Originally Posted by OwensDrumming
Sound quality is of utmost importance. I have a great final mix already done and now I'm on to the mastering stage. I want the outcome to be loud like all the mixes are these days.
You're wants are contradictory here. I'll say it again. YOU CANNOT MAKE YOUR MASTERS THAT HOT WITHOUT DESTROYING THE QUALITY. YOU CANNOT, ABSOLUTELY NOT!!! If you insist on making your masters that "loud" the sound quality WILL suffer, end of story, no question about it. You can have good or you can have something that forces people to instantly skip over it as fast as they can.
If you haven't seen it already, check out. The Loudness War - YouTube
For a real world example, there's my video. Why I Don't Buy "Remastered" CDs. - YouTube
This remaster is about -10dBfs RMS and you can already hear obvious degradation to the impact. This was also done by a very good mastering engineer with years of practice, not a hobbyist who just got started. Mastering is a lot like playing music. It takes tools, talent, direction and lots of practice to get good at it. To get the song in my video up to the levels of modern pop music, you'll have to push it 6dB higher and in process, degrade the sound at least 4X as much.
When I say loud, I don't mean blast your ears out. I mean loud like the new pop music.
New pop music is about as hot as it gets. A few years ago, I thought "WOW, THIS SOUNDS HORRIBLE! It couldn't possibly get any worse than this!" Now, it's even worse. The normal these days is 2dB hotter than the levels/distortion that made me stop buying new music several years ago. How many people actually notice a 2dB difference in level? That's no where near double the sound pressure level (6dB) but it's more than double the distortion. Even if you're an excellent mastering engineer like Bob Ludwig, making the master that hot will make it distort, badly. If a fake numbers game is all that matters, you have to learn to live with bad sound. If sound quality matters at all to you, you have to run the risk of somebody turning UP the volume rather than turning DOWN the volume.
Also about the low frequency stuff, I put a high pass filter starting at around 50hz (6 db/O) on my master buss and it seemed to help. The weird thing is that some cymbals are distorting as well. Should I low pass everything at around 10-20 khz and bring it back up with another EQ after the limiters?
I wouldn't just flat out remove everything below 50Hz but listen for any extremes anywhere in the spectrum. The problem could be 40Hz, it could be 240Hz. As for the cymbals distorting, I said earlier that LF problems can cause distortion in the high end. Even if you DO take care of any spectral issue, YOU WILL GET DISTORTION in your master trying to make it that hot. Getting rid of the high end will only reduce clarity.
On a completely unrelated note, I've seen your channel. You have the potential to be a great drummer, but I suggest taking rudimentary lessons from a classically trained drummer and learn to hold the sticks properly. You'll get a lot more control and response when you play!