Login / Register
 
Best Mastering Plug-In ?
New Reply
Subscribe
dreamsongs
Thread Starter
#1
27th February 2006
Old 27th February 2006
  #1
Lives for gear
 
dreamsongs's Avatar
 
Joined: Dec 2005
Location: FL
Posts: 1,544

Thread Starter
dreamsongs is offline
Best Mastering Plug-In ?

Hi All..

I have Cubase SX3...

Bottomline, what's the best mastering suite out there ?

Or, is anyone with a DAW mastering with outboard gear ?

__________________
Dreamsongs BMI
Dreamsongs Productions
Dreamsongs Publishing BMI
Dreamsongs LLC

" The dream don't come any closer on it's own, you have to go after it " Me...!
#2
27th February 2006
Old 27th February 2006
  #2
Gear nut
 
shack jonz's Avatar
 
Joined: Oct 2003
Location: Nashville,TN
Posts: 109

shack jonz is offline
I just got the TC Master X3 and for a crappy mixer like myself it saved me on a demo I just did. I am fortunate to be surrounded by some great mixers who usually mix my productions but I was on my own on this one. Got my mix feeling good, turned on the Master X, tweaked a preset, and voila'...sounded damn good. Don't know if it works for Cubase but worth a demo if it does.
#3
27th February 2006
Old 27th February 2006
  #3
Lives for gear
 
rwhitney's Avatar
 
Joined: Jan 2005
Location: Irvine, CA
Posts: 1,071
My Recordings/Credits

rwhitney is offline
I don't have experience with many alternatives, and I'm not a mastering engineer by a long shot, but I like the Waves mastering plugs, esp. now that they have the L3 for an alternate to the L2. I sometimes use a Sony Inflator and/or the Cranesong Phoenix along with the Waves. Usually a hardware EQ, also. When I do "psuedo-mastering".

I've used Isotope Ozone3 - has a lot of cool presets, and sounds okay, but not as rich or clear as the Waves stuff to me.

T-Racks - I like the lo-fi, gritty sound of these, but more of a specialized sound than an overall useful one.

I haven't tried the tc M6000 plugs (are the TDM available yet?).
__________________
Ross Whitney
(semi-professional)
rwhitney@uci.edu
dreamsongs
Thread Starter
#4
27th February 2006
Old 27th February 2006
  #4
Lives for gear
 
dreamsongs's Avatar
 
Joined: Dec 2005
Location: FL
Posts: 1,544

Thread Starter
dreamsongs is offline
I need something that has these...

1) Limiting
2) Multi band compression
3) Eq
4) Expander/Filtering

Waves don't have these or do they ?
#5
27th February 2006
Old 27th February 2006
  #5
Lives for gear
 
Joined: Dec 2005
Posts: 1,008

cap217 is offline
yes waves does.... in the mastering bundel.... my "quick" rough mix has:

LinMB multi band comp

LinEQ Linear phase eq

L2 brickwall


now I use the ren comp with charles dyes ssl setting inseat of the MB sometimes but I still prefer the outboard gear.
MASSIVE Master
Verified Member
#6
27th February 2006
Old 27th February 2006
  #6
Lives for gear
 
MASSIVE Master's Avatar
 
Joined: Mar 2004
Location: Chicago (Schaumburg / Hoffman Est.) IL
Posts: 3,024
My Recordings/Credits

Verified Member
Send a message via AIM to MASSIVE Master
MASSIVE Master is offline
Quote:
Originally Posted by dreamsongs
I need something that has these...

1) Limiting
2) Multi band compression
3) Eq
4) Expander/Filtering

Waves don't have these or do they ?
You're kidding, right?



