it" side of mastering, which is not right for my music. Those who are able to do artfull, subtle stuff, are into the popular stuff, were not able to feel my music. Besides, I'm extremly picky and I have no money for that. (anymore willing)

anyway: "But asking for tips is not going to help you to start to trust yourself."
Not bad, trust in myself is something I'm missing, true. But to gain this trust references, "try this - it will do that", help me to check how good my ears work, and gain trust.

I was trying around with comps on sum a lot, but there are just SOOOO MANY possibilities, one compressor or two etc... and everything is influencing eachother, I'm just lost.

Anyway the katz book has arrived, I will dig into it now
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#27
22nd March 2007
Old 22nd March 2007
  #27
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Nice posts Justin, I'll just make one counter:

The more people mastering that have a real passion and talent for it, the better. Healthy competition is a good thing. No one posting here is hiding the magic tricks for fear of competition, the magic is in the mixes and in the music. Mastering is not secrets and no one method ... it's a flexible set of skills, in the moment, to bring the best out. These skills are learned by doing 95% of the time.

Identifying eq is not something you can teach online. Musicality is not something you can teach online. Knowing a room is not something you can show online. These are the things the guy needs to work on if he's serious. Asking about release times and stacking compressors with no music to hear and nothing real to go on is a waste of everyone's time.

I'd really like aspiring MEs with 2 ways to work more on mixing, and rely less on mastering. Mastering is my passion, and if it's yours then go for it ... but too many people are relying in it and trying to master in mix rooms.

lucey
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#28
22nd March 2007
Old 22nd March 2007
  #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by analographi View Post
I'm just a guy with a hobby, and if I would hire a ME, I wouldn't know which one, because they are all into popular kinds of music, and those into electronic stuff are mostly on the "smash it" side of mastering, which is not right for my music. Those who are able to do artfull, subtle stuff, are into the popular stuff, were not able to feel my music. Besides, I'm extremly picky and I have no money for that. (anymore willing)

anyway: "But asking for tips is not going to help you to start to trust yourself."
Not bad, trust in myself is something I'm missing, true. But to gain this trust references, "try this - it will do that", help me to check how good my ears work, and gain trust.

I was trying around with comps on sum a lot, but there are just SOOOO MANY possibilities, one compressor or two etc... and everything is influencing eachother, I'm just lost.
You have had bad experiences and have no faith in professionals
You're lost on you're own


Now we are getting somewhere
#29
22nd March 2007
Old 22nd March 2007
  #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lucey View Post
balance the eq, make it translate and musical.
See?
You can get good tips.

Feed the unicorn.
analographi
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#30
22nd March 2007
Old 22nd March 2007
  #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lucey
balance the eq, make it translate and musical.

Maybe it's because english is not my mothertongue...

what does balance the EQ mean? even the Frequency response?

what does make it translate? I only know this word from "translate English to Japanese" or so..


"musical" how can music not be musical? I'm musical, since I make music..?

Please understand, that this is not my mothertongue, so I would say there is quite a couple of things "lost in translation"
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