Your ITB Mastering chain. Facts only.
Old 12th June 2012
  #91
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Filthrill's Avatar
 

It's funny & scary how everyone does mastering differently. I mean radically different sometimes. It's just so all over the place, which is great don't get me wrong. I know the goal is to make something sound better but damn there should seriously be some governing laws or something. Haahaa.
Old 12th June 2012
  #92
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I don't know what kind of material majority of people here are 'mastering', but the usage of processors that 'add something' is impressive. It's like 'I must add something by default approach' judging from the 'mastering chains' I've seen here.
Old 12th June 2012
  #93
Completely depends on the quality of the provided song(s). So these listed are not necessarily used all at once or in listed order:

- Fabfilter pro q
- Fabfiter pro c
- Fabfilter pro l
- iZotope Ozone 5
- Cubase native multiband compressor
- stereo widener
- reverb

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Old 12th June 2012
  #94
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Laurend's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by AngeFragile View Post
Completely depends on the quality of the provided song(s). So these listed are not necessarily used all at once or in listed order:

- Fabfilter pro q
- Fabfiter pro c
- Fabfilter pro l
- iZotope Ozone 5
- Cubase native multiband compressor
- stereo widener
- reverb

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Is this the order you use ?
Old 12th June 2012
  #95
Quote:
Originally Posted by Laurend View Post
Is this the order you use ?
No, not in the order listed. And not all in a project. These are randomly listed.

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Old 12th June 2012
  #96
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mildav's Avatar
 

Eq:
Dmg audio or brainworxs v2 m/s or waves pultec

Comp:

Waves api2500 or waves rcomp or softube tubetech(jazz acustic)

Sat and color:

Waves mpx

Lim:

Massey l2007 or waves l2
Old 12th June 2012
  #97
EDF
Gear addict
Reading some of these chains make me think that the mixes are bad.
Old 13th June 2012
  #98
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Filthrill's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by EDF View Post
Reading some of these chains make me think that the mixes are bad.
Could be my friend, could be. There is no way that the world-renowned ME's are doing all this extra stuff to people's songs. Most of the sessions I've been in I just saw them doing a lil EQ & comp & making it loud. Never have I seen a saturator or tape emulators or all this extra stuff. But I suppose if something can really be improved w/ those tools then hey why not try? Just shouldn't have to in my book. I have been using a touch of Sonnox Oxford Reverb on songs that sound a lil stiff so I know there are no rules. But seems like some of these chains are really reaching & some are just all out pretentious.
Old 13th June 2012
  #99
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EDF View Post
Reading some of these chains make me think that the mixes are bad.
I agree

Quote:
Originally Posted by Filthrill View Post
Could be my friend, could be. There is no way that the world-renowned ME's are doing all this extra stuff to people's songs. Most of the sessions I've been in I just saw them doing a lil EQ & comp & making it loud. Never have I seen a saturator or tape emulators or all this extra stuff.
I agree +2
Old 13th June 2012
  #100
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Rust Creep's Avatar
 

I love threads like this.. very educational

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Old 13th June 2012
  #101
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greggybud's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Filthrill View Post
. But seems like some of these chains are really reaching & some are just all out pretentious.
Some of these lists are comical.

Users get seduced by marketing tools that in reality are rarely used.

Users go off about subtle differences between tools when their audio environments are horrible.

Users proclaim their favorite limiter when in fact limiting accounts for little overall gain increase. (from commercial ME's)

But alas...this is GEARslutz.
Old 13th June 2012
  #102
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EDF View Post
Reading some of these chains make me think that the mixes are bad.
Truth. A lot of the guys who get pro-level work coming in don't need a whole lot of toys to get stellar results. Coupla good EQ's, maybe a comp and a limiter.

The rest of us don't seem to get that because we don't regularly get bangin' mixes coming in the door (or in the mail or in the email or Dropbox or whathaveyou)
Old 13th June 2012
  #103
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NickNagurka View Post
Truth. A lot of the guys who get pro-level work coming in don't need a whole lot of toys to get stellar results. Coupla good EQ's, maybe a comp and a limiter.

The rest of us don't seem to get that because we don't regularly get bangin' mixes coming in the door (or in the mail or in the email or Dropbox or whathaveyou)
Are you suggesting the non-bangin mixes require more tools in a chain?
Old 14th June 2012
  #104
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Quote:
Originally Posted by greggybud View Post
Are you suggesting the non-bangin mixes require more tools in a chain?
By "bangin" I meant really good, regardless of genre. And yes, if ou consider mastering an art, as some do, then a sub-par mix may require more tools to bring it closer to the realm of what people have come to expect from mastering.
Old 14th June 2012
  #105
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I have mastered mixes from Bruce Swedien (which didn't require much at all) but the vast majority...like 90% come from non-commercial clients who are not mix engineers.