Otherwise, try the UAD collection. I'm a hardware type myself, but if I had to use only plugs, it'd be those most of the time.
__________________
John Scrip - Massive Mastering, LLC - www.massivemastering.com

Spoon-feed a newb some answer and he'll mix for a day -
Get him to *think* about it and figure it out for himself and he'll mix for a lifetime --- JS
dreamsongs
Thread Starter
#7
27th February 2006
Old 27th February 2006
  #7
Lives for gear
 
dreamsongs's Avatar
 
Joined: Dec 2005
Location: FL
Posts: 1,544

Thread Starter
dreamsongs is offline
Hmmmm....maybe I should master with my outboard gear. I have some good compressors, but no hard limiting or quality eq's. I have an H8000 that has some nice filters as well but I would need some more serious mastering equipment.

I also didn't want to leave the box and get into 2 conversions. Although I have a Rosetta 800, I'm not sure if the audio wouldn't get more degraded by going out as opposed to staying in with a good mastering plug-in...
#8
27th February 2006
Old 27th February 2006
  #8
Gear maniac
 
Joined: Apr 2005
Posts: 162

neilwight is offline
this is still high end isnt it...ozone and cubase for mastering?

theres a whole raft of essential operations required in a mastering process that cubase and most other DAWs wont allow you to do, most are related to the creation of a master disc and range from actual burning to spacing, entering of codes through to creation of PQ and error checking.

with regards to processing tools, theres a few options around but in the main and IMHO hardware rules over software for most jobs.
waves have some useful software tools and i very highly rate the alogorithmix EQ however take a look across the pages of most mastering houses and you will see cranesong, manley, pendulum, sontec, GML, Prism maselec to name a few. gear choices for mastering is a very personal choice but always there is little compromise in quality.

sound degredation incurred from going through an analog chain will be reduced by getting yourself better converters than the apogee, i dotn know anyone worth their salt mastering with apogee converters. look at prism and lavry.

beyond this you havent mentioned speakers and what the room is like. this is the most critical portion. if you cant heart accurately whats going on how can you make informed decisions?

without wanting to appear harsh, perhaps theres other sections where this question may yeild responses of the type you are perhaps looking for
#9
27th February 2006
Old 27th February 2006
  #9
Lives for gear
 
pingu's Avatar
 
Joined: Feb 2006
Location: Perth Australia
Posts: 665

pingu is offline
Quote:
Originally Posted by dreamsongs
Hi All..

I have Cubase SX3...

Bottomline, what's the best mastering suite out there ?

Or, is anyone with a DAW mastering with outboard gear ?



har-bal
#10
27th February 2006
Old 27th February 2006
  #10
Lives for gear
 
John The Cut's Avatar
 
Joined: Jan 2005
Posts: 1,112

John The Cut is offline
Quote:
Originally Posted by dreamsongs
I need something that has these...

1) Limiting
2) Multi band compression
3) Eq
4) Expander/Filtering

Waves don't have these or do they ?
Save some money. Go back to the mix and sort it out there.
1484
#11
27th February 2006
Old 27th February 2006
  #11
1484
Guest
 
Posts: n/a

The Waves Mastering plug ins are really good. They intended them to be more on the transparent side. So if your mix is the way you want it (color wise), the Waves will do a good job to gel the music and add a little sparkle or control the low end. The UAD mastering suite adds a little more color, but basically do the same thing with their multi band, EQ and limiter. The Pre EQ is the best thing on the UAD mastering bundle where it has a smooth tonality to it. I use both...depending on what the songs need.

If you really want a serious mastering job though, you really need to send it to someone who has pro monitors, proper acoustics in their studio, pro converters, trained ears, and high end gear. Massive Mastering is one place I would recommend.
mwagener
Verified Member
#12
27th February 2006
Old 27th February 2006
  #12
High End Moderator
 
mwagener's Avatar
 
Joined: May 2002
Location: Music City USA
Posts: 3,730
My Recordings/Credits

Verified Member
mwagener is offline
Quote:
Originally Posted by dreamsongs
... Bottomline, what's the best mastering suite out there ?...
http://hyperback.com
#13
27th February 2006
Old 27th February 2006
  #13
Lives for gear
 