I honestly can't say the 90% normally require more tools than the 10%. Maybe I'm lucky.

What seems to be fashionable is so called mastered mixes somewhat ruined by a limiter, usually subtle distortion, and loss of punch, with hopes of magical expansion to make everything cleaned up at the end of the day. And almost every project, when I ask...the client relied on a limiter to obtain the majority gain. This is why it's sad to read all these posts about the "best mastering limiter" when in fact your "best mastering limiter" should only exist for a few extra dB's.
Old 15th June 2012
  #106
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Quote:
Originally Posted by greggybud View Post
I have mastered mixes from Bruce Swedien (which didn't require much at all) but the vast majority...like 90% come from non-commercial clients who are not mix engineers.

I honestly can't say the 90% normally require more tools than the 10%. Maybe I'm lucky.

What seems to be fashionable is so called mastered mixes somewhat ruined by a limiter, usually subtle distortion, and loss of punch, with hopes of magical expansion to make everything cleaned up at the end of the day. And almost every project, when I ask...the client relied on a limiter to obtain the majority gain. This is why it's sad to read all these posts about the "best mastering limiter" when in fact your "best mastering limiter" should only exist for a few extra dB's.
You've got years of experience, a more developed ear and, likely, a fair bit more restraint than I

I don't consider myself a mastering engineer, but I do often find myself being called upon to "fix it in mastering" for other fledgling recordists. Most of the time that job requires the full toolkit. That's just where I'm coming from. I appreciate your ethos, just know there's a new crop of guys out there doing really good work with a more "hybrid" approach.

Best,

Nick
Old 15th June 2012
  #107
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Filthrill's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by greggybud View Post
I have mastered mixes from Bruce Swedien (which didn't require much at all) but the vast majority...like 90% come from non-commercial clients who are not mix engineers.

I honestly can't say the 90% normally require more tools than the 10%. Maybe I'm lucky.

What seems to be fashionable is so called mastered mixes somewhat ruined by a limiter, usually subtle distortion, and loss of punch, with hopes of magical expansion to make everything cleaned up at the end of the day. And almost every project, when I ask...the client relied on a limiter to obtain the majority gain. This is why it's sad to read all these posts about the "best mastering limiter" when in fact your "best mastering limiter" should only exist for a few extra dB's.
I'd agree that the 90% doesn't really require more tools but I came to find they do require MORE TIME. Sometimes a lot more time cuz if the client really expects a very high level sounding final product & has paid you to deliver, they don't want to hear you make excuses about their mix that they gave you not being the best it can be. So being the tweakhead ME you go to town on it & you're referencing big records they want you to reference, you work extra hard to get it to that level. Of course you're limited by their mix but you strive to make the client happy. Then hopefully they're satified w/ what you give them. That's when they might realize they might not have given you the best mix.

Last edited by Filthrill; 15th June 2012 at 03:45 AM.. Reason: Grammer
Old 15th June 2012
  #108
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I agree. The 90% require more time, but at some point, and that is for you to determine, it becomes the "polishing a turd" thing. For example I have not found using multiband compression or limiting is very useful personally. What I discovered is both created additional issues. I tried to like Waves multiband by playing the loudest parts to find the peaks, then adjusting threshold etc...but the end result didn't sound right. Don't get me wrong, I like Waves and UAD. The early and very expensive Waves products were what seduced me into mastering for friends around town.

Another example I read here is stereo wideners. What about going M/S and using EQ and maybe compression on the S or the M or both to create a better stereo image than what could be achieved by a widener?

Reverb? At the mastering stage? The only time I use reverb is to create tails on the end of a song. There are times when I think a mix is too dry or wet, and depending on the client I try to get an idea if a remix would be best...or leave it alone. A big part here is trying to understand what the client wants.
Old 15th June 2012
  #109
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Laurend's Avatar
 

The FLUX Achemist is great at resurrecting dead audio. It allows to manage stereo width and to recreate transients per band. That's still a lot of work to transform a turd into an average audio object.
Old 15th June 2012
  #110
Gear Head
 

Very few mention Algorithmix?? Orange-so great in corrective things..
Old 16th June 2012
  #111
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ciro's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Laurend View Post
That's still a lot of work to transform a turd into an average audio object.
(+ time ...)
Old 16th June 2012
  #112
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Greg, I hear a lot of stereo widening abuse, especially after a bunch of people got their hands on Ozone. Ouch!