rolo's Avatar
 
Joined: Apr 2005
Location: Texas by way of Neptune
Posts: 2,568

rolo is offline
seems a bit thick. this may be in the wrong GS area, but as you can see... there are still kind informative people that have given good options to the post. there is no need to be snooty. i happen to believe that if an engineer knows how to work his/her gear.... knows what ever rig they have to the fullest, than the gear is secondary. case in point. i do NOT have a typical mastering set up(room), last year, i finished recording and mixing a single for a pop artist. they needed it sent to the label overnight, so the client asked me to do a "quasi" master for them.... they would still send it to "the best" mastering house in the counrty... you know the one. i agreed, but insisted that mastering was NOT my specialty. i finished it and was pleased with it. two weeks later... the client called, told me that they had the REAL master from the big house... and that I should really listen to it. i thought he was implying my master was way below par, and that the new master would simply put me in my place. next afternoon we sat in my studio... a/b'd the two, and guess what... my homegrown master sounded BETTER. more dynamic, but just as hot... cleaner with the kind of tone the song needed. the BIG master sounded squashed, flat, and WAY to mid-y. so i now have a very important client who will use MY mastering service in the future. like i said... i don't claim to be a mastering engineer, i only used the STOCK CONVERTORS on my hd3 accel the 192's.... i monitored on genelec 1031 and mackie 824's, i used waves mastering bundle, and some outboard (filtek bfemk5's). so you see, SOMETIMES it just takes understanding where the song should go, and a good know how on your rig.







Quote:
Originally Posted by neilwight
this is still high end isnt it...ozone and cubase for mastering?


sound degredation incurred from going through an analog chain will be reduced by getting yourself better converters than the apogee, i dotn know anyone worth their salt mastering with apogee converters. look at prism and lavry.

beyond this you havent mentioned speakers and what the room is like. this is the most critical portion. if you cant heart accurately whats going on how can you make informed decisions?

without wanting to appear harsh, perhaps theres other sections where this question may yeild responses of the type you are perhaps looking for
#14
27th February 2006
Old 27th February 2006
  #14
Lives for gear
 
Joined: Dec 2005
Posts: 1,008

cap217 is offline
I never really look at what area of GS I am typing in... I just refresh all post! Doesnt matter to me, its all music!
#15
27th February 2006
Old 27th February 2006
  #15
Lives for gear
 
andrewj's Avatar
 
Joined: Jan 2006
Location: Hamburg (Wellingsbuettel), G-Many
Posts: 1,462

Send a message via AIM to andrewj
andrewj is offline
from my very small experience I woud also recommend to send your 2Tracks to a professional Mastering Engineer with experience and you will always get a better resut than you coud achieve with some Pluggies! I dislike the eaves stuff. The Ozone is cool for some preset-set-it-and-forget-it stuff! You get a fatter boomier 2Track. This is not a real master, but it is good enough for some preview or if you just master for a TV or liveact job. For highend recording I would always recommend outboard. If you wanna stay digital try the internal uad or powercore stuff! Perhaps some EQs or Compressors will sound okay, like PSP Vintage Warmer, Master Q and MasterComp or the Tritone EQs. Always better: Hardware (The digital Daniel Weiss stuff is phenomenal for a lot of people! Analog there are dozens of good tools!)

Best luck on your search,

Andrewj
__________________
Mics: Charter Oak SA538, Peluso 22-47, CAD Equitek E-350
Outboard: Brent Averill 1272, Ted Fletcher TfPro P10, Alan Smart C2M, ELI Fatso
Computerstuff: Old MacPro with Logic
New Stellar Audio Windows workstation with Cubase

I have more, but my old list was deleted!
#16
27th February 2006
Old 27th February 2006
  #16
Lives for gear
 
Joined: May 2005
Posts: 3,868

kats is offline
Quote:
next afternoon we sat in my studio... a/b'd the two, and guess what... my homegrown master sounded BETTER
As it should. Your master was specifically tailored to your system(s) - the "big one" wasn't. The true test is to see how it sounds on 20 different playback systems, mp3, radio, automobile, ipods...you get my drift.
#17
27th February 2006
Old 27th February 2006
  #17
Lives for gear
 
airmate's Avatar
 
Joined: Sep 2003
Location: Berlin
Posts: 1,308

airmate is offline
Quote:
Originally Posted by dreamsongs
Bottomline, what's the best mastering suite out there ?
if "the best" in your question really means "the best", then you might want to have a look at this:

http://www.audiocube-solution.com/

thumbsup thumbsup thumbsup
#18
27th February 2006
Old 27th February 2006
  #18
Lives for gear
 
Ol' Betsey's Avatar
 
Joined: Jun 2002
Location: London
Posts: 2,304

Ol' Betsey is offline
Quote:
Originally Posted by kats
As it should. Your master was specifically tailored to your system(s) - the "big one" wasn't. The true test is to see how it sounds on 20 different playback systems, mp3, radio, automobile, ipods...you get my drift.
I definitely see your point, but with all due respect, it seems that in this case you're implying that nobody else compared the mixes outside of his studio and I would be very surprised if thats what actually happened.

I may be wrong though...

R.
__________________
"Thanks, guys. Nice to know I've been missed. I've spent the last six months or so contemplating the meaning of life, the universe and everything, and have come to the conclusion that it's not about the gear, but about the gear!" (maisonvague)

When I haven't any blue I use red. (Pablo Picasso)

Ol' Betsey Satan - The Original Flower
Shop 8 track - "She fought long and
she fought hard..."
#19
27th February 2006
Old 27th February 2006
  #19
Gear maniac
 
magellan's Avatar
 
Joined: Jan 2006
Location: Sugar Land, TX
Posts: 243

magellan is offline
voxengo.
#20
27th February 2006
Old 27th February 2006
  #20
Lives for gear
 
andrewj's Avatar
 
Joined: Jan 2006
Location: Hamburg (Wellingsbuettel), G-Many
Posts: 1,462

Send a message via AIM to andrewj
andrewj is offline
Audiocube!? Wow heard this very often, but could never imagine that such ugly interfaces can control high quality algorithms! Kidding, of cours this one is good. Worked with mastering guys that use audiocube a lot (By the way: Sorry to say buit is definately ugly!).

But Airmate: Are you sure that this software sounds as good as high quality outboard?

Magellan: You are thinking the voxengos are as good as a high quality putboard tool?

Sorry guys, I am the biggest fan of DAWs and the easier way, but to me there is still a big difference betwenn the expensive extra cool analog outboard sound and the sound of a plugin. There are great PlugIns around, but not as great as a Crane Song tool or a DW Fearn or whatever in the same league.

Just my opinion! My teachers in graphical arts always said: "It just doesn't matter how you achieved something, it matters what you achieved!" And I am sure you can achieve a lot with the Soft stuff today

#21
27th February 2006
Old 27th February 2006
  #21
Lives for gear
 
airmate's Avatar
 
Joined: Sep 2003
Location: Berlin
Posts: 1,308

airmate is offline
Quote:
Originally Posted by andrewj
Audiocube!? Wow heard this very often, but could never imagine that such ugly interfaces can control high quality algorithms! Kidding, of cours this one is good. Worked with mastering guys that use audiocube a lot (By the way: Sorry to say buit is definately ugly!).

But Airmate: Are you sure that this software sounds as good as high quality outboard?

Sorry guys, I am the biggest fan of DAWs and the easier way, but to me there is still a big difference betwenn the expensive extra cool analog outboard sound and the sound of a plugin. There are great PlugIns around, but not as great as a Crane Song tool or a DW Fearn or whatever in the same league.