M/S de-essing can do wonders for clarity and dealing with "one note bass" issues.

There are so many good tools out there. So much of the time, it's just knowing when NOT to use them that makes all the difference.
Old 16th June 2012
  #113
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Filthrill's Avatar
 

Another example I read here is stereo wideners. What about going M/S and using EQ and maybe compression on the S or the M or both to create a better stereo image than what could be achieved by a widener?

Reverb? At the mastering stage? The only time I use reverb is to create tails on the end of a song. There are times when I think a mix is too dry or wet, and depending on the client I try to get an idea if a remix would be best...or leave it alone. A big part here is trying to understand what the client wants.[/QUOTE]

I use Brainworx bx digital EQ. Usually widening the stereo width slightly & EQing mid & side a lil differently. Creates some cool separation in the song a lot of times. I use Waves Center also (sshh) turning the HIGH knob toward the center a lil. Man it makes vocal sound more like a major record to me.

I'm telling u, break the rules & try some reverb on a whole song. Mind u I rarely do this. Maybe less than 10 songs in last 3 years. It's got to be the right song. Never more than on 4-7% wetness on the verb tho. Your use of verb is more of the proper way to use verb in mastering. Makes total sense.
Old 16th June 2012
  #114
Gear nut
 

I love the Tube-Tech CL1B as well, and the DMG Audio Equality and their compression plugins are great too. Love the wet/dry balance to get easy parallel comp on that plugin. Also a fan of the McDSP Vintage Limiter (forgot what it's called)... gets it loud without square-waving. Can hit it pretty hard without it sounding audibly distorted... if the song needs it to be "loud".
Old 18th June 2012
  #115
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Quote:
Originally Posted by simoncastic View Post
I love the Tube-Tech CL1B as well, and the DMG Audio Equality and their compression plugins are great too. Love the wet/dry balance to get easy parallel comp on that plugin. Also a fan of the McDSP Vintage Limiter (forgot what it's called)... gets it loud without square-waving. Can hit it pretty hard without it sounding audibly distorted... if the song needs it to be "loud".
Do you use the Tube-Tech CL1B (plug-in) mastering? Gotta try that. Maybe I should swap out my T-Racks Brickwall Limiter for the McDSP Vintage Limiter you mention. I think the T-Racks is supposed to have a vintage tone too but McDSP might sound better. Since I only have an API 2500 for outboard compression I'm always looking for other help from plug-ins like ones that might give me the color of some other common mastering comps like the Pendulum, Manley Vari-Mu, Shadow Hills Mastering Compressor, etc. I know the real thing is best but you get what I mean. I use Sonnox, URS, & Brainworx EQ. I use Sonnox Dynamics comp too as my only other comp in my chain but lately thinking about maybe trying T-Racks classic EQ & their Linear Phase EQ also. I dunno, so many options. Any thoughts are welcome please.
Old 19th June 2012
  #116
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Adam Dempsey's Avatar
 

Verified Member
Quote:
Originally Posted by NickNagurka View Post
There are so many good tools out there.
Indeed... To quote an engineer friend: the possibilities are mindless.
Quote:
Originally Posted by NickNagurka View Post
So much of the time, it's just knowing when NOT to use them that makes all the difference.
Always.
Old 19th June 2012
  #117
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Who cares about in the box? This is GeARslutz!! Not plugin slutz. Word
Old 19th June 2012
  #118
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Most often I use Sound Forge as the platform with:
Ozone for EQ and multiband compression
Waves L2 for limiter


sometimes I instead use some of the following as well as or instead of the above tools:
Waves X-Noise (if tape hiss is an issue)
PSP mastering compressor
Waves EQ's instead of Ozone EQ
Waves C4 instead of Ozone multiband
Occassionally I add reverb with Ozone or Waves R-Verb


Sound Forge for SRC and dither usually
Old 19th June 2012
  #119
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I'm not a ME, but when needed, i usually do:

1. Fabfilter Q
2. Fabfilter ProC
3. PSP Xenon

4. Waves Paz Analyser

Just that... Seeing how many stuff people use i'm "not sure if my mixes are good or i'm doing mastering wrong".
Old 21st June 2012
  #120
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I think I'm about to start using the toontrack ezmix mastering plugin. Crap I can just hit one of the presets and call it a day!

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