Just my opinion! My teachers in graphical arts always said: "It just doesn't matter how you achieved something, it matters what you achieved!" And I am sure you can achieve a lot with the Soft stuff today

the cube workstation is a serious monster...
at the moment i'm in a mastering studio that is working on a cube two or three times a week. they also have a very outstanding analog setup - for instance a couple of fairman units.
but most of the time they're working inside the cube. the workflow is just amazing, and the sound is ... well ... unsurpassed by anything digital i've heard before.
the other day we've made a shootout between audio cube plugins and a GML 9500 and 2030. to our ears both setups were more or less on a par.
the entire system is uniquely transparent sounding - the cueb definitely sounds "as good" as high quality analog outboard. sometimes even better... i mean, can analog get any "better" than GML, and even they were absolutely on par with the cube.
for instance, the portico thingy was literally smoked by the cube...

i'd consider myself an analog guy as well. in my production/mixdown studio i have a nice arsenal of vintage/hi-end/analog gear. so generally spoken i'm biased towards the analog world, indeed.
but the audio cube is the first digital system i'm really, really enthusiastic about.
of course it has is price, but it's definitely worth it.

if a production really needs some "analog" coloration/glue during mastering then of course analog is still the way to go. but in virtually all other cases i'd prefer the audio cube.

to me it has proven several times that the audio cube is the best mastering suite for my productions. my stuff doesn't need any additional coloration in the mastering stage. i can (and will) do this while recording and mixing. i want to have some general tonal balancing in the mastering stage, but i want them to leave my sound as transparent and untouched as possible.
#22
27th February 2006
Old 27th February 2006
  #22
Gear maniac
 
magellan's Avatar
 
Joined: Jan 2006
Location: Sugar Land, TX
Posts: 243

magellan is offline
Quote:
Originally Posted by andrewj

Magellan: You are thinking the voxengos are as good as a high quality putboard tool?



no. but imho many of their plug-ins are really amazing (ie the soniformer) and can be useful tools to the mastering engineer, even those with high-end outboard gear.
#23
28th February 2006
Old 28th February 2006
  #23
Gear maniac
 
The True Buck's Avatar
 
Joined: Feb 2006
Posts: 213

The True Buck is offline
Check out the TC 6000 plugs for the Powercore. They seem like the strongest contender for mastering the sound on your computer... But as someone here said, mastering is not all about sound.. Adding codes, PQ editing etc... has to be considered too, but I'm sure (some people here will send me to hell now) a program like CD Architect will do the trick!

CD Architect (unless you're working in Samplitude where you can master as you go) + Powercore + All the Sony Plugs + look into the 6000 plugs...

One thing to keep in mind is that the mastering business is suffering ALOT from people/bands doing their masters at home and they will be fighting hard to stand their ground. Listen to them with an objective ear! Some of it is true, some is just plain rubbish, vomited out in order to survive!
#24
28th February 2006
Old 28th February 2006
  #24
Gear maniac
 
Joined: Apr 2005
Posts: 162

neilwight is offline
absolutely, question everything your told and never stop, atleast in the sense of using your own mind to filter whats said and make sense of it.
id say it is hard to quantify exactly how hard mastering is being hit, id suggest its less than studios anyways and all of it is to the detriment to the quality of music out there as far as i can see.
while theres an abundance of DIY out there, for many reasons any label worth its salt will still go through proper mastering houses. while theres often not the massive budgets of a decade or two ago ask anyone doing it themselves if they would like to be on a label and im betting 9 out of 10 would say yes. this still means labels are where people want to be at....and labels need professional mastering solutions.

for diy mastering peeps, cd architect is certainly an affordable and good tool for doing much of the coding etc needed for a PMCD. its very basic in operation and not complete but can definately do the basics for anyone needing it.

as for the whole software/hardware thing. its well documented and so subjective that its almost worthless to discuss. i use digital here a lot, waves LinEQ sometimes and algorithmix red mostly (taken over weiss digital outboard) when i need super transparent or clinical but for any big lifting or general work its always outboard. compression is a no brainer and on eq, id challenge anyone to use my sontec and then say their voxengo or whatever could come close.
that withstanding, realistically getting a cd together for a demo or friends then you can do very decent work entirely in a DAW.

interestingly for all you software boys, even bob katz has been using hardware more again
dreamsongs
Thread Starter
#25
28th February 2006
Old 28th February 2006
  #25
Lives for gear
 
dreamsongs's Avatar
 
Joined: Dec 2005
Location: FL
Posts: 1,544

Thread Starter
dreamsongs is offline
Well..., I've read this thread very carefully and I am thankful for all the insightful and knowledgeable input. The thing is this...

I know full well that a song tracks mastered in a mastering house sound a hell of a lot better than if you did it yourself. That's what I used to do up until not too long ago. But, it got too expensive. I'll explain...

In my case, I am mainly a Producer/Songwriter. I write many songs throughout the year. Mostly Film/Tv, sometimes I'll send demos to artists if I think it'll fit. Some see some action, many others don't. Everytime I put something out there, in my mind, I think it has a chance. I work with some local talent which I write for as well. A lot of songs to master in one year !

All in all, I just couldn't keep sending every song that I thought was good out to a mastering place. The good ones are not cheap... I am a perfectionist by nature and I don't want to compromise audio quality, but I have to pay the bills. In this very competitive business, it was a luxury I coudn't afford.

To be perfectly honest, I've heard a lot of music the last couple of years, some good and some pretty bad. A lot of the good stuff that I would've guessed was mastered professionally, wasn't. So I started looking into mastering myself with some top of the line plugs and avoid conversions.

This is GS, I understand. I know what most of the guys would do. But, in the real world and with a limit on the budget, it's not always possible.

I will continue to look at various plugs and experiment, I can't speak yet if I will be satisfied with the results. We'll see...In the meantime, please keep the suggestions coming. I appreciate it...
#26
28th February 2006
Old 28th February 2006
  #26
Lives for gear
 
Ernest Buckley's Avatar
 
Joined: Feb 2006
Location: Brooklyn, NYC
Posts: 2,220

Ernest Buckley is offline
The Waves C4 plug is exceptionally powerful. The only issue ls learning to use it which took me a while. Other than that, its extraordinary.
__________________
"Shes So Ready"


You don`t need any more gear, you need to re-write the chorus.
#27
28th February 2006
Old 28th February 2006
  #27
Lives for gear
 
defjamm's Avatar
 
Joined: Jul 2004
Location: Germany
Posts: 566

defjamm is offline
Quote:
Originally Posted by neilwight
id challenge anyone to use my sontec and then say their voxengo or whatever could come close
hey neil, that would be great! how about a short piece of music, that we can loop(an organic live recording). then we dial in the exactly same values(same frequency, same gain, and same q, with that i mean the end result on both would be as close as possible in gain). and then a blind-test. but like i said, both files would be matched as close as possible. would you like to participate?
dreamsongs
Thread Starter
#28
28th February 2006
Old 28th February 2006
  #28
Lives for gear
 
dreamsongs's Avatar
 
Joined: Dec 2005
Location: FL
Posts: 1,544

Thread Starter
dreamsongs is offline
I'd like to hear that ...
#29
28th February 2006
Old 28th February 2006
  #29
Lives for gear
 
rwhitney's Avatar
 
Joined: Jan 2005
Location: Irvine, CA
Posts: 1,071
My Recordings/Credits

rwhitney is offline
I just compared the Sony Oxford Limiter to the Waves L3. While the L3 does sound good, the Sony seems more transparent and tighter in the low end. Anyone else make this comparison?
#30
1st March 2006
Old 1st March 2006
  #30
New Reply Submit Thread to Facebook Facebook  Submit Thread to Twitter Twitter  Submit Thread to LinkedIn LinkedIn  Submit Thread to Google+ Google+ 
 
Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Similar Threads
Thread
Thread Starter / Forum
Replies
jdjustice / Music Computers
291
AB3 / Music Computers
35
Fortral / Mastering forum
3

Forum Jump

SEO by vBSEO ©2011, Crawlability, Inc